MSC Southeast Policies and Procedures
Section 200 Educational/Academic Procedures
Section 202 - Distance Learning
- Ensure that courses, certificates, diplomas, and degrees are authorized by MnSCU and HLC (formerly NCA) in accordance with established institutional procedures, and meet their quality standards at the time of implementation and on an on-going basis.
- Commit ongoing financial and technical support for the continuation of the program or course for a period of time reasonable and sufficient for students to complete the course or program.
- Support/provide faculty development/training.
- Provide adequate equipment, software, support, and communications access to faculty teaching via DL to support interaction with students, institutions, and other faculty.
- Integrate and support e-student services as available/applicable in accordance with MnSCU guidelines.
- Provide reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities.
- Ensure data integrity and data privacy for students.
- Provide a secure testing environment.
- Establish email accounts for online students in a timely manner to facilitate communication between instructor and student.
a. Schedule a distance learning course with the Dean at the same time as traditional face-to-face courses indicating the media code.
- Courses that use Interactive television (ITV) to connect teachers and students. Media Codes 04 (sending) and 08 (receiving).
- Courses that use the Internet to deliver the entire course, perhaps requiring only a cohort meeting at the beginning or once during the course. No more than two required activities or meetings of the class as a cohort may occur, one of which may be a required proctored exam. Media Code 03
- Courses with reduced classroom seat time and some instruction delivered online. The course blends online and face-to-face delivery. Media Code 09.
- Courses that use the Internet to deliver the entire course online. The course has NO required face-to-face meetings, NO required proctored exams, and NO required “synchronous” meetings. Media Code 12.
- Courses that use the Internet to deliver the entire course online. The course has NO required face-to-face meetings and NO required proctored exams. The course has required synchronous online meetings or activities: the full class meets online at a specified or scheduled time. Media Code 13.
b. Demonstrate technological competence prior to the course offering.
- Any faculty member who teaches via ITV must seek training from IT and work with faculty experienced in using it until s/he feels comfortable teaching with the technology.
- Any faculty member who teaches online must seek pedagogical training (provided online) and Instructional Management System training (provided in house or online) before teaching online.
c. Agree to uphold the following standards for online courses (Media Code 03 or 09):
- Ensure that the course is pedagogically sound in that:
- The academic standards are the same as those for courses delivered traditionally.
- Learning outcomes are appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the award granted, and are accurately and appropriately measured.
- Activities teach students to assess the validity of digital resources.
- The course is coherent and complete.
- Student-to-student interaction is built into the curriculum.
- Provide a detailed course outline to future students that is accessible via the Internet
- Orient each student to the instructor, to the other students, to the course room (navigation), and expectations using at least two different communication methods:
- Post and facilitate discussion threads
- Phone each student
- Hold synchronous online meetings
- Hold an on-campus orientation with students
- Humanize the course by building relationships with students (e.g., call students, use discussion threads to facilitate chit chat, develop teams).
- Provide timely (within 1 working day) and constructive feedback to students' assignments and questions.
- Integrate continuous assessment components into e-learning courses by directing and encouraging students to complete the Online learning process evaluation at the end of each course.
Section 204 - Outside Work-Program Labs Guidelines
All programs utilizing "outside" or "live" work must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Submit a written procedure to the President or President's designee for approval.
- Allow access to services to the general public, students, and college staff.
- Selection of "outside" or "live" work must be an educational benefit to students and fit the program course syllabi.
- The procedure must be made available in the respective shop/lab areas and at the college Information Desk.
Section 205 - Program Review and Quality Assurance
Each Minnesota state college and university is required by Board of Trustees Policy 3.10 to "review all academic programs and departments with respect to a) contribution to the mission and academic master plan of the institution; b) performance on System accountability standards, measures, and procedures, as well as accreditation, licensure or certification requirements; and c) other factors as appropriate. The results of the review are then to be used by the institution to plan strategies for continuous quality improvement."
MSC Southeast has adopted a two part process: a) evaluate the performance of each program on System accountability standards, measures, and procedures annually; and b) evaluate each program on its contribution to the college's mission, strategic plan, and academic master plan annually. This process is a “quality assurance” process designed to confirm the continued viability of programs and disciplines offered through the college.
