2024-2025 University Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog

University Policies

Americans with Disabilities Act

The University complies with all applicable provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and state and local disability laws, as applicable. An individual with a disability is defined as any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. Accommodations are tailored to meet the needs of each individual student and are intended to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the code of ethics set forth by the Association of Higher Education and Disabilities, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended in 2008). Student accommodations are managed through the Office of Student Services; policies and processes for Disability Services are described elsewhere in this catalog.

Campus Safety Manual

The Office of Operations publishes a Campus Safety Manual. The Campus Safety Manual includes general campus safety policies and procedures, the Campus Safety Manual includes the following policies and procedures, as well as additional information:

  • University’s Drug and Alcohol Awareness policy
  • University Title IX/SB 493 Sexual Misconduct policy
  • Clery Act - In compliance with the Clery Act, SCU distributes an annual security report to the campus via University email. Paper copies of this report are available upon request from the Department of Campus Safety 16200 Amber Valley Drive, Whittier, California 90604. Phone: (562) 947-8755 x 515.

Students may access the Campus Safety Manual on mySCU, the University’s intranet.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) commonly known as the Buckley Amendment, provides students with certain rights with respect to their educational records. Students include only individuals who have attended the institution; applicants are not considered students until they have attended the University.

Definition of Education Records

Education Records are defined as records that contain personally identifiable information (PII) directly related to a student and maintained by the University or by a party or organization acting on its behalf. It can include written documents and electronic media.

Education Records exclude:

  • Financial information furnished by the student’s parents in support of an application for financial aid.
  • Confidential letters of recommendation that were placed in the student’s file prior to January 1, 1975.
  • Confidential letters of recommendation concerning admission, employment, or honorary recognition, for which the student has waived access.
  • Sole possession records (i.e., personal notes made by a faculty member or counselor that are accessible only to that person and are not shared with others).
  • Law enforcement or campus security records.
  • Employee records (unless contingent upon attendance).
  • Medical records.
  • Alumni records (i.e., records that are created or received after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student).

Directory Information

Directory Information may be disclosed without the student’s consent. The University designates the following as Directory Information:

  • name
  • address
  • email address
  • telephone number
  • date and place of birth
  • date of admission
  • photographs
  • enrollment status (full-time/part-time)
  • degree program/program of study
  • dates of attendance
  • honors and awards
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • degree completion date including whether or not a degree was completed

Students may request that the University not disclose any or all of the types of information designated as directory information. Students must do so in writing to the registrar.

Student Rights

The student has certain rights with respect to their educational needs. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may also have access to their child’s education records.

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the University within forty-five days of the day the University receives a request for access.
    • Students should submit a written request to the registrar identifying the specific record to which they are requesting access. The registrar will notify the student of a time and place where the records may be inspected and reviewed. 
  2. The right to seek an amendment to the student’s education records if the student believes it is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise a violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    • Students should submit a detailed request in writing outlining the requested amendment, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed and specifying why it should be changed. The registrar will notify the student in writing if the amendment request is approved or denied within 15 days of the request.
    • If denied, the student may appeal the decision within 15 days by submitting a request in writing to the registrar. The University will process the appeal within 15 days.
    • Please note: The University is not required to consider requests for amendment that seek to change a grade, disciplinary decision, or the opinions or reflections of a school official or other person reflected in an education record.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Generally, the University must have written permission from the student to release non-directory information from a student’s education record. 

    FERPA authorizes disclosure of education records, without consent, to the following parties under the following conditions:
    • School officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official is typically a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including security and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted to perform a task; a person serving on an institutional governing body or committee including the Board of Regents; a volunteer or contractor outside of the University who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing a task; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing official tasks.
    • A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility.
    • Other Colleges, Universities, and/or schools to which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes.
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student.
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University.
    • Accrediting organizations.
    • To comply with judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; notification to the student is made before complying with the subpoena.
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by SCU to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Student Privacy Policy Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20202.

Language of Instruction

The language of instruction is English.

Liability Disclaimer

The University disclaims liability for any damages, bodily or otherwise, incurred by students on or off campus as a result of athletic and other extracurricular activities.

