Undergraduate Competency-Based Academic Policies and Procedures

Students enrolled in the Brandman MyPath competency-based degree programs must adhere to the Undergraduate Credit-Hour Academic Policies in the catalog with the exception of the following policies and procedures that pertain to competency-based programs only.

Academic Calendar

An academic year for the Brandman MyPath competency-based education program consists of the completion of at least 24 units and 48 weeks of instruction.  Unlike the traditional academic calendar, the MyPath program has no semesters, trimesters, quarters, or other terms with set beginning and ending dates.  Instead, the academic year begins on the day that a student completes the first substantive academic activity (starts attendance) and ends when both the minimum 24 units and 48 weeks of instruction have been completed.  Since the program is self-paced, students may earn more than 24 units in a 48-week period, or students can take more than 48 weeks to earn the 24 units.

In addition, there is a two-week break scheduled for December and June of each year in which teaching does not take place; therefore, these weeks do not count toward completion of the 48 weeks of instruction.

The breaks for the 2017-2018 Academic Year are:

  •  Winter Break: December 17th, 2017 through December 30th, 2017
  • Summer Break: June 17th, 2018 through June 30th, 2018  

Tuition

Brandman University reserves the right to change tuition and fee rates at any time without notice. Tuition is billed at a flat rate each billing period in the competency-based academic year. The competency-based academic year consists of two billing periods and is defined as a minimum of 24 units and 48 weeks of instruction. The student pays for the time, not by credit hour or by course.  The student starts their competencies any time and completes as many as they would like, or are able to, during the billing period.

Students are required to pay their tuition in full before they can start their course competencies. If the student wishes to apply for financial aid, they must submit all forms required by the Financial Aid Office and have the aid applied to their student account bringing their balance owed to the University to a zero balance before they will be allowed to begin their competencies. 

Tuition Refund Policy: Withdrawals  

The date of withdrawal for purposes of tuition and/or refundable fees refunds shall be the date on which the student officially withdraws from the program through MyBrandman Self Service.

Tuition Refund Policy

A full tuition refund will be given prior to starting competencies, but no refunds will be given once the student begins.  

Students with extenuating circumstances may be eligible for a tuition refund through the University petition process.  Circumstances must be documented and are subject to review by the University.    

No retroactive refunds will be given for prior academic years. It is every student’s responsibility to review their student account every term to ensure that it is correct and that all applicable credits (Grants, Loans, Scholarships, Adjustments) have been applied to their account.  

Alternative Pathways to Undergraduate Admission

BrandmanTrack-A 12 credit opportunity

BrandmanTrack provides prospective Brandman undergraduate degree seeking students with an opportunity to obtain 12 credits to meet an admission requirement for Brandman or other institutions. In order to be admitted to a degree program, student must meet all applicable degree program admission requirements.  This program is provided in multiple modalities in order to provide alignment with the student’s intended degree program choices.

Following is the description and requirements for Brandman’s MyPath approach. Our MyPath format is the right program for students who:

  • Are a self motivated learner that wants to dictate your own learning pace
  • Have prior work experience that could apply to certain subject matter areas, for example a marketing manager without formal coursework may move through some of the marketing competencies at a faster rate than a student who does not have the same work experience
  • Prefer to work in a self-directed environment without set due dates for each assignment and the ability to complete a competency in less than the time it takes to complete a traditional 8 week course
  • Have an interest in Brandman’s MyPath Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) or Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT)
Competencies
MKTC 305Fundamentals of Consumer Behavior
HUMC 115Human Experience
MKTC 301Fundamentals of Marketing
ENGC 103Written Communications Level A
MGTC 301Fundamentals of Management

Students in this program are not eligible for financial aid.  Registration into the program is granted to individuals who have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Admission
Undergraduate Admission

Brandman University will admit students to competency-based programs who have the capacity and determination to successfully complete a rigorous Brandman University degree program. The admission process is designed to help the student and the university to make an informed decision about the likelihood of success.

Prospective students must submit the following:

  1. Completed application package.  Applications are available online.
  2. Official transcripts from ALL colleges and universities attended. Only credits from regionally accredited institutions may be accepted in transfer.
  3. High School diploma, HiSET or GED equivalent for students with less than 12 transferable credits.

Admission Requirements

Students with 12 or more transferable credits

Students with 12 or more transferable credits are required to have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in all prior coursework.

