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CONTENTS Chapter 1 Academic And Financial Guidelines Academic Guidelines The Academic Program Grading Policy Th.M. And D.Min. Procedures Alumni Society Tuition And Financial Aid Guidelines Tuition Payment Financial Aid, Grants And Scholarship Withdrawal And Cancellation Of Enrollment Student Tuition Recovery Fund (Strf) Statement On Student Fundraising Efforts
3 3 6 8 12 13 13 14 14 17 18 19
Chapter 2 Student Support And Resources Library Support And Counseling
21 21 25
Chapter 3 Student Life Spiritual Formation Leave Of Absence Policy Use Of School Property Residence Guidelines Communal Behavior Student Grievance Procedures
26 26 27 27 28 29 30
Chapter 4 International Travel And Living In United States Entry Documents And Procedures Extensions, Transfers, And Employment Guidelines For Living In The U.S.A.
32 32 32 35
Chapter 5 Student Government Student Government Constitution And By-Laws
Chapter 1 Academic and Financial Guidelines Academic Guidelines English Proficiency And TOEFL Requirements Non-‐native English speaking applicants are required to submit TOEFL score. The minimum TOEFL scores are 500 (paper-‐ based), 220 (computer-‐based), and 84-‐85 (internet-‐based). The TOEFL ID of International Theological Seminary is CA0575. The TOEFL requirement is waived if applicant is pursuing a non-‐English degree program (Chinese or Korean). He/she is not allowed to cross-‐enroll in the English program without passing TOEFL exam. Furthermore, the TOEFL requirement is waived if the applicant presents a certification from the last school attended as having completed the latest degree program in English language with GPA of 3.0 or B and higher. Non-‐submission of TOEFL will result in a probationary status. A minimum TOEFL score is required to continue the study. ITS offers its educational programs in three languages known as ITS-‐English Program, ITS-‐Chinese Program and ITS-‐ Korean Program. Students are accepted to the latter two (2) programs when either Korean or Chinese is their first language. These students come to the United States from their respective
country of origin with F-‐1 visa. ITS does not have ESL program.
Registration Using the school catalog and the current schedule of courses, the student and advisor will meet before the beginning of each term to complete a registration worksheet. First-‐year M.A. students and First-‐ and Second-‐year M.Div. students should normally take all the courses listed in their categories on the schedule of courses. M.A. students in their second year, as well as Third-‐year M.Div. students, however, are allowed to choose electives as well as make up for any core courses they may have missed previously. In planning courses, all international students should remember that they must take a minimum of 12 units per term to fulfill their visa requirements. A student who needs to drop below this level because of illness, accident or other emergency should consult with the Academic Dean immediately. The completed registration worksheet, signed by the advisor, is then taken to the school financial officer, with whom tuition is calculated and settled. Finally, the form is taken to the registration officer, who actually enters the registration information and gives the student a confirmation notice.
Academic Advisors And Planning Every graduate student is assigned under the mentorship of a resident professor at the beginning of the program. For Th.M. and/ or D.Min student, the mentor guides the student in developing his/her curriculum related to his/her concentration. Mentor also serves as thesis or dissertation advisor.
Withdrawal From Course Or Class And Cancellation Of Enrollment A student has the right to withdraw from course or class as long as it does not jeopardize his/her immigration Full course study Load as F-‐1 student. A student who withdraws from course or class on or before the first class session shall receive 100 percent refund of the amount paid for tuition. California law stipulates that a student has the 32252receive a refund for that part of the course not taken for which the student paid, if he/she has completed 60% or less of the instruction.
Withdrawal Or Enrollment Cancellation Procedure A student may withdraw or cancel his/her enrollment agreement by mail or in person with a written request, permanently or for a quarter. a) The Intent to Withdraw or Cancel letter should be addressed to the VP for Academic Affair.
b) If the student has 1-‐20 provided by ITS, he/she should present an admission letter from another institution; or he/she should present an immigration paper showing change of status. c) Students with F-‐1 status will be transferred upon the receipt of a copy of admission letter from another institution. d) Paper work will be forwarded to the Registrar to process refund of tuition fee. e) For non F-‐1 students, he/she should proceed to the Registrar to process refunds on tuition according to the school’s refund policy. f) No refund will be granted if a student leaves without officially withdrawing. No refund will be given to a student who leaves under discipline.
Refund Policy California law stipulates that a student has the right to cancel his/her enrollment at any time during the cancellation period and receive a full refund of any money paid to an institution minus fee not to exceed $100. A student also has the right to withdraw from his/her program at any time. If a student chooses to cancel or withdraw, he/she must notify International Theological Seminary in writing. The withdrawal or cancellation will become effective as of the date the seminary approves it. If a student withdraws after the cancellation period, but not over 60% of the instruction period, he/she is entitled to a refund. The formula for refund calculation is as follows:
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 If a student paid $920 tuition and withdraws after completing 10 hours of a 40-‐hour course, his refund would be: $920 ÷ 40 hours = $23.00 (hourly rate for instruction) $23.00 x 10 hours = $230.00 Partial tuition owed Tuition paid: $920 minus Partial tuition owed: $230 = Refund Amount: $690.00
Course Attendance Policy Class attendance is mandatory. All students are expected to attend classes regularly and punctually. Normally, three absences constitute a failing grade and three tardy is equivalent to one absence, but the professor has the full authority to determine appropriate consequences. No unexcused absence is allowed. Excused absences are given only for sickness or a family crisis. A student may ask for an excuse prior to the class by explaining the circumstances and providing a plan of how he/she will take full responsibility to make up the work (by recording the lecture and discuss the content with another student). If illness or other emergencies require you to drop one or more classes or withdraw from school, notify the seminary office immediately. This is especially important for international students.
Submission Of Assignments Course assignments should be turned in to the instructor promptly on the date they are due. Essays and other writing assignments should be carefully prepared so that they conform to the latest edition of Turabian. The seminary deadline for all course assignments is 4 p.m. Friday, the last day of the exam week. Instructors may assign due dates before this date, but they may not accept any assignments after this date. Since this regulation is directly related to the ability of instructors to submit final grades promptly, please do not ask them to compromise on this regulation.
Academic Integrity Students are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity in all their written assignments and examinations. Except for items explicitly designated as group projects by the instructor, all work submitted should be one’s own. Academic integrity is not limited to one’s own actions but one’s entire environment. For example, when one student copies answers from another student, both the one copying and the one who allows him or her to copy are in violation of academic integrity. A failing grade will be the result of violating academic integrity in any form. Serious cases and defiant behavior are investigated by the Academic Integrity Committee. Academic probation, suspension, or termination will be the consequences.
The Academic Program Students should familiarize themselves with the seminary catalog, especially the requirements for the degree program they will pursue. For the first quarter, a fairly light schedule of classes (12 to 16 units for M.Div./M.A. students) is advised, in which you believe you can do well— classes for which you have at least some previous background. A typical course description in the catalog includes the number of units, hours per week, prerequisites, and a short description of the course. Generally the number of units given may be used as an approximate guide to the amount of effort you may be expected to put forth. For example, a four-‐unit course requires much more time and effort than a two-‐ unit course. The course description is a
useful guide into what is covered in the course. A prerequisite is a course which must be taken prior to enrollment in specific course. In addition to courses required for graduation, there is often room in a student’s program for elective courses, which students choose to broaden their knowledge, develop a better background for another course, or improve their skills, for example, in English. These elective courses can be taken in the second year of the M.A. and third year of the M.Div. program, and are included in the total number of units required for graduation. Below is a summary of the requirements for the various degree programs at ITS.
Summary of Degree Requirements M.A.
Core Course Requirements
6 unit dissert.
9 unit project dissertation
English Proficiency (if required)
Rem. Eng. (6 units) Corr. Eng. (6 units)
Rem. Eng. (6 units) Corr. Eng. (6 units)
Corr. English (6 units)
Minimum GPA Lowest grade
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 In addition, all degrees require the following: 1. Pass the Bible Knowledge Test (given October, April, May) 2. Settle all financial obligations with the school 3. Complete all degree requirements within five years of initial matriculation Faculty approval of overall qualifications Including at least 2 courses (4 courses for graduates of non-‐ Reformed schools) of systematic or philosophical theology.
