All covered persons are expected to abide by Becker’s Code of Conduct.
Note: The Becker Code of Conduct applies to all students, including live classroom, self-study and those who attend online/live-online. Students from DeVry Education Group institutions (including but not limited to Keller Graduate School of Management, Ross University School of Medicine, DeVry University, Chamberlain College of Nursing and American University of the Caribbean) utilizing Becker’s Review course methodology should refer to their appropriate institution’s Student Code of Conduct.
Article I: Terminology
- The term “Becker” means Becker Professional Development Corporation.
- The terms “covered person” and “student” include all persons taking courses or receiving software or services either online, live-online, self-study, or live classroom from Becker. Persons not officially enrolled for a particular session but who have a continuing relationship with Becker are considered “covered persons.”
- The term “continuing relationship” is defined as no less than withdrawal, but no more than the length of the contractual obligation.
- The term “instructor” means any person hired by or contracted with Becker to conduct instructional activities.
- The term “Becker staff” means any person employed by Becker.
- The term “member of the Becker community” includes students, instructors, Becker staff, and any other individuals associated with Becker. The judicial advisor or designee shall determine a person’s status in a particular situation.
- The term “Becker premises” includes all land, buildings, facilities and other property in the possession of, owned, used, or controlled by Becker (including parking lots, adjacent streets and sidewalks).
- The term “judicial body” means any person or persons authorized by the judicial advisor or designee to determine whether a respondent has violated the Code of Conduct and to recommend imposition of sanctions.
- The term “judicial advisor” means a Becker official authorized by Becker to impose sanctions upon respondents found to have violated the Code of Conduct. A judicial advisor may serve simultaneously as a judicial advisor, and as the sole member or one of the members of the judicial body. Nothing shall prevent Becker from authorizing the same judicial advisor to impose sanctions in all cases.
- The term “policy” is defined as the written regulations of Becker as found in, but not limited to, the Enrollment Agreement, the License Agreement, In-Class Policies and Procedures, and catalogs.
- The term “organization” means any number of persons who have complied with the formal requirements for Becker recognition/registration.
Article II: Judicial Authority
- The judicial advisor shall determine the composition of judicial bodies and determine which judicial body shall be authorized to hear each case. The judicial body shall contain, at minimum, three members of the Becker community.
- The judicial advisor shall develop procedures for administration of the judicial system and for conducting hearings which are consistent with the provisions of this Code of Conduct.
- Decisions made by a judicial body and/or judicial advisor shall be final, pending the normal appeal process.
- In appropriate situations, the judicial body and/or judicial advisor may also provide a respondent who is subject to the hearing process with referral information for external counseling or other services available within the greater community which may help the respondent to ameliorate his or her conduct to prevent further similar violations of the Code of Conduct.
Article III: Proscribed Conduct
Jurisdiction of Becker.
The Code of Conduct applies to student behavior that affects the Becker community, irrespective of where or when that conduct may occur. Discipline may extend to when the actions in question adversely affect the Becker community and/or pursuit of its objectives including but not limited to any facilities where Becker courses are held including courses at hotel sites where students have either single and double room accommodations or where rooms are shared by students. The Code of Conduct does not apply non-Becker sponsored activities or times outside of the live Becker classroom instruction.
Conduct – Rules and Regulations
- Any student found to have committed the following misconduct may be subject to disciplinary sanctions outlined in Article IV. (This list is not all-inclusive.)
- Acts of dishonesty, including but not limited to the following:
- Furnishing false information to any Becker official, instructor or office.
- Forgery, alteration or misuse of any Becker document, record or instrument of identification.
- Computer piracy, including duplication of computer software, copyright infringement and unauthorized computer entry.
- Disruption or obstruction of teaching, administration, disciplinary proceedings and other Becker activities including its public service functions on or off campus, or other authorized non-Becker activities, when the act occurs on Becker premises.
- Physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment, coercion and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person, either on Becker premises (physical or online), at any Becker-sponsored activity, including interaction by phone, or online conversation.
- Bullying and cyberbullying, which is using one’s power to control or harm individuals who cannot defend themselves including, but not limited to, face-to-face interactions and any electronic communication (communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager) whether it be a single incident or a series of incidents.
- Attempted or actual theft of and/or damage to property of Becker or property of a member of the Becker community or other personal or public property.
- Gambling on Becker premises, at Becker functions or through the use of Becker equipment.
- Failure to comply with directions of Becker officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested to do so.
- Unauthorized possession, duplication or use of keys to any part of Becker premises, or unauthorized entry to or use of Becker premises.
- Violation of published Becker policies, rules or regulations.
- Violation of any applicable law
- Use, possession or distribution of narcotic or other controlled substances, except as expressly permitted by law, or being under the influence of such substances.
