Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

Stephens College
Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Policies and Resources

The Physician Assistant Program has two main documents for policy reference; the PA student handbook presented below and the School of Health Science Faculty Handbook


ARC-PA Standard A3.14a

Stephens College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602-2504. Phone: (800) 621-7440 (V); 312-263-7462 (F); [email protected];

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Stephens College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Stephens College. 

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepared for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

Stephens College reserves the right to change the curriculum, any provision, policy, procedure, requirement, regulation or fee at its own discretion subsequent to the publication of this catalog. The information contained in this handbook is subject to change without published notice, however, every effort will be made to keep the student informed of these changes.  This Student Handbook does not establish a contractual relationship. Its purpose is to provide students with information regarding requirements, policies and procedures to qualify for the Master of Physician Assistant Studies from Stephens College. A student follows the Student Handbook in effect at the time of entry provided attendance is uninterrupted. When changes to program or degree requirements occur, either the Student Handbook in effect at the time of entry or the latest revised Student Handbook may be followed. The Student Handbook is effective at the start of the fall semester.

Student Handbook 2016-2017

Last UPDATED APRIL 18, 2017 


Table of Contents

  1. Mission and Goals
  2. Program Learning Outcomes for the PA Program
  3. Physician Assistant Functions and Task Proficiencies
  4. AAPA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the PA Profession
  5. Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education 4th Edition
  6. Program Curriculum
  7. Identification as a Physician Assistant Student
  8. Admissions Policies
  9. Financial Aid
  10. Estimated Expenses of Attending the Program
  11. Immunizations and TB Test
  12. Health Insurance Policy
  13. Payment Policy
  14. Transcripts
  15. Academic Honesty and Integrity
  16. Academic Standing
  17. Attendance and Participation Policy
  18. Student Employment during the Physician Assistant Program
  19. Arrest or Criminal Offense
  20. Drug Policy
  21. Readmission to the PA Program after a Positive Drug Screen or Criminal Conviction
  22. Conflict of Interest Policy
  23. Exposure to Infectious Agents and Environmental Hazards
  24. Academic Requirements
  25. Student Progress
  26. Professionalism and Code of Conduct
  27. Grievance Procedure and Appeals Processes
  28. Student Services and Programs
  29. Information and Technology Services (I&TS)
  30. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  31. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  32. Sexual Offenses Policy
  33. Harassment Policy
  34. Personal Property Policy
  35. Professional Boundaries between Faculty, Staff and Students Policy
  36. Access to Closed Buildings Policy
  37. Cancellation of Classes for Emergencies or Inclement Weather
  38. Emergency Response
  39. Campus Security
  40. Student ID
  41. Telephone Service
  42. Use of Cellular Phones
  43. Parking
  44. Bicycles Policy
  45. Smoking Policy
  46. Student Concerns Policy

I. Mission and Goals

1.  Mission of the College

Historically committed to meeting the changing needs of women, Stephens College prepares students to become leaders and innovators in a rapidly changing world. Stephens engages lifelong learners in an educational experience characterized by intellectual rigor, creative expression and professional practice, in an environment supported by accomplished faculty and dedicated alumnae. Graduates of Stephens are educated in the liberal arts, professionally prepared and inspired by our tradition of the Ten Ideals as core values that enrich women’s lives.

B. Ten Ideals

Inherent in the culture at Stephens College is the tradition of the Ten Ideals, which originated in 1921. The Ten Ideals are as follows: 1983 through today:

  1. Respect for our own dignity and the dignity of others, embodied in a sense of social justice;
  2. Courage and persistence;
  3. Independence, autonomy and self-sufficiency;
  4. Support for others through the willingness to take and give criticism, acceptance and love;
  5. Sensitivity to the uniqueness and fragility of the natural world of which we are part;
  6. Responsibility for the consequences of our choices
  7. Belief in our changing selves and in our right to change;
  8. Creativity in the spiritual and aesthetic dimensions of life;
  9. Intelligence that is informed and cultivated, critical yet tolerant;
  10. Leadership that empowers others.

C. Mission of the Physician Assistant Program

The mission of the Stephens College Physician Assistant Program is to educate and prepare clinically astute and compassionate, patient-centered physician assistants who will become leaders in their profession, while remaining dedicated to meeting the needs of the medically underserved. Graduates will be ethical professionals, committed members of the healthcare team, practitioners of evidence-based medicine, and providers of quality health care for those they serve.

D. Goals of the Physician Assistant Program

The goals of the PA program are to prepare physician assistants who:

Desired Outcome:

1. Demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate and treat patients with various medical conditions

Graduate cohorts will achieve at least the national average on the PANCE

2. Apply principles of evidence-based medicine to clinical practice and contribute to development of new knowledge

100% of students will complete peer-reviewed evidenced-based capstone research projects

3. Exhibit professionalism, characterized by trustworthiness, ethical practices, integrity, empathy, cultural sensitivity, and effective interpersonal communication

Preceptor evaluations and employer surveys will evidence qualities of professionalism among 100% of students and graduates

4. Contribute effectively to inter-professional health care teams

Preceptor evaluations and employer surveys will indicate effective contribution to the healthcare team among 100% of students and graduates

5. Demonstrate commitment to the medically underserved

Graduate and employer surveys will indicate that 20% or more of graduates provide care for the underserved.

6. Continuously strive to improve their practice and contribute to quality improvement and safety of healthcare systems

1-, 3- and 5-year graduate and employer surveys will indicate that 80% or more of graduates contribute to quality improvement in their institutions.

7. Demonstrate a spirit of lifelong learning

1-,3- and 5-year graduate surveys will indicate 30% of graduates pursue advanced degrees and/or certification (e.g., doctoral degrees, CAQs, residencies/fellowships) and/or research or teaching opportunities.

8. Enrich the PA profession through leadership

5-year graduate and employer surveys will indicate 25% of graduates have leadership positions in healthcare organizations and/or professional organizations or healthcare committees.

9. Practice compassionate patient-centered care

1-, 3- and 5-year employer surveys indicate 100% of graduates practice patient-centered care.

As part of our continuous self-study process, our statements of mission and goals will be routinely reevaluated incorporating expertise from our Faculty, Students, Advisory Committee, Patients, Alumni, and Employers to ensure we are remaining on-track, fulfilling our mission, and meeting the needs of our regional and local communities

II. Program Learning Outcomes for the PA Program

The following competencies will serve as program level student learning outcomes for the Stephens College Physician Assistant program. All course objectives listed in the syllabi are linked to these competencies, which are based upon Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession adopted 2012 by ARC-PA, NCCPA, and PAEA; adopted 2013 by AAPA.

Medical Knowledge

Physician assistants must demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in their area of practice. In addition, physician assistants are expected to demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations. Upon graduation from the PA program, students are expected to:

MK 1: Apply principles of evidence-based medicine to clinical scenarios

MK 2: Apply scientific principles to explain etiologies, risk factors, and underlying pathologic
            processes for emergent, acute, and chronic medical conditions

MK 3: Describe social, behavioral and psychological aspects of health and disease.

MK 4: Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients across the lifespan.

MK 5: Demonstrate the ability to develop and evaluate interventions for promotion and maintenance of health.

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Physician assistants must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates and other individuals within the health care system. Upon graduation from the PA program, students are expected to:

ICS 1: Demonstrate interpersonal skills promoting ethically sound and therapeutic relationships with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team.

ICS 2: Use effective communication skills to elicit and provide information in a manner that is appropriate to the context of the interaction.

Patient Care

Patient care includes patient-specific and setting-specific assessment, evaluation and management. Physician assistants must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable. Upon graduation from the PA program, students are expected to:

PC 1: Demonstrate the ability to provide patient-centered care characterized by compassionate and respectful relationships with patients and their families.

PC 2: Demonstrate the ability to make decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence and informed clinical judgment.

PC 3: Perform medical and surgical procedures appropriate to a PA entering the profession.

PC 4: Demonstrate the ability to provide health care services and education to prevent disease and promote health in patients across the lifespan.


Physician assistants must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Physician assistants must be reflective practitioners who place their patients’ needs above their own. Upon graduation from the PA program, students are expected to:

PR 1: Demonstrate professional relationships characterized by respect, compassion, accountability, and integrity with patients, families, supervisors, and other members of the health care providers.

PR 2: Describe the role of the PA including professional, ethical, legal, and regulatory standards regarding the PA profession.

PR 3: Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender and abilities.

PR 4: Demonstrate initiative, flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety.

PR 5: Demonstrate commitment to the education of all other learners.

Practice-Based Learning & Improvement 

Physician assistants must engage in critical analysis of their own practice experience, the medical literature, and other information resources for the purposes of self-improvement and enhancement of the practice. Physician assistants must be able to assess, evaluate, and improve their patient care practices. Upon graduation from the PA program, students are expected to:

PLI 1: Analyze practice experience and contribute to practice-based improvement activities

PLI 2: Access, select, appraise, critically evaluate, and apply scientific studies to patient cases.

PLI 3: Demonstrate self-reflection to recognize and appropriately address personal biases, gaps in medical knowledge, and limitations in themselves and others. 

Systems-based Practice

Physician assistants must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that balances quality and cost, while maintaining the primacy of the individual patient. PAs should work to improve the health care system of which their practices are a part. Upon graduation from the PA program, students are expected to:

SBP 1: Discuss the components of healthcare delivery systems and the roles and relationships of various members of healthcare teams.

SBP 2: Be able to describe examples of cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of patient care.

SBP 3: Apply the concepts of population health to patient care. 

III. Physician Assistant Functions and Task Proficiencies

Professional Proficiencies of the PA

  1. Obtain and maintain certification by the NCCPA.
  2. Practice within the professional and legal boundaries of the role of the physician assistant, as interdependent with the supervising physician and in the context of team-delivered care.
  3. Participate in continuing medical education (CME).
  4. Be an active member in professional organizations.
  5. Participate in community service.
  6. Engage in scholarly work, which may include presentations, research and teaching.
  7. Maintain a current knowledge of the medical literature and apply principles of evidence-based medicine in clinical practice.
  8. Represent and advocate for the role of physician assistants in the health professions and public realm.

Patient Evaluation, History Taking and Physical Examination

  1. Conduct a thorough patient history.
  2. Conduct a patient history by problems
  3. Conduct patient history by systems.
  4. Identify patient needs and triage patients in an emergency department setting.
  5. Conduct a thorough screening exam.
  6. Assess developmental milestones for well child check.
  7. Conduct specialized histories and including sexual, substance abuse and domestic violence.
  8. Conduct patient histories from additional sources for uncooperative or compromised patients.
  9. Perform a mental status exam.
  10. Perform physical examinations to gather data with respect to
    1. Vital signs
    2. Skin
    3. HEENT/Thyroid
    4. Pulmonary system
    5. Cardiovascular system
    6. Abdomen
    7. Female reproductive system
      1. Pelvic
      2. Breast
    8. Male reproductive system
      1. Rectal/prostate
      2. Testicles
    9. Musculoskeletal system
      1. General
      2. Specific anatomical regions
    10. Neurological/Cognitive
    11. Lymphatic system
    12. Obstetrical patient
  11. Perform physical examinations specific to the following patient populations:
    1. Pediatric patients
      1. Newborns
      2. Infants
      3. Children
      4. Adolescents
    2. Geriatric patients
    3. Trauma patients (with life-threatening injuries)
    4. Patients with psychiatric or behavioral health issues

Medical Problem Solving

  1. Interpret, synthesize and prioritize data from the history and physical examination.
  2. Develop a problem list from patient history and available data.
  3. Communicate findings from patient data in concise statements.
  4. Utilize data from the history and physical examination, including biological, psychological and social etiologies, to accurately formulate a differential diagnosis.
  5. Apply understanding of biological and pathophysiological mechanisms to interpret patient data.
  6. Generate a working diagnosis.
  7. Acquire and critically evaluate information accessed from databases, medical journals and other reliable sources of current medical information.


  1. Apply knowledge of sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive value to determine appropriate diagnostic tests.
  2. Interpret the results of diagnostic tests and procedures.
  3. Prioritize diagnostic procedures with consideration of cost-effectiveness and risk/benefit ratio.
  4. Perform diagnostic procedures.
  5. Perform and interpret diagnostic tests.
    1. glucose finger stick test
    2. urine dip-stick test
    3. guaiac test
  6. Interpret basic rhythm strip and 12-lead EKG.
  7. Interpret diagnostic radiologic results including
    1. X-ray (long bone, skull, abdominal)
    2. CT
    3. Ultrasound

Patient Assessment

  1. Assess patient in terms of:
    1. appropriate level of care,
    2. length of hospital stay if admitted, and
    3. prognosis.
  2. Develop outpatient treatment plans.
  3. Develop discharge plans.

Patient Management

  1. Develop an appropriate management plan incorporating medical assessment, the patient’s expectations and any psychosocial or cultural barriers.
  2. Write admission orders.
  3. Identify and communicate basic nutritional needs of patients, both in health and illness.
  4. Prioritize treatment options with consideration of cost-effectiveness and risk/benefit ratio.
  5. Practice universal precautions.
  6. Practice aseptic technique.
  7. Manage cardiac arrest with ACLS protocol.
  8. Perform therapeutic procedures.
  9. Assess drugs, dosage, and side effects for a specific patient.


  • Perform Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures:
    1. Perform Pap smear.
    2. Collect cervical culture.
    3. Collect laboratory specimens for wounds.
    4. Collect laboratory specimen for throat.
    5. Perform phlebotomy.
    6. Insert intravenous lines.
    7. Perform lumbar puncture.
    8. Place central venous catheter.
    9. Place arterial line.
    10. Perform thoracentesis.
    11. Perform paracentesis.
    12. Place sutures.
    13. Perform excision of skin lesion.
    14. Perform urethral catheterization.
    15. Insert nasogastric tube or oral pharyngeal tube.
    16. Apply casts, splints, and stabilization devices.
    17. Incise, drain, pack and dress an abscess.
    18. Debride wounds and perform dressing changes.
    19. Infiltrate local anesthesia.
    20. Administer parenteral medications or therapeutic injections.

Communication with Healthcare Professionals

  1. Compose organized and concise written or electronic reports including important patient information, status of identified problems, new findings and current state of patient management.
  2. Give organized, professional presentations using effective verbal and nonverbal communication.
  3. Identify need for and carry out consultations with other health professionals.
  4. Understand, assess and appropriately address patients’ expectations about their condition and care.
  5. Communicate respectfully with other members of the healthcare team to provide optimal care for patients; recognize and appreciate the roles of practitioners of various professions.

Communication with Patients and Families

  1. Communicate effectively with patients and their families about the patient’s condition and elicit their understanding for clarification.
  2. Explain a procedure to a patient.
  3. Listen to and address the questions and concerns of patients and their families.
  4. Obtain proper informed consent from a patient or family member prior to diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.
  5. Communicate with the patient and the family about treatment options, advantages versus disadvantages, risks versus benefits and cost.
  6. Educate patients and their families about the importance of self-care in the healing and recovery process.
  7. Incorporate an understanding of how social determinants of health impact health outcomes into their patient interactions.
  8. Help patients develop health literacy; recognize how health literacy impacts patients’ motivation and compliance with treatment plans.
  9. Develop strategies for effectively communicating with patients who have communication problems.

Legal, Ethical and Compassionate Care

  1. Treat patients with empathy and compassion, recognizing their values and goals.
  2. Respect patients’ rights and privacy, applying principles of patient autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence.
  3. Recognize patients’ rights to refuse treatment and to execute advanced directives.
  4. Be aware of and abide by legal reporting requirements related to medical practice.
  5. Strive to become aware of personal perceptions and biases that may influence treatment of patients.
  6. Recognize and develop strategies to solve problems that involve conflicts of values that arise in clinical practice.
  7. Be aware and sensitive toward religious practices or values that impact patients’ approach to their medical care.
  8. Show sensitivity and provide support in situations that involve death and dying.
  9. Develop strategies to work effectively with uncooperative patients.
  10. Be aware of alternative healing approaches and the meanings of those approaches to patients.

Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Patient Education

  1. Teach self-examination techniques to patients for cancer screening (e.g., breast, testicles and skin).
  2. Identify health risks for particular patients, families and communities.
  3. Identify persons at risk for genetic conditions and refer them to appropriate professionals when appropriate.
  4. Apply disease prevention screening protocols appropriate to age, sex and patient risk  factors.
  5. Evaluate immunization records based on the current practice guidelines.
  6. Counsel patients on family planning/contraception.
  7. Provide health education for communicable disease (e.g. STIs, HBV, HCV, HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, and GC).
  8. Provide counseling on modification of lifestyle behaviors that will positively impact health outcomes as they relate to each of the following:
    1. safer sex
    2. use of tobacco products
    3. substance abuse/miss use
    4. suicide/homicide prevention
    5. weight management
    6. exercise
    7. stress management
    8. dietary counseling

IV. American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession

In addition to the information provided in this handbook, the Stephens College Physician Assistant Program will abide by the full Code of Ethics found at the following website:

V. Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education 4th Edition

Stephens College is pursuing provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The standards provide a guideline for accredited physician assistant programs and will be used to assess compliance with standards of quality for Physician Assistant education. The standards are posted online at:

The requirements of this Student Handbook are consistent with these standards.

VI. Program Curriculum

ARC-PA Standard: A3.17, A3.14d


The Stephens College PA program includes a 27-month curriculum with both a didactic and clinical phase.  The primary goal of the didactic curriculum is to provide the knowledge and skills needed to participate effectively in clinical rotations and gain foundational knowledge for the PA profession. The primary goals of the clinical rotations are to assure that students are prepared for licensure and effective practice as a PA.

Didactic Phase

Year 1:

Fall (18 weeks)

PAS 515 Human Anatomy & Radiology (6 credit hours)
PAS 516 Medical Physiology (3 credit hours)
PAS 517 Molecular Foundations of Biomedicine (3 credit hours)
PAS 511 Clinical Skills 1 (4 credit hours)
PAS 512 Clinical Medicine 1 (5 credit hours)
PAS 513 Medical Pharmacology 1 (2 credit hours)
PAS 514 Case Based Medicine Seminar 1 (1 credit hour)

Total: 24 credit hours

Spring (18 weeks)

PAS 522 Clinical Medicine 2 (9 credit hours)
PAS 523 Medical Pharmacology 2 (2 credit hours)
PAS 521 Clinical Skills 2 (4 credit hours)
PAS 525 Professional Practice 1 (2 credit hours)
PAS 526 Evidence Based Medicine & Research 1 (2 credit hours)
PAS 524 Case Based Medicine Seminar 2 (1 credit hour)

Total: 20 credit hours

Summer (15 weeks)

PAS 532 Clinical Medicine 3 (9 credit hours)
PAS 533 Medical Pharmacology 3 (2 credit hours)
PAS 531 Clinical Skills 3 (4 credit hours)
PAS 535 Professional Practice 2 (2 credit hours)
PAS 536 Evidence Based Medicine & Research 2 (2 credit hours)
PAS 534 Case Based Medicine Seminar 3 (1 credit hour)

Total: 20 credit hours

Total Didactic Phase Credit Hours: 64

Clinical Phase

Fall, Spring, and Summer of Year 2, Fall of Year 3:

Students will take the following course as a cohort prior to beginning their clinical rotations:

PAS 611 Introduction to the Clinical Phase (4 weeks, 4 credit hours)

The following clinical rotations will be scheduled as available during the fall, spring, summer, and fall sessions:

PAS 612 Family Medicine 1 (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 613 Internal Medicine (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 614 Women's Health (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 615 Pediatrics (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 616 Emergency Medicine (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 617 General Surgery (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 618 Psychiatry/Behavioral Medicine (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)
PAS 680 Elective (6 weeks, 6 credit hours)

The following course will take place during the clinical phase between clinical rotations:

PAS 620 PA Leadership Rotation (4 weeks, 4 credit hours)

The following course will take place at the end of the PA program:

PAS 670 Capstone (3 weeks, 2 credit hours)

Total Credit Hours for the Clinical Phase: 58 credit hours

Total Program Credit Hours: 122

VII. Identification as a Physician Assistant Student

ARC-PA Standard: B3.01

Students will receive both Program-issued white coats and name tags with their names and “Physician Assistant Student” to distinguish them from physicians or other health professional students or graduates. Students are required to wear the white coat and name tag any time they are in contact with patients or in a medical facility for training purposes, unless conditions prohibit this practice. If students are unable to wear the white coat or name tag, for example, wearing scrubs in a surgical setting, they must verbally identify themselves as physician assistant students.