Full Course Study Load For F-I Students A student with F-‐1 status is required to maintain a full course study load in order to maintain his/her status. A student with F-‐1 status is expected to finish the degree he/she is accepted within the specified length of study period as follows:
M.A. 16 units per quarter to complete the program in two (2) years M.Div. 16 units per quarter to complete the program in three (3) years Th.M. 12 units per quarter to complete the coursework and thesis in two (2) years D.Min. 15 units per quarter to complete the coursework and dissertation in two (2) years
Duration Of The F-1 Visa For Students Writing Thesis/Dissertation 1. A thesis or dissertation should be completed within three (3) quarters. 2. A Fourth Quarter Extension for Thesis/Dissertation (excluding summer term) is subject to a penalty which will be categorized as “extension penalty.” 3. The 1-‐20 Extension is only for six (6) months. Every application has a fee. (See office for scheduled payment. It may increase without notice.) 4. The maximum extension in writing a thesis/dissertation is TWO (2) quarters. A student may be advised to finish the thesis/dissertation in his/her home country. He/she may return for graduation. 5. SEVIS allows students to return home for research and be away from school for no more than 120 days.
Graduating Students Immigration Compliance A student with F-‐1 visa is allowed to carry less than the minimum units in the last quarter of the last year of study ONLY. The minimum full-‐time study load for the four degree programs of ITS is as follows:
12 units per quarter
12 units per quarter
9 units per quarter
10 units per quarter
All F-‐1 students are subject to annual academic review. A student who fails to
maintain the required cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) for all programs is on academic probation for one (1) quarter and a Notice of Academic Probation is issued by the Registrar. Failure to improve the GPA above the required level may result in dismissal from the seminary. Upon the recommendation of the Faculty members, a letter of dismissal due to Academic Incompetency will be issued to the student signed by the VP for Academic Affairs. Academic Incompetency will be noted in student’s 1-‐20 (SEVIS).
Grading Policy Grade System Letter grades are used with the following numerical values for the purpose of computing the grade point average:
A student, for reasons of documented illness or other hardship, may request an extension of the due date for course work. The professor, with the concurrence of the VP for Academic Affairs, may give an “I” grade for the course. This grade is temporary and the student will be given up to the end of the next quarter to complete the course requirements. If at the end of the agreed time frame the “I” grade is not removed, it will automatically change to “F”. The grade will appear as such on the permanent record.
B 3.00 (84-‐87)
B-‐ 2.67 (80-‐83)
Transfer Of Credit
A-‐ 3.67 (92-‐95)
AVERAGE C+ 2.33 (76-‐79) C 2.00 (72-‐75) C-‐ 1.67 (68-‐71) POOR D+ 1.33 (64-‐67) D 1.00 (60-‐63)
Policy On Incomplete Grades
GOOD B+ 3.33 (88-‐91)
A 4.00 (96-‐99)
FAILURE F 0.00 (0-‐55)
When a student receives an “F” grade, the course will have to be repeated if it is needed to fulfill course requirements (core course) for a degree program. An “F” grade is counted in computing the current and cumulative GPA until a new grade is given for the course. However, “F” grade will appear as such on the permanent record.
EXCELLENT A+ 4.00 (100)
D-‐ 0.67 (56-‐59)
Requests for transfer of credit will be reviewed only after a student has applied for admission into a degree program at ITS. The maximum credits that may be transferred from another accredited institution to ITS may be up to 20% of total number of units required for Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 Theological Studies Programs. A maximum of 30% of the total number of credits may be transferrable for Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry programs at ITS excluding thesis or dissertation. Courses to be considered for transfer must have been completed successfully at another institution with a grade B or higher for the M. A and M.Div. programs and B or higher for the Th.M. and D. Min. programs
Advanced Standing Award of credit for prior experiential learning is quite extraordinary which is not yet practiced at ITS. However, accrediting agencies such as Association of Theological Schools in United States and Canada (ATS) allows each institution to exercise discretion on this matter within the general policy as follows: A student granted advanced standing may be exempted from some courses but not reducing the total number of academic credits required for the degree. The term “advanced standing” is distinct from transfer of credits. The Advanced Standing refers to student’s competence when no transcripts of graduate credit are presented. If advanced standing is granted with credit on the basis of appropriate evaluation, not more than 20% of the total credits required for a degree may be applied. ITS grants award of credit for prior experiential learning to an outstanding, exemplary and promising student with more than 15 years of successful church or mission ministry from his/her home
country. Proper certification of ministerial experience from one’s home country and recommendation from leadership are required for a student who requests an evaluation for “award of credit for prior experiential learning.” Upon the recommendation of the Faculty, a student may be awarded for up to a maximum of 20% of the total number of required units for the degree. Advanced standing is only for the Master of Divinity program. However, the award of credit for prior experiential learning may be granted to a Doctor of Ministry student by administering necessary written and oral examinations by the advanced standing committee. Awarded credits not more than 20% of the total required units excluding dissertation will be recorded in the transcript with a notation Passed(ADS) without counting toward GPA .
Procedure On Advanced Standing Or Award Of Credit For Prior Experiential Learning a) The student should file a request for the Award of Credit for Prior Experiential Learning evaluation from the VP for Academic Affairs office. Certification of ministerial experience from one’s home country and recommendation from his/her home country leadership should be filed together with the request form. b) The VP for Academic Affairs shall appoint the members of the Advanced Standing Committee consisting of a mentor and two other faculty members.
This committee appointed for this particular student will also serve as the dissertation committee. c) The Advanced Standing Committee (ASC) will administer necessary written and oral examinations as the basis for evaluation. Upon passing the examinations, the ASC and the VP for Academic Affairs will decide the number of award of credit for prior experiential learning, not exceeding 20% of the total number of required units for the degree excluding dissertation of a D.Min. student. d) The ASC will recommend a student to faculty members for certification. Award of credit for prior experiential learning will be forwarded to the Registrar for recording with a notation Passed (ADS) without counting toward the GPA . e) A student granted the award of credit for prior experiential learning shall pay 50% of the tuition fee for the awarded credit. A student has the right appeal for re-‐evaluation.
Transferability Of Credits And Credentials Earned At Our Institution The transferability of credits you earn at ITS is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the degree you earn in Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Divinity, Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits or degree that you earn at this institution are not accepted at the
institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending ITS to determine if your credits or degree will transfer. Students may apply for admission to credit courses on a non-‐credit or audit basis. Applicants must meet all applicable admissions requirements. . In order to audit a class, the student has to obtain the permission of the VP for Academic Affairs, complete the necessary registration, and pay a non-‐refundable fee ($100 per course) for each course. The fee is refundable only if the instructor does not approve the class attendance of the audit student. A grade of "AU" will be given to denote an audit. Students must declare their intention to audit a class at the time of registration. An audit student who wants to take a course for credit is subject to the academic policy of the seminary, including tuition and class assignments. A course may be changed from Audit to Credit no later than the end of third week of the quarter.
Independent Study Taking courses through independent study is strongly discouraged. Requests for independent study are reviewed and granted by the VP for Academic Affairs
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 under special circumstances. M.A. and M.Div. students are allowed one independent study per quarter during the last year of study only. Th. M and D. Min. students are allowed to enroll one independent study per quarter to a maximum of two (2) courses. After obtaining an agreement between a professor and student, an independent study course may be conducted by means of assigned reading and reading report (M.A. and M.Div. 1200 pages; Th.M. and D. Min, 2800 pages); writing a paper (M.A. and M.Div. 20 pages; Th. M and D. Min. 35-‐40 pages quality research paper); and/or an examination. A student taking an Independent study should meet at least three times with the professor for discussion. In the four degree programs, the maximum credit hours which can be taken through independent study are as follows:
required to raise his/her GPA in the following quarter above the minimum GPA. Failure to raise GPA above the required level may result in dismissal from the seminary.
Readmission No period of time is specified before students who have been dismissed for poor academic performance are eligible to petition for readmission. The Admissions Committee, however, will readmit a student only when there is clear evidence that the difficulties previously encountered have been overcome and that eventual completion of degree requirements can reasonably be expected.
Leave Of Absence
Regular class attendance is expected in every course. Absence from class for a legitimate reason will be excused by the professor if the reason is reported to him/her promptly. When a student’s absence from the campus is due to illness or some other causes, he/she is expected to notify the Department Dean or the VP for Academic Affairs promptly of such absence and its cause. Leave of absence can be granted under extraordinary circumstances.
GPA And Academic Probation
A student may be placed on academic probation if the student’s cumulative GPA does not meet the required level [3.0 (B) for MA and M.Div. programs and 3.3 (B+) for Th.M. and D. Min. programs]. A student placed on academic probation is
Commencement exercises are held once each academic year at the end of the third quarter. All students who are eligible to receive degrees are expected to participate in the commencement ceremony. If a student is unable to be present at the ceremony, he/she must
2 courses (6-‐8 credit hours)
3 courses (9-‐12 credit
Th.M. 2 courses (maximum of 6 credit hours)
D. Min. 2 courses (maximum of 10 credit hours)
petition the faculty to receive the degree in absentia, giving the reason for his/her inability to attend the commencement ceremony. When it is necessary, a graduation ceremony is held at the end of Fall Quarter to celebrate the students’ graduation before they return to their respective country.
