Education: Master of Education Program (M.Ed.)

Admission, Policies and Financial Information

Updated Fall 2013

Financial Information

Graduate tuition is $360 per semester hour. A non-refundable application fee of $30.00 is required with the application. Fees accompany certain courses in the program and are outlined on Pages 18-19 of this catalog. Students are required to pay a $75 lifetime academic records fee during the first semester only. Students will also incur modest expenses for formal testing required for admission to the program (GRE, MAT plus PRAXIS I Writing, or GRE) and licensure (Praxis II), liability insurance, and verification of CPR and/or first aid proficiency. For information regarding financial aid, please refer to the financial aid section of the catalog.

Immunization

All students must submit a completed and approved immunization form prior to attending classes.  These forms are provided in the pre-enrollment packets and are required by the State of Tennessee.

Admission

Unconditional Admission

The minimum requirements for unconditional admission to the M.Ed. program are as follows:

  1. A baccalaureate degree with a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.75. An applicant whose baccalaureate degree is from an institution not accredited by a regional accrediting association or the Association for Biblical Higher Education may be required by the Academic Dean or Director of Teacher Certification to submit additional materials and information for consideration by the college.
  2. An established minimum score on the Miller Analogies Test (35th percentile, National Norms, currently 389) or the Graduate Record Examination (288 combined verbal and quantitative scores) or equivalent score on another widely accepted measure. The official score report must be for a test taken within the last five years.
  3. Two official transcripts from each institution attended showing all credits and degrees previously earned.
  4. Two completed reference forms from faculty members or other persons who have adequate knowledge of the applicant’s Christian commitment and character and potential for success as a graduate student and professional educator.
  5. Evidence of written language competency as demonstrated by a passing score on the Praxis I writing examination (173), a score of 3.5 or higher on the Analytical Writing scale of the Graduate Record Examination, or an undergraduate or graduate degree in English from an accredited college or university in the last five years.
  6. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 79; or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 5.5; or ELS Master’s Level Proficiency (successful completion of ELS Level 112) (international students).
  7. Evidence of competency in technology through an established examination process.
  8. A TBI fingerprint background check is required prior to orientation..
  9. A positive recommendation from the Graduate Admissions Committee based upon a review of the application file and an admissions interview.
  10. Required content courses based on the area/discipline in which the candidate plans to teach. Teacher candidates must know, understand, and use the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines they will teach. For unconditional admission, teacher candidates must have completed subject matter undergraduate requirements for teacher licensure (or equivalent) as follows:
    1. Early childhood education: a basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies, one of which is American History; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); or
    2. Elementary education: a basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies, one of which is American History, one of which is American History; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); or
    3. Middle grades education: (1) a basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies, one of which is American History; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); (2) a major in a single discipline from the arts and sciences with an area of emphasis (approximately 10% of the undergraduate curriculum) in at least one additional discipline outside the major; or
    4. Secondary education: (1) basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure; (2) specific courses in endorsement areas to assure content competency consisting of at least 24 hours that are the equivalent of a major in that area (See catalog for a list of licensure programs available).

If applicants do not meet the above requirements and have not passed the required Praxis content examinations, they may be admitted conditionally as follows:

  1. Early childhood education: no more than two of the outlined courses not completed or
  2. Elementary education: no more than two of the outlined courses not completed or
  3. Middle grades education: No more than two of the outlined basic pattern of courses not completed, at least 18 hours of the major courses completed, and at least 8 hours of the additional discipline courses completed or
  4. Secondary education: no more than two of the outlined basic pattern of courses not completed and at least 18 hours of the major courses completed.

Students who do not meet the content requirements for conditional admission may be admitted as special students but may not enroll for an internship or take more than twelve hours of graduate education courses until they meet the content requirements and pass the Praxis II content examination in their licensure area(s).

Students who do not meet the above requirements may be admitted in one of the following categories:

Conditional Admission

The minimum requirements for conditional admission are as follows:

  1. An undergraduate degree with a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.5. An applicant whose baccalaureate degree is from a program not accredited by a regional accrediting association or the Association for Biblical Higher Education may be required by the Academic Dean or Director of Teacher Certification to submit additional materials and information for consideration by the college.
  2. A Miller Analogies Test score above the 25th percentile or a Graduate Record Examination score above 278 (combined verbal and quantitative scores). The official score report must be for a test taken within the last 5 years.
  3. Two official transcripts from each institution attended showing all credits and degrees previously earned.
  4. Two completed reference forms from faculty members or other persons who have adequate knowledge of the applicant’s Christian commitment and character and potential for success as a graduate student and professional educator.
  5. A TBI fingerprint background check is required prior to orientation.
  6. A student admitted conditionally because of undergraduate GPA may receive unconditional admission if the student achieves a grade point average of 3.0 on the first nine hours of Milligan College graduate study.
  7. Evidence of written language competency through an established examination process.
  8. A positive recommendation from the Graduate Admissions Committee based upon a review of the application file and an admissions interview.

Students must have unconditional admission status to be placed in an internship.

