Frequently Asked Questions
The Wescoe School staff understands your need to plan ahead in order to achieve your goals. Therefore, we strive to provide course schedules to you at the earliest opportunity. Spring course schedules are usually available in November; Fall course schedules are typically available in April, and Summer course schedules are usually available in January.
To apply for admission, you should first talk to an advisor. Advisors are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays during the academic year. An advisor in your field of study will be assigned to you to discuss your educational and personal goals, and will work with you during the entire time you study with us.
After you have met with an advisor, you will need to complete the following:
You may submit your enrollment request in a variety of ways. You may deliver it in person to the Wescoe School, located in the Gabriel House of Muhlenberg College. You may fax your enrollment request to 484.664.3532, or mail your enrollment request to us at the following address:
PLEASE NOTE: All enrollment requests are processed by the Registrar and your enrollment is not assured until your schedule is viewable in CapStone Online. By signing the enrollment request you pledge to adhere to Muhlenberg’s Academic Behavior Code (ABC).
3. When should I register for a class?
As soon as you have selected a class, you should register for it.Registering early works to your advantage in two ways:
TIP: The best way to ensure your place in a class is to register at least three weeks prior to the beginning of class.
4. When do I pay for the class?
Tuition and fees are payable upon course registration.Muhlenberg College accepts payment via cash, check, MasterCard or Visa and American Express. You will NOT be able to register if you have an outstanding balance on your account (tuition, parking or library fines).
5. How do I change my schedule once I've registered?
You can change your schedule using the same type of enrollment request form you use to initially register. This may be done at any time prior to the conclusion of the add/drop period of the session for which you have enrolled. Consult the academic calendar and course listings for specific details. The academic calendar and other information pertaining to course selection can be obtained online at our Web site: www.muhlenberg.edu/wescoe, or at the Wescoe School office.
To add/drop, change or withdraw from a course, you must do so in writing, by completing an enrollment request form. You will continue to be held academically and financially accountable for the course(s) for which you enrolled until you are officially removed from the class roster. Please do not think you will be removed from the roster by not showing up for class, or by telephoning us to convey your intent. The Wescoe School will accept a faxed, signed letter of withdrawal if it is more convenient (fax: 484.664.3532).
6. What is the difference between “dropping” a course and “withdrawing” from a course?
The add/drop period is the time in which you may receive up to a 100% tuition refund, minus a $25 drop fee unless you simultaneously add another class. Usually, the add/drop period is assigned to the first week of class. Upon dropping a class, your academic transcript will not reflect the dropped class. After the close of the add/drop period, you must officially “withdraw” from a course with the approval of your academic advisor. A “W” will be assigned to your academic record indicating that you have withdrawn from the course. The timeliness of your withdrawal determines how much, if any, tuition refund you receive.
PLEASE NOTE: All students are responsible for their own enrollment; failure to properly add, drop, or withdraw from a course may result in the award of no course units and/or a failing grade.
7. What is the tuition refund policy for dropped and withdrawn courses in the traditional program?*
*Withdrawal from accelerated degree program courses is considered by the Dean of the Wescoe School on a case-by-case basis.
Medical Withdrawals: A student must provide medical verification of illness or injury from his/her family physician to the Director of Student Health or Director of Counseling and meet with his/her academic advisor in order to obtain a medical withdrawal. Both the student and academic advisor must sign the form requesting the withdrawal. If approved, the course instructor will assign a grade of “W.”
8. Is there any way I can enroll in a “closed” course?
Department Heads and Program Directors set the course enrollment limits when planning the Master Course Schedule. If the course closes during registration, a student wanting to enroll in the course must seek the approval from the Department Head or Program Director. During the add/drop period, the instructor may allow a student into a closed course by signing the add/drop form.
9. May I elect to repeat a course?
Courses in which the student earns a grade of “B-” or higher cannot be repeated. If a student repeats a course, all grades for the course are calculated into the GPA and listed on the academic record; however, only the course earning the first passing grade is counted toward the 34 course units required for graduation.
10. If I need a course that is not being offered for the current semester, what are my options?
Knowing what courses you need ahead of time is important so that you can take them when they become available in the course schedule. There may be times, however, when a course is simply unavailable and has been for some time. Speak to your academic counselor about your status as soon as possible. He/she may offer to you the option of taking the course during the day, or give you information about the possibility of taking the course as a “Special Arrangement,” designed in consultation with a faculty sponsor. Also, it may be possible for you to take a class at another accredited academic institution; however, you should discuss the matter with your advisor beforehand due to limitations on the type and number of classes that can be transferred.
Muhlenberg College is a member of the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC), along with Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and Moravian College. Through partnership and cooperation, LVAIC members realize greater strength, flexibility, and versatility for their students, faculty and staff. Students of LVAIC members benefit from increased academic resources and support, including facilitated cross-registration and study abroad opportunities. For more information please visit the LVAIC website at www.lvaic.org.
11. What is an “Independent Study/Research” course and how does it differ from a “Special Arrangement?”
Like a “Special Arrangement” course, an “Independent Study/Research” course is negotiated with a faculty sponsor. The difference between a Special Arrangement and Independent Study/Research course is that the latter normally does not cover the same material or material similar to that covered in regularly offered courses. No more than one course unit is awarded for each independent study/research course, and no fewer than 9 – 12 hours of work per week are required. It must have assigned letter grades, A – F.
12. What are the policies around class attendance and participation?
First Class Meeting: Students are required to contact their instructor if they cannot be in attendance at the first class meeting.
