Aug 06, 2020  
2019-2020 Student Handbook 
    
2019-2020 Student Handbook

Academic Regulations, Procedures, & Record Information


1.1 REGISTRATION & SCHEDULING PROCEDURE

For information regarding registration or scheduling, contact the University Registrar’s Office, Welty Hall - Room 105, (662) 329-7135.

1.2 APPOINTMENTS WITH FACULTY

Faculty, administrators, and staff members maintain busy schedules; therefore, it is advisable to schedule appointments. A directory of faculty that provides e-mail addresses is available online at www.muw.edu.  

1.3 MAJOR

A major is the name or label you give your main area of study; for example, accounting, business administration, communication, or nursing. When selecting a major, you should consider several things. These include your interests, your strengths and weakness, and your personal responsibilities. The decision about which major to study should be carefully considered. Admission to some majors is competitive. Degree seeking students who have earned 60 or more cumulative hours must select a major. Students may declare a major by completing paperwork in the Dean’s office of the college of the major.

1.4 CHANGE OF MAJOR

Many students make the decision to change their fields of study during their undergraduate careers. While the procedure for doing so is relatively simple, a change in academic emphasis should be carefully considered and thoroughly investigated. Students considering a change in major should consult their current advisor and faculty in their new areas of interest, as well as availing themselves of academic advising and career services.

A change of major is accomplished by completing the Change of Major Form, available on Banner Web. Students may submit a change of major at the beginning of each semester. For more information, contact the one of the following: Your current advisor, an advisor in the major of your choice, or the Student Success Center in Reneau Hall Office 102.

1.5 ACADEMIC ADVISING/PROGRAM PLANNING

Students are responsible for knowing their standing with regard to the published rules, regulations, policies, and standards of the University and of their degree program.

Each academic program has procedures and degree requirements that must be satisfied for the degree to be awarded. While the University provides faculty and staff advisors to assist students in planning their programs of study, it is the student’s responsibility to know the specific requirements and to plan accordingly. The student is responsible for following procedures and meeting degree requirements.

New students are assigned a faculty or academic staff advisor who will counsel them regarding their academic progress. The appropriate academic Department/Institute will assign students a faculty or staff advisor specific to their major. Undeclared students will be advised by faculty or staff members from the Student Success Center, which is located in Reneau Hall and is open daily for questions regarding academic schedules, programs, and requirements.

Before each registration, students must consult with their advisors. All MUW students should see their advisor not only for program planning prior to each registration, but also for guidance and evaluation throughout the school year.  Advising periods for preregistration are in the Academic Calendar and may be found at the Office of the Registrar’s website at http://www.muw.edu/registrar

In all academic programs at MUW, some courses are required while others are elective. It is the student’s responsibility to make certain that all required courses of the chosen curriculum are completed. Faculty advisors are available to assist students in planning their academic work. Not all courses are offered every semester; some are only offered in alternating semesters or alternating years. The University is not responsible for scheduling problems that result from the student’s failure to take these intermittent courses when they are available, nor is the institution responsible for those students in an accelerated program who cannot be accommodated by the regular course rotation or students who are off sequence due to failing courses. A student who wishes to make changes to his or her schedule after meeting with their faculty advisor during preregistration should consult with their advisor again before making the changes. Degree planning information may be found in the undergraduate bulletin, graduate bulletin, and in the Degree Planning Guides found at the Office of the Registrar’s website at www.muw.edu/registrar.

Students who have questions regarding their major fields of interest or who want help with decisions are invited to consult their advisors, Student Success Center staff, department chairs, or deans at any time during the school year.

1.6 CHANGE OF REGISTRATION

Courses may be added or dropped without penalty during the first few days of a term. Students should check the academic calendar for all important dates concerning dropping a course, adding a course, or changing their grade status in a course. Dropped classes may result in a loss of scholarships or financial aid.

Consult your faculty advisor or the Student Success Center by visiting Reneau Hall Room 102 or calling (662) 329-7138 for more information.

