Strayer University, unlike other universities in the United States, is a for-profit university. Meaning, they are a corporation that endeavors to give its students a flexible and accessible educational experience. Unfortunately, students at for-profit colleges tend to have negative experiences because the primary initiative for the University is protecting its financial interests. These universities are quick to terminate students for minor infractions – likely to keep their enrollment and average GPAs up.
If you or someone you know has been accused of academic misconduct at or unfairly dismissed from a for-profit college, it's essential you reach out to an attorney-advisor. Attorney-advisors act swiftly and diligently to ensure the University upholds all your rights to due process. These accusations and abrupt dismissals can be jarring and overwhelming; you don't have to navigate them alone.
Code of Conduct
At Strayer University, students are given a code of conduct and asked to follow its guidelines to a tee. This code requires students to conduct themselves as business professionals and act responsibly when on campus grounds. The only time Strayer will discipline a student is if they violate the university population's educational efforts. These violations include academic misconduct.
Academic misconduct is defined as any act that creates an unfair advantage for a student. Strayer's code of conduct specifies that students are held to the highest standards of academic excellence. Academic integrity is a vital part of that academic excellence standard. Therefore, any act of dishonesty constitutes academic misconduct and is subject to penalties such as suspension, expulsion, or revocation of the student's degree. These acts of dishonesty include:
- Cheating: copying answers from another person; using unauthorized resources on an exam, paper, or project; sharing work with others without the professor's permission
- Plagiarizing: improperly paraphrasing or citing another's work; passing off another's work or ideas as your own; turning in the same assignment for multiple courses
- Forgery: forging a signature on an official document; making up sources to cite on an exam, paper, or project; forging checks for tuition or fees
- Knowingly furnishing false information
- Altering University documents, financial instruments, or identification cards with the intent to defraud others
- Violating the University's Academic Integrity Policy in any other way
Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Procedures
The University expects instructors, faculty, or students to make formal complaints of academic misconduct when they notice it is occurring and file their complaints with the Office of Student Affairs. The Campus Dean is then notified and will immediately launch an investigation. If the Campus Dean finds that the student violated the code, they will issue a written warning to the student. Once the student receives the warning, they have the right to respond in writing, within five days, with written statements by relevant witnesses.
Upon the first investigation, if the Campus Dean realizes that the violation is more serious in nature, or the Office of Student Affairs feels that further disciplinary action is necessary, they will ask a University staff member to investigate the matter. The staff member will inform the Regional Vice Provost and the Regional Vice President of the issue, and then either of those individuals will issue a sanction. At this point, the student will again have five days to submit a written response.
When the Regional Vice Provost, Regional Vice President, or staff member investigate the matter, they might determine that the accused action is so severe in nature that it should be forwarded to the Dean of Students for further action. The Dean of Students has ten days to provide written notice of the matter to the student and the sanction they are subject to. Students have ten days from that point to appeal the decision.
If the student wishes to appeal the decision, they must appeal to the Disciplinary Committee, which will meet for a hearing via teleconference. The student has the right to an attorney or advisor for this hearing, but they will not be allowed to speak during the hearing. They may advise and prepare the student, but the student must present their appeal on their own behalf.
The student and University may call witnesses and bring evidence on their respective behalf. They may also confront adverse witnesses. Within ten days after the hearing, the Disciplinary Committee will make their decision, which is final and cannot be further appealed.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Acts of academic misconduct can have long-lasting effects on students at for-profit universities. For instance, even if they are false, these accusations can have disastrous effects on the student's reputation. Additionally, they will bar students from admission to other for-profit universities and make it exceedingly difficult to gain admission to other programs.
And finally, being adjudicated for violating academic integrity could put a student back a semester, or even a year, depending on the length of the suspension. For-profit universities are notorious for dismissing students who cannot keep up with their progression through their programs. Meaning, if a student is placed further behind in their education because of suspension, they may not graduate in the allotted time, forcing the University to dismiss them for not finishing on time.
An attorney-advisor is crucial in these scenarios. Not only are they able to advise students through the entirety of the disciplinary process, but for students the University suspends, expels, or revokes their diploma, attorney-advisors can help you sue the University. If you are punished for invalid reasons or without due process, you are entitled to legal recourse.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of students at for-profit schools across the country deal with unfair and improper academic integrity violations and other issues affecting their academic goals. They are passionate about ensuring every student's right to a fair and impartial disciplinary hearing and adjudicative process. Many students fall through the gap at their universities and become subject to unreasonable dismissals or academic setbacks. By having an attorney on your side from the very start, you can mitigate these negative consequences. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.