Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Special Academic Programs


Academy for the Arts

Art, music, drama and dance classes and private lessons taught by student and professional instructors are available to community, college, secondary and elementary students for an additional fee. Information may be obtained by contacting the School of Fine Arts office. College credit is not awarded for these courses.

Civic Engagement

The Office of Civic Engagement encourages community service through volunteer opportunities and assists and coordinates individual and collaborative opportunities. Students can connect their field of study to the needs of our community organizations, gaining real-world life skills while making a difference in the community.  Civic engagement, an initiative at Fairmont State University is committed to providing beneficial, educational, and memorable community outreach experiences for students, faculty, and staff creating a sense of civic responsibility and an appreciation of what it means to serve.  As a commitment to service, Fairmont State University is an active partner with United Way that serves the Marion and Taylor counties. The Office of Civic Engagement is an extension of the Career Development Center, located in 222 Turley Student Services Center.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

The English as a Second Language (ESL) intensive English program is open only to non-native speakers of English who have a serious desire to improve their language skills. This ESL program is useful to working professionals and to students preparing for university study or professional programs. The program has been offered since 1989 and follows the standards set by the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors (NAFSA) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

The ESL Program offers three sessions yearly and follows the traditional academic schedule. Classes meet four hours daily, four days per week. In order to accommodate varying academic and travel schedules, new students may enroll on three admission dates occurring every five weeks during the semester.

The course of study is based on an integrated skills approach with listening, speaking, reading, grammar, and writing components. Fluency and accuracy in both spoken and written English are emphasized. Classes average five to ten students. The small class size allows each participant a maximum amount of individual attention and an opportunity to develop conversational skills. ESL classes are pass/fail and do not count toward graduation.

English as a Second Language classes are offered at two levels given sufficient enrollment. For more information on the ESL Program, please contact Dr. Angela Schwer, Chair of the Department of Language and Literature, at 304-367-4723.

Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center

Francene Kirk
(304) 367-4403

This interdisciplinary center for West Virginia’s cultural heritage comprises academic programs, research library and archives (folklore, music, literary, and artifact collections), publications, exhibitions, public programs, and other activities. The Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of our region’s rich cultural heritage, through academic studies; educational programs, festivals, and performances; and publications.

The Folklife Center is located in an adaptive reuse of historic properties on the west side of campus, formerly known as The Colonial Apartments (c.1941) and The Kennedy Barn site (c.1903) on the original location of the Michael Kennedy Dairy Farm. The property was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.Mailing Address: 1201 Locust Avenue, Fairmont, WV 26554.

Academic Studies

Two academic minors in the College of Liberal Arts are physically housed at the Gabor WV Folklife Center: Folklore Studies (19 hours, Department of Language and Literature) and Museum Studies (18 hours, Department of Social Sciences/History). These interdisciplinary academic minors can be attached to most liberal arts majors.

A folklore studies specialization prepares the student for graduate studies and professional involvement in such areas as teaching, archiving, preservation, historical parks and museums, entertainment and storytelling. The study of folklore and folklife involves examination and analysis of traditional expressive culture in all its forms, including oral, customary, and material. In every society, agricultural and industrial, rural and urban, folklore is a vital part of life. Since folklife is a study of the humanist expression that is handed down by tradition rather than by writing, it is related to all departments that deal with literature, art, and music. Since folklore also deals with the entire traditional culture of mankind as manifested in customs and beliefs, it has close affiliations with anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, linguistics, design and pedagogy.

The Museum Studies minor program provides students with a solid foundation in the various components of museum organization, practices, and pedagogy, including collections management, exhibit development and production, museum interpretation and education, and a broad understanding of museum concepts. The program develops students’ ability to work in various types of museums, including history, art, and natural history museums. Students are prepared for positions in small to medium size facilities as well as further graduate studies.


he Gabor WV Folklife Center houses the unpublished folklore estate of Ruth Ann Musick, folk tale scholar, who was the archivist for the WV Folklore Society and editor of West Virginia Folklore Journal that was published at Fairmont State. Dr. Musick bequeathed to Fairmont State her folklore estate for academic study, programming, and publications.