Request For Transcript And Diploma Prospective graduates must process their Clearance no later than the last day of classes of the last quarter in order to participate in the commencement exercises. Neither a diploma nor a final transcript will be released to a student
until his/her financial obligations to the seminary are paid in full. For a student who received grant or Mission Partnership Scholarship and signed a Pledge to Return to his/her country, the diploma and transcript will be released if a graduate with debt has returned to his/her country and has served at least for three years. (See Scholarship and application process).
Th.M. and D.Min. Procedures Students enrolled in the Th.M. and D.Min. programs should pay special attention to the special requirements and procedures described in the catalog. A summary of these procedures is as follows:
Th.M And D.Min. Requirements Timeline Description
Be assigned (1st year students)/Petition for (non-‐1st year September students) faculty advisor based on area of interest
Arrive at dissertation/papers/project topic(s); submit proposal
First Quarter (Last Fri. of Sept.)
First Quarter (Last Fri. of Sept.)
Undergo qualifying/candidacy oral examination, begin writing dissertation
First Quarter (October)
First Quarter (October)
Submit dissertation/papers and Abstract to mentor & readers
2nd Fri. of March
2nd Fri. of March
1st & 2nd 1st & 2nd week week of April of April
Submit final, corrected archive copies
Last Friday of Last Friday of May May
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 Upon arrival, the student should report to the Academic Dean the area in which he or she wishes to do research and writing (e.g., Church History, Missions, Old or New Testament, Systematic, Practical Theology). The Dean will confer with the faculty and appoint a mentor. The choice of a topic for the thesis must be made in consultation with the mentor, and a dissertation proposal is submitted to the Academic Dean. A qualifying examination is held, to verify that the student’s abilities and chosen topic are viable. If approved for candidate status, the student may begin research and writing, following the guidance of the mentor at all steps of the process. Students must register for the writing of their dissertation as if it was a course, and tuition is charged according to the number of hours designated for the dissertation. By the end of March of the following year, the complete dissertations should be submitted to the school through the student’s mentor, who will arrange an oral defense in the second and third weeks of April. If the dissertation is deemed to be of sufficient quality then the candidate is approved for the degree. Final copies of the dissertation, including any required revisions, are due by the second Friday of June. Students should carefully study the guidelines on academic writing in a separate document.
Alumni Society Graduation does not signal the end of one’s relationship with ITS; on the contrary, it is just the beginning! All alumni are considered a part of the ITS family worldwide, and are one of the main avenues through which ITS continues to expand to different areas of the world. We look forward to hearing news of you and your ministry. We ask that you continue to partner with us and prayerfully and generously support the seminary. Continue to communicate with ITS through internet forums, our visiting professors or visit the campus.
Tuition and Financial Aid Guidelines International Theological Seminary neither participates in Title IV nor receives any state or Federal fund. The International Theological Seminary Grants are provided to prospective students who demonstrate their promise and potential for leadership in the churches of their home countries. Grants are awarded to international students with F-‐1 status and students who are already serving ethnic churches in the United States. Grants from 25% to 50% tuition fee only are given according to the needs of each student. Generally, international students with F-‐1 visa are granted 50% tuition fee ONLY in the form of an interest-‐free forgivable loan. This loan will be automatically
reduced by 25% for each year if a student returns home or either serves a church or educational institution in his/her home country or in mission field after graduation from ITS. In order to receive tuition fee grant from ITS, every student is required to sign a “Statement of Commitment.” However, when student does not keep his/her pledge to return to his/her countries after study, he/she will be obligated to pay back the full amount of grant he/she received throughout the study at ITS. All grants are reviewed and renewed annually in the duration of the study within the designated program provided the recipient remains in good standing and must maintain an average GPA of 3.0 or B for M.Div and M.A and an average GPA of 3.33 or B+ for Th.M and D.Min.
Tuition payment Payment Schedule Tuition and other fees are payable at the time of registration. This is normally on the day before the beginning of classes for a quarter. Returning students who did not take advantage of Pre-‐ registration during the previous quarter will be charged a late registration fee ($80).
Payment in Full Students must pay the whole amount of the tuition and fees indicated on the registration paper at the time of registration.
Installment Payment Plan Students who want to pay tuition and fees in installments must pay one-‐third at the time of registration, one-‐third on the first day of the following month, and the final one-‐third on the first day of the next month.
Policy for continuing students Failure to keep accounts current will render students ineligible to attend classes or receive grades or transcripts. Students will not be permitted to register for courses for a new quarter unless all financial obligations to the seminary have been settled, or satisfactory arrangements have been made.
Financial Aid, Grants and Scholarship When the admission application is accompanied by a scholarship application, the scholarship committee shall decide on grants. Grants or Scholarship are for Full-‐ time Students only.
Tuition Fee Grant: 25% Up To 50% Tuition Fee Only
Description Since this seminary is fully dedicated to developing and training future church leaders for developing world, all prospective students are encouraged to demonstrate their promise and potential for leadership in the churches of their home countries. The grants are funded by mission-‐minded churches, mission organizations and individuals who are concerned for the strategic mission to the Majority World through ITS.
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 Grants are awarded to international students in the form of an interest-‐free forgivable loan. This loan will be automatically reduced by 25% for each year if a student serves a church in his/her home country or in mission field after graduation from ITS. However, when students do not keep their pledge to return to their countries after study, they will be obligated to pay back the full amount of grant they have received throughout their study at ITS. Grant application must be applied for at the time of application for admission. (Download admission documents online)
Basis for Grant Award The following are considered as the bases for the awarding of grant. 1. Individual financial needs; 2. Ministerial experience and special merits; 3. Mission strategy, demonstrated promises and potentialities for leadership in Third World churches, 4. Maintains 3.0 GPA and 5. Designated funds
Duration of Grant All grants are renewed annually for the duration of the study within the designated program, provided the recipient remains in good standing and must maintain an average of 3.0 GPA or B as stipulated on the conditions of the awarding of the grant. Renewal application must be submitted no later than May 1 of each year.
The maximum length of the duration of grant is two (2) years for M.A., Th. M. and D. Min and three (3) years for Master of Divinity. When additional courses are prerequisite for the degree, grant may be extended to a maximum of three (3) years. There is no grant for student who applies for second degree program right after graduation. In order to avail of ITS grant, student must return to his/her home country and serve at least 4 years. Students must pay fee and tuition for any credit taken to repeat a course.
Mission Partnership Scholarship: 100% Tuition Fee Only Annually, 100% tuition fee only scholarship is awarded to incoming students who are highly recommended and sent by either their academic institution or denomination for further study in order to prepare for leadership responsibilities in their home country.
Initial Qualification For Mission Partnership Scholarship 1. An incoming student should submit Mission Partnership scholarship application together with Commitment to Return Home and a signed job contract with home mission, church or school. 2. Minimum average of B+ or 3.5 GPA from the last school attended 3. Certification Letter of ministry performance from either supervisor or pastor 4. The applicant and home mission or church/school should sign an
agreement indicating that after graduation from first degree program, the student should return home and will be absorbed by the denomination, school or church for ministry. 5. Qualified incoming student from overseas will be notified of the scholarship. 6. Performance will be reviewed annually.
Terms and Conditions for ITS Mission Partnership Scholarship 1. There is no automatic renewal of scholarship. Mission Partnership scholarship is subject to annual review. 2. All applicants should maintain Full Course Study Load prescribed in ITS time in order to qualify for Mission Partnership scholarship. 3. Re-‐application for Mission Partnership Scholarship: Applicants should maintain a grade average of 3.33 GPA (B+) or higher and have submitted the Personal Development Goal. 4. Deadline for scholarship application renewal: June 15.
Presidential Scholarship Every year ONE $1000 Presidential scholarship will be given to a student who has the most financial need. To be qualified, a student must have a minimum of 3.5 GPA and is highly recommended by supervising pastor or faculty. The recipient may be recommended by the faculty but the final decision will be from
the President. The scholarship will be credited towards tuition fee. Awarding: Fall Quarter – Convocation Service
Faculty Scholarship: Every year ONE $1000 Faculty Scholarship will be awarded to a student who exemplified academic excellence, has the highest GPA but not lower than 3.80 GPA. The recipient should be voted by the Faculty and recommended to Administrative Council for Awarding. The scholarship will be credited towards recipient’s account. Awarding: Fall Quarter – Convocation Service ALL applications for renewal will be reviewed by the Faculty and be recommended to Administrative Council for awarding. Recipients will be announced during the Convocation Worship Service.
