MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT NYACK COLLEGE
Dr. Sue Lane Talley,
Director of Music Program
1. Myth: The teacher will never fail me because it isn’t Christian to fail somebody.
Fact: The teacher doesn’t fail students. Students fail themselves.
2. Myth: My ministry comes first, therefore I get excused absences when I sing or play at funerals, weddings, street ministry, and choir tours.
Fact: While there is some flexibility and understanding given to ministry considerations, these are not considered excused absences as a rule.
3. Myth: I do not have to do the work for days that I am excused, because I couldn’t get the homework.
Fact: Whether you are excused or not, you are responsible for every assignment. Get it from the professor or from your friends.
3. Myth: Christian colleges have lower standards and are easier than secular universities.
Fact: Christians should have higher standards, not lower ones.
4. Myth: I deserve a high grade because I am paying so much for my education.
Fact: Tuition does not cover the cost of a college education, and anyway, grades that are given because of financial “bribery” are meaningless. You must earn your grades.
5. Myth: If I bring a health professional’s excuse, the music instructor must make up my private lesson.
Fact: Instructors are required to make up private lessons only if the student has given 24 hours advance notice for an absence: however, we recognize that sometimes you cannot give so much notice.
6. Myth: If I leave word on the office phone, my professor will excuse me from a lesson when I am sick.
Fact: Professors do not have access to the office phone. You must call them at their private numbers and try until you know they have been reached. This is not the job of another professor or the music secretary.
7. Myth: If I can’t take a class at the regular time, I will just take it as a “Y” course.
Fact: The student may take only one “Y” course per semester, and only if it is impossible to take the course at the regular time, only if he or she needs the course for graduation, and only if their GPA is sufficiently high. “Y” courses are not open to everyone.
8. Myth: I can turn my homework in whenever it is done and the professor must accept it.
Fact: Homework is due when the syllabus says it is due. The professor has every right not to accept late homework.
9. Myth: If I do not finish a course on time, I will just ask for an extension and finish it late.
Fact: Extensions are given ONLY in the case of a genuine emergency. Example: A death in the family, which necessitates the student being out of town, could be considered a genuine emergency. So could a lengthy hospitalization. Missing a class or two because of an illness does not constitute an “emergency.”
10. Myth: If I am having trouble in class, there is nothing I can do but speak with the professor.
Fact: Your first obligation is to speak with the professor. If, for some reason, this does not help, your next choice is to drop a note to the Director of the School of Music or make an appointment. If a class is collectively having difficulty, the Director of the School of Music is obligated to speak with the professor and try to straighten out the matter. That is true of any of the disciplines. You are also protected from every kind of harassment that any secular institution protects you from, and you are under the same regulations. If a professor or student is harassing you for racial, sexual, or other reasons, please do not hesitate to let the Director of the School of Music know so that appropriate investigation can be made and action taken to eliminate the problem.
11. Myth: If I must be absent from a class so I can do extra studying, it should probably be Chorale, because it doesn’t count much.
Fact: Chorale is the most “visible” of the music classes and therefore is extremely important to the institution. It is also a required course for every music major. After three absences, you can fail this course; if they are consecutive, you are automatically dropped (unless there is a medical or personal emergency that is well documented). You can lose your status as a music major by not coming to Chorale, even if you are taking it for no credit. Warning: Scholarship students will lose their scholarships if they do not come to Chorale or to Chorale events. This is the understanding upon which scholarships are granted.
12. Myth: I’m paying for my applied music lessons, so it doesn’t matter if I go or not.
Fact: Applied Music lessons are graded just as any other class is. Music majors should NEVER skip lessons, because they get a zero grade when they do. Unless you are ill, there is NO obligation on the part of the professor to make them up (see #6). All BM, BME, and BSM majors have a Jury at the end of EACH semester, and others, at the end of the second semester, though they are suggested for all. You must be prepared to play a certain number of pieces from memory.
