The University reserves the right to make changes in curricula, degree requirements, course offerings, and all academic regulations at any time, when, in the judgment of the faculty, the President, and the Council of Trustees, such changes are in the best interest of the students and the university. University policy and procedures can be found online in “The Mountie Manual”
1. At the halfway point in each semester, faculty will submit mid-semester grades for all courses.
2. When a student’s GPA is less than 2.0 for that semester (calculated using mid-semester grades from the current semester only), the student is issued an academic warning. Prior performance in previous semesters is not considered in this GPA calculation.
3. Within two working days of the deadline for the mid-semester grade posting, each department secretary runs a query for advisors that lists the advisees on academic warning. Query results are provided to advisors and to department chairs. Department chairs notify students via email, with a copy to each student’s advisor, that they have been placed on academic warning. This email encourages students to contact their advisor as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.
4. Advisors will communicate with advisees on academic warning within a week of the mid-semester grade posting deadline. The advisor and advisee will then create and implement an individualized plan for success that includes the mandatory use of appropriate academic support resources, such as those provided by the Department of Academic and Human Development (tutoring services, supplemental instruction, the Writing Center, etc.). Records of participation will be maintained and consulted during any future dismissal appeal decisions.
1. Students with an overall GPA below 2.0 at the end of a single semester only (not two consecutive semesters) are placed on academic probation.
2. Students on academic probation must meet with their Departmental Student Support Committee (DSSC) at the beginning of the next semester, preferably during the first week. A minimum of three faculty members will serve on the DSSC. At that mandatory meeting, the DSSC will review any previously developed plans for success and make additional recommendations, if necessary.
3. Students whose overall GPA is 2.0 or above at the conclusion of their probationary semester are removed from probation.
4. Students whose overall GPA is below 2.0 for a second consecutive semester are academically dismissed.
1. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is the minimum required for continued matriculation and good academic standing.
2. Students with an overall GPA below 2.0 for two consecutive semesters are academically dismissed.
3. Dismissals are processed through the Department of Academic and Human Development. Students dismissed for the first time at the end of the Fall semester may appeal their dismissal through the Academic Standards Review Board (ASRB) process. Students dismissed for the first time at the end of the Spring term may appeal their dismissal through the ASRB process or choose the “summer option” and take courses during the summer to improve their GPA.
4. Students who have been dismissed more than once may appeal their dismissal to the appropriate Dean.
5. Students who are reinstated are expected to abide by any conditions placed on their reinstatement by the ASRB and/or the appropriate Dean. Failure to abide by these conditions may result in the denial of any subsequent dismissal appeal.
6. Students who are not reinstated are encouraged to pursue coursework at a community college or another accredited higher education institution and consider applying for re-admission to Mansfield University after two semesters.
The integrity of all scholarly work is at the foundation of an academic community. Students are expected to be responsible for their own academic work. Dishonesty in academic work, including cheating, academic misconduct, fabrication, or plagiarism is unacceptable. Faculty are expected to instruct students in ways of avoiding these forms of academic dishonesty. Faculty are also responsible for assessing and reporting all charges of academic dishonesty to the Office of the Provost. See the policy and procedure listed at the Academic Affairs faculty resource page under “Academic Integrity Policy.”
Academic Major/Minor Requirements
The requirements for each student’s major or minor programs of study appear on the Degree Audit, which is maintained by the Registrar’s Office and is available online. Each student must complete the major or minor requirements that exist at the time he or she is admitted to the university. Should major or minor requirements change, it affects only new students and currently enrolled students who may choose to satisfy the new program requirements. Students readmitted following a break of more than one semester fall under all university policies in effect at the time of readmission.
A minor consists of no fewer than 18 and no more than 24 related credit hours in an approved program of study. The minor is a clearly defined area of study that is sufficiently distinct from a student’s academic major to qualify for recognition on the transcript. Students may apply up to 8 credits from the core discipline of the major to an academic minor. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all courses required.
Bachelor of Arts degree candidates must choose between a minor or second-year foreign language proficiency. To earn a Mansfield University minor, students must complete at least 50% of the required minor course work from Mansfield University. Though not a requirement for other degrees, a minor can be used to enhance academic experience and will appear on the student’s permanent record. Forms for declaring an academic minor are available online at Academic Forms.
Good academic standing is defined as a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Some programs (e.g. Teacher Education) require a higher GPA to continue through their curriculum.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that any otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap, not be excluded from the participation in, nor be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 prohibits discrimination against individuals with handicaps in recruitment, testing, admissions, or after being admitted to a college or university. Mansfield University is committed to making the necessary adjustments to ensure that persons who are mentally and/or physically challenged are able to fulfill academic requirements and are not excluded from employment or services because of their disabling condition. Inquiries should be directed to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. 570-662-4436.
Act 48 of 1999 requires persons holding Pennsylvania professional educator certification to complete continuing education requirements every five years to maintain active certification. Pennsylvania certified teachers wishing to use credit course work at Mansfield University to meet the Act 48 requirement should log on to the following website: https://www. edulinkinc.com/act48Provider/default.asp, click on the Professional Educator link, create an account, enter the course(s) information and submit. Mansfield University will then verify the information and report courses satisfactorily completed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Some non-credit courses and workshops offered by Mansfield University may also be eligible for ACT 48 credit. Attendees should also use the Edulink site to submit course completion for Mansfield University approval.
Teachers are responsible for selecting courses pertaining to their areas of certification or teaching assignments. Contact the Registrar’s Office, (570) 662-4874.
Student’s may ADD and DROP courses during the first seven business days of a semester using WebAdvisor. If the course is full or creates a conflict with scheduling, students may use an Add card available in the Registrar’s Office, 224 South Hall. The class instructor must sign all add cards. Students who have earned fewer than 60 credits must also have add cards signed by their advisor.
