Graduate Study at Wheelock College

The degree requirements outlined in this catalog are intended to be used for students entering Wheelock in the 2014-15 academic year.

GRADUATE ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID

GRADUATE ADMISSIONS

Wheelock College seeks applications from individuals with diverse social, professional, educational, racial, geographic and economic backgrounds who have the personal and academic potential to become outstanding educators, early childhood specialists, social workers, child life specialists, advocates and leaders for non-profit organizations. Admissions decisions are based on a thorough evaluation of each applicant's academic record, written application, essay, résumé, references and relevant experience, professional, academic and personal background, skills and goals.

Graduate students matriculating into degree programs enter Wheelock in the fall, spring, or summer semester, although some programs begin at specified semesters. Our graduate programs adhere to the following priority deadlines for application. In general, our application deadlines are guidelines that students should use to complete their application. In setting these priority deadlines the College has taken into consideration the need for applicants to secure academic and field experience advising prior to the start of their academic program. However, we will consider applications past the deadline as long as we are able. Please Note: The Child Life Social Work Advanced Standing programs will NOT consider applications submitted or completed after March 1st.

Spring Semester (January) December 1
Summer Semester (June) March 1
Fall Semester (September) May 1
Child Life Program (fall) March 1 (firm)
Social Work Adv. Standing (summer)     March 1 (firm)
(Boston and Worcester locations)

The Admissions Committee makes every attempt to notify applicants of a decision within two to four weeks of receipt of a complete application. However, the Child Life program does not make admissions decisions until after the March 1 deadline. Details can be found in the Graduate Programs section of this catalog.

All requests for information should be made to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA, 02215-4176, by calling (617) 879-1114, or by email at graduate@wheelock.edu.

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

I. U.S. GRADUATE STUDENTS

Candidates for admission to Wheelock College graduate programs must have received a bachelor’s degree at an accredited institution and generally attained a minimum of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) GPA for the last two years of undergraduate study.

To apply, you should submit:

  • A completed online graduate application.
  • Official transcripts showing degree conferral and any completed graduate coursework.
  • A current résumé.
  • A 3-5 page personal essay that discusses the applicant's career goals, strengths, challenges, and interest either in Wheelock's vision and mission or in the particular program of interest.
  • Three (3) letters of reference. One should be of an academic nature from a faculty member who is familiar with the applicant’s academic work (e.g., a former professor or instructor of the applicant). The second reference should be from an individual who can discuss the applicant’s work or relevant experience. The third letter may be either academic or professional at the applicant’s discretion. References from family members or friends are not acceptable. Please note that additional letters of reference may be requested at the discretion of the Admission Committee.

Please note that applicants to certificate or non-degree programs are only required to submit one professional letter of reference and their personal essay is only required to be 1–2 pages in length. Certificate and non-degree applicants are still required to submit an online application, official transcripts and a current resume.

Some degree and certificate programs may have other requirements in addition to the materials listed above. These can be found on program specific web pages on the website or by contacting the Office of Graduate Admissions.

All references must arrive in unopened envelopes with the evaluator’s signature across the flap. While an applicant’s recommender may draft a letter on his or her own letterhead we do require that the Reference Form be submitted with the applicant’s signature as well as the recommender’s information.

Applicants to the Master of Social Work: Advanced Standing program must have a reference from their field liaison, field instructor or director of the BSW program from which they graduated. Advanced standing applicants must also submit their senior year fall and spring field evaluations.

Applicants to the Child Life and Family Centered Care program are highly encouraged to provide a reference from the Child Life Specialist who supervised their 100 hours of volunteer work.

Integrated Elementary and Special Education (IESE), Nonprofit Leadership and Child Life programs require an interview with faculty once an application is complete. Preference for admission to the IESE program is given to applicants with prior experience working with children and families, preferably in a group setting; and a requirement for admission is completion of an undergraduate major in the Arts and Sciences or its equivalent. All applicants are welcome to request an interview through the Office of Graduate Admissions to map out a program plan and possible completion dates.

Applicants should reference program specific admissions requirements. For example, applicants for an initial master’s program in education are admitted to the college and to a specific program. Although there is no conditional admission, continued progress is supported and monitored at transition points throughout each educator preparation program, including upon successful completion of required entry level courses and a first supervised clinical experience.

II. INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE STUDENTS

Wheelock welcomes students of diverse cultural backgrounds. In order to ensure a successful experience for students, the Wheelock College Graduate Programs require additional information from international students.

TOEFL - Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not received a degree from a college or university in the United States or another English-speaking country, are required to submit scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language) as evidence of proficiency in oral and written English. The minimum TOEFL score generally accepted is 550 paper based test, or 80 internet-based Test.

Transcript Evaluation - Applicants are required to provide an evaluation of their undergraduate and graduate course of study, if completed outside of the U.S. Acceptable evaluations can be obtained by sending all international transcripts to:

Education Credentials Evaluators
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
PO Box 514070 Milwaukee WI 53203-3470
www.ece.org

or to:

World Education Services
Bowling Green Station
P.O. Box 5087
New York, NY 10274-5087
www.wes.org

Financial Statement - Prior to being issued an I-20 immigration or visa form, all international applicants are required to certify that they have made adequate financial arrangements to cover their expenses for the full duration of their program of graduate study as a full-time student. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further explanation of what is required.

International applicants are also required, if needed, to obtain third party translations of any letters of recommendation or other supporting documents if those documents are not written in English. Applicants are not permitted to translate the documents themselves. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for further information if needed.

TEACHER LICENSURE

Employment as a teacher in public and many private PreK-12 schools in Massachusetts requires an initial license from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Eligibility for the first Initial license includes completion of a state approved program. Wheelock graduate programs in Early Childhood (PreK-2), and the Integrated Elementary (1-6) and Special Education (PreK-8) are state approved and nationally recognized and the college is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE that was in 2013 renamed the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) following a merger with another accrediting association. Each of the nationally recognized programs leads to a teacher license for employment in Massachusetts, and is favored in terms of reciprocity for licensure with other states and internationally.

Wheelock College is the only private institution in the Commonwealth that is accredited by NCATE/CAEP and offers nationally recognized programs. Wheelock programs that are nationally recognized include Master’s in Care and Education program is also nationally recognized for teaching Prekindergarten/Kindergarten. Graduates qualify for the Lead Teacher credential issued by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. A version of the Care and Education Master’s program provides continuing practitioners an opportunity to focus on a new age level or area of study, also at the initial level.

ADVANCED LICENSURE

An advanced master’s program offered by the Language and Literacy Department leads to the Teacher of Reading license, an advanced specialist credential for work with all grade levels, PreK-12. Entrance to this program requires an initial teacher license and a year of experience under that license in the state that issued the credential.

CERTIFICATE OPTION PROGRAM

A certificate option program is available to recent graduates of Wheelock College who completed most of the requirements for an education major or licensure program. Examples of additional requirements include additional course content, additional field or clinical experience requirements, or additional licensure specific state or tests. A candidate can apply to enter the Certificate Option Program and complete the remaining or new state or Wheelock requirements for institutional endorsement Completion of program-specific MTEL exams is an entrance requirement for the Certificate Option Program.

Because the Certificate Option Program is not degree-granting, financial aid is not available. Explanation of tuition and fees is included in the Financial Information section below. Certificate option candidates develop a program plan with the Educator Licensure Officer and Department Chair prior to admission and registration in courses.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC PROGRAMS

CHILD LIFE AND FAMILY-CENTERED CARE PROGRAM

Applicants who wish to pursue a program of study in Child Life must submit a completed verification form and a favorable letter of reference documenting 100 hours experience in a pediatric health care setting under the direct supervision of a Child Life Specialist. A background in child development is preferred. An interview is required for this program.

EARLY CHILDHOOD AND THE INTEGRATED ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION MASTERS

These degree programs include full school year internships and in-depth mentoring by sponsoring teachers at partnering schools. All internships are processed through the Field Experience Office and involve the department chair and school principal. Each partner school has its own interview requirements and employment criteria for paid internships.

Since most students entering the profession must complete at least three prerequisite courses before beginning the internship in the fall, they should contact the Office of Field Experience (617-879-2165) as soon as they have made a deposit to attend Wheelock and have spoken with their academic advisor. The placement process, which can take up to two months, begins in March. Most placements for the following fall semester are completed by early June before public schools close. Some graduate internships are paid; however, a paid internship is not guaranteed; neither is acceptance to an internship by a partner school site.

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • Early submission of application materials is strongly encouraged for all programs.
  • Once all application materials are received, candidates are reviewed for admission consideration, and each applicant is notified, in writing, of acceptance or denial as soon as a decision has been made.
  • Accepted students who plan to enroll are required to return the enrollment form with a non-refundable tuition deposit of $100. This deposit is applicable to tuition charges.