CAO, Deans, Coordinators, Directors, Department Chairs, Faculty, Students, and Advisory Committee Members
Each program or discipline is to be reviewed annually.
a. Collect Data for each program/discipline by October 1st.
- A 5-year trend pattern of FTE student enrollment
- A 5-year trend pattern of graduation rate
- A 5-year trend pattern of the number of credits sold
- A 5-year trend pattern of the ratio of FTE (faculty) to FYE
- A 5-year trend pattern of cost per FYE (Salary costs/FYE & Non-salary costs/FYE)
- A 5-year trend pattern of graduate placement percentages
b. Produce a random program/discipline rotation list and modify per the following:
- Programs with severe enrollment and/or cost issues will have first priority – “Red” category
- Programs with enrollment and/or cost issues will have second priority - “Yellow” category
- Programs that have not been reviewed for 4 to 5 years will have third priority – potential consideration as a “Yellow” category
- Programs that are reflecting positive pattern trends with respect to collected data above – “Green” category
- The list along with the program/discipline data will be given to the faculty associated with the programs/disciplines to be reviewed during that academic year.
c. Lead the review process, evaluate the program/discipline information, give response to the program/discipline plans, and provide a written letter of summation to each program/discipline reviewed.
Program/Discipline Faculty Responsibilities
a. Review and analyze the DATA pack information.
b. Submit annual updates for:
- Assessment Plan
- Program Plans
- Course Outlines
- Advisory Committee Minutes
- Faculty Professional Development Plan
Submit the following as part of the review process:
c. Program Review Report
- National & regional industry/discipline trends (site sources)
- Copies of past 3 years advisory committee minutes
- Copies of past 3 years programmatic surveys (formal/informal)
- Copies of current program certifications from outside sources
- Any additional information faculty want to include
d. Complete a Program Action Plan
(Format and timelines to be determined between program/discipline and administration.)
Program General Information
- What is awarded to students at the completion of the program/discipline?
- When can students take classes (day, night, weekends, online)?
- Describe any outside governing bodies associated with this particular program/discipline.
- List the program/discipline goals.
- How do these goals support the Mission of the college?
- How do these goals support the strategic plan of the college?
- Describe the curriculum review process (who, what, when).
- When was the curriculum for the entire program last reviewed?
- Describe any articulations, transfer agreements or industry partnerships.
- Define the role of general education in this program/discipline.
- What percent of general education is embedded within the technical curriculum?
- Describe how this program/discipline maintains their assessment plan?
- What is/are the measure/s of student achievement?
- How is student input collected and what is done with this information?
- Describe the assessment tools and processes used to assess learning within this program/discipline area.
- Describe the assessment tools and processes used to assess learning within the embedded general education curriculum (if applicable).
- How is the information collected through the assessment process used to improve the educational process for students?
Physical & Financial Resources
- Could you efficiently and effectively serve more students if this program/discipline had more space (classroom, lab, clinical)? Explain.
- Could you efficiently and effectively serve more students if this program/discipline had additional equipment? Explain.
- Could you efficiently and effectively serve more students if this program/discipline had more instructors? Explain.
- Could you efficiently and effectively serve more students if this program/discipline were offered at an alternative location, alternative times or using alternative methods? Explain.
Marketing/Recruitment & Community
- Describe the current marketing/recruitment plan for this program/discipline.
- To what extent are college-wide recruitment services adequate for this program/discipline?
- How are the faculty members in this program/discipline involved with college's foundation?
- How are the faculty members in this program/discipline involved with the community (to what extent are they OF the community vs. in the community)?
- Describe anything that makes this program/discipline unique.
- Identify like programs/disciplines within the MnSCU system.
- How is the program/discipline meeting local, state, national and/or world-wide demands?
- What are three (3) to ten (10) strengths and/or opportunities of your program/discipline?
- What are three (3) to ten (10) weaknesses and/or threats of your program/discipline?
- Based on your analysis of the program data and the information you have provided in this evaluation, develop a continuous improvement plan for this program/discipline.
