School of Graduate Studies
The mission of the School of Graduate Studies is to provide opportunities for high quality advanced study to individuals holding bachelor’s degrees from regionally accredited institutions, within a context that embraces faith and intellectual freedom, balances conviction with compassion, and inspires in students love of learning, service, and leadership. The curricula–which for the most part are designed to meet the needs of full-time teachers, counselors, nurses, and school administrators working in their fields – emphasize independent, critical thinking; effective communication; and the importance of the scholar and professional educator/counselor/nurse as theorist and practitioner.
In order to fulfill its mission, the School of Graduate Studies has the following goals:
- To ensure that students receive high quality instruction from graduate faculty who encourage independent, critical thinking and effective communication; who integrate current theories and research into coursework; and who model the scholar and professional as theorist and practitioner.
- To ensure that the curricula of the various graduate programs provide students with both depth and breadth of content.
- To ensure that the curricula of the various graduate programs provide students with opportunity to gain knowledge of the important literature of their academic discipline.
- To ensure that the curricula of the various graduate programs provide students with opportunity to engage in research and/or appropriate professional practice and training experiences.
- To ensure that students receive accurate, timely, and helpful advising information.
Application materials are available from the School of Graduate Studies Office. Most master’s program students may enter at the beginning of any semester or summer term. Students are admitted to the counseling and religion programs in the fall semester only. To apply for initial admission to graduate study, the applicant should submit the following:
- A completed application, either paper format with a $40 non-refundable processing fee, or online at www.gradschool.gardner-webb.edu.
- An official transcript of all previous academic work beyond the high school to be sent directly from each institution attended. The Privacy Act requires that each student request in writing that transcripts be released to the Graduate School Office. (Use form provided with application.)
- Scores on either the Graduate Record Examination; Miller Analogies Test; or for appropriate programs, PRAXIS II Subject Assessment.
- Three professional references on Gardner-Webb Graduate School reference forms (references from family members not acceptable).
- For programs leading to graduate level educator’s license, evidence of A level North Carolina Teacher’s license or equivalent.
- For the Nursing, School Counseling, and Mental Health Counseling programs, proof of criminal background record check for all states of residence for the past five (5), (Nursing ten(10) years) and a statement of residence verification.
- For the Nursing program, immunization records and a current unrestricted license to practice as a Registered Nurse.
When all documents have been received, they will be evaluated by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the chair or coordinator of the program area. The applicant will be notified of the decision. Prospective counseling and religion majors must schedule an interview with the appropriate faculty members before formal admission. (See descriptions of those programs for additional admissions requirements.) Students are notified of their admission status as soon as possible after completing the admissions process. Because of the confidential nature of some items of information required for admission, the University reserves the right to reject any applicant without stating a reason.
International Students follow the usual procedure for admission with these exceptions:
- Transcripts must first be submitted to World Education Services for evaluation before being mailed to the Graduate School Office. Application for WES evaluations may be found in the Graduate School office or online at www.WES.org.
- A satisfactory TOEFL score must be submitted unless English is the native tongue.
- A Gardner-Webb form, Statement of Financial Responsibility, must be filled out, signed, and accompanied by a letter from student’s or sponsor’s bank showing amount to cover one year of graduate study.
- Once the student’s file is completed and an admissions decision has been made, the Graduate School Office will send the student an I20 Form, enabling the student to apply for a visa.
TYPES OF ADMISSION STATUS
Admission for graduate study at Gardner-Webb University is granted in the following categories.
An applicant who meets all criteria for admission to the various Master’s degree programs may be granted full admission. These requirements include the following:
- a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, 2.7 for Nursing, and 2.5 for all other master’s degree programs;
- satisfactory scores on either the Graduate Record Examination, Miller Analogies Test, or PRAXIS II Subject Assessment (acceptable for Elementary Education, English Education, Middle Grades Education, School Administration);
- three positive professional and/or academic references;
- an A level teaching license or equivalent for those who are pursuing a graduate degree leading to graduate level licensure.
Applicants to the School or Mental Health Counseling, English or English Education, School Administration, Sport Science and Pedagogy, Religion, or Nursing programs should see the descriptions of those programs for additional requirements.
An applicant who does not meet the formal requirements for full admission to a master’s degree program may be granted provisional admission. A student admitted with provisional status must meet any conditions attached to his/her admission before being granted full admission. Deficiencies may include lack of undergraduate course prerequisites or background in the discipline, low test scores, low undergraduate grade point average, or the need to complete student teaching or teacher licensure. No student may be admitted to a degree program who has a grade point average lower than 2.25 on all college work attempted or the last 64 hours of undergraduate work attempted.