- Use, possession or distribution of alcoholic beverages, except as expressly permitted by law and Becker regulation; or public intoxication.
- Illegal or unauthorized possession of firearms, explosives, other weapons or dangerous chemicals.
- Participation in a demonstration that disrupts normal operations of Becker or infringes on rights of other members of the Becker community; leading or inciting others to disrupt the scheduled and/or normal activities within any Becker building or area; intentional obstruction that is unreasonable and interferes with freedom of movement and/or free flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.
- Conduct that is disorderly, lewd or indecent; breach of peace; or aiding, abetting or procuring another person to breach the peace. 16. Aiding, abetting or inducing another to commit a violation of the Code of Conduct.
- Illegal copying and or selling of any Becker materials, including selling of materials through independent websites.
- Theft or other abuse of Becker property or computer systems, including but not limited to:
- Unauthorized entry into a file, to use, read or change contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Unauthorized use of another individual’s identification and password.
- Use of Becker computing systems to interfere with work of another student, instructor or Becker official.
- Use of Becker computing systems to send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of Becker computing systems to interfere with normal operation of Becker computing system.
- Introduction, reproduction and/or promulgation of any computer virus.
- Abuse of the judicial or disciplinary system, including, but not limited to:
- Falsification, distortion or misrepresentation of information before a judicial body.
- Disruption or interference with orderly conduct of a judicial proceeding.
- Knowingly instituting judicial proceedings without good cause.
- Attempting to discourage an individual’s proper participation in, or use of, the judicial system.
- Attempting to influence the impartiality of a judicial body prior to, and/or during, the course of the judicial proceeding.
- Harassment (verbal or physical) and/or intimidation of a judicial advisor prior to, during and/or after a judicial proceeding.
- Failure to comply with sanction(s) imposed under the Code of Conduct.
- Influencing or attempting to influence another person to commit an abuse of the judicial system.
Violation of Law and Becker Action
- Becker proceedings may be instituted against a student charged with violation of a federal, state or local law that is also a violation of the Code of Conduct without regard to the pendency of civil litigation or criminal arrest and prosecution. Proceedings under this Code of Conduct may be carried out prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings.
- If the alleged offense is also the subject of proceeding before a judicial body under the Code of Conduct, however, the Becker may advise off-site authorities of the existence of the Code of Conduct and of how such matters will be handled internally with the Becker community. Becker will cooperate fully with law enforcement and other agencies in enforcing criminal law on Becker property and in the conditions imposed by criminal courts for rehabilitation of violators. Individual students, staff or instructors, acting in their personal capacities, remain free to interact with a governmental representative or law enforcement official as they deem appropriate.
- Notwithstanding any term to the contrary, Becker is under no obligation by the terms of this Code of Conduct to report any violations of the Code of Conduct to the authorities or any other organization or institution.
Article IV: Judicial Policies
Charges and Hearings
- Any member of the Becker community may file charges against any student for misconduct. Charges shall be prepared in writing and directed to the judicial advisor. Any charge should be submitted as soon as possible after the event takes place.
- Once charges have been filed, the judicial advisor will conduct an investigation to determine if charges have merit and/or if they can be resolved by mutual consent of the complainant and the respondent on a basis acceptable to the judicial advisor (such as mediation). The judicial advisor may also issue a conduct warning to a respondent or complainant where a charge is resolved by mutual consent. If charges cannot be disposed of by mutual consent, the judicial advisor may later serve as the judicial body or as a member of the judicial body. Mediation will not be used for charges involving alleged sexual assault.
- All charges shall be presented to the respondent in written form. A time will be set for a hearing within a timeframe reasonable under the circumstances, usually not less than two, nor more than 15 calendar days after the respondent has been notified. The timeframe for scheduling of hearings may be extended at the discretion of the judicial advisor.
- The respondent will be afforded the opportunity to select either a hearing by the full judicial body or a hearing by the judicial advisor. The judicial advisor may require a hearing by the full judicial body when he/she believes that such a procedure is in the best interest of Becker.
- Hearings shall be conducted by a judicial advisor according to the following guidelines:
- The judicial advisor may serve as chairperson of the judicial body.
- Hearings shall be conducted in private. Admission of any person to the hearing shall be at the discretion of the judicial body and/or its judicial advisor.
- In advance of the hearing, both the complainant and respondent will be given access to the identified information that is available before the hearing which will be considered by the judicial body
- The complainant and respondent have the right to be assisted by any advisor they choose, at their own expense. The advisor may be an attorney. The complain¬ant and/or accused are responsible for presenting his/her own case and, therefore, advisors are not permitted to speak or to participate directly in any hearing before a judicial body. The complainant and respondent must provide the names (relationship and title, if applicable) of those attending the hearing with them at least one business day before the hearing.
