The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (20 U.S.C. 1232g) grants students certain rights concerning their educational records. Under the Act, an educational or student record is any record containing personally identifiable information that is directly related to a student and maintained by the University or its agents.
The University has promulgated a specific policy on student records administration, which is available through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at (818) 677-2391. Except as permitted by the Act, the University will not disclose student educational records without the consent of the student. Exceptions include University employees acting in a student’s educational interest. An employee has a legitimate educational interest if he/she must review the student’s record in order to fulfill his/her assigned duties and responsibilities. Other exceptions include disclosures to officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll, to persons in compliance with a subpoena, to comply with a court order sought by the U.S. Attorney General for student records containing information relevant to the investigation or prosecution of terrorist acts, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health and safety of students or other persons.
At its discretion, the University may release “directory information” concerning any student who does not prevent such access. Directory information includes a student’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time), participation in unofficial university activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members, degrees, honors, awards received, and most recent educational institution attended. For student employees, directory information shall also include the department where employed and employee status (i.e., Graduate Assistant, Instructional Student Assistant, Teaching Associate). Students who choose to prevent the release of directory information may do so by completing the Request for Confidentiality Hold on Student Records form in the Office of Admissions and Records. Upon so informing Admissions and Records, the student’s directory information will be designated “confidential” and will remain as such until redesignated by the student.
The law provides students with the right to inspect, review and challenge information contained in their education records. The Vice President for Student Affairs has been designated by the President to coordinate the inspection and review of procedures for student education records. Students wishing to review their education records may make a written request on a form available from the Vice President for Student Affairs Office. Students may also file their request with the department where the records are maintained. Only records covered by the Act will be made available. That availability will occur within 45 days after submission of the request. Students wishing to review information maintained by Admissions and Records must make their request in writing to Patricia R. Lord, Admissions and Records, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330-8207.
Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights may discuss their concern informally with the University official having custody of the records in question. Records will be changed or amended if the student can establish propriety for the requested change. If not, the student will be notified within 30 school days that the records will not be changed or amended. Accompanying that notification will be information of the right to a hearing with respect to the denial of the requested change or amendment. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing and submitted to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
Students who believe that the final adjudication of their challenges were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the Act may file complaints with the Family Policy and Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605, concerning the alleged failure of California State University, Northridge, to comply with the act.
Students are required to provide the University with their social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) pursuant to Section 41201, Title 5, California Code of Regulations, and Section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code (and associated regulations). The University uses the social security number or ITIN to identify records pertaining to the student and, if needed, to collect debts owed the University.
Also, the Internal Revenue Service requires the University to file information returns that include the student’s social security number or ITIN and other information such as the amount charged for qualified tuition and related financial aid grants and scholarships. Students who do not have a social security number or ITIN at the time of enrollment will be required to obtain the appropriate number and submit it to the University within sixty days. Failure to furnish a correct social security number or ITIN may result in the imposition of a penalty by the Internal Revenue Service. Questions related to the social security number or ITIN requirement may be referred to the Office of Admissions and Records.
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, California State University, Northridge prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in academic, educational, extracurricular, and athletic programs and activities. Title IX protects all people regardless of their gender or gender identity from sexual harassment and violence, which are forms of sex discrimination.
The University has designated a Title IX Coordinator to oversee the implementation of Title IX, including the administrative responsibility of reviewing Title IX complaints. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX to campus programs and activities may be referred to:
Interim Director of the Office of Diversity & Equity/Title IX Coordinator
University Hall, Room 285
Phone (818) 677-2077
Discrimination and Harassment Complaints
All students are urged to refer complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, (818) 677-2077. Discrimination, harassment and retaliation violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, California State Laws and the Executive Orders of the Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) system.
