Apr 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ACCESS, Accelerated Degree Programs

In 1977, the ACCESS Program was established to serve the educational and career needs of working adults. This accelerated program was the first of its kind in the Lehigh Valley. In keeping with the mission statement of DeSales University, the mission of ACCESS is to provide lifelong learners with a liberal arts education and professional training according to Christian Humanist tradition, emphasizing excellence, individual attention, and program flexibility.

ACCESS uses a variety of delivery systems to extend programs and services to audiences from government, business, industry, organized labor, other agencies, and the general public. Programs and services are provided at times and places convenient to the individuals and groups being served and encompasses a variety of degree, certificate, and non-credit programs and services.

The academic program in the ACCESS division at DeSales University has four objectives:

  1. To provide adults with opportunities for personal enrichment and satisfaction through the stimulation of intellectual and cultural growth;
  2. To provide adults with the skills, knowledge and insights required to update and improve their vocational and professional performance;
  3. To provide adults with information and understanding needed to fulfill their responsibilities as citizens in society;
  4. To be responsive to the needs of communities in the Lehigh Valley and the organizations and agencies (public and private) that are located in these communities.

For a variety of reasons, increasing numbers of adults are enrolling in lifelong learning programs to achieve their educational objectives. As a response to this need for lifelong learning, DeSales University offers ACCESS, a program which provides opportunities for adults to further their education through evening and day degrees and certificate programs. Credit for experiential learning may also be awarded through prior learning assessment. Programs and services from ACCESS are available during the day, evening, and weekend on a year-round basis to all persons who can benefit from further education.

ACCESS offers adult learners the possibility of achieving their educational objectives in a convenient, flexible, and student centered environment. Students may select from the following variety of program options to earn a certificate or a bachelor’s degree:

  • Ten sessions starting throughout the year, face-to-face and online;
  • Evening classes meeting once per week;
  • Fall and spring traditional day courses;
  • Two 6-week online summer minimesters;
  • One 3-week May term;
  • One 3-week online winter minimester;
  • One-credit workshops

ACCESS Bethlehem Area Campus

DeSales University established its Easton Branch (now known as Bethlehem Area) in the spring of 1988. This campus offers accelerated courses through the University’s ACCESS program. Conveniently located in Bethlehem Township off the William Penn Highway exit of Rt. 33, this state-of-the-art facility serves the eastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, and Pocono areas. For additional information please call 610.814.3026 or visit us at 3001 Emrick Blvd., Bethlehem, PA 18020.

ACCESS Lansdale Area Campus

In January 2012, DeSales University began offering its ACCESS program in Lansdale. Located on Sumneytown Pike, with easy access to the Pennsylvania turnpike, the campus is convenient to southeastern Pennsylvania counties. For additional information please call 215.361.3514 or visit us at 815 Sumneytown Pike, Lansdale, PA 19446

Admission to ACCESS

An open admission policy is in effect at DeSales University for ACCESS students with the exception of education and nursing programs, which have specific admissions criteria. Admission into the ACCESS program is limited to students for whom education is no longer the major focus in their lives. Information about admission, registration procedures, and deadlines for the diverse programs and courses can be obtained directly from the ACCESS Office.

ACCESS students who desire to transfer credits for academic work done at other postsecondary institutions must have official copies of their transcripts sent to the ACCESS office as soon as possible.

Before applying, students should schedule an appointment with an advisor to develop an appropriate and individualized education plan. Each student must provide proof of high school completion or GED before matriculating.

Criteria for Admission to ACCESS

A non-traditional student is defined as “Any student, regardless of age, whose primary adult responsibilities are non-academic, and for whom those responsibilities take priority at this time in their lives.” Non-traditional learners meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Has a career and other significant non-academic responsibilities (e.g., being self-supporting, working full-time, having financial dependents) that conflict with traditional college experiences;
  • Has been out of high school for 5+ years at the time of first undergraduate registration, or has had a 2-4 year interruption in his/her undergraduate education;
  • Is a veteran or active duty service member;
  • Needs to be enrolled in an online program due to significant non-academic responsibilities (e.g. being self-supporting, working full-time, having financial dependents);
  • Must take fewer than 12 credits due to significant nonacademic commitments (e.g. being self-supporting, working full-time, having financial dependents);
  • Is pursuing post-baccalaureate studies (e.g., certificate, second degree), primarily with undergraduate courses.

