IPParalegal Institute Policies

Institute PoliciesTable of Contents

 

1.0 Student Responsibilities

Students assume responsibility for informing themselves of applicable Institute policies, rules, requirements, and regulations. Registration as a student constitutes a commitment by the student to accept and abide by Institute policies, rules, requirements, and regulations, including (but not limited to) those concerning registration, academic performance, student conduct, online security, access to and the use of libraries and multimedia content, the payment of tuition, fees and assessments, and the protection of the Institute's intellectual property rights.

The Institute reserves the right to withhold registration privileges or to cancel the registration of any student who is not in compliance with its policies, rules, requirements, or regulations; or for reasons pertaining to academic performance, qualification to be a student, behavioral conduct, or violation of the Institute's intellectual property rights.

The IPParalegal Institute uses electronic means (such as email and the Internet) as a primary method of communication and of providing billing, payment, and enrollment services. Signatures or acknowledgments provided by the student electronically to the Institute via Institute systems and/or @ipparalegalinstitute.com emails are valid and legally binding

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2.0 Student Classifications

For purposes of policy and procedure, there are two classifications of student at the IPParalegal Institute:

  • Certificate Studies students, and
  • Professional Development students.

Certificate Studies students are enrolled in any program or course that confers a certificate upon successful grade point average completion. Certificate Studies students are responsible for upholding their required financial commitments, as well as maintaining the Institute's minimum progress requirements to continue enrollment.

Professional Development students are students who enroll in any Professional Development course or class where a certificate is not conferred. Professional Development students are responsible for upholding their required financial commitments.

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3.0 Admissions

By applying for admission to the IPParalegal Institute's academic programs, applicants certify that the registration information they provide is their own work and, to the best of their knowledge, is complete and accurate. The IPP Institute reserves the right to withdraw an offer of admission under certain circumstances, including:

  • if there is a significant drop in academic performance, a failure to meet the Institute's minimum progress requirements, or a failure to satisfy a prerequisite or condition of admission
  • if there has been a misrepresentation in or a violation of any of the terms of the application process; or
  • if the Institute learns that an applicant has engaged in behavior that indicates a serious lack of judgment or integrity. Indeed (and for example), the Institute may rescind an applicant's admission at any time, including after attendance, if it determines, for example, that an individual has been admitted to the Institute on the basis of having provided false information or has withheld requested information. The Institute further reserves the right to require applicants to provide additional information and/or authorization for the release of information about any such matter, and to place a hold on registration and/or the conferral of a certificate during the investigation into any such matter.

Similarly, the IPParalegal Institute confers certificates on the basis of successful completion of all defined requirements. In accordance with our own Code of Ethics, the Institute reserves the right to withhold any awards or certificates if the program requirements have not been so completed. This includes admission, minimum progress and successful completion requirements.

By admission to the Institute and enrolling in classes, each student accepts responsibility for paying all debts to the Institute, including tuition, fees and assessments, for which he or she is liable. An individual's registration as an IPParalegal Institute student constitutes his or her agreement to make timely payment of all amounts due.

Students with unmet financial (or other requisite Institute) obligations cannot receive a statement of completion or Certificate until all outstanding financial obligations are met. As a condition of attending the IPParalegal Institute, students accept this provision.

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3.1 Admission: Paralegal Certificate Students

The requirements for acceptance into an IPParalegal Institute Certificate of Specialized Study Course, or an IP Paralegal Certificate Program (which consists of multiple Certificate of Specialized Study Courses) are:

  1. the student must meet their financial commitments, and
  2. the student must meet each course's knowledge prerequisites.

3.1.1 Financial Commitments

For all IPParalegal Institute Certificate Courses, tuition payment in full is required at registration.

3.1.2 Knowledge Prerequisites

All courses that confer a certificate for their successful completion, be they taken as a stand-alone Certificate of Specialized Study Course or as part of a Paralegal Certificate Program, possesses technical knowledge prerequisites which must be met in order for the student to qualify for enrollment into that course..

Students who are engaged in one of the Institute's Paralegal Certificate Programs and are showing acceptable progress will automatically meet the prerequisites for succeeding courses as part of their curriculum advancement. Students who are not engaged in a Paralegal Certificate Program will be considered as having met a course's knowledge prerequisites for enrollment upon either:

  • successfully passing a proctored placement exam, or
  • submitting an acceptable curriculum vitae*.

