Oct 21, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Policies and Procedures


Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures

ETSU policies are located at the following website: https://www.etsu.edu/policies/


Admission 
Enrollment
Housing
Graduate Study Requirements and Retention
Courses and Grades
Attendance
Student Conduct and Rights
Personal Information and Records
Health and Safety
Public Safety and Security

Admission 


Graduate Admissions for Degree-Seeking Students

This policy applies only to prospective students who are applying as a part-time or full-time degree-seeking graduate student. The Graduate School will consider a prospective student’s completed application and required supporting documentation for admission as a degree-seeking graduate student to East Tennessee State University (ETSU). The program will make an admission recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will make the final decision. The Graduate School will issue a written Notice of Decision. A prospective student may be admitted, denied, or waitlisted. Students will be notified of the specific program and term to which they are admitted. ETSU may charge a one-time non-refundable application fee.  Please click here to read the Admissions Policy for Degree Seeking Students.

Graduate Admissions for Non-Degree Seeking Students

The Graduate School will consider a prospective student’s completed application and required supporting documentation for admission as a non-degree seeking graduate student to East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and will issue a written Notice of Decision. ETSU has two categories of non-degree seeking students: Visiting Graduate Student and Graduate Non-Degree Seeking Student. ETSU may charge a one-time non-refundable application fee. Please click here to read the complete policy for graduate admissions for non-degree seeking students.

International Students and Scholars- Insurance and Other Requirements

ETSU adheres to all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Department of Homeland Security, and Department of State regulations in the admission, enrollment, and readmission of all international, non-immigrant applicants.

  1. Students enrolled pursuant to an F visa must have and maintain medical and hospitalization insurance as a condition of initial and continued enrollment at the institution.
  2. In addition, the following procedures have been established:
    • In the letter of admission, in the I-20, and in the IAP-66, all international, nonimmigrant students will be informed of this requirement, of the extent of coverage required, which may vary slightly from year to year, and of the approximate cost to obtain the coverage.
    • All international, nonimmigrant students will be required to enroll in the Student Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan. The only exception to this requirement will be international, nonimmigrant students who have a scholarship that includes the purchase of an insurance policy on their behalf. This policy must meet or exceed the level of coverage provided to participants in the Student Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan.
    • Students will be covered for twelve months. Exception to this rule will be made in the case of international students who abandon their F status, by leaving the U.S., by changing to another nonimmigrant status, or by adjusting status to that of an immigrant.
    • Students under Practical Training will not be required to purchase the coverage. Students under Practical Training, however, may purchase the coverage during the period of training.
    • Once the insurance premium is paid, there will be no refunds.
  3. Academic Support and Other Student Services
    • Orientation: ETSU will provide an orientation program that specifically addresses the particular needs of international students.
    • Student Privacy: The Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits institutions to comply with information requests from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau (ICE) in order to comply with the requirements of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Graduate Student Admissions Classification

The purpose of this policy is to detail the graduate admission classifications that may be offered to prospective students.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Graduate Student Classification

Master’s Candidate (MS): A student who has been formally accepted to graduate school for the purpose of pursuing a master’s degree.
Specialist in Education Candidate (SED): A student who has been formally admitted to graduate school and the Clemmer College for the purpose of pursing a specialist degree.
Doctoral Student, Early Stage (DE): A student formally admitted to a doctoral graduate program of study whose major academic endeavor consists of formal coursework directed toward fulfilling requirements for a doctorate.
Doctoral Candidate, Late Stage (DL): A doctoral graduate student who has passed the doctoral qualifying examination and whose principal academic endeavor consists of work toward completion of the doctoral dissertation.
Postdoctoral Student (PD): A student who has an awarded doctoral degree and is engaged in advanced academic study or specialty training beyond the doctoral degree.
Visiting Graduate Student (SPG): A formally enrolled graduate student from another institution whose coursework will be transferred back to the student’s home institution.
Graduate Non-Degree: A post-baccalaureate student who is not pursuing a graduate degree, is not a post-doctoral student, and is enrolled in graduate courses.

Graduate School Transfer and/or Acceptance of Graduate Credit

The Dean of the Graduate School must approve all transfers of graduate credit.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program

Please click here to read the complete policy.

Deferral of Admission to Graduate Program

The purpose of the policy is to allow students admitted to the ETSU School of Graduate Studies to request deferment of admission to a future term.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Graduate Admissions Appeal Policy

This policy specifies the appeals processif a prospective student is denied graduate admission to East Tennessee State University.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Enrollment


Combined Graduate and Undergraduate Enrollment (5xx7 and 5956 courses)

In some curricula, master’s level students may enroll in 5xx7 and 5956 courses which are co-listed with 4xx7 and 4956 undergraduate courses. A student who has taken the 4xx7 or 4956 course for undergraduate credit cannot repeat the course for graduate credit. Graduate students enrolled in 5xx7 and 5956 courses shall be required to do specified work over and above that required of undergraduate students enrolled in companion 4xx7 and 4956 courses.

