Developing Your Syllabus

For each course taught, faculty are required to provide a course syllabus for all their students, and to provide a file copy (by the first day of class) for their academic department office.

  • In preparing the syllabus, it should be kept in mind that a failure “to make the standards and expectations for the grade known” and/or failure “to apply the announced standards and expectations of the course” are considered legitimate grounds for a student grade appeal.
  • Accordingly, the syllabus should be very clear about the grading system, and any subsequent changes that deviate from your syllabus during the semester should be dated, announced, and distributed to the students in writing.
  • Your syllabus shall also include all policy statements required by the College Senate, including
    1. University attendance policy,
    2. sexual harassment and Title IX statement,
    3. emergency alert system,
    4. statement of equity and open communication,
    5. student accessibility service statement,
    6. student code of conduct,
    7. statement on disruptive student behavior,
    8. electronic devices policies,
    9. academic dishonesty policy,
    10. and most recently COVID policy.

More details can be found at Instructor Responsibilities: Course Syllabus Preparation & Distribution.

Office Hours

Full-time faculty should be available in their office for a minimum of four regularly scheduled office hours per week. Part time faculty are encouraged to be available before and after class for at least one hour per week, per course or otherwise schedule equivalent office hours coverage.

Unless teaching only online courses, employees are expected to hold office hours in their faculty office on campus.

More details can be found at University-wide Policies: Office Hours

Teach Class as Assigned

All classes must be taught during the assigned days and times as well as in the modality indicated on the schedule. Changes to dates, times, or modality cannot be made unilaterally by the instructor.

Night classes meet for 2.5 full hours each week. Class should not be shortened and do NOT omit the 10-15 minute break to “let class out early”. Students need the break in order to keep up with a 2.5 hour class, especially since many of them also work in the day prior to the night class.

Class Cancellation Policy

Faculty are expected to be present at all classes for which they are scheduled. A faculty member who cannot hold a class because of illness or other extraordinary circumstance must notify their chairperson and administrative assistant as soon as possible prior to the scheduled class. In consultation with the chair, a decision will then be made to provide alternative coverage for the class or for make-up of the missed class at another time.


EagleSUCCESS is an early alert and communication tool that supports student success. Faculty participation is critical for early interventions and creating a complete picture of our students’ progress for Advisors to be better able to support them.

Learn more about this program by viewing these short Faculty Tutorials on Youtube.

There are 4 essential features for faculty:

  • Set up your profile and notification preferences
  • Set up your schedule
  • Respond Accurately to Roster Verification Surveys
  • Give a Flag, Referral, or Kudos anytime

Add a statement to your syllabus

I Care About Your Success! I will be using EagleSUCCESS to communicate with you about your academic progress and connect you to support if you need it. Throughout the term, you may receive emails from regarding your attendance, course grades, or academic performance. To benefit, it is important that you check your SUNY Brockport email regularly and follow through on my recommended actions as quickly as possible. You may also be contacted directly by someone in the Academic Success Center or another campus support professional. Remember, the best students ask for help.

Student Concerns

All students must respect the rights of others.

The SUNY Policies of the Board of Trustees states that “No person…shall deliberately disrupt or prevent the peaceful and orderly conduct of classes, lectures, and meetings.” Where such behaviors do occur, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to deal with the situation. This includes:

  • Documenting all behavioral infractions and disciplinary actions taken
  • Discussing the situation with the student(s) to allow opportunities to change the disruptive behaviors
  • Notifying University Police (if a student needs to be forcibly removed from class) or one’s chairperson or dean (if questions arise about how to handle a situation).

More details can be found at Procedures for Dealing with Students Who are Disruptive in Class

Disruptive students can also be referred directly to the Student Behavioral Consultant Team (SBCT)

Unregistered Students and Roster Verification Survey

Under no circumstances should any instructor knowingly allow an unregistered student to continue attending class. Doing so is against University policy. This means attendance will need to be taken in some manner and checked against the final class roster issued at the beginning of each semester.

In accordance with federal regulations, students receiving federal financial aid must attend at least one session of a class that they are registered for in order to receive that aid. The University is responsible to monitor cases where such a student never attends a class (or in the case of online students, fails to logon at least once).

