Return to: Student Rights and Responsibilities
Faculty and Staff Timely Response Policy
The following procedures concern the timely response to all communications between students, faculty, and academic program leaders.
This policy defines the maximum faculty response times. As such, they provide a guide whereby students may conclude that there is a possible problem and make inquiry to faculty about the status of their work. They provide a guide whereby faculty can judge and manage their workloads. They should not be interpreted as minimum or typical response times. It is expected that response times usually will be shorter than the maximums defined in this policy.
- Student Communications: Faculty should acknowledge and respond to student communications within five business days. This includes responses to uploads in the learning management system (e.g., Moodle and Learning Pool) and progress tracking software (e.g., the Dissertation Tracking System), email notes, phone calls, and regular mail and acknowledgment of receipt of student materials via mail, e.g., assessment and dissertation manuscripts.
- Assessment contracting: Drafts of assessment contracts should be reviewed and a response returned to the student within 10 business days after receipt by faculty member.
- Assessments: The faculty member is responsible for providing written feedback on the assessment material within 30 calendar days of receipt of those materials by the faculty member (or by the date mutually agreed to by the faculty member and student.) The assessment contracting process includes negotiation and specification of the date the student will submit the assessment materials for review. If that date turns out to be unrealistic, the student is responsible for notifying the faculty member as soon as that becomes apparent. The student and faculty should then renegotiate a new submission date. In some cases, this may require the use of an Incomplete grade as specified in the the Grades and Credit policy .
- Comprehensive assessments/Qualifying Exams: Feedback is due no more than 30 calendar days after receipt of materials in the Santa Barbara Office.
- Dissertation: Feedback on written materials for any phase of the dissertation process, is due to the student in a maximum of 30 calendar days from receipt by any School of Leadership Studies faculty member, and within 21 days for any School of Psychology faculty member.This includes responses to uploads in progress tracking software such as the Dissertation Tracking System.
Exceptions to Policy
- Faculty can experience an unexpected or extraordinary circumstance that makes adherence to the policy impossible at a particular time. The faculty member is responsible for notifying affected students and their programs’ Governance Committee that handles personnel matters.
- The days taken by faculty for properly announced vacations and sabbaticals do not count in assessing compliance with this policy.
- The days taken up when a faculty member attends a National Session, Research Session, Clinical Session, or New Student Orientation, do not count in assessing compliance with this policy. In addition, the week prior to and following a National Session will not count in assessing compliance.
Policy Revised 04/01/2022
FERPA: Student and Institutional Regarding Public Information
Fielding Graduate University has a responsibility to secure the personal records of its students and employees through appropriate administrative, technical and physical safeguards.
The University adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, concerning student access to files and the release of student information. In addition, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) requires financial institutions (which includes colleges and universities) to protect the privacy of their students records under FERPA, including nonpublic, personal information.
As permitted under FERPA, the items listed below are designated as “Public” or “Directory” information and may be released at the discretion of Fielding. Students have the right to restrict disclosure of ANY or ALL of the items of public information listed below. Students who decide to inform the institution not to release any or all of these public information items, should know that the specified item(s) will be treated as if they were confidential, and any future requests for this information for purposes other than official Fielding business will be refused. A form for the purposes of restricting directory information is available to students from the Registrar’s Office. The request for nondisclosure remains in effect until rescinded by the student. Fielding assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of public information indicates individual approval for disclosure.
- Class Roster/Schedule of Classes
- Dissertation/Research Topic
- Degrees/Certificates Awarded/Dates
- Previous Institution(s) Attended
Students are welcome at any time to review directory information holds they have in place, release those holds, and/or make changes to which items they wish held.
As permitted under FERPA, student educational records are available to school officials who have a legitimate need for them in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility, as determined by the administrator of the office responsible for maintenance of the record. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
Except for directory information items as listed above, and expect for certain parties listed in the FERPA act, the University will not release to outside parties any student’s files or information contained in such files unless prior written consent has been obtained from the student concerned, personally signed and dated. Such writing must specify the records to be released, the reasons for such release, and the names of the parties to whom such records may be released. The outside parties excepted by the act generally consist of certain federal and state officials, accrediting organizations, and educational agencies that need the information for valid educational purposes.* Also, the University is authorized to release information contained in student files in any emergency situation where the information is needed to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
This and all other Fielding policy statements regarding student rights under FERPA and GLBA is not intended to be fully explanatory of student rights under federal or California law.
