Student Handbook


Leaders of the Church of the Brethren founded McPherson College in 1887. For over one hundred years, McPherson College has been dedicated to providing excellent liberal arts education within an environment shaped by the essential values of its founding denomination. The Church of the Brethren, begun in Germany in 1808, proclaims Jesus Christ as Lord and accepts the New Testament as the rule of faith. Brethren values included ethical behavior, nonviolence and peace, a simple lifestyle, and the expression of faith through service. Brethren affirm diversity within the community, emphasizing unity and love rather than judgment and rejection. Thus, McPherson College, throughout its history, has provided a community where individuals can become mature, knowledgeable, and value-committed, capable of continued learning and dedicated to serving others.

Mission Statement

McPherson College’s mission is to develop whole persons through scholarship, participation, and service.


To accomplish our mission, McPherson embraces the ideals of scholarship, participation, and service.

Scholarship. All absolute Truth is God’s Truth and humankind must labor diligently in the pursuit of truth we can know; thus, McPherson College upholds the highest standards of academic excellence. Faculty strives to teach students to think critically and independently, to communicate clearly and effectively, to integrate knowledge across the disciplines, and to assess the value conflicts in issues. This is done without coercion, letting the evidence lead the search, and with respect for the consciences and value differences of others.

Participation. Students apply knowledge, practice skills, and deepen and broaden their understanding of themselves and others through active participation in diverse learning experiences. A smaller community requires greater participation from its members. For these reasons, McPherson College is committed to being a small college and to encouraging student participation in a variety of activities.

Service. God’s love is personified in the life of Jesus who came to serve the world. Through works of peacemaking and compassion, humanity responds to God’s love and becomes an instrument of God’s servant hood in the world. Therefore, McPherson College emphasizes service to others, encouraging all members of its community to give selflessly of themselves to others.

History and Background

McPherson College was founded in 1887 and the first academic year began September 5, 1888 with 60 students enrolled and a faculty of seven. In 1932, Mt. Morris College, Mt. Morris, Illinois, merged jointly with Manchester College in Indiana and with McPherson College. McPherson College has had a close working relationship with the Church of the Brethren. Now, as a privately endowed institution, it is autonomous and independent, but appreciates the support from the denomination in providing students, contributions, and leadership. It is open to all students and faculty without respect to creed, race, or national origin.

McPherson College is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The teacher-training program is accredited by the Kansas State Department of Education. McPherson College is a member of the Kansas Association of Colleges and Universities, the Associated Independent Colleges of Kansas, the Kansas Foundation for Private Colleges, Incorporated, the Associated Colleges of Central Kansas, and numerous regional and national organizations.

The Continuing Education Program began in 1974 with many centers throughout the United States. McPherson College started offering courses through the Milwaukee Center in the summer of 1976. In 1980 McPherson added a faculty director to implement a system of quality control and operation procedures. Milwaukee became the single off campus center after 1991 and was part of the 1990-91 North Central Evaluation process. 1990 marked the start of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction approval process for off-campus courses offered by out of state schools.

Purpose and Aim

The purpose of the College is to offer thorough liberal arts education, which has a Christian focus in all departments. Included in this are pre-professional offerings, teacher preparation for elementary and secondary education, with curricular offerings in the sciences, humanities, religion, industrial education, music, art, physical education, and other areas of preparation.

The purpose of the Continuing Education Center in Milwaukee is to provide quality education for area teachers at a reasonable cost. Courses provide these teachers with current methods, techniques and materials, which they can utilize in their classrooms.

Statement of Sexual Harassment

In the academic setting, sexual harassment subverts the mission of the College and threatens the careers of students, faculty, and staff. It is viewed as a violation of Title VII and of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In order to provide an environment, which emphasizes respect for the dignity of all persons, sexual harassment will not be tolerated at McPherson College.

For purposes of policy, sexual harassment is defined as follows using the definition contained within the Equal Opportunity Employment guidelines, the 1984 "Policy Statement of Sexual Harassment": Unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of the sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:

1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of academic advancement;
2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting such individual;
3. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive academic environment.

The College shall make every effort to assure and protect the rights of both complainant and respondent and shall undertake no action that threatens or compromises them. Members of the college community are encouraged to address sexual harassment situations in one or more of the following ways:

a) Meet with the individual creating the concern for you and discuss the situation and possible solutions;
b) Meet with the individual creating the concern for you and the Center Director;
c) File a formal written grievance with the Center Director.