Work Study Limited availability. Upon the approval of the VP for Operations and Finance, student is allowed to work between 6-‐ 15 hours each week, depending on two factors, funding and work availability. Payments are automatically credited towards tuition fee. Submit application to the Office of the VP for Operations and Finance.
Teaching Assistantship: Limited availability. Upon the approval of the VP for Academic Affairs, Teaching Assistants (TAs) are allowed to work between 6-‐ 15 hours each week, depending on two factors, funding and
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 work availability. Payments are automatically credited towards tuition fee. Inquire from the Office of the VP for Academic Affairs.
Withdrawal and Cancellation of Enrollment Withdrawal From Course Or Class And Cancellation Of Enrollment A student has the right to withdraw from course or class as long as it does not jeopardize his/her immigration Full course study Load as F-‐1 student. A student who withdraws from course or class on or before the first class session shall receive 100 percent refund of the amount paid for tuition. California law stipulates that a student has the right to cancel his enrollment at any time and receive a refund for that part of the course not taken for which the student paid, if he/she has completed 60% or less of the instruction.
Withdrawal Or Enrollment Cancellation Procedure A student may withdraw or cancel his/her enrollment agreement by mail or in person with a written request, permanently or for a quarter. 1. The Intent to Withdraw or Cancel letter should be addressed to the VP for Academic Affair. 2. If the student has 1-‐20 provided by ITS, he/she should present an
admission letter from another institution; or he/she should present an immigration paper showing change of status. Students with F-‐1 status will be transferred upon the receipt of a copy of admission letter from another institution. Paper work will be forwarded to the Registrar to process refund of tuition fee. For non F-‐1 students, he/she should proceed to the Registrar to process refunds on tuition according to the school’s refund policy. No refund will be granted if a student leaves without officially withdrawing. No refund will be given to a student who leaves under discipline.
Refund Policy California law stipulates that a student has the right to cancel his/her enrollment at any time during the cancellation period and receive a full refund of any money paid to an institution minus fee not to exceed $100. A student also has the right to withdraw from his/her program at any time. If a student chooses to cancel or withdraw, he/she must notify International Theological Seminary in writing. The withdrawal or cancellation will become effective as of the date the seminary approves it. If a student withdraws after the cancellation period, but not over 60% of the instruction period, he/she is entitled to a refund. The formula for refund calculation is as follows:
If a student paid $920 tuition and withdraws after completing 10 hours of a 40-‐hour course, his refund would be: $920 ÷ 40 hours = $23.00 (hourly rate for instruction) $23.00 x 10 hours = $230.00 Partial tuition owed Tuition paid: $920 minus Partial tuition owed: $230 = Refund Amount: $690.00
Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) A student must pay the state-‐imposed assessment for the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) if all of the following apply: 1. A student in an educational program, who is a California resident, or are enrolled in a residency program, and prepay all or part of his/her tuition either by cash, guaranteed student loans, or personal loans, and 2. Total charges are not paid by any third-‐party payer such as an employer, government program or other payer, unless the student has a separate agreement to repay the third party. A student is not eligible for protection from the STRF and therefore not required to pay the STRF assessment if either of the following applies: 1. Not a California resident, or are not enrolled in a residency program, or 2. Total charges are paid by a third party, such as an employer, government
program or other payer, and he/she has no separate agreement to repay the third party. The State of California created the Student Tuition Recovery Fund (STRF) to relieve or mitigate economic losses suffered by students in educational programs who are California residents, or are enrolled in a residency program attending certain schools regulated by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. You may be eligible for STRF if you are a California resident or are enrolled in a residency program, prepaid tuition, paid STRF assessment, and suffered an economic loss as a result of any of the following: 1. The school closed before the course of instruction was completed. 2. The school’s failure to pay refunds or charges on behalf of a student to a third party for license fees or any other purpose, or to provide equipment or materials for which a charge was collected within 180 days before the closure of the school. 3. The school’s failure to pay or reimburse loan proceeds under a federally guaranteed student loan program as required by law or to pay or reimburse proceeds received by the school prior to closure in excess of tuition and other costs. 4. There was a material failure to comply with the Act or the Division within 30 days before the school closed or, if the material failure began earlier than 30-‐
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 days prior to closure, the period determined by the Bureau. 5. An inability after diligent efforts to prosecute, prove, and collect on a judgment against the institution for a violation of the Act." However, no claim can be paid to any student without a social security number or a taxpayer identification number. It is important that enrollees keep a copy of any enrollment agreement, contract, or application to document enrollment, tuition receipts or canceled checks to document the total amount of tuition paid and records which will show the percentage of the course which has been completed. Such records substantiate a claim for reimbursement from STRF, which, to be considered, must be filed within one year following school closure. For further information or instruction, contact, Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education, 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400 Sacramento, CA 95833 or P.O. Box 980818, West Sacramento, CA 95798-‐ 0818 P (916) 431-‐6959; F (916) 263-‐1897. Website: www. bppe.ca.gov
Statement on Student Fundraising Efforts Because one of the founding principles of ITS is to provide education to those students who normally would not be able to afford it, the school is constrained to set out the following policy concerning fundraising efforts on the part of students who are attending ITS on scholarship.
The school is well aware that many of its students have promising ministries at home, which could benefit greatly from any support commitments developed in the United States through contacts provided by the church or school setting. However, the students are reminded that the reason for their presence in this country, made possible by the school’s scholarship support, is solely for the pursuit of their intended degree program. This scholarship support, furthermore, in and of itself, is completely adequate for the purpose specified, and the student should therefore accept this gift in gratitude to the school and its supporters. In view of this situation, for students to carry on active efforts to solicit funds for their own personal support, or for pastoral, missiological, or educational ministry in their home countries while they are here as ITS students presents serious problem: not only does such solicitation have the potential to divert funds which would normally have been given to ITS in order to support future students, but more immediately, it reflects an attitude on the part of the student of not being satisfied, of always seeking more. In addition, it undermines the determination by the school of the amount of funds necessary to carry on a lifestyle consistent with ministers in training. This attitude and the perception of this attitude by others, we believe, is detrimental to the core mission and purpose of ITS.
Therefore, in view of this situation, it is expected that students will not actively seek support from outside sources in addition to their normal ITS support. For funds which are offered to the students unsolicited, the students should graciously encourage the donors to give to the school, instead. If, despite the students adherence to these guidelines,
funds are still given to the student, he or she is required to report the amount to the school in written form, including date, donor’s name and address, amount, and nature and circumstances of the gift. For gifts larger than a set amount, which is currently $450, the school may reduce the student’s scholarship accordingly.
Chapter 2 Student Support and Resources Library The ITS library collections consist of books (English, Chinese, Korean, etc.), periodicals, cassette tapes, CDs, and Videotapes. At present, more than 40,000 titles of books (approximately 51,000 volumes) are cataloged and classified using the Library of Congress (LC) Classification system. Beside that, there are 4,000 Chinese collections and 2,500 Korean collections that are located on the open shelves. International Theological Seminary has a membership of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) and Southern California Area Theological Library Association (SCATLA). ITS website is http://www.itsla.edu/. ITS is a SCATLA (Southern California Area Theological Librarians Association) Member, and therefore students may use the libraries of other member schools, for example, Fuller Seminary, Talbot Seminary, and Claremont Graduate School of Theology. Please request an identification card from the librarian.
Library Hours Monday-‐Friday 8:00 a.m.-‐4:00 p.m. Closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Closed during chapel time 11:45 a.m.-‐ 12:30 p.m. (Mon-‐Fri) At the chapel time [during chapel], all students are encouraged to attend the worship service. No one is allowed to stay in the library.
Library Services Reference Desk: Ask (or call 626-‐448-‐ 0023) librarian for help in finding information or using the library’s resources.
Computer Lab Computer lab is for any student who needs a word processing and Internet access. Regarding the use of computer for completing paper work, knowing how to use program is mandatory. However, students can find assistance for computer technology from students who are on duty in the lab. Students should bring virus free diskette, thumb drive or CD to save own work. Students are not allowed to alter any programs/settings; any attempt to do so will result in the loss of his/her right to use computer. Use Internet discriminatively. Do not access inappropriate websites that violate
school ethics. Violators will be reported to school officers for proper sanction.
Maximum number of items is 8 books for current students and 5 books for non-‐ current students.
Hold Request: The circulation desk staff can put a hold on any circulating book except for reserve materials. You will be contacted when the book is available for check out.
Circulations books may be checked out for two weeks and may be renewed once unless there is a no-‐hold restriction on the material. Renewal through the phone is acceptable.