*As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records-including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information-may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
Policy Revised 02/01/2020
Section I - Goals
The intellectual property policy of Fielding Graduate University (the “University”) is designed to accomplish a set of interrelated goals. First, the policy is meant to encourage innovation among faculty, students, and staff of the University and the University itself. Second, the policy is intended to clarify issues of ownership and other rights in intellectual property in light of changes in the role technology can play in scholarly and creative activities. Third, the policy is designed to enhance the work of the scholarly and creative community at the University.
This policy governs covered intellectual property created in part or in whole by faculty, students, and staff of Fielding Graduate University in situations in which the parties have not entered into a written agreement concerning the ownership of intellectual property that has or will be created and the apportionment of revenues and other rights that may be derived from such intellectual property.
Section II - Provisions
- Faculty Rights - As an institution long devoted to the free and open exchange of ideas among scholars, the University recognizes that, except in the circumstances specifically provided in Section II (D), below, members of the faculty are entitled to ownership of intellectual property developed in the course of their regular faculty work. Such intellectual property includes, but is not limited to, the original expression of ideas and concepts fixed in a tangible medium and includes works of authorship such as books, curriculum materials, video and audio recordings, photographs, graphics, software, works of art, and other materials. These intellectual property rights are not dependent on the medium of distribution or dissemination of the intellectual property.
- Student Rights - As an institution devoted to the growth and development of its students, the University recognizes that, except in the circumstances specifically provided in Section II (D), below, students are entitled to ownership of intellectual property developed in the course of their regular student work. Such intellectual property includes but is not limited to the original expression of ideas and concepts fixed in a tangible medium and includes works of authorship such as books, curriculum materials, video and audio recordings, photographs, graphics, software, works of art, and other materials.
- Staff Rights - Intellectual property resulting from the regular work of those employed as staff by the University shall be deemed “work-made-for hire,” and ownership in the property will reside with the University. This provision includes the work of individuals who are faculty when the intellectual property results from regular work performed in their capacity as administrators of the University. This provision includes the work of individuals who are students when the intellectual property results from regular work performed in their capacity as staff members of the University.
- Rights of the University - The University asserts ownership of and rights to intellectual property, including intellectual property created by faculty and students, under the following conditions:
- when the work is created with substantial use of University resources. For the purposes of this section, “substantial use” means the use or commitment of University resources of a nature or beyond the level of resources ordinarily provided to faculty and students. “Resources ordinarily provided” includes resources made available to specific groups but not all individuals (e.g., additional travel stipends for pre-tenured faculty). Sabbatical leaves do not constitute substantial use of University resources. All competitive University awards, except student dissertations, constitute substantial use of University resources unless otherwise specified in advance,
- when the work is commissioned by the University,
- when the work is created under the terms of a sponsored project where the terms of the sponsored project require that ownership be in the name of the University, and
- when the work is a work-made-for hire that is not covered in Section II (A), (B), or (C).
- Formal Arrangements - Whenever Fielding Graduate University asserts rights pursuant to the provisions of Section II (D), above, the affected faculty, students, and/or staff will be informed in writing of the University’s assertion of rights in a communication that sets forth the intellectual property arrangements intended to govern the particular activity, including the nature of the project, the participation of the relevant parties, and the distribution of any proceeds derived from the project.
Section III - Operating Procedures
- Obligation Concerning Disclosure - Faculty and any other individuals engaged in activities that result in the creation of intellectual property to which the University may claim ownership and/or rights as described in II (D) above are obligated to make a prompt disclosure of such activities in writing to the Office of the Provost.
- Retaining Rights Without Royalty for Academic Uses at the University - The licensing of books, articles and other non-institutional works described in Section II (A) above is under the control of the faculty members who own such works. However, where the creator retains the rights to such works, he or she shall grant the University a nonexclusive royalty-free license for the use of such work within the University for teaching, research, and other noncommercial University purposes. If any article or other such work is to be published, the creator is urged to seek to reserve for both the creator and the University a royalty-free right to use a reasonable portion of the published work within the University for teaching, research, and other non-commercial University purposes. The right of the University to use such works shall survive the departure of the creators from the faculty or student body.
