The academic policies are grouped in categories. Click on a heading below to view the policies in that category. These policies are also found in the undergraduate catalog.
Number of Non-Traditional Credits Applicable to Program
A combined maximum of 30 credits earned by Advanced Placement, from credit by examination, from experiential learning credits and from CLEP may be applied to a degree program.
Advanced Placement Program
High school students who take the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Tests may receive college credit. For details and passing grades for particular subjects, see the chart or contact the MLC Records Office. The MLC code for reporting scores is 6435.
College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)
This College Board program allows students to earn college credit by demonstrating mastery of college-level material in introductory subjects. To determine if CLEP credits will apply to MLC requirements, see the chart or contact the Records Office. The passing score of 50 is required for all examinations accepted by Martin Luther College. The MLC code for reporting scores is 6435.
International Baccalaureate Credits
Martin Luther College will award transfer credit for the exams (see chart) in which students receive a score of 5 or above.
Credit by Examination
Students may request to test out of a course. The application form is found on the MLC website and is submitted to the chair of the division that offers the course, ideally before the student has registered for the course. If the student has registered for the course, the deadline for requesting credit by examination is seven calendar days after the first class day of the semester. The division chair, in consultation with the course instructor and the academic dean of the student’s program, has authority to grant or deny the student’s request. Tests must be completed within one calendar week after the request is submitted. Each examination for credit may be taken only once. A $25 fee is charged for the test. An examination grade of C or higher must be earned to receive credit. A student cannot use credit by examination to earn credit for courses that the student has failed.
Application for Credit by Examination
Experiential Learning Credit
An “experiential learning” experience is a previous learning experience in a classroom, on the job, in previous training, or through personal study that a student wishes to apply towards credit for a college course. The student must provide supporting documentation in the form of a portfolio. Three faculty members evaluate the portfolio for fulfillment of course objectives. Application forms may be obtained from the academic deans. A $50 non-refundable fee is charged for each application.
Foreign Language Testing and Placement
Students completing foreign language study in high school and desiring to continue that foreign language at Martin Luther College write a diagnostic test before beginning their studies (i.e., matriculating) at Martin Luther College. High school seniors who have applied write the test in April/May of their senior year; transfer students write the test during the summer prior to matriculation. The score determines their placement in the language. Students who score adequately may receive credit by examination.
MLC’s semester abroad program allows students to apply to, attend, and study at a university outside of the United States for a semester. Students who have attained sophomore status or above, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and are current in their MLC financial obligations may apply to the semester abroad program through the Study Abroad Coordinator in the Cultural Engagement Center.
The Study Abroad Coordinator will guide the student through the application process with the goal of maintaining an on-time graduation. The student’s academic advisor and Academic Dean will assist in determining if courses taken at the host university will apply to the student’s program. Students will register for a minimum of 12 credits. Credits earned at the host institution will be treated as transfer credits.
The complete policy, including expectations of the student while participating in the program, are available in the Cultural Engagement Center.
Students who have completed coursework from a regionally accredited credit-granting institution are welcome to transfer credits from that previous undergraduate experience. To qualify for transfer credit, courses must meet the following criteria.
- They must be applicable to MLC degree requirements.
- They must relate to a comparable MLC course, a rule of thumb being 2/3 similar material/concepts.
- They must carry a grade of C or higher.
Visit the Academic Deans page to view a list of courses that have previously been approved.
Applicability of transfer credits is re-evaluated when students change their major or program of study. Questions about transcript decisions are directed to the Education Dean or Pre-Seminary Dean. Appeals of transcript decisions are addressed to the Vice President for Academics using the Student Appeal/Grievance Form. The academic standing of transfer students is determined by applying Martin Luther College’s grade point average (GPA) policy to the grade point averages of the applicant’s transcript. A student who does not meet the minimum but is accepted enters as a student on probation.
Enrollment at Other Institutions
A student enrolled at Martin Luther College may take courses at other accredited institutions for transfer credit. Students should receive prior approval from their academic dean for courses they wish to take elsewhere to ensure that the course(s) will transfer. Enrollment concurrent with MLC’s fall or spring semester at another institution is generally not permitted. When a valid programmatic need arises, a student may appeal to the Vice President for Academics. The outside coursework approval form is available online from the Records Office. Only courses with a C grade or better are accepted in transfer.
Transfer Students with a Bachelor’s Degree
Upon matriculation at Martin Luther College, transfer students who have previously completed a bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution need to complete general education credits that fulfill standards for Minnesota teacher licensure, theology courses required for synod certification, and major courses.
Earning a Second Bachelor’s Degree
Students who have completed a first bachelor’s degree either at Martin Luther College or at another institution may wish to complete a second degree at Martin Luther College. The academic deans determine the remaining requirements not met by the student’s first degree. The final thirty credits must be earned at Martin Luther College.
Students register for classes online. Each student is assigned a specific time to register. Past due financial accounts must be paid in full before a student can complete course registration for the following semester unless an exception has been granted by the college administration. The Records Office and the deans are available to help students register for classes.
Course Registration Information
Audits do not earn credit. Refer to the Financial Aid section of the catalog for potential implications to federal or state financial aid. Space availability and consent of instructor are considerations for audits. Class attendance is required. Participation in class activities is at the instructor’s discretion.