3.1.2.1 * Curriculum Vitaes

A curriculum vitae is deemed as acceptable when its content is determined by the institute to meet or exceed the prerequisites of the course being enrolled in, and must include at least two reputable professional references.

The student is ultimately responsible for their CV's accuracy. Consequently the Paralegal Certificate student whose academic performance is markedly inferior to the knowledge and/or experience level indicated on their CV will be subject to Dismissal from the Course or Program.

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3.2 Admission: Professional Development Students

The IPParalegal Institute's Professional Development courses reflect the same financial commitment requirements of the Certificate Courses. But because of their standalone delivery mechanisms, abbreviated lengths, and non-conferral of certificates upon completion, they possess more relaxed knowledge prerequisite requirements which are not enforced.

3.1.1 Financial Commitments

For all IPParalegal Institute Professional Development Courses, tuition payment in full is required at registration.

3.1.2 Knowledge Prerequisites

Professional Development courses and classes list prerequisites as guidelines to more accurately match students with content applicable to their knowledge level. Professional Development courses and classes do not award certificates upon completion, and it is the student's responsibility to be accurate in their self assessment.

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4.0 Successful Completion

Successful completion applies to all certificate courses and programs and is defined as concluding a course or program after having successfully met the following criteria:

  • the Institute's admission requirements;
  • the Institute's academic requirements for minimum progress, and
  • finished the course with a minimum final grade score average of 75%

Assuming all tuition and fee payment requirements have been met, all Certificate Studies Courses are graded on both homework assignment results and final test results. For purposes of computing a student's final course grade, the composite average homework assignment score and the final exam score will each comprise 50% of a Certificate Studies Course's final overall grade.

With 50% of the final grade coming from homework assignments, and 50% of the final grade coming from the final exam score, the successful completion of a Certificate Studies Course requires both (a) passing the final exam, while (b) achieving a minimum final overall grade score average of 75%.

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4.1 Graded Homework Assignments

Each homework assignment is graded separately and must be finished and turned in for grading by its submission deadline to be considered as successfully completed. All submitted work is scored between 0% and 100% based on content and answer accuracy, with some assignments and tests possessing additional extra credit material which affords the possibility of homework scores being in excess of 100%. Non-submission of a homework assignment will be graded as "Incomplete" and given a score of 0%. The course's composite average homework score comprises 50% of the course's final grade.

4.1.1 Example

As an example where the course is a 4-week | 8-session | 16-hour course, here are a sample student's lesson assignment (homework) scores:

  • Lesson 1 assignment: 85%
  • Lesson 2 assignment: 72%
  • Lesson 3 assignment: 58%
  • Lesson 4 assignment: 86%
  • Lesson 5 assignment: 104% (from extra credit which many assignments have)
  • Lesson 6 assignment: 0% (decided not to do any more homework)
  • Lesson 7 assignment: 0%
  • No Lesson 8 assignment in preparation for the final exam.

Average thru the first 5 assignments: 81%

Composite average for all 7 assignments: 58%

In this example, the student officially scored 58% for the homework assignment half of their course grade.

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4.2 Final Exams

Final exams are scheduled, timed and moderated webinar events that range between 2 hours and three hours in duration. Since a random percentage of the each course's approximately 100 final exam questions may entail live research, all final exams are "open book" to allow for live internet and web-based searches. Final exams are scored on their merits and, similar to homework assignments, possess extra credit questions. The course's final exam score comprises 50% of the course's final grade. Passing the final exam is required to successfully complete a course.

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4.3 Computing Course Pass/Fail

As mentioned above, the successful completion of a Certificate Course requires both (a) passing the final exam, while (b) achieving a minimum final grade score average of 75%.

Using the above example for graded homework assignments, the student scored 58% for the homework assignment half of their course grade. To meet the Successful Completion requirement's 75% minimum grade score average (to pass the course and earn their certificate) the student would have to score 92% or higher on the final exam ((75 x 2 = 150) - 58 = 92.)

Conversely, were the same sample student to maintain their first five graded homework assignments' average score of 81% throughout the entire course, they would only have to score 69% or higher ((75 x 2 = 150) - 81 = 69) on the final exam to pass the course and earn their certificate.

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4.4 Submission Deadlines & Course Completion Date

Submission deadlines for homework assignments are designated at the end of each session. Submission deadlines for all tests are announced prior to the test date and are subject to change. Typically final test sessions last between two hours and three hours. A course's completion date is defined as the date which all final exams are graded and the course's grades are processed and entered into the student's transcripts.