Specialist degree students may not enroll for 5xx7 and 5956 courses (except for 5957 “Topic in” courses); they must choose courses from the regular graduate-only series of 5000 and 6000 level courses, with at least one-half of all courses being at the 6000 level.

Doctoral students may not enroll for 5xx7 and 5956 courses (except for 5957 “Topic in” courses); they must choose from the regular graduate-only series of 5000, 6000, and 7000 courses, with at least one-half of all courses being at the 6000 and 7000 levels.

Graduate Full-Time Course Load

The full-time course load for graduate students is nine (9) graduate credits. Graduate course loads in excess of fifteen (15) credits require approval of the department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. 

Independent Studies, Problems, and Workshops

Students who wish to pursue independent studies, problems, or workshops of special interest may enroll for these courses provided that the topic for study has been defined and approved by the professor and the student’s advisor.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Experiential Learning Credit

No graduate credit can be awarded for experiential learning that occurs prior to admission into a graduate program and which has not been under the supervision of the institution.

Extension and Correspondence

All work completed at any approved ETSU site is residential and not extension credit. No correspondence work can be applied to any graduate program at ETSU.

Classification of Courses by Levels 

Enrollment in the 5000, 6000, and 7000 series is limited to graduate students. Undergraduate students may not enroll in courses numbered higher than one year above their current classification unless the undergraduate student meets an exception. (Please see Advanced Admission for Undergraduates for more information.) At least 70 percent of all courses taken in  a master’s program must be in the 5000 series; at least one-half of all courses taken on the doctoral level must be in the 6000 and 7000 series.

Adding a Course 

A course(s) may be added through GoldLink during the first week of classes without special permission, unless the course has reached the established maximum enrollment. To add any class that has reached the enrollment maximum requires a departmental permit. After the first week of classes, students must obtain special permission from the department in order to add any class. After census, the Late Add process begins which requires students to obtain permission from: the instructor of the course, the department chair of the course, the college dean of the student’s major, and the Registrar’s office to add a course(s). Permission during the Late Add process is only granted with extenuating circumstances. 

Adding a Course During Late Add or with Enrollment Limit

A course(s) may be added through the late registration/late add period without special permission, unless the course has reached the established maximum enrollment.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Dropping a Course

During the First Eight Calendar Weeks: A course(s) may be dropped during the first eight (8) calendar weeks of a regular semester pursuant to Registrar’s policies.

After the First Eight Calendar Weeks: After the eighth week a student may not drop a course, except where verifiable extenuating circumstances can be documented pursuant to the Registrar’s policies.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Auditing Courses

A student may audit a graduate course pursuant to the Registrar’s policies.

Continuous Enrollment

Students who will be using Support Services and/or require faculty guidance for studies, research, or preparation of a prospectus while not enrolled in coursework, thesis, or dissertation must be registered for the appropriate non-degree Readings and Research credit during each term, including a summer term.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Undergraduates Taking Graduate Courses

An undergraduate senior who needs to complete nine (9) credits or fewerto graduate may enroll in graduate courses.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Matriculation Limits

Matriculation limits are established under the graduate school policy on Graduate Degree and Certificate Requirements.

Housing


Abandoned Personal Property

All property not otherwise covered by Tennessee Law that is held by East Tennessee State University in its ordinary course of business, and which has remained unclaimed for more than one year, is presumed abandoned. If you have lost personal property on campus, please contact the University Center at 439-4286.

Under Tennessee law, the holder of presumed abandoned property must collect, hold, and maintain such property in protective temporary custody until it is transferred to the State Treasurer. A “holder” includes any person in possession of abandoned or unclaimed property or property that is held in the course of the holder’s business that has remained unclaimed by the owner for more than one year.

East Tennessee State University must file a verified report with the State Treasurer on or before May 1 of each year which lists the presumed abandoned property in its possession since December 31 of the previous year.

If the holder has an address presumed to be accurate and the property is worth $50 or more, the holder must, within 120 days of filing the report with the State Treasurer, send written notice to the apparent owner at his/her last known address, informing him/her that holder is in possession of the property.

Tangible property should be held by the holder while the Treasurer reviews the report for 120 days after the report is received. When the report is filed, any unclaimed funds or intangible property reported must be delivered to the State Treasurer, including all interest and dividends due on the day the property is paid or delivered. Tangible property must be delivered within 120 days following submission of the report unless the holder has received notification to the contrary from the Treasurer.

Once the Treasurer receives the abandoned property, the former holder of such property is relieved of all liability to the extent of the value of the property so delivered. The Treasurer then takes steps to notify the apparent property owners of their possible ownership rights. This property is still presumed abandoned but remains in the protective custody of the Treasurer. Subsequent claims to the property are directed to the Treasurer.

Housing Fee Refunds

Students who are removed from university housing for disciplinary reasons or are suspended or expelled from the university are not eligible for a refund of housing fees or university tuition/fees.

