Wilkes University

Education

Dr. Rhonda Rabbitt, Dean/Interim Director of Master's Programs, School of Education
Dr. Karim MedicoLetwinsky, Chair/ Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Jin "Joy" Mao, Associate Professor of Education
Dr. Lori Cooper, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Kurt Eisele, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Blake Mackesy, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Paul Reinert, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr. Grace Surdovel, Faculty of Practice

Academic Integrity Policy

(Portions of this policy adapted from Seton Hall University’s Plagiarism/Academic Integrity Policy:
http://www.shu.edu/academics/education/phd-counseling-psychology/plagiarism-academic-integrity-policy.cfm)

Wilkes University holds the following principles to be essential to responsible, professional behavior for employees and students: honesty, trustworthiness, integrity and dignity, as well as respect and fairness in dealing with other people, a sense of responsibility towards others and loyalty toward the ethical principles promoted by the University through our mission, vision and values.  It is important that these principles and the tradition of ethical behavior be consistently demonstrated and carefully maintained.

The School of Education at Wilkes University is highly invested in demonstrating the critical importance of these principles for the students in our programs.  All faculty members are charged with upholding the high professional standards that will become the foundation for the professional development of our students.  Any suspicion of academic dishonesty that is detected by faculty or staff is to be addressed as outlined in the procedure below.  A quality education requires that students are as aware of their ethical responsibilities as they are their program content.

Students must assume personal responsibility to ensure that their work is original and that it is properly referenced.  The American Psychological Association’s Manual of Style is used as the guide for proper citation of work that is referenced by students in their research and writing.

Instructors and staff will utilize anti-plagiarism tools as a means to enforce compliance with this policy.

Students are required to acknowledge receipt of this policy as a part of their admissions process.  Reference to the policy is made in the syllabus of each class and it is available for review on the University website.

This policy is intended to provide clear expectations for the conduct of students and to provide a clear process for the handling of any infractions.  The examples are provided to create a context for the determination of the level of infraction and certainly are not all inclusive.

Academic Integrity Violations

Cheating – The use of information or materials that are written, verbal, electronic or viewed from another student’s work without the prior knowledge or authorization of the instructor.  Cheating can also be alleged if there are conversations (verbal or electronic) during the administration of a test or if an effort is made to solicit exam information from another student.

Fabrication – Misrepresentation of research data or creation of research data that does not exist.   Fabrication can also take the form of falsifying information such as the submission time or date of assignments, reasons for tardiness of assignments or reporting false information regarding another student.

Unauthorized access to or obstruction of intellectual property – Theft of course materials from an instructor or theft of another student’s work would constitute unauthorized access.  Intentionally denying access to resource materials or referenced materials to interfere with the academic progress of others would constitute obstruction of intellectual property.

Facilitation of academic dishonesty  –  Allowing another student to use one’s work without the authorization of the instructor.  Providing information regarding exams or assisting a student in obtaining unauthorized materials is also considered fabrication.

Plagiarism – The submission of work without the proper use of citation or quotation marks.  The use of the words or ideas from others presented as one’s own for a portion or all of one’s work.  This includes, but is not limited to, material from books, journals, the internet or other students or individuals.  Paraphrasing that is too close to the original work and incomplete citations are also considered plagiarism.

This list is meant to be a framework to disseminate the expectation for academic integrity.  The list and the examples are not exhaustive.  Violations of this policy are classified by the severity of the infraction.  Below are the recommended sanctions assigned to each level.  The sanctions listed are used as a guide for enforcement of the policy.  Those charged with levying the sanctions are not restricted to the sanctions listed.

Low Level - These offenses happen because of inexperience or lack of knowledge of academic standards by the persons committing the offense. These infractions involve a small part of the total course work, or occur on a minor assignment. The following are some examples:

  • Working with another student on an assignment without instructor authorization.
  • Failure to footnote or give proper acknowledgment in an extremely limited section of an assignment.