Adding Major(s) to a Completed Baccalaureate Degree
A graduate of Mansfield University may be readmitted to add a new major(s) to a prior degree. Each student must be accepted by the department offering the program of study and fulfill all the requirements for the new major. Any courses required in the new major that were completed prior to returning to Mansfield will be waived. General Education will be considered satisfied, except specific requirements for the second major, if they have not already been completed.
The GPA of the original degree will be “sealed.” There will be a new and totally distinct GPA for additional major(s). A student must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in work taken after the baccalaureate degree to remain at Mansfield. There is no minimum number of hours which must be completed after receipt of the degree in order to add a new major. Some majors require a GPA higher than 2.0.
Upon completion of all requirements, a notation will be made on the permanent record indicating the new major(s) and the date completed.
Advanced Placement (AP)
Mansfield University accepts high school courses taken prior to admission to the university under the national Advanced Placement (AP) program. A minimum score of three (3) on each qualifying examination is required for award of credit. No more than 24 credits earned by such examinations may be applied toward graduation requirements.
Application for Graduation
Candidates for the associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree must complete an Application for Graduation online via WebAdvisor no later than one year prior to the anticipated graduation.
Students are encouraged to participate in a commencement ceremony, which recognizes and honors their academic accomplishments. Commencement ceremonies are held following the fall and spring semesters.
Regular and punctual class attendance is expected. Documented excuses because of illness, serious mitigating circumstances, official military service, or official university representation will be accepted by all faculty members. In these cases, faculty members will permit students to make up all graded course components without penalty in a reasonable manner at a time agreeable to instructor and student. Students must provide documentation before absences can be excused. All instructors are expected to make their class participation and attendance policies clear in the course syllabi.
A student interested in auditing a course (attending class, but receiving no grade or credits) must submit the Audit Form before the end of the Add Period (first seven calendar days of the semester). The class instructor must grant permission for any student to audit a course. Not all courses are available for audit. Courses with high degrees of specialized equipment, and one-on-one faculty-student interaction (such as science labs) are generally not open to audit. Exceptions to this policy may be petitioned to the Dean for review. The cost for auditing is $50. The Audit Form is available at Academic Forms.
Change of Major/Minor
Change of major or minor forms are available online at Academic Forms.
Class standing is determined by the total number of credit hours earned including credits accepted in transfer from other accredited colleges.
0-29 credit hours earned
30-59 credit hours earned
60-89 credit hours earned
90+ credit hours earned
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
We participate in the national College Level Examination Program (CLEP). Mansfield University grants credit for CLEP SUBJECT examinations, but does not grant credit for the CLEP GENERAL examination. Subject examinations are available in the areas of business, composition, education, foreign languages, humanities, mathematics, science, and social science.
CLEP offers a way to earn college credits for prior learning and may shorten the length of the college experience. The minimum score to earn credit is 50. Information regarding CLEP examinations is available from the Registrar’s Office.
Superior scholastic achievement is recognized at Commencement. A bachelor’s degree student must have completed at least 45 credit hours at Mansfield University prior to the final semester to receive honors recognition at Commencement. Honors designations are based on cumulative grade point average (GPA) as indicated:
||3.35 to 3.64
||Magna Cum Laude
||3.65 to 3.94
||Summa Cum Laude
||3.95 to 4.00
Students who meet the honors requirements upon completion of their final semester with a minimum of 60 credit hours at Mansfield University will have such recognition noted on their permanent record.
An associate’s degree student must have completed at least 30 credit hours at Mansfield University prior to the final semester to receive honors recognition at commencement. A cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher is required for this recognition.
Complete Degree/Program Requirements Off Campus
All first baccalaureate degree students must complete at least 30 of their last 60 credits from Mansfield University. All first associate’s degree students must complete at least 15 of their last 30 credits from Mansfield University. Undergraduate matriculated degree-seeking students who wish to complete their degree/program requirement(s) at another regionally accredited institution will be required to secure prior approval by petitioning the Dean. The process will also require completion of the Transfer Credit Form. The Undergraduate Petition and Transfer Credit Form are available on the Registrar’s Office website at Academic Forms. To attend another PASSHE university, please refer to the Visiting Student policy. To attend a college or university outside the United States, students should refer to the Study Abroad and International Exchanges Policy. For additional residency credit completion requirements, please refer to the Maximum Hours Accepted in Transfer policy.
For active-duty service members, the academic residency requirements will not exceed 25 percent of the undergraduate degree program. If the undergraduate degree is available 100 percent online, the academic requirements will not exceed 30 percent of the undergraduate degree program. With the exception of specific course areas such as majors, the academic residency requirements for active-duty service members will not include a “final year” or “final semester” requirement.
A normal academic course load is 15 credit hours per semester. To schedule more than 18 credit hours in a semester, the student must have a 3.0 cumulative point average (GPA). A student who does not have a 3.0 GPA may submit a petition to the Dean for permission. Petitions are available online at Academic Forms.
Course Time Limit
Mansfield University welcomes the return of students who for a variety of reasons have not completed their undergraduate degrees. Courses completed, either at Mansfield or in transfer, more than ten years prior to the date of readmission will not routinely be counted towards graduation requirements. The content of these courses may no longer be current or even required for a degree program. Students may apply, via a petition that includes specific justification for a waiver, to have course work older than ten years applied toward a degree. Any such petition may need to address courses individually. Nothing in this policy precludes a department from establishing more stringent standards.