Residence Hall Access

Students residing in the residence halls are required to follow the Student Housing Rules, Residence Hall Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions (Residence Hall Student Handbook).

All residence halls with the exception of Buc Ridge, Buc Village, and Davis Apartments, which have outside doors, are secured 24 hours per day. Access is gained through main entrance doors equipped with a card reader which uses the student’s ID card to unlock the door.

The Department of Public Safety and the Office of Housing and Residence Life operate night patrol each night in the vicinity of the residence hall and residence hall parking lots. These individuals are not police officers but are equipped with two-way radios and have a uniform. Duties include checking for propped doors, checking locked doors, watching for any unusual event, and checking parking lots around the residence halls.

For additional information concerning safety on campus, contact the Department of Public Safety, (423) 439-6900, the Office of Student Affairs, (423) 439-4210, or the Office of Human Resources, (423) 439-4457.

Graduate Study Requirements and Retention


Graduate Student Retention Standards

The purpose of this policy is to provide the retention standards for graduate students.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Graduate Degree and Certificate Requirements

The purpose of this policy is to provide requirements for earning a graduate certificate or degree from ETSU.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Graduate School Academic Fresh Start Policy

A former ETSU graduate student who previously had a poor academic performance at ETSU such that they would be unable to achieve academic good standing at ETSU in the desired program even if upon returning they earned grades of B or higher in the first semester may be eligible for admission into a new graduate program or for readmission into the student’s previous graduate program under the Graduate Academic Fresh Start Program. A student may only be granted one (1) Graduate Academic Fresh Start.  Please click here to read the complete policy and requirements.

Final Grades Reports and Appeals

Grade reports are available through GoldLink to all students who complete registration each term. Academic departments are required to retain grade documentation for a period of one year. Specific student concerns regarding academic records, other than the Grade Appeal process described below, must be addressed within one academic year from the date of posting of grades for the term in question.

Residency Requirements

The residency requirement is primarily to provide doctoral students with significant time for sustained participation with peers and faculty members in scholarly and creative activities.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Dismissal

Students may be dismissed from the Graduate School for academic or research misconduct, serious professional misconduct or ethical violations, failure to meet conditions of admission, failure to meet a requirement of the program, or for exceeding the allowed number of probationary semesters.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Reinstatement

Students who have been dismissed from the Graduate School for academic reasons and wish to be reinstated must send a written request for reinstatement to the chair of the department or program. The request must include the reasons why reinstatement should be considered.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Change of Field of Study

Students seeking to change from one graduate program to another must formally apply to the new graduate program.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

All research involving human subjects must be approved by the East Tennessee State University Institutional Review Board prior to initiation of the research. IRB approval is necessary to protect the rights of human subjects involved in physical, psychological, or social research. Following approval of the proposed research by the review board, the subject involved must be informed of the study and consent to participate. The application forms for research involving human subjects and review of such research projects are available in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 103 Earnest House.

Timetable for Graduate Study

              

Required Action

Date of Completion

 

1.

Application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. (Public Health applicants will make their initial applications to https:/www.sophas.org. Physical Therapy applicants will make their initial application to https://www.ptcas.org/ApplicationInstructions/)

1.

See application information: https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/applynow.php

 

2.

Test Scores
GMAT (M.B.A. and M.Acc. Students)
GRE (if required by department)

2.

TOEFL/IELTS/GMAT/GRE/PTE Academic scores should be submitted with the TOEFL/PTE Academic or IELTS (International students).

 

3.

Consultation with departmental advisor.

3.

Before registration and at least once per term.

 

4.

Transfer of graduate credits earned at other institutions or postgraduate credits earned at ETSU.

4.

Please check with your graduate coordinator (advisor).

 

5.

Preliminary and qualifying examination.

5.

Check with advisor for requirements and dates.

 

6.

File application for candidacy (Doctoral programs only), Degree Works, Program of Study (for 2nd Master’s degree, and Accelerated Degrees, and committee forms with the School of Graduate Studies. 

6.

Master Degree Students: Following completion of 9-12 hours in the major with a 3.0 average and no later than the semester prior to the final semester of study. Doctoral Degree Students: Consult the appropriate section of the catalog.

 

7.

Apply for Graduation.

7.

Apply for Graduation by the following dates:

For Spring Graduation: September 1st.
For Fall Graduation: March 1st.
For Summer Graduation: March 1st.

 

8.

Final examination and/or defense of thesis of dissertation.

8.

During the last semester of study and by the date specified in the Academic Calendar.

 

9.

Submit copies of thesis or dissertation to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

9.

By the date specified in the Academic Calendar.

 

10. 

Pay microfilm fee.

10.

By the date specified in the Academic Calendar.

 

11.

Receive Dean approval of thesis or dissertation.

10.

By the date specified in the Academic Calendar.

