It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Morgridge College of Education. One of my primary responsibilities as Associate Dean is to provide oversight for all academic functions of the college, including policies and procedures. Even though most graduate students never meet me, they are almost always affected by the enforcement of the Morgridge College of Education and DU Office of Graduate Studies policies and procedures. Please know that my door is open to meet with students to discuss any questions or concerns you have about your academic experience. Please contact me at for an appointment. I sincerely hope that your time as a student in the Morgridge College of Education is both challenging and rewarding. My very best wishes to you for your academic success!

~Janette Benson, PhD
Associate Dean

This document contains the most current policies and procedures for graduate students enrolled in programs in the Morgridge College of Education (MCE). Since MCE-specific policies and procedures are created as the need arises, you will find that this is a living document that is responsive to the needs of students and faculty alike to ensure the best possible educational experience. As such, all enrolled students, faculty and staff are expected to consult this document on a regular basis. The following policies and procedures are not exhaustive, but instead include those that are the most frequently encountered by students and faculty. Consistent with the Univeristy of Denver (DU) and the Office of Graduate Studies, the DU Graduate Studies Bulletin overrides all unit-specific policies even though students are responsible to know about additional policies that are specific to the academic unit in which they are enrolled. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies policy and procedures manual DU Graduate Bulletin for additional information.

The Morgridge College of Education will be a global leader in innovative and effective approaches for promoting learning throughout the lifespan. Transcending traditional ideas about education and schooling, we will embrace a new, comprehensive vision of learning as a lifelong activity that involves the whole person and can occur through a variety of methods, anywhere and at any time. We will promote educational change and social equity and will provide leadership for the improvement of education, mental health and information services and systems.

All college and program policies which are considered the minimum requirements for all members of the university community are administered under the DU Graduate Bulletin. The University of Denver reserves the right to make changes in the regulations, rules, fees or other aspects of the policy manual without advance notice. This handbook provides additional policy and procedure information specifically affecting Morgridge College of Education students and may be more stringent than the policies outlined in the Graduate Bulletin.


Students are strongly encouraged to attend the MCE orientation at the beginning of their first quarter. At this event students will have an opportunity to meet program faculty and staff, as well as members of other MCE programs. The event is designed to provide an opportunity to learn about a variety of college and university support systems, as well as provide an overview of the student’s specific program content and requirements.


Students are assigned academic advisors upon enrollment in the program. Students are instructed to contact faculty advisors directly to schedule appointments and create coursework plans. Academic advisors will provide clarification of the policies and procedures that are college-wide in their applicability.

Course Descriptions

The DU Course Catalog contains the official, current course descriptions. Select a term, and then select your program.

The Coursework Plan

During the first quarter of study students will develop, with the assistance of their advisor, a plan of study consistent with program requirements to ensure that the student understands the sequence of required courses. The signed coursework plan of study and any transfer or waiver request forms will be submitted to the department Academic Services Associate (ASA) for processing. It is recommended that a copy be retained by both the student and advisor.

Certificate students will submit the initial completed and signed coursework plan no later than the end of the first quarter of enrollment; degree seeking students will submit the course plan within the first 15 credits of enrollment. Sample course work plans appear in the program specific handbooks.

Although the initial quarters of enrollment may consist of required courses, students will also confer with their advisor to select electives when appropriate. Course work plans can be amended when deemed necessary by the student and advisor. To ensure that approved changes are honored at the time of degree evaluation, a revised, fully signed and dated coursework plan must be submitted to the department ASA. This document will replace the original plan.

Transfer of Credit

Degree seeking MCE students may request to transfer a limited number of credits that have not already been counted toward a previous or concurrent degree. Transfer credit toward a 45 credit hour Master’s degree is limited to 10 quarter hours. Transfer credit toward a 90 credit Doctoral degree is limited to 15 quarter hours. Refer to specific criteria in the DU Graduate Bulletin – Transfer of Credit.

Transfer credit requests must be approved during the first quarter of attendance as a degree-seeking student. The student, with the support of the advisor, will initiate a request to transfer-in credits by completing the Transfer of Credit Request including obtaining the signatures of both the faculty advisor and the department chair.

Waiver or Substitution of Courses

If the advisor and student determine that the student has previously completed course work required for the degree, the student may request a waiver or substitution by completing the Graduate Course Substitution or Waiver Approval form. Under no circumstance will the waiver or substitution of a course(s) reduce the number of credits required for the degree. Substitutions must be clearly indicated on the signed course work plan.

Non-MCE Courses

Degree-seeking students in the MCE are sometimes advised to take classes in other units on campus to complement the course work completed within the college. Please note that courses taken at University College or Colorado Women’s College will not be counted as part of the degree unless the course approved by the advisor has been certified to be one level above the student’s degree, and has been approved in writing by the MCE Associate Dean. Written approval, signed by both the advisor and the associate dean must be obtained prior to taking the course, and submitted with a revised coursework plan to the department’s ASA.

