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Tennessee Wesleyan University (TWU) protects the privacy of all students, adhering to the same privacy standards for online students as it does for students studying on the campus, through strict adherence to the rules of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The official FERPA statement is available for student and public view on the college's website, in the Academic Catalog and in the Student Handbook.

TWU is committed to protecting your privacy while employing technology that gives you a powerful and safe online experience. This Statement of Privacy applies to TWU’s websites and governs data collection and use at all TWU sites and services. Please read the complete Statement of Privacy to learn additional details about how some of these sites and services protect your personal information.

TWU issues a unique username and password to each student upon enrollment and each college employee upon date of employment. The username is required for both students and faculty to access the Sakai course management system for all courses, including distance learning courses, the MyPortal site for all student self-service needs, and email. Sakai is a secure environment where faculty members post course materials, assignments and exams, and provide chat and discussion forums for their courses; and where students participate in forum discussions and chat sessions, upload assignments, and take quizzes and exams. The privacy of individual students’ assessments and grades is maintained within the course management system. MyPortal is self-service site in which students can access academic, financial and other institution-related information. Student email accounts are hosted by Microsoft (office365 email service) and this account is the primary means of electronic communication between the college and student. College employees can request a college-hosted Microsoft Exchange email account.

Secure Login and Password

MyPortal, Sakai and Office 365 email (student accounts) can only be accessed with a valid username. All students enrolled in TWU’s distance learning courses receive individual secure login and passwords to these accounts. Students are responsible for keeping their student pass codes secret and confidential, and for notifying the college if they believe that their student accounts have been stolen or might otherwise be misused.

Each distance learning faculty and student enters his/her username and password into Sakai to gain access to authorized Sakai learning environment resources. This combination of user name and password identifies faculty and students to the system on each course visit. All users should understand the following:

  • All parties accept responsibility for the security of their personal passwords.
  • Private student information is separated from others’ within the course management system and protected from outside intruders through limited student permissions.
  • Private faculty information is protected from student views within the course management system and from outside intruders through typical faculty permissions.
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Personal Information

TWU will not disclose your personal information, except as required to do so by law, or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on TWU; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of TWU or (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of TWU, its websites, or the public.

Under Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, a student’s personally identified information stored at TWU will not be released to any third party without the written consent of the student unless permitted under circumstances and criteria outlined within FERPA. Further information of TWU’s adherence to FERPA, including the definition of directory information, is annually published in the TWU Academic Catalog and the TWU Student Handbook.

Use of Cookies

Cookies may be used to uniquely identify a user and they may be used to track individual preferences and other information about a web user. TWU will not use cookies to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer.

Content and tools used in conjunction with Sakai, Remote Proctor Now, or other web products may install additional cookies on your computer. This third party content may include cookies from the content issuer. These third party sites have separated and independent privacy policies. TWU therefore has no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. For your protection, TWU suggests you review the privacy and security policies of the company websites for each link.

Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of some websites you visit.

Links to Other Websites

TWU provides links to other websites that may be useful for our students and/or customers. TWU cannot make any representation of guarantee regarding the linked sites, their content or their security. For your protection, TWU suggests that you review the privacy and security policies of the company websites for each link.

Security of your Personal Information

TWU secures your personal information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. TWU secures the personally identifiable information you provide on computer servers in a controlled environment protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. These measures include Secure Socket Layer (SSL) software during the transmission of your information, which encrypts this data. However, we cannot guarantee that your submissions to our website, any content residing on our servers, or any transmissions from our server will be completely secure.

Changes to this Statement

TWU may occasionally update this Statement of Privacy, and encourages you to periodically review this Statement to remain informed of how TWU is protecting your information.

Tennessee Wesleyan University (TWU) reports all substantive change to Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College (SACSCOC) within an appropriate timeframe as defined and mandated within the published SACSCOC Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions Policy Statement (https://sacscoc.org/accreditingstandards/substantive-changes/).


