Jul 14, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 
    
Graduate Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Blindness and Low Vision Studies (Accelerated)


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www.wmich.edu/visionstudies/academics/accelerated

The Accelerated Graduate Degree Program (AGDP) in blindness and low vision studies (BLS) provides an opportunity for students in the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Studies degree program (BSIHS) to accumulate credits towards completion of a master’s in blindness and low vision studies while still enrolled as an undergraduate student in the BSIHS program. Undergraduate students admitted to the BLS accelerated degree program, with senior standing, may count up to 12 , but no fewer than 6 credit hours of 5000 and/or 6000 level courses for graduate credit. These designated courses may be used in completion of both the bachelor’s and master’s degree in blindness and low vision studies within 24 months after completing their BSIHS degree.

This program will allow an undergraduate student in the BSIHS program an opportunity to complete an accelerated master’s degree program in orientation and mobility for adults and/or vision rehabilitation therapy.

Application to the Accelerated Program


A prospective student who meets the eligibility requirements (see Criteria for Admission) must set a meeting with the BSIHS advisor and the graduate BLS advisor to develop plans of work for the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Before admission to the AGDP can be finalized, students must submit the standard application for admission to the Graduate College including:

  1. An application
  2. Application fee
  3. Copy of all transcripts
  4. A plan of graduate work, signed by the prospective student, the undergraduate program director and the graduate program director
  5. Undergraduate GPA (at the time of application) of 3.3 or higher
  6. A biographical statement about why applicant is choosing blindness program.

The plan of graduate work for the master’s degree must clearly indicate:

  1. The 5000 and 6000 level courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours) that will be counted for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  2. The graduation date for the master’s degree that meets the time limit for the AGDP (i.e., obtaining a masters degree in blindness and low vision studies within 24 months of completing the bachelor’s degree). Any changes to the AGDP plan must be submitted in writing and approved by the graduate program advisor and the graduate dean.

Criteria for Admission to the AGDP program


Permission to pursue an AGDP does not guarantee admission to the Graduate College. Admission is contingent on meeting and following eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program:

  1. Students must have completed a minimum of 88 and a maximum of 96 credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement.
  2. Transfer students must meet the University requirements for transferring credits from another institution.
  3. Students must have a minimum accumulated grade point average (GPA) of 3.3 at WMU and 3.3 in blindness and low vision studies courses.
  4. International students must clarify their visa status with the Office of International Admissions and Services before submitting an admission application.

Admission to the AGDP does not guarantee admission to the Graduate College. However, successful completion of an undergraduate degree under AGDP (see Requirements for Participation and Graduation below) will ensure admission to the Graduate College.

Requirements for Participation and Graduation


Students must complete the bachelor’s degree prior to entering the master’s program. Students in the AGDP may not elect to by-pass the bachelor’s degree.

Students will be allowed to count only a maximum of twelve (12) 5000 and 6000 level credits taken during their undergraduate studies towards their master’s degree. These credits will be waived toward their master’s degree.

ADP students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Health Services must take BLS 3050 before applying.

Students must receive a grade of “B” or better in the 5000 and/or 6000 courses taken during their undergraduate studies. Courses with a grade of “CB” or below cannot be counted towards their master’s degree.

Students who do not meet the grade criterion of 3.3 will have the earned grade applied to their undergraduate program only, assuming the earned grade meets requirements for the undergraduate program. Students who do not meet the grade criterion as part of the AGDP must apply for readmission to the graduate program.

No more than 12 hours of graduate work may be counted towards the requirements of the student’s bachelor’s degree.

Students must complete the master’s degree within 24 months from completion of the bachelor’s degree. If the master’s is not completed within this time, none of the 5000 or 6000 level courses specified in the plan of graduate work will count towards the master’s degree. The graduate program advisor may grant an extension to this in special cases.

Continuing Eligibility


It is the responsibility of the student to recognize his/her eligibility status.

A student completing the bachelor’s degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.3 is automatically terminated from the AGDP.

A student who does not follow the approved plan of graduate work may become ineligible to participate in the AGDP.

A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the AGDP no longer qualifies for waiving courses specified in the plan of graduate work toward a master’s degree. These courses, however, may be counted toward the student’s bachelor’s degree upon the discretion of the undergraduate advisor.

The graduate advisor shall inform a student who becomes ineligible to participate in the AGDP, in writing. A copy of this letter shall be sent to the Graduate College.

Withdrawal


A student may withdraw from an approved AGDP at any time by informing the director of the undergraduate program and the graduate advisor, in writing. A copy of this request to withdraw will be send to the Graduate College for approval.

Eligible Courses for the AGDP


To select courses for the AGDP, students will work with their undergraduate and graduate advisor to determine which credits in the current undergraduate curriculum the AGDP credits will replace. The following is the list of the 5000 and 6000 level courses from which students will elect their 12 credit hours for the AGDP administered by the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies:

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