13. What is a course unit and the difference between a course unit and a semester credit hour?
Muhlenberg College uses a course unit system intended to emphasize the mastery of subject matter in contrast to the credit system which measures achievement in terms of time spent in class. A course as a unit of instruction may include a combination of lecture, discussion, recitation, computer work, group projects and laboratory work. The course is the entire learning experience, not merely the time spent in the classroom. Such an approach delegates to students greater responsibility for their own education and encourages active learning. Many institutions may not use a course unit system similar to Muhlenberg’s. For the purpose of all transfer transactions, the Muhlenberg course unit should be considered equivalent to 4 semester credit hours.
The following chart lists quality points assigned to each letter grade by course unit:
14. What is an “Incomplete?”
We know that on occasion, adult students have other important obligations that may require them to put their coursework “on hold.” A student may request an incomplete from his/her instructor and must specify a compelling reason for the inability to complete the course requirements by the end of the term. The student is required to complete and submit the required work within sixty (60) calendar days of the end of the term to prevent conversion of the incomplete “I” to a grade of “F.”
15. Can I take a course as a “Pass/Fail” grade only?
Full-time, degree-seeking students who have completed at least 16 Muhlenberg College units with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or more may elect to enroll for one course unit per semester on a pass/fail basis up to a total limit of three courses. One of the three pass/fail courses may be taken in the same academic division as the student’s major or minor, but not within the discipline of the major or minor program itself, even if the student has completed all the requirements for the major or minor Muhlenberg College is divided into three academic divisions:
In addition, no course for which a student elects to enroll on a pass/fail basis may be used to satisfy a general academic requirement (GAR). Courses offered by the college with a “pass/fail only” designation are exempt from the pass/fail requirements described here. Courses enrolled on a pass/fail basis that are awarded a grade of “P” (equivalent to a traditional “D” or higher) will not be used in computing the GPA but will be counted as course units toward graduation; courses failed will be computed in the GPA. Students may change a course from pass/fail to traditional grading or vice-versa only in the add/drop period of the semester. Pass/fail grades are not allowed in the Summer Sessions.
16. What does it mean to “Audit” a class?
Ordinarily, students auditing a course are expected to complete all assigned reading and participate in class discussions but will not be required to submit written work or take exams. Students in good academic standing may audit one class per semester with the instructor’s approval. Instructors must explicitly detail their expectations for students auditing their courses at the beginning of the semester, specifying ‘Conditions of the Audit’ on the audit registration form, and students must seek the consent of their faculty advisor. Students may change a course from audit (no course unit attempted) to a regular course unit basis (graded) or vice versa during the add/drop period, with the approval of the instructor and the faculty advisor. The student’s transcript will list the audited course with a grade of “AU” if the student has satisfactorily completed the audit. If the student fails to fulfill the requirements of the audit, no notation will appear on the transcript.
17. What if an instructor has made an error in grading me?
Only the instructor issuing the original grade may make a grade change. The instructor must complete a grade change form with the student’s new grade and reason for the change, and then submit the form to the Dean of the Wescoe School for signature. The Dean will forward the form back to the Registrar’s office and a REVISED grade report will be sent to the student’s home address.
Outstanding academic achievement will be recognized by the Dean of the College each semester. Students enrolled for 3 or more course units, having a term GPA of at least 3.500 with no grades of D, F, U, or VF for the semester will be eligible for Dean’s List. Students with an incomplete grade will not be eligible for inclusion on the Dean’s List until the work is completed and a final grade is recorded.
18. Are Wescoe students eligible for academic honors?
For Wescoe students seeking a liberal arts degree (B.A. or B.S.), please refer to the “Graduation Honors” section of the Muhlenberg College Catalog for information regarding honors distinction at graduation.
Students pursuing accelerated degrees through the Wescoe School will receive a “With Distinction" designation if they have a 3.700 grade point average (GPA)or above. The GPA is calculated on the courses within the accelerated degree program only, not other general academic requirements (GAR's) they may have taken or transferred. "With Distinction" will be noted on their transcript and diploma.
19. How many courses may I transfer to Muhlenberg and how do I obtain transcripts from previous academic institutions?
You may transfer up to 17 courses taken at accredited colleges and universities; these courses can count towards a Muhlenberg College degree. Muhlenberg College requires that an official, sealed transcript of all transfer coursework be sent directly to the Wescoe School from previous academic institutions for review.
Most colleges/universities have on-line transcript requisition, typically available on the Registrar website.
20. Besides taking classes, what other ways does the Wescoe School recognize academic performance for credit?
There are other ways students may obtain credit for prior learning. The following are different ways the Wescoe School measures academic performance:
CLEP testing: Students can demonstrate their knowledge and earn credit for prior learning by taking a CLEP exam (College-Level Examination Program) in the subjects already familiar to them. The test is administered by appointment in the Wescoe School office on a computer directly linked to College Board CLEP. Please call office at 484-664-3300 for more information or visit www.collegeboard.com/clep
Military Experience: Certain military experience can be assessed for credit in accordance with the guidelines established by ACE (American Council on Education). Your academic advisor will need a copy of your VA DD214 form, as well as any other military record documentation, such as your AARTS or SMART transcript, stating specific dates, duration, qualification and location of your training. Click here for related information on Veteran's Benefits.
Prior Work/Career Training Experience: The Wescoe School assesses work experience on a case-by-case basis. Adult learners bring a lifetime of learning from their workplace to the classroom. Much of this experience can be directly applied to college-level credit. The American Council on Education (ACE) recommends baccalaureate credit for career–focused education provided by certain companies, societies, associations, and institutions. We call this training “Credit for Prior Learning.”
It is advantageous for you to speak to your academic advisor about any career training you have received and/or career examinations that you have passed. Ultimately, your advisor will need specific documentation from the company administering such training to determine its college credit-worthiness. Specifically, you will need to obtain: