1 Academic Guidelines

1.1 Evaluation

SSP participants’ performance is assessed based on the following three program elements:

1.1.1 Core Curriculum Quiz and Examination

Short quizzes and written examination will assess the participant’s comprehension and understanding of the basic concepts presented in the Core Lectures.

1.1.2 Department Evaluation

The Department Chair provides a quantitative evaluation of the participant’s comprehension, participation, and academic performance in the department with input from appropriate faculty and staff. Part of this evaluation shall be based upon participation in theme days, workshops, and department activities. The results of an individual or small team project assigned by the Department Chair are also a sub-element of the department performance assessment.

1.1.3. Team Project (TP) Evaluation

The TP Chair will provide an assessment of the participant’s involvement in and significant contributions to the development, production, and presentation of his/her TP with input as appropriate from the relevant faculty/staff. This assessment includes both team and individual sub-elements as described in the Academic Performance Evaluation chapter of the Handbook.

1.2 Grading

A participant will receive a grade of pass or unsatisfactory at the completion of the SSP.

  • Pass. This grade will be given to participants who receive satisfactory evaluations in all three of the program evaluation elements. A Certificate of Completion will be conferred upon participants who have received a pass grade for all elements of the SSP.
  • Unsatisfactory. This grade will be given to participants who do not obtain a satisfactory evaluation in any one of the program evaluation elements.

A participant who stays for the duration of the program and receives an unsatisfactory grade in any one of the three program evaluation elements will be given an SSP Letter of Participation. A personalized letter will be given to any participant with good academic standing who leaves the program before its completion. Participants are evaluated based upon criteria approved by the ISU Academic Council.

Participants who miss one (1) week or more of the course will not receive a Certificate of Completion unless exceptional circumstances apply. The latter will be determined by the SSP Director in consultation with the Academic Coordinator and the participant’s Department and TP Chairs.

1.3 Withdrawal

Any participant who is not undergoing disciplinary proceedings may petition for early withdrawal from the program. Petition for withdrawal must be submitted in writing to the SSP Director.

Upon receipt of the written request, the petition for withdrawal will be assessed by the SSP Director, in consultation with the Academic Coordinator and the participant’s Department or TP Chair.

If the petition for withdrawal is approved by the SSP Director, the participant may then request to be readmitted to the following session of the Space Studies Program.

1.4 Attendance and Participation

The International Space University experience is a composite of knowledge gained through formal methods such as lectures, as well as through more informal channels of discussion and participation in activities inside and outside of the classroom. In addition, ISU seeks to develop each participant’s capabilities, network of associates, and interpersonal skills in small and large group settings. Attendance and active participation are expected at all official SSP academic activities and functions. Any absence from the SSP session requires the prior approval of the SSP Director, with the concurrence of the participant’s Department or TP Chair and the Academic Coordinator. Extended absences include: absence that prevents a participant from attending lectures, workshops, theme days, departmental activities, professional visits, TP activities, or other official SSP academic activities. Absence requests may be submitted via the process detailed in the SSP Absence Policy and Procedure document.

1.5 Academic Warning

Participants whose academic performance is unsatisfactory will be subject to one or more of the following procedures.

1.5.1. Core Quizzes and Examination

When a participant fails the Core Element (quizzes and examination), the following procedure will be instituted:

  • The participant is notified in writing through a letter from the Academic Coordinator indicating that he/she has failed.
  • The Academic Coordinator then consults with the Core Chair and the SSP Director.

If it is determined by the Core Chair that the participant failed the Core Element due to extraneous circumstances, such as poor language skills, personal difficulties, illness, or other extenuating circumstances, then a re-sit examination will be administered. If the participant passes the re-sit examination, then he/she will receive a grade of Pass. Marks on re-sit examinations will be limited to the maximum possible score of 75%. The higher result of the two exams will be taken as the final mark. No re-sit examination will be arranged for participants who pass the original exam. If the participant fails the re-sit examination, he/she will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory for this evaluation element of the program.

If no extraneous circumstances for the failure are found, the participant will be informed by the Core Chair and in writing by the Academic Coordinator that he/she will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory for this evaluation element of the program.

1.5.2. Department

If a participant’s academic performance is unsatisfactory in this program element as assessed by the Department Chair, then the participant will be placed on academic probation and will receive a written warning from the SSP Director detailing the reasons for his/her unsatisfactory performance. The participant will have one week to improve his/her performance. If the participant’s performance does not improve to the satisfaction of the SSP Director, Academic Coordinator, and the participant’s Department Chair, the participant will be notified that he/she will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory for this evaluation element of the program.