VIII. Admissions Policies

ARC-PA Standards: A3.15a, A3.15b, A3.16

Admission to the Physician Assistant program at Stephens College is competitive. Please consult with the Physician Assistant Admissions Specialist, Marta Hobbs, for any questions regarding the application or admissions processes.

Stephens College does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, national/ethnic origin, marital or veteran status, or disability in administration of its educational policies, graduate admissions policies, scholarships and loans, and other College-administered programs. Applicants must complete their application to the Stephens PA program through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The Stephens College PA program does not give preferential consideration to any student candidate or group. Although Stephens College graduates who meet the entrance criteria are offered an admissions interview, these individuals are not given preferential treatment in the final admission decisions and are held to the same standards as all other applicants. Stephens College is committed to meeting its obligations of nondiscrimination under Federal and State laws as they are currently written or as they may be amended from time to time.

Inquiries concerning compliance with applicable law may be directed to Stephens College, Vice President for Academic Affairs, 1200 East Broadway, Campus Box 2005, Columbia, Missouri 65215.

A. Entrance Requirements

ARC-PA Standards A3.15b, A3.15d, A3.16

  1. Completed Application and Fee through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).
  2. Conferred Bachelor’s Degree. A graduate of an international college/university is required to successfully complete at least nine (9) semester hours of social-behavioral science courses (e.g., psychology, sociology) and twelve (12) semester hours of upper-division science courses at an accredited, four-year U.S. college or university. International medical graduates with 500 hours of healthcare experience outside of the U.S. must also acquire at least 250 hours of patient care experience in the U.S. by the time of application. 
  3. Statement of Purpose: Describe in no more than one page, typed and double-spaced, why you want to pursue this program and your career goals.
  4. Three Professional Letters of Recommendation.

  5. Resume.
  6. Grade Point Average (GPA): Overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  7. Direct Patient Care Experience: All applicants need to have acquired a minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care experience by the time the CASPA application is submitted. This experience varies and can be acquired on a full- or part-time basis. Direct patient care experience requiring certification and providing monetary compensation is most competitive (e.g., CAN, EMT, Patient Care Technician, etc.). Stephens requires that of the 500 hours, a minimum of 50 hours must be shadowing experience, 20 of which must be shadowing a Physician Assistant. Only 100 student clinical hours (obtained while fulfilling the required components of an educational program or course) will count towards the 500 hours of healthcare experience needed. Volunteer hours are not competitive healthcare experience, and Stephens typically will not count more than 250 of these hours towards the 500 minimum.
  8. TOEFL iBT: If English is not the applicant’s first language, he or she must also submit TOEFL results (paper-based score of 550, computer-based score of 213, or Internet-based score of 79 required) or ESL Certificate of Completion.
  9. GRE (Graduate Record Exam): A GRE is required. The GRE school code for Stephens College is 1576. Stephens College will accept an MCAT score, as well. 
  10. Successful Completion of the following prerequisite courses or equivalents.
    • Medical Terminology - 2 credit hours
    • Psychology - 3 credit hours
    • Statistics - 3 credit hours
    • College Chemistry I and II - 6 credit hours
    • Organic Chemistry - 3 credit hours
    • Microbiology - 3 credit hours
    • Human Anatomy - 3 credit hours
    • Human Physiology - 3 credit hours
    • Cell Biology (will accept Molecular biology) - 3 credit hours
    • Genetics - 3 credit hours

Note that:

  • All science prerequisite courses must be those for science majors; if offered; accompanying laboratories are highly recommended and a minimum of two labs are required for the listed courses.
  • Only grades of C or higher are acceptable for science prerequisite courses. Grades of C- or below are not acceptable.
  • Prerequisites course work should be completed within seven (7) years of application.

B. Technical Requirements for Admission

ARC-PA Standard A3.15e

To practice as a Physician Assistant, the following technical abilities are considered essential and are required for entrance into the Stephens PA program:

  • Sufficient sensory abilities to accurately observe a patient and gather necessary data including physical attributes and nonverbal communication.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with patients of various social and cultural backgrounds and interact professionally with other health care providers. Communication includes speech, reading, writing and nonverbal communication.
  • Sufficient motor control, stamina and hand-eye coordination to effectively use standard medical or surgical instruments and respond quickly to needs of the clinical environment; and physical and sensory abilities to effectively examine patients, including procedures such as palpation, auscultation and percussion.
  • Cognitive ability to learn and assimilate large volumes of complex information, integrate information from various domains and disciplines, perform tests and interpret results, analyze clinical scenarios and make appropriate decisions and formulate diagnoses and treatment plans.
  • Emotional and behavioral health required to apply cognitive abilities, exercise appropriate judgment, fulfill responsibilities as a Physician Assistant student, establish appropriate, ethical, and caring interactions with patients, work effectively in a team, manage stress, and work effectively in situations that are uncertain or ambiguous.

C. Criminal Background Check

ARC-PA Standard: A3.10

A criminal background check is required to ensure patient safety and provide a safe educational environment. Admitted students will be required to work with, the outside agency responsible for completing criminal background checks for the Physician Assistant program.

Results of criminal background checks may result in removal from consideration for applicants or dismissal of enrolled students if the documented offense warrants this action.

D. Drug Screening

Required drug screening prior to matriculation as well as periodic urine drug screens may be required for all students in the Physician Assistant Program.Admitted students will be required to work with, the outside agency responsible for completing the urine drug screening for the Physician Assistant program.

Students should be aware that the potential to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) might be impacted by a criminal record and/or illegal drug use. Additionally, many state regulatory and governing organizations will not grant a license, registration or other similar professional practice document if there is a positive drug screen or a criminal background check that documents a criminal record. Completion of the Physician Assistant Program at Stephens does not guarantee that a student will meet the licensing requirements of any particular state or agency. 

E. Falsification of Records 

Falsification of College records or of records provided to the College is grounds for disciplinary action. Failure to declare college credit attempted or earned elsewhere is considered falsification of records. Incidents will be reported to the Graduate Council, which will follow the procedures outlined for academic dishonesty.

F. Period of Deferral

Offers of admission to the program are valid for the cohort for which the student is accepted. Admission is not guaranteed beyond the original term that is offered. A student who is unable to start in the cohort for which they are accepted will need to notify the Program Director and request deferral.

IX. Financial Aid

ARC-PA Standard: A1.05

Degree-seeking students are eligible for Federal Financial Aid. Students may apply for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Student Loans, Graduate Federal PLUS Loans and Alternative Loans. To receive aid, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an accepted and enrolled degree-seeking graduate student at Stephens College 

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen 

  • Have a valid Social Security Number 

  • Make satisfactory academic progress 

  • Certify that federal student aid will be used only for educational purposes 

  • Certify that they are not in default on a federal student loan.

    Students can apply by filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) after October 1 each year. Students can file electronically at Be sure to insert the school code: 002512. Many students who are employed have fringe benefit packages that include money for education or training. Students who are employed should check with supervisors or the Human Resources staff at their company for possible benefits. Employer reimbursement is solely between the student and employer. The student is responsible for making regular monthly payments on account balances with Stephens College, and any remaining balance must be paid in full prior to each term.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Criteria for Title IV Financial Assistance (MPA)

 Students receiving any financial aid must fulfill certain criteria to determine that they are in good standing and maintaining satisfactory progress in their course of study. For financial assistance purposes, graduate students must maintain satisfactory academic progress defined as successful completion of at least 66.7% of their attempted courses* with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Students must complete their degree requirements within 150% of the published time-frame for their degree program. At the end of each semester, a determination of continued eligibility for financial assistance is made.  Transfer credit hours count in the total attempted/completed credit hour calculation. Incompletes and repetitions will be calculated as attempted hours in the semester in which they are graded and awarded.  

SAP example:

  • Earn a cumulative 2.0 GPA in 66.7 percent of all credit hours of graded coursework attempted*
  • Transfer credit hours count in the total attempted/completed credit hour calculation
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative Stephens grade point average of:
  • 3.0 at the end of each semester

Example 1:  a first semester graduate student is taking 15 hours of graded coursework as of the first day of classes, she must earn a cumulative GPA average of 2.0 in of those classes at semester end.  If she only earns 9 passing hours she has a 60% completion rate so she will not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (66.7% required).

Example 2: a second semester graduate student is taking 12 hours of graded coursework as of the first day of classes in her second semester as a graduate student.  Her first semester GPA was 2.0 and she had successfully completed 12 hours.  Second semester she is enrolled in, and completes, 12 more hours, but her 2nd semester GPA is 1.25.  Combining the two semesters she has now earned 24 hours, but her cumulative GPA is 1.625, so she will not be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.

A student can fail making satisfactory academic progress in both percentage completion and cumulative GAP, or only one of the two.

Any student who fails to meet the established criteria will be placed on financial warning for one semester. Continued failure to meet the established criteria will result in financial assistance suspension and loss of all eligibility for financial assistance. In the case of a student who made satisfactory progress after the semester on financial aid warning, but in a later semester fails to meet the established criteria again, that student may receive one more semester on warning but will have her financial assistance suspended if any future semesters are below the established criteria. Students may not have two warning semesters in a row, and students will not receive more than two warning semester’s total, except in the case of a special circumstance, which will be determined on a case by case basis.

In the event of loss of eligibility of financial assistance due to extenuating circumstances, the student may appeal to The Director of Financial Aid for reinstatement of financial assistance eligibility. The student must complete the Financial Assistance Appeal Statement, which is available from the Financial Aid Office, at least 14 days before the start of the next semester in which they are enrolled. Examples of extenuating circumstances, which must be documented by the student and which would be considered by the Director of Financial Aid include, but are not limited to; the death of a relative of the student or an injury or illness of the student. 

Where there are no extenuating circumstances, the student may petition for reinstatement of financial assistance eligibility when she subsequently obtains academic standing consistent with the established criteria as stated in the first paragraph of this section.

Successful course completion requirements for financial assistance eligibility will be pro-rated for transfer, three-quarter and half-time students. GPA requirements are the same for part-time students as for full-time students.

*Attempted courses are defined as the total number of hours in which you are enrolled as of the first day of classes. 

Veterans Administration Benefits 

It is the responsibility of the student receiving Veterans Administration benefits to register with the Veterans Administration regarding eligibility for benefits. If the student is eligible for Veterans Administration education benefits, contact the Stephens College, School Certifying Official (SCO), located in the Registrar Office, 248 Lela Rainey Wood Hall. The student receiving the benefit must provide the SCO with a copy of the certificate of eligibility in order for certification to occur. Stephens College is proud to be a Yellow Ribbon School.

X. Estimated Expenses of Attending Program

ARC-PA Standard A3.14f

A. Tuition and Fees

Tuition: $76,000
Installments for Financial Aid: August of Didactic Year: 30,000

  • August of First Clinical Year: $30,000
  • August of Final Semester: $16,000

Technology Fee: $225/term
Parking Fee: $78/year (optional)
Professional Liability Insurance Fee: $185/year
Criminal Background Check /Drug Screening Fee: $200/year

Tuition and fees are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the Stephens College Board of Trustees. The College reserves the right to adjust charges subsequent to the publication of the catalog.

B. Textbooks

The approximate price for all required textbooks is $1800

A complete list of required and recommended textbooks is provided for enrolled students.

C. Medical Equipment

Students must obtain their own medical equipment, which will be used throughout the Physician Assistant program, including the didactic year. Prices included here are only estimates and may vary with the quality of products and/or discounts available through group purchases.

Equipment and Approximate Price

Diagnostic stethoscope: $125.00
Reflex hammer: $7.00
Tuning forks (128 & 512 HZ): $40.00
Oto-ophthalmoscope set: $650.00+
Sphygmomanometer: $75.00
Pen lite: $5.00
Near vision screening card: $5.00
Tape measure: $6.00
ECG calipers: $12.00
Insufflator bulb: $7.00
One or more pair of scrubs: $25.00


Medical bag: $65.00

D. Professional Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry professional liability insurance with minimum coverage of $1,000,000/$3,000,000 throughout the program. The insurance will be at the student’s expense and is available through the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Applications for this insurance will be available during the first week of the program. Any lapse in coverage may result in the student’s dismissal from the program.

Estimated expense: $185/year

E. MOAPA Membership

Students are expected to become members of the Missouri Association of Physician Assistants.

Estimated expense: $20/2 years

F. Computer

While computer facilities are available on campus, it is expected that students will have a laptop computer or tablet to access electronic curricular materials. A list of computer specifications is provided for enrolled students and may be located on the Physician Assistant website.

Estimated expense: $1500

G. Immunizations and TB Test

Immunizations and TB tests are required for current and incoming Physician Assistant students as described in section XI of this Student Handbook.

Estimated expense: $1,000

H. Health Insurance

All Physician Assistant students are required to carry health insurance as described in section XII of this Student Handbook.

XI. Immunizations and TB Test

ARC-PA Standard: A3.07

As part of the matriculation process into the PA Program, all students are required to meet health and immunization requirements recommended by the Program, clinical placement sites, and/or Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) for Health Care Personnel found at:

The Director of Health Services will review the Health and Immunization Form to ensure that each student meets the Program and College health requirements. A copy of the students’ immunization record, including the tuberculosis screening results, required for supervised clinical experiences, will be provided to the Program for the student file. Students will sign a release form to allow the Program to release this information to clinical sites. All other student health records are confidential and will not be accessible to Program faculty or staff.

Specific requirements:

  • Tetanus and Diphtheria Vaccine (Td or DPT): Must have a completed series with a booster of Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (TdaP) within the last 10 years.
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine: Must receive three doses or provide titer report indicating positive immunity.
  • Two MMR Vaccines (Measles, Mumps, Rubella):
    - Administered after your first birthday AND after 1957,
    - or two measles vaccines, one rubella, and one mumps vaccine
    - All must have been administered after your first birthday and after 1957,
    - or titer report indicating MMR immunity is acceptable in place of vaccine documentation.
  • Meningococcal vaccines: One vaccine is required on or after the 16th birthday.
  • Two varicella vaccines or positive blood test showing immunity. Tests indicating no immunity will require a two stage booster vaccination or diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella or herpes zoster by a healthcare provider.
  • Influenza. Students will be required to obtain influenza immunization annually while enrolled in the program.
  • Tuberculosis screening:
    - Must have risk assessment screening via the two step Tuberculin skin process as outlined by the CDC. Alternatively, if the student has ever received the BCG vaccine they will need to obtain a Quantiferon Gold test.
    - Chest x-ray required if test results are positive.


Refer to the CDC Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines in Adults.

XII. Health Insurance Policy

All students are required to have personal health insurance. Both health and hospitalization coverage are required and must be maintained throughout the program.

The College encourages you to carefully review your options in order to find the best plan for your needs. Students must submit the completed Health Information Form to the Director of Health Services. Students enrolled in the PA Program must provide documentation that the immunizations listed in section XI and/or proof of immunity have been obtained. Students are responsible for any expenses related to required immunizations or testing.

XIII. Payment Policy

Students are responsible for payment of all charges. Full payment for tuition, fees, and all other charges are due one week prior to the beginning of each term (fall, spring and summer), unless the student is enrolled in Tuition Management Systems, as outlined below. For registration and enrollment changes after the tuition due date, payment is due immediately. Payments may be made by check or credit card. The college accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express. 

A. Tuition Payment Options 

The College uses Tuition Management Systems (TMS), which offers an interest-free monthly payment plan to pay for tuition. Contact TMS at 800-635-0120 or visit their website at TMS charges a $52 per term processing fee to participate in the program. If selecting the TMS option, the student must be signed up prior to attending class.

B. Failure to Pay 

If a student does not pay his or her bill or make payment arrangements, he or she will not be allowed to attend class. In addition, the College will not release grade reports, transcripts, degrees, or diplomas for any student whose account is not current. Students with past-due tuition accounts are subject to immediate financial suspension unless clearance is obtained from the Office of Accounting.

In the case of the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) 10-month installment payment plan, no monthly finance charge will be added as long as required payments are made as scheduled. A monthly finance charge of one percent (12 percent annual percentage rate) will be charged to delinquent non-EFT accounts.

A hold is placed on the transcripts of students with past due accounts and is removed only when the obligation is paid in full. Stephens College will not release the transcript or degree of anyone subject to such a hold.

C. Withdrawal from the College: Fees

ARC-PA Standard A3.14g, 3.17e

Except for a $100 administrative fee, Stephens will refund all of the student’s comprehensive fees if he or she cancels his or her enrollment before the first day of the term. In the event that a student completely withdraws after the first day of classes but prior to 60% of the completion of the term, a proration of comprehensive fees is calculated based on the number of class days attended compared to the total number of class days in the term. Comprehensive fees are credited and financial aid is charged back in accordance with Federal regulations.

Official notification of withdrawal must be given in writing to the Program Director in all cases of voluntary withdrawal. If no official notice is provided to the College, the student will be considered to be enrolled for the purposes of this policy; additionally, the student’s Stephens College academic transcript will not be released until the Withdrawal Form has been completed. After the 60% point in the term, a student will be charged 100% of the comprehensive fees and will be deemed to have earned 100% of their financial aid.

D. Returned Checks

Writing a check without sufficient funds is a violation of state law, and the violator is subject to prosecution. A check returned to the College due to insufficient funds will result in a $25 charge and the amount of the check added to the outstanding balance.

XIV. Transcripts

A transcript is an official copy of the student's permanent academic record delivered either electronically as a secured, blue-ribbon .pdf transcript, or as a paper transcript bearing the College seal and the signature of the registrar. Official transcripts are available to students through the Office of the Registrar upon receipt of an electronic order through an online ordering company. The fee charged for an official transcript is $10, paid during the online ordering process. Transcripts, official and unofficial, will not be released to those students with an unpaid balance at Stephens College. 

If a student requests an official paper copy of a transcript for personal use, the words "Issued to Student" will appear on it. A currently enrolled student may obtain an information copy (unofficial) of their academic transcript through the MyStephens website while enrolled in classes at Stephens College.

XV. Academic Honesty and Integrity

Stephens College is a community of scholars committed to truth. The validity of a Stephens College degree depends upon the integrity of the work that it represents. Academic dishonesty violates the ethical standards of our community and stunts students’ intellectual, professional, and personal development. Stephens has therefore adopted an academic dishonesty policy that imposes penalties for students who commit acts of academic dishonesty.

A. Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Committing plagiarism. Plagiarism means presenting another person’s work as one’s own. The work in question could be research data, a text of any kind, a performance, design, work of visual art, photograph, film, video, or any other type of intellectual property, whether copyrighted or not. This includes buying another person’s work from any source and presenting it as one’s own. 

  • Cheating. Cheating means engaging in any dishonest behavior on examinations, tests, quizzes, assignments, or any other academic activity. This includes use or attempted use of unauthorized assistance, collaboration (unless expressly permitted by the instructor), and unauthorized possession of examinations or other academic materials belonging to a member of the college faculty or staff. 

  • Engaging in activities that disadvantage another student, including destruction, defacement, alteration or unauthorized removal of resource materials, or sabotaging another student’s work. 

  • Turning in substantially the same work for more than one course (unless expressly permitted by the instructors). 

  • Misrepresenting oneself or one’s circumstances in order to obtain an advantage in academic activities. 

  • Using copyrighted material without obtaining the appropriate rights or permissions. The material in question could be a computer program, a text of any kind, a performance, musical composition, design, and work of visual art, photograph, film, video, choreography, or any other type of copyrighted material. 

  • Fabricating or falsifying any data, information, or citation in an academic activity. 

  • Aiding another student in any act of academic dishonesty. 

B. Procedures Addressing Academic Dishonesty

ARC-PA Standards A3.17d,e

The procedures to be followed in cases of academic dishonesty are outlined below.

