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Policies of Conduct and Standards

  • Code of Conduct

    Bank Street College of Education prepares teachers, administrators, supervisors, museum educators, and child life professionals. The Graduate School makes every attempt to admit students whose values and behavior reflect the humanistic and reflective values of the institution. All members of the academic community are expected to behave in ways that are consistent with thoughtful understanding of the needs and interests of others.

    The Code of Conduct and a due process procedure are meant to ensure the protection of students and their rights. Accordingly, Bank Street College of Education construes the following acts to be violations of the Graduate School Code of Conduct:

    • Acts that recklessly or intentionally endanger mental or physical health;
    • Acts that are harmful to others, including intentional obstruction of others’ rights, sexual assault, abuse, discrimination, or harassment;
    • Willful destruction of College property;
    • Appropriating College property;
    • Disturbing the peace;
    • Violations involving illegal possession, use, or sale of alcohol or drugs;
    • Language indicative of strong disregard of a group; and
    • Inappropriate or punitive actions toward children or adults, including verbal or physical abuse.

    If a member of the College community observes any of these violations, s/he is expected to report them in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School. The statement should specify the allegations, the person(s) involved, and provide a brief description of the circumstances. The Dean will respond with the formation of an Individual Review Committee (description found in this handbook), which will be convened as soon as possible but in no case more than thirty days after the written complaint is received. Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate disciplinary action in addition to any penalty pursuant to the penal law. Violations for illegal drug or alcohol use may result in loss of financial aid. (For more information about violations of the Code of Conduct, what constitutes sexual harrassment, and the recently enacted Enough Is Enough regulations, see Bank Street College: Campus Safety and Law Enforcement on the College’s website.)

    Student Bill of Rights

    All students have a right to:

    1. Make a report to local law enforcement and/or state police;
    2. Have disclosures of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault treated seriously;
    3. Make a decision about whether or not to disclose a crime or violation and participate in the judicial or conduct process and/or criminal justice process free from pressure by the institution;
    4. Participate in a process that is fair, impartial, and provides adequate notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard;
    5. Be treated with dignity and to receive from the institution courteous, fair, and respectful health care and counseling services, where available;
    6. Be free from any suggestion that the reporting individual is at fault when these crimes and violations are committed, or should have acted in a different manner to avoid such crimes or violations;
    7. Describe the incident to as few institution representatives as practicable and not be required to unnecessarily repeat a description of the incident;
    8. Be protected from retaliation by the College, any student, the accused and/ or the respondent, and/or their friends, family and acquaintances within the jurisdiction of the College;
    9. Access to at least one level of appeal of a determination;
    10. Be accompanied by an advisor of choice who may assist and advise a reporting individual, accused or respondent throughout the judicial or conduct process including during all meetings and hearings related to such process; and
    11. Exercise civil rights and practice of religion without interference by the investigative, criminal justice or judicial or conduct process of the institution.
  • Drug-Free Schools and Communities Policy

    In full recognition of the detrimental effect substance abuse can have on both work and studies, Bank Street College has established this policy in order to reaffirm its longstanding prohibition against the unlawful use of controlled substances. This policy is also issued in accordance with the Federal legislation known as the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989. Additional information can be obtained in the Office of Human Resources.

    Policy Statement

    Bank Street College prohibits employees and students from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of illegal drugs and/or alcohol on School property or while conducting College business. This policy includes School activities taking place on or off Bank Street property, including driving to and from College-related activities.

    Alcoholic beverages may be served at Bank Street College events/activities on or off School premises, but are not to be served to anyone under 21 years of age.


    Students who violate this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action. Depending on the nature and severity of the violation, possible sanctions may include reprimand, written warnings, probation, suspension, discharge, expulsion, and/or possible loss of financial aid eligibility.

    Graduate students should refer to the Code of Conduct and due process procedure for addressing alleged violations of the code, which is described in this handbook.

    This policy will undergo a biennial review by an appointed committee to determine its effectiveness, implement needed changes, and ensure that disciplinary sanctions are consistently enforced.

