01 Institutional Profile

//01 Institutional Profile

Academic Calendar for 2016-2017

Fall Semester 2016
Aug. 17-19 Wed.-Fri. Faculty workshop
Aug. 22 Mon. Classes begin
Aug. 24 Wed. President’s Opening Convocation, 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Aug. 26 Fri. Last day to add a course
Sept. 2 Fri. Last day to drop a course without a $50 fee
Sept. 5 Mon. No classes—Labor Day
Sept. 19 Mon. 20th day
Sept. 23 Fri. End of first five weeks
Sept. 27 Tues. 1/2 Assessment Day/1/2 Professional Development Day
Down grades due at noon
Oct. 7 Fri. Midterm
Oct. 11 Tues. Midterm grades due at noon
Oct. 14 Fri. Honors Convocation, 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Oct. 15 Sat. Homecoming
Oct. 19 Wed. Last day to withdraw from courses without a grade
Oct. 20-23 Thurs.-Sun. No classes—Fall Break
Oct. 28 Fri. Convocation. 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Nov. 23-27 Wed.-Sun. Thanksgiving Break
Nov. 28 Mon. Classes convene at 8 a.m.
Dec. 5-8 Mon.-Thurs. Final exams for fall semester
Dec. 13 Tues. Final grades due at noon

Interterm 2017

Jan. 3 Tues. Classes begin
Jan. 5 Thurs. Last day to drop a course without a $50 fee
Jan. 16 Mon. No classes—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Jan. 17 Tues. Last day to drop a course without a grade
Jan. 26 Thurs. Final exams for Interterm
Jan. 27 Fri. Workday for faculty and staff
Feb. 2 Thurs. Final grades for Interterm due at noon

Spring 2017

Jan. 30 Mon. Classes begin
Feb. 3 Mon. Last day to add a course
Feb. 10 Fri. Last day to drop a course without a $50 fee
Feb. 28 Tues. 1/2 Assessment Day/1/2 Professional Development Day
Mar. 3 Fri. End of first five weeks
Mar. 7 Tues. Down grades due at noon
Mar. 17 Fri. Midterm
Mar. 18-26 Sat.-Sun. No classes—Spring Break
Mar. 27 Mon. Classes convene at 8 a.m.
Mar. 29-31 Wed.-Fri. Enrollment for upcoming & returning seniors and 5Y students
Apr. 3 Mon. Last day to withdraw from courses without a grade
Apr. 3-5 Mon.-Wed. Enrollment for upcoming Juniors
Apr. 6-7, 10 Thurs.-Fri., Mon. Enrollment for upcoming Sophomores
Apr. 11 Tues. Enrollment begins for new Automotive Restoration students
Apr. 14-16 Fri.-Sun. No classes—Easter Break
Apr. 17 Mon. Classes convene at 8 a.m.
Apr. 22 Sat. Enrollment begins for 2017-18 freshmen and transfers
May 5 Fri. Awards Convocation, 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Preliminary senior grades due at noon
May 12 Fri. All Schools Day
May 15-18 Mon.-Thurs. Final exams for spring semester
May 19 Fri. Final senior grades due at noon
May 20 Sat. Commencement rehearsal and group photo
May 21 Sun. Commencement
May 22 Mon. May Session classes begin
May 23 Tues. Final grades due at noon
May 29 Mon. Memorial Day (some May Session classes may be held)
June 2 Fri. Final exams for May Session
June 6 Tues. Final grades for May Session due at noon

Profile and Character of the College

Founded in 1887, McPherson College is a private, residential, four-year, career-oriented liberal arts college. The college’s mission is to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service. This mission leads the college to stress on-campus residency for traditional-age students as a means for encouraging participation and community involvement. The college offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 19 academic majors and a Master of Education degree in transformative education. McPherson is a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, competing in seven intercollegiate sports for men and seven intercollegiate sports for women.

Although full-time enrollment has historically averaged little more than 400 students, in recent years, it has hovered at or above 600. The teaching faculty includes 43 full-time professors, more than three-quarters of whom hold terminal degrees. A 14:1 student-faculty ratio offers a personalized education tailored to students’ needs. Year in and year out, McPherson College is at or near the top among private Kansas colleges in the diversity of its student body. With 30 percent students of color, 40 percent females, and more than 50 percent of students from out-of-state, McPherson is a vibrant community of learners comprised of rural and urban students and a wide variety of ethnic and faith backgrounds.