Sexual Harassment Complaints
All students are urged to refer complaints of sexual harassment to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, (818) 677-2077. Sexual harassment violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, California State law and the Executive Orders of the Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) system. Students may file a formal grievance through the discrimination complaint procedures below if the complaint cannot be resolved informally.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity
The California State University prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity in its educational programs or other activities. Title I of the California Education Code, Part 1, Chapter 2, Sections 200 through 283, Educational Equity, states in part, that it is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public schools, regardless of their sex, equal rights and opportunities in the educational institutions of the state. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. These federal and state laws and regulations include requirements for the admission of students, financial aid and employment. Inquiries and complaints are referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, (818) 677-2077. Inquiries relative to Title IX may also be referred to the Regional Director of the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 7th Street, Suite 4-100, San Francisco, CA 94103, telephone (415) 437-8310.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Color, or National Origin
California State University, Northridge, complies with the requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the regulations adopted thereunder. No person shall, on the basis of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subject to discrimination under any program of the California State University (CSU) system.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
California State University, Northridge, does not discriminate against students or employees on the basis of disability. This nondiscriminatory policy is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which states, in part:
No qualified person with a disability shall, on the basis of that disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from federal financial assistance.
The programs and activities noted include, but are not limited to admission of students and recruitment and retention of employees. Inquiries and complaints should be referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, telephone (818) 677-2077.
Accommodation of Persons with Disabilities
California State University, Northridge is committed to removing barriers for persons with disabilities. The policy of CSU (Executive Order 926) is to make its programs, services, and activities accessible to students, faculty, staff, and the general public who visit or attend a campus-sponsored event, with disabilities. This policy is in accordance with applicable state and federal laws including, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Government Code § 12940 et seq. and California Education Code §§ 67302 and 67310-13. Inquiries and complaints should be referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, telephone (818) 677-2077.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Religion
California State University, Northridge, under Executive Order 1074 and in compliance with the California Equity in Higher Education Act, California Education Code Sections 66250 et seq., provides in part that no student or applicant for admission as a student shall, on the basis of religion, be unlawfully excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of any CSU program or activity. Nor shall a student or applicant for admission as a student be otherwise subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation for exercising his/her rights under this executive order. Inquiries and complaints should be referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, telephone (818) 677-2077.
Accommodation of Religious Creed
California State University, Northridge, complies with the Title I of the California Education Code, Part 55, Chapter 3, Students, Article 3, Accommodation of Religious Creed, Section 89320, which states that, in part, "the Trustees of the California State University shall require each state university, in administering any test or examination, to permit any student who is eligible to undergo the test or examination to do so, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student’s religious creed. This requirement shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided. In any court proceeding in which the existence of an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided is an issue, the burden of proof shall be upon the institution." Inquiries and complaints are referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, telephone (818) 677-2077.
Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Age
California State University, Northridge, complies with the provisions of the Age Discrimination Act (ADA) of 1975 and the regulations developed under that law. The Act states, in part: "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Inquiries and complaints should be referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, telephone (818) 677-2077.
Procedures are established for students who feel discriminated against on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation. Students wishing to initiate a complaint against CSUN faculty or staff because of one of these bases are advised to obtain instructions from the Office of Equity and Diversity (OED), University Hall, Room 285, (818) 677-2077, or visit the OED website at http://www-admn.csun.edu/eqtydiv/
California State University (CSU) Executive Order 1074, Systemwide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Against Students and Applicants for Admission AND Systemwide Procedure for Handling Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Complaints by Students and Applicants for Admission Against the CSU and/or CSU Employees, established the formal process for student complaints. Executive Order 1074 can be found on the CSU website at www.calstate.edu/infocenter and on the CSUN Equity and Diversity website at http://www-admn.csun.edu/eqtydiv/
The University considers all grades reported at the end of each semester to be final. Students are responsible for reviewing their grades for accuracy before the end of the subsequent semester. Students who believe they have received a grade in error should promptly ask the instructor to verify and, if appropriate, correct the grade.
Grades received for the semester of graduation will be considered sealed 60 days after the official date of graduation. However, the deadline to request a grade correction is the end of the semester following that in which the grade was assigned.
If the instructor is absent from the campus during the subsequent semester, students should promptly consult with the department chair about the grade in question. If the department chair is unable to contact the instructor, he/she will notify the Associate Dean of the college in writing that an extension of the grade correction deadline, up to one year, has been granted.
The University provides procedures for the orderly processing of grievances by students against members of the faculty, and for the appeal of assigned grades. Established by the Faculty Senate, these procedures are contained in the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board Bylaws. The Board is empowered to act upon grievances and appeals which are properly filed.
