Graduate Faculty Guide

The Graduate School


 The Graduate School comprises the students, faculty, staff, programs, policies and facilities affiliated with master’s level education at John Brown University.   The Graduate School works with JBU’s academic colleges and divisions to support graduate degree and certificate programs in a variety of disciplines. 


In 1995, John Brown University began offering graduate courses leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling.  Graduate degrees in business were first offered in 1999 with the creation of the M.S. in Leadership and Ethics and later the Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).  The graduate counseling department grew to include M.S. programs in Marriage and Family Therapy, School Counseling, and Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as a Graduate Certificate in Play Therapy. Beginning fall 2020, the graduate counseling program will offer one degree, a M.S. in Counseling, with three different emphases: Marriage & Family Therapy, Play Therapy, and Adventure Therapy.  The Graduate School began the Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2012 and the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) in 2014.  JBU’s first terminal degree, the Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) enrolled its first students in Fall 2015 in the Visual Communication Design program.  And, a M.A. in Higher Education will be offered beginning Fall 2016.

International study opportunities for JBU graduate students began in 2005 with a ten-day Graduate Business experience in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  In the years since, students in the Graduate School have participated in brief international study courses in Guatemala (Business, Counseling), China (Business), Brazil (Business), and Ireland (Education, Counseling, Business).  International travel experiences have become a hallmark of many JBU’s graduate programs.


Educational Centers

Graduate classes are offered in several locations throughout Arkansas, including the main campus in Siloam Springs and at educational centers in Rogers, Fort Smith and Little Rock.  The centers are designed for adult students and are outfitted with seminar style classrooms, computers with internet access and the latest in technical equipment.

CARE Clinic

As a counseling center with offices in Northwest Arkansas, Little Rock and Fort Smith, JBU’s CARE Clinic is an integral part of the Graduate Counseling program.  The clinic provides a valuable service to the community by offering affordable counseling to anyone in the community.  The counselors include both licensed counselors and graduate students working to fulfill their internship requirements in the final stage of their counseling degree program.  The CARE Clinic occupies two buildings on the main campus in Siloam Springs, as well as at JBU educational centers in Rogers, Fort Smith and Little Rock.  The new 2400 square-foot facility on campus includes the Tucker A. Hill Play Therapy Wing with therapy suites specifically designed to deliver play therapy services.  The suites include sandtray rooms, family-sized play therapy suites and a parental consultation suite.

Office of Distance Learning

The Office of Distance Learning (ODL) supports the academic mission of JBU by helping faculty find innovative and effective ways to use technology and by providing comprehensive support services for students in online courses and programs.  ODL also assists faculty with the use of instructional technology in face-to-face courses.                      

Online Options

Many graduate classes are offered online.  All requirements for online courses may be accomplished using internet-based interactions, which allow students to learn in their preferred location and environment.


Graduate faculty include both full-time faculty and adjunct professors, all of whom have relevant experience in the fields they teach. John Brown University observes the faculty qualification standards of our various accrediting agencies, including the Higher Learning Commission whose guidelines for determining faculty credentials are appended to this document.

International Practicums

Graduate students may earn graduate credit through study abroad opportunities offered by JBU.  Travel locations include places such as Central America, China, and Ireland where students are immersed in the culture.  The practicums consist of pre- and post-trip classes and course work, the travel experience and, in some cases, project development.

Graduate Student Body

With over 500 students pursuing master’s degrees, graduate students make up approximately 25% of the JBU student body. 

Graduate School Hiring Process

Although there are several full-time faculty who teach graduate classes, adjuncts make up a large percentage of graduate school faculty.  Those desiring to teach as adjuncts at JBU go through the following hiring process:

  • Submit an application.
  • Submit transcripts showing degrees earned.
  • Interview with department head and dean.
  • Complete Human Resources paperwork.
  • Sign and return contract (Personnel Action Form)

Adjunct faculty are also asked to submit bios and photos for the faculty listing on JBU’s website.

Faculty Pay

The HR Department issues faculty payments on regular university paydays throughout the course as indicated on the contract (Personnel Action Form) signed by the faculty member.

