Policies for Quality Assurance
Relationship Between Research, Learning, and Teaching
Transcontinental University’s core values represent a strong and firm commitment to the holistic development of its learners. Our core values provide the forum for the learners to explore and critically assess existing knowledge, develop research that creates new knowledge within a given cultural context, and realize their profound potentials within a global economy. The educational programs at TI creates a tightly woven relationship between theory and practice. Each learner closely aligns to the relevancy of the research topic and goes beyond a surface level understanding by appreciating the larger academic, social, and environmental context. During each module, the real-world application projects further develop the learners’ understanding of the interconnectedness between knowledge, practice, and research. By the time learners reach the final Thesis/Dissertation stage, their high levels of self-efficacy enable them to transition easily into scholarly research based on their experiences in taking theory into practice.
Procedures For Ensuring Academic Integrity and Freedom
Academic integrity is one of the core values of TI. A high standard for the academic curriculum requirements, as well as the faculty procedural requirements, guides the achievement of TI’s standards. Through evaluative methods, utilization of the internal Peer Faculty Reviews, and the annual external review of the course and curriculum structure, TI has a comprehensive method ensuring that academic and faculty procedural standards are strictly upheld. After the completion of each module, holistic assessments ensure that the intended learning outcomes are addressed. Furthermore, utilizing resource technologies, such as turnitin.com, provides additional assurance that academic integrity is exhibited by learners.
Academic freedom within TI has two dimensions. First, the faculty dimensions: Transcontinental University faculty has complete academic freedom to use any learning tool, materials, and/or methodology to achieve the intended learning outcomes for a given module. Second, the learner dimension: Transcontinental University learners retain the right to express their views in any medium without negative consequences from the University and its faculty. Both faculty and learners may express their views on topics, such as politics, religion, and philosophy, within the topics of each module. Any violations of the intellectual sharing of perspectives may be raised and investigated before the Ethics Review Board.
Procedures That Guard Against Intolerance
The Student Diversity Affairs Committee is comprised of selected students and faculty team members and endeavors to structure policies and guidelines that enable a respectful atmosphere. Instances of intolerance may be reported to the Committee via the Learner Portal website. This committee is structured with the following goals in mind:
- Obtain Stand Against Intolerance Pledge signed and agreed upon by all learners, staff and faculty
- Conduct Workshops that promote respect, empathy, and humanity
- Maintain a process of responding to changing societal needs for all levels of tolerance
- Any incidents of intolerance may be raised in writing to Administration and investigated by the Ethics Review Board. Violations may result in, but are not limited to, termination of employment or expulsion from the University .
Plagiarism and Other Misconduct
Transcontinental University utilizes a plagiarism detection technology called Turnitin. In addition to Turnitin, faculty also recognize plagiarism or the lack of proper citation through their own expertise. Any learner suspected of plagiarism is examined by the Ethics Review Board. The corrective action of the Ethics Review Board include a range of disciplinary actions from academic probation to dismissal from the program.
When a plagiarism incident occurs, the faculty may choose one of the following options depending on the severity of the offense and prior incidents:
- Use the incident as a teaching moment.
- Learner receives a “0” in the assignment.
- Learner fails the module and is placed under academic probation with additional studies of academic writing; Upon completion of additional workshop, learner returns to restart the module.
- Learner is expelled from the course.
Diversity and Special Needs Policy
Transcontinental University adheres to a number of guidelines to ensure an inclusive, discrimination-free environment.
- No qualified person is denied access to, participation in, or the benefits of TI’s academic program or activity operated by TI, due to disability. All applications are reviewed based on academic credentials and alignment to TI’s core values.
- Discrimination is prohibited, including harassment and retaliation, by faculty/staff, learners, and agents of TI, towards an individual based age, religion, gender, race, sexual preference, gender identity or genetic information, and ethnicity or national origin.
- Transcontinental University is committed to providing an all-inclusive education, which includes individuals with special needs. Learners with officially documented special needs, such as a learning disability or visual, hearing, and/or physical impairments, documented by licensed a medical professional, will receive additional support. In addition to a personalized Learner Achievement Advisor (LAA), the service of a Learning Support Assistant (LSA) also will be provided when the learner is in a physical classroom. Along with the standard government support for special needs learners, those with sensory impairments are provided with a translator. The LAA is available for those with special needs when they are on campus. The LAA works with the LSA to make the necessary adaptations and modifications to ensure the full access to the curriculum for these learners. If necessary, further support will be established, working with non-government and government agencies, such as the National Commission for Persons with a Disability, to provide the necessary support for learner success.