Academic grievances may be filed when a student feels aggrieved in (non-grade) matters concerning an academic decision, action or judgment by a faculty member. A grade appeal may be filed when a student believes a grade is based on error, violation of University rule or policy, refusal by the instructor to report a grade, or improper conduct towards the student. Grade appeals based wholly or in part on a subjective or qualitative judgment of an instructor will not be considered by the Board.
Students should attempt to resolve matters informally with the faculty member prior to filing an academic grievance or grade appeal. Students should also seek the review of the appropriate department chair and college dean or designee. If the matter cannot be resolved in this manner, the student may file a formal grievance or grade appeal.
The grievance or appeal must be presented in writing before the end of the semester following the semester in which the matter occurred or the grade was assigned.
Information and forms for filing an academic grievance or grade appeal may be obtained from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, online at http://www.csun.edu/studentaffairs/forms, or by calling (818) 677-2391.
A. Document Retention Timeframes - Faculty shall retain the final examination and other materials, including materials in an electronic form, which contribute to the student's final grade, and which are not returned to the student or otherwise not made available in class to the student, in accordance with the following timeframes:
- Spring Semester: Materials from the spring semester will be retained until the end of the first week of the following spring semester. The President of the Faculty Senate recommends retention for two weeks following the beginning of the following spring semester.
- Summer Term: Materials from the summer term will be retained until the end of the first week of the following spring semester. The President of the Faculty Senate recommends retention for two weeks following the beginning of the following spring semester.
- Fall Semester: Materials from the fall semester will be retained until the end of the first week of the following fall semester. The President of the Faculty Senate recommends retention for two weeks following the beginning of the following fall semester.
- Winter Inter-Session: Materials from the winter inter-session will be retained until the end of the first week of the following fall semester. The President of the Faculty Senate recommends retention for two weeks following the beginning of the following fall semester.
When a faculty member has received notice as to the filing of an academic grievance or grade appeal from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, all related course materials, including materials in an electronic form, shall be retained until the case is resolved.
B. Student's Responsibility: It is the student's responsibility to collect from the faculty member materials that have been made available to students in class.
C. Departing Faculty: Departments are encouraged to collect from departing faculty all materials as specified above, including materials in an electronic form, which contribute to the student's final grade and retain such materials for a period consistent with the time frames provided above.
The maintenance of academic integrity and quality education is the responsibility of each student within this University and the California State University system. Cheating or plagiarism in connection with an academic program at a campus is listed in Section 41301, Title 5, California Code of Regulations, as an offense for which a student may be expelled, suspended, or given a less severe disciplinary sanction. Academic dishonesty is an especially serious offense and diminishes the quality of scholarship and defrauds those who depend upon the integrity of the campus programs. Such dishonesty includes:
CHEATING - Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. Comments:
- Faculty members are encouraged to state in advance their policies and procedures concerning examinations and other academic exercises as well as the use before examinations of shared study aids, examination files, and other related materials and forms of assistance.
- Students completing any examination should assume that external assistance (e.g., books, notes, calculators, pagers, cell phones/cameras, PDAs, other electronic devices, conversation with others) is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the instructor.
- Students must not allow others to conduct research or prepare any work for them without advance authorization from the instructor. This comment includes, but is not limited to, the services of commercial term paper companies.
- Substantial portions of the same academic work may not be submitted for credit in more than one course without authorization.
FABRICATION - Intentional falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Comments:
- "Invented" information may not be used in any laboratory experiment or other academic exercise without notice to and authorization from the instructor. It would be improper, for example, to analyze one sample in an experiment and covertly "invent" data based on that single experiment for several more required analyses.
- One should acknowledge reliance upon the actual source from which cited information was obtained. For example, a writer should not reproduce a quotation from a book review and indicate that the quotation was obtained from the book itself.
- Students who attempt to alter and resubmit academic work with intent to defraud the faculty member will be in violation of this section. For example, a student may not change an answer on a returned exam and then claim that they deserve additional credit.
FACILITATING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY - Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty. Comments:
For example, one who knowingly allowed another to copy from his or her paper during an examination would be in violation of this section.
PLAGIARISM - Intentionally or knowingly representing the words, ideas, or work of another as one’s own in any academic exercise. Comments:
- Direct Quotation: Every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks, or by appropriate indentation or by other means of identification, and must be promptly cited in a footnote. Proper footnote style for any academic department is outlined by the MLA Style Sheet or K. L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations. These and similar publications are available in the Matador Bookstore and at the Reference Desk at the Oviatt Library.
