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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Academic Policies

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Departmental Policies and Procedures  
Administrative Drop Policy Internships
Advising Policy for Communication Studies Majors/Minors Policy on Individual Study
Department Policy on Plagiarism Colloquium Presentation Waiver Policy
Policy on Class Attendance Grade Appeal Policy
Policy on Pass/No Credit  Policy on Funding

Policy on Class Attendance

This policy applies to all performance-based courses. Individual faculty determine when a course is performance-based. This policy must be stated on the course syllabus.

  1. Absences of up to 10% will not affect a student's final letter grade.
  2. Absences from 10-15% will result in lowering the final course grade by one letter grade.
  3. Absences of 15% or higher will result in a final course grade of F regardless of earned grade in the course.
  4. Absences due to documented family or medical emergencies, or for university-sponsored activities (e.g., athletics, forensics, etc.) will be considered excused absences. Absences for university-sponsored activities must be provided in advance to the instructor. The instructor may request all work be completed prior to the absence.
  5. Students with family emergencies should contact Student Affairs for appropriate notification to faculty.

Department Policy on Plagiarism

Students must present original work and must always document material drawn from other sources. Students are expected to research and prepare their own work when submitting written assignments, outlines, or presenting speeches. Plagiarism is the use of directly quoted material or paraphrased material without citing the source of the material. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any incident of plagiarism will be reported to the Department Chair, may result in a failing grade for the assignment, and may result in a failing grade for the course.

The Department highly encourages faculty to provide students with the following Department statement on plagiarism:

When a student delivers a speech or turns in a paper, the student is claiming the speech or paper is an original and independent work, expressing ideas in one's own language, except where otherwise indicated by quotation marks and references. A student using the words or ideas of someone else in a paper or speech is expected to provide appropriate references. A student who fails to give credit in the form of footnotes or references is falsely representing someone else's words or ideas as their own. False representation is plagiarism.

The most common forms of plagiarism include: copying word-for-word from a source without acknowledging the source by quotation marks and an appropriate reference for written work, and by an oral citation for presentations; paraphrasing someone else's ideas in your own words without acknowledging the source by an appropriate reference; turning in as your own work a paper or portion of a paper conceived jointly with other students but not giving credit for others' contributions. Students may not use work developed in other classes without first gaining the explicit consent from all instructors.

Plagiarism consists of more than just copying someone else's words; representing someone else's ideas as your own is also plagiarism. This policy also prohibits turning in the same and/or highly similar paper, project, or assignment for more than one class unless prior approval of all instructors involved has been obtained.

Plagiarism is avoided by acknowledging the source by quotation marks if a word-for word citation, and an appropriate references in all occasions.

The Department of Communication Studies does not tolerate plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is one of the most serious infractions a student may commit in a Communication Studies class.

Course instructors have the responsibility of judging whether a student has committed an act of plagiarism and what punitive action may be taken for the course. Instructors are encouraged to ask the student for an explanation of how the paper or speech was prepared and to provide such materials as sources and notes which form the basis for the paper or speech. Students are expected to comply with these requests. Instructors are not required to act as "detectives" to produce publication(s) to demonstrate an act of plagiarism.

An instructor believing an act of plagiarism has been committed will bring the issue before the Communication Studies Department faculty and may recommend one or more of the following actions:

  1. The instructor may refuse to grade the paper/speech and record a grade of "F" for the assignment.
  2. The instructor may recommend to the department chair the student be dropped from the course with a grade of "F" and request formal disciplinary action be taken against the student, including possible dismal from the university.

Advising Policy for Communication Studies Majors/Minor

Each major is to register with the department's administrative assistant in AH 230.

  1. The department administrative assistant will assign an advisor to each student and begin an individual file.
  2. The student should meet with his/her advisor each semester. At the initial meeting, the advisor and student will work out a major/minor program. At subsequent meetings, the student and advisor will confer on class schedules for the coming semester.


General Guidelines

  1. CMST 497/697 are the course numbers assigned to in-house internships.
  2. CMST 498/698 are the course numbers assigned to off-campus internships.

Internship Pre-Requirements

  1. Interns must have a minimum 2.5 GPA in Communication Studies.
  2. Before a student starts an internship, the student must have completed CMST 102 and a minimum of 9 semester hours in Communication Studies. The student must also have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours toward graduation.
  3. Undergraduate student interns assisting an instructor with a class must have completed and earned a grade in a minimum of two regular courses in Communication Studies.
  4. The Department's Internship Contract form shall be used to establish the parameters of the internship.

