Students Services

CHANGE OF ADDRESS

When students register, they are required to file their mailing address with the Student Affairs Office. Changes of address should be reported immediately to the Registrar Office. If this address is not kept up-to-date, the School will not be responsible for notifications mailed to the student. Any notice mailed to a student’s address as it appears on record shall be deemed sufficient notice.

SERVICES OF THE REGISTRAR OFFICE

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for registration, maintenance of all official academic records of students, the issuance of transcripts, certification of studies, and certification that students have met graduation requirements. It also issues study certification upon student request.

Students requiring information concerning records or issuance of transcripts should contact the Registrar Office.

VETERANS AND OTHER BENEFICIARIES FROM FEDERAL PROGRAMS

Veteran students or beneficiaries of Veteran Administration Programs will receive benefits if they complete their study programs at the regular time stipulated in the catalog. In case they exceed they lose eligibility for these benefits under Title 38. However they can be eligible for financial aid under Title IV, (Pell Grants and others) if they maintain the corresponding requisites. The Office of Student Affairs offers Veterans orientation about university studies, academic tutors, and opportunities for study. Students applying for veterans benefits are responsible to go to this office.

The School requires regular attendance at all lecture, laboratory and clinic sessions to which the student is assigned. The record of attendance is the responsibility of each individual instructor. Absences from lectures and laboratories may affect the final grade of the courses according to the stipulation in each course syllabus.

Students, who have not attended classes during the first two weeks of the academic semester or its equivalent, may be administratively dropped from the course. Permission to be absent must be obtained from the Dean of Students.

General Policies and Conditions

  1. Students who must interrupt the regular academic program may be granted a one year “Leave of Absence” by the Institution.
  2. Justifiable reasons for “Leave of Absence’’ include, but are not limited to medical conditions, special family circumstances, and duties related to work or military assignments.
  3. Students soliciting a “Leave of Absence” must apply by filling out the pertinent application form provided by the Institution and submit it to the Dean of Student Affairs in conjunction with the required official evidence supporting the reason for absence.
  4. Final authorization is granted by the Dean of the Institution.
  5. While on “Leave of Absence”:
    • institutional regulations concerning the return of financial aid funds under Title IV to federal agencies or other agencies providing financial assistance are not applied
    • a student cannot obtain additional financial aid funds under Title IV
  6. At the termination of a “Leave of Absence” a student may re-apply for another academic year of absence.
    7. If a student does not re-apply or resumes studies at the expiration date of the term granted he/she will receive an official withdrawal from the program dated back to the time that the “Leave of Absence” was conceded. Unused financial funds parting from the date of withdrawal will be calculated and returned to the corresponding agencies under Title IV. 

    REPEATING COURSES
    Students will have the right to repeat courses when not satisfied with their grades. The highest grade and its corresponding credits will remain on the student’s transcript and lower grades will be changed to an R (repeated) course. When students repeat a course and obtain the same
    grade as in the previous term, the grade of the most recent term will appear on the transcript.

    The administration action symbol R and its corresponding credits will not be considered in determining if a student has satisfied the graduation requirements. Courses repeated after graduations are not considered in the computation of the graduation grade point index.

The School is under no obligation to offer special summer courses. The offer will depend on sufficient demand, availability of faculty members, and eligibility of students. Registration will be under special student status. Special summer courses are limited up to seven credits by students unless authorized by the Dean of Academic Affairs. The honor points granted in summer courses will only affect the cumulative grade point average (GPA) of the student.

AUDITING COURSES
Student wishing to audit courses must enroll during the official registration period of the semester. Such students must pay 50% of the course fee as special student for auditing. Students who have not applied for admission should do so before registering as audit students.

Course grades indicate the degree of student achievement in any given course. The University has established a quality point system to be used in accumulating and summarizing these grades. This quality point system is used to determine the minimum degree of general competence for graduation and for continuing the program at any level and to assign special honors to students who excel. Grades are reported in accordance with the following grading system:

A – Superior attainment; 4 honor points per credit hour.
B – Above average attainment; 3 honor points per credit hour.
C – Average attainment; 2 honor points per credit hour.
D – Lowest passing grade; 1 honor point per credit hour.
F – Failure; no honor point per credit hour.
P – Passing; this grade is assigned to students satisfying the requirements in courses taken by proficiency examinations and for courses in which such grade is required. This grade is not included in the computation of the grade point index.
NP – Not passing; this grade is assigned to students who fail in the courses indicated under the grade P. This grade is not included in the computation of the grade point index.