  1. An instructor suspecting academic dishonesty will first make a concerted effort to confer with the student.
  2. If, after conferring with the student the instructor is convinced the student is not guilty of academic dishonesty, the matter will be dropped.
  3. If, after conferring with the student, the instructor is convinced through their preliminary finding, that the student may be guilty of academic dishonesty, the instructor will notify the Program Director. The Program Director will convene a meeting of the program faculty.  The matter wil be discussed at a faculty meeting and, if after a majority of the faculty believe the student may be guilty of academic dishonesty, the Program Director will notify the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) in writing with an accompanying report of the incident. The VPAA will forward the report to the Graduate Council. Academic dishonesty is not tolerated in the Physician Assistant program and the consequence for any offense is dismissal from the program. 
  4. Having received a request for a hearing from the office of the VPAA, the chair of the Graduate Council will, in a timely manner, convene the council for the hearing. The Council chair will notify the student and the instructor of the time and place of the hearing at least three (3) days prior. The student and the instructor have the right to appear in person in front of the council at the hearing. If he or she considers it advisable, the Council chair may invite other individuals to take part in the hearing. The hearing will provide a fair opportunity for both the student and the instructor to present fully the specific details of the case. Upon conclusion of the hearing, the Graduate Council will rule by vote in closed session. The Council will notify the student, the Program Director, and instructor of its decision in writing. The Graduate Council may decide:
    • To confirm the instructor’s finding and impose the penalty specified by program policy, which is dismissal of the student; or
    • To reverse the instructor’s finding, impose no penalty and direct the instructor to impose no penalty.
  5. If the student chooses to appeal any finding of the guilty decision that the student is guilty of academic dishonesty, he/she may request a hearing before the Graduate Council by delivering a written request and all supporting evidence to the office of the VPAA within ten (10) calendar days of notification of the instructor’s decision. Pending the outcome of the hearing the student should continue to attend class.
  6. In cases of academic dishonesty that affect a degree already conferred, the Graduate Council will make a recommendation to the President of the College regarding revocation of the degree. 

  7. All decisions of the Graduate Council are final.

XVI. Academic Standing

A. Enrollment Status

As members of a cohort, students are expected to enroll in all Physician Assistant courses to maintain active student status. If necessary, students may arrange to take an official leave of absence.

B. Access to Student Records

The Office of the Registrar maintains an official record of academic information for all students both in the college student information system as well as a paper file. Students have the right to view their academic record with proper identification. All prior college transcripts, application for admissions and official letter of acceptance as well as any correspondence are retained in the academic record.

Other records open to students include those maintained by the Office of Financial Aid and by the academic adviser. Students may not review financial information submitted by parents or confidential letters associated with admission, employment or job placement, nor may they see any material for which they waived the right to review. Any student who believes that inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate information may be in one of his or her record files may request a hearing with the Dean of Health Sciences.

Information about a student, other than information designated as directory information by Stephens, will not be released without the student's written consent, except as otherwise authorized by the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”). The following directory information may be released about a student: Name, e-mail address, home address, classification, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees earned and honors received. A student who wishes to prevent the release of directory information must make the request in writing to the Program Director, by September 15 each year. The Program Director will notify the Registrar’s Office of any request.

Non-directory information will only be released without prior written consent to college personnel who have a legitimate educational interest in the student; identified representatives of certain local, state and national governmental agencies; or as otherwise authorized under FERPA. An unofficial transcript will be released to Stephens College personnel and for those parties outside the College after identification of required credentials. Efforts will be made to notify the student when information is requested to comply with a judicial order or any lawful subpoena. 

C. Advanced Placement Policy

ARC-PA Standard A3.15c, A3.19a

Advanced placement will not be granted by the Stephens College Physician Assistant program. As members of a cohort program, students must progress through the entire didactic and clinical phases of the program.

D. Leave of Absence

Students may request a leave of absence (LOA) for up to one calendar year. The request must be sent to the Program Director. All courses currently in progress must be completed or dropped prior to the start of the leave of absence and payments on outstanding account balances with Stephens College must be continued. Students may not enroll in or attend Physician Assistant courses while on a leave of absence. At the end of the leave of absence, students should meet with the Program Director and work with their academic advisor to enroll in classes.

E. Withdrawal Policies

ARC-PA Standard A3.17e

Withdrawal from Classes

As members of a cohort program, students may not withdraw from individual courses without permission from the course director. For extenuating circumstances only, alternative plans for completion of coursework may be developed.

Withdrawal from the Program

Students may withdraw from the Physician Assistant program by declaring this intention in writing to the Program Director and submitting the appropriate drop form for any courses in progress. At that time, the student is withdrawn from all academic work in progress. Failure of a student to begin or continue to attend classes does not constitute official notice of withdrawal. Students who have withdrawn may not re-gain active status and must re-apply for the program should they wish to pursue the Master of Physician Assistant Studies at Stephens College.

Administrative Withdrawal

Students may be administratively withdrawn from the program for the following reasons:

  • Lack of course registration to maintain active status
  • Lack of attendance 

  • Decision for dismissal
  • Failure to pay tuition and fees 

A student who has been withdrawn must reapply for admission with a new cohort. A student who has been withdrawn from the program because of financial difficulties with the College must pay their account in full prior to re-entry. A student whose tuition account is in arrears more than three months may lose the right to continue in the program. If the student is readmitted, the student may be required to meet degree requirements outlined in that current year’s catalog. If a student is withdrawn from the program because their tuition account was sent to a collection agency, full payment of the delinquent account is required before the student is considered for admission.

F. Graduation

ARC-PA Standard A3.17c

An application for graduation, along with appropriate signatures, must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the application deadline which occurs the beginning of the term prior to the one in which the applicant will graduate.  The Graduation Form listed on the Registrar’s website should be completed. A $100 fee is required for the graduation application. Commencement for the Physician Assistant Program is held in December.

G. Revocation of a Degree

A degree granted on the basis of fraudulent information knowingly furnished by the student or any other person pertaining to the student’s academic performance is subject to revocation on the basis of academic dishonesty. When such charges are made, the charge will be reviewed by the Graduate Council according to the guidelines outlined in the Professional Code of Conduct (Section XXVI).

H. Teach-out Policy

In accordance with our Institutional accreditation, the Higher Learning Commission requires Stephens College to notify the Commission when the institution must teach-out one or more students. This includes: (a) the U.S. Department of Education notifies the Commission of an emergency action, or a limitation, suspension or termination or similar action against the institution; (b) the Commission acts to withdraw, terminate or suspend the status of an institution; (c) the institution notifies the Commission that it intends to cease or suspend operations or permanently close a site where it offers at least 100% of either a Certificate or degree program before all students have completed their program of study; or (d) a state licensing or authorizing agency notifies the Commission that an institution’s license or legal authorization to provide an educational program in that state has been or will be revoked.

Definitions of Teach-Out Plans and Teach-Out Agreements

Stephens College will follow The Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) protocol and process in establishing, making arrangements for and differentiating Teach-Out Plans and or Teach-Out Arrangements.

Institutional Circumstances Requiring Commission Approved Teach-Out Arrangements (see attached pdf)

XVII. Attendance and Participation Policy 

Because professionalism, collaboration, and teamwork are integral to the PA profession, attendance and active participation in class are essential. Students must attend all scheduled sessions in the program. If the student does not submit assignments as directed, he or she may receive a failing grade at the end of the course. Students are expected to regularly participate as directed by the instructor. Instructors determine the participation and contribution policy for their classes. It is permissible to use participation and contribution as factors in determining a student's grade.

A. Student Absence

Students are responsible for communicating with their professors about class absences. When possible, such communication should occur prior to the beginning of class so arrangements can be made for students to complete the work; this is particularly important if students know they will be absent for multiple class sessions.

Class absences are deemed “excused” in the case of extenuating circumstances such as illness or death of a family member. Documentation such as a doctor’s note may be requested by the Program Director or faculty member to verify an excused absence. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for completion of make-up work with the professor.

If a student has a prolonged absence due to illness or emergency, it is his or her responsibility to notify the Program Director, who will notify instructors and other relevant offices on campus. Students who require special consideration for absences attributable to medical necessity should contact the Program Director; students who require consideration for absences attributable to a disability should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator in the Student Success Center (573-876-7240) as soon as the need for such absence is known to the student.

Unexcused absences are considered unprofessional conduct and will be addressed in accordance with policies described in the section of the handbook on Professionalism. Any additional consequences for unexcused absences included in the course syllabus will apply.

XVIII. Student Employment during the Physician Assistant Program

ARC-PA Standard A3.04, A3.14h, A3.05, A3.06

It is the expectation of the administration and faculty of the Physician Assistant program, that students will be fully dedicated to their education and training. Because of the time commitment required and the rigorous nature of the program, students should not expect to be employed during the program. If a student decides to work against this recommendation, the student must disclose their work arrangement to the Program Director. Work responsibilities will in no case be accepted as excuses for absence or failure to meet any program requirements. Failure to disclose employment will be considered a breach of the disclosure policy and a professional ethical violation.

Students are not permitted to substitute or function as instruction faculty members.  Furthermore, they are not permitted to substitute for clinical staff during the clinical phase.

XIX. Arrest or Criminal Offense

Students must report any arrest or criminal offense occurring on or off the College premises. An arrest or criminal offense must be reported to the Program Director within five (5) calendar days. Students convicted of a criminal offense may be dismissed from the Program. In addition, students who wish to pursue a physician assistant career should refer to the Board of Healing Arts website for licensure requirements in the State of Missouri,, along with the American Academy of Physician Assistant guidelines for the ethical conduct of physician assistants at:

XX. Drug Policy

ARC-PA Standard: A3.10

State and federal law prohibit the possession, use and sale of illegal drugs, including marijuana, and the illegal possession or dispensing of prescription drugs or drug apparatus. Additionally, impairment because of misuse of drugs or alcohol compromises patient safety and the learning environment, and therefore is a breach of the AAPA Physician Assistant Code of Ethics (p. 10). The policy of the Stephens College Physician Assistant Program is that use of illegal drugs or drugs for which the student does not have a valid and current prescription and/or intoxication by or being under the influence of alcohol during any Physician Assistant program session or event will not be tolerated.

Students obtaining positive drug tests at any time during the program will be dismissed from the program. Any student dismissed from the program as a result of positive drug screening will be notified in writing within five (5) working days of receipt of the results of the screen. The student may appeal the decision by following the grievance procedure (Section XXVIIA). Stephens College cooperates with state and federal authorities in their attempts to enforce existing laws regarding drugs. Students are expected to abide by this policy as well as identify and assist impaired colleagues.  If a student is aware that another student is using or is under the influence of illegal or unauthorized drugs or alcohol during a Physician Assistant program session or event, the student must report the concern to the program director as soon as possible. 

A. Drug Screening

Drug screening prior to matriculation as well as periodic urine drug screens are required for all students in the Physician Assistant Program. Students may also be required to submit to a drug test when Stephens suspects a student may be in violation of this drug policy.  To continue in the program, students must obtain drug screens that are negative for illegal and prescription drugs for which the student does not have a valid and current prescription. Refusal of a drug screening will result in dismissal from the Physician Assistant program.  Additionally, any deliberate action with the intent to falsify screening results will result in dismissal from the Physician Assistant program. 

Students will be required to pay the required fee for the drug screening.  Students will report to the program designated laboratory for drug screening within 24 hours of notification. Consent will be obtained at the time of the screening. The students also must take to the lab all prescriptions or medication bottles for medications they are taking that require prescriptions under the law. The laboratory performing the drug screen will perform an initial urine drug screen, and if the results are positive, a second, more sensitive and specific drug screen will automatically be done. 

XXI. Readmission to the Physician Assistant Program after a Positive Drug Screen or Criminal Conviction

A student who has been previously dismissed due to a positive drug screen or criminal conviction may submit a new application for admission to the program if he or she can present documented evidence of treatment that was successful in remedying the problem that prompted dismissal. A student who has been dismissed for drug, alcohol or criminal offenses is advised to refer to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts and American Academy of Physician Assistant for practice act rules and regulations. Graduation from the program does not ensure the ability to achieve recognition by state licensure (Physician Assistant) organizations to practice as a certified and licensed physician assistant.

XXII. Conflict of Interest Policy

This section applies the AAPA Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession:

Physician assistants should place service to patients before personal material gain and should avoid undue influence on their clinical judgment. Trust can be undermined by even the appearance of improper influence. Examples of excessive or undue influence on clinical judgment can take several forms. These may include financial incentives, pharmaceutical or other industry gifts and business arrangements involving referrals. Physician Assistants should disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest to their patients.

A. Accepting Financial Support

Before attending any industry-supported event or accepting any monetary support, students must notify the Program Director. Students wishing to attend an industry-supported event must submit a written request to the program prior to making travel arrangements and submitting registrations. Students should not accept monetary support from an industry representative beyond food and gifts with a total value of less than $100.

If a student is discovered to have accepted travel funding, lodging or inappropriate gifts and food/drink totaling $100 or more from industry without first obtaining approval from the Program Director, the student will be cited for unprofessional conduct. Consequences for breaches of professionalism will apply as discussed in the section on Policy for Professional Code of Conduct Violations (section XXVIC of this handbook).

XXIII. Exposure to Infectious Agents and Environmental Hazards

ARC-PA Standard A3.08

Students are required to observe universal precautions while interacting with patients. Should a student be exposed to potential pathogens via contact with blood, mucous membranes or other means, the program does not assume responsibility. Accidental exposure to infectious agents might be covered by students’ insurance policy.

If accidental exposure occurs, the student should immediately report it to the supervising faculty member or preceptor and to the Program Director. The student will be referred to an appropriate medical facility for treatment and/or testing.

The national hotline number for blood borne exposures is 888-448-4911.

Chemical Preservatives will be used in the anatomy lab, but precautions will be taken to keep exposure to fumes at or below acceptable levels. If a student is pregnant or becomes pregnant during the program, or is otherwise concerned about such exposure, she should notify the anatomy course director to discuss additional precautions.

If an infection is acquired through any means, including accidental exposure during the program, the student may be removed from program activities if the student poses a risk to patients. Any injury that prevents a student from meeting technical requirements might result in the removal of the student from program activities. Any injury, illness, testing or treatment resulting from exposure to environmental hazards will be treated as extenuating circumstances and program faculty and the Program Director will work with the student to develop alternative plans for completing program requirements to the extent possible.

XXIV. Academic Requirements

ARC-PA Standards A3.14d; A3.17a,b,c

A. Assignment of Grades

Students will complete and be assessed on each course in the curriculum as outlined in the Curriculum section of this handbook (section VI). Grades are assigned on the following basis:

Grades of A-B-C-Fail or Pass-Fail will be assigned at the end of the term for each course in the curriculum. Plusses and minuses will not be assigned. Each course director will decide upon grading criteria corresponding to final course grades of A, B, C, Pass or Fail, and will define requirements for course completion.

All course work must be completed and additional competency requirements might apply before a grade is assigned. A grade of “B” is considered satisfactory for the Physician Assistant program. A grade below a “C” in any course will result in remediation of the course or dismissal.

Unless arrangements are made with the course director and Program Director (see “Grade of Incomplete” in section G below), students must complete all course requirements by the dates given in the course syllabus. All requirements must be complete by the last day of the term.

B. Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPE)/ Clinical Rotations

ARC-PA Standard B3.05

Clinical rotations will be arranged by the Physician Assistant program and instructed primarily by practicing physicians or PAs. If a student has any questions or concerns regarding a clinical site or rotation, he or she should address concerns to the Clinical Coordinator. Students’ achievement of competency and grades for clinical rotations will be assessed by the Course Director utilizing the preceptor's performance evaluation, checklists and narrative evaluations.  Additionally, each clinical rotation will be assessed by an End of Rotation Exam. Students must receive a score of 'C' in order to achieve a grade of 'pass' on the EORE A minimum grade of Pass must be demonstrated in the SCPE as a whole AND on the End of Rotation Exam to pass the SCP.

C. Capstone Project

Each student will complete an independent research project. The student will select the topic, develop the research question(s), carry out the methods, draw conclusions and present his or her findings. Each student will work with a mentor who will be identified during the first term of the program. Opportunities to develop the capstone project will be incorporated into the Evidence Based Medicine and Research course. Students will present their projects during the Capstone course at the end of the clinical year. Successful presentation and a passing score on the project is required to graduate from the Physician Assistant program.


Students must complete the Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PACKRAT) prior to and near the end of the clinical phase of the program. The PACKRAT will not be assessed for a grade, but will provide the student with feedback on areas of weakness prior to taking the PANCE. Students with weaknesses as identified by the PACKRAT may be required to work with their advisors on study plans and demonstrate improvement in their areas of weakness. The goal of the PACKRAT assessment is to prepare each student for success on the PANCE and preparation for clinical practice.

E. Comprehensive Exam

Within the last four months of the program, students will take a summative and cumulative written exam. Students will also perform a head to toe physical exam.  The student must demonstrate competence on the physical exam and receive a minimum score of 75% on the written exam to graduate. Failure to meet these requirements may result in a remediation plan as agreed upon by the faculty and developed in consultation with the student.

F. Clinical Procedures Checklist

A checklist of procedures for which a student must be observed and documented as competent during the clinical rotations will be provided to students. Competency in each procedure must be demonstrated before the student graduates. The Clinical Coordinator will work to assure the student has adequate opportunities to demonstrate competence, and if needed, will assist in a plan for remediation of these competencies.

G. Grade of Incomplete

The physician assistant program will not issue a grade of incomplete.

XXV. Student Progress

A. Promotions

ARC-PA Standard A3.17

The Student Progress and Professionalism Committee will meet at the end of the didactic and clinical phases of training for each class or on an as-needed basis. The committee is composed of all Physician Assistant Program faculty members, the Program Director, the Medical Director, and other individuals selected by the Program Director. The committee makes a decision on the promotion of each student based upon grades and the comprehensive evaluation of each student as prepared to reflect the student’s ability to perform satisfactorily in the next phase of training or to graduate from the program. If the committee does not believe the student is prepared to assume patient care responsibilities, the student becomes subject to remediation or dismissal from the Program. Clinical year students must pass a comprehensive exam and all clinical skills exams to be eligible for graduation.

B. Remediation and Deceleration

ARC-PA Standard A3.17f

Exam Remediation

Students who receive a grade lower than 80% but above 70% on an exam will be required to review the exam with an instructor to identify areas of weakness in test taking skills, study approach and content knowledge.  Students who receive a grade lower than 70% or fail to demonstrate competence in any required skill or procedure will be required to remediate that exam, skill or procedure.  For exam remediation students will meet with the course director to review the exam and identify areas of weakness.  After a period of study agreed upon by the student and course director, the student will take a similar exam.  A score up to 70% will replace the original score. This process applies to all the summative evaluations as well.  As each examination is analyzed for exam item validity, students are not permitted to challenge examination questions for a grade change.

Course Remediation

Students who receive a grade less than 70% in any course will be required to undergo formal remediation. The course director and Physician Assistant faculty will recommend a plan for remediation of knowledge and/or skills identified as areas of weakness. The plan will be developed in collaboration with the student and carried out with the supervision of the student’s advisor and/or faculty with the appropriate content expertise. For remediation to be considered complete, the student must demonstrate competence by achieving a grade of “C” or better on a final course comprehensive exam, Objective Standardized Clinical Examination (OSCE), or assignment similar to the one(s) that were used to evaluate the course. Failure of a student to pass the remediation final course exam with a grade of “C” or better will result in dismissal or deceleration.  Students will only be allowed to remediate up to two courses in the didactic phase and up to one course in the clinical phase.

Deceleration, or asking a student to join a subsequent cohort to repeat a year or a portion of the program will be reserved for extenuating circumstances. Approval of the Program Director, recommendation by the faculty, and recommendation by the Student Progress and Professionalism Committee (SPPC) are required. At the time the decision for deceleration is made, the student will stop attending classes and begin a professional development or remediation plan that will prepare the student for success upon re-entering with the next cohort.

