VFMC’s Academic Policies.

Honor, discipline and teamwork benefit all our co-ed students no matter what path they choose after attending Valley Forge Military College.

VFMC’s Academic Policies

View VFMC’s Academic Policies listed below.

Grading System Policy

The following grading scale will be used at VFMC:

Numerical Grade/Transcript Entry Corresponding Letter Grade Percent Equivalent
4.0 A 95-100
3.7 A- 91-94
3.3 B+ 89-90
3.0 B 84-88
2.7 B- 81-83
2.3 C+ 79-80
2.0 C 73-78
1.7 C- 71-72
1.3 D+ 69-70
1.0 D 67-68
0.7 D- 65-66
0 F 0-64

I = Incomplete: An “incomplete” is an administrative mark that is given only by recommendation of the individual instructor and approved by the Office of the Dean. Incompletes are only given in the case of an illness or emergencies beyond the students’ control. An “incomplete” will not be reflected on a student’s transcript as a permanent entry. If an incomplete grade is recorded for a term, the incomplete must be resolved no later than 15 days after the end of the semester. If no grade is entered by the 15th day, the incomplete grade will convert to an “F”. Exceptions may be made by the Office of the Dean.

W = Withdrawal: Beginning with the day after the add/drop period up to the week prior to mid-term exams, a student following prescribed procedures may withdraw from a course without penalty, and the notation of “W” will be made on the permanent record.

WP = Withdrawn Passing: Beginning with the day after mid-term exams to two weeks prior to the last day of class, a student following prescribed procedures may withdraw while passing from a course and the notation of “WP” will be made on the permanent record.

WF = Withdrawn Failing: Beginning the day after mid-term exams to two weeks prior to the last day of class, a student following prescribed procedures may withdraw while failing a course and the notation of “WF” will be made on the permanent record.

AU = Audit: The status of a student who registers for and participates in a credit course on a non-credit basis. A request for and approval for an Audit status is rare and will only be granted by the Office of the Dean.

TR = Transfer Credit: Signifies a course taken at another institution, which received a minimum grade of “C” (2.0) and is transferred into the student’s degree program.

Repeat Courses

Students may repeat a course if their original grade was 1.0, (D) or lower. A student may not repeat a course, if they have already completed the next course in a sequence, e.g., a student may not repeat EN 101 after completing EN 102. When a course is repeated, the quality point average will be recomputed based on the new grade assigned. Both the original and new grade will be recorded on the transcript, with an annotation that the course has been repeated.

Course Progression

Students may not take a course lower in sequence, in any field, after having completed a higher course in that sequence, i.e. a student may not take EN 101, if they have completed EN 102. A course progression sequence must progress from the lower difficulty course, to the higher difficulty course.

Academic Honors

Gold Star (Dean’s list) is awarded to students who earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher for the semester. Star leave for Gold Star students is one additional long weekend leave (after last duty Friday until 1845 hours Sunday), to be taken during the semester immediately following the award. Leave dates must be coordinated with the Company Tactical Officer. Walkout leave for Gold Star students is extended until 2130 hours.

Silver Star (Honor Roll) is awarded to students who earn a grade point average of 3.0 to 3.4 for the semester. Silver Star students receive one additional short weekend leave (after last duty Saturday until 1845 Sunday), to be taken during the semester immediately following the award. Leave dates must be coordinated with Company Tactical Officer. Walkout leave on Wednesday is extended to 2100 hours.

Red Star (Merit List) is awarded to students who earn a grade point average of 2.7-2.9 for the semester. Walkout leave on Wednesday for Red Star students is extended until 2030 hours.

Grade Appeal Policy

  1. Student meets with professor or instructor and attempts to settle any disputes within one (1) week after the posting of the final grade. If the professor or instructor agrees, he/she submits a Grade Change Form to the College Registrar.
  2. If the meeting with the professor or instructor does not result in a grade change, the student may submit a Grade Appeal Request Form to the office of the Associate Dean of the college within one (1) week of meeting with the professor or instructor.
  3. The Associate Dean will review the appeal request to insure that the process has been followed and will make a determination after reviewing the student’s claim and the professor/instructor grade appeal response. The Associate Dean will recommend the grade change to the Dean.
  4. A written response to the grade appeal will be sent to the student and professor/instructor informing them of the decision. The correspondence will be forwarded via the Appeal Decision Form.
  5. If the appeal results in a grade change, the instructor will need to complete a Grade Change Form indicating what the grade will convert to. After the form is signed by the Dean, it is forwarded to the College Registrar for processing.
  6. If the appeal does not result in a grade change, no further appeals are authorized.