Recommended sanctions for low level offenses are listed below; one or more of these may be chosen in each case:

  • Required attendance in a non-credit workshop or seminar on ethics or related subjects.
  • An assigned paper or research project on a relevant topic.
  • A make-up assignment at the same level of difficulty.
  • A make-up assignment at a more difficult level than the original assignment.
  • No credit given for the original assignment.

Records of students who commit low level offenses will be maintained in the Department Chairperson’s/Director’s Office until graduation.  One year after the student graduates, all documentation, paper/electronic, of low level offenses will be destroyed.

Medium Level – These violations are those characterized by dishonesty of a more serious nature or which affect a more significant aspect or portion of the course work. The following are some examples:

  • Quoting directly or paraphrasing, to a moderate extent, without acknowledging the source.
  • Submitting the same work or major portions thereof to satisfy the requirements of more than one course without permission from the instructor.
  • Using data or interpretative material for a laboratory report without acknowledging the sources or the collaborators. All contributors to preparation of data and/or to writing the report must be acknowledged.
  • Receiving assistance from others, such as research, statistical, computer programming, or field data collection help that constitutes an essential element in the undertaking, without acknowledging such assistance in a paper, examination, or project.

The recommended sanction for medium level offenses is one year of academic probation. The student will receive zero points on the work and will fail the course.  The student will be allowed to reregister for the course after a designated period of time.

Notation of academic probation will be placed on the student's transcript and will remain for the period in which the sanction is in force.  A letter from the Dean of the School of Education will be sent to the student and a copy will remain in the student’s educational record.   Records of students who commit medium level offenses will be maintained in the Department Chairperson’s/Director’s Office until graduation.  One year after the student graduates, all documentation, paper/electronic, of medium level offenses will be destroyed.

High Level Offense – High level offenses include dishonesty that affects a major or essential portion of work done to meet course requirements and/or involves premeditation, or is preceded by one or more violations at low and medium levels. Examples include: 

  • Copying on examinations.
  • Acting to facilitate copying during an exam.
  • Using prohibited materials, e.g., books, notes, or calculators during an examination without permission from the instructor.
  • Collaborating before an exam to develop methods of exchanging information and implementation thereof.
  • Altering examinations for the purposes of regrading.
  • Acquiring or distributing an examination from unauthorized sources prior to the examination.
  • Plagiarizing major portions of a written assignment.
  • Presenting the work of another as one's own.
  • Using a purchased term paper or other materials.
  • Removing posted or reserved material, or preventing other students from having access to it.
  • Fabricating data or inventing or deliberately altering material (for example, citing sources that do not exist).
  • Using unethical or improper means of acquiring data.

The normal sanction to be sought for all high level offenses or for repeated violations of low or medium offenses is a minimum of one year Academic Ineligibility from the University and a failing grade for the course.  The notation of Academic Ineligibility will be placed on the student’s transcript and will remain for the designated period, at minimum.  The student may request reinstatement and may retake the course after the designated time period.  The designation of Academic Ineligibility will remain on the student’s transcript until there is action by the student to have it successfully removed.  In certain instances, students may be placed on Permanent Academic Suspension.

Severe Level Offenses – These offenses represent the most serious breaches of intellectual honesty.  Examples of serious level offenses include:

  • All academic integrity infractions committed after a previous medium or high level academic integrity violation.
  • Infractions of academic integrity resembling criminal activity (such as forging a grade form, stealing an examination from a professor or from a university office; buying an examination; or falsifying a transcript). (Actions that may be construed as criminal activity will be handled by the appropriate legal authority as directed by the University’s protocol.)
  • Having a substitute take an examination or taking an examination for someone else.
  • Fabrication of evidence, falsification of data, quoting directly or paraphrasing without acknowledging the source, and/or presenting the ideas of another as one's own within a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation, in scholarly articles submitted to refereed journals, or in other work represented as one's own as a graduate student.
  • Sabotaging another student's work through actions designed to prevent the student from successfully completing an assignment.
  • Willful violation of the code of conduct for Professional Educators issued by PDE (22 Pa. Code §§235.1 - 235.11)
  • http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/http;//www.portal.state.pa.us;80/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_123531_870687_0_0_18/code%20of%20conduct.pdf

The normal sanction for all severe level offenses and a repeat infraction at high level offenses is immediate and Permanent Academic Suspension from the University. A notation of the permanent suspension will be placed on a student's transcript and will remain permanently.