Definition of Substantive Change (per SACSCOC Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions Policy Statement)
Substantive change is a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution. Substantive change includes high-impact, high-risk changes and changes that can impact the quality of educational programs and services. SACSCOC accredits an entire institution. Accreditation extends to all programs and services of an institution wherever located and however delivered. SACSCOC does not accredit individual programs, locations, or portions of an institution. However, some new programs, locations, and other institutional changes are subject to notification and/or approval as defined in Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

Compliance
Substantive changes, including those required by federal regulations, include: • Substantially changing the established mission or objectives of an institution or its programs. • Changing the legal status, form of control, or ownership of an institution. • Changing the governance of an institution. • Merging / consolidating two or more institutions or entities. • Acquiring another institution or any program or location of another institution. • Relocating an institution or an off-campus instructional site of an institution (including a branch campus). • Offering courses or programs at a higher or lower degree level than currently authorized. • Adding graduate programs at an institution previously offering only undergraduate programs (including degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other for-credit credential). • Changing the way an institution measures student progress, whether in clock hours or credit-hours; semesters, trimesters, or quarters; or time-based or non–time-based methods or measures. • Adding a program that is a significant departure from the existing programs, or method of delivery, from those offered when the institution was last evaluated. • Initiating programs by distance education or correspondence courses. • Adding an additional method of delivery to a currently offered program. • Entering into a cooperative academic arrangement. • Entering into a written arrangement under 34 C.F.R. § 668.5 under which an institution or organization not certified to participate in the title IV Higher Education Act (HEA) programs offers less than 25% (notification) or 25-50% (approval) of one or more of the accredited institution's educational programs. An agreement offering more than 50% of one or more of an institution’s programs is prohibited by federal regulation. • Substantially increase or decreasing the number of clock hours or credit hours awarded or competencies demonstrated, or an increase in the level of credential awarded, for successful completion of one or more programs. • Adding competency-based education programs. • Adding each competency-based education program by direct assessment.

TWU Procedures and Responsibilities for Compliance
Substantive changes, including those required by federal regulations, include:
• Substantially changing the established mission or objectives of an institution or its programs.
• Changing the legal status, form of control, or ownership of an institution.
• Changing the governance of an institution.
• Merging / consolidating two or more institutions or entities.
• Acquiring another institution or any program or location of another institution.
• Relocating an institution or an off-campus instructional site of an institution (including a branch campus).
• Offering courses or programs at a higher or lower degree level than currently authorized.
• Adding graduate programs at an institution previously offering only undergraduate programs (including degrees, diplomas, certificates, and other for-credit credential).
• Changing the way an institution measures student progress, whether in clock hours or credit-hours; semesters, trimesters, or quarters; or time-based or non–time-based methods or measures.
• Adding a program that is a significant departure from the existing programs, or method of delivery, from those offered when the institution was last evaluated.
• Initiating programs by distance education or correspondence courses.
• Adding an additional method of delivery to a currently offered program.
• Entering into a cooperative academic arrangement.
• Entering into a written arrangement under 34 C.F.R. § 668.5 under which an institution or organization not certified to participate in the title IV Higher Education Act (HEA) programs offers less than 25% (notification) or 25-50% (approval) of one or more of the accredited institution's educational programs. An agreement offering more than 50% of one or more of an institution’s programs is prohibited by federal regulation.
• Substantially increase or decreasing the number of clock hours or credit hours awarded or competencies demonstrated, or an increase in the level of credential awarded, for successful completion of one or more programs.
• Adding competency-based education programs.
• Adding each competency-based education program by direct assessment.
Adding programs with completion pathways that recognize and accommodate a student’s prior or existing knowledge or competency. • Awarding dual or joint academic awards.
• Re-opening a previously closed program or off-campus instructional site. • Adding a new off-campus instructional site/additional location including a branch campus.
• Adding a permanent location at a site at which an institution is conducting a teach-out program for students of another institution that has ceased operating before all students have completed their program of study.
• Closing an institution, a program, a method of delivery, an off-campus instructional site, or a program at an offcampus instructional site.

