Virtual Internship Program Code of Conduct

Introduction

The Washington Center was founded on the belief that the right experience can transform students’ lives, setting them on a course of achievement, leadership, and civic responsibility. A defining hallmark of The Washington Center experience is the high levels of professionalism and integrity demonstrated by those participating in our programs.

Participants in The Washington Center’s programs come from all parts of the world – each brings with them a myriad number of experiences in academics, civic awareness, leadership foundation, and self-awareness. The Washington Center strives to foster a sense of community around shared experiences, goals, activities and aspirations. As an integral member of our community, each participant plays a vital role in ensuring that a positive working and learning environment exists for everyone at The Washington Center.

To ensure the safety of all participants and to foster an environment that will promote the constructive transformation of students’ lives, The Washington Center has instituted policies and procedures that safeguard and promote its expectations of professionalism and integrity. The Code of Conduct covers the expectations of our participants and it outlines a framework for fostering mutual respect and support among all members of the TWC community. The Code serves as a guide for making informed decisions and for all participants to understand their rights and responsibilities during their time with The Washington Center.

Upon acceptance into a Washington Center program, all participants must adhere to the following expectations to foster a productive learning and professional environment for all TWC community members.

I.  General Expectations

A. Professionalism: Individuals participating in The Washington Center’s virtual internship programs must conduct themselves with appropriate integrity and professionalism in all aspects of the program. This includes but is not limited to the pre-internship process, conduct in online classes, during TWC virtual events or activities, in our online community, in the remote internship and any other TWC virtual program experience.
 
B. Attendance: There are attendance requirements for all TWC Programs, including, but not limited to the online evening course, remote internship, and the career readiness online programming as these are part of the core of The Washington Centers’ virtual experience. All participants must be on time and present unless otherwise instructed by their Career Advisor, program advisor/manager, course instructor, internship supervisor, or other designated TWC official.
  • Students are expected to adhere to their work schedule as outlined in the internship agreement form.
  • Regular attendance and participation in the evening academic course is essential to the academic learning experience.  
  • Review the Program syllabus and/or guideline for requirements related to attendance for the semester. 
  • Additionally, participation in The Washington Center’s scholarship or funded programs may have required minimum grade levels, online events and/or other stipulations where failure to attend could result in financial award/stipend impacts.
C. Adherence to the Conduct Process: Adherence to TWC’s Code of Conduct, in addition to, participants’ Universities Code of Conduct or other policies of the program is expected and may be considered with any sanctions, educational requirements, payments, or other details required of them following the conduct process.
 
D. Directions from TWC Officials: Participants are expected to comply with the directions of TWC officials (Career Advisors, Program Advisors/Managers, Alumni Mentors, Community Life staff, etc.). Conduct, such as being disrespectful, uncooperative, abusive, or threatening behavior(s), is not in conformity to the goals of TWC's virtual program and will initiate the conduct process. All participants are expected to adhere to the policies and expectations listed in the specific syllabi and/or set by the instructor or other representatives of The Washington Center.
 
E. Financial Aid: Participants receiving financial assistance awards from TWC may be required to fulfill specialized requests as part of the financial award as well as successful completion of the virtual program. As such, removal from the TWC program will result in loss of financial aid and a new invoice issued to the participant reflecting the financial aid amount added to the participant’s bill.
 
For all billing-related issues, invoices will be delivered to participants with a timeline for payment. Students who fail to meet the terms of the invoice or sign a promissory note will receive a written warning of possible expulsion. The standing of students who fail to satisfy outstanding balances will be determined by the CFO and the Vice President of Student Affairs.
 
F. Unauthorized Departure from Internship: The untimely and unapproved departure from an internship site without prior approval from the internship site supervisor and/or career advisor is a violation to the code.
 
G. Dismissal from Internship: The termination of the participant by their internship site due to poor or unsatisfactory performance, disruptive behavior, or other reasons is at the discretion of the internship site supervisor.
 
H. Unsatisfactory Performance: Performance that does not meet The Washington Center’s standards in a course, internship, or career programming that results from a failure to exercise minimally due diligence is prohibited. 
 
I. Bias-Related Incidents refers to any act or behavior that is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and reasonably believed to be motivated by a consideration (real or perceived) of race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, gender, national origin, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, veteran status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.
 
Individuals are encouraged to report all bias-related incidents immediately to their Career Advisor and Community Life department.
 
Safe Space Recognition: Participants are free to express themselves in a responsible manner. Such expression shall not impinge on the rights of others, or disrupt administrative activities or approved programs or events. TWC identifies as a safe space for individuals to come together to communicate regarding their experiences and does not tolerate violence, harassment or hate speech, or expression that thereby nullifies a safe place for all students.
 