1.7 ADD/DROP PROCEDURE

Students should check the academic calendar for all important dates concerning dropping a course, adding a course, or changing the status of a course. Deadlines are enforced.  Students wanting to drop or add a class should consult their advisors. The add/drop transaction is not final until the changes have been entered into Banner. During the first days of class, students may complete this process themselves on-line. After that time, students will need to complete paperwork for processing by the Office of the Registrar and pay a change of registration fee.  Dropped classes may result in a loss of scholarships or financial aid. 

Please consult the following for more information: 

  • Your Academic Advisor
  • Financial Aid Office
  • Academic Calendar
  • Current Schedule of Classes

1.8 ABSENCES/ATTENDANCE

Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratory periods, and other meetings that constitute a regular part of their University program. Parents/guardians cannot excuse students from their obligation to attend University classes. Excessive absences from classes can lead to dismissal from the University and loss of course credit. The student must consult the instructor concerning required makeup work and will be held responsible for all work missed. Any college within the University may formulate a policy governing class attendance. An instructor may establish his/her own more rigorous policy, subject to the approval of the department chair/program director. In no instance may a student who misses 50% or more of the class meetings receive course credit. Alternative attendance policies established by departments and/or individual instructors will be communicated to students in the course syllabi that are made available in the first week of the semester.

Individuals may only attend classes in which they are registered. Once a student drops or withdraws from a course he/she is no longer eligible to attend the course. Exceptions require prior approval of the instructor, department chair, and dean of the course.

Students who receive Financial Aid awards can only receive funds for attendance in the semester’s courses.

The MUW Attendance Policy for Financial Aid addresses two issues:

  1. Students who never attend class will not be eligible for the portion of aid that was intended for that class. 
  2. Students who stop attending classes but have not officially dropped the course or withdrawn from the University may not be eligible for the aid they received for the term.

1.9 GRADUATION/APPLICATION FOR DEGREE

A student must complete an application for a degree and pay the degree audit fee by the deadline listed on the Academic Calendar. Students should apply for graduation online at the Office of the Registrar’s website at www.muw.edu/registrar. Once an application is filed with the Office of the Registrar, a formal degree audit will be prepared and mailed to the student and the student’s advisor. Degrees are conferred in December, May, or August upon successful completion of all requirements. Should a student not complete graduation by the date indicated, another application must be filed and another degree audit fee paid. See the Academic Calendar for deadlines.

1.10 TRANSCRIPTS

Official transcripts are issued by the Office of the Registrar and bear a raised seal and the Registrar’s signature. There are two ways to order an official transcript from Mississippi University for Women, (1) online or (2) in-person. Please review the Office of the Registrar’s website at www.muw.edu/registrar for specific information concerning how to order an official transcript.

Transcripts forwarded in support of transfer admission will not be released by MUW, but they can be reviewed by the Office of the Registrar. Such documents can be obtained from the institution originally issuing the record.

Transcript Policies:

  • Final transcripts will not be sent until all financial obligations to the University are cleared and all admission requirements have been met.
  • In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, records may not be released to a third party without the written, signed authorization of the student.

1.11 CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

Information concerning the requirements for earning credit by examination may be obtained by writing the college dean in which the student wishes to be tested. See Section 7.15 in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

1.12 ACADEMIC GRIEVANCES

A student who wishes to appeal a grade received for a project, paper, course, etc. should first attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor. If an agreement cannot be reached, the student should next appeal to the department chair/program director of the course and then to the Dean/Associate VPAA. Grievances should be brought to the Chief Academic Officer (CAO) only after these preliminary options have been exhausted. The student has only 45 days to appeal the grade in writing. This period begins at the conclusion of the term in which the grade was assigned. If a grievance hearing is required, the process will be initiated by the CAO.

The Academic Grievance Committee and procedures outlined below have been established to provide a hearing for those students who feel their academic rights have been violated. The Academic Grievance Committee consists of faculty members and students representing different Colleges, appointed by the President of the University. Its purpose is to adjudicate student academic grievances that have not been resolved at the program level.