Credit by Exam (EX)
Matriculated students who feel they have already mastered the material in Mansfield courses may request permission to challenge the courses by examination. Students may elect this option during the first seven calendar days of the semester. This does not include courses in the areas of independent study, ensemble or other group participation courses, student teaching or pre-professional experience, seminar or selected topics, and laboratory experiences unless special permission is provided by the department offering the course and the Dean. Students may not repeat a course using Credit by Examination.
Students may not challenge a course in which they have demonstrated competency by passing a more advanced course nor a course that has been waived because of demonstrated competency or advanced placement. The examination must be completed and the contract returned to the Dean within the first four weeks of the semester. Applications are available online at Academic Forms.
The Dean’s List is issued at the close of each semester. It includes only undergraduate matriculated students. A student must earn at least 12 credits for which a letter grade is received (P/F and S/U grades are excluded) to be eligible. The semester grade point average (GPA) must be between 3.50 and 3.99 inclusive.
Students may complete two baccalaureate degrees simultaneously. The student must complete all program requirements for both degrees.
Students may complete multiple majors within the same degree; that is, a second B.A. major may be added to a B.A. degree, a B.S. to a B.S., etc. The first major selected is considered primary. The one exception to this is the Liberal Studies major. A student may not declare Liberal Studies as a second major. Students may also complete two majors that do not lead to the same degree (B.A., B.S., B.M., etc.). To complete two majors leading to different degrees, the student declares the first major and the second major. The first major determines the specific degree awarded, and successful completion of the second major is noted on the student’s transcript (“Successfully completed requirements of the academic major in…”) Completion of two different majors does not result in the awarding of two degrees.
Due Process (Appealing a Grade)
A student wishing to appeal a grade should refer to the procedures outlined at http://www2.mansfield.edu/academic-affairs/faculty-resources/forms-and-procedures.cfm under “Due Process/Appeals” or “Grade Appeals.”
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act / FERPA for Students
FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) was enacted in 1974. It is a set of regulations that applies to institutions that receive funding from the Department of Education.
FERPA was written specifically to protect the interests of students and guarantees them the right to inspect and review their education records, the right to seek to amend education records, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of information from those education records.
a. Mansfield University regards all of its students, regardless of age, as emancipated. This means that the regulations apply to all of our students regardless of their age.
b. An education record is defined as any record that directly identifies a student and is maintained by the institution or educational agency or by a party acting for the institution or educational agency. A key characteristic of education records is that they are shared by university employees who have a legitimate need to advise students, enter information into the record, or work with the data contained in the records. Education records can exist in any medium including the following: handwritten, typed, computer-generated, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche, e-mail, and so on.
c. Mansfield University designates the following categories of student information as public or “Directory Information.” Mansfield University may disclose such information at its discretion. While Mansfield University has the right to disclose this information, all necessary precautions are taken to protect the safety and well-being of our students. Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can, but is not required to be, disclosed to outside organizations without the student’s written permission. Mansfield University is committed to maintaining the privacy of its students’ records and therefore limits its release of Directory Information for official university purposes only. Mansfield University will not release Directory Information for solicitation purposes to third parties from outside the university. This includes outside vendors, businesses, and organizations unless the university has entered into a contract or agreement with the organization to supply specific services to the university or its students that requires the use of this information. While FERPA permits a university to release personally identifiable information designated as “Directory Information,” the university is not required to release that information. It is university policy to review each request to release directory information and NOT to release directory information unless a clear case is made that it is in the best interests of the student. It is solely the purview of the university to determine the “best interest” of the student.
Directory Information may include the following: awards and honors (Dean’s List), class standing (e.g. sophomore), current enrollment, dates of attendance, degree(s) conferred (including dates), full-time or part-time status, major field(s) of study, name, hometown, picture of student, and past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, including fraternities and sororities, and physical factors of athletes (e.g. height, weight).
d. As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records-including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to education records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when Mansfield University objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without consent the PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
e. Any student wishing to prevent the public disclosure of this information may request so by contacting the Student Registration and Financial Services Office, 224 South Hall, prior to the close of the first week of classes of any given academic semester.
f. The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
i. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, Dean, Department Chairperson, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
ii. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University Registrar’s Office to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision.
iii. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to University officials with legitimate educational interests. A University official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Council of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
iv. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Mansfield University of PA to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
IV. ACCESS TO RECORDS
a. A University official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
b. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student intends to enroll.
Copies of the University’s policy governing the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and Student Release of Information Forms are available at the Student Registration and Financial Services Office, 224 South Hall. Questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the Registrar.
If an instructor makes an error in the final grade given to a student, a grade change request must be made within the first three weeks of the subsequent semester. Grade changes are not allowed after that time unless a request for an extension is made by the faculty member to the Dean.
Professors provide students written syllabi which include the criteria for academic evaluation, prior to the end of the first week of class. Mansfield University uses a 4-point grading scale, as shown below, to evaluate academic performance.
The following designations may be used in addition to the grades shown above:
||Credit by Examination (D- grade or better)
||Pass/Fail (D- grade or better)
||Satisfactory (D- grade or better)
Withdrawal from a course after the drop period
The cumulative grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours of work attempted. The cumulative GPA is the index by which a student’s academic standing is judged.
Graduation - Commencement Participation Policy
Students are expected to attend the commencement ceremony following the semester in which they have been certified for graduation. Under conditions listed below, and after verification by the appropriate college dean, students may be permitted to participate in a commencement ceremony prior to the completion of their remaining coursework. The following conditions must be met before permission can be granted:
The student must
- Be within no more than 2 courses or 8 credits from meeting all graduation requirements
- Be registered to complete all outstanding coursework by the conclusion of the following semester
- Have a zero account balance
- Register for graduation by the normal deadline date
- Meet all other Mansfield University Graduation Requirements
It is the student’s responsibility to understand the university requirements for the chosen major and for graduation.