C. Recommendations and Policies for Dismissal

ARC-PA Standard A3.17e

Violations that warrant immediate dismissal from the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Positive drug test
  • Alcohol intoxication and/or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during program-related sessions
  • Endangering a patient
  • Inappropriate conduct with a patient
  • Endangering self or others in the learning environment
  • Failure to achieve grades of C or pass in Physician Assistant courses or SCPs
  • Failure to remediate any course in which a grade of C or better is not obtained
  • Multiple and/or significant unprofessional behaviors
  • Harassment of any type, including sexual harassment
  • Sexual violence
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Gross conflict of interest
  • Any gross violation of the Code of Professional Conduct

In the event of a student offense for which dismissal is warranted, the Program Director will be notified. The Program Director will call a meeting of the Student Progress and Professionalism Committee (SPPC) who are tasked with reviewing the case. The SPPC may make a recommendation for the student’s dismissal to the Dean of Health Sciences. The process for appeal of a decision for dismissal is described in the Grievance Procedure section of the handbook (XXVIIA). Students who are dismissed from the program are eligible to submit a new application if they wish to re-enroll. Within the application, the student may submit evidence that he or she has addressed the situation for which they were dismissed.

XXVI. Professionalism and Code of Conduct

The principal value of the physician assistant profession is to respect the health, safety, welfare, and dignity of all human beings. (AAPA Code of Ethics). In the Stephens College Physician Assistant program, professionalism is the embodiment of the attitudes and behaviors that promote this value.

The American Board of Internal Medicine describes medical professionalism as follows:

For many, medical professionalism is the "heart and soul of medicine." More than the adherence to a set of medical ethics, it is the daily expression of what originally attracted them to the field of medicine – a desire to help people and to help society as a whole by providing quality health care.

In addition to the aspects regarding patient care, professionalism for a Physician Assistant includes attitudes and behaviors that promote learning and positive relationships with other students, Physician Assistants, inter-professional colleagues, instructors, supervisors, administrators and the public. Within the classroom, all students and faculty have the right to a learning environment free of verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, and other conduct that threatens or endangers the physical or mental health or safety of any member of the college community. Class discussions and communications should be free of excessive sarcasm, bullying, caustic or aggressive language or disrespect in tone/words. Students should review their written communication carefully, being aware of challenges such as perceptions and interpretations of others.

A. Code of Professional Conduct

Professional behaviors expected by the Physician Assistant program include:

  • Attendance
  • Timeliness
  • Appropriate participation for each session
  • Appropriate dress, as stated in the student dress code
  • Appropriate hygiene according to standards of local customs
  • Being prepared for lessons and assignments
  • Respectful and courteous behavior toward faculty, staff, other PA students, and patients
  • Participation in discussions and learning activities
  • Self-reflection, assessment of learning needs
  • Providing and accepting constructive feedback
  • Personal responsibility
  • Respecting confidentiality of patients and fellow students

As future certifying physician assistants, students shall comply with all applicable laws, regulations and standards, including but not limited to those governing professional practice. Physician Assistant students shall:

  • respect appropriate professional boundaries in their interactions with patients;
  • avoid behavior that would pose a threat or potential threat to the health, well-being or safety of patients apart from reasonable risks taken in the patient's interest during the delivery of health care;
  • recognize and understand their professional and personal limitations;
  • engage in the program without impairment from substance abuse and without impairment from cognitive deficiency or mental illness that, even with appropriate reasonable accommodation, adversely affects their behavior;
  • maintain and demonstrate the ability to engage in the practice of medicine safely and competently; and
  • behave in a manner that is lawful, ethical, and upholds accepted standards of professional practice.*

*Adapted from the Code of Conduct for Certified and Certifying Physician Assistants:

B. Student Dress Code

Professional appearance is important for the public image of the Physician Assistant profession as well as the program, and shows respect for patients, faculty, staff, and other learners in the program. The following guidelines should be used when selecting attire:

  • Unless otherwise indicated by the supervising faculty member, any time a student is in a patient care area or acting in a health care function as part of the Physician Assistant program, the student must wear his or her white coat with the stitching identifying him or her as a Physician Assistant student visible.
  • All clothing should be neat and clean at all times.
  • While in patient care areas, men must wear ties, collared shirts and slacks while women must wear slacks, dresses or skirts no shorter than knee length. Jeans are not permissible.
  • During the didactic year, when not in contact with patients, students may wear business casual attire.
  • During the didactic year, closed toe shoes are required in lab, but sandals may be worn in the classroom.

C. Policy for Professional Code of Conduct Violations

In addition to the above requirements for professional conduct, students must abide by the regulations and professional expectations of each individual clinical site. If an instructor or preceptor identifies a violation of the professional code of conduct, the instructor should first notify the student and take appropriate action, which might include removal from the classroom or patient care environment and/or assistance for the student to correct the behavior. A record of the incident reported by the faculty member will be submitted to the Program Director.

D. Procedure for Discipline and Dismissal for Professional Code of Conduct Violations

If the violation is severe or warrants immediate dismissal, the Program Director will convene a hearing of the Student Progress and Professionalism Committee (SPPC) within ten (10) calendar days. The student will be allowed to appear before the SPPC with or without counsel and all evidence supporting or refuting the violation should be presented. The SPPC may 1) recommend dismissal of the student, or 2) recommend that the student not be dismissed. Recommendations for dismissal will be submitted to the Dean of Health Sciences, at which point the student may appeal. If the SPPC does not recommend dismissal, the case will be referred to the program faculty, who will work with the student on a Professional Development Plan (PDP) to correct the behavior. The faculty will recommend and develop the individualized plan in collaboration with the student. The student’s advisor and the program faculty will monitor the student’s progress until the requirements of that plan are fulfilled. The faculty will verify the student’s completion of the PDP and a record will be included in the student’s file.

For all other serious offenses, the Program Director will bring the student’s case before the program faculty, who will recommend the development of a PDP, dismissal of the student, or other action. If the faculty decides that the offense warrants dismissal of the student, a hearing before the Student Progress and Professionalism Committee will be called using the procedures outlined above. 

Repeated minor violations of students will be recorded and reviewed by faculty at regular faculty meetings (typically bimonthly meetings). In the case of patterns of repeated minor violations, the issue may 1) be addressed with the student in a meeting with his or her advisor or 2) the faculty may recommend a PDP. If the student continues to violate the code of conduct or is unsuccessful in completing a PDP, he or she may be dismissed from the program (see section XXVC).

E. Staff Violations of Code of Conduct

Students who feel their instructors are in violation of the code of conduct have the responsibility to contact the Program Director in a timely manner. In the case that the complaint of violation of the code of conduct is against the Program Director, the student should contact the Dean of Health Sciences.

XXVII. Grievance Procedure and Appeals Processes

ARC-PA Standards A3.11, A3.17d

Students in the Stephens College Physician Assistant Program may appeal any decision made by Stephens College personnel concerning any action that the student believes is unjust or in violation of Stephens College policies or program rules. Specifically, for grade appeals or appeals of dismissal, please see the policies below which are written in accordance with the Stephens College Graduate Curriculum Catalog and the Stephens College Student Handbook, Within the Ivy. For complaints of discrimination or harassment, please see the sections on Harassment Policy (XXXIV) and Sexual Offences Policy (XXXIII).

For all other grievances, the student should first attempt to resolve the conflict with the faculty or staff member, with written documentation of the grievance and the resolution, if any. If the disagreement cannot be resolved, the written documentation should be referred to the Program Director. Any disagreements that cannot be resolved successfully within the Physician Assistant Program will be referred to the Dean of Health Sciences, and if necessary, to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. For any grievance not resolved at a previous level, the final step in the appeals process is the President of the University.

If a hearing or appeal is requested, the student will continue in the Physician Assistant Program until all due process is completed and a final determination of the case is made, except where the individual is determined to be a danger to themselves or others. 

A. Appeal of Dismissal from the Program

If the student is dismissed from the program and wishes to appeal, the student must submit a written appeal to the Graduate Council within ten (10) calendar days. The Graduate Council shall review the appeal letter and contact the student. The Graduate Council shall rule on this appeal and its decision shall be provided to the student in writing.

B. Grade Appeals 

As described in the Stephens College Graduate Curriculum Catalog, only final course grades may be appealed after final grades are submitted. A student who believes a final grade has been assigned incorrectly must correspond in writing with the course instructor within two (2) weeks after the receipt of the grade. Within one (1) week of receiving this correspondence the course director will set up a meeting with the student. The course instructor may agree that a grade change is appropriate and will email the Program Director of the requested change. The Program Director will email the Registrar to change the grade. The matter is then closed. If a dispute about a grade cannot be resolved between the student and the course instructor, then the student may appeal. The appeal procedure is as follows: 

  1. Within one (1) week of meeting with the course instructor, the student will submit the appeal in writing to the Academic or Clinical Coordinator. In support of the appeal the student must provide objective evidence that the grade was assigned incorrectly. This evidence may take the form of the course syllabus, assignments, rubrics, photocopies of graded papers, quizzes, tests and other work performed in the course. The Academic Coordinator will establish a time to meet with the student. The Academic Coordinator cannot change the grade but will discuss the student’s concerns and, failing resolution, will advise the student on further steps in the appeal procedure.
  2. Within one (1) week of meeting with the Academic or Clinical Coordinator, the student may write to the Dean of Health Sciences to pursue the appeal. The student must submit to the Dean objective evidence that the grade was assigned incorrectly.
  3. The Dean shall convene an appeal panel of three members of the Graduate Council who are not faculty in the same program as the instructor involved in the appeal. The panel will examine the evidence provided and conclude its review within ten working days of its first meeting. 

  4. The panel will submit its recommendation in writing to the student, course instructor, Program Director and Health Sciences Dean. The panel may:
    • a. recommend that the course director change the grade, 

    • b. recommend that the course director review the grade according to the criteria specified by the panel, or 

    • c. dismiss the appeal.
  5. After the panel makes a recommendation from item 4, the panel’s responsibility is concluded.
  6. The panel is not empowered to change the grade. The grade that the course director assigned cannot be changed by anyone but that course director.
  7. If, after considering the panel’s recommendation, the course instructor agrees that a grade change is appropriate, then the course instructor will email the Program Director of the requested change. The Program Director will submit a change the grade form as completed by the instructor. If the course instructor does not agree that a grade change is appropriate, then the grade will stand. This will conclude the appeal procedure; no further review is available. 

  8. The grade appeal will be considered confidential, and only those directly involved in the appeal procedure will be provided with information concerning the appeal. 

  9. If the student chooses to make the appeal panel’s written recommendation a part of her/his permanent file, the student should instruct the Health Sciences Dean (or her/his designee) to convey the panel’s recommendation to the Registrar. 

XXVIII. Student Services and Programs

A. Academic Advising

ARC-PA Standards A1.05, A3.10

A faculty or professional advising staff member shall be assigned to advise each Physician Assistant student upon admission. The student must meet with his or her advisor at least once per academic term or more frequently if requested by the advisor, the Program Director, or the faculty.

Program faculty will address student progress during regular faculty meetings (usually bimonthly). Faculty will discuss student performance and review trends in grades and/or behavior in order to identify potential problems with student performance early. The faculty will work together on recommendations for student improvement, remediation plans, and/or Professional Development Plans in collaboration with students.

The faculty and staff of the Stephens College Physician Assistant program take a proactive position on identification of personal issues that may negatively impact a student’s ability to progress in the program. The student’s advisor, faculty members or the Program Director, when appropriate, may request a meeting with a student to recommend counseling or other services upon recognition of a potential problem. Indications may include a change in academic performance, behavior, dress or hygiene or attendance. When appropriate, the student’s advisor or other agreed-upon faculty member will meet regularly with the student until the issue is resolved.

B. Changes in Personal Information

It is the student's responsibility to notify the College of any changes in name, address or telephone number. Failure to do so may interfere with the delivery of important and time-sensitive documents. Students must e-mail the changes to Mary Flatt with the Registrar's Office at [email protected] and Melissa Lewis with the PA Program at [email protected]

C. Accounting

Lela Raney Wood Hall (LRW) 214 Phone: (573) 876-7105
Fax: (573) 876-7238
Campus Extension: 4238
Office hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Window hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on bi-weekly payday Fridays

The Stephens College Accounting office, located on the second floor of Lela Raney Wood Hall (LRW 214) provides a wide range of student services; it’s where you get your Student ID and parking permit. It’s also the office where you can pay your tuition or other fees, and cash your checks. More information on each of these services is provided under the appropriate heading (Student IDs, Parking, etc.) in this handbook.

D. Career Development

Campus Box: 2123
Address: 317 Lela Raney Wood Hall Phone: (573) 876-7101
Campus Extension: 4101

The Career Services office provides students with information about careers, job opportunities, career searching strategies, resumes and cover letters, interviewing, employers, graduate schools, job market outlooks and job fairs.

Available services include:

  • Individual consultation to discuss students’ career concerns and job search needs.
  • Workshops on various topics, such as how to write a resume and cover letter, interview successfully, and plan a job search strategy.
  • The Alumnae Career Connection Program, a database on the Stephens website that includes the names and contact information of approximately 350 alumnae in a variety of career fields. These alumnae have volunteered to assist students in their career exploration and search for jobs and internships.

E. Disabilities/Special Needs

Sady Mayer Strand
ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at Stephens College
Campus Box 2111
1200 E. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65215
[email protected]

Students with documented disabilities (including but not limited to learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, vision impairment, hearing impairment, mobility challenges, psychological disabilities and health-related problems) may request special services and/or appropriate accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The College’s ADA/ Section 504 policies and procedures are described in the Policies Section of this handbook (section XXXI). Students with qualifying disabilities should contact the Office of the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator in the Student Success Center for assistance.

F. Food Services: Fresh Ideas

Email: [email protected]
Campus Box: 2062
Address: 102 Stamper Commons
Phone: (573) 876-7162; Campus Extension: 4162

Physician Assistant students will have access to campus meal plan program. Fresh Ideas, the College’s food service provider, is eager to work with students to ensure they are getting the quality and diversity of food they want, every single day. Students with special requests – or special dietary needs – should feel free to contact the Food Services Director to share that information. (Students with special dietary needs should also refer to the ADA/Section 504 policies, (section XXXI of this handbook).

G. Medical

ARC-PA Standard A1.05, A3.09

All full time students at Stephens College are provided limited primary care medical services free of charge.  Other than in an emergency, the Principal Faculty, Program Director and Medical Director are prohibited from participating as healthcare providers for students.

H. Counseling

All full time students at Stephens College are provided mental health counseling services free of charge.

XXIX. Information and Technology Services (I&TS)

All campus computers are connected to a local area network, which requires a network log-in for access. All students receiving a Stephens’ e-mail account will agree to comply with an Acceptable Use Policy, which is provided upon registration for the account. Internet and e-mail use are privileges and may be revoked at the discretion of the College.

Stephens College cannot guarantee the retention or integrity of any computer or file in any campus computer lab. Despite the staff’s best efforts, the College cannot guarantee that a computer lab will be virus-free at all times. Personal computers cannot be repaired or replaced by the College if damaged by power outages or surges.

Use of Stephens College technology resources is a privilege, not a right. Regulations surrounding computer usage include but are not limited to:

A. Printing

Students must log in with their Stephens network account to use the printers in labs across campus. Students must deposit money into their accounts to be able to use this printing service. Students may go to the Accounting Office, 206 Lela Raney Wood Hall, to add money to a printing account.

B. Campus Computer Access

Students using computers for classwork or administrative purposes shall have priority access to computers in campus labs. Students who access Stephens’s computer resources are assigned a login-user ID and password for their personal or classroom use.

C. Campus Network Access

Wireless access is available for students who choose to use the wireless connection. I&TS supports network access but can only provide limited support of personal computers.

D. Computer Ethics and Security

Stephens’ computing resources are provided to faculty, staff and students. With the privilege of access, however, comes responsibility. As with any shared, finite resource, it is unfair to others to use the College’s technology resources without regard to the needs of your fellow students. Computer resources on campus are to be used primarily as tools to facilitate teaching and learning.

Stephens College respects and complies with all laws and regulations associated with technology use. It is unethical and often illegal without valid authorization to obtain access to services and data that do not belong to you; to consume or utilize services that do not belong to you; or to alter or destroy data that do not belong to you. Users who do not comply with the rules found in this policy may have their user IDs restricted or revoked, have their access curtailed and/or face disciplinary action. Severe cases of abuse may result in prosecution, disciplinary probation or dismissal from the program.


Never share your user ID or password. Leaving a computer without logging off is like leaving your front door unlocked and open. Using an obvious or easy-to-guess password is like hiding the key to your front door under the welcome mat. Pick a strong password, and never record the password where someone might find it; a strong password is one that contains a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. If you suspect your password has been compromised, change it or notify the IT Helpdesk so that it may be changed for you.

Never open an email or click on a link to launch a program unless you are certain about what it does and you completely trust its source. In the recent past, such programs have corrupted the College’s systems, sent obscene messages in the recipient’s name to other users and replicated and spread viruses.

Social Media

Be thoughtful about the information you share on your social media, in all its forms. Future employers may ask you to friend them so they can check your newsfeed; they may ask for your username so they can follow you on Twitter. The College does not survey these sites regularly but will become involved in a student’s posting on such a site if postings violate College of Program rules and/or harass another member of the College community. Posting inappropriate content in any open forum can negatively impact your goal of becoming a respected member of
the physician assistant profession.

The success of the College and the PA Program specifically is in part due to excellent relationships with local, regional, state and national communities and institutions. These relationships have been forged and motivate content experts to share their skill and expertise in the classroom and at clinical sites. Inappropriate use of social media can jeopardize these relationships and the success of our students.

The patients we serve are protected by law and by oath. The patient’s privacy must be protected at all times. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). Information that can identify an institution or provider in a negative light or a patient in any way may not be shared. The student PA shall abide by the social media policy of any clinical institution or provider, if more restrictive. If the student is unclear about a particular post they should seek clarification from their advisor.

E. Email

Students are responsible for checking their campus email in order to stay informed about Program and College events, policies and deadlines.

F. Home Pages

Students may use the College’s system to publish to the Internet, but each student is wholly and fully responsible for any such publication. Sources should be cited, information should be correct and timely and copyright notices must be included where appropriate. Stephens adheres to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and all other copyright laws. Information and Technology Services (I&TS) may refuse to list any page inconsistent with College regulations or intellectual property laws.

G. Computer and Telephone Help/Repair

All telephone, computer and printer repairs should be reported to the IT Helpdesk, 573-876-2381 (or ext. 4381).

H. Violation of Computer Policies

Physician Assistant students violating computer policies will be referred to the Program Director. Any violation will be considered a breach of professional conduct and will be addressed as such.

XXX. Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Stephens College complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA), designed to protect student privacy and to ensure the accuracy of educational records.

Under FERPA, eligible students have certain rights with respect to their education records. (As FERPA relates to Stephens College, an “eligible student” is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days after the day Stephens College receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Office of the Registrar (LRW 248) a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the requested records are not maintained by the Registrar’s Office, the Registrar or her designee shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    • A student who wishes to ask Stephens College to amend a record should write the Registrar (or whatever school official is responsible for the record, as indicated by the Office of the Registrar) to clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
    • If Stephens College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
    A postsecondary institution may disclose Personally Identifiable Information from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
    • To other school officials, including faculty, within the College whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Stephens College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College 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 his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Stephens College.
    • To officials of another educational institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
    • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
    • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the College's rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
    • To parents of a student regarding the student's violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
  4. The right to withhold the disclosure of “Directory Information.” FERPA allows Stephens College to disclose appropriately designated “directory information” upon request without a student’s written consent. Directory information is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, and includes:
    • A student’s name, address, telephone number, email address;
    • A student’s date and place of birth, dates of attendance and grade level;
    • A student’s major field of study, most recent educational agency or institution attended and degrees, honors and awards received;
    • A student’s photograph when the student is participating in officially recognized College activities and athletics;
    • A student’s weight and height as a member of an athletic team;
    • A student’s ID number, user ID or other personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems that cannot be used to access education records without a PIN, password, etc. (a student’s SSN cannot be used for this purpose).
    Students who wish to withhold directory information should contact the Office of the Registrar (LRW 248; 573-876-7277). Stephens College assumes no liability for honoring a student directive that Directory Information be withheld.
  5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Stephens College 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, DC 20202

Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.