Procedure:

  1. A student who believes his/her academic rights have been violated and his/her complaints have not been resolved to his/her satisfaction at the program level (i.e., via instructor, department chair/program director of the course, and Dean) may petition the Academic Grievance Committee to consider his or her complaint. Requests must be made in writing and must state both the grievance and the procedure the student has followed in trying to resolve the problem. The request must be made within 45 days following the semester in which the alleged violation of academic rights occurred. Requests must be addressed to the Academic Grievance Committee and submitted to MUW’s Office of Academic Affairs.

  2. If the grievance involves any member of the Committee, that member will abstain from participation on the Committee while that particular grievance is being considered. The CAO will recommend a replacement.

  3. When a grievance is submitted, the Committee must convene within three regularly scheduled school days to determine what data and materials must be obtained from the student and/or the faculty member. Any requests for materials will be made in writing from the Committee.

  4. The Committee chair will set a hearing time that does not conflict with the class schedules of any Committee member, student, or faculty member involved. All persons will receive written notification of the meeting at least three days in advance.

  5. All evidentiary and background materials concerning a case should be submitted to the Committee at least three days prior to the hearing. This will allow the Committee adequate time to examine the facts thoroughly prior to adjudicating the matter.

  6. At the time of the hearing, both the student and the faculty member appearing before the Academic Grievance Committee may have a representative or advisor of their choice present at the meeting. The advisors will be introduced to the Committee for the record and must identify their relationship to the student or faculty member. The student and faculty member may consult with their advisor(s) during the proceedings, but the advisor(s) may not address the Committee or question witnesses. Students and faculty members will be given full opportunity to present evidence and witnesses that are relevant to the issue at hand. Evidence introduced at the hearing must be confined to the particular ground or charge that has been made.

  7. The decision will be made by the Committee in closed session and will be based on sufficient and credible evidence. All persons involved in the grievance will be notified in writing of the resolution within one week of the hearing.

  8. Decisions reached by the Committee must be immediately enforced; however, both students and faculty have a right of appeal.

  9. The final level of appeal for both students and faculty members will be to the President of the University.

1.13 ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

Complete policy can be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin.

1.14 RELEASE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION

See Section 2.4 - Student Record Privacy Statement (FERPA) in the Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin.

1.15 READMISSION TO THE UNIVERSITY

Any student who has been suspended from Mississippi University for Women for academic reasons should consult the MUW Bulletin found at http://www.muw.edu or consult the Student Success Center at 662-329-7138.

1.16 HONOR CODE

Mississippi University for Women is known for high academic standards, ideals and traditions. Each student who enrolls as a student at MUW is expected to uphold this code.  “I pledge myself to uphold the highest standards of honesty in all phases of university life both alone and with many and accept my responsibility for helping others to live up to such standards. All this I will do that my University may become greater, better and more beautiful than when I entered it.”                                                   

1.17 WITHDRAWAL FROM THE UNIVERSTIY

Students who wish to withdraw from the University must do so through the College of their major or through the Student Success Center if they are undeclared. The last day to withdraw from the University is listed on the Academic Calendar. Once the withdrawal request form is processed, this is an irreversible action.

Withdrawal from Mississippi University for Women does not necessarily indicate a clearance of financial or other obligations. All obligations to the University must be met regardless of withdrawal status. Refunds, if any, are made according to the MUW refund schedule based on the date of withdrawal. Leaving the University without filing a formal withdrawal notice will result in failing grades in all courses for which the student is registered. Withdrawing from a residence hall is not the same as withdrawing from university course work.

Withdrawal Effect on Tuition-Adjustments to Charges/Refunds

Adjustments to tuition and housing expenses are made for students who officially withdraw from the University during the first ten days of classes in the full-term fall, spring, and during the first 6 days of the full summer term, or during the first three days of the five-week summer sessions, or during the first five days of the accelerated fall and spring sessions. Students will be assessed $100.00 or 5% of full tuition (whichever is lower) and reimbursed for the remainder. No refund in tuition will be given after the above listed periods. Tuition charges are not adjusted if classes are dropped after the last day to add/drop classes via Banner Web. The last day to add/drop via Banner Web is the last day to add a class. See Academic Calendar the for specific dates.