Special Enrollment

This status is designed for a student whose goal is to be accepted into the M.Ed. program as degree seeking, licensure only, or additional endorsement but who does not meet the admission standards (e.g. youthful college GPA). The Graduate Admissions Committee requires at least conditional admission status for the student to enter the licensure-seeking status. A student in this circumstance may enter as a special student to complete no more than fifteen (15) hours with at least a 3.0 grade point average while he or she is seeking conditional or unconditional admission status with the college. The student must submit a completed application, a letter requesting special student status, and two full sets of transcripts to the Graduate Admissions Office. When this student is qualified for either conditional or unconditional admission, the student may re-enter the admission process and the Graduate Admissions Committee will act on the request for admission. This status enables a student to enroll for graduate credit, but it does not guarantee that such credit will be counted toward degree objectives. When a student in special enrollment status has been reclassified to conditional or unconditional admission at Milligan College, a maximum of nine semester hours of special enrollment credit may be counted toward a degree objective unless otherwise approved by the Committee. Students enrolled under this special status are not eligible to receive federal financial aid.

Transient Enrollment

Transient enrollment may be granted to students who are enrolled in another graduate program, or who are seeking professional development, or who are seeking an additional endorsement (non-degree seeking). Each applicant must provide the Graduate Admissions Office with a completed application for admission and official college transcripts. Students who are enrolled in another graduate program must also supply a letter of approval from the dean or registrar of the student’s home institution. Students seeking an additional endorsement must provide a copy of a current teaching license from the State of Tennessee.

Graduate Admissions Committee

Admission to the program is determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee, which is composed of teacher education faculty and three non-teacher education faculty. The academic dean makes all appointments to the M.Ed. Graduate Admissions Committee.

Admission to Candidacy

The Progression and Retention Committee will determine admission to candidacy after the completion of at least nine hours.  The student may not be permitted to register for subsequent course work until admission to candidacy is approved. Admission to candidacy also provides approval for internship placement. The requirements that must be met before approval of admission to candidacy are as follows:

  1. Achievement of unconditional admission by the Admissions  Committee.
  2. Completion of at least nine semester hours of graduate credit at Milligan College including at least 6 credit hours of methods courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  3. Passing all content Praxis exams.
  4. Positive recommendation from all faculty from whom courses have been taken.
  5. Positive review by the Admission and Retention Committee based on:
    1. positive disposition ratings from prior mentors and supervisors
    2. demonstrated competence in lesson plan development.
  6. Submission of a TBI background investigation with no areas of concern.
  7. Verification of CPR and/or first aid competency that is current.
  8. Completion of undergraduate requirements for teacher licensure (or equivalent) as follows:

    Early childhood education: a basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); or

    Elementary education: a basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); or

    Middle grades education: (1) a basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure (two courses in language or literature; two courses in social studies; two courses in science [with labs]; and two courses in math); (2) a major in a single discipline from the arts and sciences with an area of emphasis (approximately 10% of the undergraduate curriculum) in at least one additional discipline outside the major; or

    Secondary education: (1) basic pattern of liberal arts courses to assure licensure; (2) specific courses in endorsement areas to assure content competency consisting of at least 24 hours that are the equivalent of a major in that area (See catalog for a list of available licensure programs).

Retention Standards and Probationary Status

When a student’s cumulative grade point average on courses applied toward the graduate degree falls below 3.0, the student may be permitted one semester of probationary standing in which to raise the average sufficiently. If the semester average on all courses taken during any semester falls below 2.75, the Progression and Retention Committee will review the student’s record for possible dismissal from the M.Ed. program. Students earning C or below in three or more hours of credit will be considered by the Progression and Retention Committee for possible probation or dismissal. No more than one grade below B- will be counted toward graduation. No grade below C will be counted toward graduation. Students with more than 3 hours of a grade of incomplete will not be allowed to register for additional classes until the incompletes have been resolved. Probationary status may also result from behaviors and/or dispositions considered as unprofessional, including but not limited to absenteeism, tardiness, interpersonal conflict, unacceptable dispositions, or disrespectful behavior directed toward peers, colleagues, school personnel, or children. Behavior also must be consistent with the Milligan College Mission Statement and Goals. No refunds or adjustments to tuition and fee charges are granted to persons dismissed from the program for reasons related to academic performance or integrity.

Appeals and Reinstatement

A student who is dismissed may be reinstated upon recommendation of the teacher education faculty. Reinstatement is not automatic. The student must consult with the Progression and Retention Committee chair, who will submit a recommendation to the area chair for a decision by the teacher education faculty. Appeals may be made on dismissal, denial of reinstatement, or any issue related to master of education program requirements. The student must submit a written petition to the Progression and Retention Committee chair requesting reconsideration of the decision. The student will be notified when the petition will be brought before the teacher education faculty and will have an opportunity to appear in person. The student will be promptly notified in writing of the faculty’s decision.