All faculty will thus be required to report non-attending students and verify course roster via the EagleSUCCESS system at the beginning of Week 3 of each semester. You will receive multiple notifications to guide you through this process each semester.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Any episode of academic dishonesty is a major violation of University policy and should not be tolerated. Repeated offenses are particularly egregious and can result in Conduct Dismissal from the University. For these reasons, faculty are expected to both respond to cases of academic dishonesty and to provide a record of such transgressions. This means that even if no official penalty has been applied, a record of the offense should still be established.

Faculty are also expected to design and clearly state their academic dishonesty policy in the syllabus (e.g., how plagiarism, cheating, or other violations may affect assignment grades and course grades).
More details can be found at Academic Dishonesty Policy

Mid- term Grades

For undergraduate courses, specific policies also exist for mid-term grades and final exams.

In regard to Mid-term grades, faculty are required to provide “Mid-Term Progress Reports” for their undergraduate students. Accomplishing this, in turn, requires that at least one graded assignment, examination, or performance measure be completed prior to the deadline set for submission of the Mid-term Progress Report (to ensure a meaningful basis for the reported grade).

Issuing a single or common grade (“blanket” grades) for all students in a course, failure to provide a graded assignment or exam, or any other failure to meaningfully evaluate students prior to the Mid-term Progress Report deadline, is violation of this policy.

Any justifiable exception to this rule must be approved by the department chair and the Dean (in such cases the chair will notify the Registrar of this exception). Faculty should immediately report to the Registrar any student who is participating in class but not on the Mid-term grade list.

Incomplete (I) & “PR” Grades

A grade of Incomplete or “I” should be submitted only where circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent the student from completing a minor part of the required work and some additional time is needed. In this case, an “I” Contract, which specifies the work that needs to be completed, must be submitted to the Registrar. The electronic form is available on the faculty Banner system. Information required includes the date by which the work must be done (no later than the end of the following semester) and an alternate grade to be assigned if the specified work is not completed as described (which in many cases is an “E”).

Faculty should keep in mind that unless formal course policy (stated in the course syllabus) allows such opportunities to all students, additional time for extra work to raise poor grades, for work missed because of unexcused absences, etc., are not legitimate grounds for assigning a grade of Incomplete.

Faculty must not, under any circumstances, offer a student an “I” as a method of retaking an entire course or a substantial portion of a course without reregistering for the course in a succeeding semester. “I” grades issued when more than a minor part of the work is outstanding are very often fated to become “E” grades when the work is not completed on time as specified.

Students cannot be graduated with an uncompleted “I” grade on their transcript.

Grade Appeal Policy

Students should address any question or disagreement about grades as quickly as possible with the course instructor and/or department chair. An attempt to resolve the issue informally with the instructor and or department chair is required in all cases.

After carrying out the informal process, however, the student may wish to initiate a further appeal to Associate Deans/Deans.

Time limits for grade appeals: The student must file a written grade appeal with the department chairperson within thirty (30) calendar days from the date on which the registrar posts the grades for the semester in which the course was taken. During this 30-day period, the student must also engage in the informal attempt to resolve the disagreement.

More information can be found at Grade Appeal Policy

Final Exams

The final exam will be scheduled during the final exam week and is not allowed to be scheduled during the last week of class per university policy.

Please follow the University’s Academic Calendar, Fall Final Exam Schedule, and Spring Final Exam Schedule to schedule your final exams.

Students sometimes find that they are scheduled for more than two examinations on one day during the final examination period, or they may have two examinations scheduled for the same time period. When this happens, the student may request rescheduling of one of the examinations.
More information can be found at Final Examination Policy

Student Course Evaluations (IAS)

Students will be sent the evaluation form for each course they are enrolled by the Academic Systems & Instructional Support department. Please encourage students to complete the survey. Reporting of scores is required for all faculty in their annual reports.

Additional Resources

Division of Academic Affairs

Faculty and Staff Guide

Academic Success Center

Registration and Records

Center for Graduate Studies

Department of Athletics

Drake Memorial Library Faculty and Staff Support Guide

Open Educational Resources