Internship Credits

  1. All internships in 497/697 courses are for four (4) credits only.
  2. Credit for internships in 498/698 courses accrue at the rate of 1 credit for each 30 hours of work.
  3. A Communication Studies major may take up to twelve (12) internship credits; however, the student may only apply a maximum of eight (8) credits of internship toward completion of the major. The remaining credits will apply toward general graduation requirements.
  4. A Communication Studies minor may take up to twelve (12) internship credits, however, may only apply a maximum of four (4) credits of internship toward completion of the minor. The remaining credits will apply toward general graduation requirements.

Evaluation and Grading

  1. All off-campus internships are P/N only.
  2. The intern will submit reports to the faculty overseeing the internship. The form and style of the reports are determined by the intern supervisor.
  3. The intern will write a paper demonstrating synthesis between communication theories and the work completed during the internship.
  4. For internships under 497/697 course numbers, the intern supervisor shall determine the final grade.
  5. For internships under the 498/698 course numbers, at the conclusion of the internship, the on-site internship supervisor will submit an evaluation to the faculty supervisor describing the intern's work performance.

Policy on Pass/No Credit

A Communication Studies major or minor may have 25 percent maximum total credits as P/N within the department.

Policy on Individual Study

  1. A Communication Studies major may take four (4) semester hours maximum in the Department of Communication Studies for individual study.
  2. A Communication Studies minor may take four (4) semester hours maximum in the Department of Communication Studies for individual study.
  3. A graduate student may take a maximum of nine (9) semester hours in the Department of Communication Studies for individual study (a description of the contract needs approval by the student's committee).

 Administrative Drop Policy

This applies to CMST 100, 101 and 102 ONLY!

Students who do not attend class the first meeting of a once a week class or do not attend by the first meeting time of a class that meets more than once a week during the first week of classes will be dropped by the Friday of the first week of classes.

If you are not able to attend the first class session as listed above and do not wish to be dropped, you will need to submit a WRITTEN REQUEST to the Department PRIOR to the first day of the course. You may submit the request by regular mail at:

Administrative Drop
AH 230
Communication Studies Department
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Mankato, MN 56001


Grade Appeal Policy


Alternative Colloquium Presentation Policy

Graduate students are expected to present their capstone project at the Department Colloquium. However, in extraordinary circumstances a presentation may not be feasible (e.g., a student is working full time off campus during the day, has moved out of state). In such circumstances, the student's advisor may request the Department Colloquium Committee for an alternative format for the presentation.

 Policy on Funding

For Graduate and Undergraduate Student Participation at State, Regional, National and International Conferences and Conventions

The Communication Studies Department and its faculty members encourage undergraduate and graduate student participation in state, regional, national and international communication conferences and conventions. The department also understands the financial costs associated with this participation can be significant for students. In order to facilitate this participation, the Department will offer financial assistance for students in the following circumstances and in the following manner:

  1. Students presenting at conferences and conventions:
    1. For all students presenting at conferences and conventions, the department (with support from the College of Graduate Studies) will pay membership and conference or convention registration for the students. The students must inform the Department Chair of their documented presentations sufficiently prior to the conference or convention to allow for the payment to be made directly to the conference or convention. The Department Chair will then authorize the payment from the Department Foundation Account.
    2. Students must pre-register for the conference or convention in order for the department to provide funding.
    3. Presentations include reviewed paper presentations, invited paper presentations, reviewed panel presentations, invited panel presentations, reviewed poster sessions and serving as a respondent to a panel.
    4. Presentations DO NOT include serving as a panel chair.
  2. Transportation:
    1. If feasible, the department may provide a van for travel to the conference or convention. This van will be for students, graduate and undergraduate, presenting at the conference or convention as detailed above. The department will pay for the cost of the van.
    2. If room is available in the van, students participating at the conference or convention (chairing panels, attending) may also ride in the van at department cost. However, priority seating will be given to those presenting at the conference or convention.
    3. The van must be driven by a faculty member or graduate student in the department. Undergraduate students are not allowed to drive the van. Any faculty member or graduate student who agrees to drive the van must meet university standards to drive a university vehicle.
  3. Additional costs associated with the conference or convention:
  4. All other costs associated with the conference or convention (lodging and food, for example) are the responsibility of the students participating in the conference or convention.

Students are advised and encouraged to seek additional funding by applying to the Student Senate or conducting fundraising activities.