University Policies

University Policy Statement
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Non-Discrimination Policy and Disability Accommodations
Academic Bankruptcy Policy
Alcohol Policy
Grievance Policy & Process
Retaliation Notice
Distance-Delivery State Approval Process

University Policy Statement

The University's governance is established to maintain wholesome condi­tions whereby students may develop intellectually, socially, and spiritually. Students are expected to conduct themselves as persons of good character. Regulations governing students are made by the faculty, students, and administration in order to clarify the standards of the institution and secure the cooperation of all who are involved. The student's registration each term constitutes the student's agreement to comply with all of the University's policies and regulations.

The University supports federal, state, and local laws and regulations relating to alcoholic beverages and controlled substances and will cooperate in the enforcement of these laws. In addition, the University specifically prohibits the use or possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on the campus. Students who are on the campus under the influence of either alcohol or drugs are subject to disciplinary action. Gambling, hazing, and immoral practices are forbidden. Students who bring discredit to the University are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal. Students are expected to adhere to all policies related to data, voice, and video transmissions.

Students may be removed from one or more classes, assigned failing grades, placed on probation, suspended, or dismissed for any infraction of University regulations or for other serious misconduct. Students may be suspended or dismissed from the University when their conduct becomes injurious to the reputation of the University, or when their behavior or actions are harmful, or potentially harmful, to themselves or a threat to other individuals within the University community. When students are placed on conduct probation, they are ineligible to represent the University in extracurricular activities and their guardian or parents are notified. Students should consult the Student Handbook for further information on the University's policies and disciplinary procedures regarding residence halls, student activities, and other specific areas of student life.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The federal government requires that the University obtain—from every enrolled student—a signed Permission to Release Education Information form. Each student may waive or not waive his or her rights of educational privacy as spelled out under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Photographs and other visual images taken by the University of persons, places, or events related to the University's programs and activities are property of the University and may be used at its discretion.

What is FERPA? FERPA provides a student the right to examine his educational records and to request amendment of information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights. For further information, please refer to the CMU website. FERPA also allows each student to restrict the release of information or to grant the University limited permission to release information in the student's interest.

Waiving or Not Waiving Individual Rights. When a student completes the Permission to Release Educational Information form, he must either waive or not waive his FERPA rights of privacy.

Waiving FERPA rights of privacy: When a student waives his FERPA rights of privacy, he grants permission to the University to release CMU Educational Information to individual(s) whom the student names on the form; these persons are usually parents or a spouse. The waiver of FERPA rights applies until such time as the student withdraws permission by written notification to the Office of Student Development.

Not Waiving FERPA rights of privacy: When a student does not waive his FERPA rights of privacy, he does not grant permission to the University to release CMU Educational Information to individual(s). The non-waiver of FERPA rights applies until such time as the student withdraws permission by written notification to the Office of Student Development.

The FERPA act does, however, authorize disclosure without consent if the disclosure meets one of several conditions. The two most common are listed below. See the FERPA page for more information.

Exception 1: CMU may disclose educational information to parents if the student is a dependent (claimed on the parent's or parents' federal tax forms).

Exception 2: CMU may disclose personally identifiable information without consent if there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

A copy of each student's signed Permission to Release Educational Information form is filed electronically.

Even though a student may not waive his FERPA rights of privacy, this non-waiver does not restrict communications among CMU's educational officials concerning the student's academic performance or progress.

Directory Information and FERPA. Unless specifically prohibited by the student, the University may release "Directory Information" at its discretion for news releases and other purposes which it believes serve the student's interest. "Directory Information" includes

name, mailing and e-mail address, telephone number, dates of attendance, date and place of birth, photograph, grade level, enrollment status, and most recent educational agency/institution attended;awards, honors, degrees, and major field of study; and records of participation and accomplishments in sports and other University activities - for athletes this includes physical factors such as height and weight.

To withhold any Directory Information, within ten days after registration each semester the student must notify the Office of Student Development in writing of the information which may not be released.