Please note: For Academic Integrity policy violations in those programs requiring certification, a substantiated violation at the medium level or higher will result in “no” response on the PDE submission question requiring affirmation of “Good Moral Character” and a notation referencing the violation of this policy.

Procedure for Enforcement
The student will be made aware of the Academic Integrity policy at the time of initial application and throughout their educational experience.  As a part of the application process, applicants will receive a copy of the policy and will be required to complete and submit a form that acknowledges that they have received and read the policy.  Applications will not be processed without this documentation.  The policy will be referenced in the syllabus of each course and is posted on the University website for easy reference.

The Program Coordinators and Full-Time Faculty are in the best position to ascertain the full impact of the actions of the student and are the catalysts to begin the process of inquiry regarding the allegations of a violation, regardless of the source of the allegation.

For the Doctoral Level programs, the Full Time Faculty member will replace the Program Coordinator in the procedures outlined below.

When an instructor is made aware of a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy at the Low Level, the instructor, under the direction of the Program Coordinator, will complete an Academic Integrity Violation Charge Form, communicate with the student and include their feedback on the form.  The form and supporting documentation will be submitted to the Program Coordinator for review.  The Program Coordinator and Instructor will determine the sanction.  The sanction will be communicated to the student by the instructor. Documentation of the infraction will be kept on file with the Department Chairperson/Director through graduation.  One year after the student graduates, all documentation, paper/electronic, of low level offenses will be destroyed.

When an instructor is made aware of a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy at the Medium Level, following consultation with the Program Coordinator, the student will be notified and the case and all supporting documentation will be forwarded to the Program Coordinator and the Department Chairperson/Director.  The instructor will complete an Academic Integrity Violation Charge Form, communicate with the student and include their feedback on the form.  The form and supporting documentation will be submitted to the Program Coordinator and the Department Chairperson/Director for review.  The Department Chairperson/Director, the Program Coordinator and the Instructor will determine the sanction.  The sanction will be communicated to the student by the instructor. Documentation of the infraction will be kept on file with the Department Chairperson/Director through graduation.  If part of the sanction is Academic Probation, this designation will be placed on the student’s transcript for the designated period.  One year after the student graduates, all documentation, paper/electronic, of medium level offenses will be destroyed.

When an instructor becomes aware of a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy at the High or Severe Level, the instructor will immediately inform the Program Coordinator, the Department Chairperson/Director and the Dean of the School of Education.  The instructor will complete an Academic Integrity Violation Charge Form.   This will initiate a Formal Review Process.  Supporting documentation will be reviewed and a letter to the student will be compiled and sent, via certified mail, to the student with information regarding the allegation, supporting documentation and notice that a Faculty Panel will be convened to review the evidence.  The student will be allowed to submit feedback within a designated timeframe.  The student may request to be present for the panel review and may choose a member of the campus community to be present as an internal advisor.  The Dean will convene a Faculty Panel and set a meeting date for review of the evidence. The recommendation of the panel will be submitted to the Dean of the School of Education.  The Dean will review all of the documentation and the recommendation from the Faculty Panel. The determination of the Dean is final. 

For all level offenses, the student has the right to appeal the decision.  If a student feels that the charge or sanction related to the academic integrity policy violation is unacceptable and/or unreasonable, the student may submit the complaint, in writing, to the Department Chairperson/Director within two weeks of receiving notification of the determination. If a student does not receive a response from the Department Chairperson/Director within two weeks from the date of originally filing the complaint or is not satisfied with the result of that determination, the student may then submit the complaint to the Dean of the School of Education for review. If a student does not receive a response from the Dean of the School of Education within two weeks from the date of submitting the complaint to the Dean or is not satisfied with the result of that determination, the student may then submit the complaint to the appropriate Vice President or Provost.  The determination of the Vice President or Provost is final.