- Full-time and part-time students in good academic standing may audit courses. The total number of credits and audit hours may not exceed 21. Full-time students who pay full tuition may audit courses without charge. Part-time degree-seeking students pay the per-credit charge for audits.
- Students on probation need their academic dean’s approval to audit courses.
- An audit may be changed to a course taken for credit during the first two weeks of the semester, provided the total number of credits for the semester does not exceed 18.
- A course taken for credit may be changed to audit during the first two weeks of the semester, provided the total number of credits and audit hours does not exceed 21.
- Procedures for withdrawing from a course taken for audit are identical to those followed when withdrawing from a course taken for credit. Withdrawn audit courses do not appear on a transcript.
Withdrawals from Courses
- Within the first two weeks of the semester (one week/five days for quarter courses) and with the approval of their advisor and the Records Office, students may drop or add courses using the Drop/Add Form.
- With the approval of the dean, students may withdraw from a semester course after the first two weeks and up to the tenth class day after midterm. Also, with approval, students may withdraw from a quarter course up to halfway through the course. The dean will consult with the student’s advisor and instructor before making a decision. For these courses, the student’s record shows W and is not counted in computing the grade point average. The Late Course Withdrawal form is available in the Academic Deans’ Office.
- Any course withdrawal after the two weeks following midterm is an unauthorized withdrawal. An unauthorized withdrawal from a course is recorded as an F. This F is counted in the grade point average. Only under extenuating circumstances will a withdrawal be granted after the deadline. Confer with the Academic Deans’ Office.
- Potential implications of withdrawing from a course are (1) the student’s program may need to be extended, (2) financial aid may be affected, (3) family insurance rates may be affected, and (4) the student, if still a dependent, may have a tax issue.
Withdrawal from Student Teaching
A student who withdraws from student teaching and decides not to re-attempt the experience may apply to change to an educational studies degree. This change requires the approval of the student’s advisor, the academic dean, and the Vice President for Academics.
A directed study is a course taken outside the normal class period. The course is an existing course with an approved syllabus, but which because of exceptional circumstances a student is unable to take as part of a regularly scheduled class. Such exceptional circumstances would include irresolvable schedule conflicts or graduation requirements when a student is close to graduation. Only students in academic good standing and who have junior status or higher may apply for directed study. The directed study credits count toward the semester credit load. Students must register at least six weeks prior to the beginning of the semester or summer session in which he or she wishes to take the directed study. Inquiries regarding a directed study are submitted to the student’s advisor and the academic dean.
Application for Directed Study
An independent study is a course of study outside of the regular curriculum. The course content, objectives, credits, and assignments are developed by the student and the instructor and must be approved by the appropriate dean and the Vice President for Academics.
A dual-level course is a course taken by both undergraduate students and graduate students. The following policies apply.
- Undergraduates take the course for undergraduate credit. Should the undergraduate student later need to take the course as a graduate student, additional work is necessary to receive graduate credit. The instructor and Director of Graduate Studies shall detail these specific requirements prior to an applicant’s enrollment in the course.
- The undergraduate courses and graduate courses that are dual-listed cover similar course content. The titles and descriptions of the two courses reflect the similarity of the subject matter. The courses have the same instructor.
- If the total enrollment of the dual-level courses meets minimal enrollment expectations for at least one of the courses of the pair, the dual-listed courses shall be considered to have met minimal enrollment requirements.
- Specific requirements for the graduate course must clearly delineate the greater expectations and additional requirements for graduate students. These are delineated in the syllabus.
- Dual-level courses are available to undergraduate students who have earned a minimum of 28 earned credits, or with the consent of the instructor.
Martin Luther College offers a variety of courses each summer. Courses appear in various formats—face to face, on- and off-campus, and online—and are offered for a variety of individuals, including undergraduates, masters of education graduate students, in-service teachers, pastors, and staff ministers. The Office of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education oversees the planning and implementation of summer session offerings.
Credit Hour Policy
A class hour is defined as 50 minutes. The definitions below refer to the number of class hours during a semester that is approximately fifteen weeks long or an equivalent amount of time for terms of shorter duration. These definitions conform to commonly accepted practices in higher education.
- One on-campus class credit is defined as: 1 class hour of direct faculty instruction per week and 2 class hours of out-of-class student work each week.
- One distance learning or hybrid class credit is defined as: an equivalent amount of instruction and student work leading to equivalent learning outcomes as required for an on-campus class as defined above.
- One laboratory credit (science or music) or one physical education activity credit is defined as: 2 class hours of direct faculty instruction and 1 class hour of out-of-class student work each week.
- One studio private music lesson credit is defined as: .5 class hour of direct faculty instruction and 5 class hours of individual practice.
- One laboratory piano credit is defined as: 3 class hours of direct faculty instruction and 3 class hours of individual practice.
- One ensemble music credit is defined as: 3-5 class hours of supervised rehearsal each week, attendance at performances, and attendance at special rehearsals.
- One internship, clinical, or student teaching credit is defined as: at least 45 hours of supervised work in a field placement within or outside of the academic calendar.
