|Responsible Cabinet Member
|Provost and VP for Academic Affairs
|Last Revision Date
|Last Review Date
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 (this is also a Middle States requirement).
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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 grade appeal (See “Your Right to Know”). Accordingly, the syllabus should be very clear about the grading system and any changes from your syllabus during the semester should be announced and distributed to the students in writing.
A. All syllabi should contain (at minimum) the following information:
- Course objectives, requirements, texts, and readings
- Examination/Assignment Schedule (or explanation of policy if dates are subject to alteration)
- Description of reading methodology (factors evaluated, weighting systems, etc.)
- Instructor’s office location, office hours, campus telephone and e-mail address
- Statement regarding academic integrity and consequences of violations
- University’s Attendance Policy Disability Policy Statement (See Section 200.19)
B. Student objections to course requirements:
Students are expected to meet all course requirements. In some instances, a student might find some requirements objectionable (e.g., laboratory work with animals, discussion of controversial matter, etc.) To be fair to students, faculty should be mindful of such potential requirements, making them clear to students at the beginning of the course and affording them the opportunity to drop the course without prejudice if they should find such requirements personally unacceptable.
C. Evaluating (Grading) Students:
In addition to providing instruction, faculty also have an obligation to (a) fairly and meaningfully evaluate student performance (the University uses the plus and minus grading system and faculty may not arbitrarily choose to ignore this and (b) provide useful feedback to students regarding their performance. This responsibility carries with it the expectations that (a) student performance will be measured across the entire semester, (b) graded assignments/examinations will be returned or made available to students in a timely manner and (c) for all assignments and exams, a record of each student’s grades and their derivation be maintained for at least one subsequent academic year and made available to each student upon request.
D. Mid-Term Grade:
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 all their students. This requires that at least one graded assignment, examination or performance measure be completed prior to the deadline set for submission to the Mid-Term Progress Report (to insure a meaningful basis for the reported grade). Issuing a common grade for all students, failure to provide a graded assignment or exam or any other failure to meaningfully evaluate students prior to the Mid-Term Progress Report deadlines is a 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 fact).
E. Final Grade:
Course final grades should be submitted by the due date specified in the University calendar and should, whether by final exam, term paper or some other means, reflect an evaluation of student performance through the end of the semester (failure to do so effectively shortens a faculty member’s period of instructional obligation). University policy requires that all end-of-semester examinations of either the comprehensive “final” or “last unit” type be given during the formal final exam period. Take home examination, term papers and term projects may, at the instructor’s discretion, be due the last week of classes or the formal final exam period.
F. Grade Appeals:
Students have the right to appeal grades if they feel that the course instructor has failed to make the standards and expectations for the grade known in a reasonable manner or that the course instructor has not fairly applied the announced standards and expectations of the course. The procedures for treating such grade appeals have been codified and involve a set of reviews at the departmental and dean’s level.
Links to Related Procedures and Information
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History (in descending order)
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