FAQ

Please review this set of common inquiries before sending us an email as many items are already covered here and we want you to find an answer as quickly as possible.

General

Q. Is Signum University accredited? If so, from what body?
A. Signum University, as a new non-profit university that is being established (with sister institution, Mythgard Institute), has got the accreditation process in full swing. We should be fully certified by the state of Delaware to award MA degrees in less than a year and a half, and fully accredited a couple years after that (full accreditation is a multi-year process). Stay abreast of the accreditation process on the Signum Institutional Progress page.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmpAcvlWjH4?hl=en"><img src="http://www.signumuniversity.org/wp-content/plugins/images/play-tub.png" alt="Play" style="border:0px;" /></a>
Listen In: President Olsen on Accreditation (YouTube)

We are also establishing some partnerships with established, accredited institutions both in America and abroad, so that students may choose, in the short term, to transfer the credits from our courses into other programs. Soon, our courses will be fully accredited in the UK system, and we are open to other partnerships as well.

Signum courses will meet any standard that any accrediting body will establish, and we want our students to know that we are committed to demonstrating the quality and integrity of our program, both now and in the years to come.

Q.  How long do University courses run for?
A.  Our Fall, Spring and Summer semesters run for 12 weeks each. Special programs and the Academy run for shorter periods and are dependent upon content.

Q.  I do not live in the US.  Can I still take courses?
A.  Students from all over the world may enroll in courses at Signum. Obviously, the differences in the time zones in which our students and professors are operating will create some logistical challenges. All students, MA students and auditors, will be asked upon application or enrollment to inform us of their time zone and the times of day in their local time when class attendance would be possible for them. Different discussion sessions will meet at different times of day, and we will do everything we can to ensure that all MA students are assigned to discussion sessions that meet at a time convenient for them. We will schedule the primary lectures and closing sessions in a time slot that works best for the majority of the students in the course. Those who cannot attend the lectures live will still be able to view the recordings of the sessions, and will be able to submit questions by email for the lecturers to answer during the live sessions. If the enrollment in the course is high enough, the professor may deliver two separate lectures at different times. Finally, the drop-in office hours of the professor will be given at different times of day during the week, to accommodate as many different time zones as possible. All class sessions are taught in English.

Technology

Q.  What do I need to take one of Signum’s online courses?
A.  All you need is an updated browser and a computer with audio input and output.  Audio input and output can mean a variety of devices including built in or external microphones (input), built in or external speakers or headphones (output) or a headset (combined).  If you’re auditing, the bare minimum you’ll need is an updated browser!

Q. What technology will be used for delivering course content?
A. 
The Institute will deliver course content using GoToWebinar and Moodle as primary software platforms.  Skype or telephone will be used for office hours or personal tutorials.

Q. What sort of audio device should I use for participating in an online course?
A.  Signum University’s tech team strongly suggest combined, headset style audio devices to give the best performance during class discussions.

Q. Are Signum courses accessible?
A.  In addition to Signum’s courses giving students the ability to attend from their own environment, the Institute strives to make all content accessible to all learners. Course materials are compatible with popular screen reading applications and accommodations can be made for specific needs. Contact info@signumuniversity.org if you have questions.

Q. How do I access the course I’ve registered for online?
A.
 Our online course offerings are available through a Moodle  site at learn.signumuniversity.org.  New students will receive log in information for this via either an automated email from the Acteva registration system and/or just prior to the start of the semester by way of school staff or faculty (since some email accounts mistakenly sort this automated message to spam).  Previously enrolled students will access the Moodle site using their existing credentials but will not be able to see their new course until the instructor makes it available.

Enrollment

Q.  Do I need any qualifications to take these courses?
A.  No qualifications are required to audit a course. You do need to apply for entry into the M.A. program, though, and a Bachelor’s Degree is required for that.

Q.  What does it mean to “Audit” a course?
A.  To “audit” a course means that you enroll in a course and participate in it as actively or inactively as you choose to on your own level. You have access to the same content, reading, etc. as the M.A. students, but you do not receive academic credit for the course. Because of this, auditing is offered at a reduced rate. Auditing is a very good choice for students who do not yet have a B.A., are new to a classroom experience, or haven’t been part of a classroom for a long time, and for people who are interested in learning more about the course topics just for fun. You can audit just one course, or several.

Q. How do I enroll for courses?
A.  Registrants can sign up for courses hosted by Signum University using the Enroll section.  After choosing the type of offering (Signum University, Signum Academy, Mythgard Institute, Mythgard Academy, etc.), registrants will then be taken to the course catalog.

At this point, course enrollment is processed by Acteva.  On the Acteva-hosted catalog pages, registrants will be asked to select what type of attendee they are (Returning M.A. student vs. Auditor, Regular Enrollment vs. Group or Family, etc.), input their vital data, select course options and submit payment.

New students applying for the M.A. program should use the Apply Now page to complete their initial application before enrolling for individual courses.