- Faculty and Student Use of Works Created at and Owned by the University - Faculty members and students who create works that are owned by Fielding Graduate University under the provisions of this policy shall retain the right to use such works for noncommercial research and instructional purposes. The right of the creators to use their works that are owned by the University shall survive their departure from the faculty or student body.
- Updating and Correction of Works - Faculty members and students have the right to update and correct works they have created that are owned by Fielding Graduate University under the provisions of this policy. The University may, but is not obligated to, provide support for such updates or corrections.
- Attribution - All works created by faculty, students, and staff at Fielding Graduate University under the provisions of Section II (D) of this policy shall include the names of the creators of the work, unless the creators request in writing the removal of their names.
- Applicability and Amendments - This policy will govern all matters of intellectual property at the University from the time of its formal adoption. Regular reports will be issued from the office of the Provost.
Policy Revised 12/01/2012
Student Complaints and Grievances
The purpose of this procedure is to assure prompt and equitable resolution of problems arising from the implementation of academic and administrative policies of Fielding Graduate University as they affect students. If possible, it seeks to find resolution through mutual agreement between the parties and by a process as close to the original difficulty as possible. At the same time, it attempts to be responsive to student concerns and to provide a thorough review and due process with regard to any difficulty that has arisen.
Allegations of student misconduct, including student complaints against another student, fall outside the scope of this complaint and grievance process and should be brought to the attention of the complainant’s respective Program Director and/or Department Chair for handling.
Whenever possible, students will utilize the informal procedures for addressing and resolving complaints. When necessary, students may file a formal grievance according to the procedures described below.
A grievance is a formal written request by a student to a designated academic or administrative officer for which specific remedies are requested. In their written request, students must use the terminology that they are filing a “formal grievance.”
The parties to a grievance are the student filing the grievance and the person(s) against whom the grievance is filed.
A student complaint is an allegation by a student that there has been, in an individual case, an arbitrary or discriminatory application of, or failure to act pursuant to, the policies of Fielding Graduate University in relation to students.
An academic complaint is one involving faculty members, the Program Director of a particular program, or the Dean for a particular program/school. Faculty evaluations and grading of student work are based upon the substantive judgment of the faculty and are not subject to a grievance.
An administrative complaint is one involving staff of Fielding Graduate University.
A Diversity and Inclusion inquiry or complaint is one involving a member of Fielding faculty, staff, or student.
The Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) investigates complaints of discrimination pursuant to the University’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Prevention Policy, which provides, in part:
Fielding seeks to create an environment that supports personal development, the discovery and transmission of knowledge, and a positive work experience. All members of the Fielding community are expected to contribute to maintaining this environment by adhering to high professional standards of conduct and ethical principles. As part of Fielding’s commitment to creating such an environment, this policy prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment.
Any student, staff member, or faculty member may file a complaint of discrimination with the CDO against any other member of the university community who is believed to have violated the policy. Where appropriate, such complaints may be filed against units, departments, or other organizational components of the University.
Persons who believe they have been subjected to discrimination in violation of the policy may file an informal complaint with the CDO.
An informal complaint is a request that the CDO seek to reach an informal resolution of the complainant’s concerns. The procedures for such complaints are designed to be very flexible so as to enable the University to be able to address an individual’s situation in the most effective and expeditious manner possible.
Informal Procedure for Resolving Student Complaints
A student is encouraged to discuss their complaint with the person(s) who is (are) directly involved in the complaint, in an effort to come to a satisfactory resolution. Resolutions of informal complaints are accomplished with the assistance of other offices or University administrators in the area relevant to the complaint.
In the case of an informal complaint, the accused party normally will not be informed of the complainant’s action or identity without the consent of the complainant unless circumstances require. No disciplinary action can be taken against the accused party on the basis of a complaint of which the accused party has not been informed.
If these informal direct discussions are not successful, then the student may pursue one of several different informal avenues.
If the matter is an academic complaint, the student may contact:
- their Graduate Program Advisor;
- their Faculty Advisor or mentor;
- the head or the head’s designee of the student’s academic program;
- the Personnel Committee of the student’s academic program;
- the student representative to the Personnel committee.
If the matter is an administrative complaint, the student may contact:
- their Graduate Program Advisor;
- the administrative department head or the program head.
If the matter is a Diversity and Inclusion inquiry or informal complaint, the student should contact the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO).