Include such items as:
- Short and long term goals
- Needed human and financial resources
- Must-have and nice-to-have lists
- Barriers to overcome with suggested solutions
- Facility issues and needs with suggested solutions
Section 211 - Changing Program Majors
A student who would like to transfer program majors may contact the admissions advisor or their academic advisor regarding a change in major. Student Affairs staff will issue a "Change of Program Major" form or the student can find the form online at www.southeastmn.edu, Quick links, Student Forms. The student will complete the form and return the form to the Student Affairs office where the change will be made in the student information system.
Section 212 - Course Substitution
- The student will work with her/his academic advisor to complete the "Substitution of Required Course" which is available from Student Affairs office.
- Both the student and the academic advisor will sign and date the form and submit it to the Academic Affairs Office for approval.
- Academic Affairs will determine approval or not within five (5) days of receipt. If approved, the form will be forwarded to the Registrar's Office. The course substitution will be entered in the student’s Degree Audit Report (DARS). A copy along with the updated DARS report will be mailed to the student. If not approved, the form will be returned to the academic advisor with an explanation.
Section 213 - Dropping / Adding or Withdrawal of Courses
Adding a Course
Students must use the MSC Southeast Student Login to add a course during the first five (5) instructional days of the term or within two (2) academic calendar days for courses beginning after the first five days of the term. Students will be billed tuition for the additional courses.
Dropping a Course
Students must use the MSC Southeast Student Login to drop a course during the first five (5) instructional days of the term or within two (2) academic calendar days for courses beginning after the first five days of the terms with a 100% tuition and fees refund.
Withdrawing From a Course
Students who choose to withdraw from a course must use the MSC Southeast Student Login. Students who withdraw from a course prior to 80% of the course being completed will receive a grade of "W" with no tuition refund. Withdrawal dates are reflected on the student schedule and can also be found in the online course schedule by clicking on the course title.
Section 214 - Total Withdrawal from the College
Students must use the MSC Southeast Student Login to totally withdraw from the College during the first five (5) instructional days of the term or within two (2) academic calendar days for courses beginning after the first five days of the term. Students will receive a 100% refund of tuition and fees. Students who totally withdraw from the College after the first five (5) days will receive tuition and fees refunds after the first five (5) days of a term prorated at 75% the 6th through the 10th day after; at 50% the 11th through the 15th day after; or, at 25% the 16th through the 20th day after. No refunds are given after the 20th day.
Currently the college is under a new Title IV refund policy based on the percentage of time a student has been enrolled. See financial aid handbook for details.
Section 215 - Course Credit Transfer
- Application for admission is always the first step in transferring. The application should be completed and sent, along with the application fee, as early as possible prior to the deadline. (See admissions procedure).
- The student should request every institution attended to submit an official transcript to MSC Southeast Registrar’s office. If the student is transferring from a Minnesota State College or University (MnSCU) an electronic transcript will be received at MSC Southeast.
- MSC Southeast considers credit from all regionally and non-regionally accredited institutions.
- After notification of acceptance for admission, transcript credits will be evaluated for transfer. Transfer credits will be entered into the student’s Degree Audit Report (DARS). Transfer of technical credits will only be granted for courses completed within the past five years. Some programs may have different technical credit requirements. There is no transfer time limit for Liberal Arts & Sciences or technical elective courses.
Transfer credits being considered must have a grade of "A", "B", "C", "D", "M" (Mastery), "P" (Pass), or "S" (Satisfactory), and the coursework completed must match at least 75% of the content goals of the College's course syllabus for which the student is seeking transfer credit. The nursing and allied health departments require a minimum grade of "B" for nursing and allied health courses. A "C" is acceptable if documentation is received from the sending college that a "C" is at least 85 percentage points out of 100 (85%).
Approved transfer credits shall appear on the Degree Audit Report and transcript and will not be included when calculating the student's GPA.
To be eligible for a certificate, degree or diploma, a student must earn one-third of the program major graduation requirements at MSC Southeast. Credits earned by examination (test out) do not fulfill residency requirements.