McPherson has a reputation for integrating excellent academic programs with career-preparation. The accrediting team that came to campus in December 2014 and extended the college’s accreditation through 2024, had special praise for the college’s senior capstone curriculum. They wrote: “The Team was very impressed with the Capstone program at McPherson and even more impressed with the diversity of programs and the number of students participating.… The Capstone experience utilized by all programs is excellent.” Ninety percent of McPherson College graduates who apply are accepted into graduate and professional schools. The accreditation team was similarly impressed with McPherson’s experiential learning curriculum: “Though not as promoted as the Capstone experience,” the team wrote, “the internship program of McPherson is impressive.” In 2013-14, 84 percent of graduating seniors had completed at least one internship, and 59 percent of the same graduating class had secured jobs before commencement (compared to a national average of 18 percent).

McPherson College is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren but is independent of the denomination and welcomes faculty and students of all faiths. The college values its roots in the church and nurtures them, striving as an institution to model the Brethren values of ethical behavior, non-violence and peace, simple living, and the expression of faith through service. In 2013-14, 98 percent of McPherson College students participated in community service, averaging more than 35 hours of service per student.

Statement of Mission and Identity

McPherson College is a vibrant community of persons from diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds committed to its mission: to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation and service.

Chartered in 1887 by leaders of the Church of the Brethren, McPherson College has a 126-year history of providing excellent career-oriented liberal arts education shaped by the essential values of its founding denomination. The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination founded in Germany in 1708. It accepts the New Testament as the rule of faith and emphasizes the inherent value of all persons, the communal discernment of truth, the necessity of putting faith into action, and the biblical calls to simplicity, non-violence, non-conformity and transformation through education. Brethren strive to “continue the work of Jesus – peacefully…simply…together.”

McPherson College’s programs integrate career guidance and practical experiences into a traditional liberal arts curriculum that upholds the highest standards of academic excellence. Our goal is to help students discern a vocational call consistent with their gifts and interests and to prepare them for a life of meaningful work.

Community is central to McPherson College. We affirm diversity within the community, emphasizing unity and acceptance rather than judgment and rejection. Because we believe that the pursuit of truth is a collective endeavor, and that the point of scholarly learning is to advance the common good, McPherson College aspires to be a healthy community of learning where whole persons nurture and balance their physical, intellectual, and spiritual components; develop and live in respectful, reciprocal relationships with others; and are committed to responsible service to the world.

To accomplish our mission, McPherson embraces the ideals of scholarship, participation and service.

Scholarship. All absolute Truth is God’s Truth and humankind must labor diligently in the pursuit of truth we can know; thus, McPherson College upholds the highest standards of academic excellence. Faculty strive to teach students to think critically and independently, to communicate clearly and effectively, to integrate knowledge across the disciplines, and to assess the value conflicts in issues. This is done without coercion, letting the evidence lead the search, and with respect for the consciences and value differences of others.

Participation. Students apply knowledge, practice skills, and deepen and broaden their understanding of themselves and others through active participation in diverse learning experiences. A smaller community requires greater participation from its members. For these reasons, McPherson College is committed to being a small college and encouraging student participation in a variety of activities.

Service. God’s love is personified in the life of Jesus who came to serve the world. Through works of peacemaking and compassion, humanity responds to God’s love and becomes an instrument of God’s servanthood in the world. Therefore, McPherson College emphasizes service to others, encouraging all members of its community to give selflessly of themselves to others.

The Campus

The college’s 23-acre campus is located in the community of McPherson, in predominantly rural central Kansas. According to the most recent census figures, McPherson County is home to 29,356 people; 23.3 percent of this population is under 18 years of age while 18.7 percent is 65 or older. Ethnic minorities constitute 4.2 percent of the county’s population.