Students with less than 12 transferable credits

For students with less than 12 transferable credits, the following minimum requirements must be met:

  1. A high school diploma, HiSET or GED equivalent.
  2. High school cumulative GPA of 2.0.
  3. Pass admissions test in English and Math.
    1. Successful completion of a transferable course to ENGU 103 Writing and Rhetoric or ENGU 104 Writing About Literature (grade of B- or higher) waives admissions test in English.
    2. Successful completion of a transferable course to MATU 103 Applied Mathematics or higher (grade of B-or higher) waives admissions test in Math.

Transfer Credit Policies

Transferring to Brandman University

Prior to admission, students will meet with their academic coach to discuss, among other items, articulation/transferability of prior coursework. Transfer courses will be evaluated for clearance of competencies through the following methodology:

  1. Prior coursework, with a minimum of B- or better from regionally accredited institutions, will first be evaluated against Brandman University’s credit hour-based courses.
  2. Once prior credit has been determined to be equivalent to Brandman’s credit hour-based program, the university will then determine whether or not the student will receive transfer credit for any of the competencies in the competency-based program.
  3. Transfer credit for competencies will not be granted for prior coursework where the content addresses some, but not all, of the content for a particular competency or block of competencies.

Transferring from Brandman University

The purpose of the Brandman University’s competency-based programs are to prepare students for career opportunities and advancement in a dynamic, global business environment. This purpose does not include preparing students for transfer to another institution for further college study. Since the competency-based programs are based upon direct assessment of competencies rather than credit hours, the competency units completed during a billing period may not equate to a credit-bearing course for transfer purposes. Students should be aware that transfer of credit is always at the discretion of the receiving institution. Any student interested in transferring credit hours should check with the receiving institution directly to determine to what extent, if any, competency units can be transferred. Brandman University students who may be interested in transferring to another institution—either before or after completing their studies at Brandman University—should keep in mind the following points:

  1. All institutions reserve the right to determine their own transfer policies, and not all academic work completed at one institution may transfer to another.
  2. Students should check the transfer policies at the institution or institutions they are considering by consulting with the admissions or registrar office at those institution(s).
  3. Students who transfer should request that the Brandman University registrar send an official transcript of their Brandman University academic work to the institution(s) where they are applying for admission.
  4. The Brandman University transcript will be a straight line listing of competencies completed with the corresponding “M” grade for Mastery. Upon request, a corresponding conversion record (credit hour transcript) reflecting courses and credits will be developed.

Transferring within Brandman University

Students wishing to transfer from a competency-based program to a credit hour program within Brandman University should consult with their academic coach and One Stop Student Services. Since the competency-based programs are based upon direct assessment of competencies rather than credit hours, the competency units completed during a billing period may not equate to a credit-bearing course for intra-transfer purposes.

Attendance Policy

All Competency-based students must adhere to the attendance policy as described in the Student Handbook for the Competency-based program.

Add Policy

Students may accelerate their studies by adding additional competencies once they have successfully completed the initial group of competencies. Students who desire to add additional competencies must seek the advice and approval of their academic coach.

Drop Policy

Given the integrated nature of the competency-based curriculum, students may not drop competency units during a billing period.

Interrupted Enrollment

Students may find it necessary to interrupt progress during their course of study, leave Brandman and decide to return at a later date. Students who leave the University in good standing and are absent no more than two years do not need to reapply, and will retain the program requirements of their designated catalog year. Students who have no remaining course requirements, are absent more than two years, and leave in good standing, do not need to reapply, but will be required to meet the current catalog year requirements.

Veterans receiving an honorable discharge, who left the University in order to perform military services, will be readmitted with the same academic status that he or she had when last in attendance at Brandman University. The length of absence from Brandman University cannot exceed five years.

The University may require students to adopt the catalog year program requirements at the time of their return if a program has become impacted or changed by external regulatory agencies.

If students take coursework during their absence from the University, they must provide official transcripts of that coursework to the Division of Student Services prior to their return. Non-satisfactory performance or issues of academic integrity may nullify the student's eligibility to return.

Veteran and Active Duty Military Students:  see Military and Veterans Services section of the catalog regarding interrupted enrollment.

Administrative Withdrawals

Regular engagement with the learning materials is integral to students successfully completing the degree requirements. To ensure student success, Brandman requires that students maintain close contact with their academic coach. If a student is not connecting with competency course material for seven days, the academic coach immediately sends an email to the student requesting to schedule an appointment. Students who do not respond to this email or other phone outreach within the next seven days will be deemed inactive, reported to the coaching team manager, and the "Return to Title IV" process will begin. The coaching team manager and academic coach will contact inactive students via telephone and email during the next seven days and warn the students that continued inactivity will result in an administrative withdrawal.