Other collections archived in the Folklife Center include the West Virginia Literary Archives, complied by Phyllis Wilson Moore; the Patty Looman traditional music archives (papers, tabulated music, and collection of recordings; other collections; and various artifacts representing all aspects of West Virginia’s cultural and historical lore. The Folklife Center welcomes donations of suitable artifacts that help interpret West Virginia folklife, such as photographs, letters, family memorabilia, journals, oral histories and folklore, heirloom items, or others.


The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center publishes two journals through the Fairmont State Press established in 2004:

Traditions is a journal of West Virginia folk culture and educational awareness. First published in 1993, this annual periodical emerged from the West Virginia Humanities Summer Seminar for Teachers, Appalachian Culture: Texture, Text, and Context, a Folkloric Approach to Learning. Traditions is the continuation of West Virginia Folklore, published at Fairmont State from 1951 to 1983. Traditions is supported by Fairmont State, the Gabor WV Folklife Center, and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Hillchild is a folklore chapbook about, for, and by children of West Virginia. First published in 2002, it is supported by Fairmont State, the Gabor WV Folklife Center, and the West Virginia Humanities Council.

The press has also published Mountain Mother Goose: Child Lore of West Virginia, children’s folklore collected by Ruth Ann Musick and Walter Barnes; a memoir, The Dulcimer Man: The Russell Fluharty Story, with companion CD; and From A Place Called Solid: West Virginia and its Writers, a literary map of West Virginia.

Special Programming


  • B.B. Maurer WV Folklife Scholar Award annually honors a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation and perpetuation of our Appalachian cultural heritage. This award is named for Dr. B.B. Maurer (1920 - 2003), considered the “Father of Cultural Studies in West Virginia.”
  • The Gabor WV Folklife Center Achievement Award is a special recognition award in an area of folklore studies.
  • The Traditions Salute Award recognizes passion and commitment towards the enhancement of West Virginia folk culture through education and public resources.


  • Public lectures, presentations, performances, concerts, demonstrations, workshops
  • Tours and programs at the Folklife Center for community and school groups, by arrangement
  • Summer Teacher Institutes in partnership with the West Virginia Humanities Council

Folk Festivals, Summer Celebrations, and Events

Study Abroad Travel Programs, such as Roads to Appalachia through Scotland and Ireland; Italy; England and Wales; Eastern Europe; Germanic Roots.

Frasure-Singleton Student Legislative Program

The Frasure-Singleton Student Legislative Program provides students the opportunity to observe the West Virginia Legislature for one week during its regular legislative session. Participants are assigned to a legislator who assists in explaining the legislative process. They attend committee meetings and public hearings where legislation and issues are discussed. They sit on the Floor during daily sessions, surrounded by legislators with issue research, constituent requests and other legislative tasks. In addition, participants meet with representatives from all branches of state government, lobbyists, reporters, and legislative staffers.

The program is open to full-time college sophomores, juniors, and seniors from all fields of study. Applicants must be in good academic standing and have successfully completed at least one Political Science course. Participants will earn one semester hour of credit.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Bill Harrison
HB 128A / (304) 367-4163


Herndon Legislative Fellows Program

The primary goal of this program is to instruct selected full-time undergraduates in the theory and operation of legislative bodies in multi-dimensional roles. Participants will be designated as legislative interns and will perform assignments in the West Virginia Legislature for the duration of its session. They will spend a full semester in the study of the operation, role, and functions of legislative bodies.

To be eligible for this program, students must have completed a minimum of 60 undergraduate semester hours or equivalent, with a grade point average sufficient to admit them to the degree program of their choice. At the time of application, students must be enrolled at their home institutions on a full-time basis and cannot be on academic or social probation. Students may not serve as interns if they are subsequently placed on academic or social probation for the period which would include the internship. Each applicant must have taken at least one college course in political science unless, in the judgment of the selection committee, the student’s record displays an active and sustained interest in public affairs or the political process, at which time the course requirement may be waived.