    Legal Sanctions

    Local, State, and Federal law prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs. The possession or use of alcohol by students or staff under 21 years of age is prohibited by New York State. No student, staff, or faculty will illegally manufacture, sell, possess, or use controlled substances as defined by New York State or Federal law. The introduction of drug paraphernalia including, but not limited to, bongs, water pipes, roach clips, or hypodermic needles (not specifically for the administration of prescribed medications) is specifically prohibited on the premises.

    Copies of Federal Trafficking Regulations and New York State violations and regulations are on file in the Office of Human Resources.

    Alcohol: Uses and Effects

    Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including spousal and child abuse. Moderate to high doses of alcohol cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

    Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol intake is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Long-term consumption of large quantities of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs, such as the brain and the liver.

    Women who drink alcohol during pregnancy may give birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome. These infants have irreversible physical abnormalities and mental retardation. In addition, research indicates that children of alcoholic parents are at greater risk of becoming alcoholics than other youngsters.

    Student Assistance

    Below are some of the counseling and rehabilitation programs available in this area. For further information or other drug counseling, rehabilitation, and related programs available, see the Director of Human Resources.

    Inter-Group Association of Alcoholics Anonymous of New York
    307 Seventh Avenue, Room 201
    New York, NY 10001
    212-647-1680 (meeting information)

    Alcohol Treatment and Referral Network
    800-ALCOHOL (24-hour hotline)

    Daytop Village-Manhattan Adult Outpatient Medical Services
    500 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10018
    212-904-1500  /

    National Drug Information Treatment and Referral Hotline
    800-662-4357 (24-hour hotline)

    Stuyvesant Square Chemical Dependency
    Services at Beth Israel Medical Center
    212-420-4545  /

    The Addiction Institute of New York
    1000 Tenth Avenue
    New York, NY 10019
    212-523-6491  /


    All discussions with students and records related to the Drug-Free Schools and Community Act will be kept strictly confidential.

  • Professional Standards

    In the Graduate School, instances may arise in which one or more faculty members judge that a student lacks the academic and/or personal qualities necessary for continuing course work or completion of studies leading to a degree, program of study, or course work on a non-matriculated basis. The College reserves the right to dismiss the student or suspend his/her enrollment in supervised fieldwork/advisement and/or course work for nonacademic, as well as, academic performance reasons. The problem may be one of plagiarism, verbal or physical abuse, excessive absences, inappropriate classroom or fieldwork setting behavior, violations of the Code of Conduct, or other questions regarding a student’s professional conduct. The faculty or staff reports such problems to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (or in his/her absence the Associate Dean of Administration), who will review the circumstances with colleagues and the student and take action. One outcome may be that a student is asked to discontinue his/her studies. If the student is dismissed s/he has the right to request that the Dean of the Graduate School convene an Individual Review Committee (IRC) to review the case. This appeal must be made in writing to the Dean of the Graduate School within 60 days of the date of the dismissal letter. The IRC reviews the circumstances and allegations and makes a recommendation to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School makes the final decision concerning student dismissal, reinstatement, or possible disciplinary action.

  • Plagiarism

    Plagiarism is the use of another person‘s ideas, words, or theories as one‘s own–or without citation–in an academic submission. All scholarship must rest on honest academic effort:

    • All work submitted must be original
    • Any reference to another person‘s work (including ideas, theories, or concepts) must be cited explicitly
    • Work presented as actual experience cannot be invented or fabricated

    Since academic honesty is a central institutional value to Bank Street College of Education, any direct or indirect infringement to this value by means of plagiarism is taken seriously. In an instance where an instructor suspects that the work submitted by a student is entirely or partially plagiarized, the following steps will be followed:

    Step 1:

    The instructor will report the suspected academic violation, with appropriate evidence, to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

    Step 2:

    The Associate Dean will confer with the instructor to review the evidence and make a determination as to whether the incident warrants further investigation. The Associate Dean may make a determination at this point that no further action need be taken.

    Step 3:

    If the Associate Dean determines that further action is warranted, s/he will meet with the student as well as the instructor and the advisor, and/or program director and chair to discuss the allegation and to provide the student with an opportunity to describe his/her process of research and writing of the material in question.

