EXCEL Student Guide

Welcome to Missouri Baptist University! By registering for an EXCEL course, you have chosen to pursue a challenging journey into an academic subject that will benefit you in a variety of ways.  You have begun the trip toward full-time college study.

We find that EXCEL students take their course work seriously and make the most of their high school classes.

Information in this guide will answer many of your questions and those of your parents and guardians.  As an officially registered student at Missouri Baptist University, it is important for you to read this guide.

If you need other information, please feel free to contact the EXCEL office at 314-392-2203 or through excel@mobap.edu.

We trust you will succeed this semester and that your courses will serve you well now and in your future college years.

Approval Criteria

  • High School juniors and seniors with a 3.0 or higher GPA (on a 4.0 scale) are eligible to enroll in EXCEL courses.  To verify eligibility, the signature of a high school counselor or other designated coordinator will be required on the registration form
  • Missouri guidelines for dual credit state that sophomores may register for courses only if they have scored in the ninetieth percentile on an ACT or SAT exam and have been recommended by their high school administrator.
  • They also must be approved by the designated EXCEL coordinator in their high school (usually a principal or counselor) whose signature on the registration form signifies the approval.  The coordinator also lists the GPA on the form.
  • To be approved for ENGL 113, a student must have an ACT (or equivalent SAT) English score of at least 18.  To register for ENGL 123, the student must have successfully completed and have provided a transcript for ENGL 113 through EXCEL (or for a comparable course through another university).

Transferability of Credit

Each year MBU sends hundreds of transcripts for EXCEL students to schools across Missouri and the nation. Due to administrative differences at each institution, MBU cannot guarantee that every course will transfer to every college or university.

Students should call their prospective colleges before turning in their EXCEL registration forms. Because EXCEL does not accept late registrations, it is the student’s responsibility to find out if a particular course will transfer to the school of his or her choice before enrolling in the program.

We suggest the following steps to check on the transferability of dual credit to a student’s chosen school:

  • Call the Registrar’s Office at the institution(s) you are interested in. Tell them your name, high school, and names of dual credit courses you are taking. It is up to the school you will attend to decide whether they will accept your credit.
  • If you get an answer you feel is incorrect, it may help to call the Department Chairperson of the academic department for the dual credit course you are wishing to transfer.
  • If you encounter questions you are unable to answer, please contact the EXCEL Office at 314-392-2203.

Once you have registered, maintain a file for your dual credit course(s) including the following:

  • Your copy of the registration form
  • The course syllabus
  • Grade reports
  • Samples of your best work.

Try to achieve a good grade.  Many universities will accept only transferred courses with a grade of “C” or above.

Most students who have reported the successful transfer of Missouri Baptist University EXCEL credit have received recognition in the form of degree (like) credit, placement in an advanced course, and/or exemption from a similar course at the colleges where they attend.

Remember:
Once you have registered for and completed an EXCEL course, the MBU transcript certifies that you have earned college credit, but it does not automatically guarantee the credit will be accepted at another institution. When credit is not given for dual credit courses, the following reasons may apply:

  • The college attended does not offer a similar course.
  • The college requires that, in some disciplines, freshmen take introductory courses taught only on that particular campus.
  • Some colleges will not recognize a college course that was also used to meet a high school graduation requirement.  In other words, the college does not recognize dual credit.

Because a college or university has recognized EXCEL credit in the past, does not meant that it has a future commitment to do so.  Evaluation of any kind of transfer credit is made on an individual basis.  By contrast, the fact that an institution has limited its acceptance of EXCEL credit does not imply that those limitations are permanent.

Transcript Requests

Transcripts of students’ EXCEL courses are available through the Records Department at Missouri Baptist University. Academic transcripts, official or unofficial, must be requested from the Records Department in writing. You may request a transcript at any time during the year.  Students planning to register for their freshman year at college should request their EXCEL transcript in early June.
Students requesting transcripts may choose one of the following methods:

  • Complete and sign the downloadable transcript form and mail or fax it to the MBU Records Department at 314-744-7652.

OR

  • Write MBU a letter asking to have a transcript sent to the school of your choice.  The transcript request letter should include:
    • Student name
    • MBU student ID number
    • The address of the college or university where the transcript is to be sent.
    • Student signature (**This is most important. Due to federal law, a transcript will not be sent without the student signature).