Early Academic Intervention Meeting (EAIM)

Purpose

The purpose of the EAIM is to identify those students who are experiencing academic difficulties early in the term and to make an attempt to intervene before they find themselves in more serious academic jeopardy. The board members, in concert with other identified staff and faculty representatives, will sit down with an academically troubled student in an informal, non-threatening venue to identify the source of the student’s difficulty and provide a road map for academic success. At the end of this discussion, the board will then offer specific strategies to overcome those identified barriers to academic success and urge the student to take necessary steps to start on the path to academic success.

Follow Up

Specific actions will be recommended for the student to take. When applicable, these actions will be assigned an accomplishment date or some other checkpoint. These actions, with the appropriate completion date/checkpoint, will be recorded on the attached Information and Action Sheet. The student will acknowledge concurrence by signing the completed sheet, as well as the understanding that failure to follow these recommendations will result in a formal Academic Board conducted by the Dean. The academic advisor will provide copies of the form to each involved faculty/staff member, including those who are not in attendance, with additional copies for the student’s file and the Dean of the College.

The academic advisor is responsible for monitoring compliance. Any failure on the part of the student to meet the agreed commitments will be reported to the Dean for further action.

Academic Progress Policy

In order to earn an Associate in Arts, Associate in Business, or an Associate in Science degree, students are required to attain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 and a minimum of 60 credits in Core, program, concentration, and elective courses. Developmental course work in Math and English does not fulfill graduation credit requirements.
At the end of the first semester, any student who does not achieve a minimum 1.75 grade point average will be placed on Academic Probation. The following conditions apply:

  • Weekly tutorial sessions with subject area instructors.
  • Peer tutoring, as needed, for all courses falling within the probationary status (1.74 GPA or lower).
  • Restriction on course load for the following semester to 12 credit hours or 4 academic courses exclusive of military science course.
  • No participation in athletic competitions or extra curricular activities; students may participate in practice sessions.

At the end of the second semester, any student who does not achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and complete 28 semester hours (including MSL courses), will be places on Academic Probation. The following conditions apply:

  • No participation in athletics or extracurricular activities; no participation in practice sessions.
  • Restriction on course load to 12 credit hours or 4 academic courses exclusive of Military Science courses.
  • Weekly tutoring sessions with subject area instructors and peer tutors.
  • Twice monthly meetings with Academic Advisor.

Transfer Credits Policy

At Valley Forge Military College, students can transfer in up to 30 credits.

Requirements include:

1.)    A 70% content match with an earned grade of C or higher.
2.)    A match core competencies, program requirements and restrictive electives.
3.)    Course description and course syllabus may be required.

Credits transferring from schools outside a consortium agreement are noted on the transcript as credits only with a “TR” notation.  Credits transferring from schools within a consortium agreement are entered with both letter grade and credits transferred.  Valley Forge currently has consortium agreements with Rosemont College, Cabrini University and Eastern University.  A periodic review of policies with consortia assures maintenance of agreement standards.  The Registrar’s Office is responsible for the final decision on course transfer credit.

Add/Drop Policy

Students may add or drop courses during the first two weeks of the semester. Any courses dropped from a student’s schedule during this period are not recorded on a student’s transcript. Any courses dropped after the official end of the add/drop period will be treated as withdrawal from the course.

Withdrawal Policy

Students have the opportunity to drop courses from their schedule after the official end of the add/drop period, prior to mid-terms. Any courses dropped from a student’s schedule during this period will be considered a withdrawal from the course, and will be recorded on a student’s transcript as a “W”. All withdrawals must be approved by the course instructor and the Office of the Dean. Students may not withdrawal from a course if the withdrawal causes the enrolled credit hours to fall below the minimum credits required (12 credits) for a full-time student.

Official records of students who withdrawal from a course after mid-term exams until two weeks prior to final exams, will reflect not only the withdrawal, but also the student’s current standing in the course, either passing or failing. This will be annotated as either “WP” for withdrawal passing, or “WF” for withdrawal failing.

