Five Year BSHS and MSOT

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEPARTMENT

Academic Harassment Procedure

The Occupational Therapy Department fully supports the Student Code of Citizenship published by Alvernia University in the Student Handbook. The Occupational Therapy Department Academic Harassment Procedure exists to address behaviors that occur between students while enrolled in an academic course offered by the Occupational Therapy Department that compromise the Student Code of Citizenship.

Students are directed to the Community Standards published in the Student Handbook pages 8-20. Students may also elect to report violations of the Code of Citizenship using “Report It.” These procedures and any sanctions imposed by the Occupational Therapy Department may occur concurrently or independently with the procedures and sanctions described in the Student Handbook.

Any student who feels they are the victim of academic harassment in a course taught within the Occupational Therapy program is encouraged to report the incident to the course instructor. The course instructor will inform the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department who will initiate a preliminary conference. Both the victim and the accused student(s) will be informed of the time, date and location of the preliminary conference which will be held by the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department. Students may also report academic harassment to their academic advisor or any member of the occupational therapy faculty or staff who will then inform the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department.

Preliminary Conference:
The student who initiated the complaint will be given the opportunity to present the evidence of the incident. The student should bring a written chronological account of the incident that led to the complaint and if possible any supporting evidence (e-mails, texts etc.). The accused student will have an opportunity to present their explanation of the incident. The course instructor will have an opportunity to provide information related to the incident. Prior to the scheduling of the preliminary conference both the Dean of the College of Professional Programs and the Director of Community Standards will be informed of the pending preliminary conference.

Outcome of the preliminary conference:

  • If the outcome is “responsible” a formal conference will be scheduled; the students will be notified of the time, date and location.
    Pending the scheduling of a formal conference a “No Contact Order” will be initiated – both students will continue to attend occupational therapy classes but are to have no contact with each other i.e. cannot address each other, cannot work on projects together, cannot work on lab activities together, etc.
  • If the outcome s “not responsible” both students will be given written notification of the finding.


The findings of the preliminary conference will be communicated to:

  • The student who filed the complaint
  • The student who was accused of the incident
  • The course instructor
  • The academic advisors of the students
  • The Dean of the College of Professional Programs
  • The Director of Community Standards


Formal Conference:
The formal conference will be held by a panel of three Occupational Therapy faculty members, one of whom will be the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department and one will be the course instructor. The student who filed the complaint will be given the opportunity to present all the evidence to support their claim; this may include witnesses to the incident. The accused student will be given the opportunity to present all the evidence for their explanation of the incident; this may include witnesses. The course instructor will provide a written account of all known information related to the incident. Other witnesses may be called to present evidence.

Outcome of the formal conference:

If the outcome is “responsible” one or more to the following sanctions may be imposed:

  • Cease and Desist Order o No Contact Order – duration of the semester
  • No Contact Order – duration of the academic year
  • Official Letter of Reprimand from the Occupational Therapy Department
  • Grade “F” for a specific assignment o Grade “F” for the course
  • Immediate suspension from the class o Academic Probation
  • Dismissal from the Occupational Therapy Program


Note: Failure of the accused student to appear at the formal conference can result in sanctions being imposed without the student being present.

If the outcome is “not responsible” both students will be given written notification of the finding.

The findings of the formal conference will be communicated to:

  • The student who filed the complaint
  • The student who was accused of the incident
  • The course instructor
  • The academic advisors of the students
  • The Dean of the College of Professional Programs
  • The Director of Community Standards
  • The Registrar


Accused students who wish to contest the finding of responsibility and the sanction(s) that resulted from a formal conference may appeal to the Dean of the College of Professional Programs. The appeal should be presented to the Dean within 5 business days after receipt of the notification of the outcome of the formal conference. The appeal must clearly state one or more grounds for the appeal. Grounds for appeal are permitted under the following circumstances:

  • The student believes that information presented during the formal conference was not reviewed or taken into consideration by the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department.
  • The student has new evidence that was not available at the time of the formal conference that would have materially affected the outcome and wishes this now to be considered.
  • The student believes that the sanction(s) imposed is/are disproportionate to the violation.



Procedure for Complaints against the Occupational Therapy Program

Any person who has a concern about any matter connected to the Occupational Therapy program is encouraged to contact the Occupational Therapy Program Director at Neil.Penny@alvernia.edu.  This procedure describes the process for formal complaints against the program.

A formal complaint against the Occupational Therapy program is defined as a written expression of serious dissatisfaction related to a specific aspect of the Occupational Therapy program at Alvernia University.  Anonymous complaints are not accepted.  A complaint is distinguished from a dispute about a course grade or other academic matter, which is handled under the Academic Grievance Procedures described in the relevant Undergraduate Student Handbook or Graduate Catalog.  Alvernia University also has procedures for addressing Student Grievances related to university policies, and complaints related to Ethics, Research (Institutional Review Board), Non-discrimination, Equal Employment and Harassment.  If the complaint is found to relate to one of these areas it will be forwarded for disposition to the appropriate office and the person who initiated the complaint will be notified of this action.

Formal complaints may be initially received by any Occupational Therapy faculty or staff member, but no action can be taken until the Occupational Therapy Program Director is notified of the complaint.  When this has occurred, the person will be notified that their formal complaint against the program has been received.  The nature of the complaint will be screened by the Occupational Therapy Program Director, unless the complaint directly involves the actions of the Program Director, in which case it will be screened by the Dean of the College Professional Programs (Dr. Karen Thacker Karen.Thacker@alvernia.edu ).  After initial screening, the complaint will be channeled to the individual, group or office judged to be most directly relevant and appropriate to resolve the complaint.  Once again, the person who initiated the complaint will be notified when this step has occurred. 

Our guiding principle is to settle disputes in a prompt and fair manner, in keeping with the underlying Franciscan values of Alvernia University.  If appropriate, an ad hoc panel may be appointed to seek resolution of the complaint or the complaint may be forwarded to the College of Professional Programs Multidisciplinary Advisory Group, consisting of the Department Chairs of the College of Professional Programs.  A written response will be conveyed to the person who initiated the complaint by the Occupational Therapy Program Director or College Dean within 90 days of acknowledgement of the receipt of the complaint.  The Occupational Therapy Program Director will keep a record of the disposition of all formal complaints.  Beginning academic year 2012/2013, disposition of formal complaints against the program will be reported in the Occupational Therapy Program Annual Evaluation Report.




five year bshs and msot

1.888.alvernia
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