In most instances students must meet conditions of provisional admission within the first six hours of graduate work completed at Gardner-Webb. One obvious exception would be otherwise qualified applicants provisionally admitted to programs leading to graduate-level licensure because they are simultaneously pursuing initial licensure in the same discipline, who as a result of scheduling constraints may sometimes be unable to meet the condition of completing initial licensure requirements until they are well into their graduate program. Any other exceptions to the six-hour policy must be agreed upon by the Graduate Dean and director/coordinator of the program at the time of the provisional admission decision and specified in the acceptance letter.
If the terms of the provisional acceptance are not successfully met, the student may reapply for admission after one year. The program graduate faculty will make the decision on whether to readmit and if readmitted, the stipulations that will apply.
A student entering the School of Graduate Studies to take courses for professional or career enhancement as a non-degree seeker is granted special admission. A maximum of six semester hours may be taken as a special student and applied toward a master of arts degree at Gardner-Webb.
Initial “A” Level Licensure: Applicants who hold a baccalaureate degree but who do not hold a North Carolina “A” level Teacher’s License or its equivalent may apply for admission as Special Students to the approved Program for Teacher Licensure. The School of Education and the appropriate department offering the specialty studies will evaluate all undergraduate work.
Graduate Level Licensure: In some programs, students may pursue graduate level licensure without pursuing a graduate degree. Applicants who have earned a master’s degree and who wish to earn a graduate level license in an additional area of specialization may apply for admission as Special Students. An evaluation of undergraduate and graduate work is required to determine courses necessary for graduate level licensure. Students must successfully complete the appropriate specialty area portion of the PRAXIS.
Public School Personnel: Public school teachers applying for the first time for courses solely for “A” level license renewal credit may be admitted as Special Students by completing the Graduate School application form and by presenting an official transcript showing completion of the bachelor’s degree. If, however, credit is to be applied to a graduate degree, the student must make specific application for this credit before the completion of six hours, as well as meet all requirements for admission as a graduate degree student. Public school teachers and administrators applying for the first time for courses solely for graduate level license renewal credit may be admitted as Special Students by completing the Graduate School application and by filing an official transcript showing completion of the master’s degree.
Transient status is assigned to an applicant from another recognized graduate institution who desires enrollment at Gardner-Webb to take courses for transfer to the institution in which he or she is enrolled as a degree candidate. A transient student must submit an application for admission to the Graduate School and a letter from the dean or director of the program in which he or she is regularly enrolled indicating good standing.
* POLICY FOR ADMISSION OF SPECIAL OR TRANSIENT STUDENTS IN COUNSELING PROGRAMS
Students are admitted to the master’s programs in counseling in a selective manner within a cohort model. Students are thus provided an enhanced opportunity to develop professional clinical skills and relationships in a safe environment with their classmates. School of Psychology and Counseling (SPC) faculty regard limiting clinical experiences to its own students critical in maintaining the optimal environment for learning and protecting the intent of the cohort model. Therefore, the SPC has a special policy and procedure regarding the admission of special or transient students to courses within the School Counseling and Mental Health Counseling programs. The SPC rarely admits students outside the regular admission policy, and will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. Admission to any course will be by permission of the professor after consultation with other SPC faculty.
Students requesting admission to courses must meet the following requirements:
- Current enrollment in an accredited college or university in a counseling program similar to those offered at Gardner-Webb University, or graduation from an accredited college or university in a counseling program;
- Submission of an official transcript demonstrating being in good standing and with at least a 3.0 grade point average, or showing the degree conferred;
- An application submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in the standard format, accompanied by a cover letter detailing the courses sought, the reasons they are desired from Gardner-Webb, and the reasons they cannot be taken at the individual’s home institution.
Those courses which Gardner-Webb University considers to be clinical courses cannot be taken by students who are not enrolled in the Gardner-Webb University counseling master’s programs.
These courses include at least the following:
|CEDU 615||The Helping Relationship|
|CEDU 621||Crisis Intervention Counseling|
|CEDU 625||Group Counseling|
|CEDU 630||Individual Psychological Assessment and|
|CEDU 655||Psychodiagnostics and Treatment Planning|
|CEDU 670||Mental Health Counseling Practicum|
|CEDU 690,691,692||Mental Health Counseling Internships|
|CEDU 675,695,696||Practicum and Internships in School Counseling|
|CEDU 699||Professional Development of Mental Health|
* POLICY FOR ADMISSION OF SPECIAL OR TRANSIENT STUDENTS IN MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING PROGRAM
Students admitted to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program select an area of specialty practice following completion of the core requirements in the program. Graduate faculty of the School of Nursing (SON) believe that limiting clinical and practicum experiences to only those students enrolled in the MSN Program at Gardner-Webb University ensures an optimal learning experience designed for these students. Therefore, the SON has a special policy and procedure regarding the admission of special or transient students into clinical/practicum courses in the MSN Program. Students requesting special permission for admission to these courses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Admission to any clinical/practicum course will be by permission of the professor of the course following consultation with the Dean of the SON and other MSN faculty.