Grades submitted by instructors at the end of the term are final and are not subject to change by reason of revision of judgment on the part of the instructor. Grades cannot be changed on the basis of second trial, such as a new examination or additional work undertaken or completed after the original grade has been submitted.

Any student whose overall grade point average falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Upon program notification, the student must meet with the advisor to develop a plan of improvement. After three (3) consecutive quarters of deficit, the student may be recommended for termination from the program.

The following grading scale has been approved by and is standard across all MCE instructors:

A 4.0 = 93-100
A- 3.7 = 90-92
B+ 3.3 = 87-89
B 3.0 = 83-86
B- 2.7 = 80-82
C+ 2.3 = 77-79
C 2.0 = 73-76
C- 1.7 = 70-72
D+ 1.3 = 67-69
D 1.0 = 63-66
D- 0.7 = 60-62
F 0.0 = 59 & below

The MCE faculty is committed to working closely with students to facilitate their academic progress. As part of this process, advisors regularly review all students’ work to assess their progress toward the degree. Assessment is based on a review of coursework, independent work, and other relevant criteria such as demonstrated competence in writing and critical thinking. In addition, in order for students’ knowledge to be current, and to pursue research on timely problems that will advance the field, it is expected that all students will make steady progress toward completion of degree requirements.

MCE students are expected to complete degree requirements within the following number of years of beginning their programs, as measured by the matriculation into the degree program:

  • Certificate students – three years
  • Master’s candidates – five years
  • Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidates – seven years

Failure to complete the degree within the established time limits will result in termination unless the student successfully petitions for a time extension to the Academic Exceptions Committee and the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies. The student initiates the petition via PioneerWeb and must be supported by the advisor in order to be considered. If the petition is not approved, the student will be terminated from the program. Students may petition for an extension of time for a minimum of one quarter and up to a maximum of one year per request. If the one-year time extension has expired and the degree work has not been completed, students should discuss with their advisor the feasibility of submitting a petition for an additional time extension. Please note that additional time extensions are rarely granted and only when strongly supported by the faculty advisor and the associate dean if the student has made a compelling case for extenuating circumstances, along with a detailed timeline plan for degree completion.

Petition procedures and instructions are detailed in the DU Graduate Bulletin – Time to Complete Degree.

Completing a degree in the Morgridge College of Education (MCE) deserves celebration; the University and the MCE applaud your hard work and great accomplishment.

In order for the degree to be conferred (i.e., appear on the transcript), students must apply to graduate. The application must be submitted at least two quarters prior to the intended date of graduation. Failure to file the application on time will automatically delay the date of graduation to a subsequent quarter.

The MCE prepares students for professions that require a deep knowledge of content and pedagogy, as well as a commitment to mutual wellbeing. Therefore, MCE expects all students, staff and faculty members to act in a professional manner in all interactions and communications (i.e., email, phone, and face-to-face) throughout the program and in every program-related setting: classes, schools sites, community settings, in-services, and program meetings. The following behaviors will never be tolerated in any of these settings and any evidence of the display of such may lead to probation or immediate dismissal from the program, please refer to the DU Graduate Bulletin – Academic Standards and DU Honor Code:

  1. Verbal or personal attacks including: bullying, belittling, mocking, or ridicule.
  2. Discriminatory, derogatory, or inflammatory language intended to demean and dehumanize.
  3. Disrespect of any student, teacher, faculty member, administrator, parent, or other person at the partnership sites.

In addition to following the University of Denver Honor Code and maintaining the professional ethical standards of our field, students are expected to take responsibility for their success in the program. The faculty is responsible for supporting all students’ efforts in achieving success, but, ultimately, success is the student’s responsibility. Students are responsible for keeping all official university records up to date, meeting deadlines for filing any document needing faculty, program, college, or university approval, being prepared for advising meetings and classes, fulfilling the obligations of all coursework, and behaving responsibly and courteously in interactions with fellow students, faculty, staff, and professionals in the field. If circumstances create a situation which may make it difficult for a student to meet program obligations, including class work, the student must let the instructor and/or advisor know of these difficulties as soon as possible. Please refer to the DU Graduate Bulletin.

Students who have a disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act who want to request accommodations must make an appointment with the Disability Services Program (DSP) 303.871.2372, located on the 4th floor of Ruffatto Hall (1999 E. Evans Ave). The Students with Disabilities handbook provides guidance on DU policy and procedures concerning students with disabilities.

It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Disability Services Program (DSP) to initiate the request for accommodations, make his/her needs known, and provide appropriate expert documentation regarding the disability before accommodations can be granted. Please note that accommodations cannot be granted retroactively. Accommodations are approved and must be used in the term during which they are requested and for future terms.

