We know how you feel. We were in your shoes back in 2005. We finished high school and were figuring out what life would be like. We wanted to know how the college experience would enable us to see the world around us differently.
For the next few years, you, as students, will embark on a very interesting and exciting journey — the journey to discover your own self and the world around you.
Connect is the place for those who like to explore the possibilities and wonders of themselves and the world's. This is not a place for those who merely want a degree or diploma. You are not going to just learn a bunch of subjects over the next two years. You are, in fact, going to learn how to learn for every single day of your life.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once said that you can only connect the dots looking back and that you just have to trust that whatever comes your way will somehow and someday connect back. We hope your two years at Connect will become meaningful dots in your future.
Aung Phone Myint and Ei Phyu Theint
Student Handbook 2016-17
1.0 Students Log In
ISP students can use their unique username and password to access the school email, calendar, and drive. Connect Institute uses Google Apps and Services for students.
This handbook serves as a guide for students to be familiar with the policies and regulations at Connect. Students are expected to know and accept these policies and regulations as part of the terms and conditions outlined during admission and enrollment. If students may require clari cation or assistance pertaining to information in this handbook, they may consult with the Academic Department. From time to time, as Connect reviews the academic programs, policies and administrative procedures, the handbook will be accordingly updated with revisions and Connect has the right to make these revisions at any point in time.
3.0 Equal Opportunity Statement
All students who are Myanmar citizens and meet the admission quali cations are eligible for enrollment into Connect. Connect takes into consideration when enrolling students and recruiting faculty and staff members, their individual merits, quali cations and requirements. Connect does not and will not discriminate any person on the basis of racial background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs or disability, as this would be inconsistent with the policies of the United States’ universities we work with and the purposes of an educational facility in general.
4.0 About Connect Institute
At Connect, we challenge the way education is traditionally pursued in Myanmar. Creativity and critical thinking are essential attainments in a worthwhile university degree. A true education changes the way we see things and helps us to comprehend the complexity of the world around us. Each and every student in Myanmar deserves this opportunity.
The founders of Connect are Aung Phone Myint and Ei Phyu Theint, two Myanmar students who attended U.S. liberal arts colleges. Aung Phone Myint, who had the distinction of placing 6th on the 2005 country-wide matriculation examination, studied Politics and Economics at Bates College. He was later awarded a fellowship in Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University. Ei Phyu Theint excelled in Mathematical Economics at Scripps College, The Claremont Colleges, in California. Reflecting on what they experienced on their own academic journey, they dreamed about Connecting students with the best college experience in Myanmar. In 2014, Connect Institute was born.
5.0 Campus Operations
5.1 Opening Hours
The opening hours for Connect campus are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
5.2 Contact Information
In the event of absence due to medical reasons, emergencies or any other matters, students should contact Connect’s front desk at 09 77 9000 900.
5.3 Visitors on Campus
All visitors on campus including family members must sign in at Connect’s front desk.
5.4 Office Hours for Faculty
Generally, office hours for faculty members are from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students who may wish to seek consultation outside these hours should email the faculty member(s) individually about other available time slots.
5.5 Entering Administrative Offices
Students should not enter administrative or faculty offices without a prior appointment, authorized permission or approval.
5.6 General Space Regulations
Students are welcome to use the open space areas and libraries during Connect’s opening hours. There are areas available for collaborative work and others that have been designated as “quiet zones.” Students are reminded to be respectful of others and to keep noise to a minimal level when using these spaces.
5.7 IT Use
Connect subscribes to Internet access, which all students, faculty and staff members are entitled and authorized to use. Students are reminded that all Internet activity is constantly monitored and can be traced to a particular username. For this reason, students must keep their username and password accounts private and secure. Students are only allowed to use the Internet access for the purposes of study and research and are thus not allowed to engage in unauthorized activities. These include:
Disclosing and distributing username and password accounts to visitors and outsiders.
Using software including scripts, agents and robots, and which may result in denied access.
Installing or using peer-to-peer le sharing programs such as Kazaa, BitTorrent and DC++.
Infringing on copyright and trademark licenses of others. Students need to be aware of the copyright implications of using the Internet. Downloading, reproducing, sharing or emailing material off the Internet risks the potential breach of copyright law if students are not aware of their rights and obligations.
Using or downloading unregistered or unlicensed software without authorized or explicit approval.
Accessing pornographic material or creating, storing or distributing pornographic material.
Playing of games. Students are not allowed to use any of Connect’s work- stations or computers, or access the Wi-Fi for such purposes at any time.
