Policies

Credit Hour Review Policy

The Reach Institute requires that all courses and programs comply with the established Reach Institute Credit Hour Policy. The Leadership Team (LT), supervised by the Chief Academic Officer (CAO), conducts a review of the units awarded in courses and programs annually.  The process is as-follows:
Program Coordinators (PCs) submit detailed credit hour information for existing courses administered in the programs, aligning to the established credit hour policy.

The CAO then reviews the submitted information and selects a sample of courses from each program for further review (all 2015-16 courses to be reviewed; sample of courses reviewed in subsequent years).

The CAO will oversee a review of sample course syllabi (all courses in 2015-16) conducted by the LT.

The following criteria should be met for a course to pass the Credit Hour Review:

The reported hours (in the spreadsheet) are sufficient for the course credits assigned.
The syllabus lists the course credits and approximate hours, and these numbers match the credits and hours reported (in the spreadsheet).
The course activities and assignments match the reported hours.
Other

Courses that do not comply with the credit hour policy will be subject to syllabus revision and resubmission to the CAO until compliance is reached.

6.    For all new courses, syllabi will be reviewed by the CAO and compliance with the credit hour policy must be met before the course may be offered.
Definition of a Credit Hour

Reach Institute defines a credit hour as follows:

1 Credit Hour = 45 hours of combined Class Time, Homework, and Applied Practica

Definitions:
Class Time – Time spent in in-person seminar meetings
Homework – Assigned readings and online discussions
Applied Practica – Residency hours, applied assignments, participation in coaching and formative

assessment, peer collaboration, and performance assessments.

Transfer Credit Policies

Prior credit from accredited institutions and certain forms of prior experience may meet some course requirements, in whole or in part. Transfer of credit toward credentials or degrees is not guaranteed and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Transferring credit into any Reach CTC-approved credential program

Reach recognizes that candidates may have prior experience or coursework that satisfies elements of the content or practice required by Reach to earn California Preliminary Teaching, Clear Teaching, Preliminary Administrative Services or Clear Administrative Services credentials. When applying to a Reach credential program, the candidate may request a review of prior experience, and equivalency may be granted for Reach courses, assignments, or particular sessions based on the analysis of the Program Coordinator. Reach accepts most credits and/or work from other CTC-accredited credential programs, however, Reach does not hold an articulation or transfer agreement with any college or university.

For enrollment in Reach credential programs, the applicant will indicate in the space provided on the application form that s/he is applying for the transfer of prior units and/or experience. Candidates may submit transcripts and course syllabi (or official course catalog descriptions) to the Associate Director for review. Any transfer credit must be approved by the Associate Director in consultation with the Program Coordinator for the Reach program to which the candidate is applying no later than August 1 of the candidate’s first year in the Reach Program. Transfer credit may meet all or part of the requirements of any given Reach course.

Transferring credit into any Reach master’s program

Graduate coursework taken at a regionally-accredited institution may be considered for transfer credit. A maximum of nine semester units of graduate coursework, with an earned grade of B or higher, may be applied as transfer credit toward a Reach Master of Education.

In considering awarding transfer credit, Reach will consider such factors as the degree to which the course content or field of study has changed substantively in recent years.

Applicants may petition to transfer credit by completing and filing a Request for Graduate Transfer Credit form, sent to the Reach Associate Director, who consults with the Program Coordinator for the applicable program in order to award or deny the transfer request. All requests must be approved by the Program Coordinator by August 1 of the candidate’s first year in the Reach program.

Recognized Prior Experience

Reach recognizes that candidates may have prior experience or coursework that satisfies elements of the content or practice required by the Reach Master of Education program. When applying to a Reach Master of Education program, the candidate may request a review of prior experience and equivalency may be recommended for Reach courses, and/or assignments, and/or particular topics based on the analysis of the Program Coordinator.

Specialized Study

Candidates who complete modified versions of Reach courses, either due to transferred coursework or prior experiences that meet part but not all of a course requirement, will participate in individualized courses of Specialized Study. Specialized Study courses must be developed by a supervising faculty member and approved by the Program Coordinator prior to commencing. Specialized Study courses may include participation in elements of existing Reach courses, independent study, one-on-one instruction, specially-designed practicum experiences, or other learning experiences and assessments that ensure candidates obtain the required elements necessary for earning a credential or degree. Approved courses of Specialized Study are outlined in writing to the candidate, and a copy kept on file with the Associate Director. Candidates may have up to nine units of Specialized Study for Master of Education programs.

Combined transfer and Specialized Study units may not exceed 12 units.

NOTICE CONCERNING TRANSFERABILITY OF CREDITS AND CREDENTIALS EARNED AT OUR INSTITUTION

The transferability of credits you earn at the Reach Institute for School Leadership is at the complete discretion of an institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the credits, credential, certificate or degree you wish to earn in the educational program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits, credential, certificate, or degree that you earn at this institute are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending Reach Institute for School Leadership to determine if your credits, credential, certificate, or degree will transfer.

Definition of Semester Unit

One semester unit corresponds to 45 hours of combined class time, homework, and applied practica as required by each course/series. These components are defined as follows:

Class Time – Time spent attending in-person seminar meetings
Homework – Assigned readings and online discussions
Applied Practica – Residency hours, applied assignments, participation in coaching and formative assessment, peer collaboration, and performance assessments

Additional preparation (reading, research, etc.) should be expected in addition to the hours included in the units.

