“…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the Head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
The goal of Student Life is for all members of the Columbia International University community to know God in an intimate way and to mature by the power of the Holy Spirit, becoming more Christ-like as we grow in our ability to support and encourage one another in this academic community.
With the Bible as our ultimate authority for what we teach and for how we should live, we promote a lifestyle that derives its core beliefs from the Bible. This rationale is outlined in biblical and ministry standards contained in regularly revised handbooks for students, staff, and faculty.
We do not assume that any of us have arrived at any ultimate level of maturity. Instead, we seek to grow and live in such a manner that reflects what we believe the Bible teaches regarding the virtues of holiness, honesty, integrity, and peace.
In terms of student learning objectives, the faculty and student life professionals seek to model, mentor, and motivate students as they develop their own views on family, community, personal disciplines, spiritual formation, and godly behavior.
Growth in Community
The primary responsibility for spiritual growth and personal development lies with the individual. We believe this growth takes place best within a community of believers committed to one another in love. Growth involves instructing, modeling, encouraging, and submitting to one another using common community standards.
Growth in community is fostered through personal involvement with other believers. Thus, we need to cultivate relationships in which we are free to disclose with increasing transparency our needs, weaknesses, fears, and failures. It also means we must accept the responsibility that comes with trust—humility, caring concern, and commitment to our friends’ welfare and growth. This kind of mutual care is essential to personal growth. Beyond its personal benefit, it affords vital preparation for future ministry.
As members of a Christian community, we have a responsibility to each other and for each other. Loving one another is expressed in many ways. We love when we serve each other in humility, gentleness, and genuine concern. We love when we lift up those who are burdened, struggling, or falling short. How we fulfill our ministry to one another in love will depend upon our personal maturity, spiritual gifts, available resources, and the depth of relationships we establish.
We believe it is important for our educational program to involve the whole CIU community. Faculty, staff, and students grow through interaction with each other and with supervisors, family, and church friends as we all progress toward our common spiritual and personal goals. In addition to course-related experiences, CIU seeks to promote spiritual growth and personal development through chapels, prayer days, ministry skills experience, and informal fellowship on the campus and in our homes.
Student Rights and Responsibilities: An Outline of Expectations
Authority of the University
Although Columbia International University exists for students, the Board of Trustees, by charter and by-laws, is ultimately responsible for the educational programs and campus life. The president of the university reports to the Board of Trustees and is responsible for the organization and administration of the school.
Scriptural Commands and Clear Teaching
God desires to transform, illumine, and empower both faculty and students. He is the source of all authority and has power to transform His children into the image of Jesus Christ; He is the one who changes our lives.
Scripture teaches that certain attributes are available to individuals through the Holy Spirit. These attributes include “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). This “fruit of the Spirit” is to be sought, encouraged, and demonstrated in our relationships.
In contrast to encouraging these positive attributes of the heart, Scripture condemns attitudes such as greed, jealousy, pride, lust, and hatred. Although these attitudes are sometimes difficult to discern, they can hinder relationships with God and others and lead to unacceptable behavior. Certain behaviors are expressly prohibited in Scripture and therefore are to be avoided by members of the university community. These actions include theft, gambling, lying, dishonesty, gossip, slander, backbiting, profanity, vulgarity (including crude language), sexual promiscuity (including adultery, homosexual behavior, premarital sex, and pornography), drunkenness, immodest attire, and occult practice.