Any overdue fine on checked out material must be paid before the item can be renewed.
Printer or Copier: Printouts are available from the black and white laser printer for 5 cents per page. Copying is allowed only on one side, not on both sides. Each page of copying is 5 cents. All pages must be paid for, even if a copy was made by mistake.
Library Procedures Locating Materials Book search is made through the use of computer catalog. Search can be by author, title, keyword, or subject in bib-‐base, on our computer catalog Periodicals are arranged alphabetically by title in the periodical department. Back issues are located in storage. (Ask the librarian).
Checking Out Materials Valid library card is required to check out/ renew books.
Videotapes may be checked out (maximum of 2 copies) for two days. Overdue charge is $1.00/tape/day. Overdue period in excess of one month is considered as lost. Lost video material will incur $50 replacement charge. Audio tapes may be checked out (maximum of 1 set) for one week. Overdue period in excess of one month is considered as lost. Lost video material will incur $50 replacement charge. CD may be checked out (maximum of 2 copies) for two days. Overdue charge is $1.00/CD/day. Overdue period in excess of one month is considered as lost. Lost video material will incur $50 replacement charge.
Overdue, Fines And Lost Materials Fines: overdue books are charged at $0.50/book per day to the maximum replacement cost of books Lost book/s must be replaced with the same or similar materials, plus charge of $30.00 per soft cover item or $50 per hard cover item.
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 Three-‐months overdue is considered as lost. Past due item(s) or unpaid fines in excess of one month will result in the revocation of borrowing privileges until the issue is resolved.
Reference Books, Reserved Books And Periodicals These resources are strictly for on-‐site use only, and not to be taken out of the library. However, special arrangement can be made for some materials to be checked out overnight (to be returned the next morning by 9:50). Library items for on-‐site use (not to be checked out) should be left on the desk or in the assigned bookcase for re-‐shelving purposes.
Library Conduct Silence should be observed. Turn off all mobile phones. Students are expected to remove all litter from the tables and desks they have been using. Keep the library clean at all times. No food or drink is allowed inside the library. Do not lie down to sleep on the sofa and chairs.
Computer Laboratory The ITS computer laboratory provides approximately twelve up-‐to-‐date pc workstations capable of word-‐processing and basic email and internet applications, as well as theological and Biblical
research. The lab is located within the library, has the same open hours. In addition to the general Library usage regulations, above, students should take time to understand and follow the guidelines for computer usage which follow. These regulations apply not only to the computer laboratory, but also to the use of any computers belonging to the school, whether on campus or in the dormitories.
System modifications Students are reminded that no one, with the exception of Computer Service personnel, is allowed to make any hardware or software modifications to the current computer workstations, including, but not limited to, the following actions: ! ! ! ! !
installing any program deleting any program changing system preferences or options changing internet options or preferences clicking “yes” to internet dialogue boxes asking to install programs
If a student needs to use a certain program which is not already installed on the computers, then he or she may petition the System Administrator to include it on the list of installed programs. The decision to accept or reject this petition will be based on the necessity and utility of the program, as well as overall system security considerations.
Usage limits In order to make the facilities available to all, students are asked to be reasonable and sensitive in their use of the lab computers. If others are waiting, then work-‐processing and quick email checking, for example, would take precedence over extended internet sessions.
Questionable and prohibited internet sites The internet makes available a wide variety of materials, some of which fall into the categories of the illegal, or the morally reprehensible, or against the Christian life-‐expectations of ITS, or a combination of two or more of the above. Students are expected not to use the internet in such ways. Any student found to have done so will be expelled permanently from the computer lab and also subject to the appropriate school-‐ wide disciplinary procedures.
Other Computer Services
School email Students are assigned to use an @itsla.edu email address while they are at ITS. This single email address suffix simplifies communication between current faculty, students, and staff and will also allow you to make our school more known. All students are expected to check their email at least once per week and are responsible for any official communications disseminated through this medium. We cannot guarantee that
you can keep your address indefinitely, but you will be allowed to use it for at least three months after graduation. The email addresses assigned to students are actually virtual email addresses: they are not final destinations for messages, but actually forward all incoming messages to an actual email address of your choice. If a student does not already have an email address, he or she should sign up for a free email address at any of three providers: Yahoo (http://www.yahoo.com) Hotmail (http://www.hotmail.com) Google (http://www.google.com). The email address which is listed on the student’s file will be the one to which their ITS email is forwarded. If you have a new or changed email address, please notify the Webmaster and request that your ITS mail be updated.
Student computers ITS realizes that it is important for students to have access to computer, even at night, and will try to accommodate these needs as much as possible. In addition to computers in the campus Computer Lab, there are some public computers available in the dormitories. Students who do not own their own computer, but have a real need for one, may speak to the IT Manager and request to be placed on a waiting list to be assigned a refurbished computer should one become available. Once assigned, the computer should be treated as school property and used responsibly,
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 so that upon graduation, the unit may be passed on another student.
Computer software and hardware assistance Basic instruction in word processing, email, and internet usage is provided once or twice yearly at special orientation sessions. In addition, assistance is available from the on-‐duty student assistants in the computer lab. Also, help can be found informally, from other students. Also, students having hardware or software problems with their own computers can come to receive advice and repair of simple problems at the “clinic,” usually held one afternoon a week. Check the Computer Lab bulletin board for more information.
Support and Counseling Faculty Advisors And Advisor- Based Small Groups Upon admission, each student is assigned a faculty advisor with whom he or she can work through academic procedures, for example degree planning, registration, and performance, as well as psychological and spiritual concerns.
Other Sources Of Support In addition to the faculty advisor program, the seminary allocates up to 10 hours per quarter per student for out-‐of –class faculty-‐student interaction and academic counseling. Students may come to the
relevant individual faculty members whenever they need tutoring or academic guidance. Normally, one should check the instructor’s schedule and make an appointment when he or she is available. In addition, the Dean of Students and Academic Dean are available during normal school hours to meet the needs of students. For those suffering in special mental and emotional situations, arrangements will be made for a limited number of counseling sessions.. Please inquire first with your assigned advisor or with the Dean of Students.
Physical Health Whether or not one has health insurance (international students are required to have it; see chapter 6), students may find the cost of health care intimidating. However, in case of an emergency, one should not hesitate to enter a hospital emergency room, or call 911, immediately.
Student Government Each year the student body elects officers to serve the ITS in various capacities, including representing student opinion before the faculty and administration, and organizing student activities. Moreover, the student service officers are responsible for supervising all the campus service duties, to make sure that they are satisfactorily fulfilled. Students with initiative and imagination are strongly encouraged to participate in order to continually make ITS a better school.
Chapter 3 Student Life In fulfilling its mission, it is the responsibility of ITS to ensure a balanced academic, spiritual and social life. The following regulations shall serve as a general guideline for reference. Further questions can be addressed to the Dean of Students.
Spiritual Formation ITS is committed to see our students develop in all areas of their lives—Biblical knowledge, leadership skills, and character. In regard to the latter, various approaches are used to foster spiritual formation:
Chapel Attendance Worship and prayer meetings are part of ITS family daily schedule. The chapel times play an important role in molding Christian characters and promoting unity among students, staff and faculty. Student life at ITS is evaluated based on the student’s participation in chapel services and small group prayer meetings. Local pastors, faculty, and visiting alumni are invited to speak at the chapel. Students are given opportunity to lead worship and sing in their mother tongues to share with others the diverse cultural aspects of Christian worship.
Community Prayer Groups Every Wednesday, faculty, staff and the entire student body are formed into small groups to spend time in prayer. Small groups meet to nurture one another with their testimonies and to pray for concerns shared among them.
Church Attendance & Participation All students are expected to attend and participate in a local church for their own spiritual growth. Students also gain the opportunity to build a network of relationships for their own spiritual well-‐ being. We believe that experiential learning is a significant part of the overall learning process while in seminary.
Important School-Wide Functions In view of the importance of the unity of the ITS community, all students are expected to be present at all official gatherings and functions of the school. Those with urgent extenuating circumstances should seek to be excused by the Dean of Students and properly record their permitted absence in the Leave of Absence Log. Two seminary functions of utmost importance, and from which students will normally not be
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 excused, are Fall Orientation (for new and continuing students) and Commencement. Students should examine the yearly ITS Calendar and plan accordingly.
Leave of absence policy Any absence from school for more than 48 hours, or any absence which causes the student to miss an important school function, should be cleared with the school through the Leave of Absence Logbook, available at the Academic Dean’s office: fill in the required spaces for name, dates, reason for leave, and contact information, and signature. An administrative approval signature is also required. Failure to properly petition for and report absences from school may lead to disciplinary action, and in some situations, suspension or termination of the student’s visa.