Licensure Programs (non-degree)

A student with a baccalaureate degree who is seeking teacher licensure must be admitted to the initial licensure graduate program. The student can prepare for licensure by completing courses that lead to a M.Ed. degree with the exception of the research courses (EDUC 511, 512, 513) or by completing a carefully planned licensure program that does not result in a degree. The Miller Analogies Test or Graduate Record Examination is waived for licensed teachers who enter the graduate advanced licensure program for the sole purpose of adding endorsements and are not seeking the degree. Licensed teachers adding endorsements for a different grade level may be required to complete a teaching practicum at the new endorsement level. All students pursuing degree completion must meet candidacy requirements noted above. Completion of the Milligan program of study does not guarantee licensure or graduation. Milligan College will not recommend for licensure or graduation any teacher candidate who has failed to meet minimum passing Tennessee approved scores on all required Praxis II tests and subtests.

Licensure Examinations (Praxis II)

Students who have not taken the Praxis II “Principles of Learning and Teaching” and appropriate Specialty Area Examinations must complete these examinations during their program(s) of study. Due to limited annual test dates, students are urged to complete required testing as early as possible in their programs of study. Based upon the assumption that academic content has already been mastered in the student’s baccalaureate degree program, it is recommended that all required Specialty Area Examinations be completed no later than November. Milligan College cannot recommend licensure for any candidate who has failed to attain Tennessee approved scores on all required licensure tests. Candidates will not be considered program completers until minimum scores have been attained on all required licensure tests. A passing grade will not be awarded in EDUC 560 Advanced Capstone Seminar until all minimum scores are met. Failure to pass the Capstone Seminar will also delay graduation until acceptable test scores are achieved. In accordance with the United States Congress in the reauthorization of Title II of the Higher Education Act, the Milligan College Teacher Education Program reports Praxis II pass rates for 2010-2011 program completers.

One hundred percent of the graduates passed all institutional exams for initial licensure.

Transfer Credit

A maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit in acceptable areas of study may be considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee for transfer from other approved institutions to the Milligan College M.Ed. degree program. Any transfer hours must be approved by the area chair prior to beginning the program.

Enrollment of Undergraduates in Graduate Courses or Graduate Students in Undergraduate Courses
Graduate students or undergraduate students at the junior and senior level may choose to take courses at the graduate or undergraduate level in areas which are comparable and are supported by the students’ academic adviser. Up to nine hours of undergraduate work beyond the minimum 128 hours of undergraduate requirements may be taken for graduate credit and applied toward the Master of Education degree program.

Time Limits for Completion of Requirements

A graduate student in the M.Ed. program must complete all degree requirements within an eight-year period. A successful appeal of this limitation may result in an extension of one, two, or three semesters granted by the teacher education faculty upon the recommendation of the student’s graduate adviser and the Director of Teacher Certification.

Grade Requirements for Graduation

Students must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average on required course work to be eligible for graduation. The minimum grade for all graduate program course work is C-. No more than six hours below B- can be counted toward graduation requirements.

Research Project

Students complete a research project that begins in Education 511 Research Methods in Education. The project features action research related to the school setting of the internship assignment. Research topics are developed collaboratively with Milligan faculty and partner school personnel. Designated checkpoints are established for students to report on their research projects. Results of the research are presented in a seminar near the end of the student’s graduate program.

Internship

Graduate students in initial licensure programs must complete EDUC 551 Internship I and EDUC 552 Internship II. This two-semester practicum in teaching, assessment, and classroom management provides sustained supervised experience in classrooms of community partner schools, working directly with master teachers as mentors. Intern experience placements will be made with partner school systems located near Milligan College in order to maintain proper supervision levels and the integrity of the Teacher Education Program. Placement in at least two grade levels is required for each licensure area. Students are not eligible for placement in the internship until methodology courses (either EDUC 576 and 577 or EDUC 520 and 521)are completed, the appropriate content Praxis II test has been passed, and a TBI background investigation with no areas of concern has been submitted. Students are not eligible for the second internship placement until all academic content requirements have been met. Students on probation may not begin the internship. A student who is placed on probation during or after the first semester of internship may not take the second semester of internship until he/she has been removed from probation. Employment and other substantial extracurricular activities during the internship are strongly discouraged. Working without written permission from the mentor, supervisor, and area chair is grounds for dismissal from the internship. The internship experience is evaluated by Milligan College and school system personnel using the Tennessee TEAM model. This year of “apprenticeship” is counted as the first year of teaching experience toward professional licensure status in Tennessee. Each student must also complete a co-requisite advanced capstone seminar (EDUC 560) during each semester of the internship. A critical component of the capstone seminars is the verification of program outcomes through successful completion of the portfolio and all required licensure examinations. Modest stipends may accompany the internship experience.

Graduate Course Load

The normal course load for full-time students in the M.Ed. program is nine to twelve hours per semester. In certain cases, the dean and the director of teacher certification may approve a fifteen-hour load for exceptional students. The maximum course load per four-week summer session is 7 hours.

Summer Session Attendance Policy

Because of the condensed nature of the summer school sessions, candidates may be allowed to miss up to two days of classes for legitimate reasons, i.e. death in family, job interviews, new teacher orientation, etc. If  an M.Ed. candidate misses more than two days of classes, s/he may not be placed in an internship. Exceptions to this policy can be granted by the Area Chair.