There is no charge for the first transcript issued for any student. The charge for each subsequent transcript is $6.00.

If you choose to mail transcript requests, please use the following address:

Missouri Baptist University
Attn: Records Office
One College Park Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141-8698

Or they may be faxed to:
MBU Records Office
(314) 744-7652
For more information, visit the transcript requests page.

Credit And Grading

How do I receive credit for an MBU dual credit course?
To receive credit on a Missouri Baptist University transcript, students fulfill these requirements:

  • According to a policy effective July 1, 2008, all grades (including Ds and Fs) earned by students registered through EXCEL will be recorded on their Missouri Baptist University transcripts.

The following entry appears in the Missouri Baptist University catalog:

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, 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; no refund will be available.

  • If a participating high school chooses to establish a minimum passing grade higher than the university requirement for receiving college credit through the EXCEL program, the school must file a written statement to that effect with the university. This information must also be made available by the high school in writing to its students before they register for courses through EXCEL.
  • Questions about grades should be resolved with your dual credit instructor.

What is a credit hour?
College courses are usually described in terms of credit hours.  Some courses are considered as “three-hour courses.”  In other cases, courses may be considered for one, two, four, or even five hours of credit.

What happens when I earn college credit?
Upon successful completion of an EXCEL course with at least a “C,” you will earn course credit from Missouri Baptist University and the course will appear on your MBU transcript.

How can the college credit be used?
College and universities often accept coursework completed at other universities.  Upon receiving the student’s transcript, institutions can transfer the credit hours into the planned program of study, reducing the number of courses the student must complete in order to graduate.  Another option is that the university can exempt the student from taking certain courses required for freshmen and sophomores including introductory courses in composition, math, science and social studies.  Students may also be able to use the transfer credit for prerequisites for their major or minor fields of study.

What is the difference between “like” credit and “elective” credit?
In most cases, a dual credit course is transferred and accepted as the same course the student would need to complete as a freshman or sophomore.  It transfers as “like” credit.

In other cases, the credit hours are counted as “elective” credit because the receiving university does not have a course that matches the course the dual credit student is transferring.  In that case, the student can count the hours toward graduation but may still need to take a course that is similar to, but not the same as, the dual credit course.

Withdrawing from an EXCEL Course

Dropping a Course

An EXCEL student may elect to drop a course. However, the student will not receive a refund of the course fee. If the student chooses to drop a course, he or she must complete an EXCEL Course Withdrawal Form and submit it to the EXCEL office.

Withdrawing Because of Medical or Other Emergency Circumstance

If a student has an emergency and/or medical situation or a change of residence to another school attendance area and must withdraw from all high school courses, including the EXCEL course(s), the student’s parent/guardian and the high school should do the following:

  • The parent/guardian submits official documentation substantiating the emergency and/or medical situation to the high school counselor, EXCEL coordinator and/or EXCEL teacher requesting the withdrawal.
  • If the high school agrees with the request, then the designated EXCEL coordinator submits copies of the documentation and a cover letter requesting that EXCEL grants the student’s withdrawal from the EXCEL course(s) along with a refund.

The cover letter and documentation should be submitted to the following address:

EXCEL Office
Attn: Student Withdrawal
Missouri Baptist University
One College Park Drive
St. Louis, MO 63141

If EXCEL determines the request for withdrawal because of emergency circumstances is valid, they will initiate action to withdraw the student from the college course and to refund the course fee.

EXCEL Policies

Statement of Purpose

The EXCEL program serves the following purposes:

  1. To provide an opportunity for high-achieving high school students to earn college credit, thereby avoiding duplication of course work during the first year of college.
  2. To provide high-achieving students, who have completed introductory college courses while in a high school setting, an enhanced opportunity to select a broader range of college courses.
  3. To provide an academic service to the public and private educational community.
  4. To provide Missouri Baptist University as an accredited option for baccalaureate degree studies.

Policy on Student Eligibility

High school juniors and seniors with a 3.0 or higher GPA (on a 4.0 scale) are eligible to enroll in EXCEL courses. To verify eligibility, the signature of a high school counselor or other designated coordinator will be required on the registration form.

