Graduate Academic Affairs
Graduate Academic Affairs
Ashland University aspires to a goal of academic excellence. The Graduate School sets this standard for intellectual excellence, which encompasses all considerations concerning faculty, students, curriculum, and research direction. The Graduate School establishes, through the faculty, policies that define good practice in graduate programs, high quality in curriculum, excellence in student selection, and rigor in faculty appointments. The Graduate School is responsible for all aspects of graduate education and defines the minimum standards acceptable for post- baccalaureate work. By establishing minimum admission, credit hour, grade point, and completion requirements, the Graduate School ensures equity in the standards for all master’s and doctoral degrees. The graduate dean represents the interests of the University as a whole and views department from an institution-wide perspective. The dean articulates this vision for all post-baccalaureate endeavors.
This catalog, its policies, programs, and course offerings represent institutional policy and program requirements at the time of print. Students should contact their advisor to discuss any changes to programs or course offerings after print. Revisions to the printed catalog for academic policy changes are available on the Registrar’s Office web page at https://www.ashland.edu/registrar.
Mission and Purposes of the Graduate School
The Graduate School exists to promote the development of a graduate culture at Ashland University. This encompasses the following purposes:
The Graduate School sets the standard for academic excellence for faculty, students, curriculum, and institutional research by establishing policies that define good practice in graduate programs.
The Graduate School serves as an advocate for a diverse population of graduate students and for graduate programs.
The Graduate School promotes academic collaboration between graduate students and faculty, ensuring that faculty are fulfilling their roles as academic and professional mentors.
The Graduate School reinforces the importance of research, inquiry, and creative endeavor.
The Graduate School promotes Ashland University as a year- round comprehensive institution.
Student Learning Outcomes
Intellectual Development and Wisdom
Students will analyze evidence, apply specialized knowledge, and think critically and creatively to solve problems.
Students will apply principles of integrity and ethical decision-making to address real-world issues.
Students will apply knowledge, skills, and values in order to work, serve, and lead in their communities.
Global Responsibilities and Intercultural Competence
Students will exhibit competence for constructive engagement within global and intercultural contexts.
Dr. Amiel Jarstfer
206 Founders Hall
College of Online and Adult Studies
26 West Main Street
Ashland, Ohio 44805
The College of Arts and Sciences
Center for the Arts
Dr. Cindy Moseman
210B Center for the Arts
MA in American History and Government
Dr. John Moser
119 Andrews Hall
Christian A. Pascarella
MA in Corporate and Strategic Communication
Dr. Gwen Hullman
333 Center for the Arts
Master of Fine Arts
The Dauch College of Business and Economics
Dr. Elad Granot
101E Dauch College of Business and Economics
Associate Dean, MBA Chair
Dr. Raymond A. Jacobs
101C Dauch College of Business and Economics
Ronald Mickler, MBA Program
101K Dauch College of Business and Economics
The Dwight Schar College of Education
Dr. Stephen Denney
214 Dwight Schar College of Education
Director of Quality Assurance and Accreditation
Dr. Peter Ghazarian
129 Dwight Schar College of Education
Director of Field Experiences and Partnerships
239 Dwight Schar College of Education
Department Chair Doctoral Studies and Advanced Programs
Dr. Amy Klinger
223 Dwight Schar College of Education
Director of Doctoral Program
Dr. Judy Alston
127 Dwight Schar College of Education
The Dwight Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Dr. Carrie Keib
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director (Interim), Doctor of Nursing Practice
Jill Matthes, DNP, RN, CHSE
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director (Interim), Family Nurse Practitioner
Tracy Crum, DNP, APRN, NP-C
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director, Health Systems Leadership
Valerie Burris, DNP, APRN, WHNP
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director, Physician Assistant Studies
Melissa Irwin, DMSc, PA-C
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director, Nurse Educator Certificate
T. Jody Hostetler, DNP, MEd, RN
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director, School Nursing Program
Kimberly Stanislo, DNP, APRN, LSN, CPNP
1020 S. Trimble Road
Director, MS Applied Exercise Science
Dr. Randall Gearhart, Ph.D., CSCS, FACSM
245 Rybolt Sports Science Center
Ashland Theological Seminary
Dr. John Byron
Ashland (Main Campus) Center
Faculty who teach graduate courses are not only graduates of a wide range of universities, but they also bring with them many years of non-university workplace experience. As a result, students are exposed to teacher- scholars who are also aware of the expectations of the workplace. Because of the nature of Ashland University, professors are not only expected to be experienced and continuously engaged in scholarly activity, but they are also required to be effective teachers. Ashland faculty are committed to preparing students to be competent and confident professionals. Faculty are involved in their students’ programs and; therefore, are available to help students gain valuable insights into the influences that shape their fields.
