Student Handbook
Master of Arts in Education (Curriculum and Instruction)

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Welcome 

We are excited to have you in our Master of Arts in Education (Curriculum and Instruction).  This Student Handbook will provide you with important information about the program, including how to enroll in and access your classes.  Please read through all the information in this Student Handbook, even if you are a returning or continuing Sac State student.

Please contact the program staff if you have any questions or need further information. 

Student Records

My Sac State

My Sac State is your portal to your Student Center as well as accessing various campus services and resources: https://my.csus.edu/.  To access and log into My Sac State and your Student Center, you will need to create your SacLink ID and password.  Please visit https://mysaclink.csus.edu/Default.aspx to create your account.  You will use your SacLink credentials to log into various sites and services with Sac State.

Your Student Center will show you what courses you are officially enrolled in, list any holds or items on your campus To Do list, and much more. Please make it a habit to check your Student Center regularly to make sure you do not owe any fees, have any holds on your records, or have any unfinished items in your To Do list.  It is also your responsibility as a student to keep track of what classes you are enrolled in, so check your Student Center regularly to ensure you have not forgotten about a class you enrolled in and forgot to drop. Please do not solely rely on what courses you see in Canvas (your online course portal) as your official student record and Canvas do not always sync up perfectly.  Your official student record (found in your Student Center) is the official place to find what classes you are officially enrolled in or not.  

Please explore your Student Center online, as you can find many helpful resources, and it will help you in the long run to be able to navigate your Student Center in order to quickly find pertinent information such as your grades, financial information, or test credits.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

We at Sac State are bound by law to follow FERPA guidelines.  This means that if anyone other than you (including your parent, spouse, child, friend, etc.) contacts us on your behalf and wishes to speak to us about your student record, we will NOT be able to provide any details to them without your consent. Please see the following link for more information: https://www.csus.edu/student-life/records-transcripts/ferpa/

If you would like to authorize an individual to have access to your student record information, you will need to submit a form to our campus which will be added to your record.  Only then will we be able to discuss your record with the person you have designated on the form: https://www.csus.edu/student-affairs/centers-programs/student-services-center/_internal/_documents/ferpa-student-consent-form-for-third-party-and-or-parent.pdf

Courses

Electives

Program completion includes six elective units that may be completed prior to the start of the program or following the completion of the program.  The six units may be transferred from an accredited institution of higher education provided they are designated as academic graduate courses.  This includes BTSA/Induction courses, but please note that courses designated as professional development do not qualify:  they must be designated as academic graduate courses. Also, BTSA/Induction and any transfer units can only be transferred if they were completed within the last 7 years. Note that if you are transferring elective units, official transcripts should be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies with your original application. 

Registration

You should enroll in your courses no later than the day before the course’s start date. You will receive an email from your program staff letting you know when registration is open.  If you register after a course has started, including on the first day of the course, you may be charged a $25 late registration fee.  Please be sure to check your Student Center prior to enrolling to ensure that you have cleared any holds or items on your To Do list which may block your ability to enroll.  

How to Enroll in Courses: CCE scheduled courses are only accessible to students that are enrolled in the online programs at Sac State. Students must have course add codes to enroll in these courses. You will receive an email with the course codes from your program staff.

You can enroll online through your Student Center at https://my.csus.edu/. Courses offered through the College of Continuing Education will be listed as the Self-Support Non-Standard Dates session or SNS session. Your classes will generally be noted as section 50 (for example, EDCI 227 section 50).  There are three steps in adding a class:

1.   Enter the 5 digit “Course Nbr” (what we usually refer to as the Add Code) for the course

2.   View and confirm classes in your shopping cart

3.   Finish enrolling and view results.  Be sure to follow through ALL steps to ensure that you are fully enrolled and do not leave courses in your cart.

If you would like to enroll in your courses over the phone, please call our credit registration department at (916) 278-6984 between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday.  Please have your student ID number and course ID you wish to enroll in (such as EDCI 227) ready when you call.

Please do not search for our classes as this will not pull up our courses in this program. We make our courses invisible in the class schedule online as we reserve all seats in the classes just for students in this program, and do not want our courses visible for other students who are not eligible to enroll.

If a class was added successfully, you will see a green check mark and Success message.  If you receive an Error message instead, you have not been enrolled in the class. The error message provides a description of the problem.  Error messages can be generated by time conflicts, full classes, prerequisites not being met or registration holds. If you receive an error message, please feel free to contact your program coordinator for further assistance.

