About Albion College

An independent, coeducational, residential college founded more than 175 years ago, Albion is committed to the liberal arts tradition. Historically related to the United Methodist Church, the College is dedicated to preserving the values of the past, to serving the needs of the present and to anticipating the goals of the future.

Albion's People and Programs

Albion's strength is the quality of its faculty and students. The stimulating atmosphere at Albion results in large measure from its faculty, who are dedicated to teaching and scholarship in the liberal arts setting. They have distinguished credentials--95 percent of the faculty have the Ph.D. or the highest appropriate professional degree in their field. Faculty are active in scholarly research and other professional endeavors, and often integrate that work into their teaching. Albion's students are also well qualified. Their combined SAT scores average 1160, and their ACT composite score averages 25; both rank Albion students well above the national average.

The faculty and administrative staff at Albion are deeply committed to the careful education of students and to their development as lifelong learners and as human beings. Accordingly, most classes are small (the average class size is 18), and students have ample opportunity for individual attention. Further, professors spend many hours outside the classroom in individual tutorials, and in academic and career advising.

Through the core requirement, Albion addresses the need for breadth of knowledge and understanding of various modes of inquiry. Through more than 30 departmental, interdepartmental and individually designed majors and minors, students also undertake intensive work in one or more fields within the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences or fine arts. This broad exposure to the liberal arts encourages students to think critically and creatively, to develop their powers of written and spoken expression, and to deepen their understanding of moral and ethical issues.

Beyond these departmental offerings, students have the opportunity to join one of Albion's Institutes and Centers to obtain real-world experience and prepare for a career and to participate in a variety of interdisciplinary study programs. For further exploration and analysis of topics that interest them, they may pursue original research, with support from the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program and the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.

The core curriculum, majors and minors, Institutes, Centers, and the Foundation for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity are central to Albion College's vision for a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. Wise choices from among these educational programs enable students to acquire the special qualifications they need for gaining entry to graduate and professional schools and for entering satisfying careers in many fields.

The College also offers curricular, residential and extracurricular programs that build a sense of community and stress opportunities for developing citizenship. On campus, the network of student organizations encourages the learning of group participation skills. The same organizations have community outreach programs that give Albion students the chance to operate as citizens of the City of Albion. Internships and off-campus programs--many conducted cooperatively with other colleges in the Great Lakes Colleges Association--involve students in regional, national and world citizenship as well.

Albion's Setting

Albion College is located in a small community, rich in ethnic diversity, that was founded in 1835 at the "forks" of the Kalamazoo River. Located in the heart of the City of Albion, the College has an unusually attractive and well-maintained campus.

Around its central quadrangle, numerous well-equipped classroom buildings, libraries and laboratories support learning and teaching. Just beyond, attractive residence halls, housing cooperatives, College-owned apartments and fraternity houses provide a variety of living arrangements for both independent and affiliated students and for small and large groups. A short walk leads to the largest of several well-groomed city parks, to the College's theatre and athletic facilities, and to our scenic 144-acre Whitehouse Nature Center.

An Albion education, then, is a distinctive composite of people and programs. The members of Albion's family, extended in time over more than 175 years and in space all around the globe--its students and alumni, its faculty and administration, its trustees and friends--have long attested to the value of this special blend. The achievement of Albion's program can be measured in the success of its graduates in living richly fulfilling lives, many of them as leaders in their fields and communities.

Albion's Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission Mark of AffiliationAlbion College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (Web address: http://www.hlcommission.org; telephone: 800/621-7440).

Albion College is also accredited by these nationally recognized groups:

American Chemical Society
1155 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: 800/227-5558
Website: www.acs.org

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)
2201 Double Creek Drive
Suite 5006
Round Rock, TX 78664
Telephone: 512/733-9700
Website: www.caate.net

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
2010 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20036
Telephone: 202/223-0077
Website: www.caepnet.org

National Association of Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, Virginia 20190
Telephone: 703/437-0700
Website: http://nasm.arts-accredit.org/

Any current or prospective student who wishes to review the College's accreditation documents should contact the Office of the Provost.

As part of the accreditation requirements for the North Central Association, Albion College has established assessment procedures for all academic programs as well as the general education requirement. The procedures are designed to assess the academic achievement of students as a group rather than individually. All students are required to participate in all assessment activities that the College deems necessary.

Albion College is also listed as a United Methodist-affiliated institution by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee. More information may be obtained at 615/340-7399 or on the World Wide Web: www.gbhem.org/gbhem/colleg.html.

Programs of Study

Departmental Information

All of the departmental information contained in this section of the Academic Catalog was accurate as of July 1, 2012. Any departmental changes made after that date will not be reflected here. Information on changes may be obtained from the respective department or from the Registrar's Office in the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building.

Course Numbering System

The following lists include all courses normally offered at Albion College. However, not all courses are offered every year. When possible, courses offered in alternate years are designated. For details, students should consult the Class Schedule for each semester, available online at: www.albion.edu/registrar. The College reserves the right to add or withdraw courses without prior announcement, as conditions may require.