Any learner, staff, or faculty may raise complaints and concerns, and appeals in writing, using the Complaints/Appeal Form, supported with documentation. Academic related complaints are filed with the Academic Review Board. All other complaints are filed with the Ethics Review Board. Once a complaint, along with supporting documentation, is filed through the Learner Portal website, a review will be conducted by the respective committee to determine if the complaint is valid and what respective corrective action is deemed appropriate. Decisions are finalized after a full investigation is completed, usually within two weeks from the initial submission. Depending on the complexity of the case, more time may be needed.
Any learner, staff, or faculty may file an appeal to a complaint decision in writing, using the Complaints/Appeal Form, supported with documentation. Academic related appeals are filed with the Academic Review Board. An individual appealing a decision of the Ethics Review Board. may seek resolution through one of the three levels of leadership:
- Consultation with applicable Department Chair,
- Review with Vice Chancellor, or
- Formal appeal with the University’s Board of Directors.
The nature of the appeal shall determine the level of review required.
When a situation unrelated to academic conduct arises, the learner may complete the Complaints/Appeal Form which is available on the Learner Portal website. A review is conducted by the Department Chair to determine if a hearing will be required with the Ethics Review Board. If a hearing is deemed necessary, the learner has an opportunity to present his/her case to the Ethics Review Board. A decision is made within two weeks of the hearing.
Any learner, staff or faculty may raise complaints, concerns and appeals in writing using the Complaints/Appeal Form (Appendix I) which is available on the Learner Portal website, and can provide supporting documentation. The Ethics Review Board confirms receipt of email and initiates an investigation through an initial interview with the author of the complaint/appeal. An investigation is initiated upon determination of a valid case by the Ethics Review Board. Decisions are finalized after a full investigation is completed, usually within two weeks from the initial interview. Depending on the complexity of the case, it may take longer.
Taking Temporary Leave of Absence
Learners at TI may take a leave of absence for the following reasons:
- Family Hardship/Personal Reasons
- Military Assignment
- Medical Disability
The maximum time for leave is three terms (8 weeks per term or total of 24 weeks), after which time the learner must decide to continue with their studies or permanently drop enrollment and reapply for enrollment at a later date. Documentation is required for review by the Department Chair. Family hardship or personal reasons require a letter of explanation. Military Assignment requires a copy of the assignment details. Medical Disability documentation is required from a licensed medical professional.
Learners on temporary leave continue to have access to learner email and Learner Achievement Advisor. Request forms are available on the Learner Portal website.
Granting Extension for Duration of Module
Learners at TI may request an extension for a maximum of four weeks during a module, for the following reasons:
- Family Hardship/Personal Reasons
- Medical Disability
Documentation of each area is required for review by the Department Chair and coordinated with an assigned Learner Achievement Advisor. Family Hardship/Personal Reasons require a letter of explanation. Medical Disability documentation is required from a licensed medical professional. Request forms are available on the Learner Portal website. Upon approval, learners will complete all required assignments within the module in no less than four weeks from the end of the semester.
Institutional Data Policy
Institutional data includes, but is not limited to, information created, collected, maintained, transmitted, or recorded by or for Transcontinental University to conduct operations from various stakeholders in multiple mediums such as paper, electronic, and visual formats. Institutional data includes data used for planning, leading, managing, operating, controlling, strategizing, or auditing the Institute’s functions, operations, and mission. Transcontinental University considers institutional data in accordance with regional legal, regulatory, administrative, and contractual requirements. Furthermore, intellectual property, strategic or proprietary data also can be considered institutional data.
All institutional data will be protected with reasonable security controls. Authorization to access the data is given only to those on the Academic Steering Committee, the President of Transcontinental University , the Chief Academic Officer, and specifically assigned administrative staff of Transcontinental University for the purposes of advancing the mission and vision of Transcontinental University .
This policy applies to all university staff, faculty and learners. Deliberate failure to adhere to the policy regulations may result in the suspension of survey privileges and other penalties that may be appropriate.