Student Community Policies

Accomplishing the educational mission of Agora University requires an edifying community atmosphere and an environment that promotes spiritual growth. The student handbook is one way by which Agora University establishes a context for the student experience and indicates what we value. God and His salvific work lie at the heart of our perspective on conduct. Our code of conduct cannot produce spiritual affections; however, it is our attempt to produce an environment where each student can grow in the grace and likeness of God.

Code of Conduct

Personal Discipline

The structure at Agora University encourages personal discipline. Reflecting Christ demands Spirit-empowered moderation and discipline. No pursuit is more worthwhile than conditioning oneself for eternity. This self-control entails submitting our impulses and fleshly habits to the renewing influence of God’s Spirit. Self-discipline also includes stewardship. In other words, reflecting Christ involves wisely using the time, talents and material possessions God gives us to His glory. Christlikeness relates to God and others. Therefore, built on top of the need for personal discipline are several other principles that shape expectations for our educational community: loving respect and integrity.

Loving Respect

A Christian university such as Agora University provides a unique setting in which to live out the unity we enjoy in Christ. Successful community life requires a spirit of mutual humility, love and consideration. Respect for each other demands that we show consideration for the well-being of those around us regardless of appearance, age, ethnicity, gender, ability or spiritual maturity. This respect includes speaking the truth in love, conversing in ways that build up instead of tear down, including wholesome language that avoids profanity and euphemisms. Agora University highlights the fundamentals of the Orthodox Christian faith. Based on these essentials, we strive to maintain unity within the student body. Ultimately, our reverence belongs to the Lord. Therefore, sacrilegious comments or behaviour are inappropriate.

Integrity

Another key principle at Agora University in both this environment and all others is integrity. Integrity at Agora University includes principled, Spirit-enabled choices instead of deceitful, selfish behaviour such as dishonesty, plagiarism and cheating.

Christian Community

The Keyword in our University is “Community.” As a result, our students are expected to faithfully attend and serve at their local churches. We would encourage you to consider ways and opportunities to impact the world and correspond with the modern challenges that face our society in the spirit of Early Christian Wisdom.

Academic Life

Graduate students are to attend each class for which they are registered. In addition, students are expected to respect both professors and fellow students and exhibit deportment that helps create a positive learning environment in each classroom.

Academic Resources

Agora University wants all students to achieve their highest academic potential and makes faculty and academic support resources available to assist each student in meeting his or her academic goals. Students, however, are ultimately responsible for their own academic success and should take the initiative to ask for assistance as needed.

Faculty – Graduate students needing assistance with a specific course should first seek the help of the professor. Maintaining continued contact with a professor and staying informed of one’s academic status in a course is highly recommended.

Academic Advisor – Each student has an academic advisor who is knowledgeable about the degree the student is pursing and available to help the student plan his or her semester course sequence, course load and class schedule.

Other Resources – A graduate student may also obtain academic counseling and assistance from his or her academic dean and the registrar.

The Library – The Online Library, which contains approximately thousands of volumes, provides books, scores, audio recordings, periodicals and other reference materials for researching and academic work.

Relations in the Classroom

Students and faculty are brothers and sisters in Christ, and we expect each to treat the other with respect both in and out of the classroom. Appropriate discourse in a reasoned fashion is part of the education process, and strong opinions informed by fact, logic, spiritual maturity and insight are valued. Students are not only welcome but invited to discuss any matter with their professors in and out of class in the spirit of appropriate decorum and mutual respect.

Academic Integrity

In their academic lives, graduate students exhibit integrity by being truthful about their won academic work and properly acknowledging sources of ideas and information.

Copyrighted Material

All original works in any media format – including but not limited to print, video or audio, as well as images or materials on the internet – are protected by copyright laws, regardless of whether a specific copyright statement is attached to the media. Any duplication that does not fall within the guidelines of fair use requires permission from the publishing agent or copyright owner.

Cheating and Plagiarism

Cheating and plagiarism in any form is not tolerated. Because plagiarism is at times unintentional, the following information is intended to help clarify academic expectation with regard to plagiarism at Agora University. Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional use to any degree of the ides or words of one’s source material without proper acknowledgement.

Plagiarism typically takes two forms:

Substantial – Failure to acknowledge the use of an author’s ideas or organization by footnote or identification of the source in the text of the paper. Incomplete paraphrase (mere rearrangement of syntax and substitution of synonyms for the author’s words) is plagiarism.

Verbal – Failure to acknowledge the use of an author’s words by quotation marks, as well as by footnote or identification in the text.

Regardless of the source being used, all words and information from those sources must be presented accurately and acknowledged properly so that a student’s integrity is not called into question and his or her testimony harmed.

Violations

Faulty members report alleged incidents of cheating and plagiarism to the academic Dean. The Dean holds a hearing, makes a judgement and , if necessary, assigns an academic penalty. The Dean gives special consideration to students who self-report a violation to their professor.

Penalties for cheating are usually academic, ranging from a zero on an assignment to being removed from and failing a course. Cheating on a final exam or multiple cheating offenses may result in disciplinary penalties up to and including suspension from the University.

Social Media

Agora University expects students to use social media and blogs as part of your academic experience as a graduate student. We expect each student to use social media responsibly and respectfully in ways that reflect the moral and ethical guidelines set forth by Agora University.

Agora University is primarily an online institution, therefore, all courses and instructional materials and correspondence is conducted online. Please check your email account daily. We know life is busy, nonetheless, failure to be aware of updated policies, procedures or other information does not relieve you from responsibility or obligation.

Solicitation

Students, staff or outsiders may not sell to or survey the University community.

Speaking for the University

Students should refer media inquiries to the Public Relations office, which can answer questions accurately and speak officially for Agora University. Students are not to release information or grant interviews to the news media without first checking with the Public Relations office or being asked by that office to do so. In addition, students are not to speak for the University on social media.