Class Format and Expectations

All courses in our program are offered fully online and can be accessed through your Canvas portal https://csus.instructure.com/

While fully online, courses are approximately 25% synchronous (in real time) and 75% asynchronous (on your own schedule within a given time frame). Therefore, it is essential that you carefully review the syllabus, check the professor’s policies and expectations, and communicate in advance if you foresee any issues with your work or personal schedule.  Your professors are willing to be accommodating if you have a specific need or situation to work through, so please communicate with them.  Your professors want you to succeed – but that does not mean that they are obligated to make exceptions for all students in all situations.  They retain the right to decide which course of action is most fair and equitable while maintaining high standards of academic rigor.

Each course produces an ideal blend of theory, research and practice in one’s own classroom (or in a pre-approved educational setting) along with a culminating experience that is grounded in action research and project based learning. It is essential that students in the program have access to a classroom setting during fall and spring semesters in order to complete the program requirements.

Remember, this program is fully online and accelerated in order to help busy professionals still finish their education without having to put everything else on hold.  However, the courses are still high quality graduate courses that will challenge you intellectually.

This program makes going back to school easier in terms of the logistical side of going to college – not easier in terms of the academics.

C&I Learning Environments

Asynchronous

  • Canvas: Readings, course assignments, discussions, blogs, wikis, etc. 
  • Field Work
  • ePortfolio
  • Email
  • C&I Program Hub

Synchronous*

  • Scheduled Zoom Sessions
  • 8 evening sessions (6 pm to 8 pm)
  • 4 Saturday sessions (9:00 am to noon)
  • 1 All-day Saturday Session for Research Presentations
  • Office Hours (arranged one-on-one or small groups)

*See Program Schedule for Dates & Times

Expected Commitments 

Time:

  • Busy schedules are not an excuse
  • Each course is unique – few compromises 
  • Online Attendance/Participation in each course
  • Synchronous Attendance: Missing more than one (1) unapproved session/year is cause for removal from program

Responsibility:

  • Individual versus instructor:  As a graduate student, it is expected that you will take primary responsibility for your learning. 
  • Your instructor will provide initial instruction but then step back and leave it to you to follow through.

Respectful Participation: Follow the 5 Rules for Online Etiquette (Adapted from 7 Rules for Online Etiquette.  Retrieved from https://achievevirtual.org/7-rules-for-online-etiquette/)

  • Rule 1. Be respectful and don’t post or share (even privately) inappropriate material.  If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online either.  Nothing is truly private online.
  • Rule 2. Be aware of strong language, all caps, and exclamation points.
  • Rule 3. Be careful with humor and sarcasm.  Make sure that it is clear you are being funny and not being rude.
  • Rule 4. Grammar and spelling matter.  Your written communication should be professional and reflect proper writing style.
  • Rule 5. Cite your sources. Whenever you are sharing an idea that originated from someone else (even if it is not word for word), cite that source.

Communications:

  •  48 hours goal: Please allow up to 48 hours to receive a response from program staff and/or faculty.

Classroom Setting:

  • Access across the academic year:  A central component of the C & I program involves classroom-based research in which you will collect data throughout the academic year.  Thus it is necessary to have access to a group of students across the academic year.

Textbooks and Course Materials

You are responsible for purchasing your own books.  It is recommended that you do not purchase your books until you are officially enrolled in the course. You can typically find good deals online for new or used books, ebooks, and books for rent. Some books are available through the Sac State Bookstore: https://www.bkstr.com/csusacramentostore/shop/textbooks-and-course-materials.

Often, your instructors will post readings online in your course section for you to access free of cost, or they will provide access links to purchase or obtain access to your textbooks or materials directly through the publisher. 

Dropping Courses

Although instructors may exercise their authority to administratively remove any student who fails to attend or participate in an online class during the initial period of instruction, students should not assume they will be automatically dropped.  It is the responsibility of the student to drop themselves from the course or petition to drop after the deadline.  Not attending or not logging into the course does not automatically drop you from the course, nor does it remove your responsibility to drop yourself from the course.  Students will receive a final grade of “F” or “WU” in courses they fail to drop officially, but decide to not participate in a course.

Please do not assume that the system will automatically drop you. It is always a good idea to check in with your program coordinator to ensure that the course has been dropped correctly.