Students who graduate from Mansfield University with an associate’s degree must meet the following requirements.
- Earn the minimum number of credit hours for the particular major, plus any required preparatory (0090) courses. Preparatory courses completed increase the total number of credit hours required for graduation.
- Earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major.
- Complete requirements for general education and the major.
Students who graduate from Mansfield University with a baccalaureate degree must meet the following requirements.
- Earn the minimum number of credit hours for the particular major, plus any required preparatory (0090) courses. Preparatory (0090) courses completed increase the total number of credit hours required for graduation.
- Earn a minimum 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major.
- Complete requirements for general education and for the major.
- Complete 42 credits of the total credits required for a degree at the 3000 course level or higher.
- Complete a second-year language proficiency or minor for a B.A. degree. Second-year language proficiency is defined as successful completion of the 2202 level of a foreign language.
Students who graduate from Mansfield University with a recommendation for teacher certification must meet the following requirements.
- Earn the state mandated minimum GPA for your cohort group (determined when first “gates” requirements are met and not sooner than 48 credits).
- Complete a teacher preparation certificate program approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
- Complete all Mansfield University requirements for a baccalaureate degree.
- Pass all state mandated examinations (e.g. Praxis/PECT) for the appropriate area(s) of teaching certification.
- Present evidence that state mandated clearance requirements as specified under Act 34 and Act 151, Act 114 (PA FBI), and PA School Code 23.44 (proof of a negative TB Tine Test) have been met.
A student may earn a university degree with less than the state-mandated minimum GPA, lacking the required clearances, or without having passed all required certification examinations, but the University will not recommend that student to the Pennsylvania Department of Education for certification.
No student may be granted an associate’s degree or a baccalaureate degree from the University without earning at Mansfield University at least 25% of the required total credits for the degree. Exceptions may be made with approval from the Office of the Provost. Transfer credit may be awarded for up to 50% of the major requirements including major-related electives. If the remaining credits do not meet Mansfield University guidelines for general education, they are applied as free electives.
Each student will receive a “Graduation Outlook” upon completion of the Application for Graduation. The “Graduation Outlook” notes courses and/or requirements still necessary to be completed for graduation including any deficiency in the cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major. A final outlook showing deficiencies will be sent after the end of the Add/Drop period in the semester in which the student intends to graduate.
Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of Mansfield University to ensure a work, educational, and residential environment free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, ancestry, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, genetic background, or veteran status. In accordance with state and federal laws, Mansfield University prohibits and will not tolerate unlawful discrimination. The University also prohibits retaliation against any party for participating in a discrimination investigation. http://www.mansfield.edu/hr/title-ix/upload/Non-Discrimination-Policy-FINAL-1-26-15.pdf
Human Subject Research Policy
Research projects undertaken by Mansfield University students, staff, or faculty members must be approved prior to involvement of human subjects and the initiation of the research. The review process, intended for the protection of the human subjects, shall be the sole object of the review. The Mansfield University Institutional Review Board (IRB) is the final authority in determining approvals for research involving human subjects. Faculty and students wishing to apply for review of research, should contact the department chairperson who will provide a copy of the guidelines, application form, and a sample informed consent form. Applicants must submit two copies of the Request for Review of Research form and one copy of the Informed Consent form to the department chair. Depending on the nature of the research, and the potential risks to subjects, the department will undertake a departmental review of the application, or forward it to the IRB Chairperson for board review. Copies of the IRB guidelines and forms are also available at the university web site: http://www.mansfield.edu/~grantsde or by contacting Dr. Francis Craig, Chairperson of the IRB, South Hall. Persons undertaking human subjects research should submit their applications at least 3-4 weeks prior to the proposed research project start.
International Baccalaureate collaborates with secondary schools around the world on programs for students ages 16 through 19. The two-year comprehensive curriculum allows participating students and IB graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems. In addition to applied academics, the IB program works with students to develop responsible citizenship, leadership skills, and cultural sensitivity.
IB students entering Mansfield University may receive 6-8 credits for each higher level IB examination completed with a score of 4-7. Credits are awarded for higher-level subjects. No credit is awarded for subsidiary-level subjects. For more information regarding IB credits, please contact the Transfer Coordinator, in the Admissions office, at 570-662-4408.
Incomplete Grades (I)
An “I” (Incomplete) grade is used to denote unfinished work because of serious mitigating circumstances beyond the student’s control. It is a privilege granted because of circumstances, not a right to be expected by the student.
The I is submitted by professors at their discretion on the grade report form at the end of the semester. The professor and the student will identify the specific requirements to be satisfied in order to convert the I to a letter grade. The student is responsible for the removal of an I grade by the end of the fourth week of the subsequent semester except in cases where serious circumstances prevail and a request for an extension is made by the faculty member to the Registrar’s Office. If the I grade is not cleared within the allotted time period, a final grade of F is recorded.
Independent Study and Individualized Instruction
Guidelines for Independent Study and Individualized Instruction
Independent Study and Individualized Instruction provide academic opportunities that can enhance a student’s education. Approval of these activities requires a careful consideration of academic, individual, and financial matters.
Independent Study (IS) is available in each curricular field. The appropriate curricular prefix precedes the course number 4497, and the credit hours vary from one to three. Independent Study may be repeated for more than three credit hours total, but each Independent Study project may be for no more than three credit hours.
Independent Study is an activity initiated by students to increase their already advanced knowledge in particular academic disciplines. A specified subject is examined in an intensive manner with guidance by a faculty member who has special expertise in that field. To request approval for an Independent Study, a student must prepare a contract available online at Academic Forms, which then must be completed and approved by the faculty director, department chairperson, and Dean. A request for Independent Study must be completed prior to the start of the semester or summer session for which the Independent Study is sought.
