EXCEL Guide for Administrators and Teachers

INSTRUCTOR AND COURSE OFFERING APPROVAL

Instructor Approval

Schools seeking to participate in EXCEL must make a written or verbal request to the EXCEL program director. Generally a school’s principal, curriculum director or head counselor makes the request. If the program director agrees the school meets the criteria to provide EXCEL programs, the review of teachers and courses begins. Judging criteria includes teacher qualifications, appropriate and rigorous high school prerequisite courses, student selection and course alignment with the respective MBU course.

From there, the high school principal or designated coordinator submits names of teachers and courses to be reviewed for approval. EXCEL then provides the school with the following items for prospective teachers and courses:

  • Faculty Information Form
  • Course Approval Form
  • MBU Course Syllabus
  • MBU Syllabus Template

The prospective teacher submits the completed Faculty Information Form and academic transcripts to verify credentials. This information is then submitted to the appropriate MBU academic division chair, who reviews the materials and determines if the teacher is already qualified. If not, the counselor determines the number of discipline-specific graduate courses or the type of degree the candidate needs.*

If the credentials are approved, the faculty form is signed by three MBU representatives: the Director of EXCEL, the appropriate academic division chair and the Provost/Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Approved candidates are expected to attend one of the EXCEL summer discipline-specific workshops during which MBU liaisons provide training concerning the specific course to be taught. After the breakout session, the EXCEL staff provides an administrative orientation for all new teachers and coordinators.

* Candidates who need additional discipline-specific graduate courses are notified that if they complete the work during the summer before the year they want to begin teaching a dual credit course. They also need to attend the orientation and workshop training to prepare to teach the course. Candidates who need a significant number of graduate hours or degree completion, and who do not expect to finish the work during the summer, are notified that they will not be approved to teach an MBU course. Their materials will remain on file.

Course Offering Approval 

If approved to teach for EXCEL, the teacher (with the principal’s approval) submits a Course Approval Form with a proposed syllabus based on the MBU course syllabus. The proposed syllabus should be formatted according to the MBU syllabus template. Upon receipt of the proposed syllabus, the appropriate EXCEL liaison (usually the academic division chair and/or the instructor for the on-campus course) reviews the syllabus to determine if the high school can deliver the course content, appropriate text, methods and assessments to align with the MBU course.

If there is some discrepancy between the MBU syllabus and the proposed syllabus, the liaison works with the high school teacher to modify the high school course. If the university determines that the high school cannot meet the expectations of the on-campus course, the high school does not receive approval to offer the MBU course.

If both the teacher and the proposed syllabus are approved by the MBU liaison and by the division chair, MBU will approve the course offering for the next school year. The Course Approval Form includes three signatures: a high school administrator’s signature, the appropriate MBU division chair’s signature and the signature of the Director EXCEL.

The EXCEL staff then arranges registration visits with the designated coordinator at the high school.

Teachers

Teachers seeking to teach Missouri Baptist University courses through EXCEL must demonstrate strong credentials in the chosen discipline, experience in teaching the subject, a recommendation by their high school administrators and a dedication to offering students a challenging college course in the high school setting.

Approved EXCEL teachers are expected to hold the credentials expected of part-time instructors on the MBU campus. The academic divisions at MBU evaluate EXCEL candidates on the following recommended criteria:

  • A master’s degree in the discipline or a master’s degree including or in addition to at least 18 graduate hours in the EXCEL subject
  • Three years of teaching experience in the subject area
  • Certification in the subject area

Once accepted, EXCEL teachers are expected to participate in the following events:

  • The annual EXCEL workshop and orientation offered each summer: Sessions are led by MBU faculty and EXCEL staff. These cover courses expectations including syllabi, content, texts, teaching methods, assignments, assessments and grading. On-campus faculty will provide the high school teachers with sample course materials. An orientation to EXCEL administration policies and procedures is also included.
  • Annual EXCEL workshop sessions for professional development

EXCEL teachers are also strongly encouraged to attend summer workshop sessions led by MBU faculty. In the session, MBU faculty members will introduce new research in content and pedagogy, and review course expectations and grading policies.

Sessions include time for discussion and Q&A about syllabi, texts, possible new courses and other issues common to both high school and college instructors.