Each program may develop procedures for how that program addresses informal academic complaints; see links at the end of this paragraph for any formalized procedures dealing with complaints. The Graduate Program Advisors can be of assistance in directing a student to the appropriate person, if a student is unclear about who performs these functions.
Informal Complaint Procedure Links
If the informal complaint procedure described above does not resolve the student’s issue, they may initiate a formal grievance no later than 90 days from the precipitating event or action. For academic complaints, the formal grievance shall be addressed to the Program Director and emailed to email@example.com or submitted by using the online grievance form. If the grievance involves the Program Director, the grievance should be addressed to the School Dean. If the grievance involves the School Dean, the grievance should be addressed to the Provost. Regardless of format used, the submitted grievance must state the nature and time of the offending action and the person(s) involved in the action or failure to act.
The Program Director, or their designee, will follow the academic grievance procedures developed by that program. If the program has not developed grievance procedures, the following procedures will apply: the Program Director, or their designee, will review the grievance. The Program Director, or their designee, will gather information from the parties to the grievance and keep a record or summary of this information. After their review, they will recommend a solution by mutual agreement of the parties, and, if that is not acceptable, they will reach a decision on the grievance. In either case, they will state, in writing, the basis for their recommendation or decision, within 30 calendar days from when the grievance was submitted.
Grievances involving non-academic matters must be addressed to the administrative leader involved with that function, (e.g., Academic Conferencing & Events, Financial Aid, Student Accounts, etc.), no later than 90 days from the precipitating event or action, and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted by using the online grievance form. Regardless of format used, the submitted grievance must state the nature and time of the offending action and the person(s) involved in the action or failure to act. The relevant administrator will review the grievance in conjunction with relevant staff other than the person(s) complained against. Together they will gather information from the parties to the grievance and keep a record or summary of this information. After their review, they will recommend a solution by mutual agreement, and, if this is not acceptable, they will reach a decision on the grievance. In either case, they will state, in writing, a basis for their recommendation or decision, within 15 calendar days from when the grievance was submitted.
If the grievance involves an administrative leader who reports to the Provost, the grievance should be addressed to the Provost.
c. Diversity and Inclusion Grievances:
If the informal procedure with the CDO described above does not resolve the student’s issue, they may initiate a formal grievance no later than 90 days from the precipitating event or action. For Diversity and Inclusion complaints, the formal grievance shall be addressed to the Program Director and emailed to email@example.com or submitted by using the online grievance form. Regardless of format used, the submitted grievance must state the nature and time of the offending action and the person(s) involved in the action or failure to act. If the grievance involves the Program Director, the grievance should be addressed to the School Dean. If the grievance involves the School Dean, the grievance should be addressed to the Provost.
For academic, administrative, and diversity and inclusion grievances, if the parties accept the recommendations of the review group in writing, the formal process terminates. If the recommendations are not accepted, the student grievant(s) will indicate, within 15 calendar days of receipt of the decision, whether s/he/they desire(s) to appeal for a further review. If s/he/they accept(s) the decision, the formal process terminates.
If the grievant(s) elect(s) to appeal the decision of the Program Director, their designee, or administrative leader, the appeal will go to the Provost with a copy to the School Dean, along with the written record from the previous steps.
If the Provost was the original arbitrator of the grievance, the appeal will be referred to the President.
Within 15 calendar days from receipt of the appeal, the Provost will constitute a Special Hearing Committee (“Committee”) to hear the grievance. The Committee will arrange for a hearing via teleconference or web-enabling software; there is no requirement that the hearing must be one where all parties are physically present. The Committee will be composed of a Fielding administrator not from the student’s program as chair of the committee, and a faculty member and a student from the student’s program. The Committee will function as an administrative committee, and it will establish its own rules of procedure, of which it will inform the parties to the grievance at the outset of the hearing. The hearing, and report of its outcome, must be conducted within 45 calendar days after the formation of the Committee has occurred.
At the hearing, all parties to the complaint will participate and testimony will be invited from each. Parties to the complaint may request to be accompanied by another person for support and/or assistance. Any parties to the complaint may not act in the capacity of an attorney. The student may not be represented by an attorney at the hearing. If any party to the complaint wishes to involve an additional person, they should inform the chair of the Committee in advance, so that other parties may be informed. A written and/or taped record of the Committee’s proceedings will be maintained. The written record may be a summary of testimony and proceedings, or may be a verbatim transcript, at the discretion of the Committee.
