2011-2012 Policies

It is the responsibility of the graduate student to become thoroughly informed about the general regulations as stated in this catalog and in the Graduate Student Handbook. The Graduate Student Handbook is available on the Graduate Education website. This Handbook outlines all college policies and regulations as well as grievance procedures for graduate students while enrolled at Georgetown College. The Handbook is updated regularly as new policies are implemented, and therefore is generally more current than the college catalog.

The graduate student is responsible for completing all program requirements within the permitted time limit. Academic policies of the Graduate Education program are made and enforced by the Graduate Council. Requests for clarification or exceptions to these policies must be made through the Associate Dean of Graduate Education to this body.

Graduate study is generally more research oriented and more specialized and in-depth than undergraduate education. Graduate students are expected to show maturity and resourcefulness and to accept the responsibility of meeting the demands of challenging course work. They are also expected to have organized and disciplined work habits that maximize success in demanding courses.

A student is admitted to the pool of accepted applicants after she/he has submitted all required materials to the Graduate Education office and they have been reviewed by a Program Director. Formal admission occurs after the student has met with their advisor and signed a curriculum contract. Admission allows the student to take initial coursework and to receive financial aid. Formal admission and continuous progress requirements vary by program. Successful scores on all program assessments, meeting requirements at the various checkpoints, a 3.0 GPA, and compliance with the qualitative standards for coursework are also requirements for the degree.

Graduate Council

The Graduate Council serves both as the governing and advisory board of the Graduate Education program. The Graduate Council admits or rejects candidates to the Master of Arts in Education program and to degree candidacy, recommends program changes, and evaluates the Graduate program. The Council also serves as a review board in student academic matters and approves new courses, programs, and policy changes. The Graduate Council is composed of the Associate Dean of Graduate Education, the Provost, three K-12 classroom teachers, two school administrators or their designated representatives, two graduate students recommended by the graduate faculty, and three faculty members who teach in the Graduate Education program. At least two of these faculty members shall be from the Arts and Sciences. The Dean of Education serves as a non-voting exofficio member.

Degree Application and Graduation Information

Granting the Master of Arts degree and/or certification requires successful completion of all coursework and all required program performance assessments that demonstrate  proficiency on the Kentucky Teacher Standards and the Georgetown College Teacher Educator Conceptual Framework Standards. Exit requirements vary depending upon the specific program. For initial certification programs, teacher certification is recommended upon successful completion of all program requirements.

Students who plan to complete degree requirements by December and/or August of a given calendar year should make arrangements for degree completion and graduation by attending an exit conference.

  1. Attend an exit conference to:
    • Meet with an advisor to confirm graduation requirements
    • Complete all necessary paperwork required for graduation and for  upgrading teaching certificate
    • Order cap and gown for graduation ceremony
  2. Complete the required exit assessment(s), as instructed, before the designated due date
  3. Complete all coursework, required competency assessments, and portfolio Graduation exercises are held in August and all candidates for graduate degrees are required to participate. If, because of unusual circumstances, it is believed necessary to graduate in absentia, a written request to the Associate Dean of Graduate Education is necessary for waiver of this requirement.

Certification Procedure

Teacher certification is a function of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and satisfactory completion of a graduate program does not automatically result in certification or a change in certification. The following procedure should be observed in applying for any certificate:

  1. Secure an application for certification (TC-1 form) from the Graduate Education office. Complete the appropriate sections and return to the Graduate Education office.
  2. In Kentucky, there is a charge for the certificate. The candidate will be notified of this by the Education Professional Standards Board prior to issuance of a certificate.
  3. The completed application and official transcript is mailed by the Graduate Education office directly to the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) office.

Post Baccalaureate Courses

Courses taken after the completion of the Bachelor’s Degree, but prior to admission to a graduate program may not be counted toward the Master’s degree without the written permission of the Associate Dean of Graduate Education.

Advising

Each graduate student will be assigned to a selected graduate faculty advisor. Students are required to attend a scheduled advising session and sign a curriculum contract prior to enrolling in their first semester of study. Students will not be permitted to register for classes if these two steps have not been taken.