Ashland offers master's degree programs on the main campus, online, and at approved off-campus centers.
Regardless of the location in which the student takes course work, the student will experience the same curriculum and many of the same professors.
It is our hope that students will easily discover that Ashland’s motto, “Accent on the Individual,” applies equally to graduate and to undergraduate programs. In the pages that follow, the reader will find more specific information about such things as admissions, graduation, curriculum, and program locations.
Maintaining Quality Instruction
Graduate instruction at Ashland University may be provided by full-time faculty or by carefully selected adjunct faculty. To ensure the quality of instruction at all Ashland University locations, all instructors are expected to utilize master syllabi designed to specify content and standards for each course, and all instructors are evaluated by students at the end of each course. The part-time faculty used have practical and often concurrent experience in their fields of expertise. These faculty often work full time in schools, businesses, and corporations, or they are retirees.
To assure competency in the quality of graduate instruction at all Ashland University locations, part-time faculty engage in several quality assurance measures. Each year, faculty members receive an orientation and are evaluated by center directors, department chairs, and/or coordinators assigned these responsibilities at each of the five major centers. A handbook provides each with an easy reference regarding the Ashland University rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.
All of these safeguards work together to assure high quality teaching. Professional development opportunities are also provided as appropriate to further improve the teaching effectiveness and content currency of part-time faculty.
Graduate Programs Offered
The Graduate School administers all graduate programs offered by the University. The various graduate programs are housed in the academic colleges which provide faculty, curriculum, and policies specific to the unique status of each program. The Graduate School administers the following programs:
Doctor of Education
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Master of Arts
Master of Business Administration
Master of Education
Master of Fine Arts
Master of Science
Courses are available for these degrees in the following major program areas:
Master of Arts
American History and Government
Specialization in Teaching American History & Government
Corporate and Strategic Communication
Master of Business Administration, specialization options include:
Accounting, Business Analytics, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Financial Management, Global Management, Health Care Management and Leadership, Human Resource Management, Management Information Systems, Project Management, Sport Management or Supply Chain Management.
M.Ed Curriculum and Instruction with areas of concentration in:
Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century Intervention Specialist—Mild/Moderate
Talent Development Education
Reading & Literacy
M.Ed. Adult Education
M.Ed. Educational Leadership
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
M.S. Applied Exercise Science
M.S. Physician Assistant Studies
School Nurse Licensure
Degrees Offered by Ashland Theological Seminary
Master of Arts (Biblical Studies)
Master of Arts (Historical and Theological Studies)
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Master of Arts in Christian Ministries
Master of Arts in Black Church Studies
Master of Divinity (also with concentration in Chaplaincy)
Doctor of Ministry
The Graduate Council is a faculty body assigned authority to endorse policy recommendations on matters concerning graduate education. In addition, the Graduate Council approves additions and changes to the graduate curriculum and, in general, advises the dean of the Graduate School. Although most major program areas follow an orderly development, the student should understand that some modifications may become necessary because of state, institutional, or student expectations.
Registrar’s Office Services
The Registrar’s Office on main campus provides several services to graduate students. Among them are:
Processing requests for transcripts. The transcript request form is available online at: https://www.ashland.edu/administration/office-records-and-registration/transcript-request.
Processing loan deferment forms. Forms can be faxed to 419.289.5939, emailed to email@example.com, or mailed to Ashland University, Registrar’s Office, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio 44805.
