Policies and Procedures

Policies and Procedures

The following section outlines the policies and procedures you should follow as you pursue your graduate study.  The selections are listed in alphabetical order.

Admission to Closed Courses

Individual instructors may allow you to enter a closed course at their discretion with written permission. Doing so, however, is a courtesy extended by individual instructors rather than an obligation. Instructors are not required to allow students into closed courses. You will normally have to wait until the Drop/Add period before each semester to determine whether an opening in the course becomes available.

All Those Forms

See the “Checklist of Important Items” (at the back of this manual) and record the date for each requirement completed.  Be aware of when each form is due, such as filing for candidacy, transferring coursework, or filing for graduation, which is now done online through Banner Web.

Appropriate Courses for Your Degree Program

In order to determine appropriate courses, you need to consult the page in the online Graduate Catalog for your particular Master’s degree. Then, read more about the courses and the sequence in which you have to take them. It is your responsibility to know the frequency of course offerings, which can also be determined by consulting the Graduate Catalog. Look for the section titled Frequency Code.

You are also responsible for knowing which courses are prerequisites for other courses. In addition, if you take a course at the graduate level that requires undergraduate prerequisites, you must take those before you take the graduate-level course.

Change of Address, Telephone, Email, or Name

When you change your address, telephone number, email address, or name, please be sure to notify the Registrar’s Office (via MyRedDragon) and the English Department. This is very important and will help ensure information gets to you correctly and will allow us to keep your folder in order.

Change of Major

If you decide to change your major in the Master’s program, you must file a “Change of Status” form and it must be approved before the change becomes official. You must file the Change of Status form so that you are coded correctly on the computer network, so your transcript will be correct, and so on.

Class Cancellations

If the weather is inclement, please listen to radio stations, watch local TV stations in your area, or look for email alerts to determine if classes are canceled. The professor cannot cancel classes. A college administrator determines whether classes will be held; this is typically done in early-to-mid afternoon.  After the determination is made, the appropriate radio and TV stations are notified and email alerts are posted.

Course Load

Students wishing to enroll in more than 12 credit hours require permission of their advisor.

Culminating Activities

As part of your degree requirements you will need to complete a substantial master’s thesis, or a teaching portfolio (depending on your program). The department policies for each of these activities are outlined in the section “Culminating Activities”.

Degree Plan

Knowing the frequency of courses and the prerequisites of courses will allow you to determine a tentative degree plan. Because of the number of people registering for courses, you may not get the courses you want exactly when you want them. Therefore, you should have an alternative plan.  Make sure you plan for courses that are required and offered only in certain semesters.

Dropping a Course

If you have to drop a course, you need to obtain a “Change of Schedule” form and follow the instructions. Before you drop a course, please consider what the effect will be on your timeline for graduation and certification as well as your financial situation.

Financial Advisement

Your advisor cannot answer questions about financial aid.  Please consult the Financial Aid office in Miller, room 205.  Their phone number is 607-753-4714.

Full-time Status

A graduate student who enrolls in 9 credit hours per semester during fall and/or spring is considered full-time. However, if you are receiving financial aid as a full-time student, you may be required to register for 12 credit hours. During the two summer sessions, seven hours is the maximum for each session. You may, under certain circumstances, take more than the maximum allowable hours, but you must receive prior approval from the Graduate Director and the Assistant to the Dean of Arts & Sciences.

Grade Point Average

The minimum Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) needed to remain in graduate school is a 3.0. If your G.P.A. falls to a 2.8 – 2.99, you will be placed on probation.  If your G.P.A. falls below a 2.8, you will be dismissed from the College.

Incomplete Grades

If you did not finish coursework for one of your courses, and you received an “INC” as the grade, you have one calendar year in which to make up the work. You should not wait the whole year; you should make up the work as soon as possible. Work from a specific course should be made up in consultation with the professor of that course. A few weeks after submitting the necessary work to complete the course, you should call the Registrar’s Office or check Banner to confirm that a grade has been submitted. If not, please contact the professor for the specific course. Work not made up within one calendar year automatically converts to an “E” (failing) grade.

