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    Fitchburg State University
   
 
  Nov 22, 2017
 
 
    
Fitchburg State University 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Admissions



Students who seek a quality education are invited to apply for admission to Fitchburg State University. Fitchburg State welcomes applications from high school graduates, students returning to college after a hiatus, transfer students, and international students. After careful review of the application and supporting materials, admission is offered to students whose secondary school and/or university records and backgrounds offer the promise of a successful and satisfying undergraduate experience.

Undergraduate Admissions

Admission Standards

Fitchburg State University is committed to providing excellent, accessible, and affordable lifelong learning opportunities in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. The university seeks students who are motivated to achieve academic excellence, and who represent a broad variety of backgrounds and interests.

With the guiding principles of quality, access and diversity in mind, Fitchburg State has adopted admission standards which support the standards established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. These standards provide a framework for the individual evaluation of each applicant to the university.

Campus Visits

The Admissions staff encourages all applicants to visit the Fitchburg State University campus. A variety of visitation programs, including information sessions and student-guided tours, are available to people interested in learning more about the university and its programs. For up-to-date information on visit options and to receive admissions materials, contact the Admissions Office at www.fitchburgstate.edu/admissions/visit.

Interviews are not required, but can provide the Admissions staff with helpful information. Applicants who desire to have an interview are invited to call the Admissions Office for an appointment.

Admissions Office Hours

Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Student Guided Tours

Monday–Friday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

For information about open house programs, individual interviews, other visit options and to receive admissions materials contact the Admissions Office at:

Admissions Office
Fitchburg State University
160 Pearl Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420-2697
Telephone: (978) 665-3144/(800) 705-9692
E-mail: admissions@fitchburgstate.edu
Web site: www.fitchburgstate.edu/admissions

Application Filing Dates

Deadlines

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.  Notification for fall admission begins in December and in March for spring admission.

FALL ADMISSION

Undergraduate, day division

  • March 1 priority deadline for freshmen, April 15 for transfers.  Applications may be submitted after these dates; however, admission to selected programs may be limited.
  • Nursing, Film/Video Production, and Game Design applicants:  January 1 priority deadline: qualified applicants may be accepted after this date on a space-available basis.
  • Fitchburg State University Honors Program and Merit Scholarships: February 1 for freshmen, April 15 for transfers. Files must be completed by these dates for consideration.
  • International applicants: March 1.

Undergraduate, evening division

  • Rolling admission until the start of the semester.
  • RN to BS in Nursing Online Program: March 1 priority deadline.
  • LPN to BS in Nursing: January 1 priority deadline.

SPRING ADMISSION

Undergraduate, day division

  • November 1 priority deadline; International applicants: October 1
  • Nursing and Game Design applicants:  November 1 priority deadline.  We accept freshman and transfer applications for Game Design for spring entrance.  We accept transfer applications for Nursing for spring entrance. Admission is on a space available basis for these programs.

Undergraduate, evening division

  • Rolling admission until the start of the semester.
  • RN to BS in Nursing Online Program: November 1 priority deadline. 
  • We do not accept LPN to BSN applicants for the spring semester.

Application Procedures

Application Procedures—Freshmen

To be considered for admission to the university, applicants must submit the following to the Admissions Office:

  • A completed Application for Admission and $40 application fee
  • Official high school transcript including first-quarter senior year grades. Applicants who have completed a GED should also submit official test results along with official high school transcript with years completed.

Secondary School Preparation

  • Applicants are required to complete a minimum of 17 college preparatory units in the following disciplines. (A unit is equivalent to one full school year of study).
    • English: 4 units
    • Mathematics: 4 units (includes: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry/Trigonometry, or comparable coursework, and one comparable Math course in the final year of high school).
    • Science: 3 units (includes 2 units of laboratory science).  For students entering college as freshmen in the fall 2017 semester and later, three Science courses will be required, all of which must have a laboratory component.  Technology and Engineering courses will satisfy the requirement if they are designated as Science courses by the high school.
    • Social Science: 2 units (includes one unit of U.S. History)
    • Foreign Language: 2 units (one language)
    • College Preparatory Electives: 2 units (from the above disciplines, or from the Arts & Humanities or Computer Sciences)
  • Additional work in the math and sciences is strongly recommended, particularly for students intending to major in the sciences or nursing.
  • If an applicant graduated from a high school that did not offer the required academic units and that high school has received a waiver from the Department of Higher Education, the applicant may substitute other university preparatory electives. 
  • Official SAT or ACT scores.
    Applicants with documented learning disabilities are exempt from taking any standardized university entrance aptitude test for admittance to any public institution in Massachusetts (M.G.L. Chapter 15A, Sec 30.)  If you choose, on the application for admission, please disclose your learning disability and request to be considered for the standardized test exemption.
  • A 250-word essay describing educational goals and motivation to attend Fitchburg State University.
  • Letters of recommendation, while not required, are helpful in the evaluation process and are strongly recommended for applicants to the nursing, film and video, game design, and photography programs.
  • A resume of activities if time has lapsed between the time of high school graduation and applying to Fitchburg State University.

Applications are reviewed as they become complete and on a continuous basis, beginning in early December for fall applicants.

Acceptance to Fitchburg State University is contingent upon graduation from high school or equivalent preparation (GED). Students who attend public high schools in Massachusetts and intend to enroll at Fitchburg State University must meet the state standards for the competency determination (measured by the MCAS tests or Performance Appeals Process in English language arts and mathematics) as well as local graduation requirements.