Continued Approval

Maintaining EXCEL Instructor Status

In order to maintain the approval to offer EXCEL courses and to receive an annual tuition concession for one graduate course, EXCEL instructors are expected to attend a professional development workshop concerning MBU course curriculum and any updates about EXCEL policies and procedures once a year. The instructors are also expected to work with their MBU liaisons to schedule a classroom observation and other consultations at the high school site.

Grades and Grade Reports

The grading systems for each individual course will be explained to the students by the course instructor. Students earn course grades after completing the entire course, and the final grade is assigned by the high school EXCEL teacher. If the course covers the entire school year, one final grade is assigned at the end of the yearlong course.

A few weeks before the end of the course, the EXCEL office sends grade rosters to the high school instructors. Instructors should review the rosters and contact the Director of EXCEL Student Services at 314-392-2203 to note any needed changes. Once the course ends, the high school instructor completes the grade roster, signs and dates the form and then submits the forms to the designated EXCEL coordinator in that building. In some cases, the high school prefers that the instructor mail the signed form directly to the EXCEL office. In either case, the EXCEL coordinator and/or the instructor should retain a copy of the completed grade roster in case a question arises after the original is mailed. In cases in which the completed roster is faxed to the EXCEL office, the original copy should be mailed as a confirmation.

Note: Missouri Baptist University has approved a policy change to become effective July 1, 2008. According to the new policy, all grades (including Ds and Fs) earned by students registered through EXCEL will be recorded on their Missouri Baptist University transcripts.

Missouri Baptist University considers all grades earned through EXCEL as university grades. All earned grades will appear on the student’s transcript and will become part of the student’s undergraduate GPA if the student enrolls as a full-time student at Missouri Baptist University. Students planning to attend other colleges or universities should note that most institutions do not accept transfer courses in which students have earned grades lower than a “C.”

Courses officially dropped, using a completed, signed and submitted drop form from the EXCEL Office that were turned in on or before the census date will not appear on the student’s transcript. Students who registered and paid fees before the census date will be eligible for a refund. Courses officially dropped after the census, but before 80% of the course has been completed, will appear on the transcript with the grade of W, indicating that the student withdrew without grade point penalty. Students dropping a course after the census date will not be eligible for a refund. Courses dropped after 80% of the course has been completed will appear on the transcript with a WF and no refund will be available.

Because the high school semester ends later than the MBU semester, students will receive grade reports from the EXCEL office after high school instructors have submitted grades and after they have been entered into the student transcripts.

Concessions for EXCEL Partners

During each calendar year, a high school teacher, counselor or administrator who works directly with the EXCEL program may receive a concession for one free Missouri Baptist University graduate course. The interested partner should contact the EXCEL office to verify course schedules, request the graduate registration materials and submit the EXCEL Concession Form. EXCEL partners whose children are registered for EXCEL courses may receive a concession for those courses.

Site Visits

Site visits provide opportunities for EXCEL staff members and on-campus faculty to maintain contact with participating high school administrators, counselors, teachers and students, and to offer support to each participant.

The following procedures are taken with site visits:

  • The site visitor contacts the high school teacher to set up a time for the visit and, if possible, a discussion before or after class.
  • The site visitor prepares materials (syllabi, sample assignments and assessments, handouts) for the high school teacher.
  • The high school teacher prepares samples to give to the site visitor (tests, lab reports, portfolios, class handouts, graded papers).
  • The high school coordinator or the teacher informs the high school administration of the planned visit.
  • The site visitor wears or carries identification and goes through the appropriate process of entering the school, registering at the main office and wearing any designated visitor tag.
  • The site visitor observes the class and participates in the discussion if appropriate.
  • The high school teacher may choose to ask the site visitor to speak to the students or to answer questions.

After the visit, either during a conference period or at a later date, the site visitor and teacher discuss a number of items including student performance, instructional strategies, types of assessments, teacher questions or concerns and recommendations.

Student Evaluation

As it does for on-campus courses, Missouri Baptist University provides opportunities for EXCEL students and teachers to evaluate the corresponding high school courses.

At the end of the course, all students enrolled in an EXCEL course for credit are asked to evaluate the course through an evaluation form, based on the one used for on-campus courses The teacher administers the course evaluation only to students enrolled for EXCEL college credit. Information received on the evaluation will be treated confidentially and only group results will be reported to the instructor.