The Committee will either recommend a decision or broker an amicable mutually acceptable potential solution between the involved parties. In either case, the recommendation/solution will be provided in writing to the Provost.
Within 15 calendar days, the Provost will accept, reject, or revise the decision of the Hearing Committee and communicate it to the student grievant(s). This decision will be based on the record of the previous hearing and the Provost will not reopen the hearing for new testimony.
The Provost may:
- uphold the Committee’s decision;
- revise the Committee’s decision;
- take other appropriate action.
The action of the Provost will be final.
Where a grievance directly involves and is shared by more than one student, the grievances may be joined in a single grievance and treated in a single process, if all parties to the grievance agree to this procedure.
No reprisal of any kind shall be taken against any participant involved in a grievance procedure.
As Fielding’s main offices are domiciled in California, any individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Educationto request review of their complaint. The bureau may be contacted at: 2535 Capital Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833; Phone: 916.431.6924; FAX: 916.263.1897; website: http://www.bppe.ca.gov
Other complaint avenues at the state and federal level are documented in detail at this page on our website: https://www.fielding.edu/about/accreditations/
Most state and federal agencies will expect or require that students will have exhausted the university’s grievance policy before making their complaint to said agency.
Policy Revised 04/01/2022
Fielding Graduate University adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act concerning student access to files and the release of student information.
Students have the right to inspect and review their educational records. Educational records include any data or information about a student, regardless of the media used to create or maintain the record. Educational records include those records maintained by the institution but exclude records maintained by individuals and available only to those individuals or designated substitutes (e.g. “personal files”). Student educational records are located and maintained by administrators in one or more of the following offices:
Academic Record Files: The Office of the Registrar is responsible for maintaining files that contain official transcripts of work performed by Fielding students at other institutions, documentation supporting the official Fielding transcript entries, and copies of occasional correspondence written by faculty and administration along with student replies. Such correspondence is generally related to a student’s academic program or progress in that program. Other records tracking dissertation progress are maintained in online systems.
Members of the administration and faculty have access to these files as permitted by their student advisement roles. Records office staff have access to these files in order to maintain them and to provide data to authorized persons. After graduation or withdrawal, Fielding maintains only those student records necessary to verify the transcript.
Academic technology system files: In the learning management system (LMS), online courses and associated posted data (syllabi, discussions, and submitted papers) are maintained and accessible to participants for one year. Courses are archived after one year, but can be made accessible to former members with active accounts in the LMS by request. Recorded meetings in Zoom currently remain accessible unless the host themselves has deleted the cloud recording.
Admissions Files: The Admissions Office staff is responsible for maintaining files that contain letters of recommendation for admissions to the University, transcripts of work performed at other institutions, the student’s statement of purpose, application materials, admission agreements, and other materials as necessary for admission purposes. All materials submitted become the property of the University. The Admissions Office staff and members of the admissions committees of the various programs have access to these files for the purpose of carrying out the admissions function. After a student has been admitted to the University and actually matriculated for study at Fielding, the admission agreement, transcripts, and demographic and recruitment data from the admissions application are transferred to the Office of Records/Registrar and the remaining supplemental documents used for admission, including letters of recommendation, are destroyed. The application materials, including letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other supplemental materials, of applicants who were not admitted or did not matriculate are destroyed one year after the application term.
Advising Files: The Advising Office maintains paper and electronic records of financial aid disqualification appeals and completed term reviews for students on approved financial aid probation. Paper files are destroyed for inactive/graduated students after 4 years.
Committee on Academic Integrity Files: The chair of the Committee on Academic Integrity (CAI) maintains files of alleged dishonesty/plagiarism cases that are adjudicated by the CAI.
Financial Aid Files: The Office of Financial Aid is responsible for maintaining files that contain applications and award letters for all forms of federal and institutional aid, correspondence with lenders, loan-tracking documents, scholarship applications and awards and information regarding awards from previous institutions. The staff of the Financial Aid Office have access to these files in order to process financial aid applications and advise students. Financial Aid files are destroyed four years after a student has been determined inactive.
F-1 Student Visa Files: The Office of the Registrar maintains separate paper files on students that have been recommended for F-1 visa status to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Supporting documentation for the original visa application is maintained, as well as copies of any official documents issued to the student to support their continued attendance under the F-1 visa. Files are maintained for at least three years following the student’s last date of attendance or the end of any period of post-completion optional practical training (OPT) before being destroyed.