Identity Verification for Online Resources and Services

In accordance with Federal Requirement 34 CFR §602.17(g), the Interregional Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education, and the WSCUC Distance Education Review Guide, Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) ensures vigorous security and verification of student identity by having processes in place through which the institution establishes that the student who registers in a distance education or online education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the academic credit.

The University employs a multi-factor system of verification of student identity. The first factor includes unique student login and protected password access to Canvas - SCU’s learning management system - and other academic systems and tools, such as test-taking software. The second factor involves a unique student ID number issued on the basis of identity documentation provided during student initial enrollment. This ID number, paired with a student photo, on file and accepted by the University, is to be presented at the beginning of all high stakes assessments, including but not limited to midterm and final examinations, in a University-approved form. Alternatively, students may display a government-issued photo ID if their SCU ID is not available. The third factor includes monitoring software that proctors exams via video and audio recording of the students. In some instances, faculty supplement proctoring software with live proctoring of student activity during exams via second-device video monitoring. Faculty may also assign recorded audio and visual presentations or perform assessment in-person for some online courses. A final factor in maintaining assessment integrity is the use of Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software that helps instructors determine the authenticity of a student’s written submissions.

Non-Discrimination Statement

In compliance with federal, state, and local government requirements, the University does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic characteristics, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related individual conditions, medical condition (as defined by state law), military status, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law in the administration of its educational programs, school administered programs, publications, or in its employment practices. The University is committed to compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and policies governing equal access and equal opportunity.

Program or Institutional Closure

In the event that the University opts to discontinue a program, the University will make its best effort to teach-out the program of study for all currently admitted and enrolled students; no new students will be admitted to the program. In the unlikely event the university ceases operations, the University will submit a teach-out plan to its regional accrediting agency, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) for approval per WSCUC requirement. The University will notify all students about the closure and their options for completing their programs per WSCUC requirement.

In the event the University closes without a teach‐out plan, WSCUC will work with the U.S. Department of Education and appropriate state or international equivalent agencies, to the extent feasible, to assist students in finding reasonable opportunities to complete their education without additional charges.

Animals on Campus

The University prohibits animals on campus other than certified Service Animals. Service Animals are defined as either a dog or, in rare circumstances a mini horse, that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. No other type of animal is considered a Service Animal, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended.

Ethical Marketing, Recruiting, Admissions, and Financial Aid

The University strives to treat a­pplicants and students ethically, respectfully, equitably, and professionally in all interactions. All members of the University community who are engaged in student recruitment activities adhere to the relevant ethical recruitment standards of the National Association for College Admission Counselling (NACAC), National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP), and The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS). 

The University prohibits the award of any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based in any part, directly or indirectly, upon success in securing enrollments or the award of financial aid, to any individual or entity engaged in any student recruitment or admission activity, or in making decisions regarding the award of Title IV program funds.

Credit Hour Policy

Federal regulations define a credit hour as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. Generally, a credit hour shall be the equivalent of one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class work each week over a 15-week trimester or its equivalent over a different period of time. Additionally, a credit hour shall represent at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities, including laboratory work, clinical work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

The following examples clarify the amount of work expected per week for a 15-week trimester or the equivalent amount of work over a different period of time for other academic activities to earn one credit hour (unit):

  • Lecture courses where there is one hour of direct faculty instruction and two hours of student work completed outside of the classroom each week.
  • Laboratory courses where there are two hours of direct faculty instruction and one hour of student work completed outside of the classroom each week, or three hours of direct faculty instruction.
  • Online/blended courses where there are three hours of work representing a combination of instruction, discussion, group work, and individual student work.
  • Work complete outside of the classroom includes time spent studying, participating in open labs, engaging in online research, reviewing coursework online, participating in online forums or other online discussions, reviewing related materials online, etc.
  • Internships/field/clinical or other experiential learning courses where there are two hours of clinic or service completed by the student/intern and one hour of student/intern work completed outside of the clinic or workplace or three hours of clinic or service completed by the student/intern.

Periodic review of a sample of course credit hours is accomplished during programmatic mid-cycle review, and all affected courses have credit hours reviewed during approval of new courses and course changes (including review by the Instructional Programs Committee).