Students may continue to participate in the course until the case has been resolved.  If a student chooses to withdraw from the course, the process will continue through to resolution with the recommended documentation included in the student record.  A grade of I (incomplete) should be assigned pending resolution.  All information and identities of involved parties are confidential.

Administering this policy is the responsibility of everyone in the Wilkes School of Education community.  Students, instructors, program coordinators, department chairpersons and the Dean all have an investment in providing an environment that promotes scholarship, honesty and integrity.  This responsibility is taken seriously and this policy will be enforced uniformly.      

Mission

The mission of the Graduate Education Programs at Wilkes University is to provide the educational community with opportunities to become leaders in classroom instruction and in the administration of schools. As such, the Graduate Education Program seeks to promote the highest levels of intellectual growth and career development through a collaborative environment that supports teaching in a diverse learning environment, while valuing commitment to the educational communities it serves. 

Purpose

Graduate study in Education is offered primarily to enable teachers to enhance their preparation to become educational leaders. Each program is designed to broaden knowledge in the foundations of education as well as focus on a specific area of advanced training.

The master's degree program in Education is offered with majors in 21st Century Teaching and Learning, Art and Science of Teaching, Early Childhood Literacy, Educational Development and Strategies, Educational Leadership, Effective Teaching, Instructional Media, Instructional Technology, International School Leadership, International Teaching and Learning, Middle Level Education Programs, Middle Level Education with Initial Pennsylvania Grade 4-8 Certification, Online Teaching, Reading Specialist, School Business Leadership, Special Education, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. All programs lead to a Master of Science in Education degree.

Wilkes University offers six graduate programs that lead to an additional certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Educational Leadership qualifies an individual for K-12 Principal Certification. The Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Instructional Technology combined with the IT internship qualifies an individual for Pennsylvania K-12 Instructional Technology Specialist Certification. The Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Middle Level Education with internship qualifies teachers to apply for Pennsylvania’s grades 4 to 8 certificate in a particular content area. The Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Middle Level Education with Initial Pennsylvania Certification qualifies an individual to apply for Pennsylvania teaching certification in grades 4 to 8 in a particular content area. The Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Reading with Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification qualifies an individual with a PA instructional certificate for Pennsylvania Reading Specialist Certification. The Master of Science Degree in Education with a major in Special Education Certification qualifies an individual with a PA instructional certificate for additional certification in Special Education. Teachers may obtain the Pennsylvania ESL Program Specialist Certification by completing the designated four courses in the Teaching English as a Second Language Program. All program requirements for the University as well as for PDE must be met in order for the graduate to be eligible for certification.

An additional program, although not a master's degree, is the Letter of Endorsement. These are available in five areas: Pennsylvania Autism, Discovery Education EDGE, Pennsylvania Gifted, Pennsylvania Online Instruction, and Pennsylvania STEM. These 12-credit programs lead to a Letter of Endorsement that teachers can use to validate that they have advanced knowledge and skill in the area as indicated by the title of the endorsement. 

Admission

For admission to graduate study in education, the applicant must have a baccalaureate degree with an appropriate major from an institution that is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or the equivalent in the case of international students. In addition, several programs require a Pennsylvania teaching certificate. Although no minimum undergraduate grade point average is required for admission, unless otherwise stated, it is expected that candidates shall have maintained good or above-average performance during their undergraduate years and shall exhibit evidence of intellectual and temperamental fitness for graduate study.

All Master of Science in Education degree-seeking applicants must complete the following process to be considered for admission to the graduate program in education:

  1. Submit a Wilkes University Graduate Application for Admission,
  2. Pay the required one-time, non-refundable application fee,
  3. Submit two letters of recommendation,
  4. Submit a copy of your teaching certificate, if applicable. See the note on exceptions below for more details.
  5. Submit official transcripts from all of the undergraduate universities attended while obtaining the bachelor's degree, including teacher certification and, any master's degrees earned.