Minimum GPA and SAT/ACT

Recalculated GPA of 3.0 or higher OR must meet the GPA/SAT and ACT equivalent from the scale below.  The GPA is calculated based upon college preparatory courses and is weighted for Honors and Advanced Placement courses.

  Recalculated GPA SAT (CR and Math) ACT (Composite)  
      2.51 - 2.99             920           19  
      2.41 - 2.50             960           20  
      2.31 - 2.40           1000           21  
      2.21 - 2.30           1040           22  
      2.11 - 2.20           1080           23  
      2.00 - 2.10           1120           24  
  Under 2.0 - not admissible      

Application Procedures—Special Admissions Applicants

Applicants with documented learning disabilities or English as a Second Language (ESL) backgrounds, or who are graduating from vocational-technical schools may be eligible for application requirement exception allowances. These exceptions reflect the minimum admission standards as stated by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

English as a Second Language applicants must complete the 16 required university preparatory courses with two exceptions:

  • ESL applicants may substitute up to two university preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses, and
  • ESL applicants may substitute up to two years of university preparatory ESL English courses for university preparatory English courses.  ESL students must meet all other admission standards for first-time university students, including SAT or ACT requirements.

Declaring a disability at the time of application and supplying complete documentation is voluntary. Applicants who present documentation and testing supporting a professionally diagnosed learning disability are exempt from taking standardized college entrance aptitude tests for admittance to any public institution in the Commonwealth (M.G.L. Chapter 15A, Sec. 30). Such students, however, must complete the 16 required college preparatory courses with the following exception:

  • An applicant may substitute two college preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses if the applicant presents an Individual Education Plan (or the equivalent under Chapter 766 or Chapter 344) and the results of a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that provides a specific diagnosis of a language based learning disability. For a full description of documentation requirements, visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/disability.

Vocational-technical students must complete 16 college preparatory courses, distributed in the same manner and with the same minimum grade point averages required of other high school graduates, with the following exceptions:

  • Two vocational-technical courses may be used to fulfill the two required electives.
  • Vocational-technical high school graduates who do not complete the two required college preparatory foreign language courses must complete an additional elective college preparatory course, for a total of three such courses, and satisfy one of the following: one Carnegie unit of a foreign language, a fourth Carnegie unit of mathematics or science, or one Carnegie unit of computer science.

Meeting minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission for any applicant.

Application Procedures—International Students

Fitchburg State University seeks a culturally diverse campus and welcomes applications from students from other countries. Students on F-1 visas must study on a full-time basis and are not eligible for state or federal financial aid.

International students must complete their applications by the deadlines listed below. The Admissions Office cannot guarantee that students completing applications after the published deadline will receive an admission decision in time to process visa requests. Accordingly, late applications may be deferred a semester at the discretion of the Admissions Office.

  • Fall Semester deadline: March 1
  • Spring Semester deadline: October 1

In addition to the basic admissions requirements for new and transfer students, international students must submit and/or meet the additional requirements listed below:

Application fee $40

Official high school/college transcripts

  • All documents must be official – signed and stamped.
  • All documents in foreign languages must be translated into English. If the translation is completed by a translation agency or individual other than the school you have attended, the documents must be notarized.
  • If you are a transfer student attending a college/university in your home country or countries other than the United States, a Course-by-Course transcript evaluation must be completed by an accredited credential evaluation agency.
  • The following are some suggested organizations that provide foreign credential evaluation services:

English Proficiency Test Scores are required if your first language or primary language spoken is not English, with the following exceptions:

  • If you have earned a secondary school, associate’s (AA or AAS), bachelor’s or master’s degree from a college/university in the United States or another English-speaking country.
  • If you are from Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Ghana, Guyana, New Zealand, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean.

Either one of the following English proficiency tests is acceptable:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Fitchburg State University’s code is 3518.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

The minimum passing score is

 
  • TOEFL PBT (paper-based)
  • TOEFL iBT (internet-based)
  • IELTS academic

550
79
6.5

  • Official test results must be sent from the testing agency to the Admissions Office and must be dated within the past five years. For more information about the TOEFL test, please visit www.toefl.org.  For more information about the IELTS test, please visit www.ielts.org.

Proof of Financial Support: If you plan to study at Fitchburg State University under an F-1 visa and are admitted to the university, you must complete and submit the following forms along with the appropriate financial documentation:

  • The Statement of Finances Form
  • Affidavit of Financial Support Form

Your I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status) for F-1 student visa status can only be issued if you have been offered admission and have submitted the required financial documentation.

If you transfer from another institution in the United States, you must also submit the following additional documents:

  • Form I-94 if you are currently in the United States.  We will accept either a printed copy of your electronic I-94 obtained from www.cbp.gov/I94 or photocopies of your passport pages that contain your biographical information, visa and admission stamp.
  • A copy of passport (pages containing photo and demographic information)
  • copies of all previous I-20’s
  • Transfer Verification Form (signed by current foreign student advisor).

Application Procedures—Non-Traditional Students

A non-traditional student is a student who does not enter college immediately after completing high school. Generally the student has experience in a career, at home, or in the military.

