Department Policies

Academic Policies

Practicum Grade Policy:

Graduates of our MS in Literacy and MS in Special Education/Literacy degrees are certified to work with students who encounter the most difficulty with literacy, and to coach and mentor other teachers. In order to ensure that these specialists are appropriately qualified to receive literacy specialist certification (B-6, B-12, or 5-12), students in these degree programs must receive a B or better in practicum courses before being allowed to take the capstone class. These practicum courses include: ERDG 505, ERDG 506, ERDG 601, ERDG 605, ERDG 619, and ERDG 655. In addition, students must also receive a B or better in the final practicum experiences ERDG 620 and/or ERDG 623. Students receiving a B- or lower in such courses have the following options: a) retake the course for a better grade; b) request a shift to a professional certification degree in the department. This latter option might require taking additional courses.

Incomplete Grade Policy:

A grade of Incomplete is only given when the work is almost completed, but circumstances make it difficult or impossible to finish the course on time. Giving an Incomplete grade is entirely the prerogative of the instructor. However, the Department policy is that if an extension is granted, it has to be agreed to in writing, and a completion date specified. If the student fails to obtain a grade of "I" (a completed form is the only official proof of this), the instructor may fail the student, or assign a grade based on the work already completed. If a student fails to meet the completion deadline (or fails to agree with the instructor on a further extension), the grade of I will be turned into an E or U. An E or U grade can only be changed if the student petitions the Department in writing. There is an Incomplete Grade Form that has to be filled out, signed by the student and the instructor, and approved by the Department Chair.


Grade Appeal Policy:

The Department has established procedures for handling grievances related to any aspect of the program. In the first instance, the grievance should be discussed with the faculty member involved, and with your advisor. If this does not resolve the dispute, the grievance should be referred (in a written request) to the Department Chair for a ruling by the Department faculty. The Department's ruling can be appealed to the School of Education, and ultimately to the Graduate Academic Council.

Independent Study Policy:

A maximum of 6 hours of independent study (regardless of the department in which it is taken) may be applied to the Master's Degree program. Note that all independent study courses are graded S/U; also remember that an independent study cannot be done on a topic that is covered in a regular course (i.e., you can't take an independent study as a substitute for a course currently being offered). Approval of an independent study has to be obtained from the faculty member you wish to study with, and from the Department Chair. Please use the Independent Study Form.  Remember that some of our programs of study have no electives; therefore, an independent study may not be permissible without taking courses beyond the minimum for that program.