Consumer Information and Student Right to Know

In accordance with federal regulations set forth by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 1965, as amended, the University makes available consumer information to all prospective and enrolled students. This information appears in this catalog and on the University’s website. This includes information related to tuition and fees and estimated costs of attendance.

Record Retention

The University recognizes that the efficient management of its records is necessary to support its core functions, to comply with its regulatory obligations, to contribute to the effective overall management of the institution, to preserve its history, and to ensure that records that are no longer needed or of no value are discarded at the appropriate time. SCU, therefore, requires that its records be managed in a systematic and logical manner according to the Record Retention Schedule outlined in Record Retention Schedule Appendix.

This policy applies to all University personnel and covers all records, regardless of form, made, produced, executed, received or maintained by employees of the institution in the course of carrying out their University functions. Records and documentation created in the course of research, whether internally or externally funded, are also subject to contractual record-keeping requirements.

Record Retention Policy and Procedures

This policy applies to all records without regard to format, inclusive of electronic and/or physical media.

University Records shall be retained for a period specified in the Record Retention Schedule  to ensure that efficient and effective retention of University Records are well documented and enforced.

Document storage locations, whether physical or virtual, shall be secured by a standard of care for media format against risk of theft, loss (including loss of access), corruption, unauthorized access, and natural calamity - and insured against the risk of theft / fire / other natural calamities.

University Records, in their original form, may be destroyed after they have been retained for the minimum period, or converted to digital storage consistent with law, policy, and standard practice.

The minimum retention period shall commence from the date of the last transaction entered in the records, such as completion of a contract or research pursuant to a grant, or last documented patient care. Unless otherwise specified, the retention period set forth in the schedule begins at this point in time.

Individual departments may establish appropriate procedures that are consistent with and in furtherance of this policy.


Active Record. Any University Record, regardless of format, that is still in active use by any department, office, or employee of the University.

Inactive Record. A University Record that is no longer used in the regular course of University business, but that may need to be retained until it meets the end of its retention period.

University Record. Information recorded in a fixed form that is made, produced, executed, received, or maintained by any department, office, or employee of the University in connection with the transaction of University business operations and activities, including records considered to be confidential in nature, that are under control and ownership of the University.

Records Custodian. The individual role with responsibility for maintenance of the records of a University department or office.

Filing, Archiving, and Storage of Physical University Records

Physical Active Records are stored in fire resistant metal filing cabinets accessible to the employees using the University Records and filed in accordance with departmental procedures.

Physical Inactive Records are moved to archives.

Physical Inactive Records are placed in storage boxes, each marked with the following information to facilitate easy retrieval of the document when needed:

  • Box number;
  • Type of document placed within the box;
  • Date of storage; and
  • Applicable retention period for the storage of documents as per the retention policy.

Boxes are stored in a secured permission access area.

The retrieval of Physical Inactive Records from storage shall be done only with the approval of the Records Custodian.

The destruction of Physical Inactive Records shall be done only after the expiration of the specified retention period for the documents and with the approval of the Records Custodian.

Filing, Archiving, and Storage of Electronic Documents

Electronic Active Records are stored through SCU authorized software systems. Access control to these systems is managed through their assigned credentials.

Records generated as electronic mail (as e-mail or attachments) should be retained as either paper copies or stored on electronic media with appropriate storage and back-up protocols.

Electronic Active Records, including records generated as electronic mail, are securely archived and stored in Azure cloud storage and/or vendor cloud solutions.

Destruction of Documents

No records may be destroyed unless and until the applicable retention periods expires. Once the information has been preserved for the required period, a list of the Inactive Records eligible for destruction is compiled by Auxiliary Operation and then authorized by the appropriate Records Custodian or administrator for that area.

Any records subject to a legal hold must be preserved notwithstanding any other retention period or policy until that hold is lifted.

The Inactive Records are destroyed under proper supervision, keeping the following in mind:

  • All confidential Physical University Records must be either shredded or burned; and
  • Other University Records will be purged (rendered irreversibly unreadable, unusable, and irretrievable) or disposed of in the fastest, most economical and environmentally friendly way.

