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  • Definition of Studio and Lecture Credit

    A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

    One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of- class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

    At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

    This policy is consistent with WASC and NASAD credit hour guidance and/or policy.

  • FERPA Policy

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) website

    The Department of Education has instituted the following to protect the student's privacy while attending Otis College of Art and Design.  Students who wish to share their information with their parents or with a third party must fill out a FERPA Release of Information (available through Dashboard)  and submit it to the College. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

    FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

    • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.

    • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
    • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
      • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
      • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
      • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
      • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
      • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
      • Accrediting organizations;
      • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
      • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies;
      • and State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

    Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, telephone number, address, email address, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. Otis reserves the right to withhold directory information at their discretion. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

    For additional information or technical assistance, you may call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.

    You may contact the following address:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20202-5920

    Important Notice: All requests for the release of student information should be done only with the approval of the Registrar. Contact Information -


  • Preferred Name Policy

    Policy on Preferred First Names

    Policy Update (12.16.2020)

    Otis College of Art and Design Is Committed to Fostering an Inclusive Campus that Values Self-Expression and Respect for The Variety of Communities It Serves. the College Recognizes that Many Students, Faculty and Staff Choose to Use a Preferred First Name Rather than A Legal Name Whenever a Legal Name Is Not Absolutely Necessary, Limited by Technology, or Required by Law.

    At Otis College, students may update their preferred name in Student Self Service. Otis College reserves the right to remove or deny the preferred first name if used inappropriately. This includes, but is not limited to, names using foul or inappropriate language, names submitted to avoid a legal obligation, and names used to create misrepresentation.

    Must everyone indicate a preferred first name?

    No. Using a preferred first name is entirely optional. If your legal first name is the name that you prefer to use, you do not need to do anything at all.

    In which Otis College documents will the preferred first name be used?

    A preferred first name will appear on the following records and documents:

    • Class Rosters -A student’s name will be displayed as Legal Last Name, Preferred First Name
    • Otis College Identification/OneCard
    • The Nest
    • Degree Works
    • Otis College assigned email address

    Your email address will be the first initial of your legal first name along with your legal last name. The name that appears to recipients of your emails will be your preferred first name and legal last name. For example, William < Andrea > Smiths’ email address will be but the name appearing as the sender will be Andrea Smiths.

    While Otis College is committed to expanding its use of preferred first names, here are examples in which a legal first name will currently be used due to technology limitations and/or legal requirements:

    • Academic Records including transcripts (both official and unofficial)
    • Self Service
    • Financial Aid and Scholarship Documents
    • Any legal document produced by the University

    Using a preferred first name when addressing faculty, staff and students:

    When addressing other members of our community (including students, faculty, and staff) please use their preferred first names in all oral and written communications, except on documents that require a legal name or when technology limitations make it impossible.

    Faculty and staff are asked to refer to each student by their preferred first name (as indicated on the class roster and OneCard) at all times, including when taking attendance, grading work, calling on a student in class, talking with the student directly, discussing the student with others, and when sending the student an email.

    What if I don’t know someone’s preferred first name?

    Ask. Asking shows that you respect another person’s choice.

    What if someone uses my legal name when addressing me, but I want them to use my preferred first name?

    If someone mistakenly addresses you by your legal name, simply remind them that you wish to be addressed by your preferred first name.

    What if I have legally changed my legal name?

    Students who have changed their legal name should contact the Registration Office and be prepared to submit documentation showing proof of a legal name change.

    Faculty and staff should contact Human Resources for more information.

  • Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Policy

    Otis College of Art and Design is an equal opportunity employer and educator, firmly committed to providing an environment in which people respect the rights of others to live, work, and learn in peace and dignity, and to have equal opportunity to realize their full potential as individuals and members of society. Otis College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, sexual identity, marital status, family care status, veteran status, age, disability, medical condition, national or ethnic origin, or any other protected category under state or federal law in the administration of its student admissions, employment, access to programs, or administration of educational policies. The College prohibits, harassment, discrimination and/or retaliation based on the perception that anyone has any of these characteristics or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of these characteristics.

    Otis College will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship or fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

    This prohibition against discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation includes engaging in behavior that may

    • Threaten the physical safety of any member of the community;
    • Create an educational environment hostile to any member;
    • Discriminate against another person or persons; or
    • Inflict physical, emotional, or mental injury to, or provoke a violent response from, a reasonable person.

    Students with questions regarding this policy or believed instances of discrimination or harassment on the basis of any of these criteria should be brought to any of the following individuals: Jason Cha, Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Carol Branch, Title IX Coordinator, or file a formal student grievance The College will not retaliate against anyone for filing a complaint made in good faith and will not knowingly permit retaliation by management, faculty, staff, or students.

  • Policy on Pronouns

    Policy Update (12.16.2020)


    Otis College of Art and Design is committed to fostering an inclusive campus that values self-expression and respect for the variety of communities it serves. The College recognizes each community member’s gender pronouns, which may be the pronoun or set of pronouns that an individual would like others to use when talking to or about them.  Students may update their pronouns through the Personal Information page in Student Self Service.  Please note that this will update your pronoun in your student record. It will NOT allow the College to update your pronouns in the Nest.  Click here for instructions on how to update your pronouns on the Nest.

    It is a firm expectation that Otis community members recognize and use an individual’s pronouns and preferred first names when that information has been provided to them. Pronouns and preferred first names should be used whenever speaking with, or referring to, any member of the Otis College community who has indicated such a preference.

    Mistakes may happen, and in those situations, we encourage individuals to apologize, and rephrase what they were saying or asking. However, intentionally using incorrect pronouns to refer to someone, or refusing to acknowledge an individual’s pronouns or name, may constitute a violation of the College’s Non Discriminaton Policy. Referring to people using the wrong pronouns, especially on purpose, is disrespectful and can lead to feelings of alienation, exclusion, and overall dysphoria, and community members should not hesitate to report such behavior using the College’s Bias Incident Report Form.

    How can I let others know what my pronoun is?

    Here are two suggestions:

    1. When you meet someone for the first time, introduce yourself and include your pronoun.  “Hi, I’m Andrea, and I use they/theirs.”  Or, “Nice to meet you.  I’m Dave, and I use him/his.”

    2.  Include your pronouns in your email signature.

    Pat Johnson


    CommArts/Graphic Design Junior


    How do you know which pronouns a person prefers?

    Correctly using a person’s pronoun is an important way to show respect for their identity.  Try asking: “What pronouns do you use?” or “Can you remind me what pronouns you use?”  The person you are speaking with will feel respected.

    For faculty:  How can I use this information in how I address my students at Otis?

    Here’s a suggestion:

    On the first day of class, share your own pronoun and preferred name and:

    “Hi, everyone.  My preferred first name is Lenny, and my last name is Huckleberry.  My pronouns are he-him.”

    During initial introductions or first taking of attendance, ask students to share:

    1. Their preferred first name
    2. Their last name
    3. Their pronouns

    And of course, document this on your roster, and address your students as they indicated.

    What if I make a mistake?  What if I use “her” instead of “they”, for example.  It can be hard to remember!

    Mistakes are going to happen!  Apologize, and rephrase what you were saying or asking.  The person you are speaking with or about will appreciate it. It's okay to acknowledge you made a mistake and restate what you meant to say or what pronoun you meant to use. 

    You can also say "thank you" when you are corrected by the person about their pronoun. Saying "thank you for correcting me," can go a long way and allows an affirming space.