 

Note: Most forms for the required steps outlined above are available on the Internet at https://www.etsu.edu/gradschool/forms.php and in the School of Graduate Studies office, Burgin Dossett Hall, Suite 309, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Courses and Grades


Classification of Courses by Level

Enrollment in the 5000, 6000, and 7000 series is limited to graduate students. Undergraduate students who qualify for an exception may enroll in 5000 courses.(Refer to the Advanced Admission for Undergraduates and the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s policies for more information.) At least 70 percent of all courses taken in a master’s program must be in the 5000 series; at least one-half of all courses taken on the doctoral level must be in the 6000 and 7000 series. 

Limitation on 5xx7 and 5956 Courses

No more than 30 percent of all courses taken in any program may come from the 5xx7 / 5956 series. Some doctoral programs disallow 5xx7 and 5956 courses.

Grade Appeal Process

  1. Basis for Appeal  
            1.1 A student may appeal a course grade if the student has evidence that the grade was assigned in a malicious, capricious, erroneous, or arbitrary manner. The following steps provide a guideline for the appeals process. All persons concerned with this process should make every attempt to adhere to the time schedule outlined in the following description of the appeals process. No appeal will be initiated more than one year following the date the grade was assigned.
       
  2. Appeal to the Faculty Member for Review of the Assigned Grade  
    2.1 Within 21 calendar days after the beginning of the next term, excluding summer school, the student should discuss the assigned grade with the faculty member. If it is found that the assigned grade is incorrect in the judgment of the faculty member, he/she will initiate the appropriate change. If the change is made at this point, the matter is concluded.
    2.2 If the faculty member is no longer with the university, the student should confer with the departmental chairperson who will then make every effort to receive written input concerning the matter from the former faculty member. If it is not possible to receive information from the former faculty member regarding the grade, then the student may appeal the grade as described below and the departmental chairperson will represent the interests of the faculty member who issued the grade.
         
  3. Appeal to the Department Chairperson  
    3.1  If the question of the assigned grade cannot be resolved between the student and the faculty member, the student may appeal in writing to the chairperson of the department in which the course was taught. The written appeal to the departmental chairperson must be made by the end of the fourth week of the term. The student should include all known information relating to the appeal with the written appeal. After receiving such an appeal, in writing, from the student, the chairperson shall review with the faculty member the substance of the student’s appeal and seek to determine its validity.
    3.2 If the chairperson determines that the assigned grade is in his/her judgment, inappropriate, the chairperson should recommend to the faculty member that the grade be changed. The faculty member may or may not concur with the chairperson’s recommendation.
    3.3 The chairperson will notify the student in writing, within 14 calendar days of the appeal, whether or not the assigned grade will be changed by the faculty member. If the grade is changed to the student’s satisfaction, the matter is concluded. If the grade will not be changed, the chairperson will also advise the student of the right of appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
    3.4 If the grade will not be changed, copies of all written communication mentioned above should be sent by the chairperson to the Dean of Graduate Studies as described below.
         
  4. Appeal to the Dean of Graduate Studies  
    4.1 In the case of all graduate students (including those graduate students enrolled in the M.S.-Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences within the College of Medicine), the appeal shall be directed to the Dean of the Graduate School. If the dean, the student, and the faculty member are unable to resolve the appeal informally, the dean shall convene an ad hoc committee, comprised of three members of the graduate council (or other graduate faculty members) and three graduate students, all of whom shall have voting privileges. This committee shall elect a chairperson and hold a hearing concerning the appeal. At this hearing all material relevant to the appeal shall be presented by the student, faculty member, the department chairperson, dean of the college in which the course was taught, the Dean of the Graduate School, and any others who may be called to assist the committee.
         
  5. Appeals Process Following Committee Review  
    5.1 Within 21 calendar days of its constitution, the committee will submit to the Dean of Graduate Studies a written report containing a recommendation for a specific course of action regarding the student’s appeal. The dean will, in turn, review the committee’s recommendation and reasoning. The Dean of Graduate Studies may also confer with any of the parties involved. After consideration of all appropriate information, the dean shall accept, reject, or modify the recommendation. The dean shall notify the student, the faculty member, the chairperson of the appeals committee, the departmental chairperson, and the appropriate individuals of his/her opinion concerning the appeal. The dean shall forward his/her decision to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs who will hold the documentation for 21 calendar days, at the end of which time he/she will notify the Registrar of the disposition of the student’s grade, if it is to be changed.
    5.2 A written appeal of the decision of the dean may be submitted to the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs within 14 calendar days from the time the dean reports his/her decision to the appropriate individuals.
    5.3 The Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs will then review the dean’s report and the other grade appeal documentation and endorse the dean’s decision, reject the decision, or modify the decision. The Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs shall then notify the student, the dean, the faculty member, the chairperson of the appeal committee, the departmental chairperson, and the appropriate individuals of his/her opinion concerning the appeal.
    5.4 In the absence of further appeal, the opinion rendered by the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs becomes final. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will wait 21 calendar days, at the end of which time he/she will notify the Registrar of the disposition of the student’s grade, if it is to be changed.
         