Policy on Travel and Mileage Reimbursement

JBU full-time faculty and staff who accept teaching assignments as a part of their teaching contract or overload are eligible for mileage reimbursement for travel.  The faculty member receives no mileage reimbursement for travel to their primary place of employment but is eligible for mileage reimbursement for travel to a secondary place of employment.  For example, an instructor whose primary place of employment is the main campus in Siloam Springs will be eligible for mileage reimbursement for teaching a course at the Fort Smith Center. 

When available, it is preferred that the faculty member use a JBU vehicle instead of their personal vehicle when local travel originates from Siloam Springs.  If personal vehicle use is needed for University business, faculty and staff must do so in accordance with the policies listed below and the University’s “Domestic and Foreign Travel Policy” for all employees.

An individual’s “Primary Place of Employment” is the location where the preponderance of their University teaching or administrative duties occur.

Adjunct faculty are not eligible for mileage reimbursement.

Adjunct, Overload and Independent Studies Policies

Adjunct Load

Part-time faculty hired for adjunct teaching are limited to 6 hours of load per term (total includes traditional undergraduate, degree completion, graduate, and other non-traditional courses) and 12 hours of load per calendar year.  In extraordinary circumstances, an individual may be allowed to teach over 6 hours in one term, provided that the individual’s total load for the calendar year does not exceed 12 hours.  This includes summer term teaching.


Full-time faculty, as well as other full-time university employees, should normally be limited to an annual total of 9 hours of teaching load over their contracted load for the fall and spring semesters.  This includes teaching in all of the various JBU programs (TUG, DCP, GR and other Non-Traditional).  In exceptional circumstances, a faculty member may submit a request to the OAA Dean to teach more hours, but is generally advised against it as it would not only overwork the individual, but it would seem to have an effect on the time available for department, division, and university service.  Summer teaching should not exceed 6 hours per term.

Independent Studies

Faculty may not direct more than three independent study courses and five independent study students in any one semester.

Adjunct Faculty Files

Documents required of adjunct faculty for their files include:

  • Adjunct faculty application
  • Transcript showing highest degree
  • Resume/Vitae

An official transcript of the highest degree earned is required in the adjunct faculty file before the adjunct is paid for the course.  It is preferred to have the transcript in the file at the time of creating the contract (PAF) and before the course begins.

An instructor who teaches in a field other than the discipline of his/her highest degree should also submit a transcript for the degree in the discipline.  An example would be an instructor whose master’s is in the field of business (MBA) and doctorate is in the field of education (Ed.D.).  Transcripts showing both the MBA and the doctorate are needed if the instructor is teaching a business course.  The teaching is related to the master’s degree but the pay would be relative to the doctorate degree.

The dean will not sign PAFs for instructors who have not submitted official transcripts.

The program office will connect the adjunct with Human Resources to complete an I-9 and W-4.  Instructors will not be set up in the system, given an ID number, or be paid until these forms have been turned in.  Human resources will also request a background check be on file.

Faculty Evaluation Process

All faculty will be evaluated using online course evaluations distributed to students approximately two-thirds of the way through each course.  You will receive an email when the evaluation period begins telling you surveys are being sent to your students and asking you to encourage them to complete the evaluation.  Student will receive email reminders every few days until they have submitted a survey or the evaluation timeframe ends.  You will also receive emails from the Graduate School office showing your response rates so that you can continue to encourage students to complete the evaluations.

Evaluation reports will be released first to the dean and department head and then to the faculty after grades are posted.

The following categories are evaluated by students.

  • Delivery
  • Design
  • Expertise
  • Management
  • Overall Teaching
  • Integration
  • Rigor

Each category receives one of the following ratings:

  • Exemplary
  • Commendable
  • Professional
  • Needs Improvement
  • Unacceptable

Faculty who fall below “Professional” will be reviewed more thoroughly for purposes of remediation or discontinuance.  If remediation is chosen, a follow-up protocol will be established for the faculty member, which may involve class observation by the dean or program director, mentoring, providing resources, creating a development plan and timetable, etc.