DEFERRED ENROLLMENT

Students who have been offered admission to a master’s degree program offered at the Boston campus only may request deferral of admission or admission to the next appropriate term of entry if the program has set entry terms. To do so students must submit, in writing, an explanation for this request to the Office of Graduate Admissions. This request will then be discussed with the appropriate Dean or Department Chair for approval. Students who defer for one year may be asked to submit new letters of recommendation and a new resume to be used in the placement process for practicum and field experience. Students who have received approval for deferral of admission are expected to update the Office of Graduate Admission regarding any change in address, phone or contact information.

RE-ACTIVATED APPLICATIONS

Students who are accepted to a graduate program but do not enroll, or students who do not complete their application, may reactivate their status within a period of two years. For further information on reactivating an application, students should contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (617) 879-1114.

TRANSFER OF CREDIT

Graduate students are eligible to transfer up to six (6) graduate credit hours for courses successfully completed at an accredited institution of higher education. Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken pass/fail. No credits will be transferred unless the graduate student received a grade of B or higher in the course or if the credits in question have been earned within five years of the time of admission. The credits in question also may not duplicate any graduate or undergraduate work for which credit has been given at Wheelock College and cannot have been applied to an academic degree at any other institution. All requests for transfer of credit must be submitted within one year from the student’s date of matriculation.

To have credits considered for transfer, students must:

  • Obtain and complete the Transfer of Credit form available from the Office of Records and Registration;
  • Obtain written approval from the student's advisor;
  • Submit course description(s) of the courses successfully completed at the other institution for review by the Dean of the school or Department Chair or Director.
  • Submit to the Registrar an official transcript issued by the other institution.

APPROVAL OF FUTURE COURSE WORK FOR TRANSFER OF CREDIT

Matriculated students must obtain written approval from the Dean of their school before enrolling in graduate courses that are to be transferred for credit into a Wheelock College degree program. Only courses that are to be completed at an accredited graduate institution shall be eligible for such approval. Students will be held to a limit of 6 graduate transferred credit hours. Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken pass/fail. No credits will be transferred unless the graduate student receives a grade of B or higher in the course. The credits in question also may not duplicate any graduate or undergraduate work for which credit has been given at Wheelock College and cannot have been applied to an academic degree at any other institution. 

GRADUATE FINANCIAL INFORMATION

TUITION

On-campus courses:

$965 per credit- Education degree programs

$990 per credit- Social Work, Organizational Leadership and Child Life programs

Off-campus graduate courses and programs are offered for cohorts at varying rates. Likewise, Professional Development Institute fees may vary by term. For more information, refer to the registration guidelines published each semester.

TUITION PAYMENTS

Graduate tuition is charged on a per-credit basis.

AUDIT FEES

Students wishing to audit a course pay two-thirds of the tuition.

CERTIFICATE OPTION

Students in the Certificate Option Program pay the regular fees. (Financial Aid is not available for certificate programs)

ENROLLMENT FEE

For all students, an enrollment deposit of $100 is due when a student accepts Wheelock College's offer of admission. This fee is non-refundable but is applicable to tuition charges.

REGISTRATION FEES

For all students, a $10 fee is charged for registration every semester.

LATE REGISTRATION FEE

All students who register after the deadline are charged a $100 late fee in addition to the $10 registration fee.

TUITION VOUCHERS

In appreciation for the learning experiences provided to our practicum students, Wheelock College issues one voucher per student to each supervising practitioner with whom a student has completed a 3, 4, 5, or 6 credit practicum. Supervising practitioners may use their earned voucher for any course or professional development institute taking place on campus or at other locations. To view the complete voucher policy visit the College website at www.wheelock.edu/wheelock/academics/field-experience. If you have questions about the voucher policy, you may contact the Director of Field Experience by calling (617) 879-2237.

RETURNED CHECK FEE

A fee of $25 is charged to any student who submits a payment check or money order that the College's bank cannot honor due to insufficient funds or any other cause.

TUITION REFUND POLICY

Withdrawal

Refunds for withdrawal from a course and/or practicum will not be made without receipt of written notification of intent to withdraw by the Registrar.Net refundable fees paid (tuition less registration fees and general fees) will be refunded according to the college's refund schedule. For any undergraduate students taking graduate courses, the undergraduate refund schedule applies.

Drop/Add: Refunds for courses dropped during the Drop/Add period when a replacement course is NOT added will be refunded according to the college's refund schedule. When a student adds a course in place of a dropped course, the full tuition payment may be applied towards the added course.

REFUND SCHEDULE (STUDENTS ONLY ATTENDING FULL SEMESTER COURSES)*
WITHDRAWAL DATE AMOUNT OF REFUND
Before classes begin 100% of net refundable fees
From the day classes begin before the 2nd class meeting       75% of net refundable fees
After the 2nd class meeting before the 3rd class meeting 50% of net refundable fees
After the 3rd class meeting No refund

 

REFUND SCHEDULE (STUDENTS ONLY ATTENDING HALF SEMESTER COURSES)
WITHDRAWAL DATE AMOUNT OF REFUND
Before the course starts 100% of net refundable fees
1st–7th calendar day of the course       50% of net refundable tuition
After the 8th calendar day of the start of course No refund

 

REFUND SCHEDULE (STUDENTS ONLY ATTENDING PART-OFSEMESTER FORMAT COURSES)
WITHDRAWAL DATE AMOUNT OF REFUND
Before the course starts       100% of net refundable fees
After the course starts No refund

*Please note: Students enrolled in the online degree program follow the half semester refund schedule. Summer courses follow the half semester refund schedule

For more information, please contact Financial Services/Student Accounts at (617) 879-2236.

RETURN OF TITLE IV FUNDS

This policy applies to students who withdraw, are approved for a leave of absence or are suspended or academically dismissed from the institution. Tuition/fees and room and board refunds for these students are determined according to the following policy:

The term "Title IV Funds," which refers to the federal financial aid programs authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended) and for graduate students enrolled at Wheelock College, includes the following programs: Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.

A student's withdrawal date is:

  • The date the student began the institution's withdrawal process or officially notified the institution of intent to withdraw; or
  • The midpoint of the period of enrollment for a student who leaves without notifying the institution.

DETERMINING THE AMOUNT OF TITLE IV FUNDS TO BE RETURNED:

The amount of Title IV funds to be returned will be based on the number of days in attendance as a proportion to the number of days in the term or period of enrollment, up to the 60% point in the semester. There are no refunds after the 60% point in time, as the federal regulations view the aid has been "100% earned" after that point in time. A copy of the worksheet used for this calculation and examples can be requested from the Wheelock College Financial Aid Office.

In accordance with federal regulations, the return of Title IV funds is paid in the following order:

  • Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
  • Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
  • Federal TEACH Grant
  • Other Title IV assistance
  • Institutional and student responsibilities in regard to the Return of Title IV Funds

Wheelock College's responsibilities include:

  • Providing each student with the information given in this policy;
  • Identifying students who are affected by this policy;
  • Completing the Return of Title IV Funds calculation for students who are subject to the policy; and
  • Returning the Title IV Funds that are due the Title IV programs.

The student's responsibilities include:

  • Completing an official withdrawal form (available in the Registrar's office);
  • Notifying the Financial Aid Office (email: finaid@wheelock.edu) immediately of a pending withdrawal or leave, as federal refunds must be made within 30 days of the date of withdrawal or leave; and
  • Returning to the Title IV programs any funds that were disbursed directly to the student and for which the student was determined to be ineligible via the Return of Title IV Funds calculation.

Students have the right to obtain a final calculation of the Return of Federal Funds.

The procedures and policies listed above supersede those published previously and are subject to change at any time.

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS

Assistantships are awarded to students attending full-time (9 credits or more), on the basis of academic performance and professional experience. Assistantships involve research or scholarly work and related assistance to one of the academic departments at the College. Awards are one academic year in length. Students who wish to be considered for an assistantship should complete the Application for Graduate Assistantship on the financial aid page for graduate students under "scholarships and assistantships." Only admitted students who are starting their program in the summer or fall will be considered for graduate assistantships. Assistantships are awarded in the spring for a fall start.

GRADUATE MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

All incoming graduate students with an undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher will be considered for these scholarships for full or half-time study. Scholarships are awarded by the Admissions Committee based on undergraduate GPA, the application essay and references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis each term until the funds are awarded. There is no separate application for a merit scholarship. Applicants will be informed in writing if they have received a scholarship. Scholarships are a one-time award for incoming students and are not renewable. Scholarship recipients are notified by the Graduate Admissions Office.

COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIPS

Community Scholarships are available in select graduate programs to students who demonstrate a strong commitment in working with children and families prior to attending Wheelock. These scholarships also include our community partnerships with organizations such as CityYear and United Way. Scholarships are awarded at the time of admission and some have eligibility requirements. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information.

FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID FUNDS

FEDERAL STAFFORD LOANS

This fixed-rate loan program is available for graduate students enrolled at least half-time during the semester(s) within they wish to borrow. (Half-time for graduate students is five credits.) Students are eligible for the unsubsidized loan. The maximum Stafford loan is $20,500., If a student plans to apply for a Stafford loan, he or she must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Wheelock College graduate financial aid application which is available on the graduate financial aid page on the Wheelock website.

OTHER SOURCES OF AID

ALTERNATIVE LOANS

If students require additional resources to finance their education, other loans are available. These loans can be borrowed by the student or by another borrower on the student's behalf. Repayment typically begins within 45 days of disbursement, but deferments may be available. For loan information please visit the graduate financial aid section of Wheelock College's website (www.wheelock.edu/gradfinancialaid) or call the Financial Aid Office at (617) 879- 2443 to request a brochure.

PAID INTERNSHIPS

Several graduate education programs offer paid internships as an integral part of their program. This includes the Integrated Elementary and Special Education Program and the Early Childhood master’s programs. Entering students are required to interview and be offered an internship by a school site.

FINANCIAL AID FOR STUDENTS IN THE INTEGRATED ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION (IESE) PROGRAM

The School of Graduate and Professional Programs offers an innovative program leading to an M.S. in Integrated Elementary and Special Education. A hallmark of this program is that all students participate in a full-time teaching internship; employed teachers can request the use of their classroom as their internship site. This requires principal support and approval of the school site as meeting Wheelock clinical site requirements, including the opportunity to work with diverse students and use of the MA Curriculum Frameworks and State Common Core Standards. Internships with stipends ranging up to $10,000 or more, depending on the school district, are offered through several partner schools in the Boston area. IESE students are not assured of having a paid internship.

POLICY ON SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS FOR GRADUATE FINANCIAL AID RECIPIENTS

In order to remain eligible for assistance, financial aid recipients must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards established in accordance with federal regulations. The academic progress of aid applicants and recipients must be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office annually. This evaluation will generally occur in May after semester grades are posted as a part of our determination of eligibility for the next academic year (summer session is considered the beginning of the academic year for financial aid purposes). Students applying for financial aid are also subject to the standards at the point of financial aid application. The Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards for Financial Aid include quantitative and qualitative measures.

The standards used for measuring GR Satisfactory Academic Progress are:

  • Quantitative: Completion Rate
  • Quantitative: Maximum Attempted Credits
  • Qualitative: Cumulative Grade Point Average

Incompletes (I), failures (F), continuation (R), or withdrawal grades (WD) are not considered earned credit hours and repeated courses and remedial coursework are not counted as either attempted or earned credit hours. Transfer credits and Colleges of the Fenway credits accepted towards the student’s academic degree are counted as attempted and earned credit hours when measuring the maximum time frame to complete the degree. Please note, students who change their majors, or choose to add a minor or certificate will normally be expected to complete all degree requirements before the maximum attempted credits allowed

The completion rate standard for financial aid consideration is calculated by dividing the cumulative credit hours earned by the cumulative credit hours attempted. To remain in good standing, students are expected to successfully complete at least 80 percent of the course work attempted. Students falling below the minimum completion rate of 80 percent are placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

For example, a student earning 12 of 18 attempted graduate credit hours would enter Financial Aid suspension. (12/18 = 67%).

The standard for maximum attempted credits is that students must proceed through their program of study with no more than 150 percent of the total courses required to attain each grade level. Progress toward program completion is determined by comparing the total number of credit hours attempted (including course withdrawals and failures) to the number of credit hours successfully completed.

For example, if a student is pursuing a graduate degree requiring 36 credit hours, no financial aid consideration would be available after attempting 54 credit hours, even if the student has not yet earned the graduate degree and meets all other satisfactory academic progress standards. (36 x 150% = 54)

The standard for cumulative grade point average for financial aid consideration, is that students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher. Students falling below the minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 are placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

Students failing either the quantitative or qualitative measures are placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students with deficiencies and/or whose aid is subject to suspension are notified at their permanent address. The student is responsible for paying his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. and will not be reimbursed for period(s) of financial aid suspension. Students on suspension status who improve their academic performance to the required completion rate and cumulative GPA without exceeding maximum attempted credits will return to good standing and are eligible for financial aid consideration. Also, the mere passage of time will not restore eligibility to a student who has lost aid eligibility for failure to make satisfactory progress. Students exceeding the maximum attempted credits immediately enter Financial Aid Suspension status and may no longer receive financial aid for the declared program of study.

Students who have been academically suspended or dismissed from the College but who are subsequently given permission to re-enroll are not automatically eligible to continue to participate in federal, state, or institutional aid programs. Graduate Review Board (GRB) decisions are totally separate from funding decisions.

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION APPEALS

Students with significant and documented extenuating circumstances may appeal to regain aid eligibility. Students may submit a written appeal with documentation to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must explain, and documentation must support, the unusual circumstances that prevented the student from meeting required academic standards. Unusual circumstances may include: death of a close family member, extended illness, personal injury or other extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation may include: death certificate, physician’s/counseling psychologist statement, police report, etc. During the appeal process the student must be prepared to pay his/her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc., without expectation of financial aid reimbursement. Students whose appeals are approved are granted one additional semester of aid, and in general, a student will be granted only one waiver during their academic career. Students are expected to meet the standards of academic progress upon completion of the semester for which they were granted a waiver.

FINANCIAL AID FOR SUMMER TERM

The Summer term starts in May and includes all sessions through August. Summer term can be made up of courses that run the entire span of the term (May through August), or courses made up of 2 mini sessions, Summer A are courses starting in May and ending in June and Summer B are courses starting in July through August. Financial aid in the summer term is very limited. The amount of financial aid available depend on what financial aid a student may have already received during the previous fall and spring semesters, as well as what their enrollment plans are for the summer and upcoming fall and spring terms. (Note: students taking courses only in Summer A, May–June, will only be eligible for aid if they have remaining eligibility from the prior academic year). To be eligible for loans students must be enrolled half-time (5 credits), students enrolled less than half-time are not eligible for financial aid. If you were eligible for a Federal Stafford loan and you were not enrolled full-time during the previous fall and/or spring semesters, and did not use the maximum Stafford loan amount of $20,500 during the prior fall and spring terms, you may be eligible for those remaining funds for summer. Some students may be eligible for Stafford loans from the upcoming academic year if they will be enrolled in summer courses that span the entire summer term, or are enrolled in at least 1 credit during the Summer B term. Students may contact the Financial aid office if plan to attend summer courses and need information about financial aid. 

GRADUATE ACADEMIC POLICIES

A. GRADUATE GRADING POLICY

GRADES AND COURSE STATUS

For graduate students, Wheelock College uses a system of letter grades that are equivalent to the following numerical quality points.

Letter Grade         Quality         Point Equivalent        
A 4.00 Superior
A- 3.67 Excellent
B+ 3.33 Very good
B 3.00 Good
B- 2.67 Satisfactory
F 0.00 Failing
R 0.00 Satisfactory progress in a course that spans more than one semester

In addition, the following status may appear in a transcript

AU         0.00         Audit        
I 0.00 Incomplete
WD 0.00 Withdrawal
P (Pass) Pass. Not included in grade-point average.

Each semester at registration, a graduate student may elect to take courses under the Pass/Fail option. Students must declare in writing to the Office of Academic Records and Registration their choices of the Pass/Fail option before the second class meeting. After this deadline, neither students nor instructors may change the grading election. Students who are considering pursuing study beyond the Master’s Degree level are encouraged to take at least one-half of their courses for letter grades. Practica and seminars taken in tandem with practica must be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. A grade of Pass (P) does not affect a student’s cumulative grade point average.

An Incomplete (I) may be given to a student only for health reasons or in extraordinary circumstances. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to request an Incomplete. Unless the student has requested an incomplete, the faculty cannot assign an incomplete.

Satisfactory in a continuing course (R) is the grade submitted by an instructor to indicate satisfactory progress in a continuing independent study, field study, thesis, or course that has been approved by the instructor and the appropriate Academic Dean as a two-semester study, thesis, or course. At the end of the second semester, a letter grade, Pass, or Incomplete will be given. If an “R” is changed to an Incomplete in an independent study, field study, or course, the student must comply with the Incomplete procedures described above. If an "R" grade is changed to Incomplete for a thesis, the student must complete the thesis within one calendar year. A continuation fee of $100 will be charged for each semester that the student carries an Incomplete only in this circumstance. If the completed work is not submitted by the deadline, the Incomplete will automatically be converted to a failing grade of "F".