Music lessons are the “heart” of the major. Don’t skip them!!
13. Myth: Unless I play or sing on a recital, I don’t need to go.
Fact: You are required to attend recitals, even though there is no “specified” number. We have refrained from specifying because we have always had excellent attendance. If this does not continue, attendance will be taken, just as it is for every other class. You are there to learn and to support others, even if you aren’t performing. This is what it means to be a good colleague--an essential part of your college experience.
14. Myth: All classes must be offered when I can attend them.
Fact: We make every effort to plan our classes in day/evening rotation. Rarely (but sometimes), something may come up which you cannot attend, either a music course or another Core course. You need to prepare for this and make other arrangements--even if you might have to take a class at another college and transfer the credit. Work this out with your advisor.
15. Myth: My advisor is responsible for my success and will see that I get all the classes I need.
Fact: YOU are responsible for picking out your classes, and ultimately, for making sure that you get all the classes you need in time to graduate. Keep track of what you are doing!
16. Myth: I should only take classes in which I am pretty sure I can get an “A”.
Fact: You must take Core classes, and the sooner you take some of them (such as College Writing I), the better--you’ll do better in other courses if you get some of these “out of the way,” and you won’t graduate without them, anyway.
17. Myth: If I only have a couple of classes left, I may “walk” at graduation (participate in the ceremony).
Fact: This is no longer true. You must have completed everything if you are to “walk” at graduation, as well as to be awarded the diploma. The College will not grant you the BA Degree and your diploma until you have finished all the required coursework.
18. Myth: If I go to college for four years, I will graduate.
Fact: While this is possible, it is very difficult under some conditions. Music Education people have an extra semester for student teaching, for example; Conditional students or ESL students may be required to take non-credit classes which extend the time necessary to graduate; student’s work and study schedules may not permit the load necessary (15 credits per semester the first 2 years, 16 credits per semester the last two years). Graduation means completing 126 of the correct credits for the major, or more if more are required. This is especially difficult if you change majors. Some majors require the senior thesis (Interdisc) and some, a minimum GPA (Education). Know your requirements!
19. Myth: I can take classes in any order I want to.
Fact: Some classes have prerequisites and MUST be taken in order, whether it is convenient or not.
20. Myth: If I am placed in a higher course, I don’t have to take the requisite amount of credits.
Fact: If you place into a higher division, for example, of Music Theory or skip any other foundation class, you must make up the credits with other electives. However, you can, by taking a CLEP test, receive college credit for knowledge gained, and NOT have to replace the credit, since you get credit for it by passing the test. This is especially helpful in any of the Core subjects. If you are fluent in a foreign language and write well in that language, try to CLEP out of it.
18. Myth: I may take private lessons from whomever I choose, and if I don’t get along with them, I may change to someone else.
Fact: Assignments are made by the Director of the School of Music in consultation with other faculty, with your needs and your schedule--as well as the professor’s--in mind. Normally, when you start with one professor, you continue with them throughout your schooling. However, adjustments can be made if there is sufficient reason. Classes are filled according to schedule and you cannot change from one instructor to another in the course of the semester. Don’t expect a professor who teaches lessons on Monday or Tuesday to come in on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to teach you.
19. Myth: My professor will provide me with my music or duplicate it for me.
Fact: While there is some music available on CD Rom, it is the responsibility of the student to purchase the music. The duplicating machine on the 6th floor is for faculty only and not to be used by students to duplicate textbooks or music. There are rather strict guidelines in place about music copyright and the School of Music is obligated by law to live within these regulations.
20. Myth: If I have a problem, the Administrative Assistant will change my schedule.
Fact: The Administrative Assistant can change your schedule only upon consultation with your advisor, who must still sign off on add-drop forms.
21. Myth: My financial aid will continue as long as I am in college.
Fact: The State and Federal financial aid programs are four-year programs. It is therefore important for you to finish college in a timely manner, if you are depending upon TAP, PELL, and some student loans.