Suggested Standard Syllabus Policies

 
Updated November 28, 2016

Below are some suggested standard policies that faculty members may want to include in their course syllabi. These suggestions are meant to highlight some potential problems or issues that might arise in today's classroom. By including such policies in the syllabus, faculty members can clearly set forth their expectations for classroom behavior, and students will be duly notified of those expectations at the outset of the course. These suggested policies are not exhaustive, but they might at least serve as a good starting point for faculty members to develop the classroom environment they may wish to achieve.

Note: If you have suggestions for other syllabus policies that you have found helpful or effective, and you would like to add them to this page, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs.



To clearly notify students of classroom expectations:

This syllabus contains the policies and expectations I have established for [COURSE NAME]. Please read the entire syllabus carefully before continuing in this course. These policies and expectations are intended to create a productive learning atmosphere for all students. Unless you are prepared to abide by these policies and expectations, you risk losing the opportunity to participate further in the course.  

To encourage orderly and productive classroom conduct:

I will conduct this class in an atmosphere of mutual respect. I encourage your active participation in class discussions. Each of us may have strongly differing opinions on the various topics of class discussions. The conflict of ideas is encouraged and welcome. The orderly questioning of the ideas of others, including mine, is similarly welcome. However, I will exercise my responsibility to manage the discussions so that ideas and argument can proceed in an orderly fashion. You should expect that if your conduct during class discussions seriously disrupts the atmosphere of mutual respect I expect in this class, you will not be permitted to participate further.

To enable revision of the syllabus during the semester (NOTE: ANY SYLLABUS REVISION MUST BE PRECEDED BY REASONABLE NOTICE TO THE STUDENTS):

The standards and requirements set forth in this syllabus may be modified at any time by the course instructor. Notice of such changes will be by announcement in class [or by written or email notice][or by changes to this syllabus posted on the course website at (URL)].

To clearly set forth a policy on the instructor’s absence or tardiness: 

If I am late in arriving to class, you must wait a full 20 minutes after the start of class before you may leave without being counted absent, or you must follow any written instructions I may give you about my anticipated tardiness.  

To notify students of their rights and responsibilities in obtaining disability accommodations:

Students in this course seeking accommodations to disabilities must first consult with the Office of Disability Services and follow the instructions of that office for obtaining accommodations.  

Preferred Gender Pronoun

This course affirms people of all gender expressions and gender identities. If you prefer to be called a different name than what is indicated on the class roster, please let me know. Feel free to correct me on your preferred gender pronoun. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

To prevent academic integrity violations, including plagiarism:

All students are required to read and abide by the Code of Student Academic Integrity. Violations of the Code of Student Academic Integrity, including plagiarism, will result in disciplinary action as provided in the Code. Definitions and examples of plagiarism are set forth in the Code. The Code is available from the Dean of Students Office or online.

Faculty may ask students to produce identification at examinations and may require students to demonstrate that graded assignments completed outside of class are their own work. 

NOTE: See below for suggested syllabus policies addressing the use of plagiarism detection services.

To notify students of Title IX reporting obligations re: incidents of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking:

UNC Charlotte is committed to providing an environment free of all forms of discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  If you (or someone you know) has experienced or experiences any of these incidents, know that you are not alone.  UNC Charlotte has staff members trained to support you in navigating campus life, accessing health and counseling services, providing academic and housing accommodations, helping with legal protective orders, and more.

Please be aware that many UNC Charlotte employees, including all faculty members, are considered Responsible Employees who are required to relay any information or reports of sexual misconduct they receive to the Title IX Coordinator.  This means that if you tell me about a situation involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, or stalking, I must report the information to the Title IX Coordinator.  Although I have to report the situation, you will still have options about how your case will be handled, including whether or not you wish to pursue a formal complaint.  Our goal is to make sure you are aware of the range of options available to you and have access to the resources you need.

If you wish to speak to someone confidentially, you can contact any of the following on-campus resources, who are not required to report the incident to the Title IX Coordinator: (1) University Counseling Center (counselingcenter.uncc.edu, 7-0311); (2) Student Health Center (studenthealth.uncc.edu, 7-7400); or (3) Center for Wellness Promotion (wellness.uncc.edu, 7-7407).  Additional information about your options is also available at titleix.uncc.edu under the “Students” tab.

To explain University policy on withdrawals:

Students are expected to complete all courses for which they are registered at the close of the add/drop period.  If you are concerned about your ability to succeed in this course, it is important to make an appointment to speak with me as soon as possible. The University policy on withdrawal allows students only a limited number of opportunities available to withdraw from courses.  It is important for you to understand the financial and academic consequences that may result from course withdrawal.  

To clearly set forth the policy on credit hours and student work for a course:

This [NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS FOR COURSE]-credit course requires [NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS FOR COURSE] hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction and [NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS FOR COURSE X 2] hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks.  Out-of-class work may include but is not limited to: [REQUIRED READING, LIBRARY RESEARCH, STUDIO WORK, PRACTICA, INTERNSHIPS, WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS, AND STUDYING FOR QUIZZES AND EXAMS]. 