Engaging in business-related activities or any type of activities for pay.
Using Connect’s logo or name on personal web pages, email or in any manner that will be misleading.
Using Connect’s Wi-Fi in a manner (abusing or misusing) that may result in criminal or civil legal action or damages against Connect. Connect does not and will not condone students using Wi-Fi for illegal and unlawful purposes.
Safety is our utmost priority. All students, faculty and staff members of Connect have the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of our campus. There are available resources that students, faculty and staff members can get access to, to learn about safety information and procedures. Such information materials are periodically given out to remind students, faculty and staff members. Students may clarify with or notify the Program Coordinators of any safety information and concerns.
In the event of an incident taking place outside Connect campus, students are advised to report the incident to the relevant authorities. The Yangon Police Department can be reached at the hotline 199; the Yangon Fire Department can be reached at the hotline 191/192. Failure to comply with directions, or interference with the duties of any Connect staff, the relevant authorities, or the public safety of cer may result in student disciplinary action.
Each student is provided with a locker. Students are expected to know the dos and don’ts of using the lockers. Students are reminded that the use of lockers is a privilege, not a right, and thus the privilege may be withdrawn on the accounts of mistrust, misuse and abuse. The general rules of using the lockers include:
Each student is provided with only one locker. Students may choose the lockers of their choice on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Students are responsible for the safety of their personal items both inside and outside their lockers at all times. Connect will not be liable for any loss or damage of items both inside and outside the lockers.
Students are not allowed to store perishable items such as fruits overnight. Liquid containers e.g. water bottles must be sealed tightly to prevent leakage to the other (lower) lockers.
Students are not allowed to bring or store alcoholic drinks and tobacco products both inside and outside their lockers.
Students are not allowed to possess or store potentially harmful and dangerous items and equipment such as in ammable material, explosives, knives, etc. at all times.
Students are not allowed to store any of Connect’s materials, including library books in the lockers and use them as personal items.
Students are responsible for the cleanliness of their personal lockers and are encouraged to do periodic spring-cleaning. Students are required to clean and clear out their lockers before the December break, May break and August break.
Students are responsible to keep their locker keys safe. If the key is lost, a penalty fee of USD 10 per key will be incurred.
Students are responsible for the condition of the lockers. Any damage to the lockers will be liable to the student and the student may be charged for the damage incurred and lose locker privileges.
Students are not allowed to make duplicates of locker keys. If found convicted, the student may lose all locker privileges.
Lockers are non-transferable to other students.
In the event of any arising or reports of suspicious activities, Connect Institute school officials has the right to conduct a search on all lockers at any time. Students who impede in the officials’ investigation will face disciplinary action.
5.10 Using Library Materials or Supplies
Connect library is constantly expanding with more new materials. Students who may wish to borrow items from the library must write the book number down at the front desk. A borrower of any library material will be held respon- sible for its return by the due date, or renewal if applicable, to allow other users to borrow them. Most library materials may be on loan for two weeks but are subject to immediate recall if needed for reserve or urgently by another user. A “hold” may be placed on any book in regular circulation. Some reference books and special collections are not for circulation and will be marked as such.
Fines for overdue materials are charged at USD 1 per day to ensure equal access to materials and fairness for all library users. Books that are damaged or lost will be charged the cost of replacement plus a processing fee of USD 5. Upon the return of the library materials within 6 months and undamaged, the replacement cost will be credited. Anyone who steals or wilfully misuses library materials or property will be subject to disciplinary and/ or legal action.
6.0 General Code of Conduct
Connect is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty and staff members. Students must be mindful of their behavior inside and outside Connect at all times which reflect upon themselves and Connect’s image.
Students should exercise graciousness to one another and others in the campus community including faculty members, staff members, interns, volunteers and guests. Students are encouraged and expected to contribute positively to student and Connect life.
Student behavior that is deemed as poor conduct will be addressed through a protocol that has been designed to promote good citizenry and as and when necessary, impose strict disciplinary orders. Warnings will be given for behavior deemed as ‘unbecoming’ to the greater Connect community and which may inflict harm, abuse or similar, onto others.
Connect takes student conduct and behavior seriously. This is to ensure that our relationships with international institutions are maintained in good faith as well as the welfare, safety and reputation of Connect’s students, faculty and staff members are well taken care of.
Students are reminded that serious offences, if convicted, may result in suspension or expulsion from Connect, depending on circumstances and the nature of offence. A committee will be set up to handle and manage such infractions on a case-by-case basis and where necessary and accordingly, mete out appropriate disciplinary action.