Use of school property All school property is made available by donations of friends and supporters of the seminary. They have made sacrificial donations to ensure the continuous operation of the seminary. Please take good care of them as “consecrated entities”. You should not move, rearrange, or remove them without prior permission from seminary authority.
Daily Lunch Lunch is prepared daily by students and/or through outside sources. This is a unique provision for the ITS community. Nevertheless, the expense is high even with our minimal budget. Students are expected to partake of what is offered with gratitude and without waste or over-‐ consumption.
Interpersonal Relations ITS students’ conduct toward one another should be directed by our Christian outlook: Because we are all made in the image of God, we have to treat everybody with respect. Because we are all in the process of maturity, we make allowances for each other without rationalizing or excusing our sinful behavior. Our freedom in Christ is not a license to do what we want, but to do what will glorify God and edify others. Integrity should characterize us—our deeds should match our words. Love should motivate our actions. Special care should be exercised in our behavior toward leaders and students of the opposite sex:
Leadership and submission In Christ we are all equal, whether young or old, man or woman, rich or poor. While
equal in God’s sight, God has given leaders to whom we should submit and give honor to. All of us are leaders in our communities; we need to practice servant leadership: doing what needs to be done for God’s glory. The student body elects individuals to the Student Executive Committee.
Relations with the opposite sex Since students are expected to focus on studies and return to their own countries, dating and courtship are discouraged. Instead, ITS encourages true friendship among the servants of the gospel so that the Kingdom of God may be furthered by cooperation. Students should avoid circumstances where wrong public perceptions may be formed regarding their social behavior.
Student Hygiene And Dress ITS recognizes that its students come from a wide range of cultures, each with its own conventions of personal hygiene based on geographical, traditional, and practical considerations. However, inasmuch as the school is situated in an urban setting in the United States, and also for the sake of other students and staff who may be from different backgrounds, students are asked to bathe or shower at least every other day, and launder their clothing regularly so as not to cause discomfort to others. Also smoking is not allowed.
Although ITS does not have a formal dress policy for students and much is left up to individual preference and taste, students are expected to adhere to a sensible standard of dress in normal campus and dormitory life. Clothing should be clean and functional; that which is overly revealing or distracting, reflects a disrespectful attitude toward others, or is of a conspicuously luxurious nature, should be excluded. Some examples of unacceptable clothing include tight or semi-‐transparent shirts, tank-‐tops, or very short skirts. Outside of normal campus life, students’ choice of clothing should show good judgment and evaluation of the situation, so that the reputation of the school is upheld. Public ceremonial events such as Commencement, for example, require more formal attire, such as shirt, tie, and jacket for men and dress for women. At more informal events (such as a seminary picnic), a t-‐shirt and jeans, or even shorts, would be more appropriate.
RESIDENCE GUIDELINES ITS provides housing for single students only. It is limited in space, so it is available on a first-‐come first-‐serve basis. Dormitory rental rates are listed by quarter per person based on the number of occupancy. Rates are subject to change. Since all dormitory rooms are first-‐come, first-‐served, students are encouraged to look for roommates before applying for a particular dorm.
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 There are adequate housing facilities within 2 mile-‐radius from the physical location of the seminary. Prices are ranging from $ 500-‐ $1,200 per month. Renting a room -‐ $650 -‐ $800 per month (including utilities except phone) One bedroom apartment -‐ $1000-‐ $1,200 per month Two bedroom apartment -‐ $1,300 -‐ $ 1,400 per month ITS has no responsibility to find or assist a student in finding housing. Married students who come with their family must secure their own housing. Due to immigration requirements, students on F-‐1 visa may not arrive earlier that one month prior to the beginning of classes, but married students must plan to secure housing one month before the beginning of Fall Quarter. If they have children, they should plan even earlier.
Room and furniture assignment Students living in residence are assigned room and bed space with much deliberation. Please do not change assignments among yourselves without permission. All furniture has been arranged with much care. You should not rearrange them on your own before consulting with the Dorm Manager. In general, students with special needs, for example a physical disability, have precedence for choice of accommodation, followed by others ranked by age from oldest to youngest.
Maintenance of room and personal property All rooms and public spaces should be kept neat and free of rubbish. Please do not use tape or nails to hang anything on the walls. Students should not keep valuables, such as jewelry or large sums of money in their room. Students who lose their room keys will be charged a replacement fee. Students are not authorized to duplicate room keys on their own. Students leaving their rooms in the summer months must clean up their rooms and return keys to the Vice-‐ President for Operations & Finance. Failure to this will result in their normal room rate being charged.
Communal behavior Students are required to keep voices down during quiet hours, and no visitors are allowed during the morning quiet time hours. The private space and times of others should be respected.
Residence Dining The Student Vice-‐President oversees the lunch program. Lunch is available at the dorm Monday through Friday. Students in residence shall take care of their own meals on Saturday and Sunday. Students should prepare their own breakfast with the bread, jam, milk, and other supplies
provided. Please be sure to clean up after yourselves.
Guests Your guests are ITS’ Guest. ITS’ guests are your guests too. All students are to be courteous to our guests and visitors. Dorm students should not bring guests of the opposite sex to their rooms. Also, no guest is allowed to stay overnight in the dorms without prior permission from the Dean of Students. All guests should leave by 10:30 p.m.
2. Non-academic grievances a. Among students.
Whenever a grievance among students arises, a threefold process will be utilized:
STUDENT GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Students are expected to settle the grievance among themselves.
If the grievance among the students is unable to be resolved, the grievance is to be taken and addressed by the members of the Student Executive Council (EXCO). After making their decision, they will address the involved students.
There are two types of student grievances: 1. Academic grievances Students who have an academic complaint are encouraged to contact the instructor directly to resolve the complaint. In the event that this contact does not resolve the academic complaint, the student is encouraged to make an appointment with the Vice-‐President for Academic Affairs so that the complaint may be officially registered and solutions discussed. Students who have serious grievances should submit his/her complaint in writing to the Vice-‐President for Academic Affairs. The Administrative Council (President, Vice-‐President for Academic Affairs, Vice-‐President for Students’ Life and Vice-‐President for
Operations and Finance) shall discuss and act on the matter in its next available meeting. A written response will be developed and forwarded to the student within ten days after the meeting. The decision of Administrative Council is final. Issues regarding questions and disputes about grades must be finalized within two weeks of the issuance of the grades.
If the student grievance is still not resolved, the grievance will be taken to the Vice-‐President for Student Life who will make a final decision to resolve the grievance. b. With staff and/or faculty. Whenever the student has a grievance with a staff and/or faculty member, the student should put the grievance in writing and present the written grievance to the Vice-‐President for Student Life. He/she will subsequently take the letter of grievance to the Administration Council who will respond to the grievance by
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 communicating with both the staff and/or faculty member and the student(s) in an appropriate manner to resolve the grievance. A student or any member of the public may file a complaint about this institution with the Bureau for Private Postsecondary
Education at 2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95833, by calling telephone number (888) 370 -‐7589 toll-‐free or by fax (916) 263-‐1897, or by completing a complaint form, which can be obtained on the bureau's internet web site www.bppe.ca.gov.
Chapter 4 International Travel and Living in United States International Theological Seminary (ITS) cordially welcomes our new students to the United States of America. It is our hope that you will enjoy your time with us. Following are answers to questions frequently asked by international students.
Entry Documents and Procedures Passport And Visa Your passport is the identification document issued by your government. You should keep your passport valid at least six months from the expiration date. The passport is stamped with a visa by the US Embassy or Consulate to permit entrance to the United States of America. Most visas are marked “single entry”, which means that you may enter only once with that visa. Some visas are marked “multiple entry,” which means that you may enter and leave as often as you like, provided the visa. Be sure to keep your passport in a safe place at all times. NOTE: It is strongly advised that you obtain your F-‐1 visa before you come to the United States, rather than enter the U.S. with a visitor or tourist visa and then try to change their status to F-‐1.
Other Documents The I-‐20 Form is an official document issued to you by the seminary. Upon your arrival, the immigration officer will put a stamp on your I-‐20 form with a notation of D/S and return it to you. You must keep it in your passport together with the other documents. The official name of the I-‐94 Form is “Arrival-‐Departure Record.” This is the card that is stapled to your passport at the time you arrive at the port of entry in the US. It indicates your status as F-‐1 students it will have either an expiration date or the notation “DS,” which means “duration of status.” If it has an expiration date, you must have it extended to that date. If it is marked “DS,” you are permitted to remain as long as you are in status, that is, as long as you are a full-‐ time student, making formal progress, and attending the school you are authorized to attend. You should keep your I-‐94 form inside your passport at all times.