Student Load

Students enrolled for at least six semester hours are considered full-time. For the purposes of federal aid, enrollment in three semester hours is considered halftime. Students who are enrolled in the Teacher Leader Master of Arts program, LBD program, or as a Special Student, and who are employed full-time may not enroll for more than two courses or 6 hours per semester (whichever is less) during the term of their employment. This regulation does not apply to candidates who are enrolled in the MA-Alternative Certification program; however, the program director must approve the additional hours. LBD students are allowed to take two courses per semester, except for the winter session where only one course is allowed.

Dropping a Course or Withdrawal

When students find it necessary to drop a course during a term, the drop/add must be completed through the Graduate office. Dropping a course or failure to attend once a class has started will incur a portion of the tuition charge as well as the drop fee. The date on which the drop/add card is processed and signed in the Graduate Education office is the date for calculation of refund. Failure to complete the withdrawal process will result in a grade of “F” in all courses and no refund. Students may drop a course without a grade being assigned prior to the mid-point of the semester. After the midpoint, faculty are required to submit a grade of “WP” (withdrew passing) or “WF” (withdrew failing). A grade of “WF” will be calculated as an “F” in the student’s GPA. The WP/WF dates are posted
on the Graduate Education website.

Registration Confirmation

To complete registration for classes, students must confirm their registration by paying charges in full or making arrangements to pay the bill in installments. Both methods require contact with the Georgetown College Business Office. Course registration will be cancelled for students who do not confirm registration through financial arrangements by the second week. Such students will be subject to the refund schedule and fees.

Research Study Requirements

Throughout their graduate study, most students will be required to conduct one or more research projects. Many research studies require the approval of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the initiation of the proposed research. For additional information, contact the course instructor. IRB approval forms can be downloaded from the college website.

Independent Study

Students who wish to enroll in an Independent Study (or in rare cases, a Course by Approval) are required to submit a proposal using the form designed for this purpose; and must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Education prior to registering for the course.

Candidates in the Teacher Leader Master of Arts program may take independent study courses as part of required electives, as determined with their advisor and listed on the curriculum contract. The Arts and Sciences faculty may request to utilize a pass/fail grade for independent study courses related to the Teacher Leader program. Faculty will outline on the Independent Study form the course requirements and the specifics for earning a pass/fail grade. A passing grade adds credit hours but no quality points. A failing grade will be included in GPA calculation. Forms can be obtained in the Graduate Education office.

Grades and Scholarship Standards

All students are expected to maintain a grade-point average of 3.0 which is the minimum required for graduation. A grade lower than a “C” will not be used for graduate credit in any program. A grade of “I” (Incomplete) must be converted by the assigned due date, but no later than the last day of class of the next semester (spring, summer, fall), or the “I” automatically becomes an “F.”

An overall GPA of 2.3 or lower after enrolling in at least 8 hours of course work will result in automatic suspension from the Graduate Education program. Students may be readmitted to the Graduate Education program after a period of one year. A second suspension will be final. No credit earned by a student during suspension at any institution will be honored by Georgetown College.

Students with a GPA of 2.31-2.99 after enrolling in at least 8 hours of course work will be placed on probation. The student may not earn less than a “B” during the probation period or automatic suspension from the Graduate Education program will occur.

Students are considered to be on probation for at least 2 semesters or the next 12 semester hours (whichever is greater). Failure to raise the overall grade point average to the required level of 3.0 within the next two semesters or 12 semester hours of enrollment (including summer terms) will result in suspension from Georgetown College for a period of one year.

No student may graduate with less than a 3.0 GPA. Students who fail to achieve a 3.0 GPA after the completion of all course work will be required to repeat courses in which they received a “C” until they achieve the required 3.0 GPA for graduation.

Appeals Process

Students who are making satisfactory progress and have raised their GPA to at least a 2.8 after 2 semesters or 12 semester hours of probationary status may make appeal to the Graduate Council to continue the probationary period for an additional semester. No student will be allowed to continue on probationary status beyond three semesters or 18 hours.