Students requesting admission to clinical/practicum courses must meet the following requirements:
- Current enrollment in a nationally accredited college or university in a Master of Science in Nursing Program similar to the MSN Program offered at Gardner-Webb University or graduation from a nationally accredited college or university in an MSN Program;
- Submission of an official transcript demonstrating being in good standing with at least a 2.70 grade point average, or showing the degree conferred;
- A current non-restricted license to practice as a Registered Nurse.
- An application submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in the standard format, accompanied by a cover letter detailing the courses sought, the reasons they are desired from Gardner-Webb University, and the reasons they cannot be taken at the individual’s home institution.
Those courses which Gardner- Webb University and the SON consider to be clinical/practicum courses and which cannot be taken by students who are not enrolled in the Gardner-Webb University MSN Program include the following:
NURS 616 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum
An applicant to a master’s program may be granted permission to register for one semester of course work (typically no more than six, but eight for some programs) prior to finishing the admission procedure; however, he or she must have completed an application to the School of Graduate Studies. Credit earned will be considered graduate level work but may not be counted toward a master’s degree at Gardner-Webb until the student meets admissions criteria when all credentials are assessed. The student must be admitted to the Graduate School in order for him or her to register for a second term of course work.
The primary purpose of the transfer of credits policy is to grant incoming master’s program students credit for work previously completed. Students are expected to take the appropriate courses offered by Gardner-Webb once they enter the program. However, permission may be granted to take courses offered by other institutions when the appropriate course is not offered by Gardner-Webb or when it is more convenient for the University to approve a course for transfer than to offer the course by special arrangement. Students must satisfy licensure competencies as well as perform satisfactorily on program comprehensive exams. In addition, the Registrar’s Office must have an original transcript on file showing the transfer course(s) before commencement, or the student’s graduation may be delayed.
With the approval of the coordinator/director of the Master’s program area and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, a maximum of six semester hours may be accepted from another accredited graduate school toward the fulfillment of requirements for a Master’s degree at Gardner-Webb. A maximum of nine semester hours may be accepted into the Mental Health Counseling program, with consideration of three additional hours through an appeals process. Credit will not be given for courses taken more than six (6) calendar years before acceptance to graduate study nor for courses taken towards another completed master’s degree. Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at Gardner-Webb must have prior written approval to take courses from another institution for transfer credit.
Transfer credit will not be accepted for any course in which students earned below a grade of B. When transfer credit is requested for graduate courses that were graded on a P/F basis, approval of credit for courses in which the grade was a P will be decided on a case-by-case basis. A student may not take courses for transfer credit from another institution while on suspension or on probation.
Because of the modular curriculum and cohort nature of three master’s programs, transfer credit may not be possible in the Master’s of Executive Leadership Studies, Master’s of Elementary Education and Master’s of Middle Grades Education. These programs are designed and delivered in modules carrying six credit hours that do not match traditional three-hour courses. A candidate may request a conference with the department chair for each of these programs to evaluate transcripts for possible credit.
Because of the unique modular structure of Gardner-Webb’s Ed.D. programs, no credits may be transferred into them.
GRADUATE CREDIT FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Undergraduate students who want to take graduate courses for graduate credit are limited to six semester hours and must obtain permission of the faculty member teaching the course and the appropriate graduate coordinator or department chair before registering for a graduate course.
Students who earned a bachelor’s degree at Gardner-Webb University may not transfer for graduate credit any 500- or 600-level course taken as an undergraduate if that course contributed in any way to the requirements for the bachelor’s degree. Graduate level courses that did not contribute toward the bachelor’s degree may, at the discretion of the department chair, count toward the master’s degree or graduate level license.
READMISSION OF FORMER STUDENTS
Any student who does not register for three consecutive terms (the two summer sessions count as one term) must apply for readmission beforeresuming graduate work. No application fee is charged for readmission.
Students have a time limit to complete their degree of six (6) calendar years in master’s programs and seven (7) calendar years in the Ed.D. and D.N.P. programs, from the beginning of the term in which they complete their first graduate course towards the degree they are currently seeking. Students who experience extenuating circumstances may apply for an extension through their program coordinator. The program graduate faculty makes the decision on whether to grant the extension and what stipulations will apply. The program coordinator submits a notification of extension, extension terms, and applicable stipulations to the Dean of the Graduate School or the Director of Graduate Programs in Business. The Dean or Director then notifies the students of the extension, terms of the extension, and related stipulations. A copy of the letter is sent to the Registrar’s office and to the program coordinator. If the student is not satisfied with the program faculty’s decision, that student has the right to appeal, as outlined in the academic appeals process.