Educational Information and FERPA. In the student's interest and without the student's written consent, CMU Educational Information may be shared confidentially with educational officials of the University whose duties require such knowledge. "CMU Educational Information" may include academic records, employment records, financial aid records, and—on a restricted basis—discipline records and some counseling records.

myCMU Grade Entry and FERPA. All CMU instructors and students have access to myCMU, and all students should consult their respective myCMU course sites for grade information.

Non-Discrimination Policy and Disability Accommodations

Central Methodist University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, or federally defined disability/state defined handicap ("disability"). This includes but is not limited to recruitment and admission of students, educational programs, services, activities, financial aid, and scholarship programs. The University complies with all federal and state non-discrimination requirements.

The Law. Students with disabilities are protected from discrimination to ensure they have equal access to all aspects of college life by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states, "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States...shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity received Federal financial assistance..."

Title II of the ADA states, "A public entity shall make reasonable modifications in policies or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the public entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity."

Postsecondary School Provision of Auxiliary Aids. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states, "A recipient... shall take such steps as are necessary to ensure that no handicapped student is denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under the education program or activity operated by the recipient because of the absence of educational auxiliary aids for students with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills."

The Title II regulation states, "A public entity shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy and benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by a public entity."

Disability Accommodations. The Center for Learning & Teaching at Central Methodist University is committed to ensuring nondiscrimination and equal access to all programs, service, and activities for qualified students with a disability.   The procedures described here are intended to guide and assist faculty, staff, and students in complying with this policy, and in determining what reasonable accommodations must be made for the claimed disability. All materials and information regarding disabilities will be governed by the University's normal policies regarding privacy.

Student and University Responsibilities. It is the responsibility of any student who wishes to claim a disability and seek an accommodation to file official documentation confirming the disability and a completed ADA Initial Intake Apllication Form with the Center of Learning and Teaching prior to seeking any accommodation based on the disability.

  1. An ADA Initial Intake Apllication Form must be completed, signed by the student, and returned to the Center for Learning and Teaching.
  2. Official documentation of the disability must be sent directly from the originating office (e.g. high school, testing center, certified professional center, or physician) directly to the Center for Learning and Teaching. All such official documentation must be for an evaluation dated no more than eighteen (18) months prior to being received by the University. All official documentation which the student wishes to have the University consider in providing a reasonable accommodation for the disability must be included (e.g. Individual Education Plan [IEP] and related materials, 504 Plan, professional diagnosis, and recommendations). Professional diagnosis must include a diagnosis of the student's current disability; the date of the diagnosis; how the diagnosis was reach; the credentials of the professional making the diagnosis; how the student's disability affects a major life activity; and how the disability affects the student's academic performance. A Medical Release Form is availalbe on the website. The documentation should provide enough information for the student and the University to consider what may be an appropriate academic adjustment. Each student's accommodation(s) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The University is not responsible for conducting or paying for a new evaluation to document a disability or the need for an academic adjustment.

The Center for Learning and Teaching will work with the student to develop a reasonable accommodation for the disability only after adequate documentation and a completed ADA Initial Intake Apllication Form have been received. Under emergency needs, temporary accommodations may be approved by the Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching while waiting for adequate documentation. Any information received by the Center for Learning and Teaching will be held in confidence and not released directly or indirectly without the written consent of the student except for the purpose of providing services.

At the beginning of each new semester/term, the student must renew his or her requet for accommodations with the Center for Learning and Teaching and request his or her Letter of Accommodation. The Semester Revewal Form must be completed, signed, and returned to the Center before accommodations for that semester will be granted.

  1. Students attending the main campus in Fayette are required to make an appointment with the Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching to discuss any changes in their accommodation(s) and to pick up their Letter of Accommodations. Failure to renew the request could result in the student not receiving his or her accommodation(s) until a Semester Renewal Form is completed and received by the Center for Learning and Teaching. Students must allow the Center time to complete the process and produce the possible Letter of Accommodations after receiving the renewal form.
  2. Once the student (Fayette Campus students) has received his or her Letter of Accommodation, he or she is responsible to meet and/or communicate with his or her instructor to discuss his or her Letter of Accommodations and to identify how any accommodation(s) will be implemented.
  3. Online or Extended Studies students must complete a Semester Renewal Form and return to the the Center for Learning and Teaching before accommodations for that semester will be granted. The Center for Learning and Teaching will email a copy of the student's Letter of Accommodations to the instructors. The student must communicate with each instructor and make sure the Letter of Accommodations has been recieved.