  6. Appeal to the President  
    6.1 If either the student or faculty member believes that due process* has not been afforded, a written appeal may be made to the President; otherwise, the decision of the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice President for Health Affairs is final. Such an appeal, based on denial of due process and specifically identifying the failure of the process, must be initiated in writing within 14 calendar days from the time the dean reports his/her decision to the appropriate individuals.
         
    * The right to have your concerns reviewed by an impartial third party.  

Grades and Calculation of Graduate GPA

The purpose of the policy is to define the credits and grades that are included in the calculation of the graduate grade point average (Graduate GPA).  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Repeating a Course

If a student repeats a course, all grades earned in that course are calculated in the Graduate GPA. Any additional grades earned when a course is repeated will not replace the original grade earned.

Attendance


Attendance Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define expectations for class attendance and provide guidelines for make-up exams and coursework necessitated by excused absences.  Click here to read the complete policy.

Class Absence Authorization for Student Participation in a University-Sponsored Activity forms can be obtained from the Office of Student Affairs.

Withdrawals from the University

The purpose of this policy is to provide students with the opportunity to withdraw from the university for a particular term of enrollment.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Inclement Weather

The policy on closing the university due to inclement weather states that ETSU and its branch campuses will normally remain open during bad weather. The president of the university, under extreme conditions, may choose to officially close or suspend selected activities of the university or branch campuses. The decision to close the university or to cancel some or all classes will be made and announced as soon as possible to accommodate students who must commute. An official statement of closing will be broadcast over several area radio and television stations.

Students are to attend classes unless otherwise notified by local media. If a student cannot attend class, the student is to contact the appropriate instructor(s) if possible. If not, the student must contact the instructor(s) immediately upon returning to the campus to negotiate an excused class absence and make up any missed work. If a student is stranded on campus due to inclement weather, facilities are available in university residence halls for an overnight stay. Students should report to the campus security building on the east side of campus.  Click here to read the complete policy.

Inclement Weather Policy for Students in Online Courses

This policy provides guidance for students taking ETSU online courses in the event of inclement weather causing emergency University closure or schedule changes.  Please click here to read the complete policy.

Student Conduct and Rights


Honor Code 

East Tennessee State University is committed to developing the intellect and ethical behavior of its students. Students found to be in violation of policies on plagiarism, cheating, and/or fabrication will be held accountable for their actions. Any knowledge of academic misconduct should be reported. Students are expected to act with honesty, integrity, and civility in all matters.

Honor Pledge 

By becoming a member of the campus community, students agree to live by the standards of the honor code and thereby pledge the following: “I pledge to act with honesty, integrity, and civility in all matters.”

Honor Code and Pledge as revised and adopted February 16, 2012

Complaint Policy and Procedures for Students

East Tennessee State University is committed to respecting all members of the university community and providing fair treatment regarding complaints by students. The objective of the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure is to ensure that concerns and complaints of undergraduate or graduate students are addressed fairly and are resolved promptly. Complaints usually involve actions affecting students that are alleged to be unjust, inequitable, or create unnecessary hardship. A student may pursue this complaint procedure if he or she believes a problem is not governed by other complaint or appeal procedures at the university. (Refer to Selected Appeal Policies.) The Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy have their own student complaint policies; complaints should be directed to appropriate personnel as identified by those colleges.

East Tennessee State University seeks to provide students, staff and faculty members with a safe and secure learning environment, free of crime and or violations motivated by discrimination, sexual and other bias-related harassment. There are two important complaint policies not governed by the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure; Sexual, Racial, and Other Harassment and Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents. These types of complaints should be filed with the Chief Equity Compliance Officer or, when a charge is by one student against another student, with the Dean of Students according to the procedures described in those policies. Direct complaints or concerns be made to the Office of Equity and Diversity, 205 Burgin Dossett Hall, (423) 439-4444.

Procedure

When a concern occurs, the student is encouraged to discuss it with the appropriate faculty member or administrator. Often a resolution or an answer can be attained informally. If an informal approach is neither successful nor advisable, the student should use the Student Complaint Policy and Procedure. The procedure for filing student complaints governed by this policy is as follows:

Step 1:

To submit a complaint, a student must complete the official Student Complaint Form and send it via email attachment, within ten working days of the date of the initiating event, to the chair or director most directly involved (if the complaint is directed against the chair or director, it should be referred to the dean of the college or next level administrator). The chair or director will attempt to determine the validity of the complaint and, in the case of a valid complaint, seek resolution including administrative action. He or she will communicate his or her decision on the Student Complaint Form and make every effort to do so within ten working days from the conclusion of this process.

Step 2:

If a student wishes to appeal the decision made in Step 1, he or she must submit the Student Complaint Appeal Form A and the completed Student Complaint Form via email attachments to the appropriate dean or administrator within ten working days from the date of the decision. Undergraduate students submit the materials to the dean of the college where the issue(s) arose and graduate students submit to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In the case of a complaint involving a director, the student submits materials to the next level administrator.
The student will be invited to discuss the complaint with that individual who will attempt to determine the validity of the complaint and, in the case of a valid complaint, seek resolution, including possible administrative action. He or she will communicate his or her decision on Student Complaint Appeal Form A and make every effort to inform the student within ten working days of the conclusion of the appeal.