Scriptural Principles Contextually Applied at CIU
Within the context of our educational mission and cultural circumstances, certain responsibilities represent our attempt to apply clear scriptural principles at CIU. These responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- The responsibility to actively participate in the university’s life of prayer and faith:
- To observe Sunday as a special day of rest, worship, and service to the Lord, including involvement in a local church
- To have a time of daily communion with the Lord in prayer and meditation on the Word with a focus on personal godliness, spiritual growth, right relationships with others, and God’s direction for life
- To attend chapel services for worship, inspiration, fellowship, spiritual growth, and the dissemination of community information
- To attend Prayer Days each semester for corporate prayer
- The responsibility to practice complete honesty in connection with coursework, interpersonal relationships, and daily activity in every setting:
- To acknowledge the source of words, sentences, ideas, conclusions, examples, and/or organization of an assignment that are borrowed from a book, an article, another student’s paper, tapes, etcetera
- To use only legally authorized duplication and/or distribution sources for music and movies
- The responsibility to uphold a level of behavior consistent with the university’s model of training for Christian servanthood and leadership:
- To take care of body, mind, and soul through proper nutrition, adequate sleep, regular exercise, and abstention from harmful practices such as the use of tobacco and illegal drugs
- To maintain biblical principles of truth, honor, and purity with regard to visual and listening choices such as movies, music, internet, computer games, and blogging
- To limit behaviors that may cause offense or moral failure, such as restricting expressions of physical affection to what is appropriate for the level of commitment of the relationship and refraining from drinking of alcoholic beverages
For further explanation of the implications of these responsibilities, please refer to the Student Handbook.
The University and the Law
In keeping with scriptural admonitions to bring ourselves under the authority of government, members of the university community are expected to uphold the laws of the local community, the state of South Carolina, and the nation. Any alleged violations of federal, state, or local laws may be referred to the appropriate law enforcement officials and/or to the appropriate university or judicial body.
In addition to subscribing to biblical expectations, members of the university community intentionally commit themselves to follow the university’s institutional standards of behavior. This commitment reflects the conviction that these standards serve the good of the individual, the community, and the institution.
Student Academic Responsibilities
The faculty has the responsibility to educate students from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. Students have the responsibility to embrace, inquire, and refine their knowledge, critical thinking processes, skills, and talents for service to God and others. Most importantly, we expect God to participate in the learning process. His role is to transform and illumine the minds of both students and teachers and to empower all for a life of godliness and service. Academic responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- The responsibility to share with the faculty in the maintenance of the integrity of scholarship, grades, and academic standards
- The responsibility to learn the content of a course of study according to standards of academic performance established by the university and the faculty member for each course taken
- The responsibility to promote by words, attitude, and actions a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to the teaching and learning process for all concerned and to respect the standards of conduct established by the university and each faculty member
- The responsibility to attend class and to submit all class assignments (e.g. examinations, tests, projects, reports), by scheduled due dates or accept the penalties. If any problem arises regarding coursework or attendance, the student will be responsible for initiating contact with the instructor
- The responsibility for meeting degree requirements as provided in the university catalog
- The responsibility to register, add, and/or drop courses in a timely manner to ensure others will have an opportunity to take courses. The student is responsible to follow the university guidelines if he/she desires an incomplete or needs to withdraw from the university
- The responsibility for the financial cost of attending the university
Basic Rights of Students
Students enrolled at the university enjoy certain rights, including, but not limited to:
- The right to access the programs and services of the university without regard to color, sex, race, age, disability, or national/ethnic origin
- The right to receive counsel regarding financial aid sources and implications of student debt repayment prior to incurring financial obligation to the institution
- The right to withdraw without obligation within a time frame published by the university
- The right to appeal decisions involving judicial or administrative action
- The right to appeal decisions involving grades
- The right to seek exceptions to program requirements or academic policies by petition
- The right to inspect and review educational records, except where a student has waived such rights or where access is prohibited by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
- The right to receive a syllabus for each course that states the goals of the course, the requirements that must be met, the system of grading, and the attendance policy
- The right to full disclosure of all expenses per semester prior to becoming financially obligated to the institution
- The right of access to campus crime statistics
- The right to data on advancement, retention, and graduation ratios
- The right to own intellectual property created in fulfillment of coursework unless specified otherwise in writing (All revenue generated or compensation awarded through such intellectual property belongs to the owner)
- The right to prevent disclosure of directory information or educational records to a third party
- The right to seek amendment of educational records
- The right to be heard with regard to the formulation and improvement of educational programs, policies, and services
- The right to organize, to assemble, and to express opinions subject to established procedures
- The right to know, in person when possible, the charges made against him/her in any disciplinary procedure
- The right to expect that two or more witnesses and/or corroborating evidence support any accusation
- The right to an appeal process if a student disagrees with disciplinary measures assigned by a representative of the university
- The right to request that a neutral party be present as an advocate at appeal meetings (This person must be a member of the university’s Student Senate and is present only to assist the student in presenting his/her case or testimony, not to serve in a role defending the student’s actions)
- The right to bring formal complaints against the university through the Student Appeal and Grievance Policy
- The right to file a formal complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in the U.S. Department of Education
- The right to notify the State Postsecondary Review Entity (SPRE) of complaints related to the university’s management of the Title IV programs, misleading or inappropriate advertising and promotion of the university’s educational programs, or other complaints about the institution
Policies and procedures governing the above responsibilities and rights appear in various university publications. Revisions may be made to such policies and procedures and shall become effective following dissemination or update.