Admissions requirements are similar to those of any new student including:

  • High school transcript and/or GED
  • SAT or ACT scores if student has been out of high school for three years or less
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Resumé of activities showing life experience

Part-Time Non-Degree Seeking Students

A non-degree seeking student is a high school graduate who is not applying for a degree program but wishes to enroll in university courses. These students may enroll in a maximum of three courses or 11 credits per term. Course registration for non-degree seeking students is scheduled after degree-seeking students have registered. Non-degree seeking students (those not enrolled in degree or certificate programs) may take courses for which they have fulfilled any specified prerequisites. Non-degree students are exempt from the Math Readiness Requirement and are therefore not required to take the ACCUPLACER Elementary Algebra placement exam, but must have satisfied the required prerequisite courses or equivalent.

Honors Program Applicants

The university encourages academically talented applicants to consider its Honors Program. The Honors Program is characterized by the following:

  • Unique, innovative curriculum and courses with other honors students
  • Small class sizes and close interaction with professors
  • A Fitchburg State University Honors Program scholarship
  • Early class registration privileges
  • Recognition at graduation as a Massachusetts Commonwealth Scholar

Admission to the Honors Program is selective, based on several factors including: grade point average, SAT or ACT scores and participation in Honors or Advanced Placement Courses. The selection committee also considers letters of recommendation, history of community service, and extracurricular interests. A separate application is not required.

Alternate Admission Programs

The university supports two alternate admission programs for students who either do not meet the admission criteria established for Massachusetts state universities or have non-traditional backgrounds: the Fitchburg State University/Mount Wachusett Community College Institute and the Summer Bridge Program. Both programs require students to submit the regular application for admission; no additional application is required. For more information on these programs, please contact the Admissions Office.

The Fitchburg State University/Mount Wachusett Community College Institute

The Institute is a collaborative program sponsored by Mount Wachusett Community College and Fitchburg State University to serve the needs of a select group of students who demonstrate the potential to succeed at a four-year residential university but who currently do not meet the admission standards set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The Institute provides the opportunity for students to begin their college coursework at Mount Wachusett Community College while living on the Fitchburg State University campus. At the conclusion of each semester, Fitchburg State University evaluates Institute students’ Mount Wachusett Community College transcripts; if students meet the transfer requirements, they are eligible to matriculate at Fitchburg State the next semester.

Students enrolled in the Institute benefit from Fitchburg State University and Mount Wachusett Community College’s long-standing tradition of collaboration, articulation agreements, close proximity to each other, shared regional transportation system, and commitment to support students’ academic, co-curricular, and social development. Participants in the Institute are required to live on campus. Institute students receive:

  • On-campus housing at Fitchburg State University
  • Coordinated academic advising, academic assessment and orientation programming
  • Access to selected student activities on both campuses (While students are enrolled at Mount Wachusett Community College, they are not eligible for intercollegiate athletics, elected office in student government, or Greek Life at Fitchburg State University.)
  • Complete access to all student support services at both institutions

The Summer Bridge Program

The Summer Bridge Program is designed to provide educational opportunities for recent local high school graduates who demonstrate the potential to succeed at Fitchburg State University, but who currently do not meet the admission standards set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The program provides supportive services and academic preparation for a select group of students who are conditionally accepted to the university. Students participate in a drive-in program that meets four days a week for five weeks in July and August. The eight-university-credit program includes:

  • Literacy and writing instruction based on placement test performance
  • Mathematics readiness instruction based on placement test performance
  • Academic transition seminars, activities and experiences regarding learning strategies, study skills, time management, tutoring and related topics
  • The opportunity to complete one LA&S (general education) course
  • Exposure and contact with the variety of academic support services available at the university

Students who complete the Summer Bridge Program with a minimum 2.0 grade point average and the recommendation of the Summer Bridge coordinator will be fully admitted to the university in the fall term.

Transfer Admissions

Application Procedures—Transfer Students

Transfer students who want to be considered for admission to the university must meet the following criteria:

  • A grade point average of 2.0 or better with 24 or more transferable credits from a regionally accredited college or university or a grade point average of 2.5 or better with 12 to 23 transferable credits. Having such an average, however, does not guarantee admission to the university.
  • If a prospective student has 23 or fewer transferable credits and a GPA between 2.5 and 2.0, the student’s high school work must also satisfy admission requirements for freshman applicants.

The following credentials must be submitted:

  • A completed Application for Admission and $40 application fee
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges
  • A 250-word essay describing your educational goals and motivation to attend Fitchburg State
  • A final high school transcript. Applicants who have completed a GED should also submit official test results. Transfer applicants who have earned an associate’s degree are not required to submit high school or GED information.
  • Official SAT or ACT test scores for applicants who are subject to freshman admission standards (see above), and those students who have been out of high school three years or less and have fewer than 24 transferable college credits at the time of application.

Evaluation of Credit

The amount of credit that will transfer into a Fitchburg State University program is determined after an applicant has been accepted to the university. Transfer credit is normally granted for courses completed at regionally accredited colleges and universities, for which the student received a 1.7 (C-) or better, and which correspond with those offered at Fitchburg State University. Courses which do not fit the degree program may be counted as fulfilling the free elective requirements of the four-year curriculum.

Students transferring from two-year institutions will be entitled to a maximum of 60 transfer credits. Students transferring from baccalaureate level institutions will be entitled to a maximum of 75 transfer credits and may not transfer more than 50% of the total credit hours required in their major. They also must complete a minimum of 45 credit hours in residence in order to receive a degree from Fitchburg State University.

The grade point average from previously attended colleges and universities does not transfer, and a new GPA is established, reflecting the student’s performance while attending Fitchburg State University.

For some transfer students, the requirements and provisions of MassTransfer apply. The complete text of MassTransfer is printed following this section.

