TEACH-OUT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
As you are aware, DMGS is closing effective July 31, 2020 and will be implementing a teach-out plan that is currently subject to approval by the accrediting body, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (“MSCHE”). These FAQs are intended to assist students in making informed decisions regarding future studies in connection with the teach-out, and to ensure awareness of relevant deadlines for planning purposes, and will be updated as necessary once the teach-out plan is approved.
Do I have to complete my degree program at DMGS this Spring?
No. If you are eligible and wish to do so, DMGS remains committed to assisting you in completing your thesis and degree requirements in order to graduate at the end of this academic year. If you either cannot or do not wish to complete graduation requirements at DMGS by the close of the 2020 Spring Semester, DMGS will provide, during the teach-out period, financial assistance in the form of tuition and fees for you to complete a reasonably similar program of study toward a degree at another institution, provided you apply, are accepted to, and enroll in such degree program by the required deadlines.
What is the “teach-out period”?
The teach-out period, subject to approval of DMGS’s teach-out plan by MSCHE, is projected to be January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021. This represents the start and end date for the full implementation of the approved teach-out plan and any teach-out agreements, as well as the period of time during which DMGS will provide financial assistance to students for degree completion in accordance with the teach-out plan. DMGS will seek to maintain accreditation during the teach-out period or at least long enough for earned credit hours to be transferred, although it will cease to hold classes after the close of the 2020 Spring Semester.
What are my responsibilities in connection with the teach-out?
1. You must notify DMGS of your plans – regardless of whether you intend to graduate from DMGS, pursue a degree elsewhere, or any other course of action – by no later than March 2, 2020. To do so, please contact Dr. Janet Guyden at email@example.com.
2. If you intend to complete your degree program at DMGS this Spring and graduate in May 2020, you need do nothing more than provide the notification mentioned above in connection with the teach-out. Graduation requirements (including submission of a Notice of Intent to Graduate) are unaffected by the teach-out and still must be satisfied. Late submission of the Notice of Intent to Graduate will be accepted through March 2, 2020. All students are expected to continue to adhere to the DMGS Student Code of Conduct.
3. If you are unable or unwilling to complete your degree program at DMGS this Spring, for any reason, you must notify DMGS of your specific plans by no later than March 2, 2020, as noted above (this is a brief extension of the deadline referenced in Mr. Eaton’s recent letter), and, if you wish to take advantage of the benefits available to you under the teach-out plan, you must apply to, be accepted, and enroll in a reasonably similar degree program to your DMGS program at another institution in accordance with the following deadlines:
a. You must provide DMGS with proof of your application to another institution by March 31, 2020 and proof of your acceptance by that institution by June 30, 2020.
b. You must enroll in a reasonably similar degree program to your DMGS program by no later than the 2020 Fall Semester.
What institutions can I apply to?
DMGS is partnering with the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University (the “Bush School”) and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University (the “Schar School”) as part of its teach-out plan. You are encouraged to apply to and attend the programs offered at the Bush School or the Schar School because these teach-out partner institutions have agreed to provide the maximum transfer credit for DMGS students toward completion of a reasonably similar degree program. You may, however, elect to apply to and attend any fully accredited school of your choice, but DMGS will provide financial assistance during the teach-out period only for enrollment in a degree program reasonably similar to your DMGS Masters program.
How many different institutions can I apply to? What about application fees?
There is no maximum number of institutions to which you can apply and seek reimbursement of application fees from DMGS. Application fees will be waived for the Bush School and Schar School. In order to secure such waivers, you must contact Kathryn Meyer at the Bush School at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Judith Wilde at the Schar School at email@example.com.
Am I guaranteed admission at the teach-out partner schools?
No. Admission to the Bush School and Schar School is subject to those institutions’ regular admissions criteria and policies.
If I apply to and get accepted at a teach-out partner school, does that mean I can’t decide to apply to and enroll at a different school?
No. There is no maximum number of institutions to which you can apply and, if accepted, you may choose which institution in which to enroll regardless of whether that institution is a teach-out partner. You are not required to attend a teach-out partner institution in order to receive tuition and fee support during the teach-out period. Your tuition and fees will be covered for enrollment in a reasonably similar degree program at any other institution during the teach-out period, provided you meet all application, acceptance, and enrollment deadlines.
Will my credits earned at DMGS be transferred toward completing another degree program?
What and how many DMGS-earned credit hours may be transferred toward satisfaction of the credit-hour requirements for degree completion at another institution will vary by institution and degree program and is determined by that institution’s policies and program requirements. Please consult each institution’s specific application requirements and course curriculum guide for your desired program, which are typically available on the institution’s website.
You are encouraged to apply to and attend one of the teach-out partner institutions to complete your studies, as those schools have committed to providing the maximum amount of transfer credit possible to DMGS students. You should contact Dr. Gregory Gause at the Bush School at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 458-2276, or Ms. Silva Morros of the Schar School at email@example.com, in order to discuss the credits you have earned at DMGS and whether those credits will transfer to the new institution.
What constitutes a “reasonably similar” program of study?
This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. You are requested to contact Dr. Janet Guyden (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible to discuss your transfer options and any degree programs in which you are interested. DMGS will only pay for tuition and fees associated with a degree program that it has approved under the teach-out plan as “reasonably similar” to your DMGS degree program.
How will DMGS pay for my studies elsewhere, and what is covered?
Whether you elect to pursue an approved degree program at either of the teach-out partner institutions or at another institution, DMGS will pay the institution directly and you will have no financial responsibility whatsoever for tuition or fees, provided your program is completed during the teach-out period. DMGS will only pay for tuition and fees incurred during the teach-out period. For clarity, this means that, if you do not complete the requirements for a degree on or before the end of the teach-out period, the tuition and fees associated with any additional coursework necessary to complete your degree program are your own responsibility.
The specific fees that are covered may vary by institution and include such fees as application fees, health insurance fees, bookstore fees, and/or certain academic fees. DMGS will not pay for room and board or other housing, subsistence, or related fees.
In order for DMGS to pay the transfer institution for your tuition and fees, you must timely submit all invoices for same to DMGS immediately upon receipt. DMGS will not be responsible for any late fees incurred as a result of your failure to submit invoices in a timely manner.
Are there minimum credit-hour or GPA requirements associated with my attendance at other institutions in order to receive financial assistance from DMGS?
No, as long as you maintain a GPA that keeps you enrolled in good standing at the institution. DMGS will only pay for tuition and fees incurred during the teach-out period. Therefore, should you elect to take classes on a part-time basis or for any other reason not complete your approved degree program during the teach-out period, the tuition and fees associated with any additional coursework necessary to complete your degree program will be your own responsibility. Please note that you will be subject to any and all enrollment and GPA requirements of the institution and program to which you transfer. If you fail to maintain a GPA that allows you to stay enrolled in the approved degree program, DMGS tuition assistance will cease.
What will happen to my DMGS stipend?
All DMGS stipends will end as of May 31, 2020 and are nonrenewable. Your individual stipend agreement may provide for an earlier termination. No DMGS stipends will be paid during your attendance at another institution. In addition, if you elect to withdraw from DMGS, stop attending classes, or be enrolled less than full time before the end of the 2020 Spring Semester, your stipend will end as of the time you withdraw, stop attending classes, or otherwise be enrolled on a less than full-time basis and in some cases DMGS may seek restitution for stipend funds already paid. Except as just described, all other provisions of existing stipend agreements continue in full force and effect.
What do I need to do to ensure my credits are transferred to the new institution?
The institution to which you are transferring will need to see proof of DMGS course completion before granting transfer credit; thus, you will need to provide a transcript. Most will accept an unofficial transcript at the application stage, but you must submit an official transcript before enrollment. Ordering and receiving official transcripts can take a few days or weeks, so you should complete this step early. A transcript request form is available here: https://dmgs.edu/wp-content/uploads/Transcript-Request-1.pdf. You may contact Cassandra Creek at email@example.com for assistance.