For additional information, contact:
Dr. Bill Harrison
HB 128A / (304) 367-4163

Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program

The Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program is a flexible, nontraditional program designed for adults in the belief that they are distinctly different from traditional undergraduates in their educational needs. The program can be tailored to fit those who need a degree for career advancement, those who have an associate degree in a field in which there is no corresponding bachelor’s degree available, or those who seek intellectual development and personal fulfillment. The RBA degree has particular appeal for persons who have completed some college work in past years but did not obtain a degree.


Students who have graduated from high school at least four years ago and who have not completed a bachelor’s degree are eligible for admission to the RBA program. Persons with high school equivalency certificates may be admitted four years after their high school class graduated. If an applicant has previous college credit, failing grades of F received four years or more before admission to the RBA program are disregarded from the student’s GPA calculation once graduation requirements have been met.

Admission to the RBA Degree Program requires that the RBA Admissions Form be completed instead of the standard application to Fairmont State. All admissions criteria, such as submission of official high school and/or college transcripts and immunization records required for admission to Fairmont State are also required for RBA program admission. Admission to the RBA program does not provide for automatic admission to other programs at Fairmont State. Any RBA student must reapply and meet all admission requirements when changing from the Regents Bachelor of Arts (RBA) Degree Program to any other degree program at Fairmont State.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for graduation, candidates must accumulate a total of 120 semester hours of credit with a minimum quality point average of 2.00. At least 39 hours must be at the upper (3300 or 4400) level. Students must complete 36 semester hours of General Studies courses, including the required semester hours in each of the following areas: Communications (6), Social Sciences (6), Natural Sciences (6), Mathematics or Computer Applications (3), Humanities (6), and 9 additional General Studies hours. At least 24 semester hours must be taken in the West Virginia State System of Higher Education and at least 12 of those credit hours must be completed at Fairmont State. The RBA is an interdisciplinary degree with no major area of emphasis. A minor field of study may be declared but is not required.

College Equivalent Credit

A unique feature of the RBA Degree Program is the possibility of obtaining college-equivalent credit for demonstrated college-level knowledge that has been learned in environments and agencies outside the classroom. To earn credit, students must demonstrate knowledge of learning objectives and outcomes equivalent to specific courses taught at Fairmont State or within the West Virginia State System of Higher Education. Students who have obtained any professional, state, or national licenses or certifications can request a review of the credentials to determine if they are eligible to receive college credit.

Portfolio evaluations are completed for enrolled students by faculty members who teach the course for which credit is sought. Portfolios should be submitted prior to semester midterm to ensure that sufficient time is available for evaluation. The fee for portfolio evaluation is $300 regardless of whether or not credit is awarded. If credit is recommended, then the faculty members will also recommend the number of credit hours to be awarded along with the appropriate level (upper or lower). An additional $10 per credit hour processing fee is required to transcript the credit.

Credit earned via portfolio or prior learning assessment does not count toward meeting the state or institutional residency requirements for the RBA program. Awarded credit hours will not be posted to a student’s academic transcript until after residency requirements have been met.

Academic credit will only be awarded to students who are admitted to and currently enrolled in the RBA Degree Program. Students, however, cannot be awarded college-equivalent credit during their first or final semesters in the RBA program.


Students admitted to the RBA Degree Program are eligible to enroll in courses available through the West Virginia Remote Online Collaborative Knowledge System (WVROCKS), which provides access to courses taught at colleges and universities across West Virginia via a statewide portal. The courses, given the prefix RBAS at Fairmont State, are all online, compressed (8-weeks), mostly upper level, and available only to RBA students.

For more information on the RBA program or the WVROCKS/RBAS courses, contact Pamela Stephens, Coordinator of the RBA Degree Program, 206A Charles Pointe Center, 100 Marketplace Avenue, Bridgeport, WV  26330, (304) 368-7005, rba@fairmontstate.edu.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Courses

Nature of Program

The U.S. Air Force officer education program is designed to provide training that will develop leadership, managerial, and interpersonal skills vital to a professional U.S. Air Force and Space Force officer. Its purpose is to recruit qualified students for an opportunity to commission in the U.S. Air Force and Space Force.


Enrolling in AFROTC provides the opportunity to:

Compete for entry into the Professional Officer Course (POC) and earn an Air Force or Space Force Commission.