Withdrawal Effect on Housing-Refund of Housing and Meal Plan

Non-Attendance of classes does not constitute an official withdrawal from the University. Per contract agreement, students who remain enrolled but who withdraw from the residence hall will receive no refund of fees, and if they signed a two-semester contract they will be billed again for housing in the spring semester so long as they are still enrolled at MUW. Students who withdraw from the University during the first two weeks after move-in day, will have their living expenses and original meal plan disbursement expenses pro-rated, with an 85% refund. After the first two weeks, students whom withdraw from housing will not receive a refund. Students who are charged for a private room will have rates adjusted if the private room status is changed. No adjustments will be made to housing fees in the last thirty calendar days of the semester.

Students who withdraw from the University are responsible for any balance remaining on their account.

Withdrawal Effect on Financial Aid

Students who choose to withdraw from the University prior to the end of the term must follow the “Withdrawal Process” established by the University. (Students who wish to completely withdraw from the University must do so through the College of their major or through the Student Success Center if they are undeclared.) Failure to complete the semester may have an effect on the financial aid funds disbursed to a student’s account and paid to cover tuition, fees, bookstore charges, campus housing costs, or paid to the student as a refund.

Students who withdraw before the 60% point in the semester will have a “pro rata reduction” in the amount of financial aid disbursed. The federal regulations expect students to “earn” the funds for attending the “entire” semester. The percentage of the semester that was not attended becomes the percent of funds that may need to be returned. This reduction will leave an unpaid balance owed to the University on the student’s account BUT student loans will be reduced with their lender and other aid funds will be returned to the program accounts for possible use in the summer semester.

Failure to complete the semester and failure to “officially” withdraw is considered an “unofficial withdrawal”. Failure to complete the courses in the semester will result in a grade of F. Faculty are requested to report the last day of class attendance (LDA) or participation in a class project or activity to allow the Financial Aid Office to calculate the percentage of the course the student completed. When no LDA is provided, the 50% point or mid-term date is used to determine the amount of aid to be returned to the federal or state programs. The longer students attend, the lower the amount of funds to be returned and the amount owed MUW will also be less.

Withdrawal Effect on Course Grade and Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students who withdraw through Day 9 of classes will have no record of attendance. Students who withdraw after Day 9, but before the last day to withdraw without receiving a grade of WP or WF, will receive a grade of W on the student record, which does not calculate in the GPA. Withdrawal after that date, but before the last day to completely withdraw from the university, results in a grade of WP or WF. WP grades do not affect the GPA, but WF grades calculate into the GPA the same as a grade of F. NOTE: All grades of W, WP, and WF are considered when calculating Satisfactory Academic Progress for the purpose of determining eligibility for Federal financial aid. The withdrawal dates and deadlines are published in the Academic Calendar.

1.18 MINOR COMPLIANCE POLICY

No person age 18 years or older shall have one-on-one contact in a non-public area with a minor.  A minor is defined as any person under the age of 18 who is not enrolled at the University.  An adult is any person 18 years of age or older.  One-on-one contact is defined as personal, unsupervised interaction between a minor and an adult without at least one other adult, parent or legal guardian present.  A non-public area is defined as any place where one would not normally anticipate others to be present or an area that is out of view of others.      

Duty to Report

You are required to immediately report any known or suspected abuse or neglect of a minor. 

  1. Call the Mississippi Department of Human Services (800-222-8000) and provide them with written notification of who is believed to be involved and what was observed.
  2. Inform University Police (662-241-7777) or local police (911); and
  3. Inform the Director of Outreach and Innovation (662-241-6101).

Failure to comply with the reporting requirements of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.  Additionally, anyone who fails to notify the Department of Human Services may be subject to criminal penalties pursuant to Mississippi Code Annotated §43-21-353.

Requirements for Covered Programs

Additional registration and training requirements are mandated for individuals participating in programs involving minors on campus. Please contact the Office of Outreach and Innovation for more information.

