TCR Grad Blog

Graduate director's blog for the Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program at Texas Tech University

Posts Tagged ‘requirements’

Continual Enrollment for Online Doctoral Students

Posted by Joyce on May 2, 2009

Based on a couple of situations that arose in the past year, the TCR faculty met on May 1, 2009, and crafted the following policy that provides for breaking your continual enrollment based on extraordinary circumstances such as illness or losing your job.

For those of you in the online PhD program, you know that when we write you with our acceptance letter, we make it very clear that you’re expected to do the following things: take 4 courses per year, come to every May Workshop until you graduate, and maintain continual enrollment. This language isn’t just our program’s internal policy; it’s also the way we redefined “doctoral residency” with our graduate school when we proposed the program. And this redefined residency is then the basis for calling you “full time students” at a level of 3 hours per semester instead of 6 hours. So the requirement is good for you in multiple ways.

The faculty had its own reasons for wanting you to make good progress in coursework, based on our history with other online students and our concern that without such a requirement, you might take 5 years to complete coursework, thus harming the quality of the degree. So it’s a good policy from our perspective.

We knew that our policies would need to be modified based on emerging realities. Thus we have agreed that if you need to break continual enrollment, you can request a hiatus of no more than 12 months by petitioning the TCR faculty in writing, explaining your extraordinary circumstances in detail. We envision that reasonable requests will involve serious illness or serious, unforeseen economic hardship (such as being laid off), but other rationales may be persuasive. If your petition is accepted, the faculty will readmit you at the end of the period requested; if you do not return to continual enrollment at that point, you will be dropped from the program and will have to reapply and compete with all the new potential students applying at that time. If your petition is rejected, you will need to maintain continual enrollment or be dropped from the program. You may receive only one such a hiatus, which may include only one May Workshop.

This policy is effective immediately.

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