School of Education  

Graduate Programs - Policies & FAQs

Academic Advising Dismissal/Probation Registering for Courses
Academic Course Load Drop/Withdrawal Student Account Information
Academic Dishonesty Field Placements Student ID Cards
Appeals/Grievances Grading Policy Transfer of Credit
Auditing Guest Status Wait Lists
Change of Address/Phone/Name Independent Study


Course Format (DSP, Quad, etc.) Parking Weather

Academic Advising
M.Ed. candidates are required to meet with an education advisor prior to admission and to contact an education advisor with any questions regarding the program. Please note that the M.Ed. degree must be completed within five (5) years of the time enrolled in the first graduate education course. Once teacher certification has been earned, candidates should contact the Certification Officer in the School of Education who will be able to advise students of any remaining course or other requirements to be completed after certification. All certified, M.A.T. students are advised by the MAT Program Advisor. To schedule an advising appointment , please call (616) 632-2800.


Academic Course Load
Nine (9) credit hours is considered a full-time graduate course load. It is strongly recommended that no more than twelve (12) semester hours be earned in a fall or spring semester, and no more than nine (9) semester hours in a summer semester. Any exceptions require approval of the Dean of Education.


Academic Dishonesty
Written or other work that a student submits must be the product of her/his own efforts. A student may not submit a paper or other work for an Aquinas College course which was done for another course, either at Aquinas College or at another institution, without the explicit approval of both instructors. When in doubt as to the criteria for writing and submitting papers and other work, it is the student’s responsibility to consult beforehand with the instructor who will receive the finished work. More information regarding the College’s policies on academic dishonesty, cheating, and plagiarism may be found in the College catalog.


All appeals are made in writing to the Chairperson of the School of Education. The Aquinas College Grievance Procedures are available to any student who believes that College policies or his/her rights as a student have been violated. Contact the Academic Affairs office for further information.


Auditing of graduate level classes is not permitted.


Change of address/phone/name
To change your address or telephone number, please contact the School of Education Main Office at (616) 632-2800 or at 1-888-329-2748.

To change your name in the College's computer system, it is necessary to provide official documents confirming the name change to the Registrar’s Office. Documents may be mailed to Aquinas College , Registrar’s Office, 1607 Robinson Road SE , Grand Rapids , MI 49506 . Please call the Registrar’s Office at (616) 632-2866 with any questions.


Course Formats
Below are the typical formats for Aquinas course offerings. Please read carefully each semester’s printed schedule for special notations.

Semester long courses meet once or twice a week for sixteen weeks.

Quadmester classes are eight weeks long and meet once a week for four hours. They are generally offered in the evening from 6:30 to 10:30 .

A DSP course (directed study program) is a class that meets 5 to 7 times for three and one-half hours during the 16 week semester, usually on Friday evenings or during the day on Saturday. Students are responsible for working independently between class meetings. Self-discipline and a high level of motivation are essential for success in this format. Students who know they will miss any class meetings should not register in this format.

A web format course generally meets once at the beginning of the semester and once again at the end. Additional class sessions or optional workshops may be scheduled by the instructor. This format requires that the student be a strong independent learner, self-motivated and self-disciplined. Students must have regular access to the Internet and should expect to communicate regularly with classmates and the instructor via email and/or a course web page.

Course Formats

Dismissal/Probation Policy
If at any time after completion of the first six (6) semester hours, the student’s cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. If the cumulative GPA remains below 3.0 upon completion of at least six (6) additional semester hours, the student will be dismissed from the program. If desired, an appeal to be reinstated must be made to the Graduate Education Academic Review Committee in writing through the Chairperson of the School of Education. If approval is granted, the candidate will be allowed to register for no more than three (3) credit hours. The student will be allowed to continue in the program only if a grade of 3.0 or above is earned and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 is maintained.


The deadlines to add and drop a course are printed in each semester’s course schedule. If you decide to drop or add a course, you must do so by calling the School of Education Main Office immediately at (616) 632-2440 or 1-888-329-2748. Students have until 4 p.m. on the 10th business day of the semester/ quadmester to drop a class for a full refund. Students who do not officially drop a class within the initial 14 day add/drop period, but who are administratively dropped from a class will be assessed a $150 fee. Any course dropped on or after the 11th business day of a new semester/quadmester will be charged the full tuition rate.

On the 10th business day of the semester, full charges will be incurred. Refunds are contingent upon the official day of notification, not the day you stop attending class. If a student drops a course no later than the middle point of the course, the student’s permanent record will indicate a Withdrawal (W) from the course, with no impact on the grade point average. Dropping a course after the week following the middle point of the course will be recorded with a grade of No Credit (NC), which carries zero honor points and therefore has a major negative effect on the student’s grade point average.


Field Placements
Many M.Ed. education classes are offered in the evening AND involve a daytime field component. The purpose of all education field placements, and especially the placement experience for EN 501: Introduction to Education, is to provide the student an opportunity to observe and experience teaching in the real-life context of today’s classrooms. The School of Education faculty and staff believe it is of the utmost importance that the placements for EN 501 and other education courses take place under the guidance of an experienced in-service teacher and involve observation by and feedback from a qualified field supervisor. These placements allow the student to experience the classroom as a teacher and decide if becoming an educator is an appropriate career goal. The placements also provide School of Education faculty with opportunities to observe the student working with children and to guide the student in his/her preparation for a career in teaching.

