01 Institutional Profile

//01 Institutional Profile
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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 25 academic majors and a Master of Education degree with emphases in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or high-incidence Special 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 425 students, in recent years it has approached 800. The teaching faculty includes 46 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 women, more than 50 percent of students from out-of-state, and an international population now nearing 10 percent, McPherson is a vibrant community of learners consisting 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.” One hundred percent of 2019 McPherson College graduates who applied were 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 2018-19, 83 percent of graduating seniors had completed at least one internship, and 64 percent of the same graduating class had secured jobs before commencement (compared to a national average of 18 percent) and 95 percent were employed within six months of graduation.

McPherson College is affiliated with the Church of the Brethren but is independent of the denomination and welcomes faculty and students from all faith traditions. The college values its roots in the church and nurtures them, striving as an institution to model the Brethren values of ethical behavior, simple lifestyles, non-violence and peace, respect for the environment and all living creatures, and the expression of faith through service. In 2018-19, 351 McPherson College students participated in community service projects, averaging more than 13.5 hours of service per student.

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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 130-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.

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The Campus

The present campus, with its 19 major buildings and 42-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, closing two city streets that bisected campus on both the east and the west—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. Although no new academic facilities have been added since that time, the existing facilities have been regularly updated. The college has little to no deferred maintenance, and the campus grounds are attractive and well groomed.

In 2016 the college invested $7.4 million in its heating and cooling system and began installing a keyless entry system on its exterior doors that includes security cameras. That keyless entry system provides an additional margin of safety for all students and employees.

Campus community members have exceptional access to health care services. The college has its own clinic on campus, staffed by Partners in Family Care physicians. Office visits are free for students and employees, with only lab or technical services being charged to insurance. Client-Centered Counseling also maintains an office and regular hours in the health care clinic. Up to 10 counseling sessions are offered to students at no charge.

McPherson College is located 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 and racial minorities constitute 4.2 percent of the county’s population.

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Services

 

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. Near the end of their first semester, freshmen are assigned 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. It is the college’s policy to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities and to afford them an equal opportunity to participate in and enjoy the benefits of college courses, programs, services, and activities. 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. 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.

Health Care Services

Campus community members have exceptional access to health care services. Partners in Family Care maintains a walk-in clinic located on Gordon Street across from Metzler Hall. Office visits are free for students and employees, with only lab or technical services being charged to insurance. Client-Centered Counseling also maintains an office and regular hours in the Campus Student Health Center. Up to 10 counseling sessions per school year are offered to students at no charge.

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, visit the Career Services Office in Miller Library or 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, and 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 serves as McPherson College’s academic hub. The library’s extensive collection of print and digital resources are aligned with the curriculum and can be searched using the Online Catalog. Miller Library also houses an automotive restoration collection featuring many rare items pertaining to the history of the automobile, as well as special collections documenting the history of the Church of the Brethren and McPherson College. Librarians offer formal research instruction, as well as point-of-use assistance for students conducting research. Miller Library’s extensive hours, along with computer workstations, study tables, carrels, lounge areas, and group rooms provide an environment conducive to group and private study. For more information, consult the Miller Library web page.

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Kansas Independent Colleges Association & Acadeum Course Sharing

McPherson College is a member of the Kansas Independent College Association (KICA).  KICA strengthens the competitive standing of the 19-member independent, nonprofit, regionally accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities in Kansas through professional development and collaboration, governmental advocacy, and public engagement collectively aimed at supporting the ability of students to choose and afford an independent college education that fits their goals.

Through McPherson College’s affiliation with KICA, students can benefit from special programs and expanded course offerings. Currently, KICA offers an Adaptive Special Education program. Students who participate in this program will graduate with licensure in High Incidence Special Education (intellectual disability, learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and other health impairments) at the K-6 and 6-12 levels. In the future, participating KICA members may also make synchronous distance classes available to McPherson College students. Please see the registrar for additional information. By arrangement with KICA, McPherson College students may also enroll in pre-approved online courses offered through the Acadeum platform. Students can explore the available online courses at https://www.collegeconsortium.org/institutions/mcpherson-college. All Acadeum courses must be approved by both the academic department and the registrar. Only those online Acadeum courses which are accredited will be considered for approval. Tuition for all Acadeum courses is above and beyond any other tuition paid to the college and must be paid prior to enrolling in the courses. Acadeum courses are billed at the part-time, per-credit-hour rate as published in the current academic catalog. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by both the Chief Academic Officer and the Chief Financial Officer.

Member institutions of KICA include McPherson College and Baker University (Baldwin City), Benedictine College (Atchison), Bethany College (Lindsborg), Bethel College (North Newton), Central Christian College of Kansas (McPherson), Cleveland University-Kansas City (Overland Park), Donnelly College (Kansas City), Friends University (Wichita), Hesston College (Hesston), Kansas Wesleyan University (Salina), Manhattan Christian College (Manhattan), McPherson College (McPherson), MidAmerica Nazarene University (Olathe), Newman University (Wichita), Ottawa University (Ottawa), Southwestern College (Winfield), Sterling College (Sterling), Tabor College (Hillsboro), and the University of Saint Mary (Leavenworth).

The Acadeum course sharing platform offers additional courses outside of the KICA consortium. Students are able to explore these courses as well, and follow the same guidelines as listed above.

 

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Accreditation

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.hlcommission.org); by the Kansas State Department of Education (120 East 10th Street, Topeka, Kansas 66612); and by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (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
  • Association of Governing Boards
  • Council for Aid to Education
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • Kansas Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Kansas Association of Private Colleges of 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
  • National Association of College and University Business Officers
  • 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
  • The Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • South Central Kansas Regional Library System
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Institutional Policies

 

Nondiscrimination and EEO Statement

In accordance with state and federal law, McPherson College does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, sex, marital status, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or any other legally protected characteristic, in the hiring process, during employment, and in the operation of all College programs, activities, and services, including, but not limited to, academics, athletics, other extracurricular activities, the awarding of student financial aid, recruitment, admissions, and housing.

Persons having inquiries concerning the College’s compliance with this policy or any laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination are directed to contact the following:

  • A current student or potential student with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination is encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, who may be contacted at: (620) 242-0506 or claryb@mcpherson.edu. Additionally, any member of the college’s administration may be contacted with questions or concerns.
  • An employee with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace or an applicant, who has applied for an open position at McPherson College, is encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of the Director of Human Resources, who may be contacted at: (620) 242-0454 or stocklib@mcpherson.edu. Additionally, employees should feel free to raise concerns of discrimination with their immediate supervisors at any time.
  • Questions or concerns regarding the College’s compliance with Title IX and its prohibition of sex discrimination may be directed to the Title IX Coordinator. McPherson has designated the following Title IX Coordinator as named in the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policy:

Brenda Jill Stocklin-Smith, M.ED., PHR, SHRM-CP
Human Resources
McPherson College
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
(620) 242-0454
stocklib@mcpherson.edu 

Carole Barr
Director of Academic Development
McPherson College
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
(620) 242-0597

Brenda Jill Stocklin-Smith, M.ED., PHR, SHRM-CP
Human Resources
McPherson College
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
(620) 242-0454
stocklib@mcpherson.edu 

  • For all other inquiries related to discrimination at the College, please contact:

Dr. Bruce Clary
Vice President for Academic Affairs
McPherson College
1600 East Euclid
McPherson KS 67460
(620) 242-0506
claryb@mcpherson.edu

  • The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces discrimination laws related to race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age. Complaints related to these protected classes can also be filed with OCR by visiting: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.

No individual will be subject to any form of retaliation, discipline, or other adverse action for reporting conduct in violation of the College’s nondiscrimination/EEO policy, assisting/cooperating in making a complaint, or assisting with the investigation of a complaint. Any individual who believes they have experienced or witnessed retaliation should immediately notify the appropriate member(s) of the administration as identified above. Those found to be engaging in any type of discrimination in violation of the law or College policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion or termination of employment.

Administrative Policy 180, Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation and Complaint Procedures explains the process for an individual to file a complaint.

In addition, the following policies and procedures are utilized by McPherson College in addressing various forms of discrimination complaints:

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 And Campus Security Act of1990, as amended by the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991, requires all colleges and universities participating in the Federal Student Aid Program to disclose basic institution information, graduation rates, and information on students receiving athletically related student aid. 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. Official transcripts must be requested through the college website https://www.mcpherson.edu/alumni/transcript-request/; 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, email address, telephone number(s), date and place of birth, photograph, enrollment status, major field of study, student ID number (which cannot be used alone to access electronic systems, 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. Directory information can be disclosed without a student’s consent unless the student gives a signed notice to the college restricting such disclosure.

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. 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. The registrar will notify the student when the file is available for inspection within 20 days of the date of the request.

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.

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