Any questions or concerns about this process can be directed to Michele McCandless, Director of Disability Services Program, 303.871.2278,

All graduate programs in the Morgridge College Education (MCE) are designed to provide on-going feedback and support to enrolled students to encourage their success for degree completion as well as to provide professional development. Two important areas for student progress that are monitored include: (1) the academic body of learning associated with course work, typically measured by grades, and (2) the knowledge and demonstration of professionalism, typically observed through on- and off-campus behavior.

Among several program purposes of each MCE program is to support the growth and the development of students both academically and professionally. Every attempt is made to create a safe learning context within which the student can identify, examine, and improve upon all aspects of professional and academic performance. Students are also encouraged to seek out regular feedback, and University supervisors, off-campus supervisors, and professors are encouraged to give academic and performance feedback on a continuous basis.

Students who do not adhere to University/MCE/program policies may be placed on probation and may be dismissed from the program. In some cases, there will be no probation and the immediate course of action will be dismissal from the program and termination from the University.

While such instances are rare, the following steps will be followed:

  • Students will be contacted by their advisor and informed specifically and in writing of issues and concerns with regard to academic progress or attendance, professionalism, safety concerns, and/or ethical violations.
  • Students will be asked to respond to these concerns personally and in writing.
  • Decisions regarding probation or dismissal will be made by the Department Chair and the appropriate faculty in consultation with the MCE Associate Dean.
  • All pertinent information regarding the basis for such decisions will be disclosed to the student in a timely manner.

The following are the most common areas in which the probation/dismissal policy is typically implemented:

Academic Standing: Students are expected to make reasonable and consistent progress toward their degree. Students who are not making reasonable and consistent progress toward their degree may be put on academic probation and/or dismissed from the program. For details, see the DU Graduate Bulletin – Good Academic Standing.

Student Conduct: The Student Conduct Policies and Procedures (Student Conduct Policies and Procedures) govern all student behavior at the University of Denver in a manner consistent with the values of the DU Honor Code. It is expected that students will uphold the values of the University and the Honor Code by exhibiting behavior that supports the spirit under which these values were established. Actions taken by a student which are contrary to the core values of the University Honor Code are addressed through the Student Conduct Policies and Procedures. The DU Graduate Bulletin – Student Conduct also delineates Student Conduct violations (Honor Code, Academic Misconduct, Disruptive Classroom Behavior, Sexual Relationships and the Classroom Environment, and Smoke-Free Policy).

Academic Misconduct: Faculty have the authority to set standards of academic integrity and define academic misconduct. The faculty member in conjunction with MCE determines the appropriate academic sanctions for academic misconduct. Academic sanctions are assessed by an individual faculty member and/or MCE and relate to the student’s standing within a course, program, department or college. These may include, but are not limited to failure of an assignment, failure of a course and/or termination from a graduate program. Plagiarism is an Academic Misconduct violation. It is unacceptable, especially in academic settings, to use other people’s ideas or data without giving them credit. (e.g., see the DU Graduate Bulletin – Student Conduct). It is unacceptable to “borrow” another student’s, author’s, or publisher’s work without providing appropriate credit through citation. Using papers written by others, or parts of papers, materials, and submitting it as your own work is clearly unethical.

Please see the specific policies in the handbook for your MCE degree program and the DU Graduate Bulletin – Academic Standards, which includes a comprehensive description of situations that warrant probation, dismissal and termination.

Procedures for Academic Grievances and Appeals: Active students may appeal academic and student status related decisions and/ or seek resolution of complaints or grievances through the DU Graduate Bulletin – Academic Grievance and Appeal Procedure during their enrollment at the University of Denver.

Graduate units may have additional requirements specific to their accreditation or professional standards. It is the responsibility of the student to determine whether the graduate unit has specific requirements and the responsibility of the unit to ensure that those requirements are addressed prior to advancing the grievance to the Office of the Provost. In the event of conflict between any grievance process published in unit manuals or websites, the process outlined in the DU Graduate Bulletin will govern.

The University of Denver has a very clear policy regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism, as a concept, can be somewhat confusing for students. In an effort to increase clarity regarding the definition and operational implications of plagiarism as well as to protect the individual students as well as the Morgridge College of Education we have instituted a policy related to culminating written projects, which include dissertations, doctoral research projects (Ed.D. students only), and master’s theses.