Withdrawal (WD) is recorded by the Office of Academic Records and Registration when a student officially withdraws from a course before the course withdrawal deadline published in the academic calendar. A faculty member cannot submit a request for withdrawal. Only a student can submit that request.

A graduate student who wishes to audit (AU) a course may do so with the approval of the instructor and the appropriate Academic Dean. To audit a course, a student must register for the course at registration or within the Drop/Add period. The tuition fee for auditing a course is two-thirds of the normal course tuition.

INCOMPLETES

It is the student’s responsibility to request an incomplete or "I" by submitting to the instructor a completed Request for Incomplete form. If a student makes such a request for more than one course, he or she must complete and submit a separate form for each course (available in the Office of Records and Registration). The instructor, at his or her sole discretion, may grant the student’s request. The instructor will submit the completed form to the office of Academic Records and Registration at the same time that he or she submits final grades.

All incomplete work must be submitted by the student to the instructor so that the instructor may submit a change of grade to the Office of Records and Registration before the deadline for submitting changes of grades. Students who plan to enter a practicum in the semester following the granting of an Incomplete must finish all work prior to beginning the practicum. If a grade has not been submitted by the deadline for submitting changes of grades, the grade of "I" will be administratively changed to a failing grade of "F".

DEADLINE TO CHANGE A FINAL GRADE

A faculty member may change a grade he or she has assigned no later than 12 months after the original grade submission deadline. After this time the students and instructor must petition the appropriate academic review board for an exception to the grade change policy. Once a student’s degree is conferred, the student’s academic statistics are considered final and no grade changes are permitted. This policy is effective as of fall 2009.

ACADEMIC STATUS (GRADUATE STUDENTS)

Graduate students who are registered for nine or more credit hours in the fall or spring semester or six total credit hours during the summer session are considered full-time. Graduate students who enroll for fewer than these numbers of credit hours are considered part-time. A student’s status may change from one semester to the next. Students may register for a maximum of fifteen credit hours per semester for the fall and spring semesters, and a maximum of nine for a summer session. Permission to register for additional credit hours must be obtained in advance from the student’s advisor and the appropriate Academic Dean. To remain eligible for most types of financial aid, graduate students must enroll in a minimum of five credit hours each semester.

ACADEMIC STANDARDS (GRADUATE STUDENTS)

GOOD ACADEMIC STANDING

A 2.67 (B-) semester and cumulative average is the minimum acceptable standard for all graduate students. A graduate student must maintain this standard to graduate from the College. Graduate students whose averages are below 2.67 are automatically placed on academic probation. In addition, a student must demonstrate a strong likelihood that he or she will be able to complete successfully the requirements of a graduate program. The Graduate Review Board monitors a graduate student’s academic progress.

TRANSFER CREDIT

Graduate students may transfer up to 6 graduate credit hours for courses successfully completed at other accredited institutions of higher education by:

  • obtaining and completing the Transfer of Credit form available at the Office of Academic Records and Registration;
  • obtaining the written approval of the student’s advisor;
  • submitting course description(s) of the courses successfully completed at the other institution for review by the appropriate Academic Dean or designee; and
  • submitting to the Registrar an official transcript issued by the other institution.

Transfer credits will not be awarded for classes that are taken Pass/Fail. No credits will be transferred unless the graduate student received a grade of “B” or higher in the course. Usually courses transferred from other accredited institutions will be considered elective credit. A transferred course may be used to fulfill a required course only by successful petition to the Graduate Review Board. Credits completed more than 6 years prior to the date of admission will not be accepted.

WAIVER POLICY

Graduate students with excellent records of previous graduate coursework and/or extensive work experience may request a substitution from certain graduate program requirements.

Graduate students who wish to reduce the total number of credit hours required for their programs may request a reduction of program credit hour requirements not to exceed six credit hours to the Graduate Review Board (GRB). Regardless of the reduction granted, students must take at least twenty-seven credit hours at Wheelock to obtain a Master’s Degree.

Graduate students who wish to request exemption from graduate program requirements should discuss the appropriateness of the request with their advisors. Course Exemption Request forms are available in the Office of Academic Records and Registration. Requests should be submitted to the student’s advisor with a brief written statement and evidence of previous coursework or work experience in support of the request.

Requests for course substitutions are reviewed by the graduate student’s advisor and the appropriate Academic Dean. Requests for practicum exemptions, credit hour reductions, and exemptions from graduate program requirements are reviewed by the graduate student’s advisor, the appropriate Academic Dean, and the Graduate Review Board. The Graduate Review Board reviews requests on a monthly basis during the fall and spring semesters.

Requests to the Graduate Review Board must be submitted with supporting documentation at least ten days in advance of the next meeting of the Board. Students are notified in writing of decisions regarding approval or disapproval of requests for course substitutions, practicum exemptions, and credit hour reductions.

INDEPENDENT OR FIELD STUDY

Matriculated graduate students who have demonstrated competence in conducting advanced research and study are encouraged to explore an Independent Study or Field Study in lieu of course electives. An Independent Study or Field Study may not usually replace non-elective courses in a student’s program of study.

Independent Study (one to three credit hours) is based on in-depth research in a selected area. Graduate students choosing Field Study (one to three credit hours) may combine coursework with field-based research or may conduct a Field Study of issues within schools, hospitals, social work agencies or other professional sites. Students may not usually apply more than a total of six credit hours of Independent Study or Field Study toward a Master’s Degree program.

Each student must discuss the proposed study; the format, content, and length of the final paper or project; and the appropriate number of credit hours with his or her advisor who will help the student identify an appropriate project advisor who must be a Wheelock faculty. The project advisor and the student must agree on a plan of implementation, supervision, and evaluation. The student must prepare a detailed proposal according to the criteria and processes described in the Independent Study/Field Study Request form, which is available in the Office of Academic Records and Registration. No student will be permitted to register for Independent Study or Field Study without prior approval of the appropriate Academic Dean.

ACADEMIC WARNING, PROBATION AND DISMISSAL

ACADEMIC PROBATION

Students whose semester or cumulative averages drop below the level of good standing (2.67) are automatically placed on Academic Probation. The Graduate Review Board may recommend a range of actions for such students including dismissal from the College.

Students who receive a grade of “F” will be placed on probation no matter what their average. Students who receive a second grade of "F" will have their cases automatically reviewed by the Graduate Review Board for consideration for dismissal from the College or other actions.

The Graduate Review Board will attempt to notify promptly any student who has been placed on Academic Probation. However, even if a student is not notified, he or she is on Academic Probation.

REMOVAL FROM ACADEMIC PROBATION

At the conclusion of each semester, the Graduate Review Board will review the record of each graduate student who has been placed on Academic Probation for the previous semester. The Board may remove the student from Academic Probation if the student has:

  • After receiving a failing grade of "F" in the previous semester has demonstrated sufficient academic progress as determined by the Graduate Review Board
  • After failing to achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.67 or higher has achieved a minimum 2.67 cumulative grade-point average or higher.

The Graduate Review Board decides, in its sole discretion, whether to remove a graduate student from academic probation. The decision of the Graduate Review Board regarding academic probation is final.

ACADEMIC DISMISSAL

A graduate student who receives two failing grades of “F” in one or more courses, or who violates the standards for academic honesty, or who fails to be removed from Academic Probation after a semester, may be dismissed from the College following a review by the Graduate Review Board. Such a student will not be allowed to register for additional graduate program courses. A graduate student who has been dismissed for academic reasons may apply to the Graduate Review Board for readmission after one semester.

The Graduate Review Board decides, in its sole discretion, whether or not to dismiss a student for academic reasons. Students complete this program in 8 semesters, with the first summer off as reflected in the Course Sequence below. The MSW program begins in the fall semester.

MINIMUM ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS RECEIVING FINANCIAL AID (GRADUATE STUDENTS)

In order to remain eligible for assistance, financial aid applicants must meet satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards established in accordance with federal regulations. The academic progress of aid applicants and recipients must be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office annually. This evaluation will generally occur in May after semester grades are posted as a part of our determination of eligibility for the next academic year. (Summer session is considered the beginning of the academic year for financial aid purposes). Students applying for financial aid are also subject to the standards at the point of financial aid application. The Graduate Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Standards for Financial Aid include quantitative and qualitative measures.

The standards used for measuring GR Satisfactory Academic Progress are:

  • Quantitative: Completion Rate
  • Quantitative: Maximum Attempted Credits
  • Qualitative: Cumulative Average

The completion rate standard for financial aid consideration is calculated by dividing the cumulative credit hours earned by the cumulative credit hours attempted. To remain in good standing, students are expected to successfully complete at least 80 percent of the course work attempted. Students falling below the minimum completion rate of 80 percent are placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

For example, a student earning 12 of 18 attempted graduate credit hours would enter Financial Aid suspension, (12/18 = 67%).