Compete for AFROTC in-college scholarships that pay up to full tuition, fees, provides a book stipend, and provides a tax-free monthly stipend between $300 and $500 based on academic year.

Receive free career counseling from full-time AFROTC representatives.

Try AFROTC during freshman and sophomore years without obligation (unless you are awarded an AFROTC scholarship).

Develop leadership and teambuilding skills.


The curriculum in Aerospace Studies is divided into two distinct areas: The General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC).

Students interested in becoming cadets should enroll in the following courses:

Entering Freshmen: During the Fall Semester, sign up for USAF 1310 and USAF 1000. During the Spring Semester, sign up for USAF 1320 and USAF 1000.

Entering Sophomores: During the Fall Semester, sign up for USAF 1310, USAF 2510, and USAF 1000. During the Spring Semester, sign up for USAF 1320, USAF 2520, and USAF 1000.

General Military Course (GMC)

GMC includes USAF 1310/1320, 2510/2520, and Leadership Laboratory (LLab) and corresponds to the freshman and sophomore years of your academic program. This is the first part of AFROTC’s four- and three-year programs. GMC is composed of a one-hour class and two-hour LLab per week. Two credit hours are awarded for each semester course successfully completed. GMC is available to all students.

Professional Officer Course

The POC corresponds to the junior and senior years of your academic program. The POC is designed to provide highly qualified junior officers for the U.S. Air Force. Admission is based on such factors as leadership, scholarship, physical qualifications, and academic major. Successful completion of the POC qualifies you for appointment as a second lieutenant in the Air Force upon college graduation. Instruction averages three hours per week plus LLab throughout the four semesters. Three hours of credit are awarded for each of the four semesters in the POC program. To qualify for the POC, you must meet all the qualifications for the GMC and:

  • Have two academic years remaining
  • Be able to obtain United States citizenship by second POC semester
  • Be at least 18 years old, or 17 with a parent or legal guardian’s consent
  • Be medically qualified
  • Be selected by a board of U.S. Air Force officers
  • Complete a field training course the summer prior to entering
  • Complete all graduation and commissioning requirements as follows:
  • Maintain a Cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher (min 2.5 if on USAF scholarship)
  • Must commission (graduate) before age 39 (pilots age 29)
  • Pass the Air Force Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)​
In College Scholarship Program

Outstanding students from any academic discipline may be eligible to compete for an in-college scholarship.  Each year a number of scholarships are made available for cadets in their freshman or sophomore year. Usually, a greater percentage of scholarships are available for students majoring in engineering, scientific, mathematical, or nursing fields. AFROTC may pay up to 100 percent of tuition and fees, provide a textbook stipend, and provide a tax-free monthly allowance between $300 and $500 based on academic year.

Uniform Wear

Air Force ROTC cadets are required to wear a uniform to ROTC classes and leadership laboratories. Freshmen cadets are required to wear an AFROTC polo and khaki slacks for LLab and class, and USAF PT gear (provided) for physical training. Sophomore cadets and above are provided uniforms. Air Force ROTC cadets may purchase their uniforms upon successful completion of the ROTC program.

Time Requirements

On average, freshman and sophomore cadets can spend 7 to 10 hours a week in AFROTC activities. This includes the required 1 hour in the classroom, 2 hours at LLab, 2 hours at physical training sessions, and other obligations such as Field Training preparation, flight meetings, Flag detail, etc. Juniors and seniors will spend 10 to 15 hours a week in AFROTC activities. This includes 3 hours in the classroom, 2 hours at LLab, 2 hours at physical training sessions, and other obligations related to leadership positions in the AFROTC.

AFROTC Contact Information

For more information on AFROTC classes or a career in the Air Force or Space Force, please call 304-293-5421 or email AFROTC@mail.wvu.edu.