Placement Testing

The Admissions Office will provide your SAT or ACT scores to the Placement Test Center. Students who have a critical reading SAT score between 500 and 599 (or English ACT between 21 and 26) are exempt from taking the Reading placement test. Also, students who have a critical reading SAT score of 600 or above (or ACT of 27) are exempt from the Reading and Writing placement tests. Students who have earned a score of 3.0 or better on the Advanced Placement (AP) English Examination are exempt from the reading and writing placement exams.

Most transfer students have college credits for Writing I and therefore do not need to complete the Reading Comprehension or Essay Placement exams. However, transfer students must take the Algebra test if a math course is needed to meet graduation requirements. During transfer advising and registration, academic advisors work closely with transfer students to arrange any placement testing needed.

MassTransfer

Chapter 15A, Section 9 (v) of the General Laws of Massachusetts includes within the powers and duties of the Department of Higher Education to “develop and implement a transfer compact for the purpose of facilitating and fostering the transfer of students without the loss of academic credit or standing from one public institution to another.”

In June 2008, the Department of Higher Education accepted the Final Report from the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group which included a new statewide transfer policy: MassTransfer. MassTransfer seeks to provide a broad population of students with straightforward and understandable options toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student access and student success in Massachusetts’ public higher education system.

MassTransfer has two main purposes:

  • to provide community college students who complete approved associate degrees under MassTransfer with the benefits of the full transfer and applicability of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each benefit based on the student’s final grade point average) to linked baccalaureate programs; and
  • to provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system the intermediate goal of completing a portable transfer block (“MassTransfer Block”) which satisfies general education/distribution/core requirements across institutions (with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses).

MassTransfer integrates and replaces the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, Joint Admissions, and the Tuition Advantage Program as of fall 2009. Community college students who matriculated prior to fall 2009 and who choose to continue in the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and/or Joint Admissions Program were required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and had to matriculate at a Massachusetts state university or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014.

Students matriculating in fall 2009 as well as currently enrolled students may accumulate courses leading toward the completion of an approved associate degree under MassTransfer or the MassTransfer Block. The policy benefits will apply to students who complete either an approved associate degree or the MassTransfer Block beginning fall 2010, regardless of initial date of enrollment.

A student seeking readmission as a matriculated student to an institution previously attended—whether on a full-time or part-time basis—is held to the receiving institution’s readmission policies. However, if eligible for readmission, the receiving institution is strongly encouraged to honor the MassTransfer policy.

A student completing an associate degree program under MassTransfer will have graduated with a minimum of 60 credit hours and will have completed the following 34-credit general education transfer block, exclusive of developmental coursework:

Section I: MASSTRANSFER POLICY

English Composition/Writing 6 credit hours    
Behavioral and Social Sciences 9 credit hours    
Humanities and Fine Arts 9 credit hours    
Natural or Physical Science 7 credit hours    
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning 3 credit hours    
Total 34 credit hours                                                                                                                                     

Each associate degree program under MassTransfer is linked to baccalaureate degrees and schools at the Massachusetts state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses across the Commonwealth.  The list of associate degree programs and linked baccalaureate programs under MassTransfer will be available at www.mass.edu/masstransfer.

A student completing an associate degree who seeks admission to a linked baccalaureate program under MassTransfer will be entitled to the following benefits based upon the final cumulative grade point average at the community college awarding the degree:

A: Partial benefits will be awarded to a student with a final cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or higher
  1. Waives the admissions application fee, essay and letter(s) of recommendation.
  2. Guarantees the full transfer of college-level credits, including “D” grades, but excluding “D-” (.70) or lower, applied to the degree requirements of the linked baccalaureate degree or school at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus such that the MassTransfer student will be required to complete no more credits or courses than a native student with the following stipulations:
  • The student changes his or her major.
  • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average or specific courses for the major which are required of native students, the MassTransfer student must meet these requirements.
  1. Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation.  This will apply when the receiving institution already places these requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.

Note: College-Level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included under MassTransfer. Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations, and credit for prior learning shall be included when a student qualifies under MassTransfer.

B. Partial benefits will be awarded to a student with a final cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher
  1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in section 1A.
  2. Guarantees admission to the linked baccalaureate degree or school at a Massachusetts state university or University of Massachusetts campus with the following stipulations:
  • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average which is required of native students, the MassTransfer student must meet this requirement.
  • If because of space or fiscal limitations the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution will use the same criteria for MassTransfer applicants as it does for its native students.

Students must be in good academic, fiscal and disciplinary standing with all previous institutions.

C. All benefits will be awarded to a student with a final cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher
  1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in sections 1A and 1B.
  2. Guarantees a tuition waiver equal to 33% of the Massachusetts resident tuition rate at a state university or University of Massachusetts campus for two years of undergraduate enrollment with the following requirements:
  • Enrollment is continuous at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus.
  • The student earns a cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher for the first year of enrollment at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus.

Note: For students demonstrating compelling hardships, institutions may exercise professional judgment regarding the above conditions.

Section II: For students completing the MassTransfer Block at any Massachusetts higher education institution with a 2.0 or higher grade point average

A student completing the MassTransfer Block will have earned the following 34 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework.

English Composition/Writing 6 credit hours    
Behavioral and/or Social Sciences 9 credit hours    
Humanities and/or Fine Arts 9 credit hours    
Natural and/or Physical Science 7 credit hours    
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning 3 credit hours    
Total 34 credit hours                                                                                                                                     

Students completing the 34-credit MassTransfer Block (exclusive of developmental coursework) with a 2.0 or higher grade point average will be entitled to the following benefit:*

*Note: excluding “D-” (.70) grades

Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation.  This will apply when the receiving institution already places these requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.  Students enrolled in a specific major or degree program may be required to take additional courses if these courses are specifically required for the major or program and are required of native students.