In addition to making reasonable accommodations for any confirmed disability, the Center encourages students to make full use of the various learning resources available to all students. These include regular conversations with their instructors and faculty advisor, work with departmental tutors when they are available or online tutoring through NetTutor, assistance and support from the Center for Learning and Teaching, campus computing, the services of the Office of Student Development, and counseling services.

Students should understand that all requests for reasonable accommodations for documented disabilities must be made in advance. Faculty and staff will not be asked to adjust grades or to provide alternative evaluation measures for work that students have already completed prior to the request for reasonable accommodation based on disabilities being made.

Auxiliary Aids of a Long-Term or Permanent Nature. Central Methodist University believes that its mission can best be met by assisting students with disabilities in obtaining auxiliary aids of a long-term or permanent nature from governmental units (such as state vocational rehabilitation agencies) or from private charitable organizations (such as the March of Dimes, etc.). Students with disabilities are expected to exercise initiative in identifying and obtaining auxiliary aids and assistance through every reasonable channel available to them. The primary role of the University in this effort should be informative/supportive of the active self-advocacy on the part of the student. The Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching will serve as a resource in this process. If outside agencies cannot provide the auxiliary aids that the student needs, the University has a responsibility to determine the aid necessary to ensure that the student is not denied the right to participate in a program, benefit, class, or a service because of the absence of an auxiliary aid that would make participation possible. It is the responsibility of the University to provide the auxiliary aid or find a reasonable alternative that will allow the student full participation, unless the request is determined to be unreasonable or will impose undue hardship on the University.

Every attempt will be made to ensure availability of necessary aids at the time the student begins classes. A minimum of four weeks' notice should be given to ensure this result. In any event, the University must have sufficient time to evaluate the request, determine the necessary aid to be provided, and identify sources for obtaining it. Late requests cannot be guaranteed but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and, when determined necessary, provided as soon as reasonably possible under the circumstances presented.

It is the student's responsibility to keep The Center for Learning and Teaching informed about the need for auxiliary aids such as timely semester-to-semester schedules for the use of an interpreter, ordering large print books and materials, or any other specific needs. If the student does not keep the Center informed, the Center cannot be expected to provide the auxiliary aid determined to be required.

Academic Accommodations. The appropriate academic accommodation(s) must be determined based on the student's individual disability needs. Academic accommodations include modifications to academic requirements, auxiliary aids, and services (for example, extended time for testing, testing in a quiet area or providing notetakers, recording devices, and sign-language interpreters). The University does not have to provide as academic accommodations personal attendants, individual prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing.

Residential L ife Accommodations . The appropriate residential life accom modation(s) must be determined based on the student’s individual disability needs.  Residential life accommodations may include University housing, meal plans, e motional support animals, etc.

Disability Discrimination & Complaint Procedures. Students who are registered with the Center for Learning and Teaching as having documented disabilities and who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of their disability may file a grievance with the Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching.

If the complaint is against the Center for Learning and Teaching, the student may appeal any decisions regarding reasonable accommodations provided by the Center for Learning and Teaching and faculty to the Vice President and Dean of the University.

Academic Bankruptcy Policy

To declare "Academic Bankruptcy" a student must petition the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee specifying the courses the student requests to be dropped. Only courses with grades of "D" and "F" may be dropped. Only courses taken ten semesters (excluding summer sessions) or more before the student's application for readmission may be dropped. The petition for Academic Bankruptcy must be made within six months following the student's readmission. Only students who are readmitted to and currently attending the University may petition the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee for Academic Bankruptcy. When the Committee approves a petition for Academic Bankruptcy, the original grades will be shown on the transcript but a notation will be made and these grades will not be included in the calculation of grade point averages or the satisfaction of degree requirements.