1.5.3. Team Project

If a participant’s academic performance is unsatisfactory in this program element as assessed by the TP Chair, then the participant will be placed on academic probation and will receive a written warning from the SSP Director containing the reasons for his/her unsatisfactory. The participant will have one week to improve his/her performance. If the participant’s performance does not improve to the satisfaction of the SSP Director and the TP Chair, the participant will be notified that he/she will receive a grade of Unsatisfactory for this evaluation element of the program.

1.6 Privacy of Participants Records

SSP participant records are confidential. All participant evaluations, examination scores, and other evaluations of a participant’s performance are confidential and cannot be released to anyone without the express written consent of the participant. Participants may request to see their record by submitting a form provided for this purpose. It is the participant’s responsibility to make an appointment with the Academic Coordinator to inspect the record.

2 ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics (COCE)

ISU’s Code of Conduct and Ethics (COCE) commits everyone in the ISU community to the highest ethical standards in furtherance of ISU’s mission of teaching, research, and service. The foundations of ethical behavior at ISU are a commitment to respecting the rights and dignity of all persons and a commitment to discharging our obligations to others in a fair and honest manner. Every member of ISU plays an important role in keeping these commitments by demonstrating integrity and respect in his or her daily activities and in the performance of their responsibilities. This Code of Conduct and Ethics establishes a statement of principles to guide the activities of all ISU faculty, staff, and participants.

2.1 Code of Honorable Conduct

All ISU participants, staff, and faculty shall conduct themselves in a manner that is honorable and respectful of other people and of ISU. This shall pertain to activities within classes, during examinations, while participating in ISU-sponsored events, and within the host communities.

2.2 Policy on Harassment and Discriminatory Behavior

Discrimination against, or harassment of, an individual on the basis of his/her race, origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, physical challenge, or any other ground is prohibited and shall not be tolerated.

2.3 Academic Honesty

All members of the ISU community shall conduct themselves in accordance with accepted principles of academic honesty as described in this Program Handbook. Cheating, plagiarism, copyright violations, or other forms of dishonesty are prohibited and shall not be tolerated. Violation of the ISU academic honesty policy will result in penalties commensurate with the offense.

2.4 Offenses

ISU considers the following behavior, or attempts thereof, by any participant, staff, or faculty member, whether acting alone or with any other persons, to violate the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics, including, but not limited to:

  • (a) Physical harm or threat of physical harm to any person or persons, including, but not limited to assault, sexual abuse, or other forms of physical abuse.
    (b) Harassment, whether physical or verbal, oral or written, which is beyond the bounds of protected free speech, directed at a specific individual(s) and likely to cause an immediate breach of the peace.
    (c) Conduct which threatens the mental health, physical health, or safety of any person or persons including, but not limited to drug or alcohol abuse, and other forms of destructive behavior.
    (d) Academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to plagiarism and cheating, and other forms of academic misconduct, for example, misuse of academic resources or facilities, or misuse of computer software, data, equipment, or networks.
    (e) Intentional disruption or obstruction of any activity organized by ISU or by an institution hosting an ISU program or activity, such as the SSP, or the right of its members to carry on their legitimate activities, to speak or to associate with others (including their exercise of the right to assemble and to peaceful protest).
    (f) Theft of or damage to personal or ISU property, effects, information, intellectual property, or services, or illegal possession or use of the same.
    (g) Forgery, alteration, fabrication, or misuse of identification cards, records, grades, documents, or misrepresentation of any kind to an ISU office or member.
    (h) Unauthorized entry, use, or occupation of ISU facilities or SSP host facilities that are locked, closed, or otherwise restricted as to use.
    (i) Disorderly conduct including, but not limited to public intoxication, lewd, indecent or obscene behavior, libel, slander, and illegal gambling.
    (j) Unauthorized possession or use of any weapon including firearms, BB-guns, air rifles, explosive devices, fireworks, or any other dangerous, illegal, or hazardous object or material, and improper use as a weapon of any otherwise permitted object or material.
    (k) Counselling, procuring, conspiring, or aiding a person with commission of an offense, or knowingly or maliciously bringing a false charge against any member of ISU under this code.
    (l) Refusal to comply with a sanction or sanctions imposed under the procedures of this code.

2.5 Duty to assist in implementing the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics

Participants, staff, and faculty who witness violations of the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics are encouraged to approach the offender in a manner that can lead to informal mitigation of the offense. Every attempt should be made to resolve the situation in a manner that assists the offender to correct his/her behavior while maintaining the integrity of ISU and other individuals who may be involved. In instances where the offense is considered to merit additional action, the matter is to be referred to the appropriate person: Where a participant is involved in such offense, the appropriate person is the Director of the relevant ISU Program; where it is a member of the ISU Faculty or in other cases, it is the ISU President.