6.1 Conduct Violations
Students may face disciplinary actions for more serious conduct violations, such as:
Cheating, plagiarism, or any other form of dishonesty that is intended to gain an unfair academic advantage.
Declaration and provision of false information to a Connect official, faculty member, or any of our partner universities.
Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a Connect document, key, or identification instrument.
Misrepresentation of one’s self to be an authorized agent of Connect.
Unauthorized entry into, presence in, use of, or misuse of Connect property.
Participation in an action that disrupts or obstructs the normal operations of Connect or an official Connect activity, or infringes on the rights of members of Connect.
Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior in class or at an event, or directed toward a member of Connect, including indecent or lewd attire.
Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to Connect’s community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct. Such conduct may include disparagement related to ethnic or religious af liation, age, gender or sexual orientation.
Hazing, or conspiracy to haze. Hazing is de ned as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is of cially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college. The term “hazing” does not include customary athletic events or school sanctioned events.
Use, possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs.
Consumption, possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of alcoholic beverages at a Connect-related activity, unless otherwise of cially approved by Connect at certain of cial Connect events. Students must be mindful of their behavior at all times during such events.
Theft of property or services from Connect, or unapproved use of Connect resources.
Unauthorized destruction or damage to Connect property.
Possession or misuse of any weapons, including pocket knives.
Unauthorized recording, distribution, or publication of Connect’s academic presentations or materials (including handwritten notes) for any public or commercial purpose.
Unauthorized or inappropriate use of Connect computer equipment or any action using Connect computer equipment that violates the law, is used to send obscene, intimidating or abusive messages, causes interference with normal Connect operations, or results in damage to the equipment.
Violation of any other Connect policy or rule initiated by order of Connect’s academic or administrative directors.
Failure to comply with directions, or interference with, any Connect official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/ her duties.
6.2 Attending Class
Students should be on time and attend all of their registered courses. Each faculty member will de ne attendance requirements for each course and students are expected to abide by those requirements. Generally, students are required to attend 75% of the class in order to pass the course.
Students who are absent due to medical reasons or personal matters must notify the Academic Department during the time of absence. The student should take initiative and responsibility to catch up on missed lessons or assignments from fellow classmates or professors. If the student leaves on a long absence that eventually hinders progress of his/her own, the class or group assignments, the student will be reported to the Academic Department. The department will notify the student’s parents (for students under the age of 18) and may issue a warning letter. The student may be required to be called for an interview and if necessary, the department will put forth recommendation that the student receives suspension. In the consideration for recommendation, the department takes into account the student’s class standing, academic records and other important factors.
6.3 Visitors in the Classroom
Visitors may be allowed to observe or participate in individual classes with the advanced consent of the faculty and administration.
6.4 Student Use of Electronic Devices in the Classroom
Students may not use cell phones, digital music players, and any other electronic devices during class unless designated by the course instructor. If the student needs to attend to his/her cell phone in case of emergency during class, he/she should inform the course instructor at the beginning of the class session as well as keep the phone on in silent mode so as not to disrupt the course.
6.5 Dress Code
Students should dress appropriately in a manner that respects the customs and cultural expectations and norms of Myanmar. The attire should not be offensive to classmates or faculty members. If the student is unsure about appropriate attire, he/she may consult with the Academic Department.
7.0 Academic Matters
7.1 Grading System
The Connect Institute and most U.S. universities use a letter-grading system. Each letter grade is assigned a number of points: A = 4 points, B = 3, C = 2, D = 1 and F = 0 points. These letter grades are used to establish a student’s GPA, which ranges from 4.0 (Excellent) downwards. A Cumulative Gross Point Average (CGPA) is a quantitative gure representing a student’s accumulated grades. A student is expected to maintain at least a 2.4 CGPA during the course of the ISP. Students who fall below this average will be called in for counselling on the continuation of studies. Depending on a case-to-case basis, students may or may not be granted continuation of studies on probation.
A Grade Report will be given to each student at the end of each term (1—5), and a Student Transcript will be given to each student at the end of first year (Term 3) and second year (Term 5). The Grade Report and Student Transcript are for student reference only and cannot be used for applications abroad. The official Transcript included with a student application must be sent from school to school directly.
The TOEFL ITP examination will be conducted during each ISP Term (1—5) during the examination week at the student’s own expense. Students who score 520 and above in the examination will be exempted from further examinations, although all students must take the Term 4 TOEFL examination as TOEFL results sent abroad must be dated within six months of application. Any student who applies to any school that requires an iBT examination result must take that examination at his/her own expense, have the result sent directly to the relevant school, and furnish a copy of the result to Connect administration.