Record Retention Due to Discontinuation or Closure

If an academic program is discontinued, the University will maintain custody of the University Records, consistent with policy and all applicable laws, regulations, and accreditation standards.

In the event that the University should cease to operate or dissolve as an incorporated institution, SCU would appoint another accredited institution as custodian of the records with the assistance of WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and would transfer the database and physical elements on an agreed date - or work with California’s Bureau of Private and Post-Secondary Education (BPPE) to become the custodian of record if no other school will act as custodian. Program clinical records are stored via Visual Outcomes Database. In the case of institution closure, ongoing cloud storage and access would be arranged. Any remaining paper records would be digitized and be stored in the cloud and appointed a custodian per above.

Please direct any questions regarding this policy to AuxiliaryServices@scuhs.edu

Transferability of Courses to Another Institution

The University cannot guarantee the transferability of courses to another University as those decisions are made by the receiving institution. Students are responsible for determining the transferability of courses to another college or university.

Official University Statements

The University’s primary purpose is the education of healthcare professionals and practitioners. Occasionally, University expertise and interests in healthcare and education may intersect with significant current events. When this occurs, the University may issue an official statement, which will be disseminated through official channels. The decision to issue an official statement, and the content and position of official statements, is the purview of the President. At the President’s discretion, representatives of stakeholder groups (e.g. Associated Student Body, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate) may be consulted prior to issuing an official statement.

The necessity, timing, and content of official statements are evaluated based on the following principles, in this order:

  1. Relevance to the University: Statements may be issued when significant current events are directly relevant to institutional standing as a health sciences university. Statements will make the relevance clear.
  2. Alignment with Mission and Values: Statements align with the University’s mission to prepare integrative healthcare practitioners and professionals and the University’s values of health equity, inclusivity, evidence-based practice, and integrative health. Statements will make the alignment clear.
  3. Objectivity and Neutrality: The University maintains objectivity and neutrality on events that are not relevant to University standing. When neutrality conflicts with University standing and University mission and/or values, the University will prioritize the provision of evidence-based information and analysis.   
  4. Acknowledgement of Diverse Perspectives: The University is comprised of individuals, programs, and departments with many perspectives and interests. Thus, statements require relevance to University standing, mission, and values in a context of objectivity and neutrality. Statements acknowledge diverse perspectives while upholding University mission and values.

Many factors may impact the decision to issue a statement. Lack of an official statement should not necessarily be construed as lack of relevance or alignment with mission and values, nor should it necessarily be construed as lack of interest or concern on the part of University students, faculty, staff, programs, or departments.

Students, faculty, staff, and their stakeholder bodies should refer to the University Catalog, Faculty Handbook, and Employee Handbook (including policies regarding Academic Freedom) for guidance regarding their own communications. Questions can be addressed to the Associate Vice President of Student, Alumni, and Career Services; the Office of the Provost; and the Office of People+Culture as appropriate.

COVID-19 Policies

Health and Safety Protocols

Self-screening and Reporting: Students should not physically visit campus, a clinical site, or any face to face curricular or co-curricular activity when symptomatic or when a positive COVID test has occurred. Students must follow pertinent public health orders for COVID-19, including mandatory isolation periods, that pertain to their location of physical attendance. Students should be forthcoming about any symptoms, exposures, and positive tests, and help protect the University community by seeking guidance from program administration when in doubt about attendance.

Adhering to Sanitation and Social Distancing Requirements of Clinical and Preceptorships Sites: In addition to the requirements set forth while on campus, students must adhere to all applicable health and safety requirements set by our clinical and preceptorship partners.

Non-Compliance: Students who do not comply with health and safety protocols may be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal from their academic program.

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

The University supports COVID vaccination consistent with evidence-informed guidance, and recommends that individuals make shared decisions regarding COVID vaccines/boosters with their healthcare providers. Clinical students may be placed at clinical sites requiring COVID vaccination. If a clinical site requires COVID vaccination and a student opts not to receive it, the student may be unable to complete their degree or may delay the completion of their degree. Regardless of COVID vaccination status, all students are required to follow SCU health and safety protocols.