Continuous Progress

As students progress through a specific program, they are required to successfully complete specified major performance assessments. These assessments are completed in specific courses, and measure the candidate’s competence in meeting state, program (Conceptual Framework), and specialty standards. Major assessments are used both to track the progress of individual candidates, and to inform the unit of any program weaknesses that need to be addressed. Candidate performance on various major program assessments, along with other criteria used to assess progress, is formally evaluated at various checkpoints, and candidates are provided with formal feedback on their progress at these junctures. Students who fail to meet minimal requirements for passing a particular assessment are required to meet with the course instructor and devise an action plan. All major assessments must be satisfactorily completed before the candidate can graduate from the program. Candidates must also complete the major assessments designated at each program checkpoint before progressing to the next sequence of courses. Candidates must adhere to course sequence and priority checkpoints before advancing in a MA program.

In addition, all candidates enrolled in the Graduate Education program must demonstrate the professional dispositions expected of teacher candidates as outlined in the program’s Conceptual Framework. Students’ dispositions are assessed upon program entrance and also throughout the program at each checkpoint. When a student’s dispositions are inconsistent with the Conceptual Framework, faculty submit a “Dispositions Evaluation-Record of Concerns” specifying the specific concern(s) for which the student is being referred. Students who fail to meet program standards are required to meet with their academic advisor and the Associate Dean of Graduate Education to develop an action plan and address all areas of weakness. The Conceptual Framework of the Georgetown College Teacher Education Program includes standards on the moral and ethical dispositions of students. If at any time during the program a student is found to be in
violation of the Honor System at Georgetown College, such violation will be taken to the Vice President for Student Life and the Associate Dean of Graduate Education for resolution. For severe infractions, sanctions may include expulsion from the program. Infractions are outlined in the Graduate Student Handbook and include cheating, plagiarism, stealing, lying, and double assignments (the use of one assignment to fulfill the requirements of more than one course).

Students who are enrolled in an initial program at the graduate level and who wish to maintain their temporary provisional certificate must be continuously enrolled; that is, they must take classes during the terms in which they are being employed as teachers. The Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) will count as continuous enrollment, if the student has completed the required course work, for the purposes of maintaining the temporary provisional certificate. Special circumstances will be reviewed by the Program Director and recommended for approval by the Associate Dean of Graduate Education.

Confirming Enrollment

For online classes: The Town Meeting constitutes the first class session for online courses. Course content and information is shared at this face-to-face session that cannot be provided through an online format. Therefore, for classes that meet during the town meeting, attendance at the town meeting is MANDATORY. No excuses will be accepted except for clear emergencies that could not be anticipated (e.g., death in family, severe illness, or accident). A student who believes they have a valid reason for being excused from Town Meeting must submit an explanation in writing to the Program Director, asking to be excused. If approved, the student is responsible for completing make-up work set by the course instructor.

Should you find that you cannot attend the scheduled Town Meeting, you are advised to enroll in that class during a different term. Students who do not attend the Town Meeting and cannot provide evidence of an emergency (e.g., written note from physician) will be automatically dropped from all enrolled online courses.

For on-campus and blended classes: Students confirm enrollment by attending the first class session or by contacting the course instructor. Students who do not correspond with the instructor after the first two class sessions will be automatically dropped from the course. Additionally, to complete registration for classes, students must confirm their registration by paying charges in full or making arrangements to pay the bill in installments. Both methods require contact with the Georgetown College Business Office. Course registration will be cancelled for students who do not confirm registration through financial arrangements by the second week. Such students will be subject to the refund schedule and fees.

Procedure for Appeal: Should there be other extenuating circumstances which make it impossible for students to attend the Town Meeting, appeals should be submitted in writing to the Program Director, preferably at least a week prior to the scheduled Town Meeting date. The Program Director, in consultation with the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and the course instructor, will make the final determination in granting a waiver.

Dropping Out of the Program

Students who intend to drop out of the Graduate Education program for a period longer than a year should send an official notification to the Associate Dean of Graduate Education or to their graduate advisor. Students who drop out of the program for a period of five years or more and wish to return must be readmitted to the program. Such students will be required to meet all requirements for admission and will be issued a new curriculum contract. No courses that extend beyond the required time period for program completion will be counted toward the degree.