High school sophomores may register after completing the following:

  • Test at or above the 90th percentile on the ACT test
  • Provide the EXCEL office with an official score
  • Provide a recommendation and signature of the high school principal or counselor

Policy on Student Enrollment

EXCEL students must adhere to dates comparable to those specified on campus for registration*, drop, withdrawal, fee payment and refund. Each semester a schedule of dates is posted on the EXCEL web pages at www.mobap.edu/excel.

*Each high school is given a registration deadline based on the date of the EXCEL staff visit to provide students or coordinators at the high school sites with registration materials. The registration deadline is no more than 10 business days after the EXCEL staff provides the materials.

Even though EXCEL students may enroll in a class section that includes both dual credit student and students taking the class for high school credit only, course requirements will be the same for all students.

Course content and course requirements of MBU courses n the high school will be comparable to those in the equivalent on-campus courses with the same titles.

Policy on Adding/Dropping Courses

Students may not register for courses after the specified deadlines EXCEL assigns to their high school sites.

Students who do not pay fees by the specified dates will be dropped. The drop date will appear on the EXCEL calendar found at www.mobap.edu/excel.

An EXCEL student may elect to drop a course; however, the student will not receive a refund of the course fee.  If the student chooses to drop a course, he or she must complete an EXCEL Course Withdrawal Form and submit it to the EXCEL office.

 If a student has an emergency and/or medical situation or a change of residence to another school attendance area, and must withdraw from all high school courses, including the EXCEL course(s), the student’s parent/guardian and the high school should do the following:

  • The parent/guardian submits official documentation substantiating the emergency and/or medical situation to the high school counselor, EXCEL coordinator, and or EXCEL teacher requesting the withdrawal.
  • If the high school agrees with the request, then the designated EXCEL coordinator submits copies of the documentation and a cover letter requesting EXCEL to grant the student’s withdrawal from the EXCEL course(s) along with a refund.
  • If EXCEL determines the request for withdrawal because of emergency circumstances is valid, they will initiate action to withdraw the student from the college course and to refund the course fee.

Policy on Transcripts and Retention of Academic Records

Final grades for completed EXCEL courses are recorded on an official Missouri Baptist University transcript.  Official academic transcripts must be requested from the Records Office in writing by mail or by fax or in person and must include the signature of the student.  Unofficial transcripts may be printed from Spartan Space (see the EXCEL Student Guide for more information on accessing Spartan Space.) No transcript, official or unofficial, will be issued until the student’s account has been cleared by the EXCEL office.

Missouri Baptist University has adopted the recommendations of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers as its policy concerning retention of student records.  The majority of an EXCEL student’s records is maintained in the permanent file and will be retained until five years after the date of last attendance.

Records of academic performance including individual student records (transcripts) and original graded rosters are maintained permanently in the Records Office.

Policy on Portal Access and Student Services

The EXCEL office provides the following administrative services for its dual credit students: registration directions and materials; admission to the database and registration for dual credit courses; billing, payments, and receipting; grade recording; and student evaluation of courses.  The EXCEL staff consistently and quickly answers questions concerning the program.  Students can also access information about grades and transcripts on Spartan Space.

Spartan Space is Missouri Baptist University’s 24-hour, self-service web portal that gives EXCEL students the ability to access the library online reference sites, print an unofficial student transcript, view and print final grade cards, and pay EXCEL fees online.

EXCEL students are also welcome to attend MBU performances that are free to the public.  For ticketed events, EXCEL students may purchase tickets at the student rate after October 20, when the EXCEL office provides the Special Events office an updated list of EXCEL students registered for fall and full-year courses.

Policy for Approving Instructors

Candidates for EXCEL dual credit teaching must meet the credential requirements for teaching as a part-time MBU instructor and must be approved by the chair of the academic division in which the course is housed.  The candidate must also be approved by the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs.  Approved candidates will typically have a master’s in the discipline or, if the master’s is in another discipline, at least 18 graduate hours in the subject area.