Below is the CCE Drop Policy which outlines which approval(s) you will need to obtain depending on when you decide you need to drop a course:

  • During the first 10% of your class: 
    You may drop online in the My Sac State Student Center or by calling CCE Enrollment Services during regular 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. business hours at (916) 278-6984. You do not need any special approvals at this point and may drop yourself on your own. After the first 10% of your course has passed, you will need to obtain approvals and submit documentation as noted below.
  • After the first 10% through the first 25% of your class:
    You will need instructor and chair approval to drop. You need to obtain the instructor’s approval either by having them sign your drop petition or having them email your program coordinator directly with their written approval for you to drop. It is your responsibility to ask the instructor to email the program coordinator. You must also obtain the campus department chair’s (or designee’s) approval in the same manner.
  • After the first 25% through the first 40% of your class:
    You will need to follow the above procedures to submit your Drop Petition with both instructor and chair (or designee) approval, and also attach documentation of “serious and compelling” reasons why you need to drop.
  • After the first 40% of your class:
    Drops are only approved due to career or medical related reasons beyond the control of the student (a student initiated job change, carrying an excessive work load or inadequate preparation does not qualify). The petition with all approvals including the instructor’s, chair’s (or designee’s), and College Dean’s (or designee’s) approval and documentation as outlined above must be submitted.
  • After 75% of the class has passed:
    Drops are not permitted except in cases of documented emergencies beyond the student’s control which occurred after 75% of the class elapsed. The petition with approvals and documentation must be submitted as outlined above. It is not possible to withdraw after the last day of instruction in a class; you will need to submit an Academic Standards Committee petition to request to be retroactively dropped from a course after it ends.

Please see the CCE Add/Drop Policy for more information and to access the Add/Drop form. The petition and documentation should be submitted to your CCE program coordinator. 

Please note that getting approved to drop a course is NOT the same as getting approved for a refund for the course fees.  Please review the refund policy in the sections below.

Fees and Refunds

Course Fees

Course fees are posted in your class schedule that you will receive from your program staff.  You may also view your fees in your Student Center online through My Sac State.

Please note that fees are on a per unit basis – you pay for each additional unit you enroll in. This differs from the tuition structure for traditional programs on our Sac State main campus which charges flat rate fees for students in up to 6 units, and a different flat rate for students who enroll in more than 6 units.  The main campus also charges various mandatory fees for campus services such as the health clinic, athletic fees, etc.  We do not charge these campus fees.  You are only charged for the per unit fees. However, this means that you may not have access to various services on campus as you are not paying for them.

Please be aware that if you decide to drop a course after it starts, or forget to drop a course but never actually attended, you are still responsible for paying for the course. Not logging into an online course does not mean you will automatically get a refund for the course.

Due Dates and How to Pay

Generally, fees are due within 30 days of enrolling in a class; due dates are not based on the course dates themselves.  If you do not pay by your due date, you may be charged a $25 late fee.  You will NOT be automatically dropped from our CCE courses if you are late on a payment, although Sac State will drop students for being late on payments for courses taken outside of our program. If you have a past due balance on your account, you will not be able to enroll in future classes, obtain a Sac State transcript, or graduate.  The University will pursue all collections action until the debt has been paid in full.

If you are receiving financial aid and are just waiting for your financial aid funds to be released to you, you do NOT need to pay out of pocket in order to meet the 30-day deadline. Your fees will automatically be deferred until your aid is disbursed. Once your aid is disbursed, you may still have a balance remaining on our account depending on what aid you were eligible for or what you decided to accept.  Please check your Student Center online at this point to check what the new balance is and what your new deadline is.

You may pay by MasterCard, American Express and Discover card online through My Sac State. If you prefer to pay by Visa, please call the College of Continuing Education office at (916) 278-6984. You may also pay in person at Napa Hall, or mail your payment to:

College of Continuing Education
ATTN: Academic Credit Registration and Records
3000 State University Drive
Sacramento, CA 95819

Refunds for Dropped Courses

This is the standard refund policy for CCE:

  • If you drop a course before it starts, you will not be responsible for any of the course fees. Please fill out a Refund Request Form to receive a full refund.
  • If you drop after a course has started, but before the first 25% of class has lapsed, then you will receive a partial refund of 65% of your course fees. Please fill out a Refund Request Form to receive your refund.  If you have not paid for your course yet, then 65% of your balance will be removed but you will still owe the remaining 35%.
  • If you drop after 25% of the course has passed, then you will not receive a refund, and if you have not paid for the course you will still be responsible for 100% of the fees on your record.

The Refund Request Form can be found at https://apps.cce.csus.edu/sites/cce/reg/?CID=3468.