Upon receipt of all required documents, the Program Coordinator will review files for acceptance. Accepted students are assigned an advisor to work with as they progress through the program. Students deficient in any academic aspect of the admissions requirements may be granted conditional admission.  Such students may be permitted to take up to six credits of graduate courses on a conditional basis and at completion of those credits their application will be reconsidered for regular admission status.

Exceptions to the above process

All programs except Instructional Technology, Effective Teaching, Instructional Media, Middle Level Initial Certification, Online Teaching (master's only option), School Business Leadership, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (non-cert option), and Discovery Education EDGE require a state-approved instructional certificate unless approved by the program coordinator. Applicants to the Educational Leadership principal certification program must follow the admissions process outlined in that section of this bulletin. Note: Applicants to the 21st Century Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Literacy, and Art and Science of Teaching programs must be currently teaching or have access to a classroom in order to enter the program.

Non-Degree to Degree Seeking Students

Non-degree students who want to change to degree-seeking status must complete a new application for admission indicating their desired program, but do not need to re-pay the application fee. Students should then follow the remaining steps outlined above for submission of all appropriate documents to complete the change of status. A change in status is required at least one year prior to the intended date of graduation. Students must complete all courses required for the degree as outlined in the current Graduate Bulletin at the time of the status change.

Program of Study

Students are encouraged to consult with their advisor to plan their program of study. At the time of acceptance students are sent a Program Plan with which to document their progress through the program. It is highly recommended that students keep track of the courses they take on the Program Plan and contact their advisor with any questions they may have. It is the responsibility of the student to be sure they are taking the correct courses for their major. Students should follow the requirements outlined on the Program Plan or in the Graduate Bulletin to be sure they will meet the requirements for graduation. Students wishing to transfer credits into their program should follow the procedure outlined in the "Transfer Credits" section, listed below.

Students are expected to maintain a GPA acceptable for graduate level work and progress. A graduate student who accumulates two grades below 3.0 in his or her graduate courses will be placed on probation. A student earning a third grade below 3.0 will be dismissed from the graduate program. Grades below a 3.0 are not acceptable for meeting degree requirements, so any student earning a grade less than 3.0 will need to repeat that course in order to achieve an acceptable grade for graduation.

NOTE: It is the graduate student's responsibility to register for Graduation (GRD-OOO- B) the same semester they enroll in the final course required for their degree. Students must be fully admitted to their degree program in order to register for GRD-OOO-B.  Students not fully accepted into the degree must contact the Student Service Center to obtain information on missing admissions documents. The student is strongly encouraged to contact their advisor at the time of registration for a preliminary audit to be sure all requirements will be met. The deadline for registering for graduation is 90 days prior to the next processing date for degree completion. Graduation is processed at the end of each term, however ceremonies are only held in May and September.

Transfer Credits

Students accepted into a master's degree program may transfer a maximum of six graduate credits from an approved and regionally accredited U.S. college or university as long as they meet all of the requirements identified in the University-wide Transfer Credits section of this document and the specific criteria below. This transfer credit limit is per student not per program. This means that students may only transfer a total of six credits into Wilkes at the master's level regardless of the number of master's degrees they choose to complete. The Department Chair will make the final determination regarding transfer credits and whether they will count as elective credits or qualify to replace required courses. Students must complete the Request for Transfer Credit form to initiate the transfer process for courses taken prior to entering Wilkes University. In addition, students must be admitted to the degree program in order for transfer credits to be posted to their Wilkes transcript.

In order for courses to count as electives, they must meet the academic intent of the student's master's program or be aligned to their respective professional assignment. External courses requested to transfer as required courses in the student’s program must align with the content of the Wilkes course. Each transfer request is handled on a case-by-case basis and the student will be asked to produce a course syllabus and/or a letter justifying his/her request.

Students desiring to take courses from another college or university while enrolled in the Wilkes program must submit the Request to Transfer Credit form prior to registering for such courses. Failure to submit the proper paperwork may result in the inability to transfer those credits.