Extensions, Transfers, and Employment Extension Of Stay If your I-‐94 has an expiration date, you must fill out the I-‐538 form, available through the INS, and send it together with the I-‐94 to the nearest INS office. The I-‐ 538 must be signed by a designated
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 official at the school, certifying that you are a full-‐time student making normal progress. This means that if you have dropped below a full-‐time load (normally 12 units/quarter for the M.A. or M.Div. and 9 units for Th.M.), the seminary must state that fact, and you may be called in to the INS to explain your failure.
Transfer To Another School To attend a school other than the one written on your I-‐94 Form, it is necessary to fill out a I-‐538 Form, requesting permission to transfer to another school. This form must be signed by an official of the school you were last authorized to attend (the one written on the I-‐94 Form). You must send the I-‐538, the I-‐94, and the I-‐20 forms from the school to which you intend to transfer, to the INS office that controls the last school you were authorized to attend. If that school is in the Los Angeles area, you should send these materials to the Los Angeles office of INS. If not, you will have to find out from the school that signs the I-‐538 Form which office to send it to.
Employment For International Students Approval by the INS is not required in order to work on campus. If it is necessary for you to work and if you are in your second quarter, you may be authorized to work on campus for no more than twenty hours per week. Availability of on-‐campus jobs is limited, however.
Off-‐campus employment is authorized by the INS under one of two conditions: 1) for practical training; 2) economic necessity. In any circumstance, students may not seek employment before their second year in the U.S.
Practical Training After completion of your course of study, in some cases students may apply to remain and accept employment for practical training in their major field before returning to their homeland. To qualify, it must be shown that the employment will provide training not available in the student’s home country. Permission, if granted, is for one six-‐ month period, and in some cases can be extended to another six months.
Economic Necessity To be eligible for employment because of economic necessity you must show that there was an unforeseen change in your financial after you entered the United States, for example, caused by change of government in your home country, decrease in the sponsor's’ income, or drastic change in exchange rates. If the Academic Dean supports your request, you may submit an application for permission to work. Normally, such applications are not accepted until the student has been at the school for a year or more; otherwise the INS may order the student to leave to the country. A work permit, which is a note on the student’s I-‐94 stating that employment is authorized, allows the student to work up
to twenty hours per week during the school year and full-‐time during vacation periods. Students having ITS full scholarship may not work without special permission from the Seminary. Also, ITS full scholarship students should always report to the Seminary their grant aid from other source(s) or from work. In such case their scholarship amount may be reduced to allow the Seminary to allocate assistance to others who are in need.
Travel Outside The United States Students are reminded that any travel away from campus needs to be cleared with the Dean of Students or Academic Dean and recorded on the Student Leave of Absence Log. International students should be especially careful to read to following guidelines and confer with the Academic Dan about their travel plans.
Travel To Canada Or Mexico If you have a multiple visa, you may visit Canada or Mexico for less than thirty days during your stay in the USA. You should first check with the consulate or tourist office of the country you plan to visit to determine whether or not you will need a visa to enter that country. You will also need to take with you a valid passport (make sure that it is 6 months before expiry), a valid I-‐94 Form and your stamped I-‐20 Form which was also endorsed and signed by an INS authorized officer.
When you enter Canada or Mexico, keep your I-‐94 Form; you will need it to be readmitted. When you re-‐enter the United States, you will need to show your passport, I-‐94 Form, and I-‐20 Form.
Travel To Other Countries Make plans to stay in the United States of America for the full duration of your studies. Should you make plans to leave the USA for a short period of time, which is permitted only in emergency situations, you must bring the I-‐20 Form with you as well as your passport. Make sure to have a seminary authority sign your I-‐20 before you leave the country. Without the signature you will not be able to return. The signature should be attained at least one week before you plan to go. When you leave the United States, you will be asked to return in your I-‐94 Form; you will receive a new one when you re-‐ enter. If your visa is still valid, that is, if it is a multiple-‐entry visa and it has not expired, and if your passport is still valid, you will need only the signed I-‐20 Form to re-‐enter, as proof that you are in good standing and will be continuing your studies. If your visa is a single-‐entry visa or if it has expired, you will need to obtain a new one from a U.S. consulate or embassy. While it is possible to do this in any country, consular officers are sometimes suspicious of students who apply for visa renewal outside their own country, and it may be necessary for you to explain why you are applying outside of your country.
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 Try to avoid this situation of uncertainty and waiting. Whether you apply for visa renewal in your country or in another country, it is usually a good idea to have someone in that country contact the embassy or consulate to find out exactly what documents are required and how long it might take to issue the visa.
Guidelines for living in the U.S.A. Housing Full-‐scholarship international students normally live in one of the school dormitories; however, for some students with families or in other special situations, private accommodations need to be found. Often word-‐of-‐mouth from other students or church can be the best source of housing leads. Local newspaper advertisements may also be helpful. Discuss housing problems with the Vice-‐ President of Finances & Operations.
yard work, housework, babysitting, etc. Sometimes board (meals) and room are provided in exchange for household duties, or a small weekly or monthly allowance may be paid, depending on the duties required. A private home offers both economic and social advantages. Before entering into such an arrangement, however, it is very important to determine in advance exactly what your role will be, what you will be provided and what will be expected of you, not only duties, but other responsibilities, such as being on time for meals, informing the family of plans to go out of town on the weekend, and other such events.
Many students live in apartments simply because they are more readily available than other accommodations. Before looking for an apartment, you should decide whether you want to live alone or with roommate, whether you want to rent or lease, and whether you want a furnished or unfurnished apartment.
There are many different arrangements involved in living in a private home. Often the student will simply rent a room, usually with a private bath. He or she pays rent but lives entirely apart from the family, with no other responsibilities to the family. In other cases, the student may become more or less a part of the family, having meals with them and having assigned responsibilities, such as
Rent is usually paid in advance by the month. If you decide to move, you are normally expected to give one month’s notice. A lease, on the other hand, is an agreement to rent the property for a specific period of time, usually one year. The tenant agrees not to move and the landlord is prohibited from increasing the rent during the period of the lease. In some areas, there are laws significantly
favorable to the tenant, covering items such as maximum allowable increase in rent and deposit requirements.
of ITS is available in the upstairs clothing rack.
Utilities include gas, water and electricity. In some apartments utilities are paid by the landlord; in others the tenant pays. Before renting, find out who is expected to pay for what utilities (telephone is not considered a utility; it is always paid by the tenant).
Immigration laws do not allow international students to work while studying in the United States without USCIS authorization. Full-‐time students who suffer from economic hardship may apply for a work permit from the USCIS after completing one full academic year of study. ITS does not guarantee nor promise jobs for students. (contact immigration officer for detail).
A security deposit is an amount of money paid by the tenant and refunded to him if he leaves the premises in good condition. It is not uncommon for a landlord to require a minimum of additional month’s rent as well as a cleaning or damage deposit of $50.00 to $200.00 or more. The landlord needs to receive adequate notice when you move. To be safe, make sure you give written notice one month before you move. While a security deposit is refundable if you leave the apartment clean, a cleaning fee is not. If you pay a cleaning deposit, find out in advance how clean you are expected to leave the apartment.
Food And Clothing There are many possibilities for good and clothing, but expect to pay significantly more than in your home country. In general, larger quantities at larger shops are less expensive than smaller ones: for example, a liter of orange juice may cost $3.00 at a small store, $1.50 at a “Ralphs” market, and $.75 (i.e. $6 for 2 gallons) at a Costco. Some used clothing from friends
Health Insurance All full-‐time students are required to have healthcare coverage. The seminary does not pay for health insurance. The student is responsible in securing health insurance for himself, and for family members living with him.
Transportation ITS is located near the public transportation which in many instances will be adequate for the student. A monthly student pass which covers all the major bus and subway routes in Los Angeles area can be purchased for a low price, and is normally the best option for most students. More information is available from the receptionist. Ride-‐ sharing with those who have cars is another solution. If a student is certain that driving is an absolute necessity, that he can afford to
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 buy and maintain a car, and that he is willing to take on the responsibility of automobile ownership, then the following items are required.
DMV. In some cases, possession of a Social Security Card may be helpful, but it is not readily available to international students.
An international Driver’s License is not recognized in the U.S. If you plan to drive, you will need to secure a California Driver’s License by passing a written test and a driving test at the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A study booklet to prepare for the test is available free at the DMV office.
California law requires public liability and property damage (PL/PD) insurance on your car, to pay for any personal injury or damage that may result from an accident.