When questions arise about this policy or situations one believes may be addressed by this policy, please contact the Milwaukee Center Director or the Director of Continuing Education. The questions and/or concerns will be treated confidentially. No action will be taken on someone’s behalf unless she or he agrees to it.


Final grades are the sole responsibility of the course instructor, and should reflect his/her stated evaluation methods. These could include attendance, participation, examinations, required work, projects, and professional attitude.

Since these courses are for professional educators who already have at least a bachelor’s degree, every student is expected to do A/B level work, as most institutions find any grade lower than this unacceptable. The welfare of each student should be a primary concern for each teacher. Each teacher should be available for counseling with students if their work falls below the A/B level. Instructors should take the initiative in counseling with students if their work falls below the A/B level. Instructors should take the initiative in counseling whenever they see the need for it, or they should report the need to the Center Director. An intervention conference with the Center Director could result in improved work or being dropped from the course (with partial tuition reimbursement).

Instructors complete and sign the Grade Report Form at the completion of the course. Letter grades are used, with no plus or minus notations. The student copies of the Grade Form will be mailed at the completion of their entire summer’s course work.

Procedures Concerning Disputed Grades

The McPherson College Catalog traditionally contains a statement that "all grades are determined by the instructor in charge of the specific course". The proposal that follows does not abrogate this basic principle of faculty responsibility. It does provide for an avenue by which students who feel that they have been unjustly evaluated may request review of the evaluation. In keeping with the spirit of the catalog statement, all such review evaluations should remain solely in the hands of faculty. No student, or student group, should be involved in review procedure at any state of its purpose. A review procedure might be as follows:

Step 1) No review procedure may begin until a student concerned about his/her evaluation has discussed this evaluation personally with the instructor who recorded the grade under review.

Step 2) When a student, after consultation with the instructor, feels a continuing grievance, the Center Director may see fit to confer with student and instructor separately and informally, thus attempting to obtain resolution of the dispute at issue.

Step 3) If agreement is not achieved after Step 2, the student may submit a written appeal to the Center Director who will then confer with the McPherson Director of Continuing Education for final resolution.


Attendance is extremely important in our off-campus courses, as McPherson and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction require 2250 minutes (750 per credit) of contact instruction with appropriate outside assignments. Students are expected to attend ALL sessions and attendance should be taken at every session. We are aware that extenuating circumstances may develop and cause a student to miss a session or portion thereof. Such situations will be handled on an individual basis and must be discussed with the Center Director.

Drop Procedure

If a student feels that a class is not meeting his/her educational needs or expectations, they should contact the Center Director prior to 12:00 noon of the second day and they will be given an 80% reimbursement.

Student/Staff Interaction

The welfare of each student is a primary concern of our instructors and the Center Director. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the course and/or facility, feel free to discuss it with us immediately. The Center Director will be available on a daily basis at most sites and can be reached at (262) 549-2180 in the evening.

Course Evaluation

McPherson College requires that all students hand in a completed "Evaluation of Course" form at the end of each course. These are reviewed by the instructor and Center Director for immediate feedback and then they are forwarded to McPherson College for additional review. Please take your time and be as fair as you can be in this process. You are free to add comments relating to the course and you may add your name if you wish. Any concerns not related to the course itself should be communicated directly to the Center Director.

Transcripts & 1098-T Tax Forms

All students will receive one official transcript and 1098-T tax receipt in the mail at the completion of their spring, summer and fall courses. Transcripts are processed through the Registrar's Office at the main campus in McPherson, Kansas and the National Student's Clearinghouse. For important information on submitting your official transcript to renew your teaching license in Wisconsin, visit the DPI website at If you need additional transcripts, please submit your request after receiving your initial transcript up completing your spring, summer and fall course(s). To request additional transcripts, visit: Questions regarding transcripts and 1098-T forms should be directed to the Registrar's Office in Kansas at 1-800-365-7402.

The Future

The Milwaukee Center continues to grow each year and can only do so with the addition of quality instructors. If you, or someone you know, could provide a class of educational value to area teachers, please contact Lorraine Lahdenpera at (262) 549-2180 for a "Course Proposal" packet or to discuss any recommendations with her. To have a course considered for next year’s schedule, the course proposal must be submitted no later than October 1.


McPherson College, the Milwaukee Continuing Education Center staff, and your instructors wish you nothing but the best for the upcoming school year.  It is always our hope that your experiences at McPherson will be beneficial in your education of today’s youth.



Questions or comments? 
Email Lorraine Lahdenpera, Director McPherson College Milwaukee Center.


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