Receiving applications for graduation. Graduation applications are accepted through Self Service or through a completed form found at https://www.ashland.edu/administration/office-records-and-registration/graduation-information.
Recording the transfer of approved hours toward the completion of an Ashland University degree.
Registration for courses must occur during the open registration dates applicable to each course.
Registering for Courses
All students registering for a course must be officially accepted before the registration can be processed.
Six graduate semester hours is considered full time for financial aid purposes. Some graduate programs are designed to accommodate more hours. A graduate student with full-time employment should normally register for no more than seven semester hours per semester. A student wishing to deviate from the normal credit limitation must have the approval of his or her faculty advisor and the dean. Petition for overload may be made through the dean for some programs.
Courses by Conference
Courses by conference are not allowed in most program areas. Permission must be granted by the department.
Transient Student Registration
Students who are Post Baccalaureate and wish to attend courses but not apply to a program may do so with a transient status and should complete the Application for Transient Student Admission through the appropriate program office.
A copy of an official transcript from the applicant’s home institution is required.
Students from other institutions interested in attending Ashland University graduate level courses prior to obtaining an undergraduate degree should complete the Application for Transient Student Admission through the appropriate program office. Students should be senior status at the time of the course and possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better from their home institution. A faculty reference along with an official transcript must accompany the application.
All enrollments are at the discretion of the dean or director of the program and application is on a per semester basis.
Doctor of Education
Students need to register for Doctoral classes at least one week prior to the beginning of the term. No registrations will be accepted after the first class meeting without the consent of the chair of the Department of Doctoral Studies and Advanced Programs.
Registration for any course (including the cognate), mentorship component, dissertation hours, or any other faculty supervised student activity should be completed at the Leadership Studies Office one week prior to beginning the activity. After the second class meeting, the Leadership Studies Office will send official class lists to instructors for verification with their signatures. Instructors must return a verified class list to the Leadership Studies Office no later than the third week of classes. During the summer period, faculty need to verify class lists by the end of the first week of classes.
MA History and Government and Specialization in Teaching American History and Government
Registration for all MAHG and MASTAHG students is conducted via Self Service (https://selfservice.ashland.edu/). Attendance is expected at all class meetings and students may NOT add a course after it has begun meeting.
Students who wish to drop a course at no academic penalty must do so no later than:
For summer on-campus courses, students must notify the program office in writing at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person no later than 12:30 pm on the second day of the class (Monday).
For online courses, students must notify the program office in writing at email@example.com or in person prior to the start of the third class meeting.
Students who properly notify the program office of a drop within these deadlines may be eligible for a prorated refund of tuition and room and board charges (if applicable).
Master of Business Administration
Registration materials are available to students well in advance of each semester. Course schedules include registration dates and semester meeting dates; tentative offerings for two semesters are also included with each schedule.
All student registration follows the approved drop, add, and withdrawal dates for the courses set by the Registrar’s Office.
Students wishing to add a course to their registration should immediately contact the MBA Office. If the enrollment in the class has not reached capacity, the course may be added upon the professor’s approval and only if the proper prerequisites are met. A registration form must then be submitted by fax, mail, or online.
Students wishing to drop a course from their registration may be able to accomplish this online via Self Service if done early enough in the semester. Otherwise, students must e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) a request to the Master of Business Administration office stating
the course to be dropped (course number, name, and section);
a brief but complete reason for withdrawal from the course;
future plans, if any, for re-enrolling in the same course. Upon receipt of this notification by the Master of Business Administration office and approval of the request by the Director of the MBA program, a registration change will be completed and the course instructor will be notified.
A student who merely stops attending, while failing to officially drop the course, will have the final grade as reported by the instructor entered on the official record.
Any student wishing to change their major within or between colleges after initial registration must apply for admission to the new program. Students changing specializations are not required to reapply for admission. Students are not required to pay an application fee or submit transcripts.
Persons who do not wish to receive college credit may register as auditors upon payment of the audit tuition (see schedule of fees) and completion of all requirements for non- degree seeking students. Official records and grades are maintained for auditors and audit classes cannot later be changed to a graded status. Students are required to attend class and complete all assignments directed by faculty for audit status and will receive a grade report reflecting audit status. Auditing is not an option in every program.