The standard for maximum attempted credits requires that students must proceed through their program of study with not more than 150 percent of the total courses required to attain each grade level. Progress toward program completion is determined by comparing the total number of credit hours attempted (including course withdrawals and failures) to the number of credit hours successfully completed.

For example, if a student is pursuing a graduate degree requiring 36 credit hours, no financial aid consideration would be available after attempting 54 credit hours, even if the student has not yet earned the graduate degree and meets all other satisfactory academic progress standards, (36 x 150% = 54).

The standard for cumulative grade point average for financial aid consideration requires students to maintain a cumulative average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher. Students falling below the minimum cumulative average of 2.0 are placed on Financial Aid Suspension.

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

Students failing either the quantitative or qualitative measures are placed on Financial Aid Suspension. Students with deficiencies and/or whose aid is subject to suspension are notified at their permanent address. The student is responsible for paying his or her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc. and will not be reimbursed for period(s) of financial aid suspension. Students on suspension status who improve their academic performance to the required completion rate and cumulative GPA without exceeding maximum attempted credits will return to good standing and are eligible for financial aid consideration. Students exceeding the maximum attempted credits immediately enter Financial Aid Suspension status and may no longer receive financial aid for the declared program of study.

APPEAL OF FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION

Students with significant and documented extenuating circumstances may appeal to regain aid eligibility. Students may submit the SAP Appeal form (available from the Financial Aid Office) along with documentation to the Financial Aid Office. The appeal must explain, and documentation must support, the unusual circumstances that prevented the student from meeting required academic standards. Unusual circumstances may include: death of a close family member, extended illness, personal injury or other extraordinary circumstances. Supporting documentation may include: death certificate, physician/counseling psychologist’s statement, police report, etc. During the appeal process the student must be prepared to pay his or her own expenses, such as tuition, fees, books, supplies, etc., without expectation of financial aid reimbursement. Students whose appeals are approved are granted one additional semester of aid. In general, a student will be granted only one waiver during their academic career. Students are expected to meet the standards of academic progress upon completion of the semester for which they were granted a waiver.

ACADEMIC APPEALS

A Wheelock College student has a right to appeal a final grade or academic dismissal. A student may appeal a final grade or academic dismissal to the Academic Appeals Board. Undertaking such an appeal is an extraordinary matter.

NON-MATRICULATED STUDENT POLICY FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS

Wheelock welcomes students who have not yet been admitted into a graduate program or who are not interested in matriculating into a graduate program, to register for courses as non-matriculated students.

All non-matriculated students who have attended six credit hours or more of graduate courses will be automatically placed on academic hold and will not be permitted to register for additional graduate program courses without obtaining prior approval from the Director of Graduate Admissions.

Non-matriculated students who are considering applying to a Wheelock graduate degree program are strongly encouraged to seek advice from the Director of Graduate Admissions and the Academic Dean prior to registering for any graduate program courses. The Academic Dean will provide information regarding the graduate admissions process and how credit hours from graduate program courses may be applied to Wheelock graduate degree programs. Students may also request permission to register for one additional three-credit graduate program course during the semester that their applications for admission are being reviewed. Such permission is granted or denied in the sole discretion of the appropriate Academic Dean after consultation with program faculty members.

Non-matriculated students who are not interested in enrolling in a Wheelock graduate degree program, but who are interested in pursuing course work at the graduate level for reasons of personal enrichment or professional development, may request Lifelong Learner Student status. Once a student is granted Lifelong Learner Student status, he or she may take an unlimited number of graduate program courses, excluding those courses restricted to matriculated students. Excluded courses include, but are not limited to, all practica and clinical experiences, independent and field studies, and other courses designated as restricted by the appropriate Academic Dean.

LENGTH OF TIME IN A PROGRAM (GRADUATE STUDENTS)

Graduate students are required to complete their graduate degree programs of study within five years of the semester of matriculation. Part-time students who have not completed their programs of study within this time limit must, no later than one month before the end of their fifth year since matriculation, consult with their academic advisor and Academic Dean and submit a letter of petition to the Graduate Review Board requesting an extension. A rationale for delaying completion should be included. Students should be aware that delay in completing their degree requirements may result in their inability to complete their original program of study, as the requirements and availability of programs may change over time.

The Graduate Review Board may choose to accept or reject the student's petition. The decision of the Graduate Review Board is final, and there is no right of appeal this decision.

WITHDRAWAL FROM THE COLLEGE

VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL

If a student wants to withdraw from the College, he or she must complete an Official Withdrawal form (available at the Office of Academic Records and Registration) and meet with the Registrar or his or her designee. Failure to complete this form in a timely manner may affect the student’s financial aid status. A student will not be removed from the College billing list until the withdrawal procedure has been completed.

NON-VOLUNTARY WITHDRAWAL

When a student is required to withdraw from the College for academic reasons, a nonvoluntary withdrawal occurs. See Section V.I (Academic Warning, Probation and Dismissal) discussing Academic Probation.

A student who does not register for courses within the first two weeks of a semester, and who has not requested a leave of absence, will be deemed to have withdrawn from the College.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

All graduate students who plan to interrupt their studies for one semester or a period longer than one semester are required to submit a Leave of Absence form. This form is available on MyWheelock or in the Office of Academic Records and should be completed as soon as the student decides to take a leave of absence. The student should obtain all necessary signatures and return the form to Academic Records. Failure to complete this form in a timely manner may affect any refund the student may receive. Normally, students may request a leave of absence for no more than three consecutive semesters. At the end of an approved leave of absence, and prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to resume her or his studies, the student must submit to the appropriate Academic Dean a Request for Reinstatement form in order to reactivate her or his status and to be able to register for courses.

If, at the end of an approved leave of absence, a student does not submit a Request for Reinstatement form in order to resume his or her studies, the student will then automatically be considered withdrawn from Wheelock. All withdrawn students are automatically placed on academic hold and are not permitted to register for additional graduate courses without submitting to the appropriate Academic Dean a Request for Reinstatement form with supporting documentation. This Request for Reinstatement is then forwarded to the Graduate Review Board. In ordinary circumstances, all graduate students must complete their degree programs within five years of the semester of matriculation. If a leave of absence for a student is approved, the amount of approved leave time does not count as part of the five years allowed for completion. Students may not retroactively request a leave of absence but must acquire permission before the beginning of the first semester of leave of absence.

Graduate students who interrupt their studies for a period longer than one semester without acquiring in advance of the first semester a formally approved leave of absence will be automatically considered withdrawn from the graduate program. All withdrawn students will be placed on academic hold and will not be permitted to register for additional graduate courses without first submitting to the appropriate Academic Dean a Request for Reinstatement form with supporting documentation. This Request for Reinstatement is then forwarded to the Graduate Review Board. In these cases, the semesters of unauthorized academic inactivity will count as part of the five years total allowed for completion of a degree program.

REINSTATEMENT/READMISSION TO THE COLLEGE (GRADUATE STUDENTS)

A graduate student in good academic standing who has withdrawn and wishes to seek readmission within five years of the date of his or her matriculation should complete the Request for Reinstatement. This Request for Reinstatement is then forwarded to the Graduate Review Board. Students seeking to return to the College more than five years after their initial matriculation should follow the admissions procedures in the catalog.

A student who has been required to withdraw by the Graduate Review Board for academic reasons may request to be reinstated after the length of time stipulated by the Graduate Review Board (see section D). The student must complete the Request for Reinstatement form. The student will also be required to provide supporting documents such as college transcripts, letters of recommendation from employers, or letters of support for readmission. The Graduate Review Board will review the supporting documents and make the final decision regarding reinstatement.

PRACTICA

STANDARDS FOR ENTERING A PRACTICUM

Normally, students must be admitted into a graduate program for at least one semester prior to the semester in which they wish to begin their first practicum. Full-time graduate students in Education and Child Life programs should consult with the Field Experience Office as soon as they are admitted to discuss placement options. Part-time graduate students should meet with the Field Experience staff early in the semester before they plan to begin a pre-practicum, practicum or internship. Deadlines for graduate students to register for practica can be obtained from the student’s academic advisor. Social Work students should plan a practicum with the Social Work Field Coordinator.

Students should register for a practicum by submitting a course registration form to the Office of Academic Records and Registration during the registration period. Pre-practicum courses prepare students for working with children and adults in professional settings and help to assess students’ abilities to work independently and their readiness to do the required practicum work. Some graduate programs require certain courses to be taken prior to or concurrently with practica. Graduate students should consult with their advisors to determine what courses and field based pre-practica are required to enter different practica. Only matriculated graduate students may take a practicum. A graduate student on academic probation may not enter a practicum.