Questions about FERPA and student records may be directed to the Office of the Registrar (573-876-7277) or to the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (573-876-7213). Students who wish to allow parents or others who would not otherwise be allowed under FERPA to review their educational records should visit the Office of the Registrar (LRW 248) to sign the appropriate authorization form.

XXXI. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Stephens College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualifying students, faculty and employees with disabilities as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended, as well as state law. Disabilities may include mental or physical impairments that substantially limit one or more of a person’s major life activities.  The College will provide accommodations and modifications to the programs, services or facilities of the College as appropriate. Consistent with the law, Stephens College is not obligated to provide accommodations that are unduly burdensome or unreasonable, or that fundamentally alter the nature of the College’s programs.

Stephens College actively engages the expertise and commitment of its community to facilitate the accommodation of students with disabilities. The College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator is a member of the Student Success Center staff. An ADA/Section 504 Committee comprising faculty and staff has been appointed by the President to work with the ADA/ Section 504 Coordinator to certify eligibility and to coordinate services and accommodations for students with qualifying disabilities.

College employees with ADA and/or Section 504-related concerns are supported by the Office of Human Resources.

B. Nature and Scope of Policy

Stephens College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and modifications to students and employees with qualifying disabilities as required by applicable laws. Nothing in this policy is intended to provide less substantive benefits or procedural protections than are required by these laws; similarly, nothing in this policy is intended to provide greater substantive benefits or procedural protections than are required by these laws. Should there be a discrepancy between the language of this policy and any relevant legal authority, the College’s obligations will be determined by the latter.

C. Identification

A student requesting accommodation must submit to the ADA/ Section 504 Coordinator the Student Needs Identification Form, providing a substantive description of the disability, including the ways in which the disability limits major life activities relevant to her or his participation in Stephens’ programs; and a detailed description of the accommodations requested. Incoming students should make every effort to submit the Student Needs Identification Form at least 30 days prior to matriculation in order to provide the College sufficient time to process the request.

The student must include with the Student Needs Identification Form report(s) from objective professionals qualified to diagnose the disability, verifying the nature and extent of the disability, and the ways in which the disability limits major life activities relevant to a student’s participation in College programs. It is important to note that accommodations are not automatically provided simply because a person has a specific diagnosis, but rather are granted or denied on an individual basis, considering all relevant available information.

The ADA/Section 504 Committee reviews the Student Needs Identification Form and accompanying documentation, and a) confirms the student’s eligibility for accommodation; b) concludes there is insufficient evidence and requests more information; or c) denies the student’s request and informs him/her of the appeal process.

D. Accommodation

Upon its determination that a student is eligible for accommodation, the ADA/Section 504 Committee works with the student, and other appropriate members of the College community, to develop a program of accommodation consistent with the nature and extent of the disability, the student’s compensatory skills and course or program requirements. The specifics of such a plan may differ from those suggested by the student or by those documenting the student’s disability, as long as the accommodations provide program accessibility as required by law.

If the student remains dissatisfied with the ADA/Section 504 Committee’s proposed plan, she or he may appeal through the process described below.

E. Role of the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator

The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator works in the Student Success Center and reports directly to the Center Director (who, in turn, reports to the Vice President for Academic Affairs). The ADA/ Section 504 Coordinator provides staff support to the ADA/Section 504 Committee and maintains records of its proceedings and decisions; supports and administers ADA/Section 504-related academic-support and equipment services; and serves as a liaison between students, faculty, staff, Facilities, the Admissions Office, the Student Success Center, Residential Life, Counseling, Human Resources, Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Institutional Advancement, the Health & Wellness Center and the ADA/Section 504 Committee, among others.

F. Role of the Student

It is the responsibility of the student to identify special needs and work actively to ensure those needs are being met. Developing and implementing appropriate accommodations can require significant time and effort from multiple offices and individuals across campus; a student’s prompt attention to the College’s requests for information and feedback are essential if an accommodations plan is to be implemented in a timely, efficient way. It is the student’s responsibility to:

  1. complete the Student Needs Identification Form expeditiously, to provide the College as much time as possible to process the request and, if approved, develop and implement a plan;
  2. ensure that the College receives current, complete and appropriate medical and/or psychological documentation of a disability and the way in which it limits a major function relative to the student’s participation in College programs;
  3. if approved, work actively with staff and faculty to develop and implement an accommodation plan, and confirm that the plan is meeting her or his needs; and
  4. request any modification or addition to an existing accommodation in writing to the ADA/Section 504 Committee.

Students with disability certification should contact their professors at the beginning of the term to make arrangements for approved academic accommodations. In all cases, such arrangements should be made at least five (5) business days before the requested accommodation will be needed.

G. Role of the Faculty

If a student self-identifies as having a disability and asks a faculty member to provide an accommodation related to a physical or mental impairment, the faculty member should explain the ADA/ Section 504 process and direct the student to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. Faculty are not authorized to independently agree to provide a student with a requested accommodation.

Faculty are encouraged to contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator for information about ADA/Section 504 accommodations in general, or in the case of a particular student. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator shall provide information consistent with the limitations of privacy laws. The ADA/Section 504 Committee’s conclusion regarding the fact, nature, and/or extent of a disability is not subject to challenge by faculty; faculty may review the underlying documentation of a disability only with written consent of the student. The ADA/Section 504 Committee may provide faculty with information about the disability to the extent necessary to implement the recommended accommodations. Faculty may suggest alternative accommodations to the ADA Committee, which it may adopt if it determines that the alternatives are as effective in mitigating the effects of a disability as those initially recommended by the Committee.

Once a plan has been adopted, barring further consultation, the ADA/Section 504 Committee assumes that the faculty will adhere to it and provide accommodations as approved.

H. Documentation

A student requesting accommodation must provide to the College at her/his own expense current and appropriate documentation of any or all disabilities for which accommodation is requested. The College reserves the right to request at student expense any additional documentation it deems necessary to make an informed and reasonable judgment and/or to develop a reasonable and appropriate accommodation plan. Any documentation of disability, whether furnished by the student or developed by the ADA/Section 504 Committee, will remain confidential except on a need-to-know basis among those involved in the coordination and facilitation of services and accommodations, or as required by law, as in the case of a health or safety issue. The College also reserves the right, at its own expense, to request an independent evaluation by a professional of its choosing.

In general:

  1. Documentation must be completed by a properly credentialed professional who has appropriate training and experience, and who has no personal relationship with the student being evaluated. The credentials of the individual making the diagnosis should be directly related to the disability being reported. All reports should be typed, dated, presented on the evaluator’s letterhead and signed.
  2. Documentation must include a clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability and the date and type of the most current diagnostic evaluation, as well as the date of the original diagnosis, as appropriate. Diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) or the International Classification of Functioning Dis-ability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization are useful in providing this information; a full clinical description is also acceptable.
  3. Documentation must address how the disability currently impacts the individual. Results of formal evaluation procedures, in combination with a clinical narrative and a student’s self-report, are likely to produce the clearest understanding of impact. Documentation should be thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the disability.
  4. Documentation must include information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context, i.e., if the disability is cyclical or episodic in nature. Information about known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes can inform planning. If the disability is not stable, information on interventions (by the student or others) and recommended timelines for reevaluation are useful.
  5. Documentation should include a description of both current and past accommodations, services, medications, auxiliary aids and assistive devices, and their efficacy.

Learning Disability

The four criteria necessary to establish a student’s eligibility for learning disability adjustments or accommodations are: (1) average or above average intelligence as measured by a standardized intelligence test which includes assessment of verbal and nonverbal abilities; (2) the presence of cognitive-achievement discrepancy or an inter-cognitive discrepancy indicated by a score on a standardized test of achievement which is 1.5 standard deviations or more below the level corresponding to a student’s sub-scale or full-scale IQ; (3) the presence of disorders in cognitive or sensory processing such as those related to memory, language, or attention; and (4) an absence of other primary factors leading to achievement below expectations such as visual or auditory disabilities, emotional or behavior disorders, a lack of opportunity to learn due to cultural or socio-economic circumstances, or deficiencies in intellectual ability.

Documentation verifying a learning disability must:

  1. be prepared by an objective professional qualified to diagnose a learning disability, including but not limited to a licensed physician, learning disability specialist or psychologist;
  2. include the testing procedures followed, the instruments used to assess the disability, the test results and a written interpretation of the test results by the professional; and
  3. provide professional testing and evaluation results that reflect the student’s current processing and achievement levels.

    For example, when a student seeks accommodation for a learning disability in an area related to reading, documentation provided should reflect the individual’s current level of functioning in the relevant areas of reading comprehension, reading rate, written expression, writing mechanics, vocabulary, grammar and/or spelling. For specific details as to what sort of information is helpful for evaluating the presence of a particular type of learning disability, students should contact the Student Success Center.

The ADA/Section 504 Committee is responsible for determining whether the individual preparing the documentation is qualified to diagnose the disability, and whether the submitted documentation sufficiently supports a requested accommodation.

If the documentation does not include sufficient data to allow the ADA/ Section 504 Committee to understand the extent of the disability, it is incumbent upon the student to obtain supplemental testing or assessment at the student’s expense. If the College requires an additional assessment in order to obtain a second professional opinion, the College will be responsible for any cost not covered by any third party payer.

I. Appeals Process

A student may appeal any written decision of the ADA/Section 504 Committee, including determinations regarding certification of a disability, provision of a particular accommodation or issues regarding documentation.

The President shall appoint an ADA/Section 504 Appellate Officer to consider appeals of ADA/Section 504 Committee decisions. In situations in which the Appellate Officer has a conflict of interest or other reason not to review a case, the President shall appoint a substitute. Members of the ADA/Section 504 Committee are ineligible for such appointments.

Appeals must be submitted in writing to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator within five (5) business days of the student’s receipt of the ADA/Section 504 Committee decision. All appeals should include a written statement by the appellant, articulating the rationale for overturning the ADA/Section 504 Committee’s decision. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will forward the written appeal and any relevant records to the Appellate Officer within three (3) business days. The Appellate Officer may request in writing additional information or documentation from the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, who shall provide it only after notification to the appellant.

In reaching a decision, the Appellate Officer may, at his/her discretion, rely solely on the written record. Hearings and oral presentations shall be conducted at the discretion of the Appellate Officer. When possible, such hearings and presentations should be completed within five (5) business days of the Appellate Officer’s receipt of the appeal.

All appeals shall be decided within two (2) business days of the Appellate Officer’s receipt of the written record, or when hearings or oral presentations are held, within two (2) business days of their completion. The ADA/Section 504 Committee may, at its discretion, provide temporary relief upon request, pending the appeal.

The Appellate Officer may: (1) return the decision to the ADA/Section 504 Committee for reevaluation with or without recommendations (the ADA/Section 504 Committee will complete its reevaluation with- in five (5) business days), (2) grant the appellant’s requested relief, or (3) uphold the ADA/Section 504 Committee’s original decision.

The Appellate Officer shall notify the appellant, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, and the ADA/Section 504 Committee in writing of all decisions. Decisions of the Appellate Officer are final.

J. Complaints Regarding Disability-Related Harassment or Discrimination

ARC-PA Standard A3.17g

In addition to the above-stated appeals process regarding accommodations decisions, students who feel that they have been harassed or discriminated against on the basis of their disability, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the ADA, or other applicable law, may file a formal or informal complaint under the College’s Harassment Policy, as set forth in this document (section XXXIV).

K. Student Records

Student records are accessible only in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). All records are disposed of five years after the student’s graduation or five years from the student’s last contact with the Office of the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator after leaving the College.

L. Academic Accommodations

Stephens College assesses students’ needs on an individual basis. Accommodations that may preserve essential academic program requirements while minimizing the effect of a certified disability upon a student’s performance could include:

  1. Classroom Access: The College may relocate classes to facilities that are accessible to a disabled student. Examples of access challenges can include:
    • buildings without ramps or elevators,
    • locations temporarily inaccessible due to construction,
    • classes located too distant for the student to reach in the time available, and
    • classes held in locations with inadequate acoustics or lighting.
    Relocation or rescheduling would not be a required reasonable accommodation if such changes would fundamentally alter the nature of a class or program.
  2. The Student Success Center and the ADA Coordinator: The Student Success Center and the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator:
    • encourage understanding between students and instructors concerning a disability’s possible impact on performance,
    • serve as a resource in developing teaching and learning strategies to support the student’s access to the course material, and
    • provide student skills education for all students without discrimination on the basis of disability.
    The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (LRW 359) and the Student Success Center’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator work with students and their faculty advisers to tailor an academic program appropriately in light of a student’s disability, consistent with the essential requirements of the academic program.
  3. Equipment: The College will provide reasonable modifications of equipment utilized by students for class and study activities. Auxiliary equipment needed by students for classroom use will be made available upon request to the ADA/Section 504 Committee when such aids are determined to be a reasonable accommodation. Personal equipment such as tape recorders, hearing aids, etc., is the responsibility of the student.
  4. Time Extensions:
    1. Exams: If appropriate, the ADA/Section 504 Committee may provide an accommodation in the form of extended testing time for exams. In general, extended testing time shall not exceed twice the amount of time allocated for the original exam.
    2. Assignments: The ADA/Section 504 Committee will support requests for assignment extension only for students with certified disabilities for whom the ADA Committee has determined that extended time for assignments is a necessary and appropriate accommodation. Unless the student is not able to do so, students seeking an assignment extension must notify the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator prior to the deadline for the assignment.

Flexible Deadline Policy

Students are expected and encouraged to meet deadlines for assignments and tests. Faculty have the right to establish late work policies. However, if a student has a disability that may occasionally impact the ability to complete assignments at the scheduled time, an extension of assignment deadlines may be an appropriate accommodation and the student should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at the beginning of the term or as soon as the need for a flexible deadline accommodation arises. The amount of time given for each assignment extension depends on the interactive or participatory nature of a course, or is based on department, college, or accrediting agency rules. Extensions of assignment deadlines pursuant to this policy must be determined in advance and will not be provided retroactively.

Requesting an Accommodation for Flexible Deadlines

To make a request for a flexible deadline accommodation, a student must meet early in the term with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator to request a flexible deadline accommodation, provide appropriate documentation to support the request, and establish an accommodation plan as appropriate. The granting of a flexible deadline accommodation will be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis depending upon the extent to which the supporting medical or psychological documentation from a licensed professional, qualified to diagnose and treat the disability, supports the need for such an accommodation.

Policies and Guidelines for Flexible Deadlines

Once a flexible deadline accommodation has been approved by the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, and possibly the ADA Committee, the student must enter into a discussion with the instructor to determine and then agree upon the maximum deadline extension that can be given before compromising the integrity of the course/program. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will assist during this discussion if either the instructor or student has questions or concerns regarding the accommodation. 

Please note that unexpected illness or injury, a recent diagnosis, onset, or change in condition rarely warrants accommodations in extension of assignment deadlines. Rather, these conditions often warrant a withdrawal or incomplete. Additionally, any extensions of assignment deadlines pursuant to this policy must be determined in advance and will not be provided retroactively.

The student accepts responsibility for:

  • scheduling an appointment to meet with the instructor to discuss the accommodation and come to an agreement;
  • contacting the instructor to inform the instructor of the need to use the extension of assignment deadlines for a disability-related necessity prior to the assignment deadline; and
  • contacting the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator immediately with any questions or concerns.

Attendance Accommodation Policy

In most cases, class attendance is crucial to a student’s mastery of knowledge and skills taught in a specific course, and a student is expected to follow the attendance policy established by the instructor in each course. However, if a student with a disability believes he or she may not be able to abide by the attendance policy for a particular course for disability-related reasons, such as a health-related disability that is episodic in nature, a modification of a class attendance policy may be an appropriate accommodation and the student should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at the beginning of the term or as soon as the need for an attendance accommodation arises.  Attendance accommodations need to be established in advance and will not be provided retroactively.

Requesting an accommodation for attendance

To make a request for an attendance accommodation, a student must meet with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator to request modification of a class attendance policy as an accommodation, provide appropriate documentation to support the request, and establish an accommodation plan as appropriate. Modifications of class attendance policies will be determined on an individual, case-by-case basis depending upon the extent to which the supporting medical or psychological documentation from a licensed professional, qualified to diagnose and treat the disability, supports the need for such a modification.

The extent of the accommodation should be determined by a discussion between the instructor and the student because each situation is unique. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will assist during this discussion if either the instructor or student has questions or concerns regarding the accommodation. The appropriateness of a modified attendance policy should be considered by reviewing statements in the syllabus and course description regarding attendance, grading methods, whether student participation is an essential method for learning, the need or lack thereof for classroom interaction, and the impact, if any, which non-attendance will have on the educational experience of other students.

Policies and guidelines for accommodation for attendance

Once an attendance accommodation has been approved by the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, and possibly the ADA Committee, the student is responsible for understanding the limitations of the accommodation granted.The student accepts responsibility for:

  • discussing the accommodation with the instructor early in the term, as the accommodation cannot be provided without this discussion;
  • notifying the instructor as soon as possible regarding the inability to attend class;
  • seeking an extension for work due on a day the student is absent, recognizing that the extension may not be granted by the instructor;
  • completing all work required for the course; and
  • obtaining the material and notes from missed classes.

The student acknowledges that:

  • attendance accommodations need to be established in advance and will not be provided retroactively;
  • an attendance accommodation may not be appropriate for all classes;
  • if absent, an instructor, may wish the student to interact with the class via Skype or conference call;
  • an attendance accommodation does not permit unlimited absences;
  • instructors will determine grades according to the criteria stated in the syllabus;
  • poor performance may result in discussions regarding withdrawal from the course or even failure in the course;
  • absences for non-disability related reasons will not be excused by the modification to the attendance policy; and
  • absences (even if excused) could influence the student’s academic performance because the student will not have the benefit of full classroom interaction and the opportunity to ask questions while the material is being presented.

If a student has questions or encounters difficulties with an attendance accommodation, the student should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator as soon as possible, especially since attendance accommodations need to be established in advance and will not be granted retroactively. 

Information for Instructors

If a student has provided an instructor with confirmation of an attendance accommodation, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, with possible support from the ADA Committee, will have received the appropriate medical documentation to determine that the accommodation is appropriate.

  • Though the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator and Committee encourage the instructor to be flexible with a class attendance policy, the instructor is not required to waive or alter any essential or fundamental academic requirements of a course regardless of the nature of the student’s disability.
  • Depending on the nature of the course, flexible attendance may not be an appropriate accommodation. For example, if the course involves significant interaction and in-class participation, such as courses that rely on experiential learning, an attendance accommodation may not be appropriate.
  • The student should meet with the instructor as early as possible in the term to discuss what modifications can be made to the attendance policy without fundamentally altering the essential requirements of the course.
  • The U.S. Department of Education lists the following factors to be considered in determining whether attendance is an essential component of a class and therefore not open to accommodation. Instructors should consider these factors when making a determination regarding a student’s attendance:
    • Does classroom interaction occur between the instructor and students and among students?
    • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
    • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
    • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
    • What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance as written in the course description and syllabus?
Unforeseen Circumstances and Attendance

The following steps/considerations should be adhered to if a student has a prolonged absence due to a sudden serious illness, family crisis, or other extenuating circumstance:

  1. The student should contact professors as soon as possible, notifying them regarding the absence.
  2. The student should also contact the Office of Vice President for Student Development, who will notify professors and other relevant offices on campus, verifying the extenuating circumstance.
  3. The student may need to discuss academic accommodations (i.e., extensions of due dates, excused absences) with the professor. It is a professor’s discretion to deem what accommodations, if any, are appropriate. When granted by the professor, accommodations provide students the flexibility to address life circumstances while maintaining a responsible approach to academic responsibilities.
  4. The Office of the Vice President for Student Development, in collaboration with other campus constituencies, can help students develop a plan on how best to work through individual situations. The plan may include referrals to campus resources, such as the Health Center and/or Counseling Services. When life circumstances are particularly disruptive to academic study in terms of severity or timing, students may have to consider dropping or withdrawing from a course, withdrawing from an academic term, arranging an incomplete, or taking a leave of absence.