Additional requirements for DeSales University traditional day students seeking reclassification into the ACCESS program.

  • A written request with appropriate documentation must be submitted to the dean of undergraduate education.
  • Written requests must be received at least two weeks before the beginning of the fall or spring semester. Acceptance into the ACCESS program occurs only at the start of the fall or spring semester. Reclassification can’t be made for a semester that has already been billed for by the treasurer’s office.
  • Nursing majors must obtain prior approval from the chair of the department of nursing and health and dean of undergraduate education.
  • Students on academic probation will ordinarily not be admitted into the ACCESS program.
  • Students dismissed or having withdrawn from DeSales University may not immediately enter the ACCESS program. In addition to meeting the above criteria for admission to the ACCESS program, these students must take courses at a community college (earn at least grades of “C”) to demonstrate their ability to handle college level courses.

Professional Development and Personal Enrichment

DeSales University encourages members of the community who seek professional development or personal enrichment but do not want to pursue a class for credit through two options:

  • Auditing - Participation in the course will be reflected on a transcript; however, no credit will be awarded. This is appropriate for individuals who want the ability to provide documentation of participation in a course.
  • Value Initiative Program (VIP) - No permanent record will be maintained.

Students, in either option, will be permitted to attend classes on a space available basis and will not be required to take exams or other academic assessments. The cost for taking courses through either of these options is included with tuition/fees information. Anyone who is interested should contact an ACCESS advisor.

ACCESS Evening-Weekend Nursing Program

DeSales University has a national-class reputation for strong undergraduate and graduate nursing degree programs. ACCESS has combined the strengths of the DeSales nursing education with a format that enables busy adult learners to earn a BSN degree while continuing to work, care for a family, and handle other responsibilities.

Evening-Weekend nursing students are able to complete classes offered in the evenings and on weekends. Many are available in 8-week sessions with multiple scheduling options, including online.

Senior Citizen Program

Senior citizens (60 years of age or older) may enroll on a space-available basis in up to four non-studio credit courses per term (e.g., spring, fall, summer) at the rate of the current one-credit tuition fee. This may be a combination of courses (up to four) offered during the day or through ACCESS; for example, one course in Session 1, one course in Session 2, and two fall day courses. In addition to the registration fee, special course fees as applicable will be charged. Senior citizens may enroll in courses for enrichment, audit, or credit; and must meet the necessary prerequisites.

All applicable academic regulations will be in effect for such students. Proof of age is required at the time of registration.

ACCESS Advising

All ACCESS students are encouraged to take advantage of the advising services. Students should plan to meet with an advisor on a consistent basis to discuss course planning, scheduling options, and other academic issues. Advising is available in person, through e-mail, or by telephone.

ACCESS Certificate Programs

A certificate program provides the student with a coherent program of study that has specific and readily obtainable objectives and yet does not require the number of courses or the time commitment of a degree program. Professionals and college graduates who want or need additional higher education credentials outside their major area of collegiate study are also good candidates for an ACCESS certificate.

The assistant dean of lifelong learning is responsible for administering certificate programs for ACCESS students. For complete details, students should contact an ACCESS advisor.

Business Administration
Financial Management
Financial Planning (CFP®)
Human Resource Management
Information Technology
Marriage and Family
Public Accounting

ACCESS Individualized Major (AIM)

The ACCESS Individualized Major (AIM) offers students an opportunity to earn an interdisciplinary, self-designed degree. As a BA in liberal studies, it is intentionally structured to cross traditional discipline boundaries to address the student’s specific academic and vocational needs. AIM “customizes” a student’s education while ensuring rigorous standards within a carefully constructed yet flexible framework.