Independent studies will be approved only where there is sufficient evidence of the potential of the study to advance the student’s scholarly development.
All requests for Independent Study should be accompanied by an appropriate and scholarly proposal that has been carefully reviewed by the student and the faculty director who will supervise the Independent Study.
The proposal should include a plan of activities to be undertaken, the “products” to be expected from the study (for example, a paper, a performance, a research report, or presentation to a departmental symposium), a timetable for the study, and an estimate of the amount of effort that will be applied to the study so that the appropriate amount of credit can be assessed. Only in rare instances would more than two independent study proposals be approved as part of a student’s curriculum.
Individualized Instruction (II) is available on a restricted basis. Ordinarily permission to take a course by Individualized Instruction is reserved for students who are close to graduation and who have not been able to meet a degree requirement either because the course has not been available or because of some other mitigating circumstance. Individualized Instructions may not be used to retake a course the student has failed previously.
A student’s decision to move from the Mansfield area or a conflict with another obligation, such as a job, will not normally be sufficient to justify an Individualized Instruction. A call to military service or a serious extended illness, on the other hand, may be viewed as sufficient mitigating circumstances.
An Individualized Instruction is not normally approved if there is evidence that a student delayed taking a course or dropped a course earlier in his or her academic career and did not make a clear attempt to complete it as part of a regular schedule.
In instances where there are repeated requests from a department to offer a course via Individualized Instruction, it would be advisable for the department to reassess its ability to support the curriculum.
A request for a course by Individualized Instruction is available online at Academic Forms and must be completed and approved by the faculty director, department chairperson, and the Dean. A request for Individualized Instruction must be completed prior to the start of the semester or summer session for which the Individualized Instruction is sought.
Requests for Individualized Instruction should be accompanied by a detailed justification and explanation of the mitigating circumstances that require the course to be taken in this manner, a current course syllabus that outlines the material to be covered, the learning outcome, a timetable for the instruction, and the means of assessment that will be applied to determine the grade assigned.
Maintenance of Matriculation
Students who are off campus completing approved course work consistent with program requirements and thereby meet degree or program requirements in effect at the time of initial matriculation are considered to be in a continuing matriculated status.
Students enrolled in undergraduate level courses receive mid-semester grades on a scale of A through F to enable them to recognize their academic status in each of these courses at mid-semester.
Military Service Credit
Veterans having completed a minimum of basic training with honorable service in the United States Service Branches (DD 214) may apply for three credits in HPE (Health & Physical Education). In addition, credit may be awarded for service training programs based on an official military transcript and recommendations in the American Council on Education Guide.
Minimum Academic Standards
All degree-seeking students must meet the minimum academic standards of the institution. The minimum academic requirements for continuation at Mansfield are a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).
Pass/Fail (P or F)
Students may take a maximum of 12 credits on a pass/fail basis; however, no more than one course each semester may be taken under the pass/fail option. Pass credits are not reflected in the student’s GPA; however, a passing (P) grade is counted as credit hours earned. Students may elect the pass/fail option during the first seven calendar days of the semester. They may neither change the pass/fail option to a letter grade nor select the pass/fail option after the first seven calendar days of the semester. A passing grade is considered D- or better. A grade of F will impact the GPA. Three failures under this option will constitute a loss of the option. Pass/Fail application forms are available online at Academic Forms.
The following restrictions apply:
1. Pass/Fail credits cannot count towards more than one course in each area of General Education and cannot surpass 50% of the credits in one Gen. Ed. area.
2. Courses required to complete a major or an academic minor may be included in the pass/fail option at the discretion of that department and require the chairperson’s signature.
3. Students may not repeat a course using the pass/fail option.
4. If a pass/fail grade cannot be used towards an individual course or there is a minimum grade standard for a course, then this requirement will be clearly stated in the catalog and will supersede the general policy restrictions.
Program Variance: under special circumstances, curriculum requirements may be modified. A department chairperson may substitute or waive course requirements in a major by informing the Registrar’s Office in writing of such requested program changes. Students may petition the Dean for other program variances.
Waiver of University Policies or Regulations: when any rule or regulation of the University causes an unfair hardship, a student may petition the Dean for an exception. In these instances, students should contact their advisor for assistance in preparation of petitions. Petitions are available online at Academic Forms.
Preparatory (0090) Courses
Entering students are evaluated in mathematics and writing to assure a minimal level of competency. In mathematics, a student’s previous preparation is assessed. A writing placement examination is administered to all entering students and placement is made in ENG 0090 or ENG 1112 on the basis of performance on that essay.
If 0090 courses are necessary, the minimum number of credits required for graduation increases. Any required 0090 course must be taken during the first 57 credit hours attempted.
The President’s List is issued at the close of each semester. It includes only undergraduate matriculated students. A student must earn at least 12 credits for which a letter grade is received (P/F and S/U grades are excluded) to be eligible. The semester grade point average (GPA) must be 4.00.
Matriculated students who have not been in regular attendance during the previous semester must apply for readmission to the University. This does not apply to non-matriculated students.
Applications for readmission must be submitted online at https://ssl.mansfield.edu/reapply/reapplyMU.cfm .
Students readmitted following a break of more than one semester fall under all university policies in effect at the time of readmission. Before students are readmitted, they must clear all outstanding university-related debts.
Repeating a Course
Students are limited to a total of six repeated courses with a limit of three repeats for any specific course. The most recent grade, regardless of whether it is higher or lower, will be the grade used for the GPA calculation. Students may not repeat a course using the pass/fail or credit-by-exam option.