The present campus, with its 16 major buildings and 23-acre setting, has matured into an institution of which its founders would be proud. To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 1987-88, McPherson College architecturally redesigned its entire campus, a factor that has improved the quality of living and learning at McPherson College. In the spring of 2000 state-of-the-art theatre and fine arts facilities were added to the instructional facilities, and Melhorn Science Hall opened its doors for fall 2001 classes.


Academic Advising

Academic advising at McPherson College is an intentional relationship between advisor and student as they plan and reach the student’s educational, career, and personal goals. Incoming freshmen are assigned a freshman advisor. As part of the freshman seminar program, students interview and select a faculty advisor from an area of academic interest. This advisor will help the student plan a program of study consistent with the student’s interests and abilities and oversee the student’s progress toward completing the plan of study. The faculty advisor also engages students in exploring their long-range occupational and professional goals and directs the student to resources that will help them confirm and achieve these goals.

Disability Services

Students with temporary or permanent disabilities are welcome at McPherson College under the regular admissions requirements. These students are urged to inform the college of their disability and special needs prior to their arrival to allow the college ample time to determine necessary resources and accommodations. All buildings are ADA compliant with the exception of Beeghly Hall. Persons needing assistance may notify the Admissions Office or the Director of the Royer Center for Academic Development located on the main floor of Miller Library.

Career Services

The college recognizes that general life skills such as communication, computation, logical thinking, positive interpersonal relationships, and decision making constitute the major portion of the skills people need to succeed in their careers and in life in general. In collaboration with college faculty and staff, the Career Services Office offers special programs, seminars, and courses that assist students in refining life objectives, career goals, and internships and in making sound educational choices for achieving those goals and objectives. Seminars and workshops are also offered to help students with preparing their résumés and developing the skills needed to secure employment. For additional information, consult the Career Services Office web page.

Royer Center for Academic Development

The Royer Center for Academic Development, located in Miller Library, serves students who want to learn to study more efficiently. Through individualized study, small group instruction, supplemental instruction or tutoring, students are offered personalized attention while working to improve reading, writing, math, or study skills. All tutoring services, both individual and group, are provided without additional charge.

Miller Library

Miller Library provides library and media services to the students and staff of McPherson College in support of their classroom activities. For more information, consult the Miller Library web page.

Associated Colleges of Central Kansas

Through McPherson College’s affiliation with the Associated Colleges of Central Kansas (ACCK), students can benefit from expanded departmental offerings and special programs at any of the consortium’s member colleges.

A library exchange through interlibrary loan makes books and periodicals from any of the colleges available to students (information on the library holdings of the other ACCK colleges is available through the computerized Kansas Library Catalog in the McPherson College library).

Five of the ACCK colleges participate in the January Interterm program, so that students may take a course at another consortium college or may take advantage of field experiences and educational tours in such places as the Middle East, Central America, New York, France, or England.

A limited budget for travel reimbursement is available for individual students who are required by their major department to travel to another ACCK campus for a required course in the major. (Reimbursement does not apply when the course is regularly offered on the McPherson College campus or when the student has not been continuously enrolled as a full-time student.) The institution does not provide a vehicle to the student for ACCK travel. Inquiries about reimbursement for student travel to ACCK courses should be directed to Academic Affairs office.


McPherson College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411, telephone: 800.621.7440, web address: www.ncahlc.org); by the Kansas State Department of Education (120 East 10th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66612); and by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (see Teacher Education Program for details). McPherson College is in good standing with all accrediting bodies. In addition, the college is a member of the following:

  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • American Library Association
  • Associated Colleges of Central Kansas
  • Association of Governing Boards
  • Association of Teacher Education-Kansas Brethren College Association
  • Council for Aid to Education
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • Kansas Association of College Teachers of Education
  • Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Kansas Association of Private Colleges in Teacher Education
  • Kansas Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
  • Kansas Independent College Association
  • Kansas Independent College Fund
  • Kansas State Department of Education
  • McPherson Chamber of Commerce
  • McPherson Main Street
  • McPherson Ministerial Alliance
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • National Association of College Stores
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers
  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
  • National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • The Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • South Central Kansas Regional Library System

Institutional Policies

Policy of Non-discrimination

McPherson College prohibits discrimination in employment and in educational programs and activities on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital status, veteran status, GINA (the Genetic Nondiscrimination Identification Act), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.