Study Abroad Programs

In keeping with a desire to provide more direct student enrichment programs in international education, Fairmont State provides Study Abroad opportunities to students enrolled in a formal degree or certificate program. Students may receive collegiate academic credit for study and experience occurring outside the United States by enrollment in:

  1. KEI programs (www.keiabroad.org)
  2. University of Calabria at Rende, Province of Cosenza, Italy;
  3. Travel-study programs sponsored by Fairmont State;
  4. a resident study abroad or travel-study program sponsored by FACDIS (The West Virginia Consortium for Faculty and Course Development in International Studies);
  5. a program directed by faculty members from other West Virginia institutions;
  6. a program sponsored by a US college or university or Consortium with institutional approval;
  7. a foreign university as a special student;
  8. an accredited US college or university abroad; or
  9. a program sponsored by an organization other than a college or university, with Fairmont State’s approval.

Students will be required to obtain prior consent from their academic unit before registering for study abroad programs. Student also complete required institutional authorization paperwork.

Although such international experience is not required in all programs, study abroad is strongly recommended for students not only in the field of foreign languages, but in other fields as well (such as the humanities, social sciences, business, art, etc.). Resident study abroad programs or travel-study programs will be integrated with traditional academic courses offered at Fairmont State and will become part of the regular institutional curriculum. Study abroad is an important component of a comprehensive studies program which can contribute to the development and growth of the individual student and prepare the student to function more effectively in a global society. Participants in such programs will enhance their preparation for further graduate or professional studies and employment while deriving countless other benefits.

For additional information and authorization forms, visit the Study Abroad LibGuide at http://guides.library.fairmontstate.edu/studyabroad or contact the Study Abroad Advisor, Dr. Erin Hippolyte (Erin.Hippolyte@fairmontstate.edu).

The University of Calabria Exchange Program

Fairmont State offers an exchange partnership in which students may spend a semester or academic year studying abroad at the University of Calabria (UNICAL). Located in southern Italy, the University of Calabria was founded in 1972 as a state-run university and is one of just a few campus universities in Italy. Modeled from British and North-American campuses, the buildings are situated along a suspension bridge, approximately one mile long. Students live in specific residential blocks near the campus. The whole structure is swathed in green hills near Arcavacata di Rende, a small village six miles from Cosenza in the Region of Calabria. Today, UNICAL has a student population of 35,000, many from around the world, preparing for bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in six faculties (colleges of academic programming): humanities/letters/philosophy, economics, political sciences, engineering, sciences, and pharmacy. Strategically located in the heart of the Mediterranean world, students at UNICAL have many opportunities to travel to other parts of Italy and surrounding countries during the exchange period. Students wanting to participate in the University of Calabria Exchange Program are required to have completed two semesters of Italian or demonstrate the equivalent language proficiency. Classes in elementary and intermediate Italian are offered through the Department of Language and Literature in the College of Liberal Arts at Fairmont State

In turn, as part of the exchange partnership, Fairmont State is listed as one of the 26 destinations that UNICAL students may consider for their international study abroad experience. Under the direction of the university’s International Relations Unit, called Erasmus, UNICAL students are selected for a study abroad experience of one semester or an academic year through a competitive scholarship process of academic application and review. For additional information about the University of Calabria, visit its website www.unical.it. For more information about the UNICAL Exchange Program contact the Director of Educational Pathways for International Centers and Students, Dr. Amanda Stinemetz (Amanda.Stinemetz@fairmontstate.edu).

The Washington Center Internship Program

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars gives students the opportunity to live and work in one of the most important cities in the world, and to experience the professional arena, cultural diversity and educational opportunities of the nation’s capital. If accepted into the program, students are placed with a program manager who helps them obtain an internship in the field of their choice, whether it be for-profit, nonprofit or government work. The Washington Center Internship allows students to:

  • Develop professional skills
  • Clarify personal goals
  • Improve research and communication skills
  • Meet people from across the country and the world
  • Prepare for life after college
  • Give perspective on their studies
  • Investigate a profession of interest
  • Apply academic learning to the work world

For additional information, contact the Office of Career Development Center at
(304) 367-4214 or email careers@fairmontstate.edu.


Honorary Degrees

The President of the University shall make nominations for Honorary Degrees to the institutional Board of Governors. After consideration of the nomination and consultation with the President, the Board of Governors shall approve or decline the President’s nominations.