Student Community Standards


The Student Community Standards office serves the Ashford University community by ensuring that all members are behaving in accordance with the shared values of integrity, fairness, respect, community, and responsibility.

Student Community Standards responds to any alleged violations of the Standards as educational opportunities to address students’ individual developmental needs and to address any threats to University integrity.

Disciplinary Process

The purpose of the Ashford University Online Student Community Standards Disciplinary Processes is to provide:

  • Fairness during all aspects of the Online Student Community Standards Disciplinary Process
  • Prompt response to all allegations and reports of student breaches of the Standards
  • Respect and compassion in all interactions with students
  • Adherence to the Online Student Community Standards Disciplinary Processes as documented in the Ashford University Academic Catalog
  • An environment that embraces all forms of diversity

Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that this page is designed to provide only an outline of various Student Community Standards policies and procedures. For a more in detailed description of any information provided on this page, please refer to the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of the Ashford University Academic Catalog.


[email protected]


Kim Cowan – Student Community Standards Specialist, Academics
Christina Jaquez - Student Conduct Specialist/Deputy Title IX Compliance Specialist, Student Affairs

Additional Forms

Informal Hearing Guide
Student Community Standards Formal Hearing Guide
Student Community Standards Committee Formal Hearing Guide – Academic Misconduct
Petition to Appeal Fomal Hearing Outcome
Violation of Student Community Standards

Ashford CHAMPion Award

eric ljungAshford University students who uphold the values of integrity, fairness, respect, responsibility, and community are presented with the Ashford CHAMPion Award. This quarter’s award goes to Eric K. Ljung.

Eric K. Ljung is a student leader at Ashford University who continues to impact students, faculty, and staff. He has been an active participant in the Ashford University Online Psychology Club for many years and currently serves as the club’s president. Eric is not only responsible for the club and its members, he is also a representation of the values of the Ashford community.

Dr. Stephen Brewer, faculty mentor of the Online Psychology Club, states, “Given his friendly demeanor and contagious enthusiasm, he makes the tremendous responsibility of representing the club's widely varying opinions and needs appear effortless. His facilitation skills in meetings and in the club's ongoing online discussions demonstrate his ability to build a sense of community by modeling respect for diverse opinions while compassionately setting appropriate communication boundaries. In balancing all of these demands, he rightfully earned the respect of his peers and faculty.”

Eric’s academic journey began in the early 1990s at a community college after he was discharged from the Army. His grandparents urged him to be the first in his family to graduate from college, but, unfortunately, it was not the right timing and he decided not to continue. Later, after his father’s death he enrolled at Guilford Technical Community College which led to his transfer to Guilford College where his uncle taught chemistry for over 30 years. The first semester was difficult, and he struggled to maintain his GPA. During this time, he lost both of his grandparents, then the terrorist attack of 9/11 happened. Eric was in the reserves and had other priorities, so he withdrew from school.

When he was not enrolled in school, he worked through many jobs including being a professional musician, a military/security contractor, and being in law enforcement. Another obstacle, a back injury resulting from degenerative disk disease, caused him to end jobs or any possibility of jobs that included physical activity. After years of living off of his savings, he wanted to start what he refers to as “Life 2.0.” He wanted to honor his grandparents and earn a college degree.

Early on in his academic career, he had hoped to earn an associate degree in pre-psychology and then changed to justice policy studies. He finally decided that he wanted to pursue the field of psychology due to his interest and understanding of human behavior. His true passion of helping fellow veterans with PTSD was thwarted by not better understanding the system; he decided that he would focus on research as a career so he could ultimately use science to change policy.

Knowing his own limitations and reality which would make traditional college difficult, Eric came across some articles about online education and it seemed like that might be his best option. He did his due diligence to ensure he was choosing an accredited institution with a high quality program. He was happy with what he saw at Ashford University, and within a few weeks he started his first course. With a new sense of dedication and motivation, he was ready to attack and begin living “Life 2.0.”

His path at Ashford was not always easy. He realized that the minor case of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) he had as a teenager was impacting him more now and found things took a lot longer to complete. He decided to keep a journal in which he was able to decipher patterns in both his attention and cognition and was able to successfully work around them. Through his determination and work ethic, he was able to ace two courses and when he received less than an A, it motivated him to work harder to achieve his goal of achieving an A+ in all of his courses. He also became Vice President of the Ashford Online Psychology Club and was able to contribute to the CHAMPS Peer Mentoring Program in which he shared his idea of pairing upperclassman with a declared major to new students who were seeking the same degree. He was using what he learned to impact change at Ashford. He graduated from Ashford University Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Applied Behavioral Science with a 3.97 GPA in March 2017.

Eric wanted to continue his journey beyond his undergraduate degree and decided to continue at Ashford for his graduate degree in Psychology. He hoped he could use it for a potential professorship role in which he could research and teach. Only a few months after receiving his undergraduate degree, he began his graduate courses. He continued to work hard and was elected President of the Ashford Online Psychology Club. He plans to keep on working hard to support educational webinars and reaching his goals.

Even through his hardships, Eric has shown leadership, strength, courage, and fight. He believes fully in the US Army Ranger creed, “Surrender is NOT a Ranger word” and “I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be, one hundred percent and then some.” He states, “Every challenge that comes my way, whether a class discussion or major assignment, I gnash onto like a mad dog and never relinquish or concede. Everything I do is a direct reflection on me as a person and as a professional. I’m not the best or the brightest at this institution but what I do have is an unyielding tenacity, persistence, steadfastness, and determination. If anything I can inspire my fellow and future students with that adamant and steadfast determination to overcome adversity and succeed.”

His hope, as he continues his journey, “is to bring honor and dignity to my Alma Mater, my fellow students past, present, and future and to take my example of drive and determination into my future career whether it be as a teacher or researcher. When I entered the Army some 30+ years ago, they had the slogan, ‘Be all that you can be.’ That is what I hope to leave as my legacy.”

We appreciate all that Eric embodies as a student and a leader and thank him for being a role model for future students.

Nominate the next Ashford CHAMPion! Do you know a student or alum who:

  • acts in an uplifting manner toward the community?
  • is encouraging to those around them?
  • has acted courageously in light of difficult circumstances?
  • consistently demonstrates responsible and ethical behavior at all times?
  • has impressed you with their resilience and dedication?

If you know someone who exemplifies any of these points, please take a few minutes to fill out the nomination form below and return to [email protected].


The award is open to all current and former Ashford University students. Anyone (family, friends, staff, faculty, students) can nominate a student for the award.

For any additional information or questions, please contact Student Community Standards at [email protected] or at 1.800.798.0584.

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