Credit for Prior Learning

DeSales University recognizes that many adults acquire college level learning in non-collegiate settings such as work, the military, community organizations, and independent study. The ACCESS program provides the adult learner with a variety of methods to demonstrate that they have acquired college level learning. Students who desire to earn college credit for their prior learning may choose from one or a combination of the following options:

DeSales University Challenge Exam Program

Credit by examination may be earned for most DeSales University courses. In addition to the DeSales University Challenge Examination Program, standardized examinations have been developed by the following nationally recognized organizations. Students should consult their advisor before taking any exams.

College Level Examination

DeSales University is an official CLEP Test Center. CLEP tests are administered at the Bethlehem Area Campus. Students may earn credits through the CLEP program, which may apply to a DeSales University degree. Interested students should contact the Bethlehem Area Campus at 610.814.3026.

Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support (DSST)

The DSST exams were originally designed for military personnel, but the exams are now open to anyone and exams are offered in the social and physical sciences and business.

Military Training

Since 1954, the American Council on Education has been evaluating military training programs for college credit. Credit recommendations are published in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Forces.

Non-Traditional Training

The American Council of Education has evaluated many professional training programs for college credit. Credit recommendations are published in the National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs. Training programs have been evaluated for hundreds of organizations nationwide.

Portfolio Assessment

The portfolio process is used to evaluate knowledge for college credit. The process involves the collection of evidence and documentation to support a formal credit request for specific courses and is considered transfer credit. Students are required to pay 30% of tuition for assessment of a portfolio related to a given course. For more information, contact an ACCESS advisor.

Change of Major

The change of major for an ACCESS student is a formal procedure. The procedure to declare or change a major begins with the student’s ACCESS academic advisor. After a meeting with the ACCESS student’s advisor, during which the student’s program record will be evaluated in terms of the new program major, an ACCESS approval form will be completed. The request form will be signed by the student and by the advisor who is making the recommendation for the change. The completed approval form will be sent to the appropriate department chair for approval. The registrar’s office is responsible for changing the major on the student’s permanent record once the form with proper signatures has reached the office. The graduation requirements for the major are determined by the catalog year in effect at the time of the student’s official acceptance to the major.

High School Honors Program

The High School Honors Program provides access to college credit courses to academically talented high school juniors and seniors who receive appropriate recommendations from their principal and counselor and approval from the University’s dean of lifelong learning. The High School Honors Program serves to provide academically talented juniors and seniors from area high schools with opportunities to pursue learning at the college level as an enriching supplement to their secondary-level courses of study and with opportunities to earn college credits while they are still enrolled in high school. High school students who successfully complete credit courses may apply these credits toward a degree if they decide to enroll at DeSales University after graduation from high school or they may wish to present their earned credits for transfer to other colleges or universities. A student participating in the High School Honors Program will be billed at the ACCESS tuition rate and will be responsible for any related course fee.

ACCESS Attendance Policy

In ACCESS, for courses that meet during an eight-week period, students who miss more than one class may be withdrawn from the course. For courses meeting during a 16-week period, students who miss more than three classes may be withdrawn from the course. Students enrolled in online courses who fail to log on within the drop/add period will be dropped from the course. Students who have been withdrawn from the course will be refunded in accordance with the course withdrawal policy.

ACCESS Refund Schedule

The following refund policy applies to all ACCESS students who are not receiving any financial aid and are enrolled in an eight-week format:

Withdrawal before 3rd class - 80% refund
Withdrawal before 4th class - 60% refund
Withdrawal before 5th class - 40% refund
No refund after the beginning of 5th class

For students meeting in a 16-week format, the refund policy is as follows:

Withdrawal before 3rd class - 80% refund
Withdrawal before 5th class - 60% refund
Withdrawal before 7th class - 40% refund

No refund after the beginning of 7th class

For ACCESS by day students, the refund on withdrawal policy is as follows:

Withdrawal in 1st week - 90% of tuition
Withdrawal in 2nd week - 80% of tuition
Withdrawal in 3rd week - 80% of tuition
Withdrawal in 4th week - 70% of tuition
Withdrawal in 5th week - 60% of tuition
Withdrawal in 6th week - 60% of tuition
Withdrawal in 7th week - 50% of tuition
Withdrawal in 8th week - 50% of tuition
Withdrawal in 9th week - 40% of tuition
Withdrawal in 10th week - 40% of tuition
Withdrawal after 10th week - no refund

The above refund policy applies to tuition and fees.