M. Provisional Services

At the discretion of the ADA/Section 504 Committee, a student may be granted provisional services pending submission of documentation and official certification. Such services will not be provided for more than one term. Provisional services do not grant a student the status or rights of a student with a qualifying or certified disability, and a short-term grant of provisional services does not guarantee the continuation of such services or affect the ADA/Section 504 Committee’s decision as to whether requested or provisional services are reasonable accommodations.

N.  The Student Success Center

Stamper Commons (573-442-2211, ext. 4142)

Students seeking support and accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator in the Student Success Center.

O. Stephens College’s Grievance Procedure under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  1. General Information
    1. This Grievance Procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). Title III states, in part, that “no qualified individual with a disability will, by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in or be denied the benefits of services, programs, or activities of a public entity or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.” This procedure may be used by any student, employee, or visitor of Stephens College alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    2. A complaint, which must be registered with the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, should be made in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the alleged violation as well as describe a possible remedy for resolution. Alternative means of filing complaints will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request. The following is contact information for the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator:

      Sady Mayer Strand
      ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at Stephens College
      Campus Box 2111
      1200 E. Broadway
      Columbia, MO 65215
      [email protected]
    3. The grievance should be submitted by the complainant as soon as possible but no later than thirty (30) business days after the alleged violation; however, the College encourages employees, students, and visitors to register a complaint as soon after the alleged discrimination as possible to enable a fair and quality investigation. A business day is defined for the purposes of this procedure as any day in which the College’s administrative offices are open.
    4. Within ten (10) business days after receipt of the grievance, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. During this meeting, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will provide the complainant with a copy of the College’s procedures for handling ADA grievances and discuss these procedures to ensure the complainant understands the process. This will include outlining options available to the complainant, the procedures for the College’s investigation and grievance hearing, and the possible outcome of such hearing and investigation.

      Note: If the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator is involved in the complaint or unavailable to complete either the informal or formal grievance procedures, a designee will assume the role of the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.
  2. Informal Procedure
    1. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will attempt to resolve allegations of ADA violations independently as a first step in the resolution process. The goal of the informal procedure is to resolve concerns at the earliest stage possible, with the cooperation of all parties involved. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator will act as a mediator and assist the complainant in seeking resolution through the appropriate College channels. Informal resolution may include inquiry into the facts, but typically does not include a formal investigation. This should take no more than thirty (30) business days, except in extraordinary circumstances.
    2. If the matter is resolved informally to the satisfaction of all parties, the ADA/ Section 504 Coordinator will maintain records of the informal procedure for three (3) years.
  3. Formal Procedure
    1. If a satisfactory resolution of the grievance cannot be reached through the first step, the complainant may request a hearing by the ADA Hearing Panel, which will be selected from among the members of the ADA Committee. The request must be made in writing within five (5) business days after the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator completes the resolution attempt.
    2. To be eligible to serve on the ADA Hearing Panel, the member must have completed training in higher education ADA discrimination policies and procedures and have no conflict of interest in the complaint. In the case of a conflict of interest, another member will be selected.
    3. The Hearing Panel will elect a chair by majority vote. He or she will serve as the convener of the Panel.
    4. The ADA/Section 504 Coordinator notifies the ADA Committee of a hearing request and provides relevant documentation to the members. After the Hearing Panel is selected, the Panel Chairperson, in consultation with panel members, will designate a hearing date and time. Except in extraordinary circumstances (including failure of the complainant and/or key parties to attend the hearing), the date of the hearing will be within ten (10) business days of the filing of the request.
    5. The Panel Chairperson will notify both the complainant and respondent of the date, time, and place of the hearing in writing (or by alternative means upon request) no fewer than five (5) days prior to the hearing date. At this time, both the complainant and respondent will be notified of their right to produce witnesses and present documentation supporting or negating the alleged discrimination. If the complainant is a student, he or she will also be notified of his/her right to be assisted by and accompanied to the hearing by one member of the Stephens College community (student, faculty, or staff member) as a support person. Support persons may not be external to the college community (i.e. parents or attorneys). (If the student does not have a relationship with someone who could fulfill that role, the College will appoint such an individual upon request. The support person will not be permitted to testify, serve as a witness, or provide a statement on behalf of the complainant.) The complainant will be asked to submit the names of any witnesses and support persons to appear at the hearing at least three (3) business days prior to the hearing date. If persons are called to give testimony or serve as support, the Panel Chairperson will notify them of the date, time, and place of the hearing at least  two (2) business days prior to the hearing date.
    6. Any student, employee, or visitor needing accommodations for this hearing will make the request for such accommodations to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. In the event that a necessary accommodation cannot be provided by the College by the date of the hearing, the hearing will be rescheduled for an alternate day.
    7. During the hearing, the Panel will review the complaint and conduct an investigation, which will include a meeting with the complainant and respondent as well as any witnesses if appropriate. Hearings will be conducted in private to ensure confidentiality. The Panel Chairperson will inform the panel members, complainant, respondent, witnesses, and support person that they must observe strict confidentiality throughout the proceedings and any subsequent grievance process. All information associated with the proceedings is completely confidential; students or employees believed to have violated confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary action.
    8. The hearing will be informal and need not adhere to procedural rules or technical rules of evidence followed by courts of law. However, the Panel Chairperson will determine the appropriateness of all evidence and testimony as well as the relevance of all questions.
    9. A detailed record of the hearing will be maintained, and the Panel will determine the method of recording. This will be kept on record at the College for at least three (3) years.
    10. Hearings will proceed in the following order, with the Panel Chairperson presiding:
      1. The Panel Chairperson reads the charges.
      2. The complainant gives his/her statement of position with respect to the charges.
      3. The respondent presents evidence privately and answers questions from the ADA Hearing Panel.
      4. The complainant presents evidence privately and answers questions from the ADA Hearing Panel.
      5. Both parties give brief closing statements.
      6. The ADA Hearing Panel deliberates. (The deliberation process will take no longer than five (5) business days).
  4. Resolution and Appeals
    1. No later than fourteen (14) business days after the conclusion of a hearing and subsequent deliberation, the Panel Chairperson will transmit the Panel’s findings and determinations in writing to the complainant, the respondent, and the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. Where appropriate, the findings and determinations will be delivered in a format accessible to the complainant. The response will explain the position of Stephens College and offer options for a resolution.
    2. If the Panel’s response does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, either or both parties may appeal the decision within five (5) business days after receipt of the response to the College President’s designee, who will serve as the Appellate Officer. The request for appeal must contain the rationale for the appeal, documentation if appropriate, and a requested remedy. The Appellate Officer may request in writing additional information or documentation from the Hearing Panel, who shall provide it only after notification to the appellant.

      The scope of the Appellate Officer’s review will be limited to 1) determining whether a fair hearing was provided and 2) determining whether the resolution was just. The Appellate Officer may approve, reject, or modify the decision in question. Hearings and oral presentations will be conducted at the discretion of the Appellate Officer. When possible, such hearings and presentations should be completed within five (5) business days of the Appellate Officer’s receipt of the appeal. All appeals shall be decided within ten (10) business days of the Appellate Officer’s receipt of the written appeal or when hearings or oral presentations are held, within fifteen (15) business days of their completion. The Appellate Officer shall notify the appellant, the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, and the Hearing Panel in writing of all decisions.
    3. The decision on appeal is final; however, if the complainant is a student and is not satisfied with the decision above, upon request, the College will furnish to the complainant transcripts of the process which the complainant may forward to other appropriate federal, state, or local agencies, as is the student’s right under ADA.
    4. All written complaints received by the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, the appeals to the President’s designee, and the responses from these two offices as well as the hearing documents will be retained by Stephens College for at least three (3) years.

P. Stephens College Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Policies

Part I: Definitions

Handler: A person with a disability or a personal care attendant who handles a service animal for a person with a disability.

Service Animal: Any dog* individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability, which meets the definition of “service animal” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) regulations. The work or tasks performed must be directly related to the individual’s disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals.

The following are work or task examples:

  • Assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks
  • Alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • Providing non-violent protection or rescue work
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Assisting an individual with a seizure
  • Alerting individuals to the presence of allergens
  • Retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone
  • Providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities
  • Helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors

The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

*Note: Under particular circumstances set forth in ADA regulations, a miniature horse may qualify as a service animal

Emotional Support/Comfort/Therapy Animal: This is not a service animal. An emotional support animal may provide companionship, relieve loneliness, or help with depression, anxiety, and certain phobias. It is often used as part of a medical treatment plan. Emotional support animals do not perform work or tasks or receive special training that would qualify them as “service animals” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify. However, even though they are not considered service animals under the ADA, they may still be permitted, under certain circumstances, in residence halls and apartments with prior approval from the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, who will work in conjunction with the ADA/Section 504 Committee and Student Services.

Part II: The College’s Policy and Procedure Regarding Service Animals:

In compliance with ADA law, Stephens College allows handlers to bring service animals into College buildings: classrooms, residence halls, meetings spaces, dining areas, recreational facilities, and activity/event locations without prior approval. Individuals with service animals will be permitted to access the same areas as any other individual without a service animal. This includes places related to food and medical care facilities. However, limited access-areas that employ general infection-control measures may prohibit service animals, and service animals may be excluded from food preparation areas.

A service animal must be accompanied by an individual with a disability who indicates the service animal is trained to provide, and does provide, a specific service directly related to that individual’s disability.

Though handlers do not need prior approval to bring a service animal to campus, they are strongly encouraged to reach out to the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator to ensure that the transition is seamless. Additionally, handlers are strongly encouraged to inform Residence Life and Dining Services that they plan to have a service animal living with them. Advance notice of a service animal may allow more flexibility in meeting needs.

Stephens College may not permit Service Animals when the animal poses a substantial and direct threat to health or safety or when the presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or service. Stephens College will make those determinations on a case-by-case basis.

Permitted Inquiries Regarding Service Animals

In general, Stephens College will not ask the nature or extent of a person’s disability but may make two inquiries to determine whether an animal qualifies as a service animal:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
  2. What work or task has the animal has been trained to perform?

Stephens College cannot require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal. The College cannot request a demonstration of the animal’s work or task and cannot ask that that the handler register with the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator. Stephens College may not make any inquiries about a service animal accompanying an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

Responsibilities of Handlers

  1. Caring for the Service Animal - The cost of care, arrangements, and responsibilities for the well-being of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the handler at all times.
  2. Keeping the Animal under Control - The animal should respond to voice or hand commands at all times and be fully controlled by the handler.
  3. Being Responsible for Damage Caused by the Animal - Handlers are responsible for any damage or injuries caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury.
  4. Being Responsible for Waste: Cleaning up after the animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. In the event that the handler is not physically able to clean up after the animal, it is then the responsibility of the handler to hire someone capable of cleaning up after the animal.
  5. Leash Requirements - The service animal should be on a leash at all times, unless the owner is unable to use a leash due to a disability or the use of the leash would interfere with the animal’s ability to perform its duties.
  6. Proper Identification – It is strongly encouraged that the animal wear some type of commonly recognized identification symbol, such as a harness, which identifies the animal as a service animal.
  7. Vaccination – Service animals must be immunized against diseases common to that type of animal. All vaccinations must be current, and the animal must wear a rabies vaccination tag. In addition, they must be registered with the City of Columbia.
  8. Observing Good Service Animal Etiquette - To the extent possible, the handler should ensure that the animal does not display behaviors or make noises that are disruptive or frightening to others, unless part of the service being provided to the handler (e.g. barking to alert the handler of danger).

Removal of Service Animals

Service Animals may be removed from campus facilities or events for the following reasons:

  1. An Out of Control Animal: A handler may be directed to remove an animal if it is out of control, and the handler does not take effective action to control it. If the out-of-control behavior happens repeatedly, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal into campus facilities until the handler can demonstrate that s/he has taken significant steps to mitigate the behavior.
  2. Non-housebroken Animal: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that is not housebroken.
  3. Direct Threat: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that the College determines to be a substantial and direct threat to the health and safety of individuals. This may occur as a result of an animal exhibiting aggressive behavior, a substantial lack of cleanliness of the animal, or the presence of an animal in a sensitive area like certain laboratories or mechanical/industrial areas.
  4. Fundamental Alteration: The presence of the service animal constitutes a fundamental alteration or change so significant that it alters the essential nature of campus curriculum, services, and/or facilities.
  5. Undue Administrative and/or Financial Burden: The presence of the service animal constitutes an undue administrative and/or financial burden incurred by the College.
  6. Illness: Any animal with signs of illness, including but not limited to a known zoonotic disease (a disease of animals, such as rabies or psittacosis, that can be transmitted to humans), severe diarrhea, severe vomiting, fever, or open sores should not be on campus until deemed non-infectious/contagious by the written statement of a licensed veterinarian.

Where a service animal is properly removed pursuant to this policy, the College will work with the handler to determine reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal on the premises.

Part III: The College’s Policy and Procedure Regarding Emotional Support Animals

Emotional Support Animals: Students who wish to bring an emotional support animal into Residential Life buildings must go through the reasonable accommodation process with the ADA/504 Coordinator. Documentation to support the use of an emotional support animal must come from a licensed professional with whom the student has met in person.

In addition, students with emotional support animals that have been approved as a reasonable accommodation must be contained in the owner’s residence. Generally, students will not be permitted to bring emotional support animals into classrooms, meetings, or other college facilities.

Stephens College may not permit an emotional support animal when the animal poses a substantial and direct threat to health or safety or when the presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program or service. Stephens College will make those determinations on a case-by-case basis. Owners of emotional support animals must comply with the same standards that handlers of service animals do. Additionally, emotional support animals may be removed for being out of control, non-housebroken, ill, and/or a direct threat as well as for causing a fundamental alteration or undue burden (see above under Removal of Service Animals).

Part IV: Conflicting Disabilities

Some people may have allergic reactions to service or emotional support animals that are substantial enough to qualify as disabilities. The College will consider the needs of both the handler/owner and others in meeting its obligations to reasonably accommodate all disabilities to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Students requesting allergy accommodations should contact the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator.

XXXII. Sexual Offenses Policy

ARC-PA Standard A3.17g

Stephens College is committed to creating a safe and respectful learning community that is free from sexual harassment, discrimination, abuse, intimidation and/or violence. This policy is intended to prevent and address sexual offenses on campus by defining community expectations, providing guidance for those individuals whose rights have been violated, and ensuring compliance with applicable campus, state and federal regulations.

Stephens College maintains a zero-tolerance policy for sexual offenses of any kind, including but not limited to sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or exploitation. When an allegation of a sexual offense is brought to an appropriate administrator’s attention, the College will take prompt, decisive action to investigate the allegations, initiate the disciplinary process if warranted, and issue appropriate sanctions against any student found responsible for such acts, whether on or off-campus.

A. Statement of Policy

The College does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities.

Furthermore, the College strictly prohibits sexual harassment, including sexual offenses, by any member of the College community, including students, faculty and staff. A sexual offense occurs when any form of sexual activity takes place without informed or effective consent. Effective consent takes place when an individual capable of making a decision freely and knowledgeably agrees to take part in sexual activity. Attempts to commit a sexual offense are also prohibited under this policy, as is aiding the commission of a sexual offense.

Additionally, the College prohibits retaliatory actions including, but not limited to, acts of intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination against individuals who make complaints of prohibited harassment (including sexual misconduct), report prohibited harassment (including sexual misconduct), or participate in an investigation or formal hearing concerning a violation of this policy.

B. Title IX Coordinator

The Title IX Coordinator’s role is to oversee College compliance with Title IX regulations.

The Title IX Coordinator:

  1. serves as a resource for students wishing to report any acts of sexual harassment, including sexual offenses, or gender-based discrimination, i.e., violations of Title IX;
  2. provides oversight for all Title IX complaints and identifies patterns, issues or problems regarding those complaints; and
  3. reviews and supports the informational initiatives enabling students, staff and faculty to fully understand sexual violence and sexual harassment as forms of sexual discrimination and further educates the community about College policy and procedures.

Contact the Title IX Coordinator

Shannon Walls
Special Assistant to the President
Title IX Coordinator
Lela Raney Wood Hall, 3rd floor
[email protected]
(573) 355-3342

Sexual offenses (which are also referred to in this policy as “sexual misconduct”) are a form of sexual harassment, and include, but are not limited to, non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, dating-violence and stalking.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome, gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it unreasonably interferes with, denies or limits someone’s ability to participate in or benefit from the Colleges educational program and/or activities. Sexual harassment may involve power differentials (quid pro quo), the creation of a hostile environment, or retaliation.

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact

Non-Consensual Sexual Contact (or attempts to commit same) is defined as any intentional sexual touching (including disrobing or exposure), however slight, with any object, by a man or a woman upon a man or a woman, that is without consent and/or by force.

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse

Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse (or attempts to commit same) is defined as any sexual intercourse, however slight, with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or a woman, that is without consent and/or by force. Intercourse includes vaginal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger, anal penetration by a penis, object, tongue or finger and oral copulation (mouth to genital contact or genital to mouth contact), no matter how slight the penetration or contact.

Sexual Exploitation

Sexual exploitation occurs when a student takes non-consensual or abusive sexual advantage of another for her/his own advantage or benefit, or to benefit or advantage anyone other than the one being exploited, and that behavior does not otherwise constitute one of any other sexual misconduct offenses. Examples of sexual exploitation include, but are not limited to:

  •  invasion of sexual privacy;
  • prostituting another student;
  • non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity;
  • going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as letting your friends hide in the closet to watch you having consensual sex);
  • engaging in voyeurism;
  • knowingly transmitting an STD or HIV to another student.
  • Sexually-based stalking and/or bullying may also be forms of sexual exploitation.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the State of Missouri, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under Missouri law. Domestic violence may include “intimate partner violence,” which may include physical violence, sexual violence, threats of physical or sexual violence, or emotional/psychological abuse.

Dating Violence

Dating violence refers to violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined by the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and/or the frequency of interaction between the persons involved. Dating violence may include “intimate partner violence,” which may include physical violence, sexual violence, threats of physical or sexual violence, or emotional/psychological abuse.


Stalking refers a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for her or his safety or the safety of others, or suffer substantial emotional distress. It may include, but is not limited to, following a person, appearing at his or her home or place of business, making harassing phone calls, sending harassing electronic or written messages, or vandalizing a person’s property. For purposes of this policy “course of conduct” refers to two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

Reproductive coercion

Explicit male behaviors to promote pregnancy, including birth control sabotage (interference with contraception) or pregnancy coercion (telling a woman not to use contraception or threatening to leave her if she does not get pregnant).

Additional Important Terms

Coercion is unreasonable pressure for sexual activity. Coercive behavior differs from seductive behavior based on the type of pressure someone uses to get consent from another. When someone makes clear to you that they do not want sex, that they want to stop, or that they do not want to go past a certain point of sexual interaction, continued pressure beyond that point can be coercive.

Force is the use of physical violence and/or imposing on someone physically to gain sexual access. Force also includes threats, intimidation (implied threats) and coercion that overcome resistance or produce consent.

Effective Consent is informed, freely and actively given, mutually understandable words or actions that indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. Consent is not effective if it results from the use of physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion.

Ineffective Consent is obtained through the use of fraud or force, whether that force comes in the form of physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion.

Incapacitation: Sexual activity with someone one should know to be–or based on the circumstances, should reasonably have known to be–mentally or physically incapacitated (by alcohol or other drug use, unconsciousness or blackout) constitutes a violation of this policy. Incapacitation is a state in which an individual cannot make rational, reasonable decisions because she/he lacks the capacity to give knowing consent (e.g., to understand the “who, what, when, where, why or how” of a sexual interaction).

This policy also covers a person whose incapacity results from mental disability, sleep, involuntary physical restraint, or from the ingestion of rape drugs. Possession, use and/or distribution of any of these substances, including Rohypnol, Ketamine, GHB, Burundanga, etc. is prohibited, and administering one of these drugs to another student is a violation of this policy. More information on these drugs can be found at

Use of alcohol or other drugs is not a defense to a violation of this policy.

