2020-2021 University Catalog (Fall) 
    Jun 15, 2024  
2020-2021 University Catalog (Fall) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

University Policies

University policies are excerpted from the SCUHS Policy Manual.


Enrollment in the university, or the payment of a fee in advance, does not constitute a contract beyond any single term. The administration of Southern California University of Health Sciences reserves the right to alter curriculum, schedules, tuition, fees, and requirements at any time without notice. This catalog supersedes and replaces previously published editions. The academic and graduation requirements and the curriculum outlined herein apply to all persons enrolling at Southern California University of Health Sciences as of September 2017 and thereafter. Students currently enrolled must meet the specific requirements detailed at the time of their enrollment, plus any additional requirements set forth by the University.


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.

Consumer Information

The SCU Consumer Information Guide is available here. For assistance, or a print copy of the Consumer Information Guide, contact OneStop Enrollment Services.

Tuition Refunds

(SCU Policy 7.6.2)

Only tuition shall be refundable in the event of cancellation of enrollment or withdrawal. Fees, reservation deposits, and other charges are not refundable. All books and other materials purchased by the student are the property of that student. The University will not accept returned materials nor make refunds for services.

Students may withdraw prior to or within the first three days of classes and qualify for a full tuition refund if no classes have been attended.

Students who withdraw from the University after classes have begun will be charged an administrative fee. The University reserves the right to change the refund schedule at any time.

Current refund policies for each program are published in the respective section of the Academic Catalog.

For students receiving financial aid (subject to Title IV return rules, as follows and subject to change): The Higher Education Amendment of 1998 (HEA98) Return of Title IV Federal Financial Aid policy will be applied when a student receiving federal financial aid qualifies for a refund. Title IV Federal Financial aid includes Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans, Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans, Perkins Loans, Federal Plus loans and Direct Plus loans. This policy governs the amount of aid the student has earned and the amount that will need to be returned to the Department of Education or the loan lender. The portion of the federal grants and loans that the student is entitled to receive is calculated on a percentage basis by comparing the total number of days in the trimester to the number of days that the student completed before he/she withdrew or was dismissed. For example, if a student completes 30% of the trimester, he/she earns 30% of the approved federal aid that he/she was originally scheduled to receive for the trimester. This means that 70% of the disbursed aid remains “unearned” and must be returned to the federal programs. No refunds may be disbursed to a student until the Title IV Federal funds are paid Student remaining in school until the 61st day are considered, under federal regulations, to have earned 100% of their federal aid. The student’s official withdrawal date will be the date the “official withdrawal form” is received by the Registrar. Students are urged to contact the One-Stop Enrollment Services Office for a calculation of the Title IV fund that may need to be determined.

Non-Refundable Student Fees

(SCU Policy 7.6.4)

All charges/fees except tuition are non-refundable.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

(SCU Policy 2.1.8)

By federal law and University policy, access to and release of student education records are governed by strict standards. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) (20 U.S.C & 1232g: 34 CFT Part 99) commonly known as the “Buckley Amendment”, seeks to ensure the privacy of the educational records of students through elaborate procedural guarantees. This Federal Act encompasses records maintained by most independent institutions and limits the disclosure of information to third parties. Based on FERPA, the University has established a policy that affords eligible students attending SCUHS, and in some instances their parents2, certain rights with respect to their educational needs. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by SCUHS within forty-five days of the day the University receives a request for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the Registrar does not maintain the records, he or she shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request shall be addressed. There are some records to which the student has no right of access. These are:
    1. Professional mental health treatment records to the extent necessary, in the judgment of the attending physician or professional counselor, to avoid detriment effects to the mental health of the student or of others. These records may, however, be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice.
    2. Financial information furnished by the student’s parents in support of an application for financial aid.
    3. Confidential letters of recommendation that were placed in the student’s file prior to January 1, 1975.
    4. Confidential letters of recommendation concerning admission, employment, or honorary recognition, for which the student has waived access. (SCUHS may not require a student to sign a waiver in order to obtain services, but a person writing a recommendation may insist on a waiver as a condition for writing it).
    5. Personal notes made by a faculty member or counselor that are accessible only to that person and are not shared with others.
    6. Materials in any admissions files, until the student has been admitted to, and has attended SCUHS.
  2. The right to request that SCUHS amend the student’s education records that the student believes to inaccurate or misleading. Students or eligible parents requesting an amendment to a record that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading should write the custodian responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. Please not, however, that SCUHS is not required to consider requests for amendment under FERPA 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.
    1. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the Registrar will notify the student (or eligible parent) of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
    2. The request shall be in writing and presented to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. A hearing officer appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs will conduct the hearing. The hearing will be conducted within a reasonable time frame after the request for the hearing has been received. The hearing officer will notify the student or eligible parent, reasonable in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
    3. The student or eligible parent will be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issue raised. One or more other persons may accompany the student but not address the hearing officer and may be represented by individuals including attorneys. The hearing officer will make a decision in writing based upon the evidence presented at the hearing within a reasonable time. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
    4. If the hearing officer supports the complaint, the education record will be amended accordingly and the student or eligible parent will be so informed. If the hearing officer decides not to amend the education record, the student has the right to place in the education record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or stating the reasons for disagreement with the decision. This statement will be maintained as part of the education record as long as the contested portion of the record is maintained, and whenever a copy of the education record is sent to any party, the student’s statement will be included.
  3. The right to consent to the consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Personally identifiable information (that is, information that would make the student’s identity easily traceable) includes direct identifiers such as social security number (SSN), biometric records (a measurable biological or behavioral characteristic such as fingerprint or handwriting) as well as indirect identifiers such as the name of the student’s parent or family members, mother’s maiden name, and the date and place of birth, that would allow a reasonable person in the community to identify the student with reasonable certainty. Generally, the University must have written permission from the student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA authorizes disclosure of those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    1. University officials with legitimate educational interest. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; 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.