1.19 MISSED CLASS POLICY

Mississippi University for Women students are expected to attend all classes, laboratory periods, clinical sessions, and other meetings required for their University program as indicated in their course syllabi. However, the University recognizes that our students are adults with sometimes conflicting responsibilities. Students who miss class for whatever reason should work with their instructors to arrange to make up missed work whenever possible according to the following guidelines.

Excused versus Unexcused Absences

Students shall be allowed to make up work for excused absences resulting from the following reasons according to the guidelines laid out in the rest of this policy:

            i. Authorized university activites, as defined in Section 5

           ii. Injury or illness, physical or mental, of the student or dependent

          iii. Medical conditions related to pregnancy

          iv. Death of a member of the student’s immediate family

           v. Legal responsibilities including jury duty or court appearance

vi. Military service

         vii. Religious observances

        viii. Mandatory scheduled interview for employment, graduate school, postgraduate program, etc.

Unexcused absences are absences resulting from any reason other than those listed above. Instructors may choose whether or not to permit make-up work for full or partial credit in the case of an unexcused absence in a manner that is consistent with their course syllabus policies.

Student Responsibilities

a. Students should minimize all absences, excused or unexcused, since the richest learning experience occurs through regular interaction with faculty members and other students in the class environment. Excessive absences may negatively impact a student’s ability to achieve their expected learning outcomes in a course or program of study. The University encourages students to make the most of the extracurricular and leadership opportunities available to them and recognizes that students may also have work and family responsibilities. While there is value in exploring multiple opportunities, it is also possible to become overcommitted and for course work to suffer due to lack of available preparation time. Missing more than 50% of scheduled course meetings will make it difficult for a student to pass the course, and in such cases the student may wish to consult with their instructor and academic advisor about the possibility of withdrawing from a course or another activity in order to balance their commitments.

b. Students are expected to make up all coursework missed due to an excused or unexcused absence as permitted by this policy and the course syllabus. Whenever possible, students should arrange for and complete make-up work in advance of their
anticipated absence. When work must be made up after an absence, instructors may set reasonable deadlines for that work to be completed.

c. With the permission of the instructor, students may be able to arrange for a proctor to complete exams or other coursework requiring a proctor while absent from campus.

d. Instructors may set further restrictions on what work can and cannot be made up as described in section 4.

e. Students are responsible to review any instructional material (readings, videos, etc.) assigned for the missed class. Students should make an effort to borrow notes on lectures, presentations, or other class activities from classmates whenever possible and to make an appointment with their instructor during office hours to address any remaining questions they may have. Students should not expect instructors to create a written or oral reproduction of what occurred in the classroom during their absence.

f. It is the student’s responsibility to provide notification and appropriate documentation, if required by the faculty member, to the instructor prior to missing class or as quickly as possible if prior notification is not an option. If documentation is requested, guidelines for the timing and type of documentation are described in section 6 below. Students are strongly encouraged to provide prior notification of an absence both verbally and electronically.

g. For activities offered through online delivery, students must document that the absence rendered them unable to attend or participate in the course for half or more of the period in which the activity was available. Faculty are encouraged to be flexible in allowing students to make up missed deadlines when extenuating circumstances or emergencies occur (e.g., death in the family, medical emergency, tornado, etc.). In online and face-to-face courses alike, students are strongly encouraged to complete coursework as soon as possible and not wait to begin work until just before the activity is due.