Second Baccalaureate Degree
A student who possesses a baccalaureate degree may earn a second bachelor’s degree upon completion of the following requirements: (1) a minimum of 30 credit hours at Mansfield following the first degree (internships, observation/participation, and student teaching credit hours are not counted in the required minimum), (2) all requirements for the major in which the second degree is to be earned, (3) General Education is considered closed on the first degree except any specific General Education requirements for the second degree if not already completed, and (4) earn at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all work attempted and in the major. The GPA of the original degree will be “sealed.” There will be a new and totally distinct GPA for the new degree.
Semester Off Campus
Undergraduate matriculated degree-seeking student’s who wish to pursue a semester at a regionally accredited non-PASSHE (Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education) college or university located within the United States are required to secure prior approval by petitioning the Dean. The process will also require completion of the Transfer Credit Form. The Undergraduate Petition and Transfer Credit Form are available on the Registrar’s website at Academic Forms. To attend another PASSHE university, please refer to the Visiting Student policy. To attend a college or university outside of the United States, please refer to the Study Abroad and International Exchanges policy.
State Authorization and How It Affects Prospective and Current Mansfield University Students
State Authorization is a legal and regulatory term that applies to a university’s compliance with individual statutes, regulations, and rules in each state in which it serves students. Postsecondary institutions are required to seek individual authorization to deliver or facilitate educational services, programs, or activities from each state in which they operate or have a physical presence. The regulation seeks to protect higher education student consumers and may impact institutional eligibility regarding certain programs, such as Title IV federal financial aid, if compliance with regulations are not met. Because of the need to maintain regulatory compliance, Mansfield University will hold an applicant’s admission decision into fully online degree programs if the University does not have the authorization to provide these programs in the states where the applicants physically reside. Likewise, the University will allow only current students to undertake field experiences in those states where it has permission to do so.
Federal regulation requires all postsecondary institutions to provide students with information necessary to make informed decisions concerning their educational experiences. One important item relates to student complaints. Mansfield University strives to serve its students fairly and equitably. If, however, a student has a complaint, the following process is in place to assist the student in resolving the complaint. Mansfield University encourages all students regardless of their residency, to FIRST initiate an attempt for resolution by following Mansfield University’s Academic Standards: Due Process/Complaints. If an issue cannot be resolved by this internal process, a complaint may be filed with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Students located outside Pennsylvania may also choose to file a complaint with the appropriate agency in your state of residence.
For more information on this matter, please consult this website: http://online.mansfield.edu/state-authorization-for-distance-education.cfm
Study Abroad and International Exchanges
A world of opportunity exists for Mansfield students who participate in international exchanges or study abroad. Mansfield University offers direct exchange programs with Charles Sturt University in Australia, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität in Jena, Germany, the Institute of Political Science in Toulouse, France, and Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario.
Through Mansfield University’s membership in the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP), the world’s largest student exchange program, students have study abroad opportunities at over a hundred other universities in nearly forty other countries where they can take courses in English and in many other languages. In the past few years, Mansfield students have studied in Bulgaria, Chile, China, Iceland, Netherland, Poland, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and Ulster, along with Australia, Russia, Germany, France, and Canada. Students may also participate as visiting students in international programs at other Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities or in approved programs offered by other US and foreign institutions of higher education.
Interested students should contact the Study Abroad office or the Registrar’s Office for information about available programs and an application file. Most study abroad programs require two academic recommendations and a GPA of 2.75, but some programs require a 3.0. Students should consult the study abroad director and academic advisor to determine the status of study abroad programs, grade transfer policies, and how the courses taken abroad will meet general education or major program requirements. A study abroad student can opt to receive a Pass or Fail grade for up to 15 credits of course work per semester abroad.
The cost of study abroad programs varies, but most are affordable. The University’s goal is to offer students a semester abroad at roughly the same cost as that of a resident student at Mansfield. Financial aid and study abroad scholarships are available for qualified students.
Teacher Certification Programs:
Teacher Education Certification
The Teacher Education Unit is responsible for all teacher certification programs at Mansfield University. The Unit seeks to prepare teachers who have the knowledge, skill, and dispositions to meet the demands of public education in the twenty-first century. All certification programs are approved by Pennsylvania Department of Education. Programs within the Unit are nationally recognized by many different professional organizations. The mission of the Teacher Education Unit at Mansfield University is to prepare educators who will make reflective decisions based on accepted theory, research, and practice as they serve our region, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the nation.
PDE Approved Certification Programs
- Early Childhood PK-4
- Special Education PK-8
- Music PK-12
- Reading Specialist PK-12
- Earth and Space Science 7-12
- English 7-12
- General Science 7-12
- Mathematics 7-12
- Social Studies 7-12
Undergraduate Degree Programs in Education
- BSEd Early Childhood Education (PK-4) with Optional Special Education Certification (PK-8)
- BSEd Professional Studies in Secondary Education, with concentrations in Earth and Space Science, English, Mathematics, and Social Studies (7-12)
- BM Music Education (PK-12)
Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certifications at Mansfield University
- Early Childhood PK-4
- Early Childhood PK-4 with Special Education PK-8
- Special Education PK-8
- Music PK-12
- Earth and Space Science 7-12
- English 7-12
- General Science 7-12
- Mathematics 7-12
- Social Studies 7-12
In October of 2000, PDE issued Chapter 354 Preparation of Professional Educators to all teacher preparation programs in Pennsylvania. Chapter 354 provides standards for students entering an initial certification program at MU and for proceeding through the program. The various points in the program for which specific requirements are set are referred to as “Gates.” Guidelines for admittance and for each subsequent Gate are detailed in this section and deal with clearances, certain course or credit hour requirements, dispositions, and testing requirements.