Courses in the Doctor of Education program are not open for auditing.
Course Repeat Policy
Any student receiving a “B–” or lower grade in a course may choose to retake the course in an attempt to raise his or her grade point average. All grades appear on official transcripts, however, only the second grade will be used in calculating the grade point average.
Master of Fine Arts students may elect to take any course in the program a second time. Both first and second grades will appear on the student’s transcript. Any student receiving U (Unsatisfactory) for a course will be required to retake the course.
The course repeat policy does not apply to the Doctor of Education program.
Student Complaint Procedures (non grade appeal)
The Ashland University (AU) Student Complaint Policy is available to students who wish to have a concern resolved regarding a process or person of the university community not covered by existing policies (i.e., grade appeals). The objective of the AU Student Complaint Policy is to resolve concerns as quickly and efficiently as possible at the level closest to the student. This policy provides two avenues for pursuing a complaint: An Informal Resolution Procedure and a Formal Resolution Procedure. Students may utilize either or both procedures.
Informal Resolution Procedure
Students are encouraged to attempt to resolve a problem whenever possible by discussing it with the person with whom they are having the problem. Requesting an appointment with the staff or faculty member to discuss the matter in a calm and mature fashion is always the first step to trying to resolve a dispute. For example, if a student has concerns related to classroom situations or administrative actions, he/she should contact the faculty or staff member(s) with whom he/she has a conflict. It may be possible to resolve the concerns without the need for formal institutional action. However, if the problem is not resolved through this action, the student should then contact the faculty member’s department chair, or the staff person’s supervisor. If the problem is not resolved satisfactorily, or if it cannot be resolved by contacting the faculty/staff member(s) or their supervisor/administrator, or if the student decides for whatever reason that she or he is not able to resolve the situation in this manner, or if the student is unsure to whom the concern should be addressed, the student should proceed to the Formal Resolution Procedure.
Formal Resolution Procedure
A formal complaint is in writing and sets forth a statement of the issue, the University policy or procedures violated, and the specific remedy sought. The complaint must be submitted using the on-line form.
Absent extraordinary circumstances, the person, normally a Dean or Director, to whom the complaint has been submitted conducts, within seven (7) business days of receiving the complaint, a formal conference with the student, permitting her or him to provide any necessary relevant information. The Dean or Director confers with the other person or persons involved and conducts an additional investigation as he or she deems necessary. Absent extraordinary circumstances, a written recommendation is sent within seven (7) business days of the first formal conference. The recommendation is sent to the student and the other involved person or persons. The written recommendation states the background information, the rationale for the recommendation, and the recommended remedy, if any. Copies of the original complaint and the written recommendation are kept in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a minimum of five years.
If the complaint is not resolved in level 1, the student or one of the other involved parties may, with fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the level 1 recommendation, appeal to the direct supervisor of the person who wrote the recommendation. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the supervisor will review the case and render a decision to the student within fourteen (14) business days of receipt of the appeal or complaint. In cases of appeals to level 2, copies of the original complaint and the level 1 and 2 written recommendations are kept in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a minimum of five years.
Except in the case of a complaint against the President, where the Board of Trustees has final authority, appeals of the level 2 recommendation are submitted to the President within fourteen (14) business days. The President makes the final decision. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the President's written decision is sent to the student and other parties within fourteen (14) business days of receiving the level 3 appeal. In cases of appeals to level 3, copies of the original complaint, the previous written recommendations, and the final decision are kept in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness for a minimum of five years.
To file a complaint, please use the Student Complaint Form
Ohio Residents’ Student Complaint Procedure
For Ohio residents, complaints not resolved at the institutional level can be filed utilizing the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s non-SARA consumer complaint procedure and online form. Contact information to the Ohio Department of Higher Education and link to the online form may be found below:
Ohio Department of Higher Education
25 South Front St
Columbus, OH 43215
Ohio Department of Higher Education External Link
Student complaints not resolved at the institutional level can also be submitted to the:
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411
Higher Learning Commission External Link
NC SARA/Online Student Complaint Process
Anytime a student's cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0, the student may be placed on academic probation and is subject to dismissal. Academic probation is recorded as a permanent entry on the student's official record. The student has one semester in which to raise the grade point average to at least 3.0. Failure to meet this requirement may result in academic dismissal.