Faculty Responsibilities

a. Faculty members may establish their own attendance and participation policies in accordance with any college or departmental guidelines as part of the course syllabus, so long as documented, excused absences are permitted. Faculty may choose not to distinguish between excused and unexcused absences so long as documented, excused absences do not result in course penalties except when work cannot be made up due to program needs (i.e. accreditation standards, licensure, etc.). When a firm limit on absences, whether excused or unexused, is required for such standards, that limit must be clearly stated in the syllabus.

b. Faculty members may choose to request written documentation of excused absences following the schedule laid out in section 6. Faculty members may also choose not to request written documentation at their discretion.

c. Faculty should permit students to make up missed work whenever reasonably possible. Faculty do not need to offer make-up work when program needs (i.e. accreditation standards, licensure, etc.) do not permit or a classroom activity cannot reasonably or easily be reproduced (e.g., laboratory environment, clinical experience, performance). Work that cannot be made up no matter what the reason for the absence should be indicated as such in the syllabus.

d. Make-up work must be comparable to the original missed work. As described in the course syllabus, faculty members may utilize drop or replacement grades to mitigate the effects of a missed assignment, quiz, test, etc. resulting from an absence. Faculty should state these policies clearly in the course syllabus.

e. Whenever possible, students should complete make-up work in advance of any anticipated absences. When work must be made up after an unexpected absence, instructors may set reasonable deadlines for that work to be completed.

f. Faculty members may consider using distance learning technology to mitigate the effects of anticipated student absences.

g. Faculty members may, but are not required to, provide make-up work for extra credit assignments and activities.

Authorized University Activities

a. Authorized University Activities allow students to broaden their educational experience through participation in an approved academic, service learning, co-curricular, or extracurricular event. Examples include, but are not limited to, artistic performances, conference presentations, special events related to academic programming, academic competition, and intercollegiate athletics. Practice and other forms of preparation for these events may not be considered Authorized University Activities.

b. For a student activity to be considered an excused absence, it must be initiated by an appropriate sponsor or department chair and approved by the administrative head of the sponsoring unit: College Dean; Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs; Director, Ina E. Gordy Honors College; Director of Athletics.

c. Sponsors or department chairs should submit a brief written description of the event, its educational value to the student, and the time(s) it will require the student to miss classes, including any travel time. The administrator will determine whether the activity merits designation as an Authorized University Activity and write a memo on unit letterhead including all relevant information about the activity including departure and/or event start time, information about the event, and return time. Sponsors or department heads should provide this memo to all student participants who, in turn, should be instructed to provide copies to their faculty members as quickly as possible.   

d. Administrative heads with responsibility to approve Authorized University Activities should evaluate each activity, carefully weighing its contribution to the student’s learning experience with the consequences of the missed class time. 

Documentation of Excused Absences

a. Authorized University Activities: A student must provide to the faculty member a memo provided by the administrative head of the sponsoring unit. This notice should be provided at least 14 days in advance of the absence, but preferably as near the beginning of the semester as possible. Notification may be provided less than 14 days in advance if extenuating circumstances exist (e.g., cancellation, inclement weather, unforeseen opportunity). In these instances, notification should be provided as soon as event details are known.   

b. Documentation must be provided for Authorized University Activities. If they so choose, instructors may request written documentation for other types of excused absences. Examples of acceptable documentation include those listed below. Instructors may choose to verify the authenticity of documentation provided by students at their discretion.

i. Injury or illness, physical or mental, of the student or dependent: A student may provide written excuse provided by a physician, nurse practitioner, or clinical psychologist in a timely manner upon returning to class. Such notice should state specific dates.

ii. Medical conditions related to pregnancy: A student may provide written excuse provided by a physician or nurse practitioner prior to the absence(s). Should an extenuating circumstance exist, the excuse may be provided after the period of absence has begun. Such notice should state specific dates.

iii. Death of a member of student’s immediate family: A student may provide an obituary, funeral program, etc. in a timely manner upon returning to class.

iv. Legal responsibilities including jury duty or court appearance: A student may provide a jury notice or appropriate court document. Such notice should state the specific dates they were unable to attend class. 

v. Military service:  A student may provide written orders of the scheduled activity provided by the service. Unless precluded by issues of security, such notice should state the specific dates they were unable to attend class.

vi. Religious observances: A student may provide written notice to the faculty members within the first two weeks of the term (one week if accelerated term) that they will be missing class as a result of a customary religious observance of their faith.

vii. Mandatory scheduled interview for employment, graduate school, postgraduate program, etc.: A student may provide the official letter or email inviting them to a pre-scheduled, mandatory interview.