Step 3:

If the student believes that he or she has not been afforded due process, the student must submit Student Complaint Appeal Form B together with Student Complaint Appeal Form A and the Student Complaint Form via email attachments to the vice president of the university division in which the complaint occurred within ten working days from the date of the decision. The vice president will make the final determination about the matter and communicate his or her decision on Student Complaint Appeal Form B and make every reasonable effort to submit his or her decision to the student within ten working days from the conclusion of this appeal. The determination will include reasons for the decision and direct a remedy, if any, to the student complaint.

Documentation

A record of all complaints and their resolution will be documented at each level of the review process by the appropriate administrator. Revised March 2009

Other Complaints

Complaint Resolution Policies and Procedures for Non-Tennessee Resident Students in State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement States, commonly known as SARA.

Student complaints relating to consumer protection laws that involve distance learning education offered under the terms and conditions of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), must first be filed with the institution to seek resolution.

Complainants not satisfied with the outcome of the Institution’s internal process may appeal, within two years of the incident about which the complaint is made, to the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (https://www.tn.gov/thec/bureaus/student-aid-and-compliance/postsecondary-state-authorization/request-for-complaint-review.html).

For purposes of this process, a complaint shall be defined as a formal assertion in writing that the terms of SARA or the laws, standards or regulations incorporated by the SARA Policies and Standards (https://www.nc-sara.org/content/sara-manual) have been violated by the institution operating under the terms of SARA.

For a list of SARA member States, please visit the NC-SARA website (https://nc-sara.org/sara-states-institutions). Students residing in non-SARA states should consult their respective State of residence for further instruction for filing a complaint.

Students or prospective students who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of state law not resolved at the institution may submit a Student Complaint Form by going on line and filing out the form electronically. Under Tennessee’s open records law, all or parts of complaints will generally be available for review upon request from a member of the public.

ETSU students or prospective students attending the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of Virginia state law not resolved at ETSU may submit a student complaint to https://www.schev.edu/index/students-and-parents/resources/student-complaints.

ETSU students or prospective students attending the Lenoir-Rhyne University Center for Graduate Studies in Asheville, North Carolina who wish to file a complaint related to accreditation or regarding violations of North Carolina state law not resolved at ETSU may submit a student complaint form to https://www.northcarolina.edu/sites/default/files/documents/student_complaint_form.pdf.

Accreditation
Complaints regarding accreditation should follow the ETSU Complaint Policy and Procedure for Students outlined above.

Complaints regarding accreditation can also be made by contacting the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia
30033-4097, telephone: 404-679-4500 (https://www.sacscoc.org).

State Law Violations
Complaints of Fraud, Waste, or Abuse may be made to ETSU.

The ETSU process for reporting fraud, waste or abuse is available at https://www.etsu.edu/intaudit/report-fwa.php.

Complaints of fraud, waste or abuse may be made by calling the Tennessee Comptroller’s Hotline for Fraud, Waste and Abuse at 1-800-232-5454.

General Policy on Student Conduct and Disciplinary Sanctions

The ETSU Board of Trustees authorizes the University to take such action as may be necessary to maintain campus conditions and preserve the integrity of the institution and its educational environment. Institutional policies on this subject shall be subject to prior review and approval by University Counsel and Student Affairs.  Click here to read the complete policy.

Misrepresentation of Academic Credentials 

It is a Class A misdemeanor to misrepresent academic credentials. A person commits the offense of misrepresentation of academic credentials who, knowing that the statement is false and with the intent to secure employment at or admission to an institution of higher education in Tennessee, represents, orally or in writing that such person:

  1. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from an accredited institution of higher education;
  2. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas from a particular institution of higher education; or
  3. Has successfully completed the required coursework for and has been awarded one (1) or more degrees or diplomas in a particular field or specialty from an accredited institution of higher education.

Academic Integrity and Misconduct

The Academic Integrity and Misconduct policy outlines the rights and responsibilities of the student, the instructor, the Dean/Designee, and other members of the campus community in matters of academic integrity and misconduct.  Click here to read the complete policy.

Personal Information and Records


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.  Click here to read about FERPA. The purpose of this policy is the establishment of policy to protect the confidentiality of records for students of East Tennessee State University. Click here to read the policy.

Directory Information Procedures 

ETSU may release other “directory information. Other “directory information” is defined as: enrollment status, dates of attendance, classification, previous institution(s) attended, awards, honors (includes Dean’s List), degrees conferred (including dates), and sports participation information.

If students prefer not to have these items released, they may fill out a form to prevent disclosure of this data. This form is available at the Office of the Registrar and must be submitted no later than the last day to add a course for the Fall term. A new form for non-disclosure must be completed each academic year. A form submitted the last term a student enrolls will remain in effect until the student re-enrolls.