EXAMPLE: 1 CREDIT COURSE

“This 1-credit course requires one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks.  Out-of-class work may include but is not limited to: required reading, library research, written assignments, and studying for quizzes and exams.”

To clearly set forth the policy on credit hours and student work for a lab:

This [NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS FOR COURSE]-credit lab requires ______ hours of direct faculty instruction and ______ hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks.  Out-of-class work may include but is not limited to: [REQUIRED READING, LIBRARY RESEARCH, WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS, AND STUDYING FOR QUIZZES AND EXAMS]. [REFER TO Carnegie Units at:]

EXAMPLE: LAB WITHOUT  HOMEWORK

“This 1-credit lab requires three hours of direct faculty instruction for approximately 15 weeks.”

EXAMPLE: LAB WITH  HOMEWORK

“This 1-credit lab requires two hours of direct faculty instruction and one hour of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks.  Out-of-class work may include but is not limited to: required reading, library research, written assignments, and studying for quizzes and exams."

To prevent sexual harassment in web-based or web-assisted courses:

All students are required to abide by the UNC Charlotte Sexual Harassment Policy and the policy on Responsible Use of University Computing and Electronic Communication Resources. Sexual harassment, as defined in the UNC Charlotte Sexual Harassment Policy, is prohibited, even when carried out through computers or other electronic communications systems, including course-based chat rooms or message boards.  

To prevent use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices in the classroom:

The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Except in emergencies, those using such devices must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.  

To regulate computer use in the classroom:

Students are permitted to use computers during class for note-taking and other class-related work only. Those using computers during class for work not related to that class must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.  

To prohibit recording in the classroom:

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains permission from the instructor. If permission is granted, any distribution of the recording is prohibited. Students with specific electronic recording accommodations authorized by the Office of Disability Services do not require instructor permission; however, the instructor must be notified of any such accommodation prior to recording. Any distribution of such recordings is prohibited.

To clearly set forth a policy on absenteeism or tardiness:

Students are expected to attend every class and remain in class for the duration of the session. Failure to attend class or arriving late may impact your ability to achieve course objectives which could affect your course grade.  An absence, excused or unexcused, does not relieve a student of any course requirement. Regular class attendance is a student’s obligation, as is a responsibility for all the work of class meetings, including tests and written tasks. Any unexcused absence or excessive tardiness may result in a loss of participation points.

Class Absence(s): The authority to excuse a student’s class absence(s) and to grant a student an academic accommodation (turn in a late assignment(s), provide extra time on an assignment, reschedule an exam(s) etc.) sits with the individual instructor.  Students are encouraged to work directly with their instructors regarding their absence(s). Note: The Dean of Students Office can assist faculty members in the verification a student's  class absence(s) for documented situation related to medical, psychological, personal crisis, or military absences.

If you plan to use Turnitin.com [or another plagiarism detection program] in your class:

NOTE: UNC Charlotte has contracted with Turnitin.com for plagiarism detection services. Use of Turnitin.com (or another plagiarism detection service) is entirely in the discretion of the instructor, but use of such a services requires:

  1. that you provide advance notice (via syllabus) to your students that you are using such services and
  2. that you obtain a signed consent form from each student.

The consent form is necessary because both copyright rights and FERPA rights of students may be violated by disclosure and use of their works. For more information, see University Policy 402, Student Records, and University Policy 315, Copyright Policy. The consent form must be signed voluntarily, or it is ineffective. If a student elects not to sign a consent form, it is not advisable to submit his/her work to a plagiarism detection service.

In order to assist you in the correct use of Turnitin.com, the Office of Legal Affairs has provided below twosuggested syllabus policies regarding use of Turnitin.com or another plagiarism detection service. Note that you are not required to use such suggested syllabus policies, but in any case, if you plan to use Turnitin.com or another plagiarism detection service, you are advised to at least notify the students in advance and obtain signed consent forms from the students, as noted above. 

Suggested Syllabus Policy #1: If you plan to use Turnitin.com [or another plagiarism detection service] forALL papers submitted in your class, you should include the following (or your own variation thereof) in your syllabus:

As a condition of taking this course, all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. No student papers will be submitted to Turnitin.com without a student’s written consent and permission. If a student does not provide such written consent and permission, the instructor may: (i) require a short reflection paper on research methodology; (ii) require a draft bibliography prior to submission of the final paper; or (iii) require the cover page and first cited page of each reference source to be photocopied and submitted with the final paper.
 
Suggested Syllabus Policy #2: Alternatively, if you do NOT plan to submit ALL papers to Turnitin.com [or another plagiarism detection service] but plan to submit ONLY papers that you suspect contain plagiarized works, you should include the following (or your own variation thereof) in your syllabus:
 
As a condition of taking this course, papers that the instructor in good faith suspects are in whole or in part plagiarized may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. Such works will be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. No student papers will be submitted to Turnitin.com without a student’s written consent and permission. If a student does not provide such written consent and permission, the instructor may: (i) require a short reflection paper on research methodology; (ii) require a draft bibliography prior to submission of the final paper; or (iii) require the cover page and first cited page of each reference source to be photocopied and submitted with the final paper.