Note: College-level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included under MassTransfer.  Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations, and credit for prior learning shall be included when a student qualifies under MassTransfer.

Section III: Information Sharing

The Massachusetts public higher education institutions agree to share information about participating students as set forth in this Section, to the extent permissible under appropriate statutes, regulations and institutional policies regarding confidentiality of student records.  This exchange of information allows institutions to provide students with the broadest range of academic choices and support services, thereby creating an environment conducive to academic success.

  1. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the Massachusetts community colleges agree to provide upon request the state universities and the University of Massachusetts campuses with directory information, as defined by the respective community college, such as names, addresses, and majors for participating students enrolled on their campuses.
  2. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the state universities and the University of Massachusetts campuses agree to provide non-identifying student information on MassTransfer students such as graduation and retention rates, grade point averages, and academic majors and degree programs upon request from the community colleges.  Any release of such information shall not, directly or indirectly, transmit personally identifying information about any student who has not granted permission for participating institutions to share such information.
  3. Each state university and University of Massachusetts campus agrees to provide freshman applicants not offered admission with information on MassTransfer if the applicant is potentially suitable for participation. The state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses will provide the appropriate community college(s) with names and addresses of all such applicants who grant permission for the release of this information.

In order to encourage students who are academically suspended, or who otherwise leave the state university or University of Massachusetts campus while not in good academic standing, to consider educational opportunities at the community colleges, the state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses agree to undertake reasonable efforts to provide community colleges with the names, addresses and other pertinent academic records of such students who grant permission for the release of this information.

Section IV. Oversight of MassTransfer

The Department of Higher Education will bring the MassTransfer Steering Committee together once a semester. The MassTransfer Steering Committee will be composed of at least one representative from participating institutions. It is expected that the institutional representation will include individuals whose primary responsibilities involve transfer affairs.

The MassTransfer Steering Committee may create subcommittees including, but not limited to, Appeals, Statewide Transfer Alignment, and to address other issues that pertain to MassTransfer Policy Issues and benefits.

A subcommittee to update the MassTransfer Policy Guidelines will be formed every three years and will be charged with reviewing the guidelines.

Notwithstanding any provision of this policy, MassTransfer does not:

  1. Preclude community colleges or the state universities or University of Massachusetts campuses from entering into similar agreements with other institutions of higher education.
  2. Prevent the state universities or University of Massachusetts from admitting community college students through existing admission processes.
  3. Limit a state university or University of Massachusetts campus from eliminating a school, department or degree program.
  4. Ensure eligibility for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance.
  5. Provide any guarantees or representations regarding tuition rates or fees at the community colleges, state universities, or University of Massachusetts.

Appendix A: Students completing an associate degree through additional transfer agreements

The Final Report from the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group accepted by the Board of Higher Education in June 2008 includes the following recommendation under Goal 1 to implement the MassTransfer policy effective academic year 2009-2010:

Confer the same tuition waiver identified in MassTransfer to associate degree programs that do not qualify for MassTransfer but have articulation agreements with programs at state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses that guarantee admission and full transfer and applicability of credits to the baccalaureate degree.

ADDITIONAL TRANSFER AGREEMENTS

A student completing an associate degree program through an Additional Transfer Agreement will have graduated with a minimum of 60 credit hours exclusive of developmental coursework:

A student completing an associate degree program who seeks admission to a linked baccalaureate program through an Additional Transfer Agreement will be entitled to the following benefits based upon the final cumulative grade point average at the community college awarding the degree:

A. A final cumulative grade point average of a 2.0 or higher
  1. Waives the admissions application fee and essay.
  2. Guarantees the full transfer of college-level credits, including “D” grades, applied to the degree requirements of the linked baccalaureate degree or school at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus such that the student completing an associate degree through an Additional Transfer Agreement will be required to complete no more credits or courses than a native student with the following stipulations:
  • The student changes his or her major.
  • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average or specific courses for the major which are required of native students, the transfer student must meet these requirements.

Note: College-level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included. Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations, and credit for prior learning shall be included.

B. A final cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher
  1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in section A.
  2. Guarantees admission to the linked baccalaureate degree or school at a Massachusetts state university or University of Massachusetts campus with the follow stipulations:
  • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average which is required of native students, the student must meet this requirement.
  • If because of space or fiscal limitations the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution will use the same criteria for students completing an associate degree through an Additional Transfer Agreement applicants as it does for its native students.
  • Students must be in good academic, fiscal and disciplinary standing with all previous institutions.
C. A final cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher
  1. Grants all of the benefits outlined in sections A and B.
  2. Guarantees a tuition waiver equal to 33% of the Massachusetts resident tuition rate at a state university or University of Massachusetts campus for two years of undergraduate enrollment with the following requirements:
  • Enrollment is continuous at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus.
  • The student earns a cumulative grade point average of a 3.0 or higher for the first year of enrollment at the state university or University of Massachusetts campus.

Note: For students demonstrating compelling hardships, institutions may exercise professional judgment regarding the above conditions.

See MassTransfer Web site at www.mass.edu/masstransfer

Appeals regarding MassTransfer status should be forwarded to the MassTransfer Coordinator.  Questions regarding MassTransfer should be addressed to the MassTransfer Coordinator, Heather Thomas.  Email address hbthomas@fitchburgstate.edu or 978-665-3884.