Other substantive changes, including those required by federal regulations, include:
• An institution is required to notify or secure SACSCOC approval prior to implementing substantive change.
• An institution is responsible for maintaining compliance at all times with Standard 14.2 (Substantive change) of the Principles of Accreditation and with the Substantive Change Policy and Procedures and related policies, viz.,
       o Agreements Involving Joint and Dual Academic Awards;
       o Credit Hours; o Direct Assessment Competency-based Educational Programs;
       o Distance and Correspondence Education;
       o Dual Enrollment; o Merger/Consolidation, Acquisition, Change of Ownership, and Change of Governance, Control, Form, or Legal Status; and
       o Seeking Accreditation at a Higher or Lower Degree Level.
• An institution is required to have a written substantive change policy and procedure. It must be approved through institutional processes and published in institutional documents accessible to those affected and to the public. The purpose of the institution’s substantive change policy and procedure is to ensure all substantive changes are reported to SACSCOC in a timely fashion as required by Substantive Change Policy and Procedures. Institutions are responsible for implementing and enforcing their substantive change policy and procedure. • An institution’s fiscal and administrative capability to operate off-campus instructional sites is assessed when a new site is reviewed for approval and as part of decennial and fifth-year interim reviews.
• A new off-campus instructional site is subject to a substantive change committee visit. A committee visit, when necessary, is authorized when a site is approved. The committee visit ensures the site has the personnel, facilities, and resources identified by an institution in its application or prospectus and ensures the quality of instructional and support services offered at the site.
• Different or additional requirements apply to an institution on SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE RESTRICTION. Restriction applies if an institution has been placed on Warning, Probation, or Probation for Good Cause over the prior three academic years, or if an institution is under provisional certification for participation in federal financial aid programs.
• An institution placed or continued on Probation or Probation for Good Cause must submit to SACSCOC an institutional contingency teach-out plan within 30 days of the notification of the Board of Trustees action.

Non-compliance

If an institution is non-compliant with Substantive Change Policy and Procedures or Standard 14.2 (Substantive change), its accreditation may be in jeopardy. An unreported substantive change may require a review of the institution’s substantive change policy and procedures document by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. Non-compliance subjects the institution to monitoring, sanction, or removal from membership. Failure to secure approval, if required, of a substantive change involving programs or locations that qualify for title IV federal funding may place the institution in jeopardy with the U.S. Department of Education, including reimbursement of funds received related to an unreported substantive change. For additional information, refer to Appendix A, Standards and Policy Addressing Unreported Substantive Change, in Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

 

TWU Procedures and Responsibilities for Compliance
1. The Institutional Accreditation Liaison (IAC) will serve as a member of the following committees in order to monitor the need for timely notification or reporting to SACSCOC: Curriculum and Policy Committee, Strategic Planning, and any other ad hoc committees as needed.
2. The IAC will regularly engage with the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the President’s Cabinet, as needed, to address changes to the mission of the University, to any instructional sites, to consortium memberships, or to agreements with other institutions. 3. The IAC will annually review the SACSCOC Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions Policy Statement for revisions and present a summary of any changes to the President’s Cabinet. Any resulting revisions necessary to the TWU Substantive Change Policy Statement will then be discussed and approved by the President’s Cabinet and then Curriculum and Policy Committee.
4. Members of the President’s Cabinet will annually review the SACSCOC Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions Policy Statement and the TWU Substantive Change Policy Statement with appropriate staff members within respective areas. The IAC will present the SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures Statement to any appropriate party upon recommendation from any member of the President’s Cabinet.
5. The IAC will regularly report the status of SACSCOC decisions to the President’s Cabinet. The members of the President’s Cabinet will then notify appropriate parties within their divisions in order to report any relevant changes to state, regional, or program accrediting agencies and the Department of Education. 6. Since the reporting of substantive changes to SACSCOC falls within the responsibilities of the IAC, upon consideration of any change that may fall within the purview of the SACSCOC Substantive Change for Accredited Institutions Policy Statement, TWU staff or faculty members will consult the IAC in order to determine whether the change does indeed meet the definition of a substantive change as outlined by SACSCOC. If further consultation is necessary, the SACSCOC staff will be contacted for clarification. Any substantive change initiated by TWU will then be reported within the appropriate timeframe and procedure as outlined by the most recent SACSCOC Substantive Change Policy and Procedures.

The TWU Substantive Change Policy and procedures Statement is posted on the TWU website for public access (https://www.tnwesleyan.edu/about/departments/institutional_effectiveness_research/policies.php) as well as on the TWU intranet site for employees’ access (https://portal.tnwesleyan.edu/ICS/Employee_Info/OIER_Resources.jnz).

Approved by President's Cabinet: February 25, 2014
Approved by Curriculum & Policy Committee: April 1, 2014
Updated (Name Change): January 8, 2018
Approved by President’s Cabinet: July 9, 2019
Curriculum & Policy Committee: July 26, 2019
Updated: (IAL & Website Addresses) July 21, 2020
Approved by President’s Cabinet: July 21, 2020
Approved by Curriculum & Policy Committee: October 8, 2020
Updated (New SACSCOC Policy): 01.01.2021
Approved by President’s Cabinet: 01.19.2021
Approved by Curriculum & Policy Committee: 01.28.2021