Other records offices in the university may have other definitions of directory information. Please check the Pharmacy or Medicine web sites for specific information as to their definitions.

Electronic Mail

Purpose:
This policy is intended to provide a process for official communication between East Tennessee State University (ETSU) faculty and staff with students. Faculty and staff are required to use the official ETSU assigned email address to communicate with ETSU students. Students are also required to use the official ETSU assigned email address to communicate with faculty and staff to ensure communication is with the person to whom the email account is assigned.

Policy:
Email is an integral part of the academic process in which confidential information about ETSU students is often transmitted, including evaluations, grades, and financial information. Faculty, staff, and students must recognize that although there is an expectation of privacy, unencrypted email is not a secure means of transmitting information. While this policy does not prohibit student information from being transmitted by email, caution must be exercised regarding the content of messages.

ETSU provides each student, faculty, and staff member with an official university-assigned email account. All official university communications will be sent to the university email address. Faculty, staff, and students may assume that official ETSU email is a valid communication mechanism. Therefore, the university has the right to send communications to students, faculty, and staff via email and the right to expect that those communications are received and read in a timely fashion. Although students may choose to forward university email to an external email account, he or she is responsible for all information, including attachments.

Notes:
Approved: Information Technology Governance Council
Reviewed: February 2017

Health and Safety


Medical and Health Policy

Students are responsible to provide personal medical insurance for themselves in the event of an illness or personal injury while attending the university. Students who do not have coverage under a family insurance policy or who want additional insurance information, please visit the ETSU Student Health Services website.

Immunization Requirements

Failure to submit the appropriate documentation could prevent a student from completing the class registration process or could limit the number of credits in which a student is able to enroll. The State of Tennessee requires all students to meet the following immunization requirements:

  1. All enrolling students will be required to provide health information that, at a minimum, establishes the student’s compliance with rules promulgated by the Tennessee Department of Health regarding requirements for immunization against certain diseases prior to attendance and compliance with the latest standards for immunization for meningococcal disease as set forth by the recommended immunization schedule issued by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization practices.
  2. Prior to full-time enrollment, the student must provide documentation of receipt of required immunizations or provide positive quantitative laboratory serology reports.
  3. New, incoming students who live in on-campus student housing must comply with the latest standards for immunization for meningococcal disease as set forth by the recommended immunization schedule issued by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
  4. Admission to some programs may have additional requirements.
  5. Exemptions:

Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias-Related Incidents

Statement of Policy:
East Tennessee State University seeks to provide students, staff and faculty members with a safe and secure learning environment, free of crime and/or violations motivated by discrimination, sexual and other bias-related harassment. ETSU’s Institutional Policy Statement (0240-3-2-.01) specifically addresses student behavioral expectations: University students are citizens of the state, local, and national governments, and of the academic community, and are, therefore, expected to conduct themselves as law-abiding members of each community at all times. Violation of university policy may subject the student to disciplinary action by the institution whether or not such conduct is simultaneously violative of state, local, or national laws.

I. Definition of Terms:

  1. Hate Crime

Hate crime, as defined by the U.S. Department of Justice, is one which in whole or part is motivated by the offender’s bias toward the targeted person’s status. Hate crimes are intended to hurt and intimidate individuals, because they are perceived to be different with respect to their race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability. These acts of hatred can leave lasting emotional impressions upon their targets as well as upon the entire university community. Hate crimes are by definition Bias-Related Incidents.

  1. Bias-Related Incidents

Bias-related incidents are those that constitute an expression of hostility against the person or property of another because of the targeted person’s race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, gender, age or disability and yet are not criminal acts. ETSU’s Policy On Sexual, Racial, and Other Harassment defines bias-related incidents “as any person’s conduct which unreasonably interferes with an employee’s or student’s status or performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment.”

II. University Response:

To report a hate crime or other criminal activity on the ETSU campus:
The Department of Public Safety is open 365 days a year and utilizes Public Safety officers to patrol the campus 24 hours per day. A 24-hour emergency dispatch service is also maintained. Criminal actions, police emergencies, fire emergencies, and requests for ambulance service should be reported by telephoning 911, using the direct emergency telephones placed across campus, or by stopping by the Public Safety Office. Police non-emergencies should be reported by telephoning 439-4480. When a person seeks assistance or files a complaint, all pertinent information is obtained and is documented in an Incident Report. Incident Reports are maintained on file in the public safety office.

Public Safety and Security


Sex Offender Registration

The federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act and the Tennessee College and University Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act of 2002 require that whenever a sex offender becomes employed, enrolls as a student, or volunteers at an institution of higher education in the state of Tennessee, he or she must complete or update the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) sexual offender registration/monitoring form and deliver it to TBI headquarters in Nashville. As defined in section 40-39-102 of the Tennessee Code, a “sexual offender” means a person who is, or has been, convicted in this state of committing a sexual offense or who is, or has been, convicted in another state or another country, or who is or has been convicted in a federal or military court, of committing an act which would have constituted a sexual offense if it had been committed in this state. A “sexual offender” means the commission of acts including but not limited to aggravated and statutory rape, sexual battery, sexual exploitation of a minor, aggravated prostitution, and kidnapping.