In addition, some institutions require you to submit a form to request transfer credit, which generally involves identifying which credits you would like to be considered for transfer and describing the coursework (this can come from the course syllabus) and how it meets the new program requirements. You may also be required to submit test scores or letters of recommendation, or proof of work experience, professional training, or military service if the institution will consider same for academic credit. Complete DMGS course syllabi already have been sent to our teach-out partners to expedite the admissions process and maximize the credit hours available to be transferred.
In sum, you should inquire with the new institution regarding these or any other specific requirements it may have for requesting transfer of acceptable DMGS-earned credit hours or requesting credit for any other prior work. Provided all requirements are met, acceptable DMGS-earned credit hours will be transferred upon your enrollment in the new institution.
What if I enroll at one institution and later change my mind and wish to withdraw and enroll in another institution?
DMGS will pay tuition and fees, during the teach-out period, for your enrollment in a reasonably similar degree program only at the institution to which you initially transfer and enroll. DMGS will not finance coursework at additional institutions in the event you decide not to complete the program at the institution in which you initially enroll, even if it occurs during the teach-out period.
Will DMGS pay for online classes I take at another institution if I am not enrolled as a student there?
DMGS will pay for tuition and fees associated with a reasonably similar degree program only at an institution in which you are actually enrolled in such program. Should you, during the teach-out period, take courses that count toward such a program prior to enrollment, you may seek reimbursement for them upon enrollment.
I’m currently taking a course at DMGS for which I do not think credit will be transferrable to the new institution to which I intend to apply. What are my options? Can I withdraw from this course? Would doing so affect my GPA? Would this effect my current stipend?
If you wish to withdraw from such a course, you may do so in accordance with the DMGS course withdrawal policy, available here: DMGS.edu. DMGS will consider extending the usual course withdrawal (“add/drop”) deadline in certain circumstances. However, bear in mind that there may be an impact on your GPA. If you withdraw from a course after the third week of classes, a grade will be recorded as either “W”, “WP” (Withdraw Passing), or “WF” (Withdraw Failing), and a grade of “WF” is considered the equivalent of an “F” grade when calculating the GPA. Withdrawing from a class and thus being enrolled at less than a full time basis will result in the termination of your stipend agreement.
Before you drop or withdraw from any DMGS course, it is highly recommended that you apply to potential transfer institutions and seek advice and counsel from those institutions regarding what coursework would be acceptable for transfer credit toward a reasonably similar degree program.
I’m an international student here on an F-1 visa. How does the DMGS closure impact my visa status? What if I withdraw from classes prior to the end of the 2020 Spring Semester? If I’m graduating, can I still apply for post-completion Optional Practical Training (Post-OPT) in order to extend my visa?
If you plan to continue your studies beyond the academic year ending June 30, 2020 at another institution, you will be required to transfer your I-20 and F-1 status to such other institution.
If you withdraw from classes at DMGS prior to the end of the current semester, you will be subject to applicable F-1 visa rules and may be required to either depart the United States within sixty (60) days after such withdrawal or seek other alternatives for extending your stay.
If you intend to graduate from DMGS in May 2020, Post-OPT is not available as an option to extend your F-1 visa. Because DMGS is permanently closing on or about July 31, 2020 and will no longer have the requisite staffing (including a designated school official (DSO) to authorize the Post-OPT) and access to SEVIS after that time, DMGS is unable to offer any services related to Post-OPT after the close of the current academic year, nor is such extracurricular training part of the teach-out. This means that you would need to either depart the United States within sixty (60) days of completing your degree program at DMGS or would need to seek other alternatives for extending your stay that do not involve DMGS.
How can I obtain my academic records after DMGS closes?
You will have access to your academic records following DMGS’s closure. Details regarding the disposition of student records will be provided in the approved teach-out plan and a notice will be displayed on DMGS’s website that includes contact information for the repository of student records. In addition, all student academic information will be provided to the National Student Clearinghouse so that students can order official transcripts to be sent to academic institutions and support job applications.
If I have questions about the Teach-Out plan, is there a point of contact at MSCHE that I should speak with?
MSCHE does not field specific questions about an institution’s internally managed teach-out program. All questions regarding the teach-out outside of what has been addressed within these FAQs should be directed to either Eric Eaton, President and CEO (Acting) or James P. Carroll COO.