Students with questions about the evaluation should contact the Registrar's office. Students can appeal decisions by completing a Transfer of Credit Appeal Form and submit with supporting documents. The Department and Dean of Academic Affairs will review the provided information within ten (10) days from receipt of this form. A copy of the form will be sent to the student with the decision. A student who is not satisfied with the decision made by MSC Southeast has the right to appeal to the Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic & Student Affairs at the Minnesota State College & Universities, Wells Fargo Place, 30 7th Street East, Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101-7804.
Section 221 - Academic Integrity
- The instructor confronts the student regarding the specific charge of academic fraud to discuss the charge, consider the evidence and hear the student’s explanation. If the instructor determines that the student has violated the Academic Integrity Policy, the instructor informs the student of the consequences of the violation and the sanctions (A, B, C, D, or E outlined below) that the instructor will impose.
- If sanctions F, G, or H are requested, the instructor completes an “Academic Misconduct Complaint Form” and forwards to the Vice President of Academic Affairs. The Vice President of Academic Affairs must respond to and act on any charges of academic fraud within 10 academic days after notification from the instructor. The response may include, if needed, a meeting with any and all parties involved.
- If the student disagrees with either the determination of a violation of the policy or the sanction, the student may appeal the instructor’s decision to the Vice-President of Academic Affairs. In handling the appeal, the Vice-President of Academic Affairs follows the Student Code of Conduct beginning with the Investigation and Informal Process.
Sanctions for Academic Fraud may include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. No further action
B. Warning given to the student
C. Academic plan established for future performance.
D. Grade of “F” or “0” points for the assignment or test/quiz.
E. Grade of “F” for the course
F. Probation period during which any further incidents may lead to summary suspension.
Appeals: Students should follow the Student Complaint/Grievance Procedure to appeal any sanction imposed for a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy.
Section 222 - Academic Forgiveness Procedure
Appeals are made by completing and submitting an Academic Forgiveness Appeal Form to the College Registrar's Office. An Appeals Committee then reviews and either approves or denies the request.
If academic forgiveness is granted, the Registrar will make the following changes to the student’s academic transcript.
- No grades on record prior to the date of academic forgiveness will be used in computing the student’s cumulative grade point average; however, credits are considered as attempted and will be printed on the transcript.
- No credit from MSC Southeast will be granted for any coursework taken prior to the date of forgiveness.
- No coursework taken from MSC Southeast prior to the date of academic forgiveness may be used toward completion of graduation requirements.
- Transcript will contain a statement of when academic forgiveness begins.
Section 223 - Credit for Prior Learning in Non-Credit/Experiential Setting
Students that have taken one of the nationally recognized examinations and would like to transfer in that course score for one of the college’s courses or as elective credits must have the official transcript of scores sent to the Registrar’s office.
The Registrar’s office will review the information and if the examination score meets the minimum requirement, the course will be recorded on the student’s academic record as either transferring in for a specific college course or as an elective course. The student will then be notified of the decision. These transfer credits are not considered residency credits.
Students that desire to take one of the college course challenge examination (Test Out) or college course competency demonstration examination (a Test Out of physical skills) must complete the following:
- Complete a Credit by Examination form
- Pay the non-refundable per-credit fee for the examination at the Cashier’s Office
- Arrange the time with the program/discipline faculty to take the examination prior to the end of the first five (5) days of the term
The faculty will inform the student and the Registrar’s office of the results of the examination. The Registrar’s office will record the results and make appropriate entries in the student’s academic record. Students may not test out of a course that they have unsuccessfully attempted or from which they have withdrawn. Students have only one (1) opportunity to complete and pass the examination. Successful completion of the examination will result in a “CR” being placed on the student’s transcript indicating the student has received credit for the course. This will not affect the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA). Failure to pass the examination requires enrollment in the course as prescribed for program completion. Credits earned by examination are not considered residency credits and do not count in the credit level for financial aid. Students that would like to attempt an examination for a course that is not listed may ask a particular program/discipline faculty if an examination may be created for their particular situation. It is the faculty member’s decision whether or not an examination is appropriate to fit the circumstances.
Students desiring to transfer in military training or service must have the official military transcript sent to the Registrar’s office.