Understanding Consent

  • At the heart of the idea of consent is the idea that every person, man or woman, has a right to personal sovereignty, which means that she/he has the right not to be acted upon by someone else in a sexual manner unless she/he gives clear permission to do so.
  • Consent can be broad or narrow and can be limited, such as in cases where someone is willing to engage in some forms of sexual activity, but not in others.
  • Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.
  • Consent may be given verbally or nonverbally, based on an active, informed, freely decided choice.
  • Consent means you can’t make assumptions about what your partner does or does not want. Absence of clear signals means you cannot touch someone else–not that you can.
  • Consent means two people deciding together to do the same thing, at the same time, in the same way, with each other.
  • The idea of consent completely rules out any need to show the use of force, or any type of resistance.
  • Consent requires that the person initiating the sexual activity gets permission to do so, and that permission does not exist in the absence of resistance.
  • Passively allowing someone to touch you in a sexual manner is not consent.
  • There is no duty for anyone to fight off or act in any way to stop a sexual aggressor.
  • There must be a verbal or non-verbal “Yes” in order for any permissible sexual activity to take place.
  • There are circumstances in which even when consent is given, it is not valid. Consent would be invalid when forced, threatened, intimidated, coerced, when given by a mentally or physically incapacitated person, or when given by a minor.
  • We cannot play the game of “If she/he doesn’t want it, she’ll/he’ll stop me.” That notion is based on antiquated and inappropriate resistance requirements. It is not her or his job to resist, but yours to respect her or his boundaries and find out what they are if they are unclear.
  • No means no, but nothing also means no. Silence and passivity do not equal permission.
  • The idea that kissing always leads to fondling, which always leading to petting, which leads to some sort of intercourse is a notion that is based on stereotypical sexual patterns and beliefs. Mutual exchanges must involve the expectations and desires of each person involved at every stage of the interaction.
  • To be valid, consent must be given prior to or contemporaneously with the sexual activity.
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as that withdrawal is clearly communicated by the person withdrawing it.
  • Silence, previous sexual relationships, and/or current relationships may not, in themselves, be taken to imply consent.
  • Consent cannot be implied by attire, or inferred from the spending of money on a date.
  • Intentional use of alcohol/drugs by the accused is not an excuse for violation of the Sexual Offenses Policy.
  • Consent lasts only for a reasonable time, depending on the circumstances.

Consent Cannot Be Given By:

  • A minor to an adult. Someone under the age of 16 cannot give consent to someone over the legal age of consent (18), absent a legally valid marriage or court order.
  • Mentally disabled persons cannot give consent to a sexual activity if they cannot appreciate the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation in which they find themselves.
  • One who is physically incapacitated as a result of alcohol or other drug consumption (voluntary and involuntary), or who is unconscious, unaware, or otherwise physically helpless, is incapable of giving consent. One may not engage in sexual activity with another whom one knows or suspects to be physically incapacitated. Physically incapacitated persons are considered incapable of giving effective consent when they lack the ability to appreciate the fact that the situation is sexual, and/or cannot rationally and reasonably appreciate the nature and extent of that situation.

Risk Reduction Tips

In recognition that only those who commit sexual violence are responsible for those actions, these suggestions may nevertheless help you to reduce your risk of experiencing a non-consensual sexual act:

  1. Make your limits known as early as possible.
  2. Tell a sexual aggressor “NO” clearly and firmly.
  3. Try to remove yourself from the physical presence of a sexual aggressor.
  4. Find someone nearby and ask for help.
  5. Take affirmative responsibility for your alcohol intake/drug use and acknowledge that alcohol/drugs lower your sexual inhibitions and may make you vulnerable to someone who views a drunk or high person as a sexual opportunity.
  6. Take care of your friends and ask that they take care of you. A real friend will challenge you if you are about to make a mistake. Respect them when they do.

If you find yourself in the position of being the initiator of sexual behavior, you owe sexual respect to your potential partner. These suggestions may help you to reduce your risk for being accused of sexual misconduct:

  1. Clearly communicate your intentions to your sexual partner and give them a chance to clearly relate their intentions to you.
  2. Understand and respect personal boundaries.
  3. DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS about consent; about someone’s sexual availability; about whether they are attracted to you; about how far you can go or about whether they are physically and/or mentally able to consent. If there are any questions or ambiguity, assume you DO NOT have consent.
  4. Mixed messages from your partner are a clear indication that you should stop, defuse any sexual tension and communicate better. You may be misreading them. They may not have figured out how far they want to go with you yet. You must respect the timeline for sexual behaviors with which they are comfortable.
  5. Don’t take advantage of someone’s drunkenness or drugged state, even if they did it to themselves.
  6. Realize that your potential partner could be intimidated by you, or fearful. You may have a power advantage. Don’t abuse that power.
  7. Understand that consent to some form of sexual behavior does not automatically imply consent to any other forms of sexual behavior.
  8. Silence and passivity cannot be interpreted as an indication of consent. Read your potential partner carefully, paying attention to verbal and non-verbal communication and body language.

Reporting Procedures and Policies

What should you do if you are the victim of sexual misconduct?

  • Leave the scene, and get to a safe place as soon as possible.
  • Call someone who can help and support you through this process, such as a close friend, a relative or a residential adviser. A victim advocate from the College is available to assist you, and can be contacted by calling Counseling Services at the Health & Wellness Center, (573) 876-7157, Campus Extension: 4157. Counselors are available on an emergency basis.
  • Get medical attention right away. Even if you do not want to report the event to the police, you may have hidden internal injuries, sexually transmitted infections, or a pregnancy that requires medical care. Having the evidence collected in this manner will help to keep all options available to you, but will not obligate you to any course of action. Collecting evidence can assist the authorities in pursuing criminal charges, should you decide later to choose that option. Medical care, including emergency contraception (a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex), is available at local hospital emergency rooms, as well as the Planned Parenthood Columbia Health Center at 711 North Providence Road.
  • Do not shower, drink, eat, brush your teeth, or change your clothes. Such activities destroy physical evidence that could be useful in the possible prosecution of the alleged perpetrator. If you have already done so, which is a normal response, you should still seek medical care, as these activities do not necessarily prevent the collection of evidence. If you have changed clothing since the assault, bring the clothing you had on at the time of the assault with you to the hospital in a clean, sanitary container such as a clean paper grocery bag or wrapped in a clean sheet (plastic containers do not breathe, and may render evidence useless). If you have not changed clothes, bring a change of clothes with you to the hospital, if possible, as they will likely keep the clothes you are wearing as evidence.
  • Consider contacting campus or community resources, including the Counseling Center, (573) 876-7157, or Campus Extension: 4157. Counseling services are available 24 hours a day on an emergency basis. Campus Security is also available to assist you, and may be reached by calling (573) 876-7299 or Campus Extension: 4299.
  • Consider contacting law enforcement. If you go to the hospital, law enforcement will automatically be called, but you are under no obligation to speak with them.
  • Write down everything that you remember. Even if the detail seems minute to you, it may be important. 

C. Reporting an Incident of Sexual Misconduct to the College

The College takes every report of sexual misconduct seriously, and will take action as appropriate. Any person may file a report of sexual misconduct against a Stephens College student, organization, or employee under this policy. A complainant may want to seek the help of a Support Person in making such a report (see details below).

Confidential Support Persons vs. Mandatory Reporters

When an individual is affected by an incident involving sexual harassment, including sexual misconduct, there are some people within the College community she/he can talk to with who can provide completely confidential advice and assistance. In most cases, College employees are required to disclose reports of sexual misconduct to appropriate individuals within the College; however, there are some specific individuals who are not subject to this requirement. The distinction between those who are required to report and those who can maintain confidentiality can be confusing. Therefore, below are descriptions that clarify confidential support persons vs. mandatory reporters, and the protocol to follow when reporting sexual misconduct. Talking to any of the individuals listed as “confidential support persons” does not constitute making a formal report of the incident to the College, though the College may still be obligated to report the incident (with no identifying information) in statistical information required by the federal government. This means that if the report is made only to a confidential support person, the College will not be in a position to respond to the report by initiating disciplinary or other proceedings discussed in this policy. While the decision about reporting sexual misconduct rests with the survivor/victim, Stephens College strongly encourages all survivors/victims of sexual misconduct to make a formal report to the College.

Confidential Support Persons

Students who wish to maintain confidentiality should speak with campus mental health counselors, campus health service providers or off-campus rape crisis counselors, all of whom have the right to maintain confidentiality.

Campus counselors are available to help you free of charge (See Counseling Services on page 127 in “In the Ivy” for more information), and can be seen on an emergency basis. In addition, students may speak with off-campus members of the clergy and chaplains, who will also keep reports made to them confidential. If you are unsure of someone’s duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you talk to them. They will be able to tell you, and help you make decisions about who can best help you.

D. Mandatory Reporters (Faculty & Staff)

Complainants are encouraged to speak to officials of the College in order to make formal reports of incidents. The College has designated the Title IX Coordinator, all members of the faculty, all academic deans, all vice presidents or other administrators with supervisory responsibilities (including the Director of Human Resources), and campus security officers as “responsible employees.” Notice to them is considered notice to the institution and requires prompt institutional response and follow-up. Formal reporting does not mean that the report will become public information, but it does mean that the College is required to take necessary steps to gather information and respond accordingly.

Although the College encourages students to use College procedures, students may also file a Title IX complaint with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education.

E. Investigation and Adjudication Guidelines

Sexual misconduct can be both a criminal violation and a violation of College policy. An individual charged with sexual misconduct may face criminal prosecution separate from any College disciplinary proceedings. Even if the criminal justice authorities choose not to prosecute, the College will promptly, appropriately, and impartially investigate all reports of sexual misconduct. Allegations involving violations of the Sexual Offenses Policy will be subject to the adjudication process set forth in the Stephens College Code of Conduct, subject to the following modified procedures set forth below:

Any member of the College community, guest, visitor or other interested party may make a formal report of an alleged violation of the College’s Sexual Offenses Policy. Complaints should be in writing and should be submitted to one of the College’s “responsible employees,” (as defined in this policy), including but not limited to the College’s Title IX Coordinator. While there is no time limit for filing such an allegation, failure to file a timely complaint with the Title IX Coordinator may adversely affect the ability of the College to take any remedial measures under this policy.

After the College receives a report of a potential violation of the College’s Sexual Offenses Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will meet with the victim (referred to as the “complainant”) to determine the nature of the complaint. If the Title IX Coordinator determines that the complaint may constitute a violation of the Sexual Offenses Policy, the Title IX Coordinator will outline the options available to the complainant, including:

  • The complainant’s right to notify law enforcement, to file a criminal complaint, and/or to seek an order of protection from the court system;
  • The availability of College authorities to assist the complainant in notifying law enforcement;
  • The complainant’s right to request intermediate and/or protective measures from the College;
  • The complainant’s right to determine if she/he wishes to pursue formal College disciplinary  proceedings against the accused (referred to as the “respondent”);
  • The procedures for the College’s investigation of violations of the College’s Sexual Offenses Policy and related disciplinary proceeding;
  • The possible outcomes of the College’s disciplinary process.
  • The Title IX Coordinator will provide the complainant with a copy of this policy, which explains the complainant’s rights and options. In addition, the Title IX Coordinator will provide the complainant with written information about existing counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance, and other services available for victims both within the College and in the community.
  • If the complainant wishes to pursue formal College disciplinary proceedings against the respondent, complaints involving students will be referred to the Vice President for Student Development for investigation. Complaints involving employees of the College will be referred to the Director of Human Resources for investigation (see Stephens College Employee Personnel Policies or contact the Director of Human Resources for information about the process involved in investigating allegations of employee misconduct).
  • If the complainant requests confidentiality, the College will take all reasonable steps to investigate and respond to the complaint while respecting the complainant’s request for confidentiality; however, complete confidentiality may not be possible.
  • If the complainant requests that the College not pursue formal disciplinary proceedings against the respondent, the College may still be obligated to continue investigating the complaint and may even pursue disciplinary proceedings if the College believes that such action is necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the College community. The College will only make this determination after a careful review of the situation and will consult with the complainant about ways in which it may limit the investigation’s impact on the complainant.
  • Both the complainant and the respondent have the opportunity to be accompanied by an advisor of their choosing to any investigatory meetings or disciplinary proceedings. During any such meeting or proceeding, the advisor may only act in a support role, meaning the advisor will not be permitted to testify, serve as a witness, examine or cross-examine any witnesses, or provide a statement on behalf of the student.
  • During the investigation, the respondent will be given a full opportunity to respond to the allegations and will have the opportunity to provide a statement.
  • The investigation will also generally include interviews and written statements from witnesses, as well as consideration of any other evidence relevant to the incident.
  • Mediation, restorative justice conferencing and other processes may be available in certain situations. These options can be requested by either the complainant or respondent or suggested by the Title IX Coordinator or Vice President for Student Development. These options may be used to avoid escalation of minor conflicts or in place of the Conduct Code hearing process in certain situations with the agreement of all involved parties and with the approval of the Title IX Coordinator. If an agreement is not reached when used in lieu of the conduct process, the case will be referred back for adjudication. Please be advised that non-consensual sexual intercourse or any other situation involving violence cannot be mediated.
  • If a case of alleged sexual misconduct is not resolved informally, the matter will be scheduled for a hearing before a Hearing Panel of the Student Conduct Code Hearing Board (consistent with the policies of the SCC). The Hearing Panel will be comprised of individuals who receive annual training on the issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking and on how to conduct an investigation and hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability.
  • Both parties have a right not to have their unrelated past sexual histories discussed in the hearing. The Chair of the SCC Hearing Panel will determine whether proposed testimony regarding past sexual history between or of either of the parties is related to the case at issue and may be introduced during the hearing. This determination will be made with the recognition that the mere fact of a current or previous consensual dating or sexual relationship between the complainant and respondent does not itself imply consent or preclude a finding of sexual misconduct.
  • The complainant and the respondent are both permitted, but not required, to be present throughout the hearing. The complainant or respondent may choose to be physically separated from the other individual during hearing proceedings. This choice should be made at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing and communicated to the Administrative Assistant to the President so that the College may make the necessary arrangements.
  • Neither the complainant nor the respondent may question the other directly, but both may submit questions to the Hearing Panel and the Chair of the SCC Hearing Panel will determine whether to ask any of the submitted questions.
  • In accordance with this Policy, a Hearing Panel of the Student Conduct Hearing Board is empowered to hear allegations of, and to impose sanctions for, sexual misconduct and any violations of the College’s Student Code of Conduct pending against the respondent directly related to the alleged sexual misconduct or any alleged violations of this Policy.
  • The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has interpreted Title IX to require schools to evaluate reports of alleged sexual misconduct under a “preponderance of the evidence” standard and that is the standard adopted by this policy. A preponderance of the evidence exists when a reasonable person, after a careful balancing of available information, would conclude a violation has occurred and the student/organization charged is responsible for the violation.
  • The Vice President for Student Development will provide contemporaneous written notice to both the complainant and the respondent regarding the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings, including any   sanction(s) imposed. The notice will also include the College’s procedures for either the complainant or respondent to appeal the outcome.  Both the complainant and respondent have equal rights of appeal (see page 117 of the Student Code of Conduct). 
  • Students who appear before the Student Conduct Hearing Panel, whether as parties to the proceedings or as witnesses, are expected to provide truthful testimony. All information associated with the proceedings is completely confidential; individuals believed to have violated confidentiality will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • It is a violation of College Policy to retaliate against any person making a report of sexual misconduct or against any person cooperating in the investigation of (including testifying as a witness to) any allegation of sexual misconduct. “Retaliation” includes intimidation, threats, or harassment against any such reporting party or third party. Retaliation should be reported promptly to the Vice President for Student Development and may result in disciplinary action independent of the sanction or interim measures imposed in response to the underlying allegations of sexual misconduct.


Not all forms of sexual misconduct will be deemed to be equally serious offenses, and the College reserves the right to impose different sanctions, ranging from verbal warning to expulsion, depending on the severity of the offense. The College will consider the concerns and rights of both the complainant and the respondent. Sanctions for violations of this policy may include any of the sanctions available in the Student Conduct Code.

Effect of Criminal Proceedings

Because sexual misconduct may constitute both a violation of College Policy and criminal activity, the College encourages persons to report alleged sexual misconduct promptly to campus or local law enforcement agencies. Criminal investigations may be useful in the gathering of relevant evidence, particularly forensic evidence. Because the standards for finding a violation of criminal law are different from the standards for finding a violation of this policy, criminal investigations or reports are not determinative of whether sexual misconduct, for purposes of this policy, has occurred. In other words, conduct may constitute sexual misconduct under this policy even if it is not a crime or law enforcement agencies lack sufficient evidence of a crime and therefore decline to prosecute. In such cases, the complainant may not initially understand the results of the criminal investigation, the nature of criminal procedure, or the grounds for the law enforcement decision not to prosecute. The complainant in such cases may request that the Title IX Coordinator or other campus support person identified by the complainant assist her in seeking and attending a meeting with the local prosecutor to gain an understanding of the decision to decline a prosecution.

The filing of a report of sexual misconduct under this policy is independent of any criminal investigation or proceeding, and (except that the College’s investigation may be delayed temporarily while the criminal investigators are gathering evidence) the College will not wait for the conclusion of any criminal investigation or proceedings to commence its own investigation and take interim measures to protect the complainant and the College community, if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does information about a complaint remain private?

The privacy of all parties to a complaint of sexual misconduct must be respected, except insofar as it interferes with the College’s obligation to fully investigate allegations of sexual misconduct. Where privacy is not strictly kept, it will still be tightly controlled on a need-to-know basis. Dissemination of information and/or written materials to persons not involved in the complaint procedure is not permitted. Violations of the privacy of the complainant or the respondent may lead to disciplinary action by the College.

In all complaints that are adjudicated under this policy, both the complainant and respondent will be informed of the outcome of disciplinary proceedings, including any sanctions that may be imposed. Certain College administrators whom the College deems as having a “need-to-know” are also informed of the outcome within the bounds of student privacy (e.g., the President, the Vice President for Student Development, the Director of Campus Security).

If the College receives a report that a crime may have occurred, the College may notify local enforcement. In the absence of permission from the complainant, the College would only notify local law enforcement if it believed there was an imminent threat to the safety of the College community. Notification of law enforcement does not mean charges will be automatically filed or that a complainant must speak with the police.

Certain campus officials have a duty to report sexual misconduct for federal statistical reporting purposes under a federal law called the Clery Act. All personally identifiable information is kept confidential, but statistical information must be shared with campus security regarding the type of incident and its general location (on or off-campus, in the surrounding area, but no addresses are given) for publication in the federally mandated annual Campus Security Report. This report helps to provide the community with a clear picture of the extent and nature of campus crime, to ensure greater community safety. The information to be shared includes the date, the location of the incident (using Clery location categories) and the Clery crime category. This reporting protects the identity of the victim and may be done anonymously.

Victims of sexual misconduct should also be aware that College administrators are legally required to issue prompt timely warnings about certain incidents reported to them that may continue to pose a serious or ongoing threat to members of the campus community. The College will make every effort to ensure that a victim’s identifying information is not disclosed, while still providing enough information for community members to make safety decisions in light of the danger.

Will my parents be told?

College officials will directly inform parents when requested to do so by a student, in a life-threatening situation, or if you have granted the College permission in writing to share such information. Otherwise, parents will not know of the allegations unless you tell them. Whether you are the complainant or the respondent, the College’s primary relationship is with you and not with your parents. However, in the event of major medical, disciplinary or academic jeopardy, students are strongly encouraged to inform their parents.

Will the respondent/accused student know my identity?

Yes, if you file a formal complaint. Sexual misconduct is a serious offense and the accused student has the right to know the identity of the complainant/alleged victim. If there is a hearing, the College does provide options for questioning without confrontation, including closed-circuit testimony, Skype, using a room divider or using separate hearing rooms.

Do I have to name the perpetrator?