For information about academic probation or dismissal, students should consult their Program Director.
The Writing and Communication Center (WCC) & Graduate Student Support
Graduate students (online and on-campus) can access support for any assignment that involves writing or communication through the Writing and Communication Center (WCC). The WCC is a free service available for students in graduate degree programs at Ashland University. Graduate students will work with one of our professional graduate consultants. All graduate consultants hold a graduate degree, are well-acquainted with writing and communication theories and have extensive experience with providing academic guidance to graduate students. The aim of our service is to support and mentor students as they explore ways to improve their graduate-level academic writing and communication skills. All consultations are confidential.
The majority of graduate and seminary students prefer asynchronous appointments (not in real time) where students submit their drafts through our online scheduler, WCOnline, and receive feedback within 24-48 hours. To book an asynchronous appointment, use our online scheduler, WCOnline. Be sure to use GRADUATE schedule for the current semester. The first time you use WCOnline, you will need to register for an account. To register for an account, go to MyWCOnline.
The WCC also offers synchronous (live) appointments either in person or via Zoom. For face-to-face appointments, email email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
Our masters’ qualified graduate consultants can help you with the following issues:
Provide constructive feedback on your ideas, outlines and drafts
Provide help with improving organization and structure
Provide feedback to improve word flow, clarity, readability
Provide feedback on APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, or other formal style guidelines, including in-text citation and documentation
Provide feedback on grammar and punctuation errors
Please note, however, that our graduate consultants (GCs) are NOT
not permitted to do the following:
GCs cannot "fix" or correct errors--they can identify them and point you to resources for help
GCs cannot be content experts in your discipline. They are masters-qualified experts in writing and communication theories. If you provide an assignment guide, GCs
WAscan let you know if you seem to have met the basic requirements; however, they cannot tell you whether you have gotten your content "right." Whenever appropriate, they will advise you to consult
GCs cannot write your work for you or serve as editors/proofreaders. They are here for your guidance and support only.
CGs cannot be available at the last minute if you have not completed your work early enough to get feedback in a timely manner.
In the event that a student is unable to complete the semester due to a medical condition that prohibits making up missed work, a withdrawal may be processed providing that the following conditions are met:
Class absences and missed work can be directly attributed to the medical condition.
A qualified health professional verifies in writing that the medical condition prohibits completion of the semester requirements in one of two ways.
A "non-specific" medical withdrawal notice should be presented in writing to the Registrar’s Office. This medical notice (signed by a physician) should state that a medical condition prohibits completion of the semester requirements; and, assign a date of condition onset (to verify times classes were missed).
A notice of "specific" diagnostic information including all recommendations must be sent to the Health Center Director or Director of Psychological Counseling Services, as warranted. This is to ensure confidentiality and coordinate any recommended treatment or follow-up in the event of readmission.
The medical withdrawal process is initiated by the student, the physician, and/or the parent/guardian, not AU.
The medical condition fits in one of the following categories: medical illness; mental illness (must include date of psychiatric hospitalization and date of clinical assessment); drug or alcohol addiction; or surgery.
All medical withdrawals need to be initiated by contacting the Registrar’s Office within 60 days of the end of the grading period. Once the Registrar’s Office has the documentation to support the withdrawal, a "W" will be assigned and the faculty will be notified. Any refunds will be determined based on the effective date of withdrawal. Please refer to the refund policy in Graduate Finance and Administration section.
Readmission after Medical Withdrawal
A notice of "specific" diagnostic information, as stated above, including all recommendations as they apply to readmission must be sent to the Health Center Director or Director of Psychological Counseling Services, as warranted. This is to ensure confidentiality and coordinate any recommended treatment or follow-up. Until this is complete, no readmission can occur.
Residence Requirement (Academic)
A candidate for graduate level degrees and programs should refer to their specific program requirements and eligibility for transfer credit policies.