Please note that depending on when you attempt to drop the course, you may be required to first obtain the approvals as noted in the Drop Policy.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits

Students in this program are eligible to apply for financial aid.  The first step is to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa and enter Sacramento State as your school. Once you are admitted to Sacramento State, our financial aid office will then have access to your FAFSA and financial information so that they can start determining what aid you would be eligible for in your program.  You may be asked to submit additional forms or documentation to the Sac State financial aid office, so be sure to check your Sac State Student Center regularly for any email notifications, holds, or items in your To Do list.

You are required to complete the CCE Information Request Form, which will automatically be posted to your To Do list in your Student Center.  It is required to evaluate your financial aid for the academic year.  You will fill this form out online and submit it electronically.  If you are unsure about which courses you will be taking for future terms, you can either submit what you think you will take and just be sure to resubmit a correct form once you finalize your schedule, or you can contact your program staff for the schedule of courses. When filling out this form, you can use the course number (ex: EDCI 227). You do not need to use the 5 digit add code that you will receive from your program staff once courses are open for registration.

If you have financial aid questions, please contact the financial aid coordinator at ccefinancialaid@csus.edu or visit https://www.cce.csus.edu/financial-aid. Your program coordinator is not trained in financial aid and is not able to accurately help you with your financial aid questions.

If you would like to determine if your VA Benefits can be used towards your fees, please contact Kim Smith in the CCE Records Office at kasmith@csus.edu.

Program Overview

Key Milestones and Program Schedule

For an overview of key program milestones and course schedules, please view the following document:

Important Dates for the Fall 2020 Cohort

Culminating Experience 

The Culminating Experience is a Comprehensive Exam in 3 parts:

  1. ePortfolio – Collection of selected artifacts and reflections on the C&I experience
  2. Action Research Brief – Brief report on your action research, findings and action steps
  3. Video Presentation – A 5-minute video presented online evaluated by program faculty and interviewed by a subgroup of your peers

ePortfolio 

The ePortfolio consists of a progression of integrated assignments building toward the culminating experience. 

ePortfolio Components

Home

Summary of areas of the website, contact information, brief overview

Process

Description of your intervention and three (3) reflection prompts:

  1. Reflections on self
  2. Reflections on learning
  3. Reflections on teaching

Products

  • Three (3) rounds of memo reports
  • Supporting data and artifacts
  • Key assignments and other materials pertinent to representing your experiences in the C&I program

Showcase

  • Action Research Brief
  • Annotated Bibliography

Symposium

  • A five (5) minute video presented online, evaluated by program faculty and reviewed by a subgroup of your peers

Graduation

Advancement to Candidacy

This procedure should begin as soon as the classified graduate student has:

a. removed any deficiencies in Admission Requirements (e.g., completed any missing program prerequisites),

b. completed at least 12 units at the 200 level in the Curriculum & Instruction program with a minimum 3.0 grade point average, and

c. successfully met the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by passing EDBM 250.

The deadline to advance for the summer term is October 1st and the deadline to advance for fall term is February 1st. If you are transferring in approved electives (a total of six units), you will be eligible to advance for the spring semester but you must submit your Advancement to Candidacy form by the October 1st deadline.  If you did not transfer in a total of six elective units and need to take electives through the program, you will be eligible to advance to candidacy during the spring semester. Your advancement to candidacy form needs to be submitted by the February 1st deadline. 

Graduation

You must submit a graduation petition in order for the campus to officially award your degree.  If you met the prerequisites, you will be asked to fill out your graduation petition after you have completed your first semester.  The graduation petition is submitted online in your student center, and includes a required fee of $76.50.  This fee also includes a fee for your diploma and a fee for the commencement ceremony.  Unfortunately, all students must pay the full fee regardless of if they are planning to participate in the ceremony. 

If you need to change the date for which you have already applied to graduate, you will need to submit a graduation date change request online and may incur a fee of $28.00. To be listed in the commencement booklet and be entered into the ticketing system for you to obtain tickets for your guest to attend the graduation ceremony, you must file for graduation by the appropriate deadline.   For information on the commencement ceremony or buying your cap and gown, contact the Associated Students Business INC. Business office at (916) 278-6784 or visit http://www.csus.edu/commencement/. All important information about the ceremony will be provided on the commencement website.

Participating in the commencement ceremony is possible without having finished all degree requirements. However, the university does not mail your diploma or post your degree to your transcript until all requirements are met. Therefore, even if you have “walked,” it does not necessarily mean that you have “graduated.”