In working to achieve and maintain a welcoming and discrimination-free environment, the college encourages students, faculty, staff, or guests to make complaints and concerns about perceived discriminatory behaviors known to college supervisors and officials.

Without limitation, McPherson College complies with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, as amended, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other applicable laws and related administrative regulations and executive orders.

For inquiries concerning the application of Title IX, Sections 503 and 504, ADA and other nondiscrimination laws please refer to the following:

Students – Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator at 620-242-0501
Employees – Director of Human Resources 620-242-0454
Guest – Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator at 620-242-0501 or Director of Human Resources 620-242-0454.

Disability Accommodations

Students with disabilities are welcome at McPherson College under the regular admissions requirements. For details about accommodations, see Disability Services on the Services page of this catalog.

Student Right to Know Information

The Student Right-to-Know Act was enacted in 1990 by federal law. The law requires institutions that receive Title IV HEA student financial aid to collect, report and/or disclose a variety of institutional information. For the most up-to-date and complete information, see the Student Right to Know Information web page on the college website.

Consumer and Disclosure Information

For the most up-to-date and complete consumer and disclosure information, see the Consumer and Disclosure Information web page on the McPherson College website.

Student Records Policies

Student records are confidential but are open for inspection by the student. Records may also be inspected by parents of financially dependent students. Transcripts must be requested from the registrar’s office in writing; other records must be requested in writing from the appropriate dean.

Privacy of Student Records

Certain information is considered to be public or directory information while other information is private in nature. Directory information includes a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance at McPherson College, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. A federal law known as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, gives students and former students the right to inspect, review and copy education records related to them. The only exceptions to this rule are private notes of teachers and administrators, medical records, parents’ financial records, confidential recommendations prior to January 1, 1975, and records to which the student has waived the right of access in writing. Students have 10 days following the release of directory information to notify the college that any or all of the information designated should not be released without his/her prior consent. This notice must be given in writing to the office of the dean of students.

Education records and personally identifiable information from those records will not be released without the written consent of the student involved, except to other college personnel, officials of other schools in which the student intends to enroll, authorized state and federal government representatives, or unless it is released in connection with the student’s application for financial aid, in response to a judicial order or subpoena, or in the case of a bona fide emergency.

The college maintains with education records of each student a record identifying all persons other than college officials who have requested or obtained access to the records and indicating the legitimate interest of those persons. This record of access is available upon request to the student in question. Finally, all personal information about a student released to a third party will be transferred on the condition that no one else shall have access to it except with the student’s consent. A complete list, with location and custodian of all records kept on college students, is obtainable from the dean of students.

Upon request, a record covered by FERPA will be made available within a reasonable time, and in no event later than 45 days after the request. The student should direct the request to the custodian of the records in question. Copies of the record will be made available to the student at the student’s expense (usually limited to cost of materials).

A student may also request explanations and interpretations of the records from the official in charge. If the student believes that a particular file contains inaccurate or misleading information or is otherwise inappropriate, the college will afford an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the record. Prior to any formal hearing, the official in charge of the record is authorized to attempt to settle the dispute through informal meetings and discussions with the student.

If the student is not satisfied, he/she may request a hearing. Procedures for such a hearing will be those outlined in the student handbook for all cases coming before the Campus Hearing Board. The student will have the opportunity at the hearing to present any relevant evidence.

Academic Record

A transcript is a student’s official record of courses taken and grades earned. The records are kept and maintained by the registrar’s office and located in the Student Enrollment Services office. Student records are confidential, but are open for inspection by the student. Inspection of records must be made in writing, with the request being made to the registrar’s office for transcripts and to the appropriate dean for other records.

Student Development File

The student development file is maintained in the office of the dean of students. It contains directory information for the student, emergency contact persons, copies of correspondence between the student and the dean’s office, a record of any disciplinary action which involved the student, and summary records of student involvements on campus such as work or internship experience and achievements through student organizations. Students who wish to review the contents of their Student Development File should make a written request to the dean of students, who is responsible for maintaining the files. The dean will notify the student when the file is available for inspection within 45 days of the date of request.