Blackboard is the Learning Management System (LMS) used at John Brown University for all online course and to support face-to-face courses.  Instruction on the use of Blackboard is provided by the Office of Distance Learning. 


You will be given a JBU email account that you should use exclusively for all correspondence with students and for any official business related to your teaching.  Sending things over the JBU network is the only way we can ensure that email does NOT fall prey to spam catchers, security filters, capacity limits, and other threats to stable communication; therefore, please use your JBU email account for all incoming and outgoing JBU-related mail.  And, please require your students to use their JBU email accounts as well.

Classroom/Center Information

Graduate classes are offered on the main campus as well as in the three JBU educational centers located in Rogers, Fort Smith and Little Rock.  Faculty ID cards are activated for keyless entry during a faculty member's scheduled time to teach. See below for more information about each of the centers.

Rogers Center

2807 Ajax Avenue, Suite 200

Rogers, AR  72758


Keys for the Rogers Center need to be checked out at the Rogers Center.  Once the semester is over, turn the key in at the Rogers Center.  That key will give you access to the copier room during the semester.  Each evening after class, check all outside doors to make sure they are locked.  Lights are on a timer; therefore, they should be left on.  The exception to this is rooms 188 and 119 for which lights do need to be turned off.


Little Rock Center

8114 Cantrell, Suite 250

Little Rock, AR  72227


The LRC administrative assistant is on duty until 7:00 p.m. and, therefore, the doors are unlocked as faculty and students arrive.  A security guard is on duty the rest of the evening and assures that everyone is out, lights are turned off and doors are locked at the conclusion of classes.

Class Rosters

You will receive an Eagle Net password from the graduate program office for which you are teaching.  There is a link to your course roster (Visual Course Roster) on the Eagle Net Home page.


Book adoptions need to be made with the JBU bookstore as soon as possible.  The bookstore phone number is 479-524-7168.  You must order your own complimentary desk copy directly from the publisher.  Any questions about this process should be directed to the administrative assistant in your respective graduate department.

Course Syllabus Requirements

Faculty will work directly with the department heads to prepare course syllabi according to the department’s procedures and University guidelines.  An electronic copy of the course syllabus should be submitted to the graduate program office where the administrative assistant files it in a designated folder on the Q drive. 

Syllabi should include the following information and should be designed to make the information easy to find and understand.  NOTE: Your particular program area may request additional information for your syllabus.  A good resource for more information about creating syllabi is Teaching at Its Best:  A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors by Linda B. Nilson.           

Course Information

  • Course Title and Section Number
  • Semester and Year
  • Meeting Location and Times
  • Instructor’s name (full name and title)
  • Instructor’s Contact Information and Availability (email address, office phone number and location, office hours)
  • Required and Recommended Textbooks (including author/editor, title, edition, publisher ISBN and date of publication)
  • Location of Online Course Materials in Blackboard
    • Where can students go to find course handouts, the current schedule
    • Announcements, details on assignments, etc.?
  • Required Recommended Supplies
  • Method for Communication with students outside the classroom
  • Method of informing students of important announcements- Email, Blackboard announcements, some other way? Or “Always use Blackboard for announcements, assignments, etc.”