- One individualized study credit (e.g., thesis, capstone project, directed study, independent study) is defined as: 3 class hours of direct instruction and/or individual work each week.
- A course offered in a term of less than 15 weeks shall contain the same class hours, preparation time, content, and requirements as the same course or an equivalent course offered over a 15-week semester.
- Physical education activity courses are 0.5-credit quarter courses. Typically, two quarter activity courses are scheduled in one semester to achieve one physical education credit.
- Undergraduate class hours (classroom and out-of-class) consist of all educational activities associated with achieving the student outcomes, including any combination of the following: seat time; assigned readings; participation in discussion; listening to or viewing required instructional presentations; finding, gathering, and reviewing resources; preparing and sharing papers, projects, presentations; collaboration with classmates around a given task; creating and implementing research projects; preparing for quizzes and examinations, internships, clinicals, student teaching; and other academic work as outlined in the course syllabus.
- One graduate level credit hour is equivalent to an undergraduate credit in regard to the amount of work, but the type of work regularly involves more rigorous standards for discussion and application. In addition to educational activities outlined for undergraduate work, graduate work also includes retrieving, reading, discussing, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating empirical research and reports of research; applying research to practice; and conducting and reporting one’s own research.
Normal course load at Martin Luther College is 15-18 credits per semester.
- To be classified as full-time, a student must be enrolled in twelve credit hours or more. Part-time status students are enrolled in fewer than twelve credits, excluding audits.
- The maximum number of credits a student may take is 18 credits per semester.
- Students may audit courses. The total number of credits and audit hours may not exceed 21.
- Exceptions to the maximum number of semester credits (18) and to the total number of credits plus audit hours (21) are considered only in extenuating circumstances. Appeals for exceptions are made to the Vice President for Academics.
- Pre-seminary students enrolling in a four-year degree program are expected to be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours in each of their eight semesters. Exceptions to this policy need approval from the Academic Dean for Pre-Seminary Studies.
To be classified as full-time during the summer session, a student must be enrolled in six credit hours. Half-time status is defined as enrollment in three credit hours. Permission from the Vice President for Academics is required to overload. Consideration will be given to timing of additional credits, academic standing, financial aid packages, and possible impact on semester GPA.
Cross Listed Courses
Although cross-listed courses are able to fulfill requirements in two areas, they can only be applied to one graduation/program requirement.
Change of Program Major, Minor, Language Option
MLC students who change their areas of study will have all credits re-applied to their new areas of study.
Change of Majors and Minors Form
Change of Degree Programs
Students may apply to change degree programs (Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Arts for pre-seminary students, Bachelor of Science for staff ministry, theological studies, and educational studies). A change of degree programs requires the approval of the dean/director of the student’s current degree area and the approval of the dean/director of the degree area into which the student desires to enroll. Enrollment in the Theological Studies program or the Educational Studies program requires the approval of the student’s advisor, the appropriate dean, and the Vice President for Academics. Education or staff ministry students who switch to the pre-seminary program should expect at least three more years of study at MLC, unless they complete a Bachelor of Science degree before moving to the pre-seminary program.
Grade Point Average Requirement in the Major
After earning 15 credits through MLC in the early childhood, elementary education, or parish music major, or 22 credits through MLC in a secondary subject area or K-12 education major, a 2.50 GPA is required. Students failing to achieve this requirement must achieve a 2.50 or higher in the major the following semester. If after failing to achieve a 2.50 GPA in the major for two consecutive semesters, students are required to repeat courses in the major or withdraw from the major. Students cannot take new courses in the major until a 2.50 GPA in the major is achieved. A 2.50 in the major is required for admission to student teaching.
Courses included in the calculation of GPA requirements for education majors are as follows.
- All required courses in the discipline
- Additional courses in the discipline that are not required
- General education courses in the discipline (except SSC4201 Introduction to Minority Cultures is not counted for the social studies major)
- All relevant secondary EDU methods and psychology courses are included
- Psychology courses are included for elementary education and early childhood education majors
To see the list of courses used in calculating a student’s GPA in their major, the student could click the link for their major designation (for example, EED-21), in their Unofficial Transcript on Portal.
In addition to maintaining a minimum 2.50 GPA in the major, students must meet the following requirements for any education program.
- A minimum of 130 credits to graduate
- A minimum grade point average of 2.00 for the three Bible courses (THE1001, THE1002, and THE2001)
- A minimum grade point average of 2.00 for the three doctrine courses (THE3001, THE3002, and THE4001)
- A passing score on the portfolio presentation
- Successfully complete the edTPA requirement
- Passing scores on the required licensure examinations
Students who complete all graduation and Minnesota licensure requirements may be eligible for assignment into the teaching ministry. The faculty reviews these students and recommends them to the synod’s Assignment Committee (Conference of Presidents).
Teacher candidates who successfully complete program requirements and meet the Minnesota licensure requirements are eligible for a Minnesota teacher license.
Policies concerning admission to teacher education programs, continuance in the programs, admission to student teaching, licensure tests, and licensure requirements are detailed in the Martin Luther College teacher education program handbooks. These handbooks can be viewed online by accessing the college website.
The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board, upon the request of a student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed graduate of the college’s teacher preparation program, will assist in resolving a dispute between the person and Martin Luther College when the dispute involves the college’s recommendation for licensure affecting the person’s credentials.