Students are required to attend the course until the withdrawal is approved through Office of the Dean.

Attendance Policy

Valley Forge Military College maintains that consistent attendance is critical to academic success and enforces a policy of mandatory class attendance; class attendance is a duty. A student is required to attend all scheduled class periods unless authorized by an appropriate member of the Office of the Dean. Failure to meet VFMC guidelines will result in a failing grade for the course.

If a student earns two unexcused absences within one course, the student’s final grade will be automatically reduced by one letter grade. If a student earns three unexcused absences for one course, he/she will automatically receive a grade of “F” (failure) for the course. Failure due to attendance, will affect any Federal funding, scholarship monies, and full-time status.

In certain instances, a student may be authorized to miss class. These instances have been defined by the office of the Dean. A student will only be authorized to miss class for one of the following reasons:

  • Medical Emergencies: Absences as a result of medical emergency are authorized absences. Scheduled appointments are not considered a medical emergency and do not meet the criteria for authorized absences. A student must schedule appointments for times that do not conflict with their class schedules.
  • Emergency Leave: Approved by the Office of the Dean and the Commandant’s Office.
  • Special Leave: As approved, in advance, by the Office of the Dean. Authorization for Special leave is approved for reasons such as College visitation for sophomores.
  • Approved VFMC functions: These functions include such events as sports competitions, performing group commitments, and academic trips pertaining to instruction. All requests must be approved, in advance, by the Office of the Dean.

It is the student’s responsibility to manage their absence status and to provide evidence that the absence is authorized. A student MUST INFORM THEIR INSTRUCTOR PRIOR TO THE ABSENCE. For example, if a student is traveling with the band, and knows that they will be missing classes, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the appropriate instructors that they will be missing class. The student must provide evidence at the time that the absence is authorized. IF A STUDENT FAILS TO INFORM THE APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTORS PRIOR TO THE ABSENCE, THE ABSENCE IS CONSIDERED UNEXCUSED.

It is the student’s responsibility to inquire, from their instructor the specifics of missed course work and deadlines for submission of missed homework, projects, quizzes, or exams.

Students arriving ten or more minutes late will automatically be marked with an unexcused absence for that class period.

All late minutes are cumulatively totaled. When late minutes total 10 or more, the unexcused absence is invoked.

Section marchers will report absences to the faculty member at the beginning of each class and late arrivals at the end of class. Faculty will post attendance to CAMS on a daily basis.

A letter will be sent, from the Office of the Dean, to any student who has acquired three unexcused absences, informing them they have failed the course.

Academic Support List Policy

To facilitate student success, the College maintains a weekly Academic Support List. The list commences two weeks after the first day of the semester. The purpose of the Academic Support List is to provide the student with an early warning that their academic efforts fall below the level necessary to achieve academic success. A student will be placed on the list for the following reasons:

Cumulative course average falls below a 2.0
Student fails to complete any course requirement

The Academic Support List will be published on a weekly basis.

Restrictions include weekend restrictions, and removal from extra-curricular activities and sports competitions.

Restoration of privileges will occur after a student has met with the course instructor and satisfied academic course requirements.

College Faculty

  • Earl Catagnus, Jr., Ph.D.
    Earl Catagnus, Jr., Ph.D.
    Founding Director of CASS
  • Claire Satlof
    Claire Satlof
  • Deepa Ramakrishnan
    Deepa Ramakrishnan
  • Mohammed Rabbi
    Mohammed Rabbi
  • Arlene Noble
    Arlene Noble
  • Duane Minshall
    Duane Minshall
  • Maureen Malone
    Maureen Malone
    Dean of Valley Forge Military College
  • John Andrew Landmesser
    John Andrew Landmesser
  • Serena Kurumety
    Serena Kurumety
  • Cynthia Hanscom
    Cynthia Hanscom
  • Meghan Hanley
    Meghan Hanley
  • Tom Durwood
    Tom Durwood
  • Sukalpa Basu
    Sukalpa Basu
  • Diane Amlin
    Diane Amlin
  • Michael Pachella
    Michael Pachella

Valley Forge Military Academy and College

Earl Catagnus, Jr., Ph.D.
Founding Director of CASS

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: History

Courses: American Experience I & II, Contemporary Issues in National Security, Terrorism and Counter Terrorism

Military Title: SSGT (USMC)

Dr. Earl J. Catagnus, Jr. (Captain/VFMAC) is the Founding Director of the Center for the Advancement of Security Studies, and an Assistant Professor of History and Security Studies at Valley Forge Military College.