The grading systems used by the faculty of the School are published in any course syllabus. Some faculty does not include the “D” grade as part of the grading system of the course. Courses completed at the University and taken in other higher education institutions having previous authorization from the corresponding authorities at Inter American University will be included in the computation of the grade point index. The grade point index is determined by dividing the total number of honor quality points by the total number of credits completed with the grades of A, B, C, D, or F.

All courses that grant academic credit require tests or other grading tools. This includes a final examination or its equivalent. Faculty members will indicate on their class register how the final grade was determined.

The following symbols are used to indicate administrative action taken in regard to student status in courses for which they registered.

W – Course Withdrawal: Assigned when the student withdraws from a course after the end of the period for class changes and no later than the date established on the academic calendar for withdrawals with W.

DC – Course Withdrawal: Assigned when the student withdraws from a course before the end of the period for class changes. Does not appear on the student transcript.

AD – Administrative Withdrawal: Assigned when the University drops the student for reasons such as failure to meet payments or other situations warranting a drop.

AW – Assigned when the professor informs in the electronic register that the student never attended class.

I – Incomplete: When students have not completed a course requirement and present valid reasons for it, the professor may assign the symbol “I” (Incomplete). Together with the symbol “I”, the professor will include a provisional grade, after assigning zero for the unfinished work. When faculty members assign an “I”, they shall report to their immediate supervisor the grade that the student has earned up to that time, the evaluation criteria and a description of the unfinished work if applicable. A student who receives an “I” must remove it by the date specified on the Academic Calendar. The responsibility for removing the “Incomplete” rests on the student. If the “Incomplete” is not removed within the time
specified, the student will receive the informed provisional grade. This policy will apply whether or not the student is enrolled at the University for the following semester.

AU – Symbol used to indicate on student transcripts that the course was audited. No honor points or University credits are awarded.

R – Symbol used to indicate the course was repeated.

T – Symbol used to indicate the course was transferred from another institution.

UW – Assigned in the electronic register when a student stops attending a course, and does not qualify for a grade of incomplete (I) or F.

POLICY REGARDING STUDENTS AND ALUMNI DIRECTORY
The University, in compliance with federal law Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), provides students and alumni access to their academic files, the right to request that the information contained in those files be amended and certain control over the disclosure of academic information.

  1. Students and alumni have the right to inspect and review their academic files. They may request this in writing to the file custodian and indicate the file they wish to review. The file custodian will make the necessary arrangements so that the student or alumni may review the files within a period of time no greater than 45 days from the date in which the student or alumni presented the written request. If the person
    receiving the request from the student or alumni does not have the file, this person will indicate the correct place for the request to be presented.
  2. Student and alumni have the right to request that incorrect information contained in their academic files be corrected. Interested students or alumni must present a written request to the University official in charge of the file, indicated the part of the file to be corrected and explain the mistake. If the University decides not to correct the file, the student or alumni will be notified of this decision in writing and the person will be
    informed of the right to request an informal hearing.
  3. Student or alumni have the right to prevent the University from disclosing personal information found in the academic files, except in those cases where FERPA authorizes this, these cases are:
    1. Disclosure of information to institution officials. Institutional officials are taken to mean administrative or teaching employees, persons contact by the University, members of the Board of Trustees and student members of special committees.
    2. Disclosure of Directory information. The University has designed the following as Directory information: student or alumni name, address, major and year of study. Students and alumni have the right to prevent the University from disclosing directory information to third parties. The disclosure to third parties includes the release of information to the Armed Forces. If students or alumni wish to prevent their Information from being disclosed to the United States Armed Forces, it is necessary that they express their desire that no information be disclosed to third parties.
    3. To prevent information from being disclosed to third parties, it is necessary that students or alumni submit their request to this effect, in writing, to the Office of the Registrar of their academic unit. In order for the request to be effective for the academic year, it is important that students submit the request in or by September 1st of that year.
    4. Information to other universities. The University will release student or alumni information to those universities to which they request admission.
    5. Exceptional circumstances. The University will disclose student or alumni information if they are economically dependent upon their parents. The University assumes undergraduate students and alumni are economically dependent upon their parents; therefore, in some cases it may disclose information without the consent of the student or alumni to parents that request it. Undergraduate students or alumni who are not economically dependent upon their parents must present this evidence to the office of the registrar to prevent information from being released to their parents. Information on graduate students or alumni will not be given to parents without their consent.
    6. Emergency cases. These are cases in which the health or security of a student, alumni or other person is in danger.
    7. Immigration and Naturalization Service. The university is obligated to give information to immigration service regarding certain foreign certain students or alumni.
    8. If students or alumni understand that the University has not complied with these obligations, they have the right to file a claim to Department of Federal Education, Family Policy Compliance Officer, and 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington D.C. 20202-4605.