Note: Minnesota licensure requirements are subject to change at any time.
Staff Ministry Program
Grade Point Average Requirement in the Major
After earning 15 credits through MLC in the major, a 2.50 GPA is required. Students failing to achieve this requirement must achieve a 2.50 or higher in the major the following semester. After failing to achieve a 2.50 GPA in the major for two consecutive semesters, students are required to repeat courses in the major or withdraw from the major. Students cannot take new courses in the major until a 2.50 GPA in the major is achieved. A 2.50 in the major is required for admission to the internship.
Practical Theology major GPA calculations include all theology courses, EDU3215 Teaching Religion or EDU3315 Teaching Religion 5-12, and MUS4201 Lutheran Worship.
Dismissal from College
A student may be dismissed from college for academic reasons, disciplinary reasons, or lack of aptness for ministry.
Dismissals for Academic or Aptness Issues
Grounds for dismissal: academic exclusion
Policy: Students on academic probation for two consecutive semesters are dismissed from MLC. The policy of academic exclusion stands without the right of appeal. Students who are academically excluded may apply for re-admission after at least one regular semester away from MLC and will, if admitted, return on probation. Students dismissed during the second semester are ineligible to attend the subsequent summer session. A student who is academically excluded a second time is no longer eligible for re-admission.
Grounds for dismissal: “told to discontinue”
Policy: All advisors for education and staff ministry students meet twice a semester to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of these students. Likewise, the advisors for pre-seminary students meet to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of pre-seminary students. These meetings are held at midterm of each semester and at the conclusion of each semester. All advisors are faculty members. At these meetings the advisors may tell a student to discontinue enrollment for academic, attitude, behavior, comportment, or sociability reasons. This may occur even though the student is in good academic standing.
A student “told to discontinue” may use the appeal/grievance process as described in the Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process section.
Grounds for dismissal: “lacks aptness for ministry”
Policy: All advisors for education and staff ministry students meet twice a semester to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of these students. Likewise, the advisors for pre-seminary students meet to review the academic progress and aptness for ministry of pre-seminary students. These meetings are held at midterm of each semester and at the conclusion of each semester. All advisors are faculty members. The faculty, meeting as advisors, may dismiss an academically eligible student for attitude, behavior, comportment, sociability, or diligence reasons. The judgment of the advisors may be that the student does not possess the skills necessary to serve in the ministry.
A student who is dismissed because the student “lacks aptness for ministry” may use the appeal/grievance process as described in the Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process section.
Grounds for dismissal: Unsatisfactory progress or unacceptable performance during student teaching
Policy: Due to issues of performance or conduct that may be detrimental to the welfare of students, and/or the integrity of Martin Luther College’s student teaching program, a student teacher may be dismissed prior to the end of any student teaching term. The decision to remove is made by college administration in consultation with appropriate college personnel and local school officials.
Students dismissed for unsatisfactory progress or unacceptable performance during student teaching do not have the right of appeal. Students who are dismissed before the end of the term are no longer students at Martin Luther College unless they participate in an alternate experience sanctioned and arranged by the Director of Field Experiences. The alternate experience receives credit as Early Field Experience IV.
Any student who has been dismissed before the end of any one of the student teaching terms and wishes to student teach again must re-apply for student teaching through the regular process and will be granted or denied a second student teaching term by the Teacher Education Committee. The Teacher Education Committee’s decision is final.
A student who did not participate in an alternate experience and therefore is no longer a student at MLC must also re-apply for admission to Martin Luther College through the admissions process in addition to re-applying for student teaching.
Dismissal for Disciplinary Reasons
Notification: A written report of a student’s violation is brought to the Vice President for Student Life. Reports of violations are generated by, but not limited to, dorm staff, faculty, and security personnel.
Conference: The Vice President for Student Life or his designate notifies the student of the report that has been documented and received and schedules a conference with the student to discuss the report. The Vice President for Student Life or his designate and the student who has been charged may choose to have another person present during the conference.
Dismissal: The Vice President for Student Life may in his discretion immediately dismiss a student upon his determination that such immediate dismissal is in the best interest of the safety or well-being of the individual, of MLC students, MLC faculty/staff, or others. The Vice President for Student Life may in his discretion convene a panel of at least two faculty members and two Student Senate members to determine whether dismissal is warranted. In such cases, the decision to dismiss a student is made by the panel.
Appeal: The student who is dismissed for disciplinary reasons may use the appeal/grievance process as described in the Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process section.
Withdrawals from the College
- The student who needs to withdraw from college first reports to the Academic Dean for instructions on procedures. Policies regarding withdrawal from courses apply to withdrawal from college.
- A student who withdraws from college after the first two weeks of the semester has W recorded for courses. See policy on Withdrawals from Courses.
- When a student does not follow official procedures in voluntarily withdrawing from the college, a note recording the unauthorized withdrawal is transcribed on the student’s permanent record.
- Students who withdraw from college and later apply for readmission must fulfill the graduation requirements that are in place at the time of readmission.
- Procedures for withdrawal under special circumstances (e.g. medical issues) will be outlined on a case-by-case basis. Official documentation must be provided to validate the reason for withdrawal.