Dr. Catagnus’s research has focused on questions concerning military history as well as current national security and intelligence dilemmas.  He served as a national security analyst for several documentaries and news programs, and his scholarship has been featured in both academic publications such as The Journal of Military History and service journals like Marine Corps Gazette and Naval Institute Proceedings.  In 2013, he was awarded a U.S. Army Center of Military History Dissertation Fellowship, and in 2012 he was a recipient of both a Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and the Robert L. Ruth and Robert C. Ruth Fellowship for the Army Heritage Center Foundation.  Currently, he is completing revisions for his book manuscript titled, Blood Brothers:  Tracing the U.S. Army Infantry and Marine Corps to a Crossroads, 1918-1945.

As for military service, Dr. Catagnus enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in September 1998.  During recruit training, he was the Platoon and Company Honor Graduate, and, upon graduation, was meritoriously promoted to the rank of lance corporal.  Immediately after entering the Fleet Marine Force as an infantryman, he was assigned to 3rd Battalion/2nd Marines Scout/Sniper Platoon where he eventually graduated from the U.S. Marine Corps’ Scout/Sniper School.  In 2004, he deployed as a section leader in 3rd Battalion/5th Marines’ Scout/Sniper Platoon during the Second Battle for Fallujah, popularly known as Operation Phantom Fury.  His military decorations include the Purple Heart, two Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals one with Combat V for valor, four Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, Humanitarian Service Medal, and two Certificates of Commendation.

He holds a B.S. in Life Science (with distinction) and a B.A. in History (with distinction) from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in History from Temple University.

Click here to view CV

Contact Information

Email: ecatagnus@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1468

Claire Satlof

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: English

Courses: Rhetoric and Composition (plus lab), Research and Argumentation, Introduction to Literature, American Literature

Contact Information

Email: csatlof@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-6004

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2010
Other Experience:

Other Information

Professional: National Council for History Education

Personal: Professor Satlof currently lives in Newtown Square with her husband. She has one grown daughter and three Afghan Hounds. She and her husband are active in Afghan Hound rescue. She loves Ethnic American Literature and Women in Literature.

Deepa Ramakrishnan

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Mathematics

Courses: Intermediate Algebra; Foundations of Math; Introductory Algebra; College Algebra

Contact Information

Email: dramakrishnan@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1465

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2012

Other Information

Professional: 

Mohammed Rabbi

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Professor

Department: Life Sciences

Courses: Biology, Environmental Science, Physical/Environmental Geology

VFMA Title: Lieutenant Colonel

Contact Information

Email: mrabbi@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1461

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2005
Other Experience:

Other Information

Professional: Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences; American Association of Advancement Sciences; Member of Academic Advisory Board, Contemporary Learning Series on Sustainability and Contemporary Issues in Sustainability, McGraw-Hill Higher Education

Awards: Fulbright Scholar (2013-14); The Order of Anthony Wayne Award

Personal: Dr. Rabbi is married to Mina and lives in Drexel Hill. The couple have three children — Robin Alam, Ron Alam and Melissa Alam

Interests/ Hobbies: Reading, music and travel

Arlene Noble

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Professor

Department: World Languages

Courses: Introduction to French I & II; Intermediate French I & II; Introduction to Spanish I & II; Intermediate Spanish I & II; French Literature in Translation

Contact Information

Email: anoble@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1469

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 1993
Other Experience:

Other Information

Professional: American Association of Teachers of French; Modern Language Association of America; American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

VFMAC: Instructional Technology Committee; Compliance Committee; Academic Standards Committee; Curriculum Committee

Awards: Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers; VFMAC Excellence in Teaching Award; Order of Anthony Wayne

Personal: Dr. Noble is originally from Philadelphia.

Interests/ Hobbies: Dr. Noble loves to read — especially counter-terrorism novels and mysteries — listen to music and play the piano.

Duane Minshall

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Criminal Justice

Courses: Criminal Justice

Military/VFMA Title: Police Lieutenant; Second Lieutenant, VFMAC

Contact Information

Email: dminshall@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1200

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2013
Other Teaching Experience:

Other Information

Personal: Originally from Media, Pa., LT. Minshall has three children — Bryn, Eric and Kaili.