Human Resources: The Office of Human Resources maintains files on legal complaints, which may involve student records. The Office of Human Resources is also responsible for maintaining files that contain personal information (Social Security number and date of birth) of individuals who are both employees and students (ex: Graduate Teaching Assistants and staff members who are enrolled at Fielding).
Institutional Review Board (IRB): The IRB Office maintains electronic files of applications and related documents necessary for research ethics review, study oversight, and compliance with federal regulations.
Provost Files: The Office of the Provost is responsible for maintaining files that contain background information and official documents about alleged student misconduct, disciplinary hearings, and student grievances arising to the offcie’s level. Information about alleged student misconduct, disciplinary hearings, and student grievances is considered to be confidential and is divulged on a strict “need-to-know” basis. The provost and their administrative staff have access to the files for the purpose of conducting necessary investigations, administering disciplinary or grievance hearings and maintaining institutional records of such hearings. As each investigation is resolved, the file is transferred to the Registrar for permanent maintenance.
Research Data: The staff of the Office of Institutional Research are responsible for administering Qualtrics accounts to students, faculty, and staff. Survey data collected using Qualtrics may include dissertation research and student information needed for accreditation, educational effectiveness, and planning purposes. The Office of Institutional Research deletes the Qualtrics accounts for students who have been determined as inactive for 6 months (graduated or withdrew from university).
Student Accounts Files: The Office of Student Accounts is responsible for maintaining files that contain payment agreements, student and third party payments, authorization to charge or reverse charges, correspondence with the student and with third party sponsors, collections information and bankruptcy documentation. Student Accounts staff as well as authorized members of the University’s administration have access to these files in order to justify all data activity and remain complaint with auditors as well as to advise students. Relevant documents are kept for seven years and destroyed on a rolling basis.
Students with Disabilities Files: The Director of Advising maintains files on students who have registered their disabilities with him/her and/or requested accommodations under our policy. Advising office staff have access to those files as necessary to implement approved accommodation requests.
Veteran’s Benefit Recipient Files: The Office of the Registrar maintains separate paper files on veteran’s benefit recipients regarding their approval to receive benefits and all certifications performed on their behalf, including records documenting academic progress, program pursuit and tuition/fees as required by law. Files are maintained for at least three years following the student’s last date of attendance before being destroyed.
In addition to the persons named above, the administrators of the University - the President, Provost, Vice Presidents or Associate Provosts, and Deans have access to all records directly related to Fielding students. The Program Directors have access to all records directly related to students enrolled in their school’s programs. Fielding Graduate University faculty and staff, including school attorneys, may access student records in which they have a legitimate education interest, as determined by the keeper of that record in consultation with the Registrar as necessary. Students and former students should contact the Office of the Registrar if they wish to review any of their personal files.
Students will be provided access to their educational record file whenever requested within 45 days. Fielding Graduate University reserves the right to deny copies of records not required to be made available under FERPA in any of the following situations:
- The student has an unpaid financial obligation to Fielding Graduate University;
- The student is in default in the repayment of a loan obtained while in attendance under Fielding;
- There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
In addition, Fielding Graduate University is not required under FERPA to permit students to inspect and review the following:
- confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975;
- confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files after January 1, 1975, to which the student has waived his or her rights to inspect and review and that are related to the student’s admission, application for employment or job placement, or receipt of honors;
- education records containing information about more than one student; however, we may permit access to that part of the record which pertains only to the inquiring student.
To request access to your educational record, please contact the Registrar’s Office in writing. If copying of any portion of the student record is requested, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee based on the number of pages and mailing costs.
The University reserves the right to remove and destroy any material from any student’s files, except under the following circumstances: when a student’s request to review and inspect their records is pending; or when a student’s proposed amendment to the record is pending.
If a student wishes to challenge or amend the contents of any portion of the educational record which they consider to be inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights they must follow normal grievance procedures; please see the Student Complaints and Grievances policy. The exception to this is grade changes; for those please see the Grade Change section of the Grades and Credit policy . Whether or not a student files a grievance, and regardless of the outcome of any such grievance, the student may insert into his or her files a personal written explanation concerning any material the student believes is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate.
For University policy on data items considered public information, and the disclosure of same, see FERPA: Student and Institutional Regarding Public Information .