INCOMPLETE GRADES BEFORE ENTERING A PRACTICUM

Students may not receive incomplete grades in any courses the semester prior to entering or continuing on a practicum. Any exception to this policy must be approved by the Scholastic Review Board or the Graduate Review Board.

REINSTATEMENT IN A PRACTICUM

A graduate student who has failed a practicum may request reinstatement in a practicum by:

  • completing a Request for Reinstatement in a Practicum form (available on MyWheelock and from the Office of Academic Advising);
  • collecting documentation (e.g., written references) to support his or her reinstatement in a practicum; and
  • submitting the completed form and all supporting documentation to the Graduate Review Board at least one semester prior to the requested semester for reinstatement.

A graduate student who voluntarily withdraws from a practicum for health considerations must complete the above steps and also submit documentation that the health considerations have been resolved or that the student may fulfill the requirements of the practicum with reasonable accommodations.

WITHDRAWING FROM A PRACTICUM OR INTERNSHIP

A student who withdraws from a practicum for any reason, other than health or extraordinary considerations, at any time during the semester will automatically receive a failing grade of "F."

A student may withdraw from a practicum or internship for health considerations or extraordinary circumstances if, and only if, the student was performing satisfactorily at the time of the withdrawal and obtains the approval of the Scholastic Review Board (for undergraduate students) or of the Graduate Review Board (for graduate students).

To request withdrawal from a practicum or internship for health considerations, a student must submit:

  • a written petition describing the health considerations;
  • a written statement from the student’s College supervisor stating that the student was performing satisfactorily at the time of withdrawal; and
  • a written statement from a medical or mental health professional describing the student’s health considerations and explaining the reason(s) for the student’s inability to satisfy all the requirements of the practicum.

If a student is not able to satisfy the requirements of an internship, the following procedures must be followed:

  • the student and the student’s College supervisor must meet and discuss the student’s performance;
  • the student’s College supervisor will prepare and deliver to the student a written evaluation of the student’s performance and summarize all areas needing improvement and establish goals;
  • if the student does not satisfy the established goals, the student’s College supervisor will inform the Department Chair, Academic Dean and the Director of Field Experience or Social Work Field Coordinator;
  • the Academic Dean will meet with the student’s College supervisor and any other interested parties to discuss alternative courses of action; and
  • the Academic Dean will inform the student of the prescribed course of action.

If the prescribed course of action is the student’s withdrawal from the internship, the student will receive a failing grade of "F."

If the student is placed on academic probation or is dismissed from the College for academic reasons, the student must immediately withdraw from the internship.

GRIEVOUS BEHAVIOR AT PLACEMENT

Some behavior is so egregious that it will result in immediate termination from a placement. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to, inflicting or threatening to inflict injury to a client, agency staff member, or other person related to the performance of professional duties; abusing controlled substances or alcohol so that it affects performance; becoming sexually involved with clients or site personnel; or engaging in illegal activities that reflect upon the student’s ability to perform professionally or that reflect negatively upon the profession.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT AT A PLACEMENT SITE

Wheelock College believes that field training is an integral part of a student’s professional preparation and development. To this end, the College conducts its practicum, internship, field placement, and other off-campus learning programs. The College endeavors to place students in educationally suitable positions at various public and private institutions and at other locations. On occasion, placement sites hire students to perform work outside of an academically-approved placement and beyond the College’s oversight or control.

The College expresses no opinion and makes no representations that a placement site is a safe and adequately supervised work environment for employment or that a student is qualified to perform work at a placement site, outside of an academically-approved placement. The College assumes no responsibility for providing insurance for students against harm suffered or for liability incurred as a result of employment outside of an academicallyapproved placement. Such insurance and any liability resulting from such employment are the responsibility of the student and the employer. The College reserves the right to change a student’s placement if, in the College’s sole discretion, it determines that a student’s outside employment at a placement site interferes with or compromises the educational goals of the academically-approved placement.

The College provides a copy of this policy and a Student Employer Acknowledgment and Release form to each placement site. Students seeking employment outside an academically-approved placement at a placement site are responsible for obtaining a signed Acknowledgement and Release from the placement site. In addition, students registering for academically-approved placements are required to sign an Acknowledgment and Release agreeing to this policy. Students under the age of eighteen must provide the College with an Acknowledgment and Release signed by their parents or legal guardians. These Acknowledgments and Releases will be maintained in students’ permanent records in the Office of Registrar.

CORI (CRIMINAL OFFENDER RECORD INQUIRY) AND OTHER BACKGROUND CHECKS

Massachusetts requires certain agencies serving children and the elderly to conduct a Criminal Offender Record Inquiry (CORI) background check on all volunteers and staff. Students should be aware that schools, hospitals, community service agencies and other placement sites will most likely run a CORI, Department of Social Services (DSS) and sometimes a Sex Offender Record Inquiry (SORI) background check on everyone working and volunteering at their site. Due to the nature of Wheelock’s curriculum and its requirements for placements at such sites, students should expect to go through the CORI process.

ACADEMIC BOARDS

The Academic Appeals Board is discussed in section C (Academic Appeals Board).

The members of the Graduate Review Board are:

  • Dean of Arts and Sciences, or his or her designee;
  • Dean of Education, Social Work, Child Life and Family Studies or his or her designee;
  • A faculty member for each of the academic schools of the College appointed by Faculty Senate;
  • Registrar;
  • Vice President for Academic Affairs, or his or her designee; and
  • Dean or Associate Dean of Student Success.

The Graduate Review Board interprets and applies the academic policies, procedures and standards of the Graduate programs.

The primary roles of the Graduate Review Board are:

  • to implement academic policy;
  • to place students on and remove students from academic probation;
  • to review applications for readmission to the College;
  • to dismiss students from the College for academic reasons; and
  • to consider students’ special academic requests.

Any request by a graduate student for the Graduate Review Board to consider a matter must be submitted in writing, together with all supporting materials, at least forty-eight hours before the next scheduled meeting of the Board.

ACADEMIC RECORDS

The Office of Academic Records and Registration maintains the academic transcript of each student. A student’s transcript is available to a student upon written request. An official transcript bears the seal of the College and the signature of the Registrar. A transcript issued directly to a student is designated “Issued to Student.” To obtain a copy of his or her transcript, a student must complete the Transcript Request form available on the Registrar’s page of the Wheelock College website and pay a fee for each transcript requested. To obtain an official transcript or his or her degree, a student must also have satisfied his or her financial obligations to the College.

A file for every current student is maintained in the Office of Academic Records and Registration and in the Office of Academic Advising and Academic Assistance. Students may inspect these files upon request. The Registrar determines final degree eligibility as outlined by program requirements in the Wheelock College Catalog. Once a degree is conferred, no grades can be changed on a student’s record

DEGREES, DIPLOMAS AND GRADUATION CEREMONY PARTICIPATION

Wheelock College confers undergraduate and graduate degrees three times each year in May, August, and December. Students must successfully complete all degree requirements to receive their degree and diploma from Wheelock College. Wheelock conducts a Boston-based graduation ceremony each May to celebrate as a community the achievements of its degree recipients and program completers.

Students who are not degree recipients or program completers are eligible to participate in the Boston graduation ceremony if they are within eight credit hours of the total course credits required for the degree program. Other graduation ceremonies take place at selected national and international program delivery sites to honor the achievements of off-campus Wheelock College students. The President of Wheelock College will consult with administration, faculty, and students to decide when and where to host these off-campus graduation ceremonies.

Complete information regarding diplomas, the process of degree completion, and academic eligibility to participate in the commencement ceremony is available from the Office of Academic Records and Registration.

CREDIT HOUR POLICY

Wheelock’s criteria for the credit hour complies with the policies of the U.S. Department of Education and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. A graduate credit hour requires 50 minutes of class time per week and no less than 3 hours of work outside of class.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE POLICY INFORMATION

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE

Wheelock College recognizes the level of academic achievement represented by the successful completion of coursework in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Academic credit is awarded on a case-by-case basis to students who have participated in the International Baccalaureate program.

Four credits may be awarded for scores of four (4), five (5) or six (6) for each higher level examination. All course work and credits are subject to department review.

SCHOOL       SCORE EXAM TYPE       CREDITS AWARDED
(PER SUBJECT AREA)
Emmanuel 4–7 Higher level At least one course
Simmons 7 Higher level Up to 8
Simmons 5–6 Higher level 4
Bridgewater 4–7 Higher level 6
Suffolk Full IB diploma
4–7
Higher level Sophomore standing
Credit awarded
UMass Boston 4–7 Higher level 6–8
Wheelock* 4–7 Higher level 4

LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION INFORMATION

CHILD LIFE SPECIALIST/CHILD LIFE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION

Certification as a Child Life Specialist is available through the Child Life Council (CLC). To become a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS), students must pass an examination that is administered by the CLC two times per year in May and November. All eligibility requirements must be completed by the time of application to take the examination. Once eligibility is approved, the student may take the certification examination. The student may take this examination as many times as he or she needs to pass it, as long as the current eligibility requirements are met. For more information on Child Life Certification requirements, contact the Child Life Council at Child Life Council, Inc., 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 240, Rockville, MD 20852-2529, or via their web site at www.childlife.org, or call 301-881-7090.