Campus Residency Requirements for Single Undergraduate Students
We believe the best possible way to experience the total life training CIU provides is through living on campus. By living in community with others, students have the opportunity to experience close Christian fellowship with the possibility of developing lifelong friendships. The chance to develop and improve a disciplined lifestyle is enhanced, and there are greater opportunities for participating in social activities. We have thus established a campus residency requirement. Full-time undergraduate students who are single and under 23 years of age are required to live on campus. Students living with immediate family within 50 miles are required to live on campus for their first two semesters of attendance at CIU (this includes dependents of CIU employees).
Student Life personnel address matters of student conduct requiring discipline with redemptive intent. Assessment takes into account the nature of the problem and the student’s attitude, previous conduct, and length of enrollment at CIU. Students have opportunities to grow through counseling and/or logical or natural consequences. The ultimate goal is restoration of healthy relationships with God, other individuals, and the community. The Student Handbook lists some of these avenues.
Student Complaints and Grievance Policy
It is the goal of CIU to provide services and educational opportunities without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability or biological sex/gender at birth. Should a student have a complaint, CIU provides two avenues for the student to address the complaint; a student may choose to appeal a decision or file a formal grievance. An appeal can be made when a student disagrees with a university decision. A grievance can be filed when a dispute has arisen regarding treatment toward a student by a university employee. The process aims to be constructive and positive in resolving differences.
A student grievance is a perceived or actual cause for student complaint arising out of some perceived or actual harm due to an action taken by the university or a university employee. These grievances address a university-related problem or condition which a student believes to be unfair, inequitable, discriminatory, or a hindrance to the overall educational process. A grievance may also include discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, disability, or biological gender/sex at birth.
- Whenever possible and in a timely fashion, a student should voice a complaint informally with the university employee involved in the initial situation before filing a grievance.
- Anonymous complaints will not be formally addressed.
- There will be no adverse effect on, or retaliation against, either a student who, in good faith, submits an appeal/grievance, or against any person who, in good faith, provides information regarding an appeal/grievance.
- Written appeals or grievances will receive written responses within five business days and will be kept on file in the appropriate office.
Academic Grievance Procedure
If a student has a concern about an academic matter the following process should be followed:
Step 1: In keeping with the Matthew 18 principle, the student should discuss the matter with the faculty member involved. Faculty will listen to concerns or questions and, when deemed appropriate, amend decisions. After the discussion, if the student feels that one of the following applies, Step 2 of the appeal process may be taken:
- The decision rendered was not supported by sufficient evidence (i.e. expectations in the class syllabus).
- The academic consequence is more severe than called for by the situation.
- A stated university policy has been misapplied.
- There has been some level of discrimination.