Policy Revised 09/01/2020
Student Lending Code of Conduct
To prohibit a conflict of interest when administering financial aid, the officers, employees, and agents of Fielding Graduate University will comply with the following:
- Fielding Graduate University does not participate in any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
- Fielding Graduate University does not permit any employee of the school who is involved in the administration of financial aid to accept any gifts from any lender, guarantor, or servicer. For purposes of this prohibition, the term “gift” means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount. The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging or meals, whether provided in-kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.
- Fielding Graduate University does not permit any employee of the school to accept any fee, payment or other financial benefit (including a stock purchase option) from a lender or affiliate of a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Fielding Graduate University does not permit any employee to accept anything of value from a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders and/or guarantors in exchange for service on an advisory board, commission or other group established by such a lender, guarantor group of lenders and/or guarantors. Fielding Graduate University does allow for the reasonable reimbursement of expenses associated with participation in such boards, commissions or groups by lenders, guarantors, or groups of lenders and/or guarantors.
- Fielding Graduate University does not assign a lender to any first-time borrower through financial aid packaging or any other means.
- Fielding Graduate University recognizes that a borrower has the right to choose any lender from which to borrow. Fielding Graduate University will not refuse to certify or otherwise deny or delay certification of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender and/or guarantor.
- Fielding Graduate University will not request or accept any offer of funds to be used for private education loans to students from any lender in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of loans, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement.
- Fielding Graduate University will not request or accept any assistance with call center or financial aid staffing from any lender, guarantor, or servicer.
Policy Revised 07/01/2017
Students with Disabilities Policy
Fielding Graduate University is dedicated to maintaining an environment that provides equal access to its educational services for all students.
Within that context, Fielding seeks to foster among its faculty, staff and student populations, informed and positive attitudes towards individuals with disabilities.
While the support of students with disabilities is a responsibility shared with all members of the Fielding community, Fielding has designated the Advising office as the initial point of contact for students with disabilities. The Accessibility Coordinator will facilitate requested support and services for students with disabilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. To ensure that individual needs are addressed, students with identified needs are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Coordinator as early as possible to appropriately document disabilities and make any requests for accommodations.
Requests for services for students with appropriately documented disabilities will be evaluated on an individual basis within a reasonable time frame. A student’s preference for accommodation will be considered first, but all types of reasonable accommodation will be considered. At times, alternative methods of accommodation may be used depending upon the resources available to Fielding. While Fielding takes the needs of students with disabilities seriously, it is not able to guarantee that all services or resources requested by the student can be provided. Fielding will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with appropriately documented disabilities, provided that such reasonable accommodations do not include measures that fundamentally alter the academic program of Fielding Graduate University, or that place undue financial burden on Fielding.
For more information regarding documenting of disabilities and making requests for accommodations, go to Disability Services.
Fielding Graduate University respects the independence, rights, and dignity of people with disabilities. Therefore identifying oneself and/or requesting accommodations is completely voluntary.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students with disabilities at Fielding have the right to:
- Equal opportunity to learn and to receive reasonable accommodations;
- Equal access to courses, programs, services, activities and facilities offered through Fielding;
- Information available in accessible formats;
- Confidentiality of all information regarding disabilities, and the ability to choose to whom that information may be disclosed (except disclosures as permitted by law).
Students with disabilities at Fielding have the responsibility to:
- Voluntarily identify oneself as an individual with a disability when an accommodation is needed, and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as needed;
- Contact the Advising Office to make requests for reasonable accommodations, and to provide complete documentation from an appropriate source that describes the nature of the disability and the resulting limitations;
- Meet qualifications and uphold Fielding standards (e.g., courses, programs, services, activities).
Fielding Graduate University Rights and Responsibilities
Fielding has the right to:
- Request documentation to identify the need for reasonable accommodations;
- Deny a request for accommodations if appropriate documentation is not provided, or if the documentation does not support the need for accommodations;
- Decide upon equally effective accommodations/alternatives;
- Refuse an unreasonable accommodation that would impose a fundamental revision of a program or activity of the University, or cause an undue financial hardship for the University.
Fielding has the responsibility to:
- Present information to students with disabilities in accessible formats;
- Provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities;
- Maintain confidentiality of records and communication, except where permitted or required by law.
Inquiries regarding this policy may be directed to:
Fielding Graduate University
2020 De la Vina Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Policy Revised 06/01/2013