Graduate Course Work Opportunity Policy
Ashland University undergraduate students wishing to take graduate courses under the Graduate Course Work Opportunity Policy should consult the undergraduate academic affairs section of this catalog.
Policy for Determining Graduate Credit
The Graduate School of Ashland University ascribes to the general policy of granting credit equal to the number of hours per week the student attends class. It is in furtherance of this policy that consideration must be made to the different programs within the Graduate School, as well as changes in the presentation of classes through technology or recognition of learning activity other than in the traditional classroom setting. The following are definitions for the Ashland University Graduate School in determining graduate credit:
A contact hour is the time scheduled for a class to meet each week during an academic semester. One contact hour consists of 50 minutes.
A class is the scheduled meeting of students with the assigned instructor organized for the pursuit of knowledge according to the description of the course. A distance learning method of presentation is considered a class for the purpose of granting credit.
An academic semester is the length of time, measured in calendar weeks, a class shall meet for the purpose of determining graduate credit.
An academic program is a graduate program, consisting of approved courses, contained within the Graduate School of Ashland University.
Flexible Learning Environment
A flexible learning environment is any learning arrangement whereby the student engages in a planned course of study outside the physical presence of the instructor or without an expectation of the exchange of the knowledge acquired at the time. Homework assignments are not a part of a flexible learning environment.
Subject to any variation approved or required by an accrediting agency, graduate credit shall be based on the number of contact hours the class meets during an academic semester. One graduate credit, measured in hours, is equivalent to each contact hour the class meets per week.
Fractions of a graduate credit shall not be computed. Classes meeting on an accelerated schedule, e.g., seminars or workshops, shall be converted to an equivalency based on the total number of hours the class meets compared to the total number of hours required for satisfaction of contact hours during the semester.
Flexible Graduate Credit
The goal of a flexible learning environment is the enhancement of the quality and concentration of student involvement with his or her own education. In creating a legitimate balance between faculty guidance and independent student activity, the instructor must maintain a commitment to the learning process commensurate with that ordinarily taking place in a scheduled class meeting. Any flexible learning environment shall be structured in such a manner that the time involved reflects contact hours with the student.
In those courses offered in a manner not involving actual contact hours, i.e., outside the “usual” classroom context, graduate credit may be determined, so long as the instructor, pursuant to the prior approval of the academic program director, maintains an approved monitoring process and resultant assessment of such activity. There shall be no distinction between credit given based on contact hours and those arising out of a flexible learning environment.
Special group (SG) studies are courses developed by faculty to meet special needs and interests. These courses are not included in the University catalog, but are listed in the semester schedules.
Disability Services is located in the Center for Academic Success, 7th floor of the library. More information may be obtained by contacting 419.289.5953.
Students must be able to document fundamental limitations as they apply to academic access, in order to receive services. Documentation must be from a licensed professional and clearly support the need for accommodations. Students who have received interventions in the past or suspect they may have a disability are encouraged to inquire.
Official Student Notification
It is required that all students use the e-mail address and mailbox (if assigned) provided to them by Ashland University. Correspondence sent to students using these media will be considered a legitimate attempt to contact a student. Students will be responsible for information sent to their Ashland University e-mail address and campus mailbox (if assigned) at the time that this information is sent. Ample notice will be defined by the University office that seeks to initiate contact. Please note that University offices are in no way obligated to accept a student’s failure to check e-mail or AU mailbox as a legitimate excuse for noncompliance with instructions, requests, or appointments.
Grievance Procedure (non grade appeal)
In cases where a student believes his or her academic rights have been infringed, the student should, if possible, discuss the matter with the instructor involved. If the student wishes to appeal the case, the student must appeal in writing, to the department chairperson and then to the Dean and the Provost, who may confer with the Student Senate President and the chairperson of the Judicial Board in order to assure that the problem is settled satisfactorily.
Students with disabilities who are in need of any special accommodations for the Academic Integrity Hearing, should contact the Office of Disability Services at 419.289.5904, or visit the Library, 7th Floor at their earliest convenience. The Registrar’s Office will work with the Office of Disability Services to accommodate any documented disability.