- The complainant, respondent and judicial body shall have the privilege of present¬ing witnesses, subject to the right of cross-examination, by the judicial body.
- Pertinent records, exhibits and written statements may be accepted as evidence for consideration by a judicial body at the discretion of the chairperson.
- All procedural questions are subject to the final decision of the chairperson of the judicial body.
- After the hearing, the judicial body shall deliberate and determine (by majority vote, if the judicial body consists of more than one person) whether the respondent has violated the Code of Conduct.
- The judicial body’s determination shall be made on the basis of whether it is more likely than not that the accused respondent violated the Code of Conduct.
- There shall be a single record, such as a tape recording, of all hearings before a judicial body. The record shall be the property of Becker.
- Suspensions and expulsions will be noted in the respondent’s record file.
- No respondent may be found to have violated the Code of Conduct solely because the respondent failed to appear before a judicial advisor. In all cases, the evidence in support of the charges shall be presented and considered.
- The sanctions listed below may be imposed upon any covered person found to have violated the Code of Conduct. The listing of the sanctions should not be construed to imply that covered persons are entitled to progressive discipline. The sanctions may be used in any order and/or combination which Becker deems appropriate for the conduct in question.
- More than one sanction listed above may be imposed for any single violation. In each case in which a judicial body determines that a student has violated the Student Code of Conduct, sanction(s) shall be determined and imposed by the judicial advisor. In cases in which persons other than, or in addition to, the judicial advisor have been authorized to serve as the judicial body, the recommendation of all members of the judicial body shall be considered by the judicial advisor.
The judicial advisor is not limited to considering or implementing sanctions recommended by members of the judicial body. Following the hearing, the judicial body and the judicial advisor shall advise the respondent in writing of its determination and of the sanction(s) imposed, if any.
- Other than suspension and expulsion, disciplinary sanctions shall not be made part of the respondent’s permanent record, but shall become part of the respondent’s disciplinary record. Upon completion of contract or permanent separation from Becker, a respondent may petition the judicial advisor to have his or her disciplinary record expunged or partially expunged of disciplinary actions. Whether or not to grant the request to expunge or partially expunge shall be at Becker’s discretion.
- In certain circumstances, Becker may impose a interim suspension prior to the hearing before a judicial body.
- Interim suspension may be imposed:
- to ensure the safety and well-being of members of the Becker community or preservation of Becker property;
- to ensure the student’s own physical or emotional safety and well-being; or
- if Becker deems the respondent poses a threat of disruption of or interference with the normal operation of Becker.
- During the interim suspension, respondent may be denied access to Becker premises (including online and onsite classes) and/or all other Becker activities or privileges for which the student might otherwise be eligible, as Becker may determine to be appropriate.
- A decision of a violation of the Code of Conduct and the sanctions reached by the judicial body or imposed by the judicial advisor may be appealed once by the respondent or complainant to the person identified in the determination letter within seven days of the date of the appealing party’s receipt of the determination letter. Such appeals shall be in writing. Receipt of the determination letter is presumed to be three days after mailing (for letters sent via US Mail), the date of acceptance for signature-required tracking delivery), or the date of electronic transmission (for email). The results of the appeal to the person identified in the determination letter shall be final.
- Except as required to explain the basis of new evidence, an appeal shall be limited to review of the verbatim record of the initial hearing and support¬ing documents for one or more of the following purposes:
- To determine whether the original hearing was conducted fairly in light of the charges and evidence presented, and in substantial conformity with prescribed procedures giving the complainant a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present evidence that the Code of Conduct was violat¬ed, and giving the respondent a reasonable opportunity to prepare and present a rebuttal of those allegations.
- To determine whether the decision reached regarding the respondent was based on reasonable evidence; that is, without substituting its judgment for that of the judicial body or the judicial advisor, the appellate decision-maker shall consider whether the facts in the case were reasonably sufficient to establish that a violation of the Code of Conduct occurred.
- To determine whether the sanction(s) imposed were reasonably appropriate for the violation of the Code of Conduct the respondent was found to have committed. (Refer to [Article IV (5) (i)] for standard of proof.)
- To consider new evidence, sufficient to alter a decision or other relevant facts not brought out in the original hearing, because such evidence and/or facts were not known to the person appealing at the time of the original hearing.
The person ruling on the appeal shall notify in writing the complainant and respondent of the outcome of the appeal. If the person considering the appeal rules favorably on the appeal, the matter shall be remanded to the judicial body (either the original body or a new body, as determined to be appropriate by the person considering the appeal) and judicial advisor for action to be taken in response to the appeal findings. If the ruling on the appeal is negative, then the decision of the original judicial body is upheld and finalized.