Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

The mission of Los Angeles Pacific University includes cultivating in each student not only the academic skills that are required for a university degree, but also the characteristics of academic integrity that are integral to a sound Christian education. It is, therefore, part of LAPU's mission to nurture in each student a sense of moral responsibility consistent with the biblical teachings of honesty and accountability. Furthermore, a breach of academic integrity is viewed not merely as a private matter between the student and the instructor, but as an act that is fundamentally inconsistent with the purpose and mission of the entire university.

The maintenance of academic integrity is the responsibility of each student and each student is responsible for understanding and upholding the Academic Integrity Policy. Students should familiarize themselves with the expectations specified by the instructor in each course concerning what is and is not permitted, especially in matters of group projects, reports, and the attribution of research to sources (citations).

Plagiarism

LAPU has adopted the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) as the primary style guide for all coursework submitted unless otherwise communicated in writing by a course instructor. The APA manual provides a full description of plagiarism and selfplagiarism. Students are responsible for compliance with the ethical code, but simply stated, plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation in writing or orally of another person’s work to include words, ideas, or any other information as one’s own original work without providing proper credit. LAPU upholds research excellence and strongly encourages students to provide ample support for claims in the research or academic process. Providing support and credit to others signifies the breadth and depth of a student’s accumulated knowledge and therefore students should strive for excellence in their research and all academic coursework.

Self-Plagiarism

Another form of plagiarism occurs when a student uses information from a paper previously written and resubmits it in another assignment or course without acknowledgement. In reality a student is academically ‘double-dipping' by seeking to receive credit for work already submitted. Such unauthorized and uncited reuse of a student’s academic work is self-plagiarism and carries the same consequences as other forms of plagiarism. Therefore, before reusing material from previous papers for assignments, students must:

  1. Receive prior written permission from the current instructor to reuse information from previous work. Instructors may ask to view the material to be reused and have the authority to decide whether or not to accept this work in fulfillment of course requirements. Permission is inferred when the assignment instructions specify the use of previous work, such as when assignments build on previous work in the same course.
  2. If permission is received, limit the reuse of previously submitted work to no more than 20 percent of the new assignment (i.e., it must include at least 80 percent new material). In special cases, students may exceed this limit with written permission from the instructor.
  3. Cite the material previously used in the paper in accordance with APA format. Students must cite themselves as the previous author and include a reference entry even though the general reader may not be able to access the source. Students should use this format when referencing their own work:

Author, A. B. (Year). Title of paper. Unpublished manuscript, Los Angeles Pacific University.

Cheating

Using or attempting to use unauthorized material, information, or study aids in any academic exercise including unauthorized collaboration

Fabrication

Falsification or invention of any information or citation in academic work

Facilitating Academic Dishonesty

Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty, or allowing someone else to represent your work as their own.

By virtue of registration at LAPU, students agree to uphold the following pledge: “As a student at this Christ-centered university, I will uphold the highest standards of academic integrity. I will not lie, cheat, or steal in my academic endeavors, nor will I accept the actions of those who do. I will conduct myself responsibly and honorably in all my academic activities as a LAPU student.”

Sanctions for first violations are determined by the instructor of record in consultation with the assistant dean, if the violation is not flagrant, and may include an F in the course, an F on the assignment, or a less-severe action based on the nature of the violation. The standard sanction for a repeated offense or for a flagrant violation (e.g., submitting a purchased paper or allowing someone else to represent you online) is dismissal from the university. All flagrant violations will be referred to the assistant dean. Students may appeal a sanction they believe to be unfair or unjust as described in the “Grievance Policy” in the catalog.

Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities

Los Angeles Pacific University is committed to providing equal access for individuals with disabilities and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the ADA Amendment Act of 2008. The Accessible Education and Resource Office is here to provide reasonable accommodations and resources to make education accessible for all students. Within the department of Student Success, the Accessible Education and Resource Office is dedicated to encourage and empower students for self-advocacy during the course of their education at LAPU.

Withdrawals, Add/Drops, Grade Appeals, etc.

Academic policies governing course withdrawals, grade appeals, and other issues appear in the University catalog.