Step 2: Within three days of receiving an answer from the faculty member, a letter of appeal should be delivered to the student’s academic advisor. If the academic advisor is the faculty member involved, Step 3 should be taken. The letter of appeal should outline the concern, describe the steps taken and the answer given, and provide an explanation of why one of the above stated reasons can be applied to the situation. The academic advisor will have a meeting with the student and the faculty member to discuss the problem and issue a written decision on the appeal within 30 days. If the student feels that the decision does not correctly address the reason for the appeal as stated above, he or she should proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Within three days of receiving a written decision from the academic advisor, the student should deliver a letter of appeal to his or her dean of the college who will direct the appeal to the Academic Grievance Committee. The letter will be given to the committee chair and the matter will be presented to the Academic Grievance Committee for resolution. The committee is comprised of a minimum of three program directors or their designees and other faculty and staff as appropriate to provide expertise related to the specifics of the grievance. The committee will meet within 14 days of receipt of the grievance.
The student may request to be in attendance for the discussion of the issue to present a verbal statement, bring witnesses and evidence, and to answer questions. In addition, the student may request a neutral observer (only) who is a student at CIU to join them at this meeting. Neither the student nor the observer will be allowed to be present during the decisionmaking process. Following the appeal discussion and decision, the Academic Grievance Committee chairman will provide a written response to the student outlining the decision within 30 days.
An appeal of the Academic Grievance Committee decision may be made only if there is evidence that the grievance procedures were not followed, new evidence surfaced, or inappropriate or disproportionate consequences were imposed. The written appeal must be presented to his or her dean of the college within three days of receipt of the written Academic Grievance Committee decision. A student also has the right to register a complaint with the Provost and/or university President.
For Georgia residents not attending the Columbia, SC, campus, should the student so elect, he or she may contact the State of Georgia — Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission — after all other procedures outlined above have been exhausted: State of Georgia, Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084, www.gnpec.org, 770.414.3300.
Non-Academic Grievance Procedure or Appeal Process:
If there is a non-academic issue at hand, it must first be determined whether it is an appeal or a grievance. *If the matter is a perceived incident of discrimination on the basis of sex, please refer to the Title IX statement at the end of the grievance policy.
An appeal should be submitted when there is a disagreement with a decision made by the University or a university employee. Appeals should be made, in writing, to the person/department rendering the decision with which there is disagreement. A response will come within five business days. If the response is not satisfactory, then an appeal may be made to the supervisor of the person/department responding to the initial appeal. This appeal should be made within three days of the previous decision. The response from the supervisor will come within five business days and is final and binding on all parties. This appeal procedure does not apply to academic decisions (see Academic Matters above).
A grievance should be submitted when a student believes he/she has been mistreated by a CIU faculty or staff member. The grievance process is described as follows:
Step 1: After submitting a written grievance, the student should formally discuss the matter with the individual or office involved. If a student believes Step 1 is especially daunting or inappropriate given the situation, he or she may proceed to Step 2. This procedure should not be followed in the case of a disciplinary appeal. Please refer to the disciplinary appeal process stated in the student handbook.
After a discussion with the individual or office involved, if the student feels the situation has not been resolved satisfactorily, Step 2 of this process may be taken:
Step 2: Once a student has addressed the individual or office involved, the student may direct a letter explaining the grievance to the supervisor of the person or office involved. If unknown, Student Life should be contacted for the name of the appropriate person to address. The student should submit the letter in writing within three days of receiving information identifying the contact person.
After submitting a letter, the student may request a meeting to present a verbal statement, bring witnesses and evidence, and to answer questions. In addition, the student may request a neutral observer (only) who is a current CIU student to join him/her at this meeting. Neither the student nor the observer will be allowed to be present during the decision process. Following the discussion and decision, the appropriate university representative will provide a written response to the student outlining the decision within five business days.
Step 3: If this response does not resolve the issue, the grievance may continue through the following process in order:
- Dean of Student Life
In each instance the student with the grievance should contact the next office within three business days of notification from the previous office. The CIU official will reply back within five business days of notification from the student filing the grievance.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. Under Title IX, discrimination on the basis of sex can include sexual harassment or sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and sexual coercion. According to Title IX, the perceived perpetrator may be any member of the CIU community, current student or employee, male or female. If a student, male or female, believes that he/she has been a victim of discrimination on the basis of sex, it should be immediately reported to the Dean of Student Life.