      Additionally, education records may be released to contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside service providers used by the University to perform institutional services and functions, that it would otherwise use employees of the University to perform. The University must use “reasonable methods” to ensure that the school official obtains access to only those education records-paper or electronic-in which they have legitimate educational interests and the burden falls to the institution to justify access if questioned.
    2. Other Colleges, Universities and/or schools to which a student is transferring. The authority to disclose or transfer education records to a student’s new school does not cease automatically the moment a student has enrolled in the new school and continues to be enrolled at any future point in time so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. This means that that a school may disclose any records or information, including health and disciplinary records, that the school could have disclosed when the student was seeking or intending to enroll in the new school.
    3. Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes. The regulations clarify that educational agencies and institutions may provide personally identifiable information within education records to state auditors without prior consent without violating FERPA.
    4. Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student.
    5. Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University. The final regulations require an institution using this exception to enter into a written agreement with the recipient organization that specifies the purposes of the study.

      The written agreement must specify that the information from educational records may only be used to meet the purposes of the study stated in the written agreement and must contain the current requirements in §99.31(a)(6) on re-disclosure and destruction of information as described above. The written agreement must require the organization to conduct the study in a manner that does not permit personal identification of parents and students by anyone other than representatives of the organization with legitimate interests. The final regulations also require that the written agreement must specify the purpose, scope, and duration of the student and the information to be disclosed; requires the organization to destroy or return the information.
    6. Accrediting organizations.
    7. To comply with judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. The institution may disclose education records in response to a judicial order, a lawfully issued subpoena, or an order issued by the US Attorney General under the USA Patriot Act without consent or notice to the student that it would otherwise be required under the regulations.
    8. Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies. In making a determination under the health and safety emergency, institutions are now allowed to exercise judgment as follows;
      1. An institution may take into account the “totality of the circumstances” pertaining to a threat to the safety or health of a student or other individuals.
      2. If an institution determines there is an “articulable and significant threat” to the health or safety of a student or others, an institution may disclose information from education records to third parties, whose knowledge of the information is necessary to protect them, including the health and safety of the student or others.
      3. If, based on the information available at the time, there is a rational basis for that determination at the time the decision is made.

        A separate change was made to another section of the health and safety emergency provision to allow disclosure of personally identifiable information from an education record to “appropriate parties,” including parents of a student, if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.

        Additionally, the Department of Education will require that the institution involved in a disclosure under these circumstances record the nature of the threat and the parties to whom it disclosed information under the “health and safety” emergency section. FERPA also allows disclosure to parents if the student as violated any Federal, State, or local law, or any rule of policy of the institution, governing the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance, if the institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation regarding the use or possession and the student is under twenty-one at the time of the disclosure.
    9. State and local authorities; within a juvenile justice system; pursuant to specific State law.
    10. To comply with the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act. To conform with the requirements of the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the regulations permit campus officials to release information they received from a state community notification program about a student registered as a sex offender in the State. This is a new exception to the consent requirement to allow educational agencies to disclose information concerning registered sex offenders provided under state sex offender programs.
    11. Additional Points on FERPA Regulations and Pertinent Exceptions: The regulations clarify that the University may disclose educational records to the student’s parents without student consent if the student is a dependent for Federal Income Tax purposes.