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5.0 Minimum Progress Requirements

Minimum progress requirements are comprised of maintaining satisfactory class/session attendance records, maintaining a record of timely completion of ongoing Institute, course and program requirements, including tuition and fee payments, the on-time submission of completed homework assignments, as well as completing all required exams.

Additionally, as part of the Institute's minimum progress requirements, the student pledges as a condition of enrollment that all work submitted by them, as well as all exams taken by them, are products of their own knowledge, research and labor. Plagiarism is grounds for immediate student dismissal.

5.1 For Certificate Course Studies

Because Certificate Course studies are graded, and qualify for certificate conferral upon successful completion, they do possess minimum progress requirements. For Paralegal Certificate students, not meeting the Institute's minimum progress requirements may negatively impact their enrollment status. This is applicable regardless of whether or not conferral of the course's certificate is desired by the student.

For instance, if a student enters the final exam stage of a course with a composite average score for all graded homework assignments of 50%, then a perfect 100% grade on the final exam would be required for the minimum final overall grade score average of 75% to be achieved. If the student enters the final exam stage of a course with a composite average grade score for all graded homework assignments of less than 50%, then academically failing the course is inevitable.

If the student is trending toward failing the course, then the instructor will meet with the student as soon as is practicable, and a plan will be put in place to correct the deficiencies, and a method put in place for the student to catch up if they have not fallen too far behind.

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5.2 For Professional Development Studies

Though some Professional Development classes or short courses may include an occasional unsupervised lab, quiz and/or optional final knowledge assessment test as part of their curriculum, none are graded. They also do not include homework assignments or a proctored final exam. As Professional Development studies are not officially graded and therefore do not confer certificates, they do not possess minimum progress requirements.

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5.3 Communication

Students may request their transcripts, or the status of their academic standing, at any time. Likewise, if a student is not meeting their minimum progress requirements, or is in danger of not meeting their minimum progress requirements, the instructor may initiate dialogue with the student to ascertain the facts, assess the situation, and help the student create an action plan if necessary.

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5.4 Challenging Courses

A prospective student may challenge a course's content to determine whether or not their level of understanding and technical knowledge meets a course's knowledge prerequisites. This is accomplished by taking a scheduled and proctored placement exam; and serves no other purpose than to qualify a student's technical knowledge level. Under no circumstances will the successful challenge of a course merit conferral of that course's Certificate. Certificates are conferred exclusively through the successful completion of its course requirements, which entails meeting the Successful Completion criteria described in Section 4.0 above.

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6.0 Changes to Enrollment

The following section provides guidelines which are used when a student's enrollment status changes, whether by voluntary withdrawal or by Institute actions pertaining to student probation, academic deficiency, enrollment holds or dismissal from the Institute.

6.1 Student Probation

A student is considered to be on probation anytime they have been issued an official warning, be it verbally or written. While in a state of probation, the student is allowed to continue full course attendance, and retains privileged access to all course content. However the student is not allowed further violations of the Institute's policies and/or Code of Ethics.

The terms of probation are such that the student must maintain an acceptable conduct and academic record for its duration, in addition to rectifying whatever qualified them for probation. Students who violate the terms of their probation may subject themselves to consideration for immediate Suspension from Studies or Dismissal from the Institute. Unless overturned, all occurrences of probation are permanently recorded in the student's records.

6.2 Withdrawal from a Course

When a student voluntarily drops from a certificate course, the action is treated as a withdrawal from the course. Under the terms of the Institute's withdrawal policy, the student is disallowed access to the remaining course sessions and materials of the course being withdrawn from. Furthermore the student is suspended from access to the withdrawn course's recorded session library, as well as other privileges associated with the course being withdrawn from.

After having withdrawn from a course, the student may attend another course, as long as Institute admission requirements for the new course, as well as all financial commitments from all previous courses, are fully met. Though registration for multiple certificate courses is permitted, a student may not physically attend more than one certificate course concurrently.

Upon withdrawal, the course remains on the student’s transcript with a grade of “I” (Incomplete) and is not calculated into the student’s cumulative grade average. No certificate will be conferred to students for achieving an Incomplete grade.

6.2.1 Maximum Number of Withdrawals

A student may withdraw from any single course a maximum of 2 times within a span of 24 months. After withdrawing 2 times from any single course within a 24-month span the student will not be eligible for reinstatement to that course without special approval of the Committee.