The Registrar’s office will review and determine whether or not the training or service meets the standard of the American Council on Education (ACE) or the equivalent. If the training or service meets the standard it will be entered into the student’s academic record. The student will then be notified of the results. These transfer credits are not considered residency credits.
Section 224 - Grading System
The following system is used to determine a student's grade point average (GPA):
4 grade points per credit
3 grade points per credit
2 grade points per credit
1 grade points per credit
0 grade points per credit
Credit by Examination (Test out)
Repeating a Course
When a student repeats a course, only the last grade and credits received will be used to calculate GPA. If a student withdraws while repeating a course, the original grade and GPA remains on the student’s record. A repeated course report will be completed by the Registrar’s Office after grades have been entered. Courses with the same number will be reflected as a repeat course.
Students may not attempt to repeat a course more than two times without having an assessment made by the Student Affairs office. A joint educational plan between the student and Student Affairs must be developed prior to the third attempt. The maximum attempt for a college course for credit is three times. A more restricted repeated course policy is currently in effect in the Nursing & Allied Health Careers.
The student may submit an appeal in writing to waive this limitation. If the appeal is approved, the student will be allowed to repeat the course for credit for the third time provided the student has not been enrolled at MSC Southeast for a minimum of two years, has shown satisfactory academic progress at another institution within the last two years and has met with the college counselor to establish an academic plan for successful completion of the course. Please note: No additional repeats of the course will be allowed.
Students are permitted to audit courses. The student will not be evaluated for work completed and will not receive a letter grade or any credit for the courses audited. Audited courses do not satisfy graduation requirements. Students who audit a class shall pay tuition, fees and book costs. Students must contact the Registrar’s Office within the first five (5) days of a term to request course(s) be taken on an audit basis. A student may change from taking a course for audit to taking it for credit ONLY within the first five (5) days of the term. This policy may differ for courses less than full-term duration.
Student Challenge of Grade
Students may challenge a grade within one academic term after the grade has been posted to their official transcript.
Students wishing to challenge a grade first must meet with the instructor. If agreement is reached to change a grade, the instructor completes a Grade Change form and submits the form to the Registrar's office.
Students wishing to challenge a grade after one academic term, must first meet with the instructor. If agreement is reached to change a grade, the instructor completes a Grade Change form and reviews with program Academic Dean. Completed Grade Change form is submitted to the Registrar's office. If no agreement is reached, the student may appeal the decision through the MSC Southeast Grievance Procedure by contacting Student Services.
Section 227 - Satisfactory Academic Progress Standards
Academic and Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policies are the same. All students will be evaluated under the requirements below.
1. Federal and state law requires that a recipient of financial aid make satisfactory academic progress towards a degree, diploma or certificate to remain eligible for financial aid. These laws also require that the standards used must be based on cumulative measure and must include all periods of a student’s enrollment, regardless of whether the student received financial aid.
2. Qualitative Measure - Undergraduate Students
To meet satisfactory academic standards, students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 grading scale. Grades of A,B,C,D and F shall be included in the GPA calculation.
3. Quantitative Measure
Required completion percentage
To meet satisfactory academic standards, students must complete 67% of all credits attempted. Refer to section 9 for more information regarding what courses will be included when determining the student’s completion rate percentage.
Maximum Time Frame
Upon reaching or exceeding 150% of the maximum credits needed for attainment of your chosen degree or certificate (including transfer credits). For example if the program is 60 credits in length, a student would be eligible to receive financial aid for up to 90 attempted credits (60 x 1.5 = 90). A student may still register and attend MSC Southeast after they have reached or exceeded 150% without receiving Financial Aid.
Note: If at any point it is determined that a student will not be able to finish the required courses to graduate from their program within the 150% time-frame, financial aid eligibility will be suspended immediately. If suspension is the result of unusual circumstances, the student may appeal the decision.
4. Evaluation Period
Students’ satisfactory academic progress will be reviewed at the end of each term, including summer. Completion of satisfactory academic progress reviews will occur prior to the 10th day of the subsequent academic term.
5. Failure to Meet Standards - Academic/Financial Aid Warning, Suspension and Probation Status
A. Maximum Time-Frame Failure. Students who are receiving financial aid and have reached or exceeded the maximum number of credits needed to complete their program will be suspended from financial aid eligibility.