Leave of Absence
Current students in good academic and citizenship standing may request a leave absence to pursue various experiences. These students are automatically enrolled when they return and do not need to reapply for admission. The maximum length of a leave of absence is one year. While leave of absence means the student upon return is automatically enrolled at MLC, the leave of absence does not apply to financial aid policies and regulations. An application for a leave of absence is available from the appropriate academic dean.
Military Service Accommodation and Withdrawal/Leave of Absence
Martin Luther College will make every effort to accommodate the needs of a student called to active military duty during an academic term. Students who receive orders to report for active U.S. military duty are instructed to contact the appropriate academic dean. The student must present his/her military orders along with the appropriate withdrawal/leave of absence paperwork to initiate accommodations regarding coursework in progress or pending. An approved plan regarding coursework must be established prior to the student’s departure. The following approaches may be taken.
Early departures from the semester
- If orders are received late in the term, a student may be able to complete coursework prior to leaving.
- In some situations, a student may receive Incompletes for courses and complete the work within the Incomplete time schedule. If a student receives Incompletes but is unable to complete the coursework, the student may appeal to the academic dean to drop courses retroactively with a full refund of tuition and fees for the dropped courses.
- In some situations, it will be necessary for the student to withdraw from college to fulfill military obligations. Tuition and fees and the unused portion of room and board will be refunded to the student.
For later arrivals into the semester
- Students returning to school late due to military duty are required to attend class in-person class within two weeks of the start of the semester.
Academic Good Standing
Semester and cumulative grade point average (GPA) requirements are as follows.
Minimum GPA Requirements
Sem. I – 1.70
Sem. II – 1.80
Sem. III – 1.90
Sem. IVff – 2.00
A cumulative GPA applies to academic good standing requirements after a student’s first 12 credits are earned. Failure to meet these minimums results in academic probation.
Full-time student status is defined as 12 credits or more. To be in good academic standing, both the semester and the cumulative GPA must meet the minimum GPA requirements.
Part-time student status is defined as fewer than 12 credits. To be in good standing, the cumulative GPA must meet the minimum GPA requirements. Part-time status does not allow a student to change academic standing.
Summer Session Students
Summer session students are generally limited to six credits. Students wishing to overload (take more than six credits) must appeal to the Vice President for Academics. Grade points earned in a summer session do not affect a student’s previous semester GPA. However, they do affect a student’s cumulative GPA. Student wishing to overload must receive the permission of the Vice President for Academics. Consideration will be given to timing of additional credits, academic standing, financial aid packages, and possible impact on semester GPA.
Academic standing of transfer students is determined by the GPA earned at a student’s most recent institution. The number of semesters completed at other institutions is used to determine the minimum GPA requirements. After matriculation the GPA of transfer students is computed using only Martin Luther College credits.
Students are classified at the beginning of each semester according to the total number of credits earned. Transfer students are classified according to the number of credits transferred into Martin Luther College.
|Fifth Year Senior||130.5+ credits|
Full-time students who earn a semester GPA of 3.6 and higher are on the Honors List. Students must earn a minimum of 12 graded credits to be eligible. The Honors List is final as of 14 days after the last day of final examinations. Students completing work after this date are not eligible. Students on the Honors List receive commendation from the Vice President for Academics.
3.60- 3.74 . . . . . . . . Cum Laude
3.75-3.89 . . . . . . . . Magna Cum Laude
3.90- 4.00 . . . . . . . . Summa Cum Laude
- A student on probation must become a student in good academic standing by the end of the next semester of attendance. A student who fails to gain this status is required to withdraw from college. Application for re-admittance is considered after a lapse of one semester. A student required to withdraw at the end of either semester is ineligible to attend the subsequent summer session.
- A student on probation discusses with his/her advisor the desirability of reducing the student’s course load as an aid in regaining good standing. If the course load is reduced, consultation between the student and advisor and the advice of the dean determines the course(s) to be dropped. In the interest of the student as well as in the interest of maintaining proper academic standards, a student on probation also discusses with his/her advisor the extent of cocurricular activities and outside employment.
- First year students (first full-time college semester) admitted with provisional acceptance, returning second semester (first year student returning to second full-time semester) who are on probation after one semester of attendance, and sophomores (third or fourth full-time semester) that return on probation are required to enroll in EDU0002 Study Skills Seminar I and EDU0003 Study Skills Seminar II.
FERPA and Student Records
In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Martin Luther College has adopted policies to protect the privacy rights of its students. All students will be notified of their rights under FERPA each year in the annual edition of the Student Handbook and the Undergraduate Catalog. Revisions and clarifications will be published as warranted.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the Records Office a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The college will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the college to amend a record should write to the Records Office, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the college decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The college discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using college employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Governing Board; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the college.
Martin Luther College discloses education records to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll only with written consent of the student.
Directory Information Policy
Directory information is made public. If a student does not want directory information released, the student must submit a written request to the Records Office. Martin Luther College collects directory information on students.
