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Useful Guidelines for Your Class and Syllabi Development

As we all know, a syllabus is a contract between an instructor and the students. Thus, it's important that you provide the syllabus on or by the first day of class and include the following details in each course syllabus that you develop:

Course Description: Catalog descriptions for your courses can be found at the online catalog. Feel free to add more information to your course description if you prefer. 

Course Objectives: Include clear course learning objectives that can be properly assessed. One helpful tip is to use action verbs that measured or assessed, such as "list" or "identify." Another is to consider how you might write a test question based on your learning objectives. You can see, for example, how much easier it would be to test a learning objective that asked students to identify and explain possible causes of the English Civil war than a learning objective that simply stated that students will know about or understand the English Civil war.

Office hours and contact information: Campus policy is for a minimum of four office hours per week, not less than one hour per day on three separate days. You should post your office hours on your syllabus, with your office phone number and email address clearly stated. This information should also be posted on your office door and given to your departmental secretary. Please be aware that you will probably need to make yourself more available during registration period once you begin advising. Talk with your department chair about formal or informal departmental policies regarding advising.

Texts: Include a list of all required books and readings.

Assignments: List assignments and grading expectations clearly. These could include--but are not limited to--your grading and/or evaluation criteria, the weight of each course requirement in the final grade or evaluation, and your expectations and any special requirements for papers, projects, lab reports or exams.

Calendar: Provide a schedule of assignments and readings for students.

Course Policies: Include any course policies you would like students to know. At minimum, these should include your policy on late work, make-up exams, and attendance.

Academic Integrity Policy: Please see the Academic Regulations and Procedures as taken from our Student Handbook. 

Incomplete Policy: An incomplete grade may be given only in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the instructor and at the student's request no more than 48 hours after the final exam or class. The student must be passing the course at the time of the request or be sufficiently close to passing that the instructor believes that upon completion of the work, the student will pass the course. If the work is not completed with one year of recording the I, the grade will become an F(I). Each instructor should include an incomplete policy in his/her syllabus. Please see a sample incomplete statement.

Disabled Students Policy: Please see the Center for Access and Success and a sample student disability statement.

To facilitate your syllabi planning, a sample syllabus is available for review. 

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