All required Pennsylvania teacher education clearances must be attained before registering for classes. If a student’s clearance history changes throughout the course of study, he/she is required to immediately share that information with the Educational Field Experience Office (Act 24). Students cannot register for courses until they satisfactorily complete the following clearance checks and are willing to allow The Field Experience Office to communicate their personal clearance information with participating school districts (for the purpose of field experiences). See the Field Experience Office for detailed information on the following clearance requirements:
- Act 151: Child Abuse Clearance
- Act 34: Criminal Background Clearance
- TB Tine Test (Tuberculosis)
- PA FBI Fingerprint Clearance (Cogent)
- One million dollars of professional Liability Insurance coverage
- Act 24: Arrest and Conviction Report and Certification Form
- Act 126: Child Abuse Recognition Training
- Statements of compliance and understanding from required MU handbooks
Teacher Education Council policy (1997) prohibits candidates with a clearance offense from entering an education program without approval following the TEC process. Detailed information concerning this process is also available in the Early Field Experience Handbook. The Unit expects candidates and graduates to adhere to the Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct.
PDE Gates and Certification
Education majors are evaluated at three stages in their program, referred to as “Gates.” Mansfield evaluates student preparation based on Pennsylvania Act 354 requirements. Students must complete their preparation programs and the requirements of all three teacher education gates to be recommended for certification. Gate One requirements must be met within the first 48 credit hours of course work. Students will receive email confirmation that they have met Gate One and, consequently, will be permitted to take upper level education courses (courses numbered 3000 and above) after they have successfully made it through Gate One. Gate Two requirements must be completed before beginning student teaching. Gate Three requirements must be completed before recommendation for certification. Each department may have additional requirements specific to their Education program. Students should see the individual program descriptions in this catalog and contact education program advisors for more information. Teacher education students are also assessed for professional dispositions (see handbook for details).
Gate One. Students completing the following requirements will be designated a Teacher Education Certification Candidate (TECC). A student must be designated a TECC in order to register for upper level education courses numbering 3000 and above. To become a TECC, students must:
- complete a minimum of 48 hours of course work which may include transfer hours;
- have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher;
- complete two college level mathematics courses and one English Literature course and one English Composition before becoming a TECC (Math 0090 and English 0090 or developmental or remedial transfer courses do not meet this requirement);
- pass the Introduction to Education (ED1102) course;
- pass one of the two Basic Skills Tests, the PAPA: Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment or the Praxis CORE (or pass by combining individual tests from different vendors to meet the basic skills requirement). Students transferring into Mansfield University from another institution and who have met all other Gate One requirements may be designated a probationary TECC. They will have one semester after admission to Mansfield University to pass the PAPA examination. Students should refer to the program description or see an advisor for additional program specific requirements. Students may be exempt from taking the PAPA or the Praxis Core if they have a qualifying score on the SAT (500 or higher on each of the modules) or ACT (22 in Reading, 21 in Mathematics, and 21 in Writing). The Basic Skills assessment is waived for all certificates (as of November 1, 2014), if the applicant completed an approved post-baccalaureate certification program or if a student holds a post-baccalaureate graduate-level degree.
Gate Two. Students wishing to be admitted to Student Teaching must complete the following requirements:
- have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher;
- complete all required education courses except student teaching and professional seminar; students wishing to take non-education courses after student teaching must petition the appropriate department chair.
- submit current student teacher clearances. (See program description or advisor for additional program specific requirements).
Gate Three. Students who wish the Mansfield University Certification Officer to recommend them for teacher certification must complete the following requirements:
- pass the appropriate PDE required content exam;
- complete the appropriate Education degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher;
- apply for Pennsylvania Teacher Certification through PDE’s on-line TIMS system.
Instructional I provisional certificates (Chapter 49.82) are issued to applicants who possess a baccalaureate degree, successfully complete a PDE-approved teacher certification program, successfully pass department-prescribed tests, and Pennsylvania Department of Education test requirements, and receive recommendation from a college or university. Instructional II certificates (Chapter 49.83) are issued to applicants who complete a Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved induction program, complete three to six years of satisfactory teaching on an Instructional I certificate in approved public or non-public schools, and complete 24 semester credit hours of collegiate study or in-service programs approved by the department, as well as any other requirements identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. More detailed information concerning Instructional certificates is available from the Bureau of Teacher Certification, Department of Education.
Certification for educators in Pennsylvania is determined by State Board of Education Regulations, Chapter 49, Certification of Professional Personnel. Revised regulations, which became effective June 1, 2011, apply to all candidates who receive an Instructional I certificate after that date. By Department of Education policy, certificates are renewed or made permanent subject to the terms and conditions of the regulations in effect at the time the certificate was initially issued.
Required Field Experiences
Pennsylvania Department of Education’s (PDE) Chapter 49 has established competencies for fieldwork and a specific structure for the completion of these requirements. All teacher certification programs include a four-stage structure. Each education student must demonstrate evidence of meeting the field experience competencies identified in each of the stages of learning. Course professors and University supervisors will provide official validation for each student. This documentation is important in verifying successful completion of the Chapter 49 field experience competencies required for teacher certification. Although Mansfield University will provide sequential and developmental field experiences designed to meet state certification requirements, students are responsible for successfully completing these field experiences. Course completion will be hindered without successful mastery of field experience competencies.
The Professional Studies in Secondary Education degree program prepares students for teaching grades 7-12 and is the combined responsibility of the Department of Education and Special Education and the appropriate content-area departments of the university. Students pursuing this Bachelor of Science in Education degree select a concentration from four content areas: Earth and Space Science Education, English Education, Mathematics Education, and Social Studies: History Education. Program students undergo an inquiry-based curriculum that balances data-driven decision-making with a design-thinking approach to new media. Teacher candidates work closely with content-area faculty to develop mastery in their field of concentration, which is measured via content-specific student learning outcomes. The Education and Special Education faculty also work closely with students in the program, helping them develop their knowledge of educational theories and methodologies in order to apply that knowledge when planning and implementing instruction in field-based settings. This developing knowledge is assessed within the core secondary education and special education courses, field experiences, and in a professional portfolio, in accordance with the program’s teacher education student learning outcomes.