Inactive Status

Candidates who have not registered for classes for two calendar years will be placed on inactive status. In order to register for classes, deactivated students must contact the Graduate Education office or appropriate Program Director and submit an amended application form in order to reactivate their status and enroll in additional graduate classes. Candidates who are placed on inactive status will be notified by letter from the Graduate Education office at least one month prior to changing their status to inactive. In addition to submitting an amended application, those who wish to return to active status must also attend an advising session and review/update their curriculum contract as part of the readmission process.

Georgetown College Honor System

The Graduate Education program adheres to all policies governing the Honor System. Violations of the Honor System include cheating, plagiarism, stealing, lying (in academic matters), and double assignments, and are subject to college sanctions. (See information under “Continuous Progress.”) Procedures and processes relating to these policies, including the right of appeal, are included in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Georgetown College Technology Ethics Policy

The Graduate Education program adheres to all of the principles outlined in the Technology Ethics Policy. A statement of the policy, enforcement of the policy, and guidelines for use of computing resources including the internet, worldwide web, email, and related networks are included in the Graduate Student Handbook.

Academic Appeal Procedure

Students who wish to appeal a grade or other faculty decision have the right to appeal. Students should first seek to resolve the problem with the specific faculty member involved. If a student wishes to lodge a complaint against a faculty member in an academic matter that cannot be resolved directly with the faculty member, the student should first consult with his/her academic advisor. The advisor will guide the student through the options available to the student (informal or formal complaint). When there is an informal expression of an academic concern, the student’s faculty advisor should convey the essence of that concern to the Associate Dean of Graduate Education, who will investigate the issue. The Associate Dean will take any necessary action to help resolve the issue. If the faculty member in question is the Associate Dean of Graduate Education, the advisor will convey the nature of the concern to the Dean of Education, who will investigate the issue and take any necessary action to help resolve the issue. If the faculty member in question is the student’s advisor, the student should contact the Associate Dean of Graduate Education for resolution of the problem.

Formal complaints should be reserved for situations in which a student believes he or she has been adversely affected in a way that cannot be or has not been resolved through informal intervention. When the student wishes to lodge a formal complaint, the student should generally seek advice from his/her academic advisor about the best way to proceed (unless the advisor is the focus of the complaint). To make a formal complaint, the student must submit a written statement of the difficulty to the Associate Dean of Graduate Education and request that the issue be resolved through the Graduate Council. This statement should be no longer than two pages and should concentrate on the facts of the issue in question. The Associate Dean of Graduate Education then reviews the facts, communicates with the person(s) involved, and attempts to resolve the difficulty to the student’s satisfaction. If that attempt is unsuccessful, the matter will be forwarded to the Graduate Council for review. The Council will review the facts of the grievance and make a recommendation to the Provost for resolving the problem. The final disposition of the issue is in the hands of the Provost and is final and binding.

Comprehensive Examination

In addition to the continuous assessment requirements noted above, candidates are required to submit a final assessment (currently a portfolio and accompanying reflective essay) at the conclusion of their program that demonstrates that they satisfactorily meet all Kentucky Teacher standards, Georgetown College Conceptual Framework standards, and specialty standards. Details of this requirement are provided during the exit conference. Initial certification programs and some endorsement programs also require that students pass certain PRAXIS exams prior to being formally admitted to and/or exited from the program.

Transfer of Credits

Candidates enrolled in the Teacher Leader MA program and MA-Alternative Certification program are permitted to transfer up to 6 hours of graduate credit from another institution. Credits must have been earned from a nationally accredited institution or a regional institution of higher education accredited by EPSB.

Candidates enrolled in the MA-LBD program may transfer up to 12 hours of graduate credit from another institution. All credits must be current (within the required time line or “window” for graduate study), must meet the equivalent syllabus of a Georgetown College course, and must have been earned from an accredited graduate school. Transfer credits must be approved by the candidate’s advisor and by the Associate Dean of Graduate Education. By Graduate Council policy, the Kentucky Reading Project will not transfer for course credit for students in the Teacher Leader MA-Reading Specialist Program.

The culminating experience in the advanced Graduate Education programs is the action research project, which is currently completed in either EDU 596/597 or EDU 594/595. Candidates must take these courses at Georgetown College. Research courses taken at other institutions cannot be transferred to satisfy these requirements.

Time Limitation

Time limitations for program completion vary by program, and are noted on the program sheet (curriculum contract).