Yes, if you want formal disciplinary action to be taken against the alleged perpetrator/respondent. No, if you choose to respond informally and do not file a formal complaint (but you should consult the confidentiality provisions of this policy above to better understand the College’s legal obligations, depending on what information you share with different College officials). Complainants should be aware that not identifying the alleged perpetrator/respondent may limit the College’s ability to respond effectively.

What do I do if I am accused of sexual misconduct?

DO NOT contact the alleged victim. You may immediately want to contact someone in the campus community or another individual who can act as your adviser. You may also contact the Title IX Coordinator or the Office of the Vice President for Student Development, and review this handbook, which will explain the College’s procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to talk to a confidential counselor at the counseling center or seek other community assistance.

Will I (as a victim/complainant) have to pay for counseling/or medical care?

The College provides limited counseling and medical care services through the College’s Health & Wellness Services. The costs of more extensive care will be your responsibility.

What about legal advice?

Victims of criminal sexual assault need not retain a private attorney to pursue criminal prosecution because criminal cases are prosecuted by the prosecuting attorney in the relevant jurisdiction. You may want to retain an attorney if you are considering a civil action against the respondent, or if you are the defendant in a civil or criminal proceeding. A complainant or respondent may also retain counsel to advise them throughout the College’s disciplinary process related to this policy. Any student who retains a private attorney does so at her or his own expense.

Can I get a restraining order against the perpetrator?

Victims of some types of conduct covered by this policy, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, may be able to obtain a restraining order against the perpetrator from a court. If requested, the College can provide personnel to accompany a victim to court to obtain such an order. If a court imposes a restraining order against a College student or employee, the College will work with the parties involved to help ensure compliance with the order. The College asks that any party to a restraining order provide a copy to Campus Security. Separate from a court order, the College may impose a no contact order on the perpetrator (and in some cases, on both the perpetrator and complainant). Violations of a College no contact order may result in College disciplinary proceedings.

What about changing residence hall rooms?
What other accommodations can the College offer?

If you want to move, you may request a room change. Room changes under these circumstances are considered emergencies, and you will be relocated to the first available suitable room. If you want the accused student/respondent to move, and believe that you have been the victim of sexual misconduct, in most circumstances you must be willing to pursue a formal or informal College complaint. No contact orders can be imposed and room changes for the accused student/respondent can usually be arranged quickly. Other accommodations available to you might include:

  • Assistance from College staff in completing the relocation;
  • Arranging to void a housing contract and pro-rating a refund;
  • Assistance with or rescheduling an academic assignment (paper, exams, etc.);
  • Taking an incomplete in a class;
  • Assistance with transferring class sections;
  • Temporary voluntary withdrawal;
  • Assistance with alternative course completion options;
  • Other accommodations for safety as necessary.

Will a complainant be sanctioned when reporting a sexual misconduct policy violation if she/he has illegally used drugs or alcohol?

No. The severity of the infraction will determine the nature of the College’s response, but whenever possible, the College will respond educationally rather than punitively to the illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. The seriousness of sexual misconduct is a major concern and the College does not want any of the circumstances (e.g., drug or alcohol use) to inhibit the reporting of sexual misconduct.

Will the use of drugs or alcohol affect the outcome of a sexual misconduct complaint?

Use of alcohol and/or other drugs will never excuse an incidence of sexual misconduct, and such use by either party will not diminish the accused student/respondent’s responsibility. On the other hand, alcohol and/or drug use may affect the complainant’s memory. If the complainant does not remember the circumstances of the alleged incident, it may not be possible to impose sanctions on the respondent without further corroborating information. Complainants, however, who believe they have been the victim of sexual misconduct should not allow their use of alcohol and/or drugs to deter them from making a report of sexual misconduct.

Will either party’s prior use of drugs and/or alcohol be a factor when reporting sexual misconduct?

Not unless there is a compelling reason to believe that prior use or abuse is relevant to the present complaint.

What should I do if I am uncertain about what happened?

If you believe that you have experienced sexual misconduct, but are unsure of whether it was a violation of the institution’s sexual misconduct policy, you should contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Development. The College will provide an adviser who can help you to define and clarify the event(s), and advise you of your options.

Guests and Visitation Policy

The College’s visitation policy applies to all students and guests and is designed to ensure consideration for roommates and other residents of your floor, suite/flat or apartment. A guest is defined as anyone who is present at the invitation of a student or anyone who is accompanied by a student on college-owned property; no student may have more than three (3) guests on campus at any given time. In order to ensure the safety and comfort of all residents, students may not leave guests unattended in their residence hall, apartment, or common area at any time. Students must escort their guests at all times, including trips to the bathroom. Students are responsible for educating their guest(s) regarding college policies and are accountable for the behavior and actions of their guest(s). Students will be charged with violating the Visitation Policy and all other policies their guest(s) violate, as if the student(s) violated the policies themselves. Guests with repeat or serious violations of campus policies may be assigned a permanent “no trespass” status, disallowing their presence on the Stephens College campus, and

May be subject to criminal prosecution.

XXXIII. Harassment Policy

ARC-PA Standard A3.17g

Stephens College is committed to creating a safe and respectful working and learning environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, abuse, intimidation and/or violence. The College does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion, national origin, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, age, disability or any other characteristic protected by law (collectively, the “Protected Categories”) in the recruitment and admission of graduate students, the recruitment and employment of faculty and staff, or the operation of any of its education programs or activities.

The College strictly prohibits discrimination or harassment (including sexual harassment) of any member of the College community, including but not limited to students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, and guests, on the basis of any of these Protected Categories. Furthermore, the College prohibits retaliation against anyone because that person makes a good faith complaint under this Policy, assists in an investigation of such complaint, or otherwise exercises any rights protected by law or under this Policy.

This Policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, vendors, contractors, guests and others in the College environment.

All members of the College community have a responsibility to prevent and address discrimination and harassment. With this responsibility in mind, all College employees have an obligation to report any conduct they learn about, which they believe may constitute discrimination or harassment.

Students, faculty and staff must be able to pursue their education, employment or activities without fear of verbal or physical harassment or hazing from other members of the community. Engaging harassment and/or hazing are considered a serious offense and will result in disciplinary action which may include dismissal from the program.

A. Reporting a Complaint

Students who believe they have been the subject of harassment on the basis of disability should contact the College’s ADA/Section 504 Coordinator in the Student Success Center; students who believe they have been the subject of harassment on the basis of gender or sex should contact the College’s Title IX Coordinator. For any other form of harassment or discriminatory behaviors, the student should contact the Vice President for Student Services or the Student Services Coordinator, who will take action to address the complaint of harassment. If the harassment presents immediate danger to the student or others, the student should call campus security or dial 9-1-1.

Additional information regarding procedures for complaints against College Employees can be found in the document, “Grievance Procedure for Complaints of Discrimination or Harassment Against College Employees”:

Timeliness of Reporting a Complaint

A complaint of discrimination or harassment should be submitted as soon after the offending conduct as possible to allow for an effective investigation, appropriate resolution and prevention of further incidents.


  1. All persons involved in any grievance process related to complaints of discrimination or harassment are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding information related to the complaints to the extent that such confidentiality does not contradict or undermine the College’s responsibility to respond effectively to the complaint or to comply with the law.
  2. An individual’s requests regarding the confidentiality of reports of discrimination or harassment will be considered in determining an appropriate response; however, such requests will be considered in the dual contexts of the College’s legal obligation to ensure a working, living, and learning environment that is free from discrimination or harassment and the due process rights of the accused (referred to as the “respondent”) to be informed of the allegations and the source of those allegations. Some level of disclosure may be necessary to ensure a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation.

Filing of False Complaints

The College does not tolerate the filing of false, frivolous or malicious complaints under this Policy. Those bringing such complaints will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal.

B. Corrective Action

  1. The College provides educational and training programs and victim resources to prevent harassment and discrimination, through its Human Resources office.
  2. The College may, after becoming aware of an alleged violation of this Policy, take appropriate action to ensure the safety of members of the College community and that the prohibitions on retaliation are upheld. Such interim actions may include placing an accused employee on administrative leave, reassigning the complainant or respondent to a different position, class, or building, or authorizing other types of temporary measures while an investigation is pending, including but not limited to “no contact” instructions.
  3. Should it be determined that a violation of the College’s policy on discrimination and harassment has occurred, appropriate action will be taken and will reflect the severity of the incident and any past discrimination or harassment offenses.
  4. The resolution of all complaints of violations of this Policy must fulfill the College’s responsibilities to prevent future discrimination and harassment and the creation of a hostile environment, and to ameliorate any negative effects of the discrimination or harassment in question. Determinations of responsibility or non- responsibility for harassment or discrimination will be made using the preponderance of evidence standard. Claims of sexual harassment will also be handled in accordance with Title VII and Title IX, and claims of harassment regarding physical ability will be handled in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the American with Disabilities Acts.

C. Retaliation

  1. The College prohibits retaliation against any member of the College community because he or she (a) made a complaint of discrimination or harassment in good faith, (b) assisted someone with a complaint of discrimination or harassment, or (c) participated in any manner in an investigation or resolution of a complaint of discrimination or harassment. Examples of such prohibited retaliation include threats, intimidation, reprisals, adverse employment actions or adverse educational actions due to participation under this Policy.
  2. Retaliation is a violation of this Policy and should be reported under this Policy. Complaints of retaliation should be reported as described in paragraph 2 of this Policy. The College will take appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion, if retaliation prohibited by this Policy occurs.

D. Support Resources

When an individual is affected by an incident involving discrimination or harassment, there are some people within the College community he/she can talk to who can provide completely confidential advice and assistance. In most cases, College employees are required to disclose reports of discrimination or harassment to appropriate individuals within the College; however, there are some specific individuals who are not subject to this requirement.

The distinction between those who are required to report and those who can maintain confidentiality can be confusing. Therefore, below are descriptions that clarify confidential support persons vs. mandatory reporters, and the protocol to follow when reporting violation of this Policy. Talking to any of the individuals listed as “confidential support persons” does not constitute making a formal report of the incident to the College, though the College may still be obligated to report the incident (with no identifying information) in statistical information required by the federal government.

This means that if the report is made only to a confidential support person, the College will not be in a position to respond to the report by initiating disciplinary or other appropriate proceedings. While the decision about formally reporting discrimination or harassment rests with the individual, the College strongly encourages all individuals who are victims or witnesses of such misconduct to make a formal report to the College.

Confidential Support Persons

Employees and students who wish to maintain confidentiality should speak with campus mental health counselors, campus health service providers, counselors in the College-provided Employee Assistance Program, or off-campus rape crisis counselors, all of whom have the right to maintain confidentiality. In addition, employees and students may speak with off-campus members of the clergy and chaplains, who will also keep reports made to them confidential. If you are unsure of someone’s duties and ability to maintain your privacy, ask them before you talk to them. They will be able to tell you, and help you make decisions about who can best help you.

Mandatory Reporters

Employees and students are encouraged to speak to officials of the College in order to make formal reports of violations of this Policy. The College has designated the Title IX Coordinator, all members of the faculty, all academic deans, all vice presidents or other administrators with supervisory responsibilities (including the Director of Human Resources), and campus security officers as “responsible employees.” Notice to them is considered notice to the institution and requires prompt institutional response and follow-up. Formal reporting does not mean that the report will become public information, but it does mean that the College is required to take necessary steps to gather information and respond accordingly. Following a report or complaint to a responsible employee, College officials will follow the appropriate procedure, which depends on the nature of the reported misconduct and the status of the accused (i.e., whether they are a student or employee).

XXXIV. Personal Property Policy

The College shall assume no responsibility, and the student shall indemnify and hold harmless Stephens College and its agents and employees, for the loss, damage or theft of personal property belonging to or in the custody of the student(s) for any cause whatsoever, whether such losses occur in classrooms, public areas or elsewhere on campus. Students are strongly encouraged to carry insurance for protection against such losses.

XXXV. Professional Boundaries between Faculty, Staff and Students Policy

There are special risks inherent in romantic or sexual relationships between individuals in inherently unequal positions. Because of the potential for conflict of interest, exploitation, favoritism, and bias, such relationships may undermine or be perceived to undermine integrity of the supervision or evaluation provided. Accordingly, the College will consider it a violation of this policy if any College employee establishes a romantic or sexual relationship with a student over whom he/she holds a position of authority or enrolled in his or her class, or who is otherwise subject to his or her supervision (including but not limited to faculty/student, adviser/advisee, preceptor/student).

Where a romantic or sexual relationship already exists prior to the establishment of the employee/student relationship, the employee should notify the program director immediately so that the situation can be evaluated in advance. Alleged violations of the Professional Boundaries Policy should be reported to the Director of Human Resources, who will meet with the student, faculty or staff person involved, and others with relevant information, to address the complaint in as expeditious and confidential a manner as possible.

XXXVI. Access to Closed Buildings Policy

It is the goal of Stephens College to provide maximum access to students to the specialized academic work areas that support and enable their academic work. The following policy articulates the conditions under which the College operates its facilities and provides access to students outside of regular business and class hours.

  1. Campus academic buildings close after the last scheduled class in each building; as a result, times may vary for each building, depending upon the course schedule. Security staff make an interior building check at closing.
  2. Physician Assistant students will have access to study areas, lounge areas, and the anatomy lab in Sampson Hall via a swipe card system.
  3. After dark, Security officers will upon request provide a walking escort service to a car or an academic building. At all times, Security officers are available to open a locked academic building to an approved student.
  4. Students leaving a building in the middle of the night are strongly encouraged to call Security for an escort to their car parked on campus or any campus building.
  5. Students are encouraged to remain in closed buildings only when accompanied by other students.
  6. Students who jeopardize their own safety or the safety of others by propping open an outside door or inviting unapproved guests into a building will be subject to disciplinary action, and may permanently lose their after-hours-access privileges.

XXXVII. Cancellation of Classes for Emergencies or Inclement Weather

Classes for the Physician Assistant program in both the didactic year and clinical rotations will be cancelled at any time Stephens College elects to cancel classes due to emergency or inclement weather. Students will be notified by campus email and cancellation of classes will be announced via news media. Class activities missed, such as exams, presentations, or quizzes, will be rescheduled by the course director and/or instructor.

XXXIII. Emergency Response

Any student requiring assistance during an emergency evacuation should identify and discuss their needs with the Student Success Center and their instructors.

XXXIX. Campus Security

Director: Ken Hammond
Campus Box: 2091
Address: Tower Hall
Phone: (573) 876-7299 Campus Extension: 4299

The primary goal of Stephens College Security is the personal safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors as well as the protection of our property. Although security personnel are trained and qualified, they are not certified law enforcement officers and as such do not carry weapons, have arrest powers or investigate crimes. However, they do work in close cooperation with the Columbia Police Department in the event of a reportable crime. They patrol the campus for unusual occurrences and serve as visible deterrents. They control and regulate parking, open buildings for staff and students, and perform other duties that may arise. Security personnel also provide security escort for students, faculty and staff within the campus confines after dark.

Security may be contacted 24 hours a day, year-round at 876-7299. The Stephens College Security staff enjoys an excellent relationship with the Columbia Police Department. Our personnel encourage students and staff to report any incident to the Columbia Police Department that would be of a serious nature. In the case of emergency, students should call 9-1-1. On an annual basis, the Crime Prevention Unit of the Columbia Police Department is invited to conduct a security survey of the campus. From the results of this survey, the College is given a list of recommended changes that could be made in various areas. For example, lighting and landscaping have been altered to increase campus safety.

Stephens College complies with the Clery Act and with the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act (PL102-542).

A. Campus Security Escort


One of the most important functions performed by Stephens College Security is to escort students, faculty, and staff around campus after dark. We strongly encourage you to call for an escort anytime you need to be out on campus at night. In most cases, the response time will be less than five minutes, but calling in advance helps guarantee prompt service.

XL. Student ID

Accounting Office
Campus Box: 2006
Address: 206 Lela Raney Wood Hall

Hours: Cashier window open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. M-F; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on bi-weekly payday Fridays
Phone: (573) 876-7105  Campus Extension: 4105

Your student identification card is a very important item. It admits you to all campus facilities and activities (including food service) and to check out library books and cash checks. Guard your student ID carefully. NEVER lend it to anyone.

Incoming students are issued a Stephens ID during orientation. Returning students continue to use the ID issued upon arrival at Stephens College.

If an ID card is lost, this should be reported immediately to the Accounting office. Students will be charged $15 to replace lost ID cards.

Places and situations on the Stephens College campus that require an ID include:

  • Cafeteria
  • Health Services
  • Library
  • Susie’s
  • Recreational activities
  • Cashing checks

XLI. Telephone Service

Information & Technology Services Director: Mark Brunner
Campus Box: 2064
Address: 11 Helis Communication Center
Phone: (573) 876-2381 Campus Extension: 4381

Telephones are available in the common spaces on each floor of Sampson Hall for campus calls, local calls, and emergency calls.

XLII. Use of Cellular Phones

Students are reminded that use of cellular phones for incoming or outgoing calls during classes or meetings is prohibited. Cell phones should also remain silent during class and meetings unless otherwise directed by the instructor.

XLIII. Parking

Director of Security: Ken Hammond
Campus Box: 2091
Address: Tower Hall
Phone: (573) 876-7299; Campus Extension: 4299

Due to limited parking, all vehicles utilizing campus parking lots must be registered with the Accounting office. To register, complete a registration card with all vehicle information. A fee of $78 is required to obtain a sticker. Mobility-impaired students with special parking needs should contact the Vice President for Student Services for special parking information. Motorcycles also must be registered and may not be brought into or stored inside buildings.

A. Parking Fines and Towing

There are no reserved spaces. Vehicle registration does not guarantee that a space will be available in the lot desired. Please read all signs posted in college parking lots.

B. Motor Vehicle and Bicycle Regulations

  1. All vehicles parked on the Stephens College campus must have a parking permit. Guests to the campus should park in designated visitor spaces.
  2. Student permits must be displayed on the lower left corner of the rear window. Faculty/staff hangtags must hang visibly from the mirror.
  3. Unauthorized vehicles parked in handicap spaces will be ticketed and towed by the Columbia Police Department.
  4. Vehicles parked in RD spaces will be towed in one hour at the owner’s expense.
  5. Parking fines will be assessed to your student account. Multiple violations will result in punitive action. Parking fines will be as follows: · 1st ticket: warning · 2nd ticket: $10 fine · 3rd ticket: $20 fine · 4th ticket: $35 fine · 5th ticket: $50 fine and vehicle restraint (booting).
  6. Vehicles with no sticker or hangtag can be booted or towed on the first offense.
  7. Vehicles driving on sidewalks will be towed or restrained (booted) and receive a $50 fine with no prior warning.
  8. Motorcycles must comply with vehicle regulations.
  9. Bicycles should be registered with the City of Columbia. They should be walked on campus at all times and are subject to the same ticket policy as vehicles. Bikes do not belong in buildings and will be confiscated by the building manager if found inside. Columbia has very specific bike rules that apply to all bicyclists in the city.
  10. If your car is missing, contact Campus security (ext. 4299) or the Columbia Police at 874-7652.

XLIV. Bicycles Policy

Bicycles can only be parked in areas designated for bicycles (bicycle racks). All bicycles must be registered with the Office of Campus Security in the basement of Tower Hall. Bicycles found in any areas including but not limited to stairwells, railings, brick colonnades and benches will be confiscated. All bicycles still on campus after August 1st each year become the property of the College and, if in appropriate condition, may be integrated into the College’s zip-bike program.

XLV. Smoking Policy

As of July 1, 2014, Stephens College has been a smoke-free campus. For purposes of this policy, smoking is defined as the act of lighting, smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe of any kind. This policy includes all Stephens students and employees; campus visitors, including contractors, consultants and temporary employees; and employees of subcontractors, including food services.

XLVI. Student Concerns Policy

Stephens College welcomes community input and takes all student feed- back seriously. Students with ideas, concerns or questions should submit them to the SC Concerns email address ([email protected]), which is reviewed daily by the Office of the President; concerns will be forwarded to the appropriate campus office or administrator for review and response. Students will receive confirmation that the complaint was received and routed to the appropriate office within 24 hours.

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