For further details regarding admission to teacher certification candidacy and Pennsylvania certification requirements, please review the Teacher Certification section under University Policies, http://catalog.mansfield.edu/.
- A prepared transcript by Mansfield University can be ordered only through the online service at Parchment. Written or phone requests can no longer be accepted.
- No official transcript is issued to or for a student who is indebted to the university until the debt has been paid in full.
- Official transcripts of credit(s) earned at other institutions that have been presented for admission and evaluation become part of the permanent record in the Registrar’s Office and cannot be reissued or copied for distribution. Transcripts from other institutions must be obtained directly from those institutions. Official transcripts issued directly to the student will be released only in a signed, sealed, embossed envelope.
- Unofficial transcripts contain the same information as an official, but do not bear the authorized signature or seal of the university.
- Transcript fee is $5 per transcript plus a $3.26 processing fee.
Undeclared/Academic Exploration Program Majors
Entering students who are not ready to choose a major may be accepted as “undeclared” and enrolled in the Academic Exploration Program. An advisor assists the student in choosing courses to fulfill General Education requirements and advises them about introductory courses as a pathway toward selecting a suitable major. An undeclared student should choose a major after the second semester freshman year. All students must declare a major by the time they have earned 64 credit hours.
Students enrolled full-time at a PASSHE university may elect to participate, for a limited period of time, in the Board of Governors’ Visiting Student program offered at sister institutions. Information regarding the Visiting Student program is available online at Academic Forms.
Withdraw From a Course (W)
After the drop period, a student may withdraw from a course until 4 p.m. the Friday of the tenth week of classes as designated on the Academic Calendar. A course withdrawal form must be completed, which can be obtained at the Registrar’s office at 224 South Hall. It must be signed by the course instructor. If fewer than 60 credits have been earned, the student must also have the withdrawal card signed by the advisor. Completed forms are returned to 224 South Hall.
A “W” will be recorded in the permanent record and will not be calculated in the quality point average (QPA). A student who withdraws from all courses is automatically withdrawn from the University.
There is no tuition or fee adjustment for course withdrawals; therefore, full payment is due to the University.
Withdrawal From the University
Withdrawing from the university is a very important decision. To discuss the implications of withdrawal, the student must consult with Financial Aid in 231 South Hall or 570-662-4129. If the student would like to discuss personal concerns, contact the Counseling Center, 142 South Hall, or call 570-662-4695. Resident students must also contact the Residence Life Office at 320 Alumni, or 570-662-4934.
Students who wish to withdraw from the university may start the process by completing a “Withdrawal from the University Form” which is available by contacting Jackie Johnson, Associate Director in the Student Life and Leadership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org and 570-662-4969.
Withdrawal from the University is likely to have serious academic and financial ramifications. The following items will be discussed with the student by a member of the Registrar’s Office upon presentation of the Withdrawal from the University Form.
- Withdrawing by the last day of classes does not list the term on the academic transcript.
- Official transcripts may not be released with a hold on the student’s account. These holds include, but are not limited to, student accounts (billing) holds, parking fine holds, library fine holds, athletic holds, residence life holds, and Perkins Loan holds.
- A current billing statement will be provided. The balance may change due to financial aid being returned on the account when the withdrawal form is processed based upon the date of the last class attendance/participation.
- If there is a balance once the withdrawal process has been completed, the student will be asked to set up a payment plan if the balance cannot be paid in full. Contact Dot Rakoski to set up a payment plan at 570-662-4889 or email@example.com
- The student will be asked to provide a current address and phone number.
- Return any library materials.
- The student will be counseled on how withdrawing from the university will impact current and future financial aid.
- Withdrawing from the university prior to completing more than 60% of the semester will result in a change in financial aid for the semester. This date is calculated by the Registrar’s Office based upon federal regulations. Any refunds already received may need to be returned in whole or in part. A calculation will be completed to determine the amount of financial aid that needs to be returned.
- Any outstanding documentation for eligible financial aid will be requested at the time of the withdrawal.
- Although withdrawn classes will not appear on the student’s transcript, withdrawn courses will count AGAINST academic progress as it relates to financial aid and counts as attempted but not completed credits.
- Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is checked upon readmission. See SAP policy.
- If there are student loans, the six-month grace period to begin repayment will begin immediately upon withdrawal. That is, six months after withdrawal from the university, the student will need to begin repayment of those loans.
- If called to active duty, the withdrawal process should be quick and easy. The student should complete the “Withdrawal from the University” form and attach deployment papers. Both forms should be turned in to Jackie johnson in 320 Alumni Hall.
Students who leave the university without properly notifying the university for other than extenuating circumstances (as documented by a physician, counselor, or other appropriate individual) will receive a grade for each attempted course.
All students who have withdrawn and who desire readmission to the university must file an application for readmission.
Students who apply for readmission within one calendar year of the date of withdrawal will have the application fee waived. Students are not guaranteed readmission.
Completion of a “Withdrawal from the University Form” must be done by the last regular class day of the semester not including finals week.
Once withdrawal is complete, the administration will promptly notify all appropriate offices, including the student’s advisor and course instructors. On-campus students are responsible for checking out of their residence hall by contacting a Residence Life staff member.
Refund Period (% of Enrollment Period Completed)
Duration (Illustration of Estimated Weeks in Typical Semester)
||Through “drop period”
||Through Week 2
||Through Week 3
||Through Week 4
||Through Week 5