Policy on Maintaining Communication with EXCEL Teachers

University liaisons/visitors maintain communication with EXCEL teachers through site visits (at least one per semester), campus visits, and e-mail and phone calls concerning course content and instruction, texts, assessments, and professional development.  Liaisons also lead the annual professional development workshops and, in some cases, teach the graduate courses appropriate for EXCEL subject areas.  EXCEL instructors are expected to participate in professional development each year and to confirm with their liaisons the dates for on-site classroom observations and consultations.

Faculty liaisons or EXCEL staff, at the invitation of the high schools, also complete classroom visits to speak to both students and teachers.  At least once a semester, one of the staff also makes courtesy visits to answer questions or provide materials.  These methods of communication ensure that MBU courses offered at the high school sites reflect the rigor of the on-campus courses and offer continued, convenient communication between the university and EXCEL instructors.

Policy on Maintaining EXCEL Instructor Status

Each calendar year, to maintain 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.  The instructors are also expected to work with their MBU liaisons to schedule a classroom observation and other consultations at the high school site.

Policy on Attendance

Like students on campus at Missouri Baptist University, EXCEL students are expected to attend classes regularly.  The EXCEL program accepts the high school’s policy for absence from an EXCEL course.

Policy on Academic Integrity and Honesty

Academic dishonesty jeopardizes the academic integrity of the University and is not keeping with Christian principles.  It is considered to be a serious offense.  Missouri Baptist University expects students to attach their names only to work or research which they have done themselves.  Materials and sources must be properly documented.  Students must prepare original work and research, present their own reports and papers, and take examinations without any assistance or aids not expressly permitted in the testing procedure.

Academic dishonesty includes, but not necessarily confined to: plagiarizing; cheating on examinations; submitting counterfeit reports, tests, or papers; stealing tests or other academic materials; knowingly falsifying academic records or documents such as transcripts; and submitting the same work to more than one class without consent of the instructors involved.

Academic dishonesty of any nature will result in disciplinary action, which may include receiving a failing grade on the work in question, failure in the course, or dismissal from the University (Missouri Baptist University Undergraduate Catalog).

Policy on Assessment of Student Performance

Comparable methods of student assessment and testing procedures will be used in the EXCEL course and the equivalent on-campus course. The responsibility for the approval or development of assessment and evaluation measures to assure quality and comparability of EXCEL dual credit courses resides with the on-campus faculty in the appropriate academic discipline.

Policy on Transferability of Credit

In keeping with dual credit guidelines established by the Committee on Transfer and Articulation (COTA), Missouri Baptist University accepts in transfer college credit earned through high school dual credit programs.  Dual credit courses are defined as courses taken for both college and high school credit that were delivered in high school by a high school teacher. The University does not limit the number of dual credit courses or credit hours accepted.  Courses are evaluated on a course-by-course basis for equivalency with courses in the Missouri Baptist University curriculum.  Credit earned through EXCEL, either in the high school setting (dual credit) or on campus (EXCEL-on-Campus dual enrollment), is considered as regular earned hours and does not need to be evaluated for transfer.

Policy on Diversity

Missouri Baptist University is committed to maintaining a community that recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person.  Missouri Baptist University affirms that an important part of the integration of faith and learning is the recognition that all people are created in the image of God and worthy of respect and dignity.  We seek to ensure that all students have full access to the educational, social, and spiritual growth opportunities that the University provides to ensure that students understand and appreciate one of the University’s core values which is “social change through service and leadership.”

Through its curricula and classroom experiences, the University seeks to develop and nurture diversity because it strengthens the organization, promotes creative problem solving, and enriches us all.

The goal is to present materials and activities that are respectful of diverse groups including, but not limited to, race, gender, color, national or ethnic origin, age, qualified disability, military service, learning differences, or socioeconomic status.

Policy on Sex Discrimination

Missouri Baptist University (“Missouri Baptist” or “the University”) does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs and sexual harassment and sexual violence are types of sex discrimination. Other acts can also be forms of sex-based discrimination and are also prohibited whether sexually based or not and include dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. As a result, the University issues this statement of policy to inform the community of our comprehensive plan addressing sexual misconduct, educational programs, and procedures that address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, whether the incident occurs on or off campus and when it is reported to a University official. In this context, the University prohibits the offenses of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking and reaffirms its commitment to maintain a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the university community.  Details of this policy can be found at www.mobap.edu/ASFSR