J. Harassment: Harassment is not permitted and will not be tolerated by TWC. Harassment is defined as any targeted unwanted or unwelcome behavior that is severe and persistent enough to negatively impact an individual’s ability to learn and/or work in The Washington Center virtual community
  • Discrimination: Targeted harassment (defined above) based on an individual’s status in a protected class (race, religion, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, familial status, disability status, veteran status, or genetic information).
  • Intimidation and Threat: Behavior or conduct that intentionally causes another individual to reasonably fear for their immediate safety.
  • Harassment may include repeated slurs, or taunts in the guise of jokes, or disparaging references to others, use of epithets, bullying, stalking, stereotypes, comments, gestures, threats, graffiti, display, or circulation of written or visual materials, taunts on manner of speech, and negative reference to customs when such conduct is based on or motivated by one or more of the characteristics identified above, or other characteristics identified by The Washington Center. This applies to acts that take place in person, through social media or online platforms.
    • Sexual misconduct (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) constitute grievous violations of TWC policy.
      • Sexual harassment is defined as making any unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors to another person, or engaging in any activities or conduct of a sexual nature with respect to another person that is offensive, degrading or pervasive, or that creates an intimidating or hostile academic, work, or social environment for that person.
      • Sexual violence is defined as any physical sexual act against any person, including without limitation any sexual abuse, assault, battery, invasion or penetration (including but not limited to sexual intercourse), against that person’s will, or without that person’s consent, or when that person is incapable of giving consent due to his or her age, family relation to the other person, medical or physical condition, intellectual or other disability, or use of alcohol or other drugs. “Consent” requires words or actions indicating a freely given agreement to have sexual intercourse or engage in other sexual activities.
      • The lack of verbal or physical resistance does not by itself constitute consent. The degree of impairment of a person’s ability to give or withhold consent (including but not limited to incapacity or helplessness caused by alcohol or other drugs) may be introduced as pertinent information at any disciplinary hearing.
      • The Washington Center takes such acts seriously and charges each member of its community with the responsibility of becoming more educated regarding sexual misconduct and its consequences. The Washington Center also educates its staff regarding the appropriate protocols, level of response, and resources in handling these situations.
K. Criminal Activity:  TWC participants are subject to all local, state, and federal laws governing the Internet. Consequently TWC  will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to illegal activities conducted through online means.
 
L. Contempt of the Conduct Process: Participants who violate TWC’s Code of Conduct or other policies of the virtual program are expected to follow through with any sanctions, educational requirements, payments, or other details required of them following the conduct process. Contempt includes failure to appear for a conduct hearing or failure to observe and comply with conduct sanctions. In rare cases, complainants may be informed of the outcome of an incident report. Any student found to have inappropriately shared information related to a conduct investigation will be held in contempt of the conduct process.
 
If a participant is suspected of or is found to be in connection with any misconduct, a TWC staff member may request to meet virtually with said individual. Participants are expected to respond to all requests for a meeting within one business day and schedule an official meeting time no more than two business days from the initial request for a meeting. The Washington Center reserves the right to schedule the virtual  meeting at any point based on severity. Failure to report to meeting requests may result in further disciplinary action or sanctioning being given without an in-person meeting.
 

II. Academic Honesty

The academic honesty policy was established to ensure that the learning environment of The Washington Center is honest and fair. Any violation of honesty or integrity in academic work is a serious matter of misconduct. The Washington Center reserves the right to impose penalties and sanctions for any incident of academic misconduct, up to and including failure for the assignment, part or all of the program, and/or expulsion from the program.
 
A. Absenteeism: The chronic failure of a student or participant to attend their academic course, remote internship, or required career readiness programming, regardless of the excused or unexcused nature of the absence. Chronic absenteeism may also be disruptive to the learning experience of other students in the class.  Students who miss more than two regularly scheduled class meetings of the evening course will receive an official academic warning. Students who miss more than two regularly scheduled class meetings of the evening course will be administratively withdrawn from the course and their home institution will be notified of the withdrawal. 
 
B. Disruptive Behavior: Any behavior, whether active or passive, that interferes with the environment of teaching and learning or tone of professionalism as established by the instructor, internship supervisor, career advisor, or other official of The Washington Center. Disruptive behavior may include, but is not limited to, inappropriate dress, harassment, chronic lateness, refusal of directives of any TWC official, or violation of internship site policies.
 
C. Academic dishonesty: Any behavior that knowingly attempts to undermine or deceive an instructor and violating the learning environment which includes:
  • Cheating: intentional use or attempted use of trickery or deception in one's academic work
  • Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one's own work
  • Falsification: the improper alteration or misrepresentation of any source, record, document or evaluation submitted to an identified TWC Official or Platform.
  • Complicity: the act of intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another commit an act of academic dishonesty.
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