Both acts designate certain information concerning a registered sexual offender as public information and therefore amend and supersede the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other federal and state laws that previously prohibited the disclosure of such personal information. Since the laws require the publication of information pertaining to sexual offenders employed, enrolled or volunteering at an educational institution, said publication does not constitute grounds for a grievance or complaint under institutional policies or procedures.

Department of Public Safety 

The Department of Public Safety is responsible for campus security. The public safety office is located at the main entrance of the campus on University Parkway. The department is open 365 days per year and utilizes public safety officers to patrol campus by automobile and on foot 24 hours per day. A 24-hour dispatch service is also maintained.

Access to Campus

The campus and facilities of ETSU are governed by the East Tennessee State University Board of Trustees (BOT) and are restricted to students, faculty, staff, guests, and invitees of the university, except when part or all of the campus, its buildings or facilities, are open to the general public for a designated time and purpose.

All persons on campus are subject to all rules and regulations of the university and the BOT which are applicable to the conduct of students on campus, and to all applicable federal and state laws and regulations. In addition, all persons who operate motor vehicles on campus agree by such operation to be subject to university and BOT rules, regulations, policies, and procedures on traffic and parking.

All persons on campus must provide adequate identification upon request to appropriate officials and security personnel of the university. Personnel and students of the university who refuse to provide such identification may be subject to disciplinary action, and other persons who refuse to provide such identification will be requested to leave the campus, and if they refuse, may be subject to lawful removal and prosecution.

Crime Reporting

The Department of Public Safety provides a crime prevention program entitled “Be Alert, Be Aware.” Through this program, students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to report any criminal or suspicious activity and are made aware of the need for each person to be responsible for his/her own security and the security of others. When a person files a complaint or applies for assistance, all pertinent information is obtained and is officially documented in an incident report. All incident reports are maintained on file in the public safety office. Reports are acted upon in a judicious manner consistent with departmental procedure. When criminal incidents occur that require multijurisdictional investigation, all applicable agencies are notified. Public safety officers have a close working relationship with the Johnson City Police Department, the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, federal agencies, and the First Judicial District Drug Task Force. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation receive monthly statistics from the Department of Public Safety concerning crimes on campus.

Criminal Actions

Police emergencies, fire emergencies, and requests for ambulance service can be reported by telephoning 439-4480 or 911; by using the direct emergency telephones placed across campus; or in person by stopping by the public safety office. Police non-emergencies can be reported by telephoning (423) 439-6900.

Enforcement Authority

Public safety officers are commissioned pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, 49-7-118. Commissioned public safety officers have all of the police powers necessary to enforce all state laws as well as rules and regulations of the BOT. They are also certified firemen and are first responders to any on-campus fire emergencies. Public safety officers may exercise their authority on all property or facilities owned, leased, or operated by the BOT and the university including any public roads or rights of way which are contiguous to or within the perimeter of such facilities or property.

The Johnson City Police Department furnishes the Department of Public Safety information concerning all offenses which occur off-campus at fraternity and sorority houses. The Department of Public Safety coordinates with the Johnson City Fire Department concerning all campus fires.

Pedestrian Safety Statement

The Department of Public Safety wishes to remind students and staff that bicycles, skate boards, scooters, and other similar vehicles or toys which are used on campus sidewalks or public through-fares must be operated in such a manner so as not to jeopardize the safety and well-being of pedestrians. The use of bicycles and other specified play vehicles is governed by state law. Violations of applicable statutes constitute a Class C misdemeanor.

Security and the Maintenance of Campus Facilities

The Department of Public Safety conducts a survey of outdoor lighting several times a year. In the months of July and December buildings on the main campus and university buildings located on Veterans Administration property are surveyed for hazardous conditions. Monthly fire extinguisher inspections are performed in all buildings owned or leased by the university. In addition, public safety officers routinely report all hazardous, unsafe and potentially unsafe conditions found to exist on campus.

Security Information Report

ETSU Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (AS&FSR)

The East Tennessee State University strives to provide a safe and secure environment for the campus community. In order for individuals to make informed decisions about their personal safety, ETSU makes available to current and prospective students and employees the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. This annual publication includes information on crime reporting procedures, policies, safety tips, prevention programs, and fire and crime statistics for the last three years. The report is available online at The Department of Public Safety website, where it can be downloaded for viewing or printing. Hard copies may also be obtained via US mail at no cost by calling Public Safety at (423) 439-6900, by writing to ETSU Dept. of Public Safety, Box 70646, Johnson City, TN 37614, or by emailing orrj@etsu.edu.

For additional information concerning safety at ETSU, contact Public Safety, (423) 439-6900, Office of Student Affairs, (423) 439-4210, or Office of Human Resources, (423) 439-4457.