Alcohol Policy

CMU fully supports all state and federal laws and local ordinances regulating the sale and possession of alcoholic beverages. The possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages by students or their guests and the use, possession, or distribution of narcotics or other dangerous and illegal drugs on CMU property is strictly prohibited. It is the responsibility of the officers and members of each student organization to see that those in attendance at their social functions and meetings conduct themselves in accordance with CMU regulations. Use of alcohol and other drugs has been shown to be a health risk. The campus counselors are trained and available to help students deal with these issues.

Grievance Policy and Process

The grievance policy and process is designed to provide students, employees and members of the public with a process to resolve potential issues.

This policy and process is established to provide persons with an avenue to file a written concern and to establish a process to track and implement changes as a result of said concern.  

  1. The person with the grievance may first attempt to resolve the issue informally with the appropriate student, faculty or employee involved ( Note: Degree programs with specific accreditation requirements, such as the Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapist Assistant programs, as well as the graduate programs in Nursing and Clinical Counseling must follow those guidelines outlined in program handbooks prior to pursing this process). Students may also direct concerns to the Divisional Chair regarding academic issues.
  2. The Vice President of Student Life and the Provost are available to help mediate resolution, to provide impartial advice and guidance on the process and to discuss the issue.
  3. If the issue cannot be resolved informally to the satisfaction of the parties, the student must present, in writing within 30 days of the incident/issue, a formal grievance/explanation of the situation via the online web form
  4. All formal complaints will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the appropriate departmental administrator. The written grievance/explanation should include the specific complaint and a reference to the specific matter described below. The burden of proof shall rest on the accuser or complainant, with the opportunity to present related evidence. There will be an impartial, prompt and thorough investigation of the issue. All investigations will use preponderance of evidence as the evidential standard.
    1. Title IX concerns, the process will follow what is noted in the Employee and Student Handbooks respectively. Students may file in person according to policy and process, or may also submit through the online complaint form.
    2. Grade Appeals: If the matter relates to grade appeals, the process that is found in the Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs will be followed. Appeals may also be electronically filed online.
    3. Other Academic Concern: If the appeal involves other academic related issues, Provost will act as reviewer. Student wishing to file a grievance may complete the grievance form.
    4. Student Life Concern: If the appeal relates to matters concerning student life, including Greek and residence hall activities, the policies as found in the Student Handbook will be followed and the Associate Dean of Students will act as reviewer. Students may complete a formal grievance form.
    5. All personnel matters will be addressed in accordance with the Faculty and Employee Handbooks. The Office of the Provost and Human Resources will act as reviewer.
    6. All other matters will be referred to the appropriate administrator for review. 

Other Appeals

Students may also file a complaint of discrimination on the basis of sex, disability, gender orientation, race, color, national origin or age with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), Department of Education, Such complaints must be filed in writing no later than 180 days after the occurrence of the alleged discrimination.

In addition, The Missouri Department of Higher Education serves as a clearinghouse for postsecondary student complaints. See the MDHE complaint policy.

This process contains information about the complaint process and includes instructions for how to file a formal complaint. Note that the policy provides that a student who wishes to file a complaint with the department must first exhaust all formal and informal avenues provided by the institution to resolve disputes.

Students who are taking courses in the online format, may also file complaints and concerns with the respective states.

Individuals may also file a grievance with the Higher Learning Commission. Complaints Against an Institution Policy and Process

Retaliation Notice

Retaliation against a person who files a complaint or persons who participate in the grievance proceeding is prohibited.

Distance-Delivery State Approval Process

Central Methodist University (CMU) adheres to and follows all appropriate federal legislation as it relates to the gaining of approvals for distance delivery in each state.  Central Methodist University filed letters with each individual state indicating possible distance delivery of education in each state and requested information regarding approval processes in the Spring of 2010.  Since that date, CMU has joined the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, but continues to track out-of-state students as required by SARA and state licensing boards.  CMU currently follows the following process, as it relates to licensure and state authorization:

  1. As each student applies or fills out a change of address form, CMU verifies that the student is not going to be residing in a state that requires approval. 
  2. If the state requires approval, the student is notified that CMU is unable to provide educational opportunities in that state at that time.