- Paraphrase: Prompt acknowledgment is required when material from another source is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in your own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state “to paraphrase Locke’s comment...” and conclude with a footnote identifying the exact reference. A footnote acknowledging only a directly quoted statement does not suffice to notify the reader of any preceding or succeeding paraphrased material.
- Borrowed Facts or Information: Information obtained in one’s reading or research which is not common knowledge among students in the course must be acknowledged. Examples of common knowledge might include the names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc. Materials which contribute only to one’s general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography and need not be immediately footnoted. One footnote is usually sufficient to acknowledge indebtedness when a number of connected sentences in the paper draw their special information from one source. When direct quotations are used, however, quotation marks must be inserted and prompt acknowledgment is required.
Evaluation of student performances is the exclusive province of the faculty. The faculty have the responsibility to make reasonable efforts to guarantee that work is done by the student who is to receive credit for its completion. More specifically, examinations should be appropriately proctored or monitored to prevent students from copying or exchanging information; examinations and answers to examination questions should be secured in a way that students cannot have prior access to them; the authenticity of quotations and references should be reviewed to assure the faculty member that proper credit is given for ideas and information taken from other sources, etc. Having carried out these responsibilities--if, in the faculty member’s opinion, there is evidence of academic dishonesty on the part of the student, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to take action against the student as described in the options below.
Even if a faculty member does not request disciplinary action against a student, he/she must report acts of academic dishonesty to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs because a student may engage in such behavior in other classes, departments, or colleges. If reports of alleged academic dishonesty do not reach one central office, repeated acts may go undetected and recidivism will be difficult or impossible to monitor. Communication with the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs may also assist the faculty member in determining which option or combination of options to exercise.
NOTE: CSU Executive Order 969, Student Activities, provides the following: Academic dishonesty cases that occur in the classroom shall be handled by faculty members. However, after action has been taken by the faculty member, the faculty member shall complete a form that identifies the student who was found responsible, the general nature of the offense, the action taken, and a recommendation as to whether or not additional action should be considered by the campus judicial affairs office. At CSU, Northridge the Student Misconduct Complaint Form is used to report all acts of academic dishonesty. The form is available through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or online at http://www.csun.edu/studentaffairs/forms/conduct.htm.
Depending upon the severity of the offense and the student’s disciplinary history as it relates to acts of academic dishonesty, the faculty member may elect to exercise the following options:
- Assign a lower or failing grade to an assignment, examination, or the entire course. In cases in which the faculty member elects to exercise the grade penalty option, the faculty member must inform the student in a timely manner that academic dishonesty was a factor in the evaluation. In cases where the sanction for an act of academic dishonesty has been the assignment of a grade penalty without a simultaneous request for formal disciplinary action and in which the student wishes to challenge the grade penalty assigned, the student may file an appeal with the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board. Forms are available in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs or online at http://www.csun.edu/studentaffairs/forms.
- Request that the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs notify the student that information related to the student’s alleged act of academic dishonesty within that particular class has been received. Such notifications are in the form of an admonitory letter and serve to inform the student that the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs is aware of the alleged incident and that formal disciplinary action will not be taken. The admonitory letter also apprises the student of the Student Conduct Code and of sanctions that would be levied for violations of that code, and affords the student an opportunity to meet with the Student Conduct Coordinator to discuss the matter. The admonitory letter shall not be released for any purpose and shall not become part of the student’s permanent record.
- Request disciplinary action against the student. Student discipline is exclusively the province of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. In such cases, the faculty member through the department chair and college dean should submit a formal written report of the incident to the Student Conduct Coordinator and request formal disciplinary action. The Student Conduct Coordinator is empowered to investigate all instances of academic dishonesty. The cases are resolved either through an appropriate action accepted by the student or through a disciplinary hearing. The faculty member, department chair, and college dean will be notified of the final disposition of the case. In cases where the faculty member chooses both to impose a grade penalty and requests formal student disciplinary action against the student and the student wishes to challenge the grade penalty, the student may file an appeal with the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board only after the student disciplinary case has been fully adjudicated by the Student Conduct Coordinator.
Students or faculty wishing to report an act of academic dishonesty or any violation of the Student Conduct Code should call (818) 677-2391 or meet with the Student Conduct Coordinator.