Prohibited Academic Actions
Acceptable Standards of Behavior
Alcohol and Drug Policy
Misconduct Review Procedure
Sexual Harassment and Discrimination
Registration at IAU requires adherence to the Institute’s standards of academic integrity and behavior. Students are expected to approach their academic work with dedication and integrity, understanding that they are responsible for enhancing their own learning through personal effort. They also agree to be fully prepared for each class session and not to engage in any of the Prohibited Academic Actions listed below. Students should note that this list is not exhaustive and merely represents a sampling of unacceptable offenses. Violation of these or any other acts that are deemed unsuitable and which reflect poorly on a student, classmates, and/or the IAU, is grounds for dismissal from the program without refund.
The Institute for American Universities (IAU) admits students of any race, color, national origin and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. IAU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information in its administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs and other school administered programs.
In the fall and spring semesters, students are expected to carry a normal academic load of 15 credit hours (5 courses). The normal summer course load is six credits (two courses). A student wishing to carry a heavier or lighter load must first have written approval from his/her home university and consult with the Program Director. Students carrying a lighter load will still pay full tuition.
If they have approval from their home institutions, students may change their course selection in consultation with the Director by the end of the sixth day of classes in the fall and spring semesters and by the end of the third day of classes in the summer.
Students who are taking 15 credit hours on a graded basis may elect to take one course on a pass/fail basis. The choice must be declared no later than the end of the drop/add period and may not be changed after that date. For purposes of pass/fail grading, “pass” is considered a grade of C- or above. Students electing a pass/fail grade must have approval of the Director and their home institution.
From the end of the drop/add period to the end of the eighth week of classes, (end of the third week in the summer session), a student may withdraw from a course with the consent of the Director. Students who withdraw will receive a notation of WP (Withdraw Passing – if they were achieving a grade of at least C-) or WF (Withdrawal Failing) on their transcript. The Director may require home institution approval for a withdrawal.
A student may audit a class, in addition to his/her normal class load, with the permission of the Director, and the Instructor, and on condition that he/she attend the course on a regular basis throughout the semester. No grades may be awarded for audited courses. However, notation of the audit may be entered on the student’s transcript. Such a choice must be declared no later than the drop/add period and may not be changed after that date.
A professor may grant or deny a student's request for an incomplete grade, and must inform the Director in writing of his/her decision. The Director may approve or refuse the professor's recommendation. The last day for a student to request an incomplete (“I”) grade for a course is no later than the last day of regularly-scheduled classes. Normally, an incomplete (“I”) grade should only be granted for extraordinary extenuating circumstances (such as illness or family emergency). Simple failure to complete assigned work in a timely fashion does not justify the granting of an incomplete (“I”) grade. Course work must be completed satisfactorily within the regular semester immediately following the semester in which the incomplete (“I”) grade was granted, or the course grade will become a permanent grade of “F”.
Grades are assigned by the instructor of the course. No grade may be changed except for reasons of material or clerical error. If a student with a grade of “D” or “F” in a course enrolls at IAU in a subsequent semester, he/she may retake the course once in order to improve his/her grade and obtain credit for the course. The original grade “D” or “F” remains on the student’s transcript.
Grade Dispute Policy
IAU expects that most grievances regarding grades will be resolved informally between the professor and the student. If such informal discussions do not satisfy the student, the student wishing to dispute a final course grade must write and sign a petition addressed to the Director requesting a grade review. If the professor in question is the Director, the matter will automatically be referred to the President of IAU. The student shall have six weeks, calculated from the date of the submission of the final course grade, to initiate this formal procedure. The Director (or President) will ask the professor concerned to review the disputed grade and explain the rationale for his/her judgment. The Director (or President) may request to review the student's work, and, at his/her discretion, can invite other professors with appropriate expertise for advice. The President makes the final decision.
Homestay schedules are aligned with the IAU academic calendar. Students should be aware that they will need to vacate their homestay during the December/January holiday period and at the conclusion of the Spring term in May. If a student is enrolled in a summer session, they will need to vacate the homestay at the conclusion of that session in mid-July.
Submitting material that in part or whole is not entirely one's own work without attributing those same portions to their correct source.
Using unauthorized notes, study aids, or information on an examination; altering a graded work after it has been returned, then submitting the work for re-grading; allowing another person to do one's work and submitting that work under one's own name; submitting identical or similar papers (or major parts of papers) for credit in more than one course (or more than once in a single course) without prior permission from the course instructors. Persons who assist cheating by sharing their work are also guilty of cheating.
Falsifying or inventing any information, data, or citation; presenting data that were not gathered in accordance with standard guidelines defining the appropriate methods for collecting or generating data, and failing to include an accurate account of the method by which the data were gathered or collected.
Obtaining an unfair advantage
(a) Stealing, reproducing, circulating, or otherwise gaining access to examination materials prior to the time authorized by the instructor; (b) stealing, destroying, defacing, or concealing library materials with the purpose of depriving others of their use; (c) collaborating in an unauthorized manner on an academic assignment; (d) retaining, possessing, using or circulating previously given examination materials, where those materials clearly indicate that they are to be returned to the instructor at the conclusion of the examination; (e) intentionally obstructing or interfering with another student's academic work; (f) otherwise undertaking activity with the purpose of creating or obtaining an unfair academic advantage over other students.
Falsification of records and official documents
Altering documents affecting academic records; forging signatures of authorization or falsifying information on an official academic document, grade, report, letter of permission, petition, drop/add form, ID card, or any other official Institute document.