Questions about the enrollment catalog pages can be directed to Acteva using the contact information provided during registration.

Q. What is an “Encourse” class?
A. An Encourse offering at Signum or Mythgard is a previously offered class that has been recorded.  It differs from a Course Pack in that the lecture material are presented in the same twelve-week manner as a live course and offer both auditors and M.A. students access to a class discussion board and course preceptor.  Additionally, M.A. students will meet for weekly discussion sessions with other students.

What’s nice is that Encourse classes give students a chance to experience a past course and are offered at a discounted tuition level for participants.

Q. Can I get a transcript to verify the courses I have audited?
A. Yes! We are happy to provide a transcript listing all of the courses you audit.

Q.  Are recorded lectures available?
A.  Yes, in two ways. M.A. students and auditors have access to an archive of recorded lectures that they can access as the course progresses via learn.signumuniversity.org (or via the download link provided for the Academy’s Video-Only curriculum).  Coming soon:  complete course packs of previous semesters’ classes will be available for purchase.

Q.  Is it possible to upgrade from my auditing of a University class to taking it at the M.A. level?
A.  During the first 2 weeks of a course general enrollment is closed, but you can, with your professors’ approval, upgrade to the M.A. level. If you are within the first 2 weeks of the course, please speak directly with your Professor.

Q.  I need to withdraw from my M.A. course.  Is that possible and can I get a refund?
A.  Yes and yes!  The Drop/Add policy at Signum is first dependent upon which point in the semester the decision is made.  Please identify if you are are within the period:

  • Through Week 2 – students who withdraw from the M.A. program or downgrade to the auditing option will receive a full refund or a refund for the difference.
  • From Week 3 through Week 8 - students may withdraw from the M.A. program or downgrade to the auditing option and will receive a 50% refund.
  • End of Week 8 - last chance to withdraw or audit without special permission from your instructor.

Q.  I need to withdraw from auditing a course.  Can I be refunded for this?
A.  Up to the beginning of the third week of the term, yes!  Students who withdraw by this point will receive a full refund.  Refund requests beyond week three cannot be processed, unfortunately. However, we do understand that things come up and life takes unexpected turns so we will continue your account on our learning management system so that you can get caught up on the classes you’ve missed for several semesters to come.

Q. Is there federal financial aid available to Signum students?
A. No, Signum does not currently participate in any federal grant or loan programs. We have two strategies for helping students afford our classes. The first is simply to price them as low as we possibly can. If you compare our tuition rates with other those of other schools, you’ll see that you really can’t find MA courses for less than this. The second strategy is through donation-based scholarships.

Q. Are scholarships available to students?
A.
 The Mythgard Institute and Signum University do not require a big endowment in order to function, as some schools do. Therefore, 100% of gifts given to us by donors are put straight into scholarship funds. Mythgard Institute has announced The Took Fund scholarship for M.A. students taking classes for credit; we hope there will soon be others. If you are interested in donating so that others can take  classes, contact us!

Q. Do you offer referral discounts to enrolled students?
A.
 Yes. Students who refer a friend to our M.A. program or auditing option can receive a tuition discount for a future semester.  Learn more on the Referral Discount page.

Q. Is Signum University tuition tax deductible?
A. The IRS requires that all institutions that provide the form 1098-T necessary for tuition deductions also offer students federal financial aid.  As Signum University does not participate in this aid program, we cannot provide the 1098-T form.

Academy

Q.  Is it possible to upgrade from my Signum Academy curriculum to a more intensive package?
A.  Absolutely - though we do ask that you bear in mind the fact that students will have missed out on live tutorials for the weeks they were not enrolled at a higher level.

Q. Can I receive a refund for my enrollment at Signum Academy?
A. Because of the digital nature of our products, all sales are considered final.  However, please contact the Academy (academy@signumuniversity.org) to talk about upgrading, downgrading or other changes of enrollment.

Q.  Who grades a students’ Signum Academy work?
A.  If you’re signed up for our Full Enrollment or our Video Enrollment with Tutorials, our college-trained writing tutors grade the work, in consultation with our course lecturers.  Video-Only Enrollment allows a family to complete the course themselves by assigning their own materials, and thus handle their own grading.

Q.  Will we receive a report card?  How do we keep up with our students’ grades?
A.  A quarterly report is provided, and you can keep aware of paper grades as they happen.

Q.  How do your classes prepare a student for taking the SAT?
A.  Learn by doing, learn by practicing, and learn by getting excellent guided feedback over the course of a full literature class!  Vocabulary and essay-writing abilities improve as you learn along with us.

Q. Do your classes complete my state’s requirements for high school graduation?
A.  Our classes are rigorous academic experiences designed to prepare students in grades 8-12 for college English.  Different states have very different requirements, so if you have questions about your state requirements, please email us to talk about your unique situation.

Other Questions

Q.  What can I do if my question is not listed here?
A.  Please send all general inquiries to info@signumuniversity.org.  Questions related to your specific course can be directed to your professor.