Parent/Guardian Involvement Policy
The purpose of this policy is to address specific guidelines and parameters related to the realm of communication/involvement between parents/guardians of currently enrolled students and the University. The University understands and values the unique and special relationship that can exist between parents/guardians and their students. There is a sense in which the University desires to foster free and open communication; however, there are limitations.
Developmental and legal issues guide the University as it relates to dealing with parents/guardians and students in resolving potential conflicts and situations. The level of communication and involvement that parents/guardians may have been accustomed to in a high school setting will not be applicable in a university setting. Any student enrolled in the University, regardless of age, is no longer considered a minor from an educational standpoint. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) clarifies and limits the amount of information a university is allowed to share with anyone, including parents/guardians, regarding any student. More specific information regarding legal ramifications and limitations are available in the Registrar’s Office.
During the course of a student’s academic journey, there is always the possibility of an incident occurring that requires intervention and decision-making by an appropriate University official. Sometimes people have the perception that parent/guardian involvement and/or intervention will . . .
• Get the student what they want.
• Make things happen faster.
• Make the school be more fair than they normally would be.
In reality, parent/guardian involvement only slows the process down and can make it more cumbersome and complicated for all parties concerned. Parent/guardian involvement also sends a message to the student that they are not capable or responsible enough to handle the situation themselves. This adversely affects their maturation and hinders the developmental process. The University does not have the practice of treating students unfairly, indiscriminately, or in a capricious manner. The University is not in the business of taking advantage of students. Every situation needs to be approached from a learning standpoint.
• The temptation to jump in and “fix everything” will only lessen the learning process for the student.
• Consider the enrollment of your student as being similar to an employment situation. Whenever your student is serving in their career of choice, it would not be deemed appropriate for a parent/guardian to intercede with their employer to attempt to rectify an employee situation.
• As a private institution, University Policy prohibits parents, guardians, other relatives, and legal counsel from participating in disciplinary hearings.
[Please note: we live in a litigious society. Unfortunately, there are occasions whenever the University is threatened to be sued if a desired outcome is not achieved. Once a threat is made and/or legal counsel is involved, University Policy prohibits further communication from University officials. Official communication from the University is then expressed only through and by the University’s legal counsel.]
• Parents/guardians are not privy to a student’s educational records without the student’s permission.
• Faculty members are not allowed to disclose student information, including grades, to parents/guardians without a student’s permission.
• Technically, neither parents nor guardians can withdraw students from school. Only the enrolled student may withdraw themselves. Parents/guardians may cease financial support by not making payments.
Each and every student needs to learn to . . .
• Take responsibility for their own actions.
• Take the initiative to follow the necessary steps to resolve a situatio.
• Accept the consequences for their actions.
An important aspect of Christian higher education is value education. As a character-building school, the University strongly believes that it really does matter how one lives his or her life. The University encourages every parent or guardian to enthusiastically support the University’s efforts to do what is deemed best for each student even when the results may not be the desired outcome by the student or their parent/guardian. Partner with the University as we seek to fulfill our mission . . . to change the world one student at a time . . . in Jesus’ name.