Directory information includes
- Student’s name
- Student’s photo,
- home and campus addresses
- email address
- telephone number(s)
- date and place of birth,
- grade classification level
- full or part-time status
- honors and awards,
- degrees and fields of study
- high school graduated from
- home congregation
- participation in sports and campus activities
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- athletic performance data
- dates of attendance
- ministry candidate assignment
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
|Grade||Grade Points per Semester Hour|
|Other Symbols (Non-GPA)|
An instructor issues the temporary grade I (Incomplete) when a student doing otherwise acceptable work is unable to complete the course assignments for reasons acceptable to the instructor. A first-semester Incomplete must be converted to a permanent grade by the end of mid-term of the second semester, a second semester Incomplete by July 31, and a summer session Incomplete by mid-term of the first semester, or the permanent grade is recorded as an F.
Repetition of Courses
Some courses are open for students to repeat if they choose. Certain majors require courses to be repeated for the purpose of continued growth in an area (e.g. music lessons). The course description indicates if it is a repeatable course. Each time the course is taken a grade is received and is included in the grade point average calculation.
Other courses, those not designated as repeatable, are only available to be retaken
- to receive credit for a failed course that is required for graduation. This can be earned either by repeating the course at MLC or by successfully completing an approved substitute from MLC.
- if a student desires to better his/her grade point average. Only the grade earned in repetition will be figured in the student’s grade point average, but the original grade will remain on the record.
Courses taken to remove a failure or repeated to better the grade point average are taken only through Martin Luther College.
Note: If a student wants to replace a grade for a course that is designated as repeatable, the student must contact the appropriate academic dean to complete the paperwork indicating that intent.
All first-year students and transfers receive midterm grade reports.
Review of Students
At midterm and at the end of each semester the faculty reviews students‘ academic progress toward their degrees. As warranted, policies of academic notice, academic probation, academic exclusion, or advice to review continued enrollment may be applied. The faculty also reviews students‘ aptness for ministry – attitude, comportment, diligence, aptness, social skills, etc. As warranted, policies of formal expression of concern, formal review of aptness, and exclusion may be applied.
Semester examinations are given the last week of each semester. The examination schedule with policies and procedures is published before the beginning of each semester. Students with three or more exams scheduled on the same day, may reschedule an exam with the instructor’s consent. Rescheduled exams must be taken after the originally scheduled exam period.
Attendance for examinations is required. Failure to write an examination may result in a failing grade for the examination and for the course. The Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is a two-hour drive from campus so students are advised to schedule flights at least four hours after their last examination. If health or family emergencies prevent attendance at an examination, permission from the Vice President for Academics may be sought to have examinations mailed to a proctor in the student’s home area at a cost of $60 for each examination. Due to the need for exams to be returned in a timely manner, examinations are only mailed within the United States.
Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions Process
Undergraduate students dismissed by MLC for “told to discontinue,” “lacks aptness for ministry,” or disciplinary reasons herein may utilize this Student Appeal of Dismissal Decisions process. The general objective of an appeal is to bring new information that might not have been available or previously considered, to protest a procedural error or inconsistency in the appeal process, or to question the appropriateness of a decision.
The appeal process/grievance procedure must be initiated within 10 calendar days after the dismissal decision is communicated to the student. The appeal must be made in writing on the Student Appeal/Grievance Form located on the MLC website (www.mlc-wels.edu).
Appeals of dismissals for “told to discontinue,” or “lacks aptness for ministry” will be considered by a panel consisting of the Vice President for Academics and at least one Academic Dean. Appeals for dismissals for disciplinary reasons will be considered by the Vice President for Administration.
On the Students Appeal/Grievance Form, the student may request to present his or her appeal and supporting information in person. The request to appear in person will be granted or denied by the panel or Vice Presidents at their discretion. If an in-person presentation is granted, it will be held at a time designated by the panel or Vice Presidents, and the student may be accompanied by one other person. The student will be informed of the decision on the appeal in writing. The appeal decision is final.
Student Complaints and Grievances
If a student’s concern is an academic policy concern, first consult the “person responsible” as that term is defined in the chart below. A student may appeal the decision of the “person responsible” within 10 days after that decision has been communicated to the student. Appeals are made to the Vice President for Academics. The student may use, but is not required to use, the Student Appeal/Grievance Form. All appeals must be in writing.
|Drop/add of Courses or Overload of Credits||Records Office|
|Withdrawal from Courses (after the drop/add period)||Deans|
|Course Placement (math, Greek, languages, music)||Deans (in consultation with admissions and division chairs)|
|Change of Professor||Deans|
|Change of Advisor||Deans|
|Change Program Requirements||Deans|
|Program Course Substitutions||Deans|
|Grade Appeal||Faculty Instructor|
|Admission Decisions||Director of Admissions and Admissions Committee*|
|Requirements for Online Courses||Deans|
|Approval to student teach / internship||Education Dean and Education / Staff Ministry Advisors|
|*Appeals of Admissions Committee Decisions are made to the Vice Presdient for Student Life.
*Appeals regarding recommendation for licensure are made to the Professional Educator’s and Licensing Standards Board.
All other student complaints and grievances are addressed to the Vice President for Academics (academic issues) or the Vice President for Student Life (student life issues). Students are welcome to speak to these vice presidents at any time about a concern. Only written complaints and grievances are considered formal student complaints that receive a written response within 10 days of their receipt. Students filing a formal complaint or grievance must use the Student Appeal/Grievance Form which is accessible on the college website.