Inactive students who fail to reestablish contact with the academic coach and the competency course material for 28 consecutive days will be administratively (unofficially) withdrawn from the program on the next business day. The “Return to Title IV” process will begin after fourteen consecutive days without educational activity.

If a student does not return from a Leave of Absence (LOA) by the end of the date of the LOA, the student will be considered to have withdrawn from the University as of the student’s last day of engagement in a substantive educationally related activity.  Some of the student’s financial aid award will likely have to be repaid by the student to the government and/or University.  The student’s loans may go into immediate repayment or shortly, thereafter, depending on the loan and length of the LOA.

Student Withdrawals

In addition to Administrative Withdrawal as noted above, students may formally request to be withdrawn from the competency-based program. The preferred means of notifying Student Services are:

  1. Via the MyBrandman portal
  2. In person, by visiting the Student Services office
  3. By U.S. mail
  4. By email from the student’s official Brandman University email address
  5. By facsimile

If a student withdraws completely from the University, some of the student’s financial aid award will likely have to be repaid by the student to the government and/or University.  The student’s loans may go into immediate repayment or shortly, thereafter, depending on the loan. Students will be contacted by an academic coach to discuss if a credit-hour program (e.g., blended or online) may be a better fit.  

Grading System

In competency-based programs, grades are recorded as Mastered and a grade point average (GPA) Is not calculated by the University.

M is for Mastered, a grade given for demonstrated mastery in a competency. Grade points are not assigned.

AR is for Administrative Review, a grade given when a student’s work is under review (e.g., due to grade appeals). A grade of “AR” will be removed upon completion of the review.

W signifies that a student has voluntarily withdrawn from a competency.

WX signifies that the student failed to demonstrate mastery in a competency after the maximum number of summative assessment attempts allowed.

WA signifies the student was administratively withdrawn due to failure to engage within a required timeframe.

Academic Dismissal

If a student fails to demonstrate mastery in a competency after a maximum number of Final Assessment attempts allowed in a competency, the student will be administratively withdrawn from the program and the action of dismissal will be placed on the official transcript. For competencies with external certification exams as the Final Assessment, students are allowed the number of attempts as set forth by the certifying organization.  For all other competencies, the maximum number of Final Assessments is three.

Assessment Retake and Grade Review Policy

Retaking Final Assessments

Any student who does not demonstrate mastery on a Final Assessment attempt must meet with the tutorial faculty to develop a learning plan for the student, unless the attempt is the last one allowed in the competency. This learning plan will be developed based on Final Assessment report feedback and will provide the student with a detailed description of areas the student should focus on prior to the subsequent attempt.

Grade Review Policy:  Final Assessments

For Level II Final Assessments, students may request a second grading for competencies that are not mastered within 30 days from the date that the grade was posted and upon payment of the re-grade fee. The re-grade fee is refundable if the student demonstrates mastery according to the second grading.

Dual Enrollment Policy

Students enrolled in a competency-based program cannot be enrolled in a credit-hour program or take credit hour courses due to financial aid requirements and restrictions.

Standards of Academic Integrity

Brandman University is an academic community based on the principles of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility.  Academic integrity is a core University value, which insures respect for the academic reputation of the University, its students, faculty and staff, and the degrees it confers. The University expects that students will conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner and respect the intellectual work of others.

To safeguard the conditions under which scholarship is performed, measured and evaluated, the following will serve to:

  1. Distinguish the types of academic integrity violations.
  2. Identify procedures for hearing cases involving such violations. Any imposed sanction is intended to be within the reasonable range of standard higher education and professional practices and to be applied equitably.

A. Academic Integrity Violations

Academic dishonesty can take a number of forms. It includes, but is not limited to, cheating on a test or examination; claiming the work of another as your own; plagiarizing any paper, research project, or assignment, including an online discussion board assignment; copying and pasting text from an online source directly into an assignment without properly citing the source; reusing your own work in the same or another course without written instructor permission; or falsely submitting material to fulfill course requirements.

Cheating includes:

  1. Unauthorized copying from the work of another student, with or without that student's consent.
  2. Using notes or other unauthorized material during a test period.
  3. Having another person do all or a substantive part of the work.  Working with Brandman’s Online Writing and Math Community is encouraged.

It is also an academic integrity violation to falsify any academic records or documents. This includes falsely reporting attendance or participation in any field-work or clinical practicum experience or having anyone, other than the registered student, participate in online course activities.

Submitting work done in one course to satisfy the requirements of another course, or a repeated course, or to satisfy a program requirement, is academic dishonesty, unless the instructor(s) receiving the duplicated work agree(s) beforehand, in writing, to accept such work.

Within the same course, submitting work done for one assignment to satisfy the requirements of another assignment is also academic dishonesty, unless the course instructor agrees beforehand, in writing, to accept such work.

Presenting forged or altered documents is academic dishonesty.  These documents may include transcripts, add/drop forms, or any academic form that has been falsified or wherein a professor's signature, or anyone else's signature, has been forged or altered.

Failing to report any previous academic work presented at another college or University may be considered a violation of academic integrity.

For more details on violations of academic integrity, please see the appropriate section in MyBrandman.

In a certification-based Final Assessment, students must also adhere to rules and policies posted by the certification agency.

B. Procedures for Hearing and Investigation

The procedures below apply both to current students, and to former students for whom information is discovered after the time of competency completion, program requirement completion, and/or degree completion regarding alleged academic integrity violation that occurred during the time of the student's enrollment.

In cases involving academic integrity violations, if the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager has found evidence that a student has violated the University standards, the following action should be taken:

  1. The involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager must communicate with the student in private to address the possible violation.  The involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager’s communication may be through written feedback on an assignment, through Brandman e-mail, by phone, in Adobe Connect, or in person. The student is expected to meet with the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager (either face-to-face, by phone, in Adobe Connect, or via Brandman email) for the purpose of clarifying the circumstances or settling the issue of responsibility. Students are not eligible to withdraw from the course until final resolution of the alleged violation.
  2. After this meeting, if the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager is satisfied that the incident does not constitute a violation of academic integrity, then the matter is settled, no further action is required, and the Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form is not filed.
  3. If the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager determines that there has been a substantiated violation of academic integrity, then the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager completes the Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form on this violation, citing the sanction.  The form can be found in the faculty area of MyBrandman.  The Director of Academic Support and Curriculum will determine whether this is the student’s first, second, or successive academic integrity violation at Brandman.  
  4. If this is the student’s first reported academic integrity violation at Brandman, the following procedure is followed:
    1. The completed Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form is emailed to the student, involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager, and appropriate office for processing, if required (e.g., change of grade).  A record of the academic integrity violation and sanction is filed. The student may not withdraw from the program prior to final resolution of the case.  
    2. If the student does not agree with the sanctions imposed by the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager, as articulated on the Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form, the student may work with an academic coach to submit a petition within 10 business days of being informed of the imposed sanction.  If the student does not submit a petition within 10 business days, the student is ineligible to further appeal the academic integrity violation and sanction.    
    3. The Dean or the Dean’s Designee will review the petition and contact the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager (and may also contact the student) in an effort to resolve the matter.  The Dean or the Dean’s Designee will initiate whatever action he or she sees fit to sustain, overturn or modify the sanctions.  The Dean or the Dean’s Designee will notify the student and involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager of the decision via email.  Filing and further processing, if required (e.g., change of grade), will occur as necessary.  
    4. If there is dissatisfaction with the petition decision made by the appropriate Dean or Dean’s Designee, the student may request a hearing with the Governance and Appeals Committee (GAC), within ten business days of receiving the Dean’s or the Dean’s Designee’s decision. The request will be forwarded to the GAC for review and to render a decision.  To render a decision, the GAC will appoint a quorum of three committee members. The GAC Chair will notify the student, the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager, and the Dean or the Dean’s Designee of their decision.  If the student does not submit a hearing request within 10 business days, the student is ineligible to further appeal the academic integrity violation and sanction.
    5. A student has the right to appeal within 30 days of notification by the GAC of the academic integrity decision. Appeal decisions are based on relevant information that was not available at the time of the decision, or if procedures were not followed in accordance with Brandman academic policy/guidelines.  An appeal is not a reconsideration of the merits of the decision.  The appeal decision will be rendered by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  The appeal decision will be final and binding.
  5. If this is the student’s second or successive academic integrity violation at Brandman University, the following procedure is followed:
    1. The most recently completed Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form is emailed to the student and involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager.  A record of the academic integrity violation and sanction is filed.  The student may not withdraw from the program before the resolution of the case. Since the student has more than one Academic Integrity Violation, the completed Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form and the students’ prior Academic Integrity Violation and Sanction Form(s) are also sent to the Dean or the Dean’s Designee to review.  The Dean or the Dean’s Designee will initiate whatever action she or he sees fit to sustain, overturn, or modify the involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager’s sanctions based on the student’s current and prior violations.  The Dean will notify the student and involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager of his or her decision via email. Filing and further processing, if required (e.g., change of grade, academic dismissal), will occur as necessary.  
    2. If there is dissatisfaction with the petition decision made by the appropriate Dean or Dean’s Designee, the student may request a hearing with the Governance and Appeals Committee (GAC), within ten business days of receiving the Dean’s or the Dean’s Designee’s decision. The request will be forwarded to the GAC for review and to render a decision.  To render a decision, the GAC will appoint a quorum of three committee members. The GAC Chair will notify the student, involved tutorial faculty and/or Quality Assurance Manager, and Dean or Dean’s Designee of the decision.
    3. A student has the right to appeal within 30 days of notification of the academic integrity decision by the GAC. Appeal decisions are based on relevant information that was not available at the time of the decision, or based on whether procedures were followed in accordance with Brandman academic policy/guidelines.  An appeal is not a reconsideration of the merits of the decision.  The appeal decision will be rendered by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.  The appeal decision will be final and binding.
  6. If the student has already completed the competency or program requirement in which the academic integrity violation is subsequently discovered, the following procedure is followed:
    1. The Dean or the Dean's Designee will investigate the allegations and, when possible, attempt to contact the involved tutorial faculty member and/or Quality Assurance Manager, and the involved student, as part of the investigation. The Dean or the Dean's Designee will also review documentation from the student's prior academic integrity violations, if any. If the Dean or the Dean's Designee determines that there has been a substantiated violation of academic integrity in the case at hand, they will assess an appropriate sanction based on the violation at hand and on, if applicable, any prior violations. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, change of grade and/or retroactive dismissal resulting in revocation of the student's degree.
    2. If there is dissatisfaction with the decision made by the appropriate Dean, the student may request a hearing with the Governance and Appeals Committee (GAC), within 30 calendar days of transmission of the Dean's decision. The request will be forwarded to the GAC for review and to render a decision. To render a decision, the GAC will appoint a quorum of three committee members. The GAC Chair will notify the student and Dean of the decision.
    3. A student has the right to appeal within 30 days of notification of the academic integrity decision by the GAC. Appeal decisions are based on relevant information that was not available at the time of the decision, or based on whether procedures were followed in accordance with Brandman academic policy/guidelines. An appeal is not a reconsideration of the merits of the decision. The appeal decision will be rendered by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. The appeal decision will be final and binding.
  7. A formal dismissal for a violation of academic integrity will be recorded on the student’s official transcript. Students dismissed due to an academic integrity violation are not eligible for readmission to the University.
  8. Once an academic integrity allegation and sanction have been resolved and finalized, the competency grade cannot be challenged on the basis of grounds related to the academic integrity allegation and sanction.

