Walden University is an online for-profit school headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unlike many universities, Walden University has an open admissions policy and a 100 percent acceptance rate. It's known for its registered nursing program. Women account for over three-quarters of its 50,000 students.
Walden University offers higher education to students who may not gain admittance to other schools. Like other for-profit institutions, Walden University is no stranger to controversy. Many students rack up student debt in the pursuit of a degree that they never receive. A Brookings Institution study found that Walden students accrued over $6 billion in debt, the fifth-largest amount of over 3,000 schools. Walden University's graduation rate for students after six years of enrollment is just over 25 percent.
Despite paying thousands of dollars per year, many Walden University students receive unfair sanctions that lead to their dismissal. National academic-misconduct attorney and advisor Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm wants to inform you of your rights in misconduct proceedings. Here is what you need to know to protect yourself from a violation of your rights.
Misconduct Policies at Walden University
The Walden University Code of Conduct outlines the expectations for students. You can find the Code of Conduct published in the Walden University student handbook. In general, the university breaks Code of Conduct infractions into four different categories.
Academic Integrity. Walden University's academic integrity policy restricts students from gaining an unfair academic advantage. The policy forbids academic integrity violations, including plagiarism, cheating, misuse of scholarly work, copyright violations, misrepresenting credentials, theft, and altering university documents. The university uses many methods to deter academic integrity violations, such as using plagiarism detectors like SafeAssign.
Professional Conduct. Walden University can also invoke sanctions if you fail to conduct yourself professionally and respectfully. Professional conduct rules apply when interacting with community members and representing the university at events. The Code of Conduct forbids students from participating in disruptive, threatening, unethical, disrespectful, or abusive conduct towards university members.
Nonharassment. To foster an environment of educational freedom, Walden University prohibits all forms of harassment. Harassing any university member is a violation of the Code of Conduct.
Nondiscrimination. The Code of Conduct forbids discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, and other protected characteristics.
In some circumstances, harassment and discrimination may also be a violation of Title IX rules. Title IX prohibits gender discrimination such as sexual misconduct or violence. The Code of Conduct forbids the following acts:
- Non-consensual sexual intercourse or contact
- Sexual exploitation
- Interpersonal relationship violence
- Sex/gender-based stalking
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
Misconduct sanctions include reduced grades, failing grades, and course failure. It can also lead to enrollment in academic integrity courses, suspension, and dismissal from the university. Multiple infractions result in more severe sanctions.
Academic Progress. You may also face discipline if you fail to meet Walden University's academic progress standards. You must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA while attending Walden University. You must also stay on track to graduate within the maximum length of time permitted. Your degree program sets this time limit, which is usually eight calendar years. Student success advisors will contact you if you fail to meet these standards. Sanctions include academic warnings, retaking courses, or dismissal from the university.
Misconduct Procedures at Walden University
Students who commit misconduct must go through the Walden University review process. If an instructor believes you violated the Code of Conduct, they will report the infraction to the associate dean or executive director. Their report will include the date of the incident and documentation supporting the allegation. The recipient will then provide you with written notification of the violation.
The associate dean or executive director investigates misconduct. The investigation may include a panel to review the evidence and decide on sanctions. During the investigation, you can respond to the allegation. The associate dean or executive director will notify you of their decision and sanctions. You have the right to appeal disciplinary decisions, except in cases of academic integrity.
Allegations of Title IX violations will launch a separate investigation process. The Title IX Coordinator investigates these claims and provides a fair and impartial resolution process. Title IX investigations vary depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the allegations. In general, Title IX investigations include a hearing. Hearings provide the Title IX Coordinator an opportunity to conduct interviews with the complainant and respondent. They include reviews of student personnel files, relevant documents, evidence, and witness statements. After the investigation, the Title IX Coordinator will present their findings to Walden University leaders.
If you face a Title IX violation, you have the right to use an advisor. An advisor can provide guidance and support during the investigation and also help file an appeal of university decisions.
An Attorney-Advisor's Role
Many Walden University students do not know how to navigate the complexities of its disciplinary process. If you face a misconduct allegation, the best thing you can do is hire an attorney-advisor. Attorney Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm is an experienced national student discipline advisor. He has successfully defended thousands of students across the country in misconduct cases. He can help you fight your allegations and achieve a favorable outcome.
By using an attorney, you can also identify grounds to overturn biased or unfair decisions. Walden University has strict standards for filing academic appeals. You must meet deadlines, submit appeal forms, and give substantial reasons to overturn university decisions. Joseph D. Lento can assist you throughout this process and use his expertise to identify opportunities for an appeal. He can also help you file a grievance if you feel you experienced discrimination or harassment during your misconduct investigation.
A student misconduct charge can negatively impact your future. Don't let a misconduct allegation jeopardize your reputation, your career, or your finances. Joseph D. Lento has the experience necessary to challenge a misconduct allegation at Walden University. Call 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation today.