Course Description, Outcomes, Expectations

  • Course Description as it appears in current university catalog:
  • Supplemental Course Description
    • Elaborate on course content and methods of instruction beyond the catalog description
  • Course Prerequisites
    • List any required and recommended prerequisites, which could include courses, knowledge, skills, etc.
  • Role of the Course in the Broader Curriculum
    • Include a statement about how this course fits into and contributes to the broader curriculum at JBU – for example (as appropriate):  How does the course fit into the Core Curriculum?  Why is the course included in the major program of study? How does the course contribute to a deeper understanding of the University’s mission as reflected in the motto Head, Heart and Hand and Christ Over All?
    • Refer to university, program and/or core curriculum goals and outcomes whenever possible
  • Course Outcomes
    • Outcomes are student-centered and identify what students will know and be able to do by the end of the course
    • Outcome statements have the student as the subject and a measurable action verb that calls for skills, behavior, competencies and knowledge to be demonstrated by students who complete the course successfully.
    • Each outcome should be measured during or upon completion of the course and should be visibly linked to course assignments or other assessments in the syllabus.
  • Course Schedule . . . include the following:
    • Proposed schedule of topics and corresponding text chapters
    • Dates of exams and finals
    • Due dates for writing assignments, research papers, projects, presentations, etc.
    • Required special events, e.g., evening exams, field trips
    • Also, include a disclaimer similar to “Course schedule, topics, evaluation and assignments may be changed at the instructor’s discretion.”
  • Grading Procedures
    • Include details on how assignments, exams and other aspects of the course are weighted and how the final course letter grade will be determined.
    • Include policy on late assignments
    • Include policy on revisions and extra credit
  • Assignments
    • Provide an overview of assignments and how they support the course outcomes.
    • If details of each assignment in the syllabus are not include, information on when and where that information will be made available to the students should be included.
  • Academic Expectations
    • Provide an explanation of your academic expectations of the student
    • Provide clear guidance on what level of collaboration is acceptable on each type of assignment
    • Give some indication of the expected amount of work per week

For example, a statement of academic expectations might look like (but can be modified as necessary):

As a student at JBU you are expected to devote significant time and effort to your academic courses.  This course has been designed with the expectation that students will spend, on average, XXX minutes preparing for each class session.  Furthermore, an “A” grade in this course signifies exceptional achievement, not merely completion of assignments.

Course Procedures and Policies

  • Include a disclaimer regarding changes to the syllabus – something similar to:

The above schedule, policies, procedures and assignments are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances, by mutual agreement, and/or to ensure better student learning.

Also include the following policy statements:

  • Course Attendance Policy

A student who misses 50% or more of scheduled contact time for any course will not receive credit for that course.  The instructor, at his or her discretion may impose a penalty for any absence and/or require compensatory work for some absences.  Substantial tardiness as well as missing an entire class session may be charged against the 50% limit.

  • Specify the nature of the expected in-class participation and the effects of absences on the student’s grade.
  • Include an explanation of how excused and unexcused absences will be handled.
  • Academic Integrity Expectations (Statement as found in Student Handbook is below.)

As a Christian institution of higher education, John Brown University seeks to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity.  Violations of these standards will result in substantial penalties.  At a minimum, any instance of cheating or plagiarism will result in a zero for the assignment and a report submitted to the academic dean.  Further infractions will result in failure of the course and possible suspension.  For additional information and examples, see the Statement on Academic Integrity section of the Graduate Student Guide Book.

  • Policy on Students with Disabilities

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate any action regarding a disability with the Office of Disability Services (DDS). Students with documented disabilities should contact this office as soon as possible to begin the accommodations process. Students who experience specific difficulties but, for whatever reason, do not currently have a documented disability are encouraged to dialog with the Office of Disability Services concerning their difficulties and their intentions and efforts to find causes and solutions. In such cases where students are actively seeking to determine the nature of their difficulty, the faculty of The Graduate School will provide accommodations upon the recommendation of the DDS. Contact information for the Office of Disability Services: 2000 W. University St., Siloam Springs, AR 72761, phone (479) 524-7471, fax, (479) 238-8750, email

  • Final Exam Policy

Include the following if applicable: 

Students must sit for the final exam at the specific time.  The only exceptions are death or serious illness of a member of the student’s immediate family, or illness of the student as documented by a medical professional.  Any exception to the final exam policy must be approved by Dr. Rebecca Weimer, Associate Dean of Academic Services and Registrar.

  • Copyright Notice

Indicate that the course materials are copyrighted and that they may not be reproduced for anything other than personal use without written permission from you.