NOTE: In all cases of alleged violations of academic integrity, it is vital to maintain professional confidentiality among those involved.  Students must also adhere to ethical standards set forth by professional licensing boards and discipline-specific criteria.  Violations of ethical professional behavior may result in dismissal from the university.  Refer to appropriate school for professional code of conduct policy.

Diplomas and Transcripts

Diplomas are mailed out approximately two to four weeks after the date of conferral of the degree. This allows time for confirmation that all degree requirements have been met. Under no circumstances will a diploma be released prior to the conferral date.

Transcripts from other institutions which have been presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student's academic file and are not returned or copied for distribution.

A student’s academic history (transcript) will be a straight line listing of competencies completed with the corresponding “M” grade for Mastery. Competencies in progress or not completed will not be reflected on the academic record/transcript.  Competencies, that were not successfully completed, will be reflected on the academic record/transcript with a “W” grade as well as an academic dismissal notation on the academic record/transcript. Upon request, a corresponding conversion record (credit hour transcript) reflecting courses and credits will be developed. As a result, students will receive both a “competency transcript” that indicates competencies satisfied and a separate standard credit hour transcript which will list full credit hour equivalencies.

Diplomas and/or transcripts will not be released if the student has an active diploma/transcript hold as indicated in the Self Service Holds section in MyBrandman.  For further processing and fee information contact the Transcript Processing Department at: https://www.brandman.edu/current-students/registrar/transcripts .