6.2.2 Re-Instatement to a Course After Withdrawal

Students who withdraw from a course and are allowed reinstatement to the course withdrawn from must either re-engage the course via a graded correspondence course, or retake the course from the beginning. Students who retake a course via a graded correspondence course will re-engage at the point where they last met the course's minimum progress requirements.

6.2.3 Tuition & Fee Requirements

Tuition is not refunded because of withdrawal from a course. Students who withdraw from a course and opt to retake the course from the beginning must re-enroll and pay full tuition at re-registration. Students who withdraw from a course and opt to re-engage the course via a graded correspondence course are required to pay an additional reinstatement processing fee in the amount of 25% of the course's tuition, as recorded when they originally registered for the course being retaken.

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6.3 Academic Deficiency: No-Credit (Failing) a Course

As mentioned in Section 4.x under Successful Completion, an overall average grade score of 75% is required to pass a course. When a student is not making minimum progress per Section 5.x above, and as such is not maintaining a grade score average high enough to pass the course with the final exam, or is not completing program requirements in a timely and satisfactory manner, the instructor will confer with the student, and a plan will be put in place to correct the deficiencies.

If deficiencies disclosed during the instructor-student conference (for example, failure to submit or complete required assignments or examinations, or a pattern of unsatisfactory performance) are not corrected by the student, then a three-stage academic review process shall commence, beginning with a verbal warning to the student.

6.3.1 Verbal Warning

When instructor-to-student open dialogue is unsuccessful at providing the student with actionable and satisfactory progress, a verbal warning shall be issued. The instructor will, where possible and as early as possible, verbally warn the student of the situation and any deficiencies. A detailed explanation of the reason for the warning will be recorded in the student's file. Extenuating circumstances communicated by the student will also be considered at this time. A verbal warning puts the student on probation for a period of two (2) class sessions.

6.3.2 Written Warning

If, at the end of the 2-session verbal warning period, the student has not, in the view of the instructor, corrected the previously documented and discussed deficiencies, then the instructor shall notify the student, in writing, that a case for their course failure is being considered. The student reenters a probationary state at this stage, lasting for a period not to exceed one (1) additional class session. As part of this procedure the student may submit their case to the contrary in writing to the committee for inclusion in their review. A detailed explanation of the reason for the warning will be recorded in the student's file.

6.3.3 Course Failure

If there is no improvement in the student's performance, or if it is determined that the student cannot pass the course, then the instructor may initiate proceedings to issue a failing grade to the student. The student shall be sent a written summary of the No-Credit decision, at which time the student has 24 hours to submit a written request for reconsideration. Though the committee, through written response to the request for reconsideration, may decline to reconsider its decision.

When a student fails a course, the course remains on the student’s transcript, with a grade of “F” (Fail), and is calculated into the student’s cumulative grade average. No certificate will be conferred for failing a course.

6.3.4 Repairing a No-Credit Course Grade

A failed grade may be replaced with a passing grade upon retaking and successfully completing the failed lesson assignments or exam, under the following circumstances:

  • Achieving the required minimum final grade score average of 75% is possible upon successful recompletion of the failed assignment(s) or retest; and
  • No more than 50% of the course assignments were failed and the final exam was passed; or
  • The student passed all of the homework assignments but failed the final exam.

All other course no-credit situations require the student to retake the course from the beginning if the achievement of a passing grade is desired.

6.3.5 Tuition & Fee Requirements

Tuition is not refunded for failing a course. Students who fail a course and opt to retake the course from the beginning must re-enroll and pay full tuition at re-registration.

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6.4 Enrollment Hold

An enrollment hold is represented by the suspension of a student from their studies. The student subjects themselves to enrollment hold by:

  • having unmet financial obligations to the Institute;
  • failing to satisfy minimum progress requirements;
  • accruing multiple incomplete assignments;
  • accruing multiple unannounced absences from class;
  • having unresolved issues related to judicial affairs; or
  • violating the Institute's Code of Ethics.

Under the terms of the Institute's enrollment hold, the student is disallowed access to all class sessions as well as all course and program materials. Furthermore the student is suspended from class session library access and other privileges. The student's transcripts may also be withheld. A student may not attend any certificate courses while their enrollment is being held.

Also under the terms of the Institute's enrollment hold, tuition is not refunded nor is it prorated. It is the responsibility of the student to take initiative for appealing any hold on their enrollment.