Unauthorized access to computerized academic or administrative records or systems
Viewing or altering computer records, modifying computer programs or systems, releasing or dispensing information gained via unauthorized access, or interfering with the use or availability of computer systems or information.
Students enrolled at IAU are expected to act in a respectful and courteous manner towards classmates, host families, IAU faculty members and staff, community members, and local authorities. Because it is very important to stay safe in a study abroad experience, students must be active participants in the matter of their own safety and health. Behavior that risks one’s own welfare or the welfare of others will not be tolerated. Any questions about proper conduct while in France may be addressed to IAU staff. IAU reserves the right to dismiss students without refund because of acts which violate these principles.
Binge drinking - generally referred to in the US as having 5 or more drinks (men) or 4 or more drinks (women) on one occasion - and drinking to get drunk are considered culturally inappropriate in Europe. Alcohol may be consumed, within reasonable limits, by students who are of legal age in France. Students who choose to consume alcohol do so with the knowledge that they remain responsible for their actions at all times and are expected to drink responsibly and refrain from putting themselves or other students in danger. The policy at IAU states that excessive and irresponsible drinking (as reported by faculty and administration, homestay hosts or other students) leading to intoxication and behavior that interferes with the program or the rights of others, is subject to the following consequences:
• Student is called to meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the reported incident and review the
contracted, expected and acceptable behaviors during the time enrolled at IAU.
• Student receives a warning to change the direction of their behavior.
• Student is apprised that the second offense results in a letter to their university and study abroad
program advisor in the US.
• Student is called to meet with the Dean of Students to discuss the reported second incident.
• Student will be referred to the Wellness Director for assessment and recommendations
(recommendations to be sent to the dean for inclusion with the letter of warning).
• Student will be advised that a letter of warning re : inappropriate alcohol-related behavior will be
sent to the home university and study abroad advisor, to include the warning that any subsequent
incidents will result in the student being sent home with no refund or credit.
• Student is called in to meet with the Dean of Students to assess the third and final incident and
make arrangements for immediate dismissal from the program with no refund or credit.
Students are prohibited from selling, using, or possessing any drug considered by host country law to be illicit or illegal. Students are cautioned that the possession of drugs is often dealt with harshly by host country law enforcement. IAU policy regarding possession or use of illegal drugs is one of zero tolerance.
NOTE: Any drug infraction will be considered a grave violation of IAU policy and will result in immediate dismissal from the program without refund or credit. Furthermore, IAU reserves the right to notify students’ parents or legal guardians should any student’s alcohol consumption be deemed excessive and ultimately dangerous to the student’s health and well-being.
Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Class attendance is a factor in the final assessment of a student’s academic performance. A student with what the instructor or Program Director considers excessive absences may be dismissed from IAU. IAU professors are empowered to impose academic sanctions (including a lowered grade or even failure) upon students for unexcused absences, frequent tardiness, work submitted late, etc.
The policy of IAU regarding academic misconduct is one of zero tolerance. In a case of suspected misconduct, the following procedure applies:
If the case comes to light before the end of the semester, the Program Director and the professor will convene the student to ask him/her to explain the incident. If the student has already returned to the U.S. when the suspected misconduct is discovered, the Director will contact the student by telephone or e-mail to request an explanation and will confer with the professor about the information offered by the student. The Director and the professor will rule on the guilt or innocence of the student and establish the penalty in case of guilt. Depending upon the seriousness of the offense, penalties may cover the following range: re-doing the given assignment or test for a new grade; a grade of "F" on the given assignment or test; a grade of "F" for the course; or expulsion from IAU. Within two weeks, the President will inform the student in writing of the decision and any applicable penalties. In case of a guilty ruling, the student is also informed of the following appeals procedure:
In case of appeal, the President will appoint an appeals panel composed of one administrative representative, one faculty member (not the professor of the course) and, if possible, one student. The panel will gather evidence and rule as to the guilt/innocence and as to any applicable penalties within a reasonable period of time. The panel will inform the student of its ruling in writing, with a copy to the President and to the student’s home institution.
IAU is firmly committed to intellectual honesty, freedom of inquiry and expression, and respect for the dignity of each individual. Acts of discrimination or intimidation are inconsistent with this commitment and will not be tolerated. Prohibited acts include harassment and intimidation motivated by discriminatory intent based on race, national origin, sex, handicap or disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, ancestry, belief, or genetic information. Any such harassment or intimidation of or by a student or host family should be referred to the dean of student affairs. Similarly, acts of sexual harassment will not be tolerated. IAU students will receive sexual and cultural training as part of their orientation.
IAU is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy educational and work environment in which all members of the IAU community are supported by any and all Institutional resources in responding to any acts of violence and/or assault. IAU has no tolerance for any acts of violence, sexual or otherwise, either within the educational community or as a consequence of altercations involving members of the IAU community, whether linked with IAU programs and activities or not. Swift action and response will follow should the Dean be alerted of IAU community members’ having been victims or assailants in any assault or physical altercation. Upon reception of complaints regarding any violence or assault either within IAU facilities, IAU host families or elsewhere in the region, the Dean’s Office will determine, in counsel with the IAU Wellness Director, whether said victim or assailant should be interviewed directly by the Dean. Otherwise, the Wellness Director, as a professional counselor, will conduct the interview, writing a report of the information gathered and submitting to the Dean. Simultaneously, if warranted, the Dean’s Office will contact local authorities to report the incident to ensure that altercations are handled within the legal framework of local sanctions. Should the incident involve IAU students, the appropriate sending universities will be notified by the Dean’s Office. If the student is a minor, parents will also be notified. If the student is 18 years or older, the IAU Dean’s Office will notify the parents only with the student’s consent.