Unless otherwise stated, 100 level courses are intended for freshmen, 200 level for sophomores, 300 and 400 level for juniors and seniors.

A list of courses which meet the core and category requirements, organized by departments, is available online at www.albion.edu/registrar.

Further information may be obtained at the Registrar's Office in the Ferguson Student, Technology, and Administrative Services Building.

Refund Policy During the Semester

If a student withdraws or is suspended or expelled from Albion College during a semester, then the student may be eligible for a refund of a portion of the tuition, fees, room and board paid to Albion College for that semester. If the student received financial assistance from outside of the family, then a portion of the refund will be returned to the grant, scholarship or loan source from which that assistance was received.

If a student plans to withdraw, then the student should complete the Mid-Semester Withdrawal Notification Form, available from the Student Affairs Office, to begin the withdrawal process. This procedure will enable Albion College to refund the maximum possible institutional charges.

Two formulas exist for determining the amount of the credit: Albion's refund policy and a federal formula (Return of Title IV Aid) derived from the 1998 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The federal formula is applicable to any student receiving federal aid other than Federal Work-Study if that student withdraws on or before completing 60 percent of the semester. These students may also receive a refund of non-federal aid through Albion's refund policy. Students not receiving federal aid will have their refund calculated using only Albion's refund policy.

Albion's refund policy is as follows: Students who withdraw from Albion College may receive a pro-rated refund of tuition and board fees, according to the following schedule:

Week Institutional Refund Week Institutional Refund
1 75% tuition/pb* 7-14 Pro-rated board
2-6 40% tuition/pb* 15-16 No refund

*Pb=pro-rated board fees

The federal formula provides for a return of Title IV aid if the student received federal financial assistance in the form of a Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Perkins Loan, Federal Family Educational Loan Program or PLUS loan and withdrew on or before completing 60 percent of the semester. The percentage of the return is equal to the number of calendar days remaining in the semester divided by the total number of calendar days in the semester. Scheduled vacation periods of more than four days are excluded.

If any refund remains after the return of Title IV aid, the refund will be used to repay Albion College funds, state funds, other private sources and the student in proportion to the amount received from each non-federal source if there was no unpaid balance due at the time of withdrawal. If there was an unpaid balance, then all aid sources will be repaid before any money is paid to the student.

If funds were released to a student because of a credit balance on the student's account, then the student may be required to repay some of the federal grants or loans released to the student.

Students who have questions about the refund policy should contact the Financial Aid Office.

Appendix: Privacy Rights Policy

Albion College Policy on The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (The Act) of 1974 (as amended) is a federal law which states (a) that a written institutional policy must be established and (b) that a statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made available. The Act provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student educational records and access to them by students.

FERPA Definition of Records

The Act defines education records as records, files, documents and other recorded materials which contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by Albion College or a person acting for the College. The term education record does not include records of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel and educational personnel ancillary thereto that are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and which are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a substitute; records on a student who is 18 years of age or older that are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting in a professional or paraprofessional capacity, or assisting in that capacity and in connection with the provision of treatment to the student, and are not available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, provided, however, that such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice; records of students as employees unless the employment results from the employee's status as a student; and alumni records.

Access to Records

FERPA accords all the rights under the Act to all students at the College. This includes the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Albion College will make disclosures without consent in these circumstances.

  • To school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health and counseling staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as a company providing services with respect to financial aid awards, student insurance, or other administrative support and research services, including those related to student testing and retention; an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee; or a person assisting a school official in performing his/her tasks (such as employment responsibility). A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his/her professional responsibility.
  • Upon request to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  • To persons or organizations providing students financial aid.
  • To accrediting agencies carrying out their accrediting function.
  • To persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.

Albion College will also release information to be in compliance with a judicial order; this release will occur only after an attempt has been made to contact the student at the current campus or last known permanent address.

Under certain circumstances information may be released to parent(s)/guardian(s). On an annual basis, students are expected to notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs whether or not, for tax purposes, students are dependents claimed on the income tax return of their parent(s)/guardian(s). The vice president for student affairs will facilitate this notification process. A representative of the College may communicate with parent(s)/guardian(s) relative to the following circumstances: discontinuance of enrollment; medical (including psychiatric) and/or psychological examinations required for the maintenance of enrollment as determined by the vice president for student affairs; alleged violation of a College regulation that will likely result in suspension or expulsion from the College if the student is found responsible; absence from the campus when there is reason to be concerned for the student's well-being because the student's whereabouts are unknown; mid-term grades; academic or disciplinary probation; needed medical or psychological attention, the nature of which might jeopardize a student's ability to maintain the status of enrolled. Parent(s) or guardian(s) in these cases will be defined as the individual the student has recorded as the parent(s) or guardian(s) on the admissions application or as emergency contacts. A student may change this designation at any time at the Registrar's Office.