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6.5 Dismissal from the Institute

Consideration for dismissal from the IPParalegal Institute or any of the Institute's programs, courses or classes typically results from a serious or egregious transgression such as: plagiarism; abusive or disruptive behavior; falsified records; intellectual property theft or infringement; flagrant non-compliance with Institute policy; defiance of the Institute's Admission requirements, and/or Acceptable Progress requirements, and/or Successful Completion requirements, and/or Code of Ethics; or ongoing violations perpetrated by the student against the Institute, its faculty, staff or students.

6.5.1 Investigation

When a student is under consideration for dismissal from the Institute, the instructor shall notify the student, in writing, that a case for their formal dismissal is being investigated; and the case will be forwarded to the committee for review. During this investigation period the student's enrollment will enter a probationary period per section 6.0.1 Student Probation until a preliminary ruling is reached by the committee.

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6.5.2 Preliminary Ruling

After full discussion at the committee meeting, the committee, without the student present, shall review the case and vote on the issue of student dismissal from the course. The student shall be sent a written summary of the committee's decision and the reasons for it.

Findings by the committee will determine whether or not dismissal from the Institute is merited, as well as whether or not legal action is to be considered.

  • If the student is found to merit dismissal from the Institute, then the student shall be notified, in writing, of the committee's decision.
  • If the student is found to merit investigation by legal authorities, then the student may or may not be notified by the committee. The Institute will handle situations of this nature based on directives given the Institute by legal authorities.
  • If the student is found to not merit dismissal from the Institute, and is also found to not merit investigation by legal authorities, then consideration for the student's dismissal from the Institute will be officially withdrawn, their probation shall be lifted and their active enrollment status shall be immediately reinstated.

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6.5.3 Appeal

In matters of dismissal from the Institute where intervention by legal authorities is not required, upon receipt of the committee's decision regarding dismissal from the Institute, the student may submit a request for reconsideration in writing to the committee. In situations where the student is being investigation by legal authorities, an appeal to the Institute is not possible. If the student submits a request for reconsideration in writing to the committee, then the committee shall respond to the student's request for reconsideration in writing as soon as is practicable.

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6.5.4 Final Determination

If the committee considers the student's request for reconsideration, then the student shall be sent a written summary of the committee's discussion, including the committee's decision and the reasons for it. This decision constitutes the committee's final determination.

The committee reserves the right to decline reconsideration of its decision. If the committee exercises its right to decline reconsideration of its initial decision, then its Preliminary Ruling shall constitute the final determination.

Unless overturned, all records of the Dismissal process are permanently recorded in the student's records.

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7.0 Nondiscrimination Policy

The IPParalegal Institute admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the Institute.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the Institute prohibits unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the administration of the Institute's programs and activities.

The IPParalegal Institute also prohibits unlawful harassment, including harassment based on race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and sexual violence.

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8.0 Cancellations and Refunds

LIVE COURSES:
Course tuition, less a $25.00 handling charge per registration, will be refunded upon WRITTEN CANCELLATION received no later than one week prior to the start of the first class session. Cancellations received after this time will not be considered, and no refunds will be given. Attendee substitution for the course is permitted, though the new student will be required to register in full and must meet all prerequisites.

SELF-PACED COURSES:
Course tuition, less a $25.00 handling charge per registration, will be refunded upon WRITTEN CANCELLATION received prior to the "sent" timestamp of The Institute's initial email containing the first session's playback link. Cancellations received after this time will not be considered, and no refunds will be given. Attendee substitution for the course is permitted, though the new student will be required to register in full and must meet all prerequisites within 30 days of cancellation.

Written cancellations may be emailed to administration@IPParalegalInstitute.com.

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    2015 Schedule
AUG
27
IPP101: IP Paralegal Ethics, Billing & Administration Fundamentals course begins.
SEP
8
PPF101: U.S. Patent Forms & Filing Fundamentals course begins.
OCT
19
PPF102: U.S. Patent Prosecution Fundamentals Course begins.
    2016 Schedule
JAN
11
PCT101: Patent Cooperation Treaty Forms & Filing Fundamentals course begins.
FEB
22
PCT102: Patent Cooperation Treaty Prosecution Fundamentals course begins.
APR
4
FPF101: Foreign Patent Filing Fundamentals course begins.
JUN
6
TPF101: Trademark Forms, Filing & Prosecution Fundamentals course begins.