The required form is available on the Graduate Education web site: www.wilkes.edu/GradEd under 'Transfer Credit Info.' An official transcript must be received before any approved transfer credits can be posted to your Wilkes transcript. For more information, see Transfer Credits in the General Information section at the beginning of this Graduate Bulletin.

Second Master's Degree

A person who has an earned master's degree from Wilkes University, or is in the final semester of a master's from Wilkes, may apply to be enrolled in a second master's degree if the major, program or option is different. Up to 12 credits only of previous course work used to satisfy the requirements for the first degree (typically basic requirements from Areas I and II) may be applied to the second. This only applies to programs that have common courses. If no common courses exist between the two programs, students must take all of the courses in the second degree. All other admission and program requirements must be fulfilled. Students are encouraged to speak to the program coordinator of the new second program for advisement of courses that must be taken. A student who opts for a second master's degree must submit a written request to the department along with a new Wilkes graduate application form. There is no need to repay any application fees.

Learning Outcomes

School of Education Learning Outcomes (SELO)

Education students will develop and demonstrate the following learning outcomes as appropriate to their selected level and field:

  1. the knowledge, skills, and scholarship appropriate in their chosen field of study.
  2. effective written and oral communication skills.
  3. information literacy  that  fosters  intelligent  and  active  participation  in  the  educational community.
  4. technical competence and pedagogical skill to infuse technology in support of the teaching and learning process.
  5. the ability to make informed decisions based on accurate and relevant data.
  6. Actions reflecting integrity, self-respect, moral courage, personal responsibility, and the ability to understand individual differences in order to meet the needs of the students and communities served.
  7. collaborative skills that promote teamwork.

Graduate Education Student Program Outcomes (GEPO)

  1. The student will develop the knowledge, skills, and scholarship that are appropriate to the educational program.
  2. The student will demonstrate effective written and oral language skills appropriate to knowledge acquisition and professional responsibilities of the discipline.
  3. The student will demonstrate data driven decision-making skills.
  4. The student will demonstrate an understanding of diversity by applying differentiation to the educational process.
  5. The student will understand the critical role of collaboration in creating an effective educational process.

Degree Requirements

 All candidates for the Master of Science in Education degree must complete a program of at least thirty (30) credits. The length of the courses in each degree program may vary.  See the table for information on duration of courses by program. Individual program descriptions are also provided with the specific course credit requirements for each graduate education program.

Program

Number of Weeks in Part of Term

21st Century Teaching   and Learning

9 weeks or 14 weeks

Art and Science of   Teaching

9 weeks

Autism Endorsement Program (PA Endorsement)

12 weeks

Discovery Education EDGE

7 weeks

Early Childhood Literacy

9 weeks or 14 weeks

Educational Development and Strategies

12 weeks for Wilkes courses; PLS courses offered   in multiple formats

Educational Leadership, Ed.D.

12 weeks; 6 week format available in summer

Educational Leadership w/ PA K-12 Principal Certification

12 weeks

Educational M.S. with PA Special Education Certification

12 weeks

Effective Teaching

12 weeks for Wilkes courses; 7 weeks for PLS   courses

Gifted Letter of Endorsement (PA Endorsement)

12 weeks

Instructional Media

Online Teaching M.S. with PA Online Instruction Endorsement

7 weeks

Instructional Technology with PA Instructional Technology Specialist Certification

12 weeks

International School Leadership

12 weeks for Wilkes courses; 7 weeks for PLS   courses

International Teaching and Learning

12 weeks

Middle Level Education Program (30 credits, 36 credits, & Initial PA Certification)

12 weeks

Reading M.S. with Reading Specialist Certification

9 weeks or 14 weeks

School Business Leadership

12 weeks

STEM Letter of Endorsement (PA Endorsement)

7 weeks

Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility

12 weeks; 6 week format available in summer

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages M.S. with PA ESL Program Specialist Certification

12 weeks

 

 


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