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 online. 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 Program are made and enforced by the Graduate Council. Requests for clarification or exceptions to these policies must be made through the Associate Dean for 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 after s/he has submitted all required materials. Admission allows the student to take initial coursework and to receive financial aid. Formal admission and continuous progress requirements vary by program; see program sheets (curriculum contracts) for specific programs. 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 admits or rejects candidates to the Graduate Program and degree candidacy, recommends policies to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, 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 for Graduate Education, the Provost, two K-12 classroom teachers, two graduate students recommended by the Graduate Faculty, and three faculty members who teach in the Graduate Education Program elected by the full-time (12-month) Graduate Faculty.

Degree Application and Graduation Information

Granting the M.A. degree and/or certification requires successful completion of all coursework and all required program performance assessments that demonstrate proficiency on the Kentucky teacher and 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 August of a given calendar year should make arrangements for degree completion and graduation by attending an Exit Interview early in the spring semester. Those completing requirements in the fall should contact their advisor early in that semester to accomplish this.

The procedure to make arrangements for graduation is as follows:

  1. Meet with your advisor to check graduation requirements (exit interview).
  2. Complete all necessary paperwork required for graduation and for upgrading your teaching certificate.
  3. Complete the required exit assessment(s) as instructed before the designated due date.
  4. Order cap and gown in the Graduate Education Office.

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 for 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 or certifying state agency. Complete the appropriate sections and return to the Graduate Education Office.
  2. In Kentucky, there is a charge for the certificate (currently $50). A cashier’s check payable to the Kentucky Treasurer, should accompany the application.
  3. The Education Office mails the completed application, check, and official transcript directly to the appropriate state office.

Post Graduate Courses

Courses taken after the completion of the Bachelor’s Degree, but prior to admission to a graduate program may not be counted on the Master’s Degree without the written permission of the Associate Dean for 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 program sheet (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

Most of Georgetown’s graduate students attend part-time except in our flexible summer program, when students may register for more hours in short term modules. Students enrolled for at least eight semester hours are considered full-time. Students 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.

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. Drop 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.

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.

Independent Study

Students must obtain the approval of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education prior to registering for 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. 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 “C” will not count for graduate credit in any program. A cumulative point standing of 3.0 must be attained for the M.A. in Education Degree. A grade of “I” (Incomplete) must be converted within one year from the end of the term in which the “I” was acquired, 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 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 complete successfully several 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–are 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. Many programs also require satisfactory completion of particular major assessments before progressing to the next module or sequence of courses.

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 to develop an action plan and address all areas of weakness. Depending upon the severity of the infraction(s), advisors may recommend delay in enrolling in further coursework. Multiple and/or severe infractions can result in denying admission to or removal from the Teacher Education Program, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

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 for Graduate Education.

Confirming Enrollment

For online classes: The town meeting constitutes the first class session for several on-line courses, and course content and information is often shared at this face-to-face session that cannot be provided through an on-line format. Therefore, for classes that meet during the town meeting, attendance at the online 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). Should you find that you cannot attend the scheduled town meeting, then 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 courses.1 For on-campus 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 online town meeting, appeals should be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, preferably at least a week prior to the scheduled town meeting date. The Associate Dean for Graduate Education, in consultation with the Program director and course instructor, will make the final determination in granting a waiver.

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). For additional information, contact the course instructor. IRB approval forms can be downloaded from the college website.

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 for Graduate Education or to their graduate advisor. Students who are not enrolled in classes for a period of one year or longer may be required to re-apply to the Graduate Education Program.

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. 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, world wide 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 normally 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 for 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 for 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 for 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 for 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 for 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 and Conceptual Framework standards. Details of this requirement are provided during the Exit Interview. Initial certification programs and some endorsement programs also require that students pass certain PRAXIS exams prior to being formally admitted and/or exited from the program.

Residence

A student obtains residence credit only for courses completed at Georgetown College. Nine semester hours of summer courses or one semester as a full-time student with a minimum of nine semester hours satisfies the residence requirement.

Transfer of Credits

With approval of the Associate Dean for Graduate Education, a student may transfer as many as six semester hours toward a degree or program All credits must be current (within the 7-year “window” for graduate study), and must have been earned from an accredited institution. No graduate credit is accepted for courses taken by correspondence. Transfer credits must be approved by the student’s advisor and by the Associate Dean for Graduate Education. Students are advised to get courses approved for transfer credit in advance if they intend to take a course at another institution.

Students enrolled in the MA with LBD Certification Program, under some circumstances, may transfer up to twelve semester hours of credit. These cases are recommended by the director of the LBD program.

Time Limitation

All credits, including transfer credits, must be completed within a period of seven years. Credits earned seven years prior to the date that the student expects to receive the M.A. degree shall not count for credit or for residence toward the degree. Certain programs involving Temporary Provisional Certification may carry a shorter time limitation. Consult your advisor if in doubt.