Statement on Academic Integrity

As a Christian institution of higher education, John Brown University seeks to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity.  Violations of these standards will result in substantial penalties.  Violations and their definitions are as follows:

  • Plagiarism: submitting as part or all of one’s own work material that is copied or paraphrased from another source, including on-line sources, without the proper acknowledgement of that source.  Examples include: failing to cite a reference, failing to use quotation marks where appropriate, misrepresenting another’s work as your own, etc.
  • Cheating: Using unauthorized materials or study aides for assistance on examinations or other academic work.  Examples include: looking at a peer’s exam, altering a graded exam, using notes without permission, etc.
  • Fabrication: Submitting altered or contrived information in any academic assignment.  Examples include: falsifying data, text material or other sources.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty: Helping another student violate this policy.  Examples include: allowing one’s work to be copied, working together on an assignment for which collaboration is not allowed, doing work for another student.

Faculty Action Regarding Violations of Academic Integrity

All violations of the academic integrity policy will be reported to the Dean of the Graduate School who will maintain a file on student offenses.  The policy is as follows:

  • First offense: In the first case of dishonesty, the faculty member will normally give the student a zero for the assignment or test on which the student has been dishonest. Faculty members are free to impose more severe penalties if such penalties are announced in the course syllabus.
  • Second offense: A second violation of the integrity policy in the same course or any other course will result in an F in the course.
  • Third offense: Any further violations of the integrity policy may result in suspension or dismissal from the university.
  • Appeals: A student who feels that he or she has been unfairly accused or unjustly treated may appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School. Final appeals will be handled by the All-Campus Judiciary Committee.

Grading System Guidelines

You are asked to report each student’s progress on a regular basis using a grading scale you have established.  Grade points per semester hour are as follows:

                        A         4.0                               C+       2.3

                        A-        3.7                               C         2.0

                        B+       3.3                               C-        1.7

                        B         3.0                               D+       1.3

                        B-        2.7                               D         1.0

                                                                        F          0

Grades of C- or lower received for graduate level courses may not be applied toward a graduate degree.

The following are not included in grade point average:

            I           Incomplete                  S          Satisfactory                NC       No credit earned

            W        Withdrawn                  U         Unsatisfactory

Incomplete Grades

All incomplete grades must be requested by the student and approved by the instructor.  An “I” grade must be made up within a time frame established by the instructor, but no more than 30 days of the end of the term.  Upon completion of the course work, the instructor will notify the Registrar’s Office to replace the “I” grade with the earned grade.  Otherwise, the “I” is converted to an “F” when the deadline is passed. 

Entering Grades into Colleague

The registrar sends an email stating when grades are due.  The following instructions for submitting grades are provided with the email:

  1. Go to Eaglenet.
  2. Under “Enterprise Resources,” choose “Faculty Information.”
  3. Choose “Grading.”
  4. In the dialogue box that comes up, answer “OK.”
  5. Choose the term from the drop-down box (no need to enter dates) and then click “Submit.”
  6. Select “Final” in the drop-down box.
  7. Choose the course for which you wish to enter grades and click “Submit.”
  8. Enter the grades but use “Tab” or the “Down Arrow” key to move from student to student.  Using “Enter” will submit the grades.  Please review grades before submitting as they cannot be changed on the web after being submitted.
  9. If you submit an “I” grade for a student, you must give a date when the grade will be due.  The policy is to give up to 30 days from the end of the semester.
  10. Click “Submit.”
  11. Your screen will show your roster with the entered grades.  Click “OK.”
  12. To enter grades for another class, repeat steps 2-10.

Student Attendance Policy

A student who misses 50% or more of scheduled contact time for any course will not receive credit for that course. You, as the instructor, may impose a penalty for any absence and/or require compensatory work for some absences.

Substantial tardiness, as well as missing an entire class session, may be charged against the 50% limit.

The following information regarding attendance, non-attendance and withdrawals is from the Financial Aid Office.

