Jul 25, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

About Ferrum College



Statement of Mission

We are a dynamic learning community where students enter with promise and leave with purpose.

Vision Statement

We will be a community that inspires everyone to do good work, build good futures, and live good lives.

About Ferrum College

Founded in 1913, Ferrum College provides lifelong learning and outstanding career and graduate school preparation in a setting of rich natural beauty. A private, co-educational, liberal arts college offering undergraduate and graduate degrees related to the United Methodist Church, the College offers nationally recognized bachelor’s degree programs ranging from business and environmental science to teacher education and criminal justice, small classes, and a dedicated faculty. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, numerous lakes, rivers, state parks, and small towns brimming with regional heritage, Ferrum College is located in southwest Virginia, approximately 35 miles south of Roanoke, VA, and 75 miles north of Greensboro, NC. The area boasts a wide variety of outdoor recreation and cultural enrichment venues.

History of the College

Ferrum College was founded in 1913 as a training school for students in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Public education in the area was just beginning and Ferrum played an important role. To meet the changing needs of students and to respond to changes in higher education, Ferrum became a junior college in 1926, began offering bachelor’s degrees in 1974, and launched online graduate programs in 2020.

Today, Ferrum is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and serves students of all faiths from across the region, the United States, and many countries. The College is regionally accredited by SACSCOC and offers over thirty undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and the professions that lead to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees.  In addition, the College offers graduate programs, including a Master’s of Science in Athletic Coaching, Nursing, and Psychology, Master’s of Education, and an Education Specialist Degree in Teacher Leadership and Coaching.

Non Discrimination Statement

Ferrum College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Educator. In accordance with all federal, state, and local laws, it is the policy of the College not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, or any other aspect of employment.

Disclaimer

The contents of this catalog represent the most current information available at the time of publication. During the period of time covered by this Catalog, it is reasonable to expect changes to be made without prior notice. As a multi-purpose document, the content of this Catalog and the referenced policies or procedures do not create and do not constitute a contract of any kind. The Catalog describes the courses of study, explains certain rules and regulations, states the cost of attendance, contains lists of the administration and faculty, and describes other aspects of campus life in effect at the time of publication. The College reserves the right to vary from them and to modify any of them at any time without prior consent or notice even during the academic year or period. Not all College policies and procedures affecting students are described in the College Catalog but are outlined and described in the Student Handbook.

General Information

Accreditation

Ferrum College is  accredited  by  the  Southern  Association  of  Colleges  and  Schools  Commission  on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and education specialist degrees. Questions  about  the  accreditation  of Ferrum College may  be  directed  in  writing  to  the  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Ferrum College is accredited by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church and is a member of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church.

The social work program receives accreditation visits from its national professional organization, and the teacher education program is regularly evaluated and approved by the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Notification of Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day a Ferrum College official receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, program coordinator, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Ferrum College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may request an amendment to a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the appropriate College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the student will be notified of the decision and his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the College may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Notice Regarding Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that the College, with certain exceptions, obtain student’s written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records. However, the College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless the student has advised the College to the contrary in accordance with College procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the College to include this type of information from student education records in certain College publications. Examples include:

  • College Directory
  • Honor roll or other recognition lists
  • Graduation programs
  • Sports activity sheets
  • News/publicity releases

Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without the student’s prior written consent.

If a student does not want Ferrum College to disclose directory information from their education records without prior written consent, he or she must submit written notification, by September 15th for the Fall semester or by January 31st for the Spring semester, to the:

Office of the Registrar
Ferrum College
P.O. Box 1000
Ferrum, VA 24088

The College has designated the following information as directory information:

  • Name
  • Legal home permanent address
  • Hometown
  • High school attended
  • Previous or future institutions of study
  • Parents’/Guardians’ names and hometowns
  • Photograph or video clip
  • Dates of attendance
  • Class year
  • Program of study (major and/or minor)
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received
  • Grade point average, in recognition of academic achievement
  • Research or special curricular projects
  • Athletic information (as provided on athletic bio form)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities

No other information will be made available unless the student gives Ferrum College written permission to release information to specific individuals regarding academic progress, student conduct, and financial services. Students wishing to waive their rights under FERPA can complete an Education Record Release Form. Forms are available online and in the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of the Registrar.

Student Accountability Records

The Office of Student Life has the responsibility of maintaining judicial records of all documented violations of the Student Handbook. These records are maintained for a period of three years from the time a student graduates or leaves Ferrum College. Records of a disciplinary suspension or failure to complete sanctions will be kept for a period of ten years. If a student is judicially expelled from Ferrum College the records are kept indefinitely. The Office of Student Life will not release any information concerning a student’s disciplinary record to any individual or agency outside the College without the prior written consent from the student unless the records are subpoenaed or unless the release is otherwise required or allowed by law.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Under Virginia state law, a Respondent suspended for, expelled for, or withdrawing from the College while under investigation for a violation involving Sexual Violence, suspension, expulsion, or withdrawal will be prominently noted on the Respondent’s academic transcript. The notation shall be removed from the Respondent’s academic transcript if they 1) complete the term of the suspension and all accompanying sanctions and 2) have been determined to be in Good Standing.