A record of all disclosures will be maintained in the student record, except when the request is made by (1) the eligible student, (2) a school official who has been determined to have a legitimate educational interest, (3) a party with written consent from the eligible student, or (4) a party seeking directory information. The record of each disclosure will contain the name of the parties who have requested or received information and the legitimate interest the parties had in requesting or obtaining the information.

A listing of the types, locations and custodians of education records follows.

The rights of this policy are extended to all students enrolling in Albion College after January 1, 1975.

Directory Information

Directory information is the property of Albion College. At its discretion, the College may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: name, permanent home city and state, name of parent(s)/guardians(s), local address, local telephone number, e-mail address, dates of enrollment, degrees earned, dates of degrees, class year, majors, minors, concentrations, adviser, awards/honors/scholarships, photographs, sports and activities, and height and weight of members of athletic teams. The College, including faculty, staff, and students, may not release directory information to any party on or off campus if the intent is to contact students for purposes such as (a) to increase an agency’s membership, financial gain, or event promotion, and (b) to promote an individual’s candidacy. It should be known that it is the College’s choice to release this information, and careful consideration is given to all requests to insure that the information is not released indiscriminately. A student may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar’s Office in writing within two weeks after the first day of class for the term.

Requests for non-disclosure will be honored by the institution for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to withhold directory information must be filed annually in the Registrar’s Office.

Review Process

The Act provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their educational records, to challenge the contents of their educational records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panel to be unacceptable. The Registrar's Office and the Vice President for Student Affairs' Office have been designated by the institution to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student educational records, which include admissions, personnel, academic and financial files, and placement records. Students wishing to review their education records must make written requests to the registrar or the vice president for student affairs, listing the item or items of interest. Records covered by the Act will be made available within 45 days of the request. All documents will be reviewed in the presence of a designated official. Any document a student may see he/she may have copies of, unless a financial hold exists, the document involves another person, or the student has waived his or her right to access. These copies would be made at the student's expense at 10 cents a page.

Restricted Information

As outlined by the Act, a student may not inspect and review the following: financial information submitted by parent(s)/guardian(s); letters of recommendation to which the student has waived the rights of inspection and review; or education records containing information about more than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit a student to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in the files prior to January 1, 1975, provided the letters were collected under established policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purposes for which they were collected.

Challenge Procedures

A student who believes that an education record contains information that is inaccurate or misleading or otherwise in violation of his/her privacy or other rights may ask the College to amend a record. The student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate or misleading. The College official should consult with the vice president for student affairs or the registrar. If the decisions of the College official are in agreement with the student's request, the appropriate record will be amended. If not, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that the record will not be amended, and the student will be informed by the registrar or the vice president for student affairs of the right to a formal hearing. A request for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the chief academic officer (provost), who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such request, will inform the student of the date, place and time of the hearing. Such a written request will be deemed a consent to disclosure to the hearing panel of the student's record to the extent necessary for the appeal to be considered and decided. The hearing will be conducted according to the challenge procedure adopted by the College. At the hearing, the student may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by not more than two people of the student's choice. The hearing panel that will adjudicate such challenges will be the chief academic officer (provost), the registrar if the challenge concerns a document maintained by the vice president for student affairs, the vice president for student affairs if the challenge concerns a document maintained by the registrar, two faculty members selected by the Faculty Steering Committee and two student members selected by Student Senate. No member of the hearing panel may have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.

Decisions of the hearing panel will be final, will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing, and will consist of a written determination which will include a summary of the evidence, the decision, and the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. The panel may decide to revise or amend a record by inserting corrective information into the student's file, or to allow a record to stand. If the decision is unsatisfactory to the student, the student may place with the education record statements commenting on the information in the record or statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing panel. The statements will be placed in the education record, maintained as part of the student record, and released whenever the record in question is disclosed.

A student has the right to submit a written complaint to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-4605, if the student believes the College has violated the student's right under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

Revisions, clarifications and changes may be made in this policy at any time and will be effective upon publication by e-mail, printed announcement distributed to all students, posting in a prominent location on campus, or any combination of those means, or publication in subsequent editions of the Student Handbook.

Annual Notification

Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually by publication in the Student Handbook.

Types, Locations and Custodians of Records

The following is a list of the types of records that the College maintains, their locations and their custodians.

Types Location Custodian
Admissions Records Vice President for Student Affairs
Ferguson Building
Vice President
Cumulative Academic
Registrar's Office
Ferguson Building
Health Records Student Health Services
Cass Street Building
Counseling Records Counseling Services
616 E. Michigan Ave.
Financial Aid Records Office of Financial Aid
Ferguson Building
Financial Records Accounting Office
Ferguson Building
Placement Records Career Development
Ferguson Building
Progress Records Registrar's Office
Ferguson Building
Faculty Office
Individual Office
Instructor, Adviser
Disciplinary Records Vice President for Student Affairs
Ferguson Building
Vice President
Occasional Records (Student education records not included in the types above such as minutes of faculty committee meetings, copies of correspondence in offices not listed, etc.) Appropriate official will collect such records, direct the student to their location, or otherwise make them available for inspection and review The College official who maintains such occasional records

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