B. Qualitative Standard or Quantitative Standard Failure. If at the end of the evaluation period a student has failed to meet the qualitative standard or required completion percentage, the student will be placed on Academic/ Financial Aid Warning. Students will be allowed to enroll and are eligible for financial aid during this Academic/ Financial Aid Warning term.
i) Any student who fails to meet the qualitative or quantitative measures at the end of the Academic/Financial
Aid Warning term will be suspended from enrolling and have financial aid eligibility suspended immediately.
ii) Any student on Academic/Financial Aid Warning who at the end of the term has met the college’s cumulative qualitative and quantitative standards is considered in good Academic standing.
C. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress and are suspended from Academic/Financial Aid eligibility have the right to appeal based on unusual or extenuating circumstances. If an appeal is approved based on the appeal process below, the student will retain Academic/Financial Aid eligibility under an appeal status and will be placed on Probation.
D. Extraordinary circumstances
The college may immediately suspend students from financial aid eligibility in the event of extraordinary circumstances, including but not limited to previously suspended (and reinstated) students whose academic performance falls below acceptable standards during a subsequent term of enrollment; students who register for courses, receive financial aid, and do not attend any classes; and students whose attendance patterns appear to abuse the receipt of financial aid.
Students placed on warning, suspension or probation will be notified of their status by mail at the end of each term, including summer. The college will also notify suspended students regarding the process by which a student may appeal for reinstatement.
A. A suspended student has the right to appeal. The appeal process consists of attending a success seminar and meeting with the appeal committee. If the student is dissatisfied with the decision, the student may appeal to the Vice President of Student Affairs. Decisions by the Vice President of Student Affairs are final.
B. Students suspended from Academic/Financial Aid for academic progress have the right to appeal based on unusual or extenuating circumstances. Examples of extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to: medical issues, death of an immediate family member, or other unique circumstances. To appeal, the student is required to contact the student services office at the campus they are attending.
C. Students who successfully appeal will be readmitted on probation.
D. Students who are on probation and do not meet the 2.5 GPA and 100% completion during the probationary term are suspended from the college for one full calendar year.
E. Students who are suspended for one calendar year are required to go through the success seminar and appeal process again to return to the college.
F. If a student has completed in excess of 150% of maximum credits needed for attainment of chosen degree or certificate (including credits transferred), he/she is no longer eligible for aid.
If the student’s appeal is approved, financial aid awards will be reinstated with the provisions as determined by the committee. Students who have been suspended may regain their eligibility only through the institution’s appeal process or when they are again meeting the institution’s financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress qualitative and quantitative standards. Neither paying for their own classes nor sitting out a period of time is sufficient in and of itself to reestablish a student’s financial aid eligibility.
9. Additional Elements – The following are reviewed when determining that standards are met.
a. Treatment of grades - Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of A, B, C, D, F, W, P, NC, I or IP are considered to be credits attempted for the purpose of Satisfactory Academic Progress completion rate. Courses for which a student receives a letter grade of A, B, C, D or P is considered completed credits for the purpose of Satisfactory Academic Progress completion rate.
b. Academic Forgiveness - All credits are reviewed in Satisfactory Academic Progress regardless of Academic Forgiveness.
c. Audited Courses - Audit classes are not funded by financial aid and not included in Satisfactory Academic Progress.
d. Consortium Credits - Consortium credits are included in the GPA, Completion rate and Max time frame.
e. Remedial Credits - Remedial Credits are counted in the GPA and Completion rate. Up to 30 remedial credits are excluded from the calculation for maximum time frame.
f. Repeated Courses - Students may be funded for repeat courses up to the limit determined by the Financial Aid maximum time frame or as determined by academic policy. Repeat courses will be counted as attempted twice and completed once. The last grade is counted in GPA.
g. Transfer Credits - Transfer credits are not included when calculating the cumulative GPA and completion rate but are included when calculating the Financial Aid maximum time frame.
h. Withdrawals - Withdrawals are counted as attempted but not completed credits in the completion rate but not used in determining the GPA.