Martin Luther College encourages that disagreements and complaints be openly and forthrightly discussed between those who are involved. Disagreements and misunderstandings may arise between students, students and professors, or students and college staff members. Sometimes a student may feel strongly that a college policy or an aspect of campus life is a source of justifiable complaint.
Students are encouraged to speak freely with their professors, advisors, dormitory heads, and with representatives of the administration when they find a particular matter especially disconcerting and may file a formal written complaint about such matters with the appropriate administrative head. All complaints, oral or written, receive a courteous hearing and are acted upon in a Christian manner.
The college maintains a log of formal, written student complaints. This log is kept in the Administration Office Suite. Students filing a formal complaint or grievance may use the “Student Appeal/Grievance Form” which is accessible on the Martin Luther College website. All student complainants are assured of anonymity when the topic of their formal complaints appears on the log. The following administrators comprise the list with whom students may file formal, written complaints:
- Academic Dean for Studies in Pastoral Ministry,
- Academic Dean for Studies in Educational Ministry,
- Vice President for Student Life,
- Vice President for Mission Advancement
- Vice President for Academics,
- Vice President for Administration
Exceptions to Academic Policies
Appeals for exceptions to any of the academic policies are made in writing to the Vice President for Academics. The Vice President for Academics responds to the student’s appeal in writing. The decision of the Vice President for Academics is final.
Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Unresolved complaints may be brought to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education / 1450 Energy Park Drive, Suite 350 / St. Paul, MN 55108 / www.ohe.state.mn.us / 651-642-0533.
Attendance and Absences
- Martin Luther College requires regular class attendance of all students. Repeated absences may result in a lower grade or loss of credit as stated in the course syllabi. The College places the responsibility for attendance on the student.
- The MLC Portal is used for recording student absences.
- Students receive attendance guidelines in course syllabi.
As a Christian community that draws its life from the gospel, Martin Luther College encourages its students to pursue academic excellence with honesty and respect for intellectual property. Because of its focus on ministerial training, MLC has an additional reason to emphasize academic integrity. It is one of many areas in which students are expected to demonstrate the faithfulness required of gospel ministers (1 Corinthians 4:1, 2). Course syllabi remind students of the importance of academic integrity and indicate how instructors will deal with infractions. Failure to meet expectations in this area may result in dismissal from the college.
The procedure for academic dishonesty is as follows:
- Preliminary Step—Instructor determines the seriousness and possible level of sanction.
- Notice Procedure—Instructor communicates with the student, informs the student of the consequence, and informs the student of the appeal process. The instructor informs the academic dean and the Vice President for Academics.
- Hearing—The student may appeal the sanction to the Vice President for Academics who arranges a hearing. The decision of the Vice President for Academics is final.
Because the college considers the ability to express oneself clearly, correctly, and responsibly in writing to be a necessity for college work and an essential characteristic of a Christian minister, it strives to teach and maintain good writing practices. Students are advised that grades on poorly written papers, regardless of the course, may be reduced because of the quality of the writing; in extreme cases, a failing grade may be given for this reason.
Students with Disabilities
Martin Luther College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to serve students who have disabilities as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. Students accepted for admission are considered capable of meeting academic standards if reasonable accommodations can be made for their disability. It is the responsibility of students to provide written notification of the nature of the disability and the need for accommodations. Students must also provide results of formal testing and/or evaluation of the disability as well as historical documentation of having received accommodations in educational settings. The college may require additional testing or evaluation if the documentation is inadequate or older than three years with this cost borne by the student.
Step 1. Students file the notification of disability and the request for accommodations with the academic dean for the student’s area of study. The deans are the college’s Section 504 coordinators. The request for accomodations must be renewed each semester, as it triggers the process of notification for the instructors by semesters
Step 2. Within ten (10) days of filing a notification of disability, the dean distributes to the student, the current semester’s instructors and the director of the Academic Success Center a summary of the results of the formal testing and/or evaluation. It is then the student’s responsibility to confer with each instructor and with the director of the Academic Success Center to develop reasonable accomodations. Accommodations are designed to meet the individual needs of students, but they do not compromise curricular goals, performance standards, or course content.
Step 3. If students do not agree with the accommodation plan, an appeal may be made to the Vice President for Academics.
Step 4. Within ten (10) days of receiving an appeal, the Vice President for Academics will inform students, deans, and instructors of the final decision.
Note: Students in need of academic considerations not related to a disability should contact the appropriate academic dean for advice.
Eligibility for Co-curricular Activities
1. Eligibility to participate in co-curricular activities requires that the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA) must meet the GPA requirements for academic good standing. However, a full-time student is ineligible if the student achieves a semester GPA less than 1.50. Martin Luther College activities that require eligibility are
- Intercollegiate Athletics (including managing)
- Intramural Board
- Theatrical Productions (performance, direction, production) of the Forum, Children’s Theatre, Reader’s Theater, etc.
- Co-curricular Instrumental Groups
- Student Government
- Official Recruitment groups
- Extended tour of a curricular choir
- Extended tour of a curricular instrumental group
Students should also note that some on campus jobs may consider academic eligibility a requirement.