The Elementary Education Compact

For students transferring from Massachusetts community colleges to public colleges and universities offering elementary education licensure at the baccalaureate level who agree to the compact.

Section I. Requirement for Elementary Education Compact Status

A student shall be eligible for Elementary Education Compact status if he or she has met the following requirements:

  • Completed an associate degree with a minimum of 60 credit hours exclusive of developmental coursework;
  • Achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.75 (in a 4.0 system) (Note: At their discretion, individual institutions may require a different grade point average.);
  • Completed the following 44-59 credit core, exclusive of developmental coursework. The core is designed to meet the requirements of both the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, and the Department of Education’s regulations (see Section 7.05:1.b and Section 7.06:7.b of the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (“Regulations”).).
  Composition/Writing 6 credits
  *Humanities and Social Science (9 credits of each) 18 credits

In addition, students must select courses that meet the following Department of Education core content knowledge areas, bearing in mind that competency must be demonstrated in all these areas on the General Curriculum Test of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL). Students are required to complete coursework in these areas at both the lower and upper level; areas not covered by coursework at the community college will need to be completed after transfer.

  *Children’s Literature  
  American Literature  
  World Literature  
  British Literature  
  US History, colonial to present  
  World History, ancient to present (includes European History)  
  Geography  
  Economics  
  US Government (including founding documents)  
  *Physical Science with lab or Appropriate Integrated Laboratory Science (appropriate to the Elementary School curriculum) 4 credits
  *Biological Science with lab or Appropriate Integrated Laboratory Science (appropriate to the Elementary School curriculum) 4 credits
  *Mathematics (appropriate to the Elementary School curriculum) 6 credits
  Child Development 3 credits
  Exploring Teaching/Foundations of Education with Pre-Practicum 3 credits
  Preparation courses for Academic Major after Transfer (These courses may also fulfill other core requirements listed above) 9-15 S.H.
  •  Achieved passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST) of the MTEL.

The sending institution is responsible for identifying the transcript of each student who is a candidate for transfer under this compact.

* These courses should be from the appropriate department and not be education courses.

Section II : Credits to be Transferred

Students fulfilling the requirements of the Elementary Education Compact are guaranteed a minimum of 60 transfer credits, exclusive of developmental credit as defined by the Department of Higher Education, applied to their degree requirements at the state college or university. The credits will be applied as follows:

  • lower level arts and sciences coursework for the “Route One” requirements for the Initial Elementary Education Teacher License;
  • institutional general education requirements;
  • academic major requirements;
  • elementary education lower level requirements;
  • free electives.

Only college-level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included under this compact. Credits awarded by the sending institution through College Level Examination Program (CLEP), challenge examinations, and other life-experience evaluations for course credit will be included when the community college certifies that a student qualifies under this Compact.

Section III : Credits Beyond the Associate Degree

To complete the baccalaureate degree and receive Elementary Education licensure at the baccalaureate level, a student who transfers under this compact may not be required to take more than 68 additional credits at the receiving institution unless the requirements of the student’s academic major are such that the combination of additional requirements in arts and sciences coursework for the “Route One” requirements for the initial Elementary Education teacher license, institutional general education requirements, academic major requirements, and elementary education requirements total more than 68 credits.

Under these circumstances, transfer students will be subject to the same requirements as native students. (The term “native students” refers to students who began their undergraduate education at the baccalaureate institution.)

It is further understood that receiving institutions may require additional coursework if Department of Education licensure requirements change during the course of the associate’s degree.

Section IV : Admission to Competitive Majors or Programs

If, because of space or fiscal limitations, the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution will use the same criteria for applicants who are transfer students under this compact as it does for its native students.

Section V: Elementary Education Transfer Coordinating Committee

An Elementary Education Transfer Coordinating Committee, convened by the Department of Higher Education, will provide implementation and oversight of the Elementary Education Compact. The coordinating committee will consist of a total of 11 members: six members who are education faculty/administrators familiar with licensure regulations (two from the community colleges appointed by the Community College Executive Office, two from the state colleges appointed by the State College Council of Presidents Office and two from the university appointed by the President’s Office in consultation with the campuses); the three Joint Admissions Steering Committee co-chairs (one representing the community colleges, the state colleges and the university campuses, respectively); and representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and the Department of Education.

The Coordinating Committee will monitor, evaluate and, when necessary, modify the administration of the Elementary Education Compact. In addition, the Committee should implement guidelines that are consistent across the system to address such issues as: professional development, student advising, preparation for the Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST) of the Massachusetts Test for Education Licensure (MTEL), and curriculum development. The Elementary Education Transfer Coordinating Committee will work to create a system for evaluating the effectiveness of this Compact, and will assist the campuses with developing courses that meet the Department of Education’s core content knowledge areas.

Section VI : Publication of Requirements

Each public college and university that accepts this policy shall include in its official undergraduate catalog the provisions of the Elementary Education Compact. Each campus agrees to use its best effort to provide participating community college, state college or university campuses, respectively, with prompt notifications of changes in programs and curricula.

Section VII : Transfer Records

The student with Elementary Education Compact status will be furnished by the receiving institution a list of courses to be fulfilled to earn a bachelor’s degree no later than the end of the first semester at the receiving institution.

Section VIII : Student Appeals

A student who believes that the provisions of this Compact have not been applied fairly to his or her transfer application has the right to appeal.