Students should note the following regarding School of Education placement policies:

  • Students must have acceptable background (criminal) check status in order to engage in a placement for any School of Education course.
  • Students are not to arrange any placements unless specifically told to do so by the instructor of the course which involves the particular placement. Field placements for the vast majority of courses will be arranged by School of Education faculty and staff.
  • Students are expected to complete required field experiences in a variety of settings. Students will not be placed in the same school for the directed student teaching experience and for EN 501: Introduction to Education, or EN 506 or EN 508, Application of Learning Theories.
  • It is the policy of the School of Education that the field placement for EN 501 will be limited to public and private schools in Kent County school districts.
  • The School of Education does not place a student in the same building where he/she formerly attended, a relative works, or his/her child(ren) attend.
  • Students may not in any way be paid for time spent in a field placement.

Grading Policy
Grade Honor Points (per semester hour):

A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3., B = 3.0, B- = 2.7, C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0
CR - Credit, F -Fail, I - Incomplete, W - Withdrawal

Credit/No Credit - For field assignment classes only, a student may request a Credit/No Credit status for the given class. The instructor must agree and the Dean of Education must approve. A grade of "Credit" must equal a grade of "B" or above and does not affect the grade point average. A grade of "F" carries zero honor points.

Incompletes - If work is satisfactory at the time an "Incomplete" is requested, it may be granted, only at the discretion of the instructor, with a completion date set. If the deadline is not met, the grade becomes an "F." A grade of "F" is considered final.

Repeated Classes - When a class is repeated, both grades are recorded. The prior grade is not removed, but only the new grade is included in GPA computations. No education course may be repeated more than once without written permission from the Dean of the School of Education upon the advice of the instructor.

Guest Status
Aquinas College welcomes teachers who may wish to take only one or two courses of special interest. To be eligible for guest status, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate, submit an application and fee, and arrange for a brief interview with the MAT Program Advisor. Any guest student who decides to complete a specific course of study in the M.A.T. program should contact the MAT Program Advisor for information about application procedures.


Independent Study
Independent Study is primarily intended for special academic topics or when circumstances prevent the fulfillment of requirements through normal class enrollment. Methodology courses should not be taken through Independent Study. A student may earn up to six credit hours of Independent Study with a limit of nine credit hours earned through a combination of both Independent Study and transfer credit. The Academic Review Board may consider a request beyond those limits. An Independent Study must have prior approval of the Dean of Education. Then a contract is negotiated between the student and the appropriate faculty member prior to the beginning of the term in which the Independent Study is to be carried out. An Independent Study is of specified duration and credit hours.


Education classes are generally held in the Academic Building but others are offered in Albertus Magnus Hall ( Science Building ) and Kretschmer/Art and Music Building. Please refer to the campus map for more information. Parking is available to students in specified lots. Parking permits are required and available in the Campus Safety office; please bring driver’s license and vehicle registration.


Registering for Courses
To register for classes, contact the School of Education Office at (616) 632-2440 or 1-888-329-2748. When registering, please have the following information ready: the course number and section, the exact title of the course, and the semester. You will also need to provide your name and social security number or student ID number when registering.


Student Account Information
Payment is due in full the first day of each semester unless the students has applied for and paid for the Multiple Payment or Employer Reimbursement plans. Unpaid accounts will receive accounts receivable HOLDS barring further registration until charges are paid in full, and will result in the application of interest charges of 1% per month. Please call Student Accounts for payment plan forms and further information at (616) 632-2864.


Student ID Card
A student photo ID is needed to use the services of the Grace Hauenstein Library and the computer labs. You may have the ID prepared at the Campus Safety office. Money can also be "loaded" onto the ID card, which then may be used in the Corner Cafe, the Cafeteria, and The Moose Cafe.


Transfer of Credit
In some circumstances a candidate may transfer courses from another institution. Up to nine (9) credit hours of approved education coursework from other institutions may be accepted as transfer credit toward the elementary or secondary certification requirements. This will be determined prior to, or concurrent with, initial enrollment. All credit must be earned from an accredited teacher preparatory institution with a minimum grade of "B" or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, verified on an official transcript. Transfer coursework must be equivalent to coursework which would have been taken at Aquinas College. Coursework completed prior to entrance into an Aquinas graduate program cannot be more than five years old. Coursework taken concurrently with enrollment in an Aquinas College graduate program must receive prior approval from the Dean of Education in order to be acceptable for transfer.


Wait Lists
When a course section becomes full, a wait list is established. Wait-listed students will be added to classes as openings permit. Students will be added in chronological order as they appear on the list. If added, it is the student’s responsibility to pay for the course or drop the course prior to the start of the class.


Weather Cancellations
Call the campus Weather Hotline to check for weather-related cancellations: (616) 632-2463.