Even if one does not plan to drive an automobile, one should obtain a California Identification Card from the
Currently basic PL/PD annual premium is about $1,000. Driving without insurance coverage is subject to a fine which exceeds $1,350. Shop around for the best rates.
Chapter 5 Student Government Student Government Constitution and By-laws Organization ITS students are organized into an association called ITS Student Body, which is structured as follows: the Student Body Council and the Student Body Executive Committee. Its purposes are: To foster the integration of all ITS students in the community, and giving the members of the institution a sense of belonging as a spiritual family, 1. Develop strong Christian character, 2. Maintain the vision, and the calling of God in ministry, and 3. Address the day-‐to-‐day needs of its members. Its jurisdiction extends to matters pertaining to on-‐campus life. Its goal is to help the ITS Student Body to abide by the rules and guidelines as provided in the Student Handbook and all subsequent and additional instructions given by the ITS administration.
Article 1 Definitions The different organs of ITS Student Body are defined below:
The Student Council The Student Council is the meeting of all ITS students, when the required quorum is met. It is the decision-‐making organ. Its jurisdiction extends to the extra-‐curricular activities of the students, and matters of minor importance pertaining to their life together on campus. It shall not concern itself with issues related to the legal status or the academic standing of a student, matters that belong to the Administration of the seminary and the officers rightly appointed to handle them. The Student Body Executive Committee The Student Body Executive Committee is the executive branch of the students’ organization. It concerns itself with the day-‐to-‐day functioning of the organization, implementing and following up on the decisions of the Student Council and instructions from ITS Administration.
Article 2 Structure Of And Rules Governing The Different Organs
A. The Student Body Council The Student Body Council comprises all I.T.S. students who are duly registered in a course every quarter. A meeting of the students shall be considered a Student Body Council when it meets the following criteria:
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 1) It is called by the Executive Committee at least a week before the due date 2) It is chaired by the Student Body President 3) The number of the students attending represents 50%+1 (i.e. 50% of the total of students plus one student, which is different from 51%). The discussions are conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order. The decisions of the Student Council are made by a simple majority vote (50%+1). In the event that the vote is pared at 50-‐ 50, the Student Body President shall cast the last vote to determine the issue. The meetings of the Student Council shall be held twice per quarter.
B. The Student Body Executive Committee 1. The Executive Committee is composed of the following officers elected by the Student Body Council: a) President b) Vice-‐President c) Chaplain d) Secretary e) Treasurer f) The dorm managers All officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected for a one-‐year non-‐ renewable term. These officials shall be elected in the spring quarter and be sworn in the same quarter.
The new Executive Committee assumes responsibility immediately after the ITS graduation and until the next ITS graduation in the following year. 2. Responsibilities of the President of the SBEC The President is the overall supervisor of the rest of the Student Executive. Moreover, the president a. Represents the student body to the administration b. Provides reports to the Student Body and to the administration c. Organizes with the SBEC students’ extra-‐curricular activities d. Organizes and monitors the cleaning assignments of students e. Oversees student complaints/concerns with the rest of the SBEC f. Provides regular feedback to the Dean of Students g. Presides over the meetings of the Student Council and SBEC h. Authorizes all student expenditures i. Provides leadership in the day-‐to-‐day student activities j. Accountable to the ITS administration 3. Responsibilities of the Vice-‐President a. Replaces the President in case of vacancy b. Assumes all his responsibilities in absence of the Student President c. Performs any duty as assign by the president d. Oversees the students’ kitchen duties 4. Responsibilities of the Chaplain
a. Prepares chapel programs and preaching roster b. Helps to plan and promote creative chapel programs c. Supervises the day to day operations of chapel d. Meets regularly with those responsible for the musical and technical aspects of chapel e. Serves as chaplain for the Seminary by assisting the student body president with matters relating to spiritual formation f. Provides spiritual counseling for students g. Conducts pastoral functions in the chapel as the need may be h. Other duties as assigned by the Dean of the Student Affairs i. Accountable to the president of student body 5. Responsibilities of the Secretary: Documents minutes of all meetings a. Writes and publishes all correspondence, decisions, and instructions under the supervision of the student body president b. Reads minutes during meetings c. Collects and distributes incoming letters d. Assigns mail boxes to students e. Calls for SBEC and General council meetings in consultation with the Student President f. Performs other duties as assign by the Student President 6. Responsibilities of the Treasurer
a. Keeps records of all incomes and expenditure of the Student Body b. Collects lunch money from the Account Officer and disburse to those cooking c. Gives quarterly financial reports d. Co-‐signs with the president all expenses 7. Responsibilities of the Dorm Manager a. Oversees the maintenance of the school property b. Makes duty roster for cleaning of the dormitory c. Provides essential amenities in the dorm including the kitchen and the restrooms d. Allocates accommodations to new students and beddings e. Reports any major repairs to the school administration f. Supervises the cleaning of the school premises 8. Responsibilities of the Director of Sport and Social a. Organizes sporting activities b. Arranges students’ quarterly retreat c. Promotes social interaction between the school and church communities d. Organizes the ITS Cultural Day e. Coordinates Inter-‐departmental sport competitions f. Serves as the PRO of the Student government g. Be in-‐charge of sport equipment of the school
ITS STUDENT HANDBOOK 2014-‐2016 Article 3 Student Elections In order to provide an intentional election process, the following steps will be taken in order to appoint students to the Student Executive Committee: 1. The EXCO will serve as the nominating committee by convening a meeting in order to nominate students for particular positions on EXCO. The selection of students will be based on the following criteria: a. Mature Christian character b. Gifting—the aptitude and skills for the related position c. Residence—in most cases (President, Vice-‐President, Facilities Manager), students who are eventually nominated should be living in residence at ITS d. Academic—elected students must have and maintain a 3.0GPA grade to be on EXCO.
the election, the student who took the initiative will present the name of the nominee to the student body during the elections. 5. On the day of the elections, the following steps will be followed: a. A member of EXCO will present the names of the candidates chosen by EXCO b. The floor is open for further nominations by students. Only names of students who were previously contacted and agreed to allow their names to stand for nomination, can be presented to the student body. No nominations from the floor without a student’s prior consent will be allowed. c. Once the nominations close, elections will be held for each position. The student who receives the majority of votes is elected to EXCO.
2. The EXCO will approach selected students who are asked to seriously consider allowing their names to stand for the student elections. Those who are asked to consider being nominees give their decision to the members of EXCO.
6. The names of the new EXCO officers will be posted on the bulletin board.
3. One week before elections, the names of the nominees are posted on the bulletin board for the student body to be informed.
Article 4 Student Grievances
4. Students may take the initiative by approaching and asking other students to allow their names to stand for particular positions on EXCO. If a student agrees to allow his/her name to be presented for
7. Newly elected EXCO officers begin their responsibilities after the ITS graduation in June.
Student Grievances There are two types of student grievances: 1. Academic grievances Students who have an academic complaint are encouraged to contact the
instructor directly to resolve the complaint. In the event that this contact does not resolve the academic complaint, the student is encouraged to make an appointment with the Vice-‐President for Academic Affairs so that the complaint may be officially registered and solutions discussed. Students who have serious grievances should submit his/her complaint in writing to the Vice-‐President for Academic Affairs. The Administrative Council (President, Vice-‐President for Academic Affairs, Vice-‐President for Students’ Life and Vice-‐President for Operations and Finance) shall discuss and act on the matter in its next available meeting. A written response will be developed and forwarded to the student within ten days after the meeting. The decision of Administrative Council is final. Issues regarding questions and disputes about grades must be finalized within two weeks of the issuance of the grades.
be taken and addressed by the members of the Student Executive Council (EXCO). After making their decision, they will address the involved students.
2. Non-academic grievances
Article 5 Review Of The Constitution And By-Laws
a. Among students. Whenever a grievance among students arises, a 3-‐fold process will be utilized: Students are expected to settle the grievance among themselves. If the grievance among the students is unable to be resolved, the grievance is to
If the student grievance is still not resolved, the grievance will be taken to the Vice-‐President for Student Life who will make a final decision to resolve the grievance. b. With staff and/or faculty. Whenever the student has a grievance with a staff and/or faculty member, the student should put the grievance in writing and present the written grievance to the Vice-‐President for Student Life. He/she will subsequently take the letter of grievance to the Administration Council who will respond to the grievance by communicating with both the staff and/or faculty member and the student(s) in an appropriate manner to resolve the grievance.
This Constitution may be reviewed at any time. The reviewing committee shall be constituted of five elected members. Amendment to the Constitution and By-‐Laws require a 75% majority vote.
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