Initially, differences of interpretation regarding the award of transfer credit shall be resolved between the student and the institution. The student shall present his/her evaluation of the situation to the institution from which he/she is transferring. Representatives from the two institutions shall then have the opportunity to resolve the differences.

Absent a satisfactory resolution, differences of interpretation may be presented to the Joint Admissions Agreement Subcommittee for Appeals.

The Early Childhood Education Compact

(revised 2011)

Background

The original Early Childhood Education Compact went into effect in fall 2004 representing further efforts to facilitate the transfer of credits within the public higher education system.  Development of the original compact took into consideration the demands of the early childhood education field in Massachusetts as well as national acceditation requirements, existing transfer policies at the time, and requirements and recommendations from the then-existing Massachusetts Department of Education and the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services.  Many changes in these areas took place over the subsequent years prompting the Early Childhood Education Compact Coordinating Committee to work with stakeholders to update and revise the Compact to meet present-day needs.

Purpose

The revised Early Childhood Education Compact (“ECE Compact”) provides community college students seeking a baccalaureate degree with a straightforward and understandable pathway toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student success in Massachusetts’ public higher education system.  The ECE Compact serves students planning to transfer from a Massachusetts community college to a State University or University of Massachusetts campus offering Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved early childhood (PK-2) licensure programs for “Teachers of Students With and Without Disabilities” as well as non-licensure programs in early childhood education (e.g. infant, toddler, preschool, and related fields).  The Compact also specifies coursework that fulfills Department of Early Education and Care professional child care qualifications for certification as Lead Teacher.

Benefits

In alignment with the statewide MassTransfer policy adopted in June 2008, the ECE Compact provides community college students who complete an approved associate degree with the benefits of the full transfer and applicability of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each benefit based on the student’s final grade point average) to linked baccalaureate programs.

Benefits for students who complete the ECE Compact at a Massachusetts Community College:

  Minimum Final GPA Benefits
 

2.75 GPA

  • No application fee
  • No essay
  • Guaranteed admission to the ECE baccalaureate program based on same criteria used for native students
  • Guaranteed full transfer of college-level credits (exclusive of developmental coursework) applied to the bachelor’s degree
  3.0 GPA All of the above benefits, plus a 33% tuition waiver

Note: At their discretion, baccalaureate institutions may require a higher final GPA.

 

Section I.  ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION COMPACT

A student shall be eligible for the benefits provided by the Early Childhood Education Compact if he or she has met the following requirements:

  a. The student has completed an associate degree with a minimum of 60 credit hours exclusive of developmental coursework.
  b.

The student has achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.75 (in a 4.0 system).
(Note: at their discretion, individual institutions may require a higher grade point average).

 

c.

The student has completed the following curriculum, meeting the requirements of MassTransfer1, EEC certification for Lead Teachers of Preschoolers2 (Note: additional requirements for teacher age and experience may apply for EEC certification), and DESE licensure for Early Childhood: Teachers of Students With and Without Disabilities-Levels (PreK-2)3

  1. http://www.mass.edu/masstransfer/Advisors/documents/MassTransferimplementationGuidelines.doc
  2. http://www.mass.gov/edu/birth-grade-12/early-education-and-care/workforce-and-professional-development/educator-certifications/early-education-care-professional-certification/eec-professional-certification.html
  3. http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603CMR7.html?section=06

The course requirements for the Early Childhood Education Compact fall into three categories, as follows:

A.  General education/distribution/core courses from Arts & Sciences departments, exclusive of developmental coursework (37 credits)

 

6 credits

English Composition/Writing

These courses should involve the development of complex and abstract ideas for different writing situations and emphasize the different steps of the writing process leading to fluent, effective expression.  Courses that are concerned primarily with grammar, usage, punctuation, or grammatical sentence and paragraphs do not meet this requirement and should not receive credit toward the degree.

 

9 credits

Behavioral and Social Sciences

 

 

9 credits

Humanities and Fine Arts

 

 

7 credits

Natural or Physical Science

At least one of these courses must include a lab component.

 

6 credits

Mathematics

These courses should address number sense and numeration; geometry and measurement; patterns and functions; and data analysis as appropriate to the PK-2 classroom.

B.  Courses addressing early childhood education competencies from an education department (15 credits)

Note:  All courses must address issues, adaptations, and procedures for children with diverse needs, including those with disabilities, those with limited English proficiency, and those who are gifted and talented.  Moreover, one of these courses must include at least eight hours of field experience across the full age span (birth to age eight) with classroom observations in diverse settings.

 

3 credits

A course on early childhood growth and development that covers the age span from birth to age eight in order to meet EEC Lead Teacher requirements.  Note:  A student may substitute an equivalent course from a Social Science department that develops these competencies for this age span.

 

 

3 credits

A course introducing early childhood education, including foundations and addressing state and national frameworks.

 

 

6 credits

Two courses focused on competencies from the following list:

  • early childhood curriculum
  • program planning
  • behavior management
  • adaptations and procedures for children with special needs including I.E.P. preparation, implementation, and evaluation.  Note: If this course is used for EEC Lead Teacher certification, then it must specifically address inclusion of children with special needs under age three.
 

3 credits

An early childhood education practicum working with children in a field placement that includes at least 150 hours over a minimum of eight weeks in PreK-K education (includes pre-school settings approved by EEC) and be accompanied by a theoretical component that integrates the practicum experience, the EEC core competencies, and ESE Professional Standards for Teachers (PST).