  • The “standard” rule is that a student must complete 60% of a semester in order to be eligible to keep all of their student aid for the semester.  The Federal government changed some of the application of this rule starting on July 1, 2011, which has made the actual calculation much more complicated to calculate if a student is not doing the standard 16-week classes in a semester.  However, if a student never participates in a class before withdrawing, that allows us to give them zero aid for the semester (a much easier calculation).
  • The Financial Aid Office has 50% of our files audited where we have completed a Return to Title IV calculation.  Therefore, it will be obvious to our auditors if we are not staying in compliance with completing the R2T4 calculation within 30 days of the last date of attendance for a student.  There can be significant financial penalties for the University, which would have to be paid to the Federal government, for failing to be in compliance on this issue.

Crisis Alert System and Class Cancellations

John Brown University has a Crisis Alert System that can notify students and faculty with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies and provide details on appropriate response, using voice, email, and text messaging. If campus locations close due to inclement weather students will be notified through this Crisis Alert System (CAS). It is important for students to sign-up to receive these alerts at

If a particular class has been cancelled due to an emergency or inclement weather, you will need to make an announcement through Blackboard. Students should always check their JBU email account.

Commencement Information

Full-time faculty at JBU who have taught graduate courses during the prior term are expected to attend the Graduate School commencement exercises in regalia.  While not required of adjunct faculty, participation at commencement is a way to honor your students on this significant day of their lives.  Adjunct faculty participation is particularly valuable in the Graduate School since most graduate students will have had classes with adjunct faculty.  Faculty wear regalia at the Fall and Spring Commencement ceremonies.  The Graduate School will pay the rental costs for adjunct faculty who desire to be a part of the faculty processional in the commencement ceremonies.  An email will go out to adjunct faculty with instructions for obtaining regalia through the JBU Bookstore.  The following information will need to be provided when ordering regalia:

  • Name
  • Home Address (bookstore will mail regalia to your  home)
  • Height
  • Hat size (or head circumference)
  • University where highest degree was earned as well as degree program

Regalia will need to be returned to bookstore immediately after ceremony. Information on university support for full-time faculty regalia can be found in the Faculty Handbook.

University Calendar

The university calendar contains dates that will be valuable to you as you start compiling your syllabus.  Please note the last days to drop classes for students that may be struggling in your class (attendance, academically, etc.).  It would be wise to remind them of those dates as they approach.  To access the current calendar, click here: University Calendar.

Important Contacts


Graduate School     
Dr. Richard Ellis, Dean                                                                                                             479-524-7144                                                              
Missy Swyers, Administrative Assistant 479-524-7259                 MSwyers@jbuedu                                      
Graduate Business    
Wendy Bailey, Administrative Specialist          479-524-7370
Dr. Kirk Jackson, Graduate Program Director 479-524-7407
Graduate Counseling    
Marena Harmon, Administrative Assistant 479-524-7337
Justin Phillips, Executive Director, CARE Clinic 479-524-7474
Dr. Ryan Martin, FS CARE Clinic Director 479-478-7048
Dr. Barry Wingfield, LR CARE Clinic Director 501-771-9000
Dr. Chris Hull, Graduate Program Director 479-524-7219
Graduate Education    
Jennifer Samuels, Administrative Assistant 479-524-7449
Dr. Curtis Cunningham, Graduate Program Director                                                           
Graduate Visual Arts    
Miriam Gage    
Todd Goehner, Graduate Program Director 479-238-8565
Site Office Staff    
Carol Petross, Rogers Office Manager 479-631-4605
Sylvia Spencer, FS Office Manager 479-646-0082
Amanda Abramovitz, LR Administrative Assistant 501-771-9000
Student Life    
Dr. Andre Broquard, Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life                479-524-7228
Office of Spiritual Formation    
Tracy Balzer 479-524-7461
Financial Aid    
Erica Kollman, Assistant Director, Graduate Financial Aid 479-524-7151
Human Resources    
Amy Fisher, Human Resources Administrator 479-524-7128
Melanie Kennedy, Human Resources Specialist 479-524-7223
International Office    
Bill Stevenson, Director of International Programs 479-524-7119
Ruby Bowles, Office Assistant 479-524-7108
Registrar's Office    
Tiffany Lopez, Associate Registrar for Graduate and Degree Completion 479-524-7389