Title IX Compliance Statement
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program or activity operated by recipients of federal financial assistance. Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.
Columbia International University is committed to providing an environment free from discrimination based on sex and provides resources and services to assist students, faculty and staff in addressing issues involving sex discrimination, including sexual violence.
Sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking and relationship violence have a profound impact on a victim’s academic, social, working, and personal life, and negatively affects victims’ friends and families, other students, co-workers, and members of the university community. To combat this complex problem, CIU provides resources and educational programs designed to prevent sexual violence and other acts of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, provide information about what to do when an incident has occurred, and increase awareness of campus and community resources for support and response.
Victims of sexual violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence are encouraged to seek support and report the incident. CIU has appointed a Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Coordinators to oversee CIU’s response to Title IX complaints, develop training and education programs/materials for faculty, staff and students, as well as monitor the effectiveness of CIU’s Title IX compliance efforts.
If a person believes that a violation has occurred, please report it to the appropriate CIU office listed below. CIU will not tolerate any form of retaliation towards a person reporting a violation. A comprehensive policy is available online in the Campus Life section of my.ciu.edu.
Title IX Compliance Officers:
Title IX Coordinator:
Dr. James Lanpher, Office of the Provost, Columbia International University, 7435 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC 29203. (803) 807-5027 e-mail: TitleIXCoordinator@ciu.edu
Title IX Deputy Coordinators:
Employee related compliance matters:
Don Jones, Director of Human Resources, Columbia International University, 7435 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC 29203. (803) 807-5009 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Athletics related compliance matters:
Kim Abbott, Assistant Athletics Director, Columbia International University, 7435 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC 29203. (803) 807-5248 e-mail: email@example.com
Student and general compliance matters:
Rick Swift, Dean of Student Life, Columbia International University, 7435 Monticello Road, Columbia, SC 29203. (803) 807-5234 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Georgia residents not attending the Columbia, SC, campus, should the student so elect, he or she may contact the State of Georgia—Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission—after all other procedures outlined above have been exhausted: State of Georgia, Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, 2082 East Exchange Place, Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084, www.gnpec.org, (770) 414.3300.
Academic Success Center
The mission of the Academic Success Center (ASC) is to provide assistance to all CIU students as they pursue their academic goals. Tutors are available to guide students with academic planning, time management, study skills, test preparation, writing, and course assignments. In addition, the ASC administers the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) and oversees the CIU testing center. For further information, see Out of Sequence Test Policy in the CIU Policy Library (http://www.ciu.edu/policy).
The ASC also provides accommodations for students with physical, emotional, psychological, and learning disabilities. CIU is committed to ensuring equal educational opportunities for all students. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, CIU provides reasonable accommodations for students with currently documented disabilities. Requests for accommodations may be made throughout the semester, and ideally they would be initiated as early as possible in order to ensure the quality and availability of services needed. Questions regarding requirements for qualifying documentation and disability accommodations may be directed to the ASC at email@example.com or 803-807-5611. For further information, see Student Disability Policy in the CIU Policy Library (http://www.ciu.edu/policy).
Since we seek to train and develop the whole person, physical fitness is a key aspect of the overall program. Students are encouraged to develop healthy habits in the areas of sleep, diet, and exercise. Facilities, equipment, organized intramural team sports, and fitness and nutritional information are available to assist students in achieving and maintaining a viable fitness program. The university continues to develop an intercollegiate athletic program and is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the National Christian College Athletic Association. Current intercollegiate sports include men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, track, and cross country, women’s volleyball and softball, and men’s golf.