C.  Courses in preparation for the academic major after transfer (9 credits)

Students should enroll in courses to prepare them for their chosen academic major after transfer.

  9 credits                 

Note:  Students may substitute additional Early Childhood Education courses provided they obtain prior approval from the institution to which they intend to transfer.

D.  MTEL recommendation for ECE licensure track

Students interested in Early Childhood licensure programs should be strongly encouraged to take the Communication and Literacy Skills Test (CLST) of the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL) at the Community College immediately after completing their six credits of English Composition/Writing.  Students should check with receiving institutions to determine admission requirements for formal acceptance into DESE-approved Early Childhood initial licensure programs which typically include passing the CLST prior to program acceptance.

E.  Portfolio development

Both the requirements of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the practices of Massachusetts colleges have moved toward the use of outcomes to measure competency in teacher preparation.  This has led to the widespread practice of portfolio development in baccalaureate programs.  These portfolios typically integrate student experiences over the entire preparation program.  Community Colleges may find it helpful for their students to begin the process while completing the associate degree.

Section II.  INFORMATION SHARING

In alignment with the MassTransfer policy, the Massachusetts public higher education institutions agree to share information about participating students as set forth in this section, to the extent permissible under appropriate statutes, regulations and institutional policies regarding confidentiality of student records.  This exchange of information allows institutions to provide students with the broadest range of academic choices and support services, thereby creating an environment conducive to academic success.

  1. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the Massachusetts community colleges agree to provide upon request the state universities and the University of Massachusetts campuses with directory information, as defined by the respective community college, such as names, addresses, and majors for participating students enrolled on their campuses.
  2. To the extent permissible under applicable law, the state universities and the University of Massachusetts campuses agree to provide non-identifying student information on ECE Compact students such as graduation and retention rates, grade point averages, and academic majors and degree programs upon request from the community colleges.  Any release of such information shall not, directly or indirectly, transmit personally identifying information about any student who has not granted permission for participating institutions to share such information.
  3. Each state university and University of Massachusetts campus agrees to provide freshman applicants not offered admission with information on the ECE Compact if the application is potentially suitable for participation.  The state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses will provide the appropriate community college(s) with names and addresses of all such applicants who grant permission for the release of this information.

In order to encourage students who are academically suspended, or who otherwise leave the state university or University of Massachusetts campus while not in good academic standing, to consider educational opportunities at the community colleges, the state universities and University of Massachusetts campuses agree to undertake reasonable efforts to provide community colleges with the names, addresses and other pertinent academic records of such students who grant permission for the release of this information.

Section III.  IMPLEMENTATION AND OVERSIGHT OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION COMPACT

An Early Childhood Education Transfer Coordinating Committee, convened by the Department of Higher Education, will provide implementation and oversight of the Early Childhood Education Compact.  The Coordinating Committee will consist of a total of twelve members: six members who are education faculty/administrators familiar with licensure regulations (two from the community colleges appointed by the Community College Executive Office, two from the state universities appointed by the State University Council of Presidents Office and two from the University of Massachusetts appointed by the President’s Office in consultation with the campuses); three representatives from the MassTransfer Steering Committee (one representing the community colleges, the state universities and the University of Massachusetts, respectively); and a representative from each of the following: the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; and the Department of Early Education and Care.

The Coordinating Committee will monitor, evaluate and, when necessary, modify the administration of the Early Childhood Education Compact.  In addition, the Committee should implement guidelines that are consistent across the system to address such issues as: professional development, student advising, preparation for the CLST of MTEL, and curriculum development.  The Early Childhood Education Transfer Coordinating Committee will work to create a system for evaluating the effectiveness of this Compact and will assist the campuses with developing courses that meet the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s core content knowledge requirements and the Department of Early Education and Care’s professional child care requirements for certification.

Section IV.  FURTHER UNDERSTANDING

Notwithstanding any provision of this policy, the Early Childhood Education Compact does not:

  1. Preclude community colleges or the state universities or University of Massachusetts campuses from entering into similar agreements with other institutions of higher education.
  2. Prevent the state universities or University of Massachusetts from admitting community college students through existing admission processes.
  3. Limit a state university or University of Massachusetts campus from eliminating a school, department or degree program.
  4. Ensure eligibility for federal, state, or institutional financial assistance.
  5. Provide any guarantees or representations regarding tuition rates or fees at the community colleges, state universities, or University of Massachusetts.

 

New England Regional Student Program

This program enables residents of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont to be considered for admission to programs of study not offered by public colleges in their home states. Applicants selected under this program are granted reduced tuition rates (50% above regular in-state tuition, rather than full out-of-state tuition).

Current eligible programs include:  Communications Media CT, ME, NH, RI   Earth Systems Science RI, VT   Game Design CT, ME, NH, RI, VT    Industrial Technology NH, RI, VT   Special Education NH, VT   Technology Education ME, NH, VT  

For further information, please contact the Admissions Office or the New England Board of Higher Education, 45 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111.

Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC)

Fitchburg State University students may participate in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) unit at Fitchburg State University. Qualified U.S. citizens who earn their degree from Fitchburg State University and satisfactorily complete the ROTC program requirements will be commissioned as officers in the United States Army. ROTC offers two, three and four-year scholarship opportunities to qualified individuals. For more details about the Department of Military Science, call the unit at (978) 665-3126, e-mail army_rotc@fitchburgstate.edu or visit www.fitchburgstate.edu/rotc (See Military Science Course Descriptions  later in this catalog.)