EDUCATOR LICENSURE:

  • Massachusetts Department Of Early Education And Care (Deec) Offers: Birth to Pre-K/ Kindergarten teacher License and director license
  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Licensure (DESE) offers PreK to 12th grade Licensure FOR lead teacher positions in PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS

Wheelock students who complete a post baccalaureate licensure or master’s program that is approved for Initial teacher licensure in Massachusetts (including passing state licensure examinations), are eligible for institutional endorsement for that license in Massachusetts. Once a teacher is employed in a position that requires the Initial License, the license is activated and valid for employment in Massachusetts for up to five consecutive years. Within five years after the license is activated, it must be advanced to a Professional level. The Professional license can be renewed every 5 years indefinitely. At the time of this publication, requirements for Professional Licensure include three years of teaching in the field and at age/ grade level of the Initial License after being eligible for that license; mentoring in the first year of teaching with the license; 50 hours of supervised experience beyond the first year of mentoring; and course work approved by the state for Professional Licensure. Requirements for the professional license also include a master’s and completion of a state approved 12-credit content course cluster (if a student holds a master’s degree that is not related to the subject content area(s) for that license).

Graduate state-approved and nationally recognized (accredited) teacher preparation programs offered at Wheelock lead to institutional endorsement for the Massachusetts Initial Teacher License in three graduate areas and one advanced specialist license:

  • Early Childhood: Teacher of Students With and Without Disabilities (PreK-2)
  • Elementary (1-6)
  • Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)
  • Advanced Specialist, Initial Teacher of Reading license (All Levels)
  • Advancing an Initial license to the Professional level

The college offers state-approved 12-credit programs for Professional Licensure for teachers who hold a master’s in any field and an Initial teacher license they want to advance to the Professional level. Requirements for Professional licensure include three years of experience under their Initial license, and mentoring in the early years of teaching. The 12-credit programs offer teachers content that is advanced beyond what is required to obtain the Initial license they hold, and do not require a master’s for enrollment. There are a number of content variations from which to select. All are designed to advance one of more of the initial licenses that are sought at the baccalaureate and post baccalaureate levels through Wheelock Educator Preparation Programs. This serves the continuing professional development needs of Wheelock alumni, and teachers in partner schools, and other educators. While teachers can an select appropriate a 12-credit certificate program to advance their initial license without prior state approval, Wheelock has various programs approved in advance by the state to provide certainty through advanced state approval and to support Wheelock graduates and teachers from our partner schools.

Existing approved programs are proposed for renewed approval in fall 2014 by the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Approved programs are listed below. One new program that is proposed for approval for the first time is the Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate.

The following 12-credit content selections or certificate programs may:

  • be suitable to advance other licenses that are not listed. Teachers are encouraged to make that decision based on the content requirements as listed in the MA Regulations for Licensure and Program Approval for the Initial license they hold.
  • can be advanced to the professional level by the 12-credit certificates formerly called course clusters (listed beneath each license). The Teacher of Reading Master’s Program is also approved by the state to advance several initial licenses to the professional level.
  • Early Childhood PreK-K Initial License can be advanced by:
  • English Language Learners/English as a Second Language (12 credits)
  • Reading (12-credits)
  • Special Education (12-credits)
  • Advancing Math Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6 (12-credit online program)
  • Advancing Science Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6 (12-credit online program)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (12-credits) (pending approval)
  • Master’s in Teacher of Reading (31 credits)
  • Elementary Professional Teacher (1-6) Initial License can be advanced by: English Language Learners/English as a Second Language (12 credits)
  • Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 Initial License can be advanced by: English Language Learners/English as a Second Language (12 credits)

English Language Learner/English as a Second Language Professional Licensure Initial License can be advanced by:

  • Reading (12-credits) Special Education (12-credits)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (12 credits) (pending approval)
  • Master’s in Teacher of Reading (31 credits)

Entrance to the Master’s in Teacher of Reading or to the Reading Certificate Program (formerly called an advanced 12-credit cluster) for Professional licensure requires permission from the Chair of the Language and Literacy Department. Wheelock College offers several master’s programs that can incorporate a 12-credit variation of a Professional Licensure Program to serve the professional development needs of a teacher who plans to advance an Initial license and has not yet earned a master’s.

For state licensure requirements related to Wheelock programs, contact the Associate Dean for Education in the School of Graduate and Professional Programs (dmckibbens@wheelock. edu). For general information on teacher licensure and the licenses offered in Massachusetts, see the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website at www. doe.mass.edu/educators .

EDUCATOR LICENSURE: MTEL POLICY AT WHEELOCK COLLEGE

According to Massachusetts law and regulations, to obtain an Initial License to teach in Massachusetts public schools, candidates must complete a state approved program of study and pass the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL). The tests are license-specific and the purpose of these exams is to ensure that each licensed educator has the knowledge and skills essential to teach effectively in Massachusetts public schools.

Students entering a Wheelock master’s program leading to an Initial Massachusetts Teacher License must pass the Communication and Literacy Skills test and the appropriate subject tests prior to entering their capstone or portfolio course as designated by their program. It is recommended that students take the MTEL as advised, and as early as possible in their program. For graduate students, only the Foundations of Reading Test and perhaps the Early Childhood subject test should be delayed until related course work is completed. All other MTEL exams should be taken and passed prior to or early in their program. An applicant for licensure who holds a baccalaureate degree and has passed all license specific MTEL exams can apply for a Preliminary license that qualifies one for access to interviews for teaching positions in MA public school districts prior to completing their program.

MTEL TEST PREPARATION RESOURCES

The College has developed a system of review sessions and support courses specifically for MTEL preparation support. A sequence of courses is offered that should enhance students’ ability to perform well on the exams if additional content review is needed in addition to basic test-taking preparation. The Wheelock MTEL Policy indicates students have an obligation to work with faculty members and advisors to develop an MTEL preparation plan and to fully utilize the College’s resources. The official MTEL website is: http://www.mtel.nesinc. com. Additional information about the MTEL and Wheelock’s support system is found on the College website at www.wheelock.edu/mtel, including current test prep opportunities. Wheelock prep sessions are free to current students and recent alumnae, and is available to the public on a fee basis with the exception of Foundation of Reading, Teacher of Reading subject test and English as a Second Language preparation sessions that are taken by Wheelock students as an extension of their program of study

2012–2013 PROGRAM COMPLETER INFORMATION

The following table summarizes the MTEL pass rates for the program completers in academic year 2012–2013 and reported in the 2013 Annual Institutional Report. Program completers are defined as individuals who have completed all the requirements of a state-approved teacher preparation program.

Pass Rates:
BASIC SKILLS: COMMUNICATION AND LITERACY
Reading 100%
Writing 100%
Aggregate 100%
ACADEMIC CONTENT AREAS
Early Childhood 100%
Foundations of Reading 100%
General Curriculum 100%
Aggregate 100%
TEACHING SPECIAL POPULATIONS
Aggregate 100%
Summary Pass Rate* 100%

* The Summary Pass Rate represents the percent of program completers who have passed every portion of the test they have attempted. Students may take each section of the test as many times as necessary to obtain a passing score.

The faculty and administration of Wheelock College are committed to preparing exemplary classroom teachers. Wheelock allows students (depending on their individual program requirements) to enter education degree programs without having first passed the MTEL, but all candidates must pass the required examinations by specific points within their preparation programs, as articulated in the institutional MTEL policy in place since fall 2001 for undergraduate programs and since fall 2002 for graduate programs. The coursework and the extensive supervised field and clinical experiences along with the test preparation support system the College has in place is designed to help students achieve their goal of becoming excellent teachers. While a student’s success on the MTEL is only one part of becoming a classroom teacher, it is an important and necessary part, and the College supports students in numerous ways to support their success.

EARLY CHILDHOOD BIRTH TO KINDERGARTEN CREDENTIAL REQUIREMENTS/MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE (DEEC)

Wheelock graduates of baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate Early Childhood Programs can use courses and supervised practica from their programs to apply for lead teacher and director certifications issued by the Department of Early Education and Care. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) has established prerequisite educational and job experience requirements for individuals working in child care centers, nursery schools and private kindergartens. The DEEC certification indicates that an individual meets these criteria and, therefore, is eligible to be employed in specific roles within child care settings. Wheelock College has individual courses and programs that meet the requirements for the DEEC certification required for the following positions:

Teacher

Must be at least 18 years of age or have a high school diploma or equivalent AND have 3 credits or 4 CEU credits in Child Development (birth to 8 years of age) and 9 months of supervised work experience or one practicum with children under 7 years of age, three months of which must be with infants or toddlers for Infant/Toddler Teacher, and with preschoolers for Preschool Teacher.

Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher

B.S. or B.A. or advanced degree in ECE or related field of study; 12 credits or equivalent CEUs in early childhood or a related field of which 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in either curriculum, program planning or classroom management, and 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in a course in child development (birth to 8 years) and 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in a course related to the care of infants and toddlers; and 18 months of supervised work experience with children under 7 years of age, six months of which must be with infants and toddlers.

Preschool Lead Teacher

B.S. or B.A. or advanced degree in ECE; PreK-3 Certification from DOE, or in a related field of study; 12 credits in early childhood or a related field of which 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be either curriculum, program planning or classroom management, and 3 credits or equivalent CEUs must be in a course in child development (birth to 8 years); and 18 months of supervised work experience with children under 7 years of age, six months of which must be with preschoolers.

Director

Must meet the requirements of lead teacher; have 6 months of work experience after meeting lead teacher qualifications; and must have at least 6 additional credits or equivalent CEU credits in courses covering either day care administration, business or management.

DEFINITION OF A PRACTICUM FOR EEC CREDENTIAL

Completion of 150 hours, over an 8-week period, of direct work with infants/toddlers or preschoolers, supervised by personnel from an institution of higher learning, with at least three site visits, and placement with at least a Lead Teacher qualified staff member. One practicum may substitute for 9 months of work experience. The practicum must be verified on the Verification of Work Experience form and listed on a transcript. Verification may be from the placement or the institution of higher learning.

For more information about credentials for child care providers and center directors certification, or to receive an updated listing of the current child care certification requirements, see the Department for Early Education and Care web-site at http://www.mass.gov/eec or contact them at 51 Sleeper Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02210. You may also call the DEEC at (617) 988-6600; fax at (617) 988-2451; and TTY at (617) 988-2454.

PRE-KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12TH GRADE LICENSURE FOR TEACHING IN PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL SETTINGS/ MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (DESE)

Wheelock students who complete a baccalaureate licensure or master’s program that is approved for Initial teacher licensure in Massachusetts (including passing state licensure examinations), are eligible for institutional endorsement for that license in Massachusetts. Once a teacher is employed in a position that requires the Initial License, the license is activated and valid for employment in Massachusetts for up to five consecutive years. Within five years after the license is activated, it must be advanced to a Professional level. The Professional license can be renewed every 5 years indefinitely. At the time of this publication, requirements for Professional Licensure include three years of teaching under the initial license and in the field and at age/grade level of the Initial License; mentoring in the first year of teaching with the license; 50 hours of supervised experience beyond the first year of mentoring; required performance review through the Massachusetts Teacher Evaluation System, and course work approved by the state for Professional Licensure, including professional development in Sheltered English Immersion and Special Education. Requirements for the professional license also include a master’s degree and completion of state approved, license-specific content courses (12-credits) if a student holds a master’s degree that is not related to the subject content area(s) for that license.

Graduate state-approved and nationally recognized (accredited) teacher preparation programs offered at Wheelock lead to institutional endorsement for the Massachusetts Initial Teacher License in three areas and one advanced specialist license:

  • Early Childhood: Teacher of Students With and Without Disabilities (PreK-2)
  • Elementary (1-6)
  • Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8)
  • Advanced Specialist, Initial Teacher of Reading license (All Levels)

Wheelock College offers state approved courses that meet the current Massachusetts requirements for Sheltered English Immersion. Two courses with applied components are required in all programs that lead to an initial licensure programs issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. (Contact the Associate Dean for Education, dmckibbens@ wheelock.edu.)Approved Master of Science in Teacher of Reading for Professional Licensure.

This program is also nationally recognized by the International Reading Association (IRA). Any teacher applying for the Teacher of Reading master’s program must provide a copy of his/her initial teacher license with the admissions materials and a letter from a principal or director on letterhead verifying at least one year of teaching under that initial license. The Teacher of Reading Master’s is also approved to advance an Initial license in Early Childhood, Elementary, ELL/ESL, or Special Education (Moderate Disabilities) to the Professional level when other state requirements have been met.

ADVANCED COURSE CLUSTERS FOR PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE

The college has for several years offered five state-approved 12-credit course clusters for teachers who hold a master’s in any field, hold an Initial teacher license they want to advance to the Professional level, and have met other state requirements for the advancement process. A sixth program, the full Teacher of Reading Master’s is approved to advance an initial license in specific content areas The six approved programs are proposed for renewed approval in fall 2014 by the state department along with a seventh program, a 12-credit graduate certificate program in Autism Spectrum Disorder (12 credits) that is proposed for first time approval and, if approved, would advance an Early Childhood, Elementary, Moderate Disabilities or English as a Second Language initial license to the professional level, when all other requirements are met.

The advancement of an Initial license to the Professional level requires (1) three years of teaching experience in a position that requires the related Initial license, (2) specific mentoring requirements in the early years of teaching, and (3) a master’s with additional 12 credits of license-specific content, if the master’s is not related to the content focus of the license.

The 12-credit certificate programs offer graduate students and experienced educators new content at the initial or higher level for a variety of professional development purposes. Entry to the course clusters does not require a master’s degree or an initial license, with one exception. The Reading cluster contains courses that are part of the advanced Teacher of Reading Master’s program. Entry to the Reading cluster requires permission from the Chair of the Department of Language and Literacy who will determine applicant readiness for the advanced course work in that specialty area.

The five Wheelock 12-credit state-approved, certificate programs (formally called 12-credit clusters) are:

  • English as a Second Language (for advancement of initial licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Moderate Disabilities to the professional level);
  • Reading (for advancement of licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, Moderate Disabilities, or ESL);
  • Special Education (for advancement of licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, or ESL);
  • Advancing Science Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6 (for advancement of licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Moderate Disabilities)
  • Advancing Mathematics Content Knowledge in Grades 1-6 (for advancement of licenses in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Moderate Disabilities)

The full Teacher of Reading MS program is approved and proposed for continued approval to advance an initial license for Early Childhood, Elementary, Moderate Disabilities and English as a Second Language to the Professional level.

The School of Graduate and Professional Programs offers several masters programs that can incorporate the 12-credit clusters to serve the professional development needs of students who do not hold a master’s degree. This includes any of the degree programs that lead to an initial license, as well as the Master of Science in Educational Studies, in Language and Literacy Studies, and in Early Childhood Care and Education, or Care and Education for Continuing Practitioners.

For information about state licensure requirements related to Wheelock programs, contact a department chair in Education or the Associate Dean for Education in the School of Graduate and Professional Programs. For general information on teacher licensure see the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website at www.doe. mass.edu/educators. For instructions on the licensure application process for Wheelock graduates and current students, visit the Wheelock portal. If you have further questions about applying for teacher licensure, contact the Associate Dean at dmckibbens@wheelock.edu.

SOCIAL WORK/SOCIAL WORKER LICENSURE: MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF REGISTRATION OF SOCIAL WORK

Social Work is a legally regulated profession in Massachusetts and in most states. The nature of the regulation varies somewhat from state to state. The most common form, as in Massachusetts, is licensure, although some states have certification. Technically, what is usually regulated is practice under the title of "social worker." Not all states have all levels, and the terminology varies. Some states license only more advanced clinical practice. In Massachusetts, the licensing levels are as follows:

  • LSWA. Licensed Social Work Associate. Associate level (associate degree in human service field or baccalaureate degree in any field).
  • LSW. Licensed Social Worker. BSW-Basic level (baccalaureate degree in social work plus passing LSW licensing exam).
  • LCSW. Licensed Certified Social Worker. MSW-Intermediate level (master’s degree in social work plus passing LCSW licensing exam).
  • LICSW. Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Advanced level (master’s degree in social work plus two years of LICSW-supervised post-master’s degree practice experience plus passing advanced licensing exam). This is the level that is most likely to be recognized by insurance companies as eligible for reimbursement for professional services.

Students should always investigate the specific licensure regulations in the state in which you intend to practice. Contact the National Association of Social Workers at www.socialworkers.org or the Association of Social Work Boards at 1-800-225-6880 or www.aswb.org.

MASSACHUSETTS LICENSING REGULATIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK

To practice social work, persons must be licensed in the state of Massachusetts. In addition, all others who have the title “social worker,” or who refer to themselves as practicing social work, must be licensed unless they are county, state, or municipal employees. Practicing social work without a license is punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, as is performing functions reserved for a higher licensing level. For more information on these licensing requirements, please visit www.naswma.org. 

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