Definition of Education Records. “Education Records are currently defined as records that are directly related to a “student” and maintained by an “educational agency or institution” or by a party acting for the agency or institution. The term “student” excludes individuals who have not been in attendance at the institution.) The regulations clarify that with respect to former students, the term education records excludes records that are created or received after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and are not directly related to the individuals attendance as a student. An example of a record excluded from the definition would be alumni services.

Directory Information. “Directory information” may be disclosed without the student’s written consent. Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory information” such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth3, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell the student about directory information and allow students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them; in other words, permit the students the opportunity to opt out before making such disclosures. The regulations specifically provide that an institution may not designate as directory information a student’s Social Security Number (SSN) or other student ID number. However, the directory information may include a student’s user ID or other unique identifier used to by the student to access or communicate in electronic systems, but only if the electronic identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the student’s identity, such as a personal identification number (PIN), password, or other factor known or possessed only by the student.

The regulations allow an agency to continue to honor any valid request to opt out of directory information disclosures while the individual is still a student until rescinded.

Identification and authentication of identity. Requires the use of reasonable methods to identify and authenticate the identity of students, parents, school officials, and any other parties to whom personally identifiable information is disclosed.

Custodian of Records: University personnel responsible for the educational records of students include the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, the University Registrar, the Director of Financial Aid, and the Director of Student Accounts.

  1. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by SCUHS to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, D.C., 20202-5920.

    For a complete description of FERPA regulations, please visit:
    http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html , which is a link to the Family Policy Compliance Office in the Department of Education.

In addition to the above procedures, SCUHS will, at least annually, notify students of its practices with regard to the types of student education records it maintains, the titles of custodians of the records, the policies for reviewing and expunging records, the cost of reproducing copies of records, the cost of reproducing copies of records, and the categories of what the University considers to be directory information. Moreover, the University will keep a log of all parties, other than SCUHS employees, who have requested or obtained access to a student’s records. This log will contain the reason why access was requested. The log will not be made available to anyone other than the student and the University employees and it will only be kept for one year from the time the request was made. Any time information concerning the student is transmitted to a third party, the party will be notified that it is illegal under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to share the information with anyone else without written permission from the student.

Commitment of the University to Diversity (Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination Policy)

(SCU Policy 2.1.3)

In compliance with federal, state, and local government requirements, SCUHS does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, and 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 (referred to as “protected status”) 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. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed in violation of this policy should follow the reporting procedures set forth in the University’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

Program Closure

(SCU Policy

  1. In the event that the University no longer deems a program to be viable, the University will make its best effort to “teach out” the program of study for all currently admitted and enrolled students, but no new students will be admitted to the program. In addition, articulation agreements will be established with other institutions to allow students to transfer to a similar program to complete their course of study and earn a similar degree.
  2. In the event a “teach” out of a program becomes necessary, copies of all permanent student records will be transferred to an identified institution to facilitate the awarding of appropriate placement in the “teach out” program.

Institutional Closure

(SCU Policy

  1. In the unlikely event the university were to need to cease operations, a “teach out” of all university programs would become necessary. The University will make its best effort to “teach out” all programs of study for currently admitted and enrolled students, but no new students will be admitted to the University. Additionally, all permanent student records will be transferred to identified institutions to facilitate placement should students desire to complete their education elsewhere.
  2. In the event the University is unable to “teach out” its programs, articulation agreements will be established with other institutions to allow students to transfer to similar programs to complete their course of study and earn a similar degree; and all permanent student records will be transferred to identified institutions which will take on the role of custodian of records.

Complaints to Accrediting Agencies

Students who believe that the University has not properly addressed concerns pursuant to the above policy may contact our accrediting agencies to request a complaint form.

WASC Senior College and University Commission
Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
985 Atlantic Avenue, Ste. 100 Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 748-9001 | Fax: (510) 748-9797

The Council on Chiropractic Education
Accrediting Commission for Chiropractic Degree Programs
8049 N. 85th Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85258-4321
Phone: (480) 443-8877 | Fax: (480) 483-7333

Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
Accrediting Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Degree Programs
8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55347
Phone: (952) 212-2434 | Fax: (952) 657-7068

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
Accrediting Commission for Physician Assistant Degree Programs
12000 Findley Road, Ste. 275 Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: (770) 476-1224 | Fax: (770) 476-1738

2 Parents of dependent students as defined earlier in the statement of policy have the right to examine the record of their dependent students. The same procedure and time frames apply to parental requests as to student requests. In both instances of student and parental request for record disclosure, those requesting the record must bear the expenses of reproducing the records. No parent may see a record that his or her dependent child is not entitled to see.

3 Date of Birth: It is the practice of the University not to release a student’s date of birth except as required by law or as a validation of positive identification of a student when furnished by a person making an inquiry.