2.6 Action in case of misconduct or violation of the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics

ISU shall establish a centrally appointed Committee on Academic Conduct and Ethics (CACE) as specified in the procedures below. For the purposes of confidential and central record keeping, a one-page summary of the outcome of all investigations shall be copied to the ISU Academic Unit to be kept on file. Whenever possible and appropriate, informal resolution and mediation shall be used to resolve issues of individual behavior before resort is made to formal disciplinary procedures.

2.7 Committee on Academic Conduct and Ethics (CACE)

During a session of the SSP, the SSP Committee on Academic Conduct and Ethics addresses all issues regarding the disciplinary aspects of the academic life, academic freedom, academic duties, and responsibilities, as well as breaches to the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics. In all matters brought before the SSP CACE, all parties will be given fair and equal opportunity to present their views to the Committee.

2.7.1 Membership

During a session of the SSP, the SSP CACE is composed of:

  • Three Chairs elected from the Chairs present on site by the Chairs and the members of the faculty of ISU present on site;
  • The SSP Director.

This Committee elects its Chair from among the Chair members of the Committee.

2.7.2 Procedures

The SSP CACE will consider all allegations of ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics violations brought forth by a participant, staff member, or a member of the faculty. All such complaints must be made in writing. The SSP CACE, will provide a copy of the written complaint to the individual against whom the complaint has been made as soon as feasible. The individual against whom a complaint is lodged shall have the right to file a written response to the allegations or appear in person before the committee. The complainant must be willing to appear before the SSP CACE, should the Committee consider such an appearance necessary to determine the truth or substance of the allegations in the complaint.

The Committee shall investigate the complaints and determine if the allegations are valid and if they violate the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics. If it is determined that a violation of the ISU Code of Conducts and Ethics has taken place, the SSP CACE will take one of the following disciplinary measures for violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethics: warning, probation, or dismissal.

The following measures or combinations of them may be imposed upon individuals found to have committed an offense under the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics.

Warning and Probation

A written warning or notice of probation explicitly states that further disciplinary action will ensue if the individual fails to achieve a satisfactory level of behavior within the proscribed probation period. During the time of this warning or probation period the individual's behavior shall be closely monitored in an effort to effect improvement or change. If new significant problems of behavior arise during the probationary period, immediate dismissal may occur.

Dismissal for Cause

Suspension from registration in an ISU program for a specified period or recommendation for expulsion from ISU. A letter of suspension or termination will be issued to be effective on the date of the decision.

If a participant, member of the Faculty of ISU, Lecturer on site, or staff member has committed an offense under the ISU Code of Conduct and Ethics, does not achieve the required behavior standards by the review date provided in a written warning, or if this individual is found to have engaged in willful misconduct, disobedience, or willful neglect of duty, a sanction of suspension or expulsion can be imposed.

In the case of a participant, this sanction would directly affect a participant’s registration in a program and may be imposed only where it has been determined that the offense committed is of such a serious nature that the participant’s continued registration threatens the academic function of the ISU program or the ability of other participants to continue their program(s) of study.

In all cases of disciplinary action recommended by the SSP CACE, the individual involved has the right of an appeal to the ISU President.

2.7.3 Interim Conditions & Measures

Ongoing Personal Safety

In cases where the allegations of behavior are serious and constitute a significant personal safety threat to members of the ISU community, the SSP Director is authorized to impose interim conditions that balance the need of complainants for safety with the requirement of fairness to the respondent. The interim conditions are in no way to be construed as indicative of guilt, and shall remain in place until the charges are disposed of under the SSP CACE’s procedures.

Urgent Situations

In some circumstances, such as those involving serious threats or violent behavior, it may be necessary to remove the individual from ISU. The SSP Director may suspend the individual temporarily for up to three working days if there is reasonable apprehension that the safety of others is endangered, damage to property is likely to occur, or the continued presence of the individual would be disruptive to the legitimate operations of the ISU program. The individual(s) shall be informed immediately in writing of the reasons for the suspension and shall be afforded the opportunity to respond. The SSP CACE must review the temporary suspension period, following a preliminary investigation, and either revoke or continue the suspension. The individual has the right of appeal to the President.

2.8 Appeal Procedure

All members of the ISU community have the right of appeal against a decision regarding them. Appeals shall be submitted in writing to the President of ISU with the appropriate justifications. The President will evaluate the position of the complainant and the Chair of the CACE. The President may request additional information and consult with others at his or her discretion. The President’s decision is final.