The Career Services office provides a range of services to assist students with their career and employment needs. The office maintains a password-protected job database with current listings for on and off-campus jobs. Numerous campus jobs are available in various departments, some requiring little or no experience. Part-time and full-time off-campus positions are available in churches, educational institutions, mission agencies, para-church organizations, and the marketplace locally, nationally, and internationally. Students receive guidance in conducting a job search, self-assessment, résumé, cover letter writing, and interviewing. In addition to the services listed above, career counseling occurs in a variety of settings and activities on campus, particularly through academic advising, program-specific courses, ministry skills/internships, and chapels. Representatives and recruiters from Christian organizations are on campus recruiting personnel throughout the school year.
Counseling and Discipleship Ministries
Many CIU students grow through discussing life issues with Student Life personnel and other faculty. Non-clinical counseling encourages students in their relationships with God and others, in biblical self-image, and in handling the challenges of life, community, and ministry. Referrals to on-campus licensed professionals or other licensed therapists in the Columbia area are available upon request.
Food service at CIU is provided through a contract with Hallmark Management Services, Incorporated. Hallmark offers on-campus students a choice of meal-plan options. Various plans are available during Summer studies sessions. Off-campus students and guests may purchase meals during regular academic terms.
An on-campus clinic staffed by a registered nurse and a visiting physician is provided for the health care needs of CIU students. Students are responsible for the cost of medicines, physician’s fees, testing procedures and hospital charges.
All single undergraduate students under the age of 23 are required to live on campus in the residence halls their first year. Those under 23 years of age who do not live with their families are required to live on campus in subsequent years. Airconditioned rooms are furnished with beds, desks, chairs, dressers, sinks, small refrigerators, and microwaves. Community bathrooms are located on each hall, and free laundry facilities are located on both sides of campus. Each residence hall is equipped with WiFi and satellite TV.
Pine View apartments offer on-campus housing for CIU students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Efficiency, one, two, and three bedroom units are available. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and walk-in closet. All apartments come with kitchen appliances as well as a washer and dryer, available cable TV, and high-speed internet. For more information, visit http://pineview.ciu.edu/.
There is a wide range of off-campus housing possibilities. The Student Life Office maintains a database of available housing on our website at www.ciu.edu/studentlife/off-campus/list.php.
CIU strives to provide a hospitable environment for its many international students. Many faculty members have significant overseas ministry experience.
A special international student handbook is published each year to introduce international students to the life of the school and the community. The school’s emphasis on cross-cultural ministry and biblical studies provides an atmosphere in which international students are encouraged to relate biblical truth to their cultures and in which North American students are encouraged to appreciate other cultures and consider how the Scriptures may be lived out and communicated in those cultures.
Many international students and families live in the Columbia area, most attending the University of South Carolina. This large international community and the many churches in the area provide a variety of learning and ministry experiences. The Student Life Office informs, encourages and helps international students and their families with non-academic concerns, including transition issues and immigration policy and paperwork.
Married Student Services
The Married Student Association coordinates events designed to include the whole family. Student spouses and families are encouraged to be involved in other activities of the student body. Spouses are encouraged to enroll in an academic program or individual courses. (See “Spouse Tuition Benefits ” in the Financial Aid, Tuition, & Fees section.)
New Student Orientation
Welcome Week assists both new students and parents of undergraduates in their preparation for college life at CIU. The orientation program provides a comprehensive introduction to the CIU community and CIU’s educational philosophy. While being informative, Welcome Week is also an opportunity for fun and fellowship.
All entering undergraduate students are required to attend Welcome Week. Orientation information is mailed to all accepted students. Undergraduate students who are unable to attend must notify the Student Life Office prior to the August or January orientation.
CIU operates a full-service post office for faculty, staff, and students with regular afternoon hours throughout the academic year. Students are assigned a personal post office box for receiving mail. The Post Office sells stamps, postcards, and air forms and receives and forwards letters and packages for the U.S. Postal Service. UPS, FEDEX, and DHL are also available for deliveries and mailings.
Student Organizations help foster the mission of CIU among the student body. The various student leaders represent student concerns and needs to the administration and organize a variety of student events. Some organizations serve the entire student body, while others are specific to undergraduate or graduate students.