Lack of Notification from the College

There may be several reasons for not receiving items from the College:  e.g., (1) you are not matriculated (admitted to the program), (2) you have not been put on the mailing list (check with the Registrar’s Office), (3) you moved or changed your name and neglected to inform the College, or (4) your address is listed incorrectly (please notify the English Department for a correction).

Letters of Verification

Sometimes other State Education Departments require you to submit a letter stating you have graduated from an accredited institution, at what level, and so forth. If you need this letter for CERTIFICATION purposes, please contact your advisor.

If your principal (or district) wants a letter stating you are enrolled in a program for payroll purposes, contact the appropriate Graduate Coordinator in the English Department. Be very specific as to whom the letter needs to be addressed and what it needs to state.

Number of Years to Complete the Degree

See “Time to Complete” on p. 9.  Students in all graduate degree programs must complete their program requirements within five years after the date of the first graduate enrollment, even though such enrollment may be on a non-matriculated basis.  Students who wish to request an extension must apply directly to Dr. Jerome O’Callaghan, Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, in the Old Main, Old Main, Room 125.  There is no guarantee that an extension will be granted.

Paperwork for Course Approval for Your District

If the district in which you teach requires you to submit paperwork for course approval before you register for courses, it is always a good idea to include a list of several required courses, as you are not guaranteed to get a spot in your first-choice class.

Registration Procedures

Graduate students can register for courses using Banner Web Registration. See “How to Register on the Web” by going to the Cortland Homepage (www.cortland.edu) and clicking on “Registrar” in the Quick Links. Graduate students will need only an active time-ticket to register and will NOT have a Registration PIN number. 

M.S.Ed students registering for AED or ENG courses with two sections must register for the 001 (non-majors) sections.  M.A.T. students registering for those courses will register for the 601 (majors only) sections of the courses. Students in the M.A.T. program must register for fieldwork courses (AED 669 and ENG 505) as soon as possible during the open registration period to ensure that they receive their placements in a timely manner. Before you will be permitted to register for these courses, you must go to the Field Placement Field Experience and School Partnerships Office (Education Bldg., Rm. 1105) where you will be asked to fill out placement preferences and availability. From there, proceed to the English Department, where, upon being shown the appropriate paperwork from Field Placement, the Department secretaries will lift the flag allowing you to register for these courses and the co-requisite courses (see page 45 for additional details).???

Seeing Your Advisor

When you make an appointment, be sure to know what you want or need. It is generally best to make an appointment in advance so that your advisor can pull and review your file prior to the meeting.

Taking a 400-Level Course for Graduate Credit

You may not take a course at the 400 level for your Master’s degree. The College requires that all coursework for graduate programs be at the 500-600 level.

Transferring Coursework to Cortland

If you wish to transfer courses from another institution to the graduate program at Cortland, you may do so after you have been approved for candidacy and only if the courses are from an accredited institution. A total of 6 credit hours may be transferred.

Courses are not automatically transferred to Cortland. For courses taken prior to establishing candidacy titled “Request for Acceptance of Graduate Courses Already Completed at Other Institutions” available from your advisor. For courses that you will be taking after candidacy has been established, you must receive prior approval for the course to make certain it will fit into your program. You may obtain prior approval by submitting the titled “Request for Prior Approval to Transfer Graduate Coursework from Another Institution.”

When sending the appropriate form for transferring a course, you will also need to send an official transcript along with the syllabus and catalog description of the course. If you have not taken the course, you need only to send the catalog description of the course and your form; you will need to mail the syllabus as soon as possible. It is also your responsibility to have an official transcript mailed to the Registrar’s Office at Cortland upon successful completion of the course so that your records may be updated.

Any courses that you wish to transfer may not be older than five years from your first graduate registration at Cortland.

Withdrawing from the Master’s Program

If you decide to withdraw from any of the Master’s programs in English for any reason, please contact the appropriate Graduate Coordinator in the English Department. Your folder will continue to be kept on file for five years. After a period of five years, if you decide to continue pursuing a Master’s degree, you must reapply to the program since no coursework more than five years old may be applied toward a Master’s degree.