2. An entering transfer student or first-year student who is a high school graduate with no previous full-time college attendance shall be considered eligible for cocurricular activities provided that the student has a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in a high school curriculum which offers at least 14 academic courses in the subject areas prescribed in the entrance requirements. Students not meeting this requirement will have notice provided by the Admissions Department to both the Records Office and the appropriate cocurricular activity director
An entering transfer student or freshman who does not meet these requirements shall remain ineligible until the student’s cumulative grade point averages at Martin Luther College establish eligibility.
Note: Per NCAA policy, transfer students not meeting the eligibility requirement may not participate in intercollegiate athletics for two academic semesters and must meet MLC’s eligibility requirements to return to competition.
3. The academic standing of transfer students is determined by applying Martin Luther College’s academic good standing standards to the grade point averages on the applicant’s transcript.
4. Students appealing a disciplinary dismissal decision are not eligible to participate in co-curricular activities during the appeal process. Eligibility is restored when the appeal is granted.
5. Students declared ineligible due to academic reasons do not have the right of appeal.
MLC offers resources to students in need of academic assistance.
- Academic Advisor
All students are assigned an advisor by the appropriate academic dean. The advisor serves as the student’s first point of contact at MLC, meeting both formally and informally with the student at various points throughout the academic year. It is the advisor’s job to aid the student with course scheduling and being aware and informed about academic policies and procedures. However, the student is ultimately responsible for successfully completing their degree in the typical four or five years depending on the chosen major(s).
In addition to seeking help from fellow classmates, students should meet with their professor for help with academic issues. Schedules that include office hours are posted outside the professor’s office.
The Academic Success Center, located in the upper level of the library across from the library offices, offers free tutoring services for all students in need of academic help. The Academic Success Center also offers study materials for Minnesota licensure testing. Students with questions regarding licensure requirements should contact the Education Office. International students requiring extended time on the licensure tests should contact the Education Dean.
MLC offers free guidance from experienced student coaches on writing projects. This service is available Thursday-Sunday evenings in WCC333.
Graduation and Commencement
In order to participate, students must fulfill the degree requirements and make application for graduation.
Requirements for All Degrees
- Baccalaureate degrees require students to earn a minimum of 130 credits.
- The final thirty semester hours of credit must be earned from Martin Luther College.
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for the total number of courses taken at Martin Luther College is required.
- A minimum 2.00 grade point average is required for the final semester/grading period of a program approved by the academic dean. The dean may designate a summer session as a student’s final grading period.
- The student is responsible for meeting all requirements for graduation.
Application for Graduation
Applications are due in the Records Office by February 1 of the year preceding the student’s graduation. This information is needed to conduct the student’s graduation degree audit and to ensure that the student has the appropriate number of credits to graduate. Students are also responsible for notifying the Records Office if their anticipated graduation date changes. Failure to apply for graduation may delay the student’s graduation date.
Participation in Commencement
Martin Luther College conducts commencement exercises in May. Students completing their degree requirements in December may participate in the May commencement. Students who will satisfy degree requirements in the summer can participate in the previous May commencement but must register for summer classes prior to the May commencement. Diplomas for students who complete requirements during the summer are dated the last day of the month in which requirements were completed.
Martin Luther College’s mission is to prepare a corps of witnesses for our Savior. This includes preparing graduates for service in churches and schools of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Pre‐seminary graduates who plan to continue their pastoral training enroll at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WLS) in Mequon, Wisconsin. The MLC faculty reviews and recommends them for enrollment at WLS.
Education and Staff Ministry Graduates
Education and Staff Ministry graduates that have met all requirements may be eligible to serve as teachers and staff ministers in schools and congregations of the WELS. The faculty reviews the students and recommends them as candidates for assignment to the synod’s Assignment Committee (Conference of Presidents). December graduates receive their assignment information from the MLC President prior to the commencement service. Due to the volume of placements, May graduates receive their assignments during a call service held in the afternoon of graduation day.
Education and Staff Ministry Graduates – Deferring or Declining Assignment into the Public Ministry
Graduates may defer or decline assignment for a variety of reasons. A written letter stating the graduate’s intent must be submitted to the WELS president prior to the Assignment Committee’s meeting. Graduates that defer assignment may return for assignment consideration within three years of graduation.
After graduation, international students may obtain Optional Practical Training (OPT) and may be eligible for a provisional (one year) assignment. Obtaining OPT for the year is the responsibility of the graduate with assistance from the International Services Office. During the OPT year, the calling body of a teaching individual may also apply for an appropriate visa to extend the call beyond one year. Obtaining the visa is the responsibility of the calling body in consultation with the synod’s Director of Human Resources. The WELS president’s office can cover the costs for the visa application.
A transcript request form is available online by accessing the Academics page of the MLC website.
MLC does not offer replacement of an original diploma. An equivalent copy of a diploma may be created for a $10.00 fee. Requests are made to the Records Office using the diploma replacement request form found on the Academics page of the MLC website. Express shipping is available for an additional charge.
To pay by credit card for transcripts or diploma copies, contact the Records Office (507-354-8221, ext. 222). Checks payable to Martin Luther College should be sent to
Martin Luther College
1995 Luther Court
New Ulm, MN 56073