    Step 4:

    Following a review of the evidence and deliberation described in Step 3, the Associate Dean will make one of the follow determinations:

    • Option 1: The student may be required to redo the paper or complete an additional assignment. Should this process extend beyond the final session of the course, the student may request a grade of Incomplete. In this case, all policies and procedures related to a course grade of Incomplete shall apply. Students may appeal this decision to the Committee on Academic Standing;
    • Option 2: The student may be given a grade of No Pass (NP). In this case, all policies and procedures related to a course grade of NP shall apply. Students may appeal this decision to the Committee on Academic Standing;
    • Option 3:  The Associate Dean may determine that the student’s behavior has violated the Professional Standards of the College as described in the Student Handbook, and that the student should be dismissed  from his/her academic program. The Associate Dean will provide notification of this decision, in writing, to the student and the Registrar of the College. The student may appeal this decision by requesting that the Dean convene an Individual Review Committee following procedures described in this Student Handbook.
  • Individual Review Committee

    When an Individual Review Committee (IRC) is convened, it is generally composed of a member of the administrative staff and one to two faculty members. The Dean appoints the IRC, selects a date for a review of the case, and informs the individual to expect to hear from the Committee. An IRC will be convened within thirty days after a written report alleging a violation of the Code of Conduct, or within thirty days after a request from a student to convene an IRC.

    It is the task of the Committee to read the report, meet with the individual(s) who wrote it, and meet with the person alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct or Professional Standards expectations. The person accused may bring another person to the meeting with the IRC. The Individual Review Committee then decides whether the Code of Conduct or Professional Standards expectations have been violated. At the conclusion of their deliberations, the IRC meets with the Dean to report its findings; the Dean then makes and implements the final decision about violation and disciplinary action. The Dean will notify the affected individual within five working days from the date s/he meets with the IRC to discuss findings.

  • Committee on Academic Standing for Academic Grievances

    Occasionally, differences occur between graduate students and advisors or course instructors about course grades, evaluation of supervised fieldwork, or participation in advisement. Students are encouraged to resolve such problems directly with the individual advisor or instructor. If the difficulty cannot be resolved in this way, the following formal grievance procedure should be followed:

    1. The student discusses the problem with the program director or chair of the department (if discussed with the program director, the program director alerts the chair).
    2. The program director or chair discusses the issue with the involved faculty member (and the student’s advisor, if appropriate). The director or chair prepares documentation and notifies the student in writing of his/her recommendation.
    3. If the student deems the problem still unresolved, the student may write a report and submit it to the Chair of the Committee on Academic Standing, Wendi Williams, The report should include:
      •     A one-page maximum description identifying the grievance, including date and place where applicable
      •     Name of person against whom the grievance is being filed
      •     Evidence to support grievance
      •     Outcome desired by student
    4. The Committee on Academic Standing reviews the report and the issue with the student (and an outside person if desired) either together or separately with the faculty member.
    5. The Committee on Academic Standing makes a decision and shares it in writing with the student, the faculty member, the program director, department chair, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Dean. The written notification will be issued within 10 working days of the meeting. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs is responsible for retaining records for six years. The decision of the Committee on Academic Standing is deemed final.
  • Other Student Complaints
    Difficulties with program structures, schedules, or other issues should first be discussed informally with a student’s advisor or program director. If unresolved, they should then be communicated in writing to a student’s program director with copies to the department chair and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Wendi Williams, Written responses documenting the complaint and its resolution will be shared with the student within thirty days, and records will be maintained by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs who will also create an annual summary of these formal complaints and the responses to them.

Enough is Enough

Bank Street is committed to ensuring a safe learning environment for all students that is free of acts of sexual assault, sexual violence, harassment and other forms of sexual misconduct in accordance with the requirements of New York State Article 129B (Enough is Enough). All students at Bank Street are endowed with reporting, informational and procedural rights when reporting an instance of sexual misconduct or when accused.

Please visit the Enough is Enough webpage for information >>

Parents of Students

Bank Street complies with all requirements of Education Law Article 129B: Enough is Enough. Information on sexual and interpersonal violence can be found on the Enough is Enough webpage.