Guidelines for Online Communication

Free discussion, inquiry, and expression are encouraged in every class. The ability to communicate effectively and professionally is especially critical in an online educational environment where other cues such as verbal tone and facial expression are absent. Communication guidelines for members of the online learning community are critical for creating an environment conducive to learning. These guidelines, commonly called “netiquette,” include the following for both students and instructors:

  • Be Courteous: Since your emails, texts, and posts are the only means of communicating in an online environment, be aware of what you write. Could your message be interpreted as rude, disrespectful, insulting, or discriminatory? How would you view the message if you were to receive it? Extend to others the same courtesy you would want extended to you.
  • Be Encouraging: The amount of online experience in an online classroom varies from person to person. Some students may spend more time observing and reading than posting. Craft your posts in such a way that they provide encouragement for positive and critical conversation.
  • Be Helpful: Even a well-presented course may not be clear to every student. Sometimes it is easy to get lost among links and other sites. When students lose their way, offer guidance in the right online direction so they can gain confidence in navigating a course site.
  • Be Patient: LAPU works in an asynchronous environment, which means the instructor or other students may not be online when you are. Be aware instructors have 24 hours to respond to an email. If you require immediate attention, it may be helpful to pick up the phone and give the instructor a call. Please do not assume instructors or other students are ignoring you or are being negligent. Give others the benefit of the doubt that you would want others to give to you.
  • Be Respectful: Treat each other with respect. Read and respond to others in a way that cultivates a positive learning environment. As a member of the learning community, be aware that others learn from your posts and emails. Respectful communication is a foundation for rich learning.

Behaviors that should be avoided include:

  • “Shouting”: Shouting is when a message is written in all capital letters, and is considered a rude method of communicating. Avoid using all capital letters in your online communications.

Behaviors that are not tolerated include:

“Flaming”: Flaming or cyberbullying is a term of general disrespect. This behavior occurs when a writer “shouts,” curses, bullies, threatens, intimidates, humiliates, or discriminates against other members of the online community. Flaming or cyberbullying will not be tolerated.

Prejudicially discriminatory language: Inappropriate and derogatory statements about race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and veteran status will not be tolerated.

Violations to these guidelines could result in disciplinary action (see catalog for details).

Grade of FN

For students who have not attempted at least 50% of the coursework (based on the total possible points) and who also have not submitted an assignment or responded to a discussion forum prompt after week 5, the appropriate submission time stamp will be used to determine the last date of participation and whether student will receive an FN grade, which could impact financial aid for the current semester.

Grade of IN

The grade Incomplete (IN) may be granted only under special circumstances such as a verifiable serious illness, provided at least 50% of the coursework (based on the total possible points) has been completed. To request a grade of IN, the student must complete an official Incomplete Grade Petition available in Student Services (https://studentservices.lapu.edu/ics/), and submit it by Wednesday of week 8 at 11:59 PM PT. The petition may be approved and a grade of IN issued upon recommendation of the instructor and permission of the assistant dean. Students may be given up to four weeks from the final date of the course to complete remaining assignments. Incomplete coursework not made up within the allotted period will not be counted toward the final grade.

Undergraduate Late Work Policy

An assignment or discussion is considered late if it is not posted by the stated deadline. A late assignment or discussion will receive a 10 percent deduction for each day it is late, with no credit given for work submitted after 72 hours from the original due date. Late work for online discussions will not be accepted after the close of the week when the discussion is due. No late work is accepted after Friday of Week 8.

Technological issues are not considered acceptable excuses for late work. Always backup your work and have a plan for submitting assignments even in the case of computer problems or lost Internet access.

Students who have experienced a situation such as extended hospitalization or death in their immediate family may submit a Late Work Petition. Such petitions are intended to cover one assignment or, at most, one week’s worth of assignments, and must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assignment due date that was missed. Students experiencing life circumstances that disrupt their studies for more than one week should consult with their success coach about submitting an Incomplete Grade Petition.

Students who miss a discussion thread do not receive any points available for that discussion. However, with approval of a Late Work Petition, students may be given the opportunity to write a 600- to 900-word essay corresponding to a topic assigned by the instructor. Allowance of, and performance criteria for, such an essay will be at the discretion of the instructor.

Graduate Late Work Policy

An assignment or discussion is considered late if it is not posted by the stated deadline. A late assignment or discussion will receive a 5 percent deduction for each day it is late, with no credit given for work submitted after 72 hours from the original due date. Late work for online discussions will not be accepted after the close of the week when the discussion is due. No late work is accepted after Friday of Week 8.

Technological issues are not considered acceptable excuses for late work. Always backup your work and have a plan for submitting assignments even in the case of computer problems or lost Internet access.

Students who have experienced a situation such as extended hospitalization or death in their immediate family may submit a Late Work Petition. Such petitions are intended to cover one assignment or, at most, one week’s worth of assignments, and must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assignment due date that was missed. Students experiencing life circumstances that disrupt their studies for more than one week should consult with their success coach about submitting an Incomplete Grade Petition.

Students who miss a discussion thread do not receive any points available for that discussion. However, with approval of a Late Work Petition, students may be given the opportunity to write a 600- to 900-word essay corresponding to a topic assigned by the instructor. Allowance of, and performance criteria for, such an essay will be at the discretion of the instructor.