SOLOMON – POMBO ACT
Inter American University established its institutional policy regarding the student and alumni directory for the academic year 1999-2000. This measure was adapted to incorporate the new changes in the federal laws known as the Solomon – Pombo Act. This federal law permits
third parties to request from the Institution all personal data that is include by the University as Directory information.

Inter American University of Puerto Rico establishes the following data as Directory information:

1. Name     2. Major     3. Address     4. Year of study

The School exhorts all students not in agreement that these data be included in the Directory, to contact the Dean of Student Affairs.

Optometry students have an active student life that complements the School’s commitment to academic and clinical excellence. Most of these activities are channeled through accredited student organizations such as:

  • American Academy of Optometry (AAO) Student Chapter – All students are members of this organization through payment of their activities fees. Their main avent is te AAO Annual Meeting were students participare to become student fellows.
  • Asociación de Servicios Voluntarios Optométricos (ASVO) / (VOSH) – A volunteer group of students, faculty members, and practitioners offering primary eye care services to the disenfranchised populations in Puerto Rico and Latin America. They receive donations of eyeglasses which they distribute to the patients they serve.
  • Beta Sigma Kappa – The student Optometric Honor Society Members are selected based on their scholastic and clinical achievement. Members serve as counselors and tutors to other optometry students.
  • CAO – Canadian Optometry Students chapter. Provides information related to practice, financing and support mainly to Canadian students.
  • College of Vision Development Optometric Extension Program (COVD) – Is an organization and rehabilitation devoted to the enhancement, prevention and rehabilitation of vision and vision development.
  • The Student Council – Officially represents the student body. The council sponsors many social, sports, cultural and religious events throughout the year. The annual student convention is the key activity of the year.
  • National Optometric Students Association (NOSA) – The National Optometric Student Association (NOSA) is the student extensión of the National Optometric Association (NOA). Our multicultural service organization is dedicated to providing the delivery of effective and adequate eyecare to the underserved communities.
  • Orientation Committee – A volunteer group of second and third year students working along with the Department of Students Services in helping new students with their transition and moving to the island. The group has a fan page in Facebook. Their main activity is the Orientation Week which is held the week before beginning of classes.
  • Private Practice Club – Offers lectures and activities related to the private practice of Optometry. Sponsored by VSP.
  • Puerto Rico Optometric Student Association (PROSA) – Is also the local chapter of the American Optometric Student Association (AOSA). All students are members of both organizations through payment of their activity fees. PROSA sponsors lectures, ophthalmic shows, exam reviews, and social events during the academic year. Their main event is the annual optometry student meeting.
  • Sport Vision – Offers lectures and activities about the role of optometry in sports.

Inter American University of Puerto Rico and the School of Optometry recognizes the exceptional achievement of optometry students as leaders, scholars and clinicians. The following honors and awards are granted every year.

  • Dean’s Leadership Award – granted to the graduating optometry student who has shown exceptional qualities as a leader of the student body at the School of Optometry, as a member of the optometric community and as a member of the Puerto Rican society in general.
  • Alumni Association of The School of Optometry Award – Presented to that student demonstrating outstanding commitment to community service and the profession.
  • College of Optometrists in Vision Development Award – Presented to the member of the graduating class with the highest achievement in the area of vision therapy.
  • Beta Sigma Kappa Medal Award – Presented to the graduating member of Beta Sigma Kappa with the highest grade point average.
  • Residency Acceptance Award – Recognizing a student for being selected for an Optometric Residency Program and the desire to advance in the profession.
  • Best Thesis Award – granted to that graduating student who submitted the best thesis.
  • Student Affairs Leadership Award – Granted to one or more students of the graduating class who have demonstrated leadership in student organizations.
  • American Foundation for Vision Awareness Educational Grants (AFVA) – Scholarships presented to assist students in meeting the costs of an optometric education.
  • American Optometric Association Student Leadership Scholarship – Presented to one third-year student, who is a member in good standing in the American Optometric Student Association, has proven leadership roles, has been involved in student government, and
    who submits a paper on a selected topic.

All awards and scholarships are subject to change. Availability of these may vary.

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