Maureen Malone
Dean of Valley Forge Military College

Maureen Malone was appointed College Dean in August 2016 after serving Valley Forge Military College for nine years in numerous leadership capacities, which included Assistant Dean of Academic Services and Assistant Dean of Academics and Assessment.  Dean Malone brings a diverse educational and business background to her appointment. She began her career as a Treasury Analyst Assistant for Health America, and then became an Associate Accountant for the CPA firm Kisel, Grenel and Associates. Eventually, she took a position as the business manager for a medical practice that specialized in podiatry medicine.

Having been successful in business, she expanded her professional career into “for-profit” education, and became a member of University of Phoenix’s advising and financial services team. Dean Malone came to Valley Forge Military College in 2007 and served as the College Registrar. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and a Masters in Library and Information Science, both from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

John Andrew Landmesser

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Associate Professor

Department: Computer Science, Security Studies

Courses: Computer Information Systems, Computer Programming, Data Management & Security, Network Communications & Security, and Information Systems Security

Contact Information

Email: jlandmesser@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1452

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2014
Other Experience:

Other Information

Military Education:

Publications:

Presentations:

Click here to view CV

Serena Kurumety

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Science

Courses: Human Anatomy & Physiology; Nutrition; General Chemistry; Microbiology and Principles of Biology

Contact Information

Email: skurumety@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1463

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2009
Other Experience:

Other Information

VFMA&C: Student Learning Assessment; Academic Standards; Instructional Technology; Library; Academic Policy; Member, Local book club

Awards: Recipient of Excellence in Teaching award

Interests/ Hobbies: 

Cynthia Hanscom

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Business

Courses: Accounting, Intermediate Accounting, Intro to Business, Business Law & Ethics

Contact Information

Email: chanscom@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1202

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2013

Other Information

VFM&C: Student Learning Assessment Committee

Interests/ Hobbies: Financial Literacy and Fraud

Meghan Hanley

Faculty Information

Academic Title: ESL Coordinator
International Student Programs Coordinator

Department: ESL & International Student Programs

Courses: ESL

Contact Information

Email: mhanley@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1266

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2013

Other Experience

Union County College Intensive English Program 2010-2013

Other information

Tom Durwood

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: English, Writing, Literature

Courses: Composition, Creative Writing, Literature

Contact Information

Email: tdurwood@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-6002

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2008
Other Experience:

Other Information

Professional: Member of MLA, the International Studies Association, and the Author’s Guild; Served as Executive Director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity while earning his MA in San Diego

VFM&C: Student Learning Assessment Committee

Personal: Mr. Durwood has two grown children, Ben and Lily.

Sukalpa Basu

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Associate Professor

Department: Physics, Mathematics

Courses: Physics I & II, Calculus I, II & III, College Algebra, Precalculus, Engineering Statics, Engineering Graphics, and Introduction to Engineering

Contact Information

Email: sbasu@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1295

Education

  • St. Xavier’s College (Calcutta, India): BS in Physics Honors
  • Calcutta University: MS in Physics Honors
  • Temple University: PhD

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2008

Other Information

Professional: Member of American Physical Society; member of American Association of Physics Teachers

  • VFMA&C: Curriculum Committee, IT Committee, Assessment Committee, Library Committee

Awards: Peter Haavas Best Physics Graduate Student (Temple Univ.); Excellence in Teaching Award (VFMA&C); Order of Anthony Wayne (VFMA&C)

Interests/ Hobbies: Heavy Fermion Systems, highly correlated electrons and Monte Carlo Simulations

Diane Amlin

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Professor

Department: Mathematics

Courses: Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, College Algebra, Statistics, Foundations of Math

Contact Information

Email: damlin@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-7909

Education

Experience

Started at VFMA&C: 2009

Other Information

Professional: Academic Policy Review Committee, Faculty Handbook Committee, Curriculum Committee, Math Department Committee, Faculty Senate Committee

Awards: VFMC Excellence in Teaching Award (2009-10)

Personal: Mrs. Amlin currently resides in Spring City with her husband and two children.

Michael Pachella

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Coordinator of Student Services

Department: College Administration

Contact Information

Email: mpachella@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1257

Experience

Started at VFMAC: 1996

Thanks!