Ferrum College Student Internal Complaint System Process

Ferrum College supports the right of students to present complaints, file grievances, and appeal outcomes in an environment free of fear, retaliation, or other adverse consequences. The College has in place standardized procedures for addressing formal complaints made by all students, including graduate students. No matter the origin of the complaint, every care is taken to address concerns about the College, its programs, and its processes. 

Grievances 

The purpose of the following is to inform students of the general internal complaint system at Ferrum College and to serve as a guide for students who wish to file a complaint about any aspect of Ferrum’s operation, policies, or procedures, or about the actions of any student, visitor, or employee of Ferrum College. Students should also consult the procedures set forth in Special Campus Policies when filing a complaint for sexual harassment or assault or for discrimination or harassment based on a protected characteristic such as race or sexual orientation. Procedures and Guidelines (Please see Student Handbook: Ferrum College Student Handbook 

Student Complaint Form may be submitted electronically or a paper copy picked up in the Office of Student Life, Room 107  Franklin Hall, during normal business hours. Completed paper forms should be returned to Vanessa Stone, Dean of Students in Room 107A Franklin Hall, or via email at vstone@ferrum.edu. Paper and electronic forms will be routed to the appropriate person on campus for investigation.

The person handling the complaint should, if possible, see that the situation is addressed and must inform the student in writing (within one month) of the outcome whether or not the complaint is found to be invalid. If the student does not receive a written response from the person handling the complaint within one month from the date of the original filing of the completed complaint form, the student may bring the complaint back to the office to which they originally submitted the form.

If a student feels that a response to a complaint is unacceptable or unreasonable, the student may bring the complaint back to the office to which they originally submitted the form. If a student does not receive a response from the administrator in that office within two weeks, the student may then bring the complaint to the Vice President for Academic Affairs or another President’s Cabinet member.

If a student is dissatisfied with the resolution of a complaint, the student can contact the Campus Conduct Hotline at 1-866-943-5787. The Campus Conduct Hotline is appropriately used if the complaint falls within the following categories: fraud or crime, sexual harassment, discrimination, safety or facility risk issues, security and internet policy abuses, code of conduct violations, workplace hostility, unethical grading practices, fraudulent financial or business practices, a violation of accreditation principles, or any other questionable behavior. Should the complaint still not be addressed satisfactorily, a violation of the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation may be filed with the SACS Commission on Colleges.

No adverse action will be taken against the student for filing a complaint. Anyone filing a complaint must be prepared to cooperate fully in any subsequent investigation. Failure to cooperate may result in the dismissal of the complaint. Students may be disciplined for willful failure to cooperate.

All documentation regarding a complaint, as well as its disposition, with the exception of harassment and sexual assault, must be securely stored in the Office of the Dean of Campus Life and Title IX Coordinator. These records must be maintained for a period of six years from the date of final action. Harassment and sexual assault documentation should be held in accordance with the guidelines of each policy.

A log that tracks student complaints is kept in the Office of the Dean of Campus Life and Title IX Coordinator. The Office of Student Life must be immediately notified upon resolution of a complaint and the file forwarded to the Office of the Dean of Campus Life and Title IX Coordinator.

Complaints filed against a student will be handled in accordance with the Student Handbook.

Mediation Process

Experience suggests that many grievances can be satisfactorily resolved through mediation if the institution provides ready access to an appropriate mediation process whose legitimacy is generally acknowledged.

The Process of Mediation

 It is understood that, during any process of mediation, there shall be concern for the comfort and safety of all parties involved in the process.

The complainant and the referred may bring with them a member of the faculty, staff, or student body to serve as an advocate at the mediation. No person other than those mentioned above may act as an advocate. Since the College Mediation Process is intended to be an educational experience and not a court of law, neither the College nor a student may bring an attorney as an advisor.

Title IX

Ferrum College students, faculty, staff, appointees, or third parties who believe they have experienced or witnessed Sexual Misconduct that is covered by Title IX Policy may request information or advice, including whether certain conduct may violate the policy; seek an informal resolution; or file a formal complaint by accessing the Title IX information and Non-Discrimination Statement site. 

Graduate students are encouraged to share concerns with the Title IX Coordinator but may contact another Responsible Employee of the College who will refer the matter as appropriate.

Filing a Complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Ferrum College works with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) to resolve distance learning complaints from students receiving their education under the auspices of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). Students who have been unable to resolve their complaint through the resources provided by Ferrum College can submit a student complaint form to SCHEV. 

Filing a Complaint with the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

Filing a Complaint from Other States

Out-of-state distance learning students who have been unable to resolve their complaint through the resources provided by Ferrum College can submit a student complaint form to the state in which they live. 

Filing a Complaint from Other States

Veterans Grievances

The Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA), is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia and investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries. While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact the Virginia State Approving Agency office via email saa@dvs.virginia.gov.