Grievances and Appeals

Informal Grievance Procedure

A candidate who has problems arising from conflicts with faculty, evaluation results, advancement, degree/credential requirements, policies, probation conditions, or disqualification should discuss them first with a program faculty member. If a candidate wishes to review a problem or to appeal a decision, s/he should then consult with the Program Coordinator and the Associate Director of Reach, in that order. Should questions arise beyond this point with respect to where or to whom a specific appeal should be directed, the Chief Academic Officer may be consulted for advice. After all of the informal procedures for grievances and appeals have been exhausted, the formal grievance procedures may be initiated.

Formal Grievance Procedures

Upon request made in writing to the Chief Academic Officer, or should the Program Coordinator or Associate Director deem it necessary, a disciplinary/grievance committee will be assembled. Prior to assembling the committee, the Chief Academic Officer will determine whether the informal grievance procedure has been exhausted and may require additional steps be taken through the informal grievance process, and a new written notice be given, prior to convening a committee. Once it is determined that a disciplinary/grievance committee is appropriate, the committee will be assembled within 30 days of receiving the written request, and members will include, but are not limited to a member from the Board of Director’s Academic Affairs Committee, a Reach faculty member, and a Reach Administrator. Findings of the disciplinary committee may be appealed to the full Board of Directors as necessary. The decisions of the Board of Directors are final.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

Non-Discrimination

It is the policy of the Reach Institute for School Leadership and the Reach Institute for School Leadership’s Board of Directors to maintain an organizational working and learning environment free of all forms of unlawful discrimination and all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including sexual harassment.

Equal Opportunity

The Reach Institute for School Leadership affords equal opportunity to all employees and prospective employees, volunteers, candidates, and other participants without regard to race, color, religion, citizenship, political activity or affiliation, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (as defined under California law), veteran status, family care status, sexual orientation, sex (which includes gender and gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, or any other basis protected by law.

Disability

The Reach Institute for School Leadership will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of disability in regard to any position for which the employee or applicant for employment is qualified. To comply with applicable laws ensuring equal employment opportunities to qualified individuals with a disability, the Reach Institute for School Leadership will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or an employee unless undue hardship would result. If you believe you may need an accommodation, please contact the Reach Associate Director, who serves as the head of human resources for the organization, or notify a Reach faculty member and/or coach.

Complaint Procedure

Any individual, whether an employee or applicant for employment, volunteer, or candidate, who believes that s/he has been discriminated against, should bring their concerns to the attention of appropriate Reach personnel consistent with the grievance procedures outlined in these policies.

Consequences

The Reach Institute for School Leadership will not tolerate any form of discrimination and will take appropriate disciplinary action, including possible termination, of any person determined to have engaged in unlawful conduct under this policy.

No Retaliation

The Reach Institute for School Leadership will neither retaliate nor discriminate against any employee or applicant because s/he has opposed any unlawful employment practice, filed a charge of employment discrimination, or testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing related to employment practices.

Academic Freedom

The Reach Academic Freedom Policy values the intellectual dynamism that comes from the free flow of ideas while simultaneously providing for the need to have a cohesive and coherent academic program that is consistent with accreditation requirements and other public commitments. Nothing in this policy supersedes any policy outlined in the personnel policies.

3.1 Individual Faculty Academic Freedom Principle

Faculty members are expected to work collaboratively, as a whole faculty and in work groups, to establish communities of practice that negotiate pedagogical and curricular decisions. At the same time, Reach faculty should feel empowered to respond appropriately to their students needs and to proceed in the best interests of their students. The “Reach way” is simultaneously intended to provide focus, cohesion and guidance AND to be continuously reinvented as part of ongoing collaboration. Faculty members work with supervising program coordinators and the Executive Director to develop their courses and approaches consistent with policy.

3.2 Collective Faculty Academic Freedom

Principle : Issues of academic quality and program integrity affect all faculty and staff. Reach believes that all faculty members should have input into decisions that affect them, and program coordinators are required to develop work teams and make decisions on this basis. The Reach Institute has adopted the Academic Freedom Policy of the American Association of Graduate School Professors:

Teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter, which has no relation to their subject. Limitations of academic freedom will be clearly stated in writing at the time of the appointment.
Graduate school teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public might judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the Graduate School.
3.3 Educational Program Alignment

In order to maintain quality and consistency of the education program, individual faculty members may not do the following:

●  Modify or adjust core outcomes and core assessments (which are defined by the program narratives and interpreted by the program coordinators and the Executive Director).
●  Modify the amount of the scope of student engagement in learning for a defined course (combining seminar time, online collaboration, and individual practicum & coaching).
●  Modify a course in such a way as to jeopardize accreditation. Faculty have the freedom to:
●  Make adjustments and modifications to non-core outcomes and assessments for either the whole cohort or individuals with extenuating circumstances.
●  Make decisions about what grades will be awarded, including whether individual students pass the course.
●  Make adjustments to the content and sequence of the course concepts in response to emergent student needs, consistent with agreed upon learning objectives.
●  Make decisions about pedagogical approaches consistent with these policies.
●  Create new courses, following the Reach Decision-Making protocol and requisite approvals.
●  Adapt the course syllabus to reflect their priorities and interests consistent with the program’s

learning objectives.
●  Design and supervise courses of individualized study with the approval of the Program

Coordinator and Chief Academic Officer.
●  Research and publish.
●  Freely express their ideas as they pertain to their course.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)