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Frequently Asked Questions - Parents and Families

My student was involved in an incident. What can I do to help?

First and foremost, be supportive. Listen to your student and find out what they need from you – it may just be someone with whom to talk. Encourage your student to review the Code of Conduct and the specifically the policy in question and the procedure. If your student did violate the Code, encourage them to take responsibility for their actions. If your student did not do anything wrong, explain that the student should share that information and that their side of the story will be heard.

My student is a good kid!  They could not have done anything wrong!

Sometimes there are mix-ups and students find themselves "in the wrong place at the wrong time." Your student will be treated fairly and given an opportunity to explain what happened. Experienced staff and a highly-trained University Conduct Board (made up of faculty, staff, and fellow students) make determinations about what occurred. The process, at its core, is educational and that will be the focus when meeting with your student.

What can happen to my student?

If your student is in violation of the Code, sanctions can range from a disciplinary reprimand (a written warning) up to suspension or expulsion for more serious or repeat offenses. Also, there are additional educational sanctions that could be assigned dependent on the case. If your student is not in violation or charges are withdrawn, there would be no sanctions and no conduct record. 

Does my student have a "record"?  Does this go on their transcript?

Conduct records are confidential and cannot be released without the written consent of the student. Many graduate, law, or medical schools or employers with sensitive information (like the United States Government) often ask for a release of the applicant's conduct record. Files are retained for at least seven years after the date of the incident; some files are retained indefinitely. 

Conduct records do not appear on transcripts.

Why can't I know all the details?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) keeps university students' academic records (including grades and conduct) confidential. A student must complete a FERPA waiver for our office to share details with anybody besides the student. Refer to Accessing Student Records for instructions on how your student can complete a waiver.

What rights does my student have?

Students' rights include the assistance of an advisor, the right to review the complaint made against them, the right to have witnesses, and the right to appeal.

Should I get a lawyer?

If you or your family wishes to be advised by an attorney, this is a personal decision to be made only by you.  Unless you can provide documentation that there are concurrent criminal charges pending, lawyers are not permitted to participate in the conduct process.  Lawyers are often not aware of the distinct differences between criminal proceedings and university student conduct procedures. The student is always permitted to have an advisor, and a list of those advisors internal to Drexel University can be made available to you upon request. Our office has a list of faculty and staff members who are well-versed in process and can help students prepare their cases.

What are some additional resources for my student?

Terminology/Glossary

University Conduct Board: A group of Drexel students, faculty, and staff that hear cases involving alleged student misconduct. The Board is trained to evaluate the information regarding a case, ask questions and determine whether a violation has occurred. They also recommend sanctions. The University Conduct Board also hears appeals.

Disciplinary Reprimand: The student is warned that further misconduct shall result in more severe disciplinary action. This is the lowest sanction available.

Disciplinary Probation: A specific period of time during which the University provides the student with the opportunity to prove that they will contribute in a positive manner to the University community. Should a student violate University policies while on Disciplinary Probation, more severe sanctions shall be imposed.

Deferred Suspension: Serves as a final warning to a student that if they are again found in violation of any University policy, the University is obligated to consider suspension as a primary response.

Suspension: A separation of the student from the University for a specified period. A suspended student will be withdrawn from all courses and may not attend classes, take exams, receive grades, maintain a position as a co-op student, hold a leadership position or be on University premises.  A student may return to Drexel after the suspension period is completed.

Expulsion: A permanent disaffiliation between the student and the University. An expelled student shall not be permitted on University property.