7.3 Extracurricular Activities
Participation in Connect’s extracurricular activities such as community meetings, student clubs, eld trips and ESL or remedial classes is strongly encouraged as this will contribute towards the institute’s recommendation that will be sent with the student’s application to schools abroad. The student’s attendance and active participation will be both beneficial and required.
7.4 Education Records
Connect routinely maintains education records of students that describe and document their work and progress. These education records generally include records such as permanent and local addresses, admission records, enrollment status, course grades, reports and evaluations, completion of requirements and progress toward the completion of course, records of disciplinary actions, letters of recommendation and other correspondences with or concerning the student.
Students who may wish to gain access to their education records must submit in a written request to the Academic Department. Students will note in the written request the specific record(s) they would like to retrieve. Depending on the request, access may be granted within 15 days from the receipt of request. If a record contains information on more than one student, the student requesting access may review only the portion of the record relating to him/ her. Any queries related to their education records should be directed to the Academic Department. Students will be awarded grades for each term and a student copy of the of cial transcript listing all courses completed and grades awarded will be issued to the student at the end of each year.
8.0 Financial Matters
8.1 Payment Terms
Payment arrangements for tuition and other school fees vary for each school term and enrollment into Connect Institute is conditional on the meeting of all nancial obligations within its payment terms. Students should be aware that all payment due dates must be dutifully met, including students who receive external nancial aid. If a student’s account is not satis ed prior to arrival on campus, he or she will not be admitted to class. Balances that remain unpaid after the due dates stated above will be charged interest. Transcripts for credits completed will not be released until the account status is resolved. A per-unit fee for all accredited coursework will be collected at the end of each term.
8.2 Refund Policy
A student who withdraws must notify the Academic Department in writing prior to his or her departure. The department will determine the student’s of cial date of withdrawal. Refunds for students who withdraw for any reason after tuition and fees have been paid, but prior to registration and the rst day of classes, will be 100% of the ISP enrollment fees, minus bank transfer and administrative fees. Upon the commencement of classes, refunds will be made until the 10th day of classes, after which no refund can be made.
A student who intends to withdraw due to nancial dif culties may submit in a petition to the Finance Of ce for a partial (up to 50%) refund of tuition and fees, depending on the date of withdrawal and the reason. The decision on whether the refund shall be successful and how much of the amount will be refunded shall be the sole prerogative of Connect and is not subject to further appeal. Fees for books, materials and other fees are non-refundable. Students who have paid for the entire year but who withdraw during that year may additionally submit in a petition for a partial refund, as outlined above. Students who register for a Connect-sponsored internship program or other Connect-related activities for either credit or non-credit which are part of the program, and then decide to drop out or no longer take part in the program, are not entitled to a refund of any portion of yearly tuition.
Medical Withdrawals: Withdrawal for medical reasons is generally granted for students who must leave campus and are unable to complete courses. Medical withdrawal approved by the Academic Department is subject to the standard refund policy mentioned above.
Suspensions or Expulsions: Students who are suspended or expelled are subject to the standard refund policy mentioned above.
Force Majeure Events: Payments can not be discharged during the term if the school can no longer operate due to reasons beyond the control of Connect, such as government shut downs or acts of God, war, strikes, embargoes, government orders, or any other force majeure events.
9.0 Limitations of Liability
There are limits to guarantees that Connect Institute can provide. Connect is responsible for conveying the above limitations of liability to students and parents such that they are clearly understood and agreed to.
As such, Connect is not responsible for the following:
A refusal on the part of the U.S. embassy to grant a student visa for study in the U.S. (This also applies to any other embassy or country.).
Any expenses upon the completion of the ISP at Connect, which may include transportation, housing, tuition, fees and all other expenses incurred to/at the school to which the student chooses to transfer. All expenses from the point of transfer are to be borne by the individual student.
Any legal obligations that the student is bound to abroad.
Connect cannot guarantee that a student accepted into the ISP will be accepted by the school of his/her choice. Acceptance criteria (Grade Point Average, TOEFL score, and nancial statement requirements) are set forth in the Articulation Agreement made between that school and Connect. Connect cannot guarantee that the student will graduate, and/or will graduate in a specified duration of time, from the school to which the student transfers, since this is determined by the school to which the student transfers as well as taking into account the individual student’s performance and academic choices.