Prior to submission for review students will be responsible for using the VeriCite, which is a plagiarism-prevention service, to check the document for plagiarism. The process will be as follows:

  1. The student completes the project.
  2. The student’s advisor will enroll the student in the MCE course called “MCE VeriCite.”
  3. The student will log on to Canvas, click on the Assignments tab and follow the step by step directions to produce an Originality Report.
  4. VeriCite produces the report. The report is available by clicking on the Grades tab.
  5. The student reviews the report, making any necessary changes to the document.
  6. It is then the advisor’s and student’s shared responsibility to ensure that needed changes are made.
  7. The student should then produce a second Originality Report that the advisor reviews and discusses with the student, pointing out any needed changes to the student’s text.
  8. The advisor and student should both retain a copy of the Originality Report until the student graduates from his/her degree program. The advisor is responsible for deleting the student, the report, and the student’s work from the Canvas “MCE VeriCite” class.

This process will be used by every student.  Students are still expected to be arbiters of their own honesty.  This process does not shift the onus of responsibility in any way to the faculty, rather it is another step in attempting to reduce and avoid plagiarism.

Doctoral programs in the Morgridge College of Education require a minimum of ten (10) Dissertation (Ph.D.) or Doctoral Research (Ed.D.) credit hours. In order to maintain degree candidacy, MCE doctoral students who have finished all required course work will register for one dissertation or doctoral research credit or other credit for consecutive terms fall through spring (summers not required) until the student graduates. Although a total of 10 dissertation/doctoral research credits are required, student progress toward the degree may require students to register for more than 10 credits to maintain degree candidacy. Students on an approved leave of absence are not required to register for dissertation credits, although they still must meet the minimum of 10 dissertation/doctoral research credits to graduate.

With advisor approval, doctoral students may register for up to 50% of the minimum number of dissertation credits required by the student’s program prior to the completion of all coursework and comprehensive exams. Dissertation credit, as with any credits, will not be refunded if the student does not successfully complete the student’s dissertation, other required courses, or qualifying or comprehensive exams.

The MCE requires that students use the American Psychological Association (currently in its 6th edition) guidelines when writing research papers. The APA guidelines set forth rules that ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as:

  • punctuation and abbreviations
  • construction of tables
  • selection of headings
  • citation of references
  • presentation of statistics
  • many other elements that are a part of every manuscript.

Note: Students conducting arts-based research who want to diverge from the APA style guide should speak with their advisors.

It is highly recommended that all students purchase The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association to ensure that papers submitted conform to APA guidelines. The DU Bookstore carries the APA Manual, and additional information is available online.

The DU Office of Research Integrity and Education (ORIE) provides support and oversight for research conducted by members of the University of Denver community so as “. . .to ensure active adherence to the ethical principles and professional standards for the responsible conduct of research.”

MCE students, staff and faculty who conduct research are required to review the following checklist and flow chart as the first steps to determine if your research project qualifies as human subject research that requires you to submit a proposal to be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Please review the examples of research activities that may or may not require an IRB proposal. MCE graduate students should consult with their faculty advisor about their research activities. If you have additional questions about the ethical conduct of research at DU, please contact ORIE staff at 303-871-2121. More information on their office is listed on the ORIE website.

The MCE partners with many K-12 schools to support students in the completion of internship and/or practicum requirements. While in these schools, it is not uncommon for MCE students to record their interactions with students and use the recordings as a tool for improving their teaching practice. Before conducting any recording, students will consult with the host school administration regarding the school/district regulations.

The Morgridge College of Education provides state of the art technologies for faculty, staff, and students. In order to keep these technologies running at the optimal level the college employs a full time technical support team. This team supports faculty and students by providing classroom technology support, maintaining the college’s computer labs, supporting the colleges web presence, providing event AV support, managing the colleges software and licensing, and much more.

Members of the technical support team are always available during hours of operation and can be found in room 210 or reached at 303-871-3222. You can also e-mail and find additional information at MCE Support.

The Associate Dean for the Morgridge College of Education, and faculty advisors are available to clarify the policies and procedures contained herein and to provide related guidance. Please note, however, that students are wholly responsible for knowing requirements and adhering to designated deadlines and time limits.

Policies Subject to Change

The MCE Policies Handbook is a living document and as such is revised to address issues as they emerge. Therefore policies and procedures are revised and students are responsible for policies and procedures that are subject to change. Students are responsible for the content of DU Graduate Bulletin.

Information about the types of financial aid available at the University of Denver and the Morgridge College of Education can be found at MCE Financial Aid.

Morgridge College of Education
Katherine Ruffatto Hall
1999 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303-871-2509
Toll Free: 1-800-835-1607
Fax: 303-871-6582

Any specific questions or concerns about the MCE polices and process can be directed to Dr. Mark Engberg, Associate Dean,

The University of Denver is an Equal Opportunity institution. It is the policy of the University not to discriminate in the admission of students, in the provision of services, or in employment on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability. The University complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and Executive Orders. Inquiries concerning allegations of discrimination based on any of the above factors may be referred to the University of Denver, Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, Mary Reed Building Room 310, 2199 South University Boulevard, Denver, CO 80208. Phone 303.871.2585, fax 303.871.7982.

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