For ACCESS students enrolled in one-credit human resource management workshops: Students who have attended the first meeting may withdraw before the second meeting. However, there will be no refund for tuition.

For those ACCESS students who receive financial aid, the following refund policy is applicable: a refund will be credited from the date the student completes the registrar’s official withdrawal form and will be based on the amount of time the student has spent at the University, until the semester is 60% complete. At this time, all applicable tuition and fees shall be considered to be 100% earned and a refund will not be applied. For example, if the length of the semester is 100 days, and the student withdraws after 30 days, 30% of all charges would be considered earned and a 70% refund of all charges will be applied. If the student withdraws after 75 days, all charges are considered 100% earned and a refund will not be applied.

Sessions 1 and 2 include all fall sessions, 3 and 4 include all spring sessions, and 5 and 6 include all summer sessions.

Please note: Students who have already received a refund of a credit balance may owe money to the University and/or to the respective financial aid programs in the case of a withdrawal within the first 60% of the semester.

ACCESS Course Withdrawal Policy

ACCESS students who wish to withdraw from courses should consult the ACCESS calendar to determine the last day of withdrawal. If students withdraw with permission, they will be given a grade of either W, WP, or WF at the instructor’s discretion. The grades given in such instances will become part of students’ permanent record but will not be used in the computation of students’ GPA. Withdrawal after the designated withdrawal date results in failure in all cases except those exempted as the result of student appeal.

Tuition/Fees-ACCESS Students

Tuition: Credit Courses $488 per credit hour
Tuition: Audit $245 per credit hour
Value Initiative Program (VIP) $200 per course
Course Fees variable
Application Fee 30
Graduation Fee 120
Certificate 35
Returned Check Service Fee 30
Practicum Fees 275
Student Teaching (Secondary) 700
Student Teaching (Elementary) 700
Student Teaching (Special Education) 700
Processing of Teaching Certificate 100
Challenge exam-ACCESS students 30% of tuition
Portfolio assessment 50% of tuition

ACCESS: Tuition, Fees, and Deferred Payment

Tuition and fees are subject to change without advance notice.

DeSales University requires that the ACCESS students pay tuition immediately upon beginning work in any given course. However, for students in need, the tuition deferment policy is as follows:

  1. When students have a government grant of any kind, VA, Federal Pell, PHEAA, etc., tuition will be deferred until the grant is received from the government. If the aid is less than the charges, the difference is immediately due and payable.
  2. When students are eligible for tuition reimbursement from their employers, written evidence of this eligibility is required from the employer. Only the amount of tuition that can be reimbursed will be deferred. In cases where all reimbursement is contingent upon successful completion of the course(s) and the student fails the course, DeSales University will require payment by students from their own funds. If they do not pay, they will not be permitted to matriculate in any subsequent session until all bills are paid and they will be ineligible in the future for tuition deferment of any kind.
  3. When students negotiate a loan through the government or a bank or other agency, written evidence of the loan is required. Tuition is deferred until the loan money is received.
  4. No ACCESS student will be permitted to register for any session until bills for all previous non-deferred sessions are fully paid.

Transcripts of Credits

A fee of $8 will be charged for each transcript of credits. Current students can order transcripts via MyDSU under Applications (eTranscripts). Transcripts will not be issued unless all financial obligations have been discharged.

Outstanding Financial Obligations

Students who separate from the University, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, with an outstanding balance due are subject to being turned over to a third-party collection agency. If this action is taken, the University has the right to collect the associated collection fees charged to the University by the collection agency. These collection fees can range from 25% to 50% of the past due balance. Transcripts and/or diplomas will not be issued until the total financial obligation and any associated collection fees have been paid in full AND the University has received the payment from the collection agency, which may take up to 6 weeks.