II-13

The Instructional Program:
Policies and Procedures

 

A.        Introduction to the Course

At the first class meeting of the term, every faculty member teaching a course should, among other things, introduce the students to the major aspects of the course. The entire period will be required; no classes should be given assignments and dismissed. Topics of discussion regarding introduction to the course should include the following:

1.      Announcement of the time of all meetings, including such requirements as laboratory periods, scheduled in connection with the class.

2.      Statement of the prerequisites of the course; students not eligible for the course should be sent immediately to the registrar's office.

3.      Discussion of the objectives and the value to be derived from the course.

4.      Discussion of the contents of the course.

5.      Statement of the complete requirements of the course: textbook(s) and required library readings; number and nature of required reports, themes and term papers; supplementary readings; types of quizzes/examinations to be used.

6.      Explanation of method to be used in computing the final course grade.

7.      Distribution of a course syllabus containing course goals and relevant data from the items above to each student.

8.      Explanation of the Elon University academic honor code and how it will be applied in the course.

 

B.         Class Rolls

1.      Faculty members will be provided with tentative class rolls before the first meeting of classes. If a student is present whose name is not on the roll, the faculty member should request that the student report immediately to the registrar's office. If the name of a student not present appears on the roll, the faculty member should follow normal procedures for reporting absences.

2.      At the end of the registration period, permanent class rolls will be supplied. The faculty members should inform the registrar immediately of any discrepancies between class membership and rolls. Students not officially enrolled in the class may not receive credit and should not be permitted to attend.
 

C.        Use of Class Periods

All class periods in both day and evening classes, and including those immediately preceding holidays and vacations, should be used in their entirety for instruction purposes. Early dismissal of classes disturbs others.

 

D.         Classroom Responsibilities

  1.    Classroom assignments are made by the registrar's office. Classroom changes are not to be made without approval from that office.

2.    Faculty members should report any physical classroom needs to the building coordinator without delay.

3.    Faculty should enforce the university policy on smoking: smoking is not permitted in the classroom at any time by either faculty members or students

 

E.         Class Absences

It is the institutional policy to urge students to attend class meetings on a regular basis, recognizing that such attendance is an integral part of learning. With this policy in mind, the following procedures and guidelines have been adopted by the Elon faculty:

1.      Each department should establish a policy on class attendance. Policies should address excused absences due to official institutional functions. Each faculty or staff member who is in charge of an official institutional program which will require a student to be absent from class is required to file with the registrar's office a notice of students in the program.

2.      Faculty members should inform each class of the absentee policy in effect. This policy should be incorporated into the class syllabus.

3.      Excused absences may also include: absence when the faculty member is satisfied that each absence is due to illness, or emergency, or absence for a job, graduate school admittance interview, or similar reason with prior approval of the faculty member concerned.

4.      Before a student exceeds the absence criterion established for that class, the faculty member should make an attempt to contact the student, either through e-mail, through the student's advisor or through counseling services, and determine the reason for the excessive absence.

5.      If the student persists in being absent, the faculty member should notify the school/college dean and recommend that the student be dropped from the class.

6.      Students should be apprised that they are responsible for material and assignments whether or not the absence was excused.
 

F.        Missed Tests and Examinations

No student should be denied an opportunity to make up a test or examination that was missed because of legitimate reasons. With this rationale in mind, the following procedures have been adopted by the Elon faculty:

1.      Test

When a student misses an announced test, he/she must secure permission from the professor to make up the test. Each professor should make clear the departmental policy and outline the procedure to be followed in validating the reasons for missing a test. This information should be carefully explained at the beginning of each semester and included in the course syllabus.

2.      Single Final Exam

When a student misses an individualfinal examination, permission for a make-up examination must be secured from the appropriate department chairperson.

3.      All Exams

If a student misses final examinations in all courses during a semester, the student must secure permission.

a.       Medical Withdrawal.If a student has a documented medical condition that will keep him/her from taking exams, the student should consult the associate dean of students for a medical withdrawal.Students must withdraw from all courses, they may not obtain a medical withdrawal from only selected courses/final examinations.

b.      Non-Medical Reasons.Occasionally, a student will find him/herself in a situation that may be best resolved by not taking final examinations as scheduled.In this event, the student should consult the assistant vice president for academic affairs to discuss his/her case.Students are not guaranteed permission to make up examinations and have no guarantees about the impact of the absence on their final grades for the courses.

G.        Testing Procedures

1.      Periodic testing (testing over work covered in a significant period of time such as a month) should always be planned and announced in advance. Fair notice should always be given for a periodic test. At least a week is considered fair. These periodic tests should not be given during the final week prior to semester examinations.

2.      Individual instructors are authorized by faculty vote to use retest programs (for tests other than the final examinations) tailored to their individual courses. Details of such programs should be announced in writing at the beginning of the course.

3.      Students must be allowed to see their graded test papers for each test given during the term. Either by class discussion or in written comments, students should be apprised of the quality of their work.

 

H.           Reading Lists

Careful consideration should be given to the use of reading lists and the implementation of a reading program for students. This will help students become acquainted with those great books which the liberal arts university graduate should be aware. The institution takes seriously the importance of the library to the educational experience. Each instructor is strongly encouraged to incorporate library usage into his/her courses.

 

I.           Term Papers

For term papers (those papers of the research type which are normally assigned some time ahead of the deadline for turning them in) the instructor should announce the general nature of the requirements the first day of class or as soon thereafter as possible. Further announcements as to other details should be given to the class in an appropriately timely manner before the paper is due.

 

J.        Honor System

1.      As a member of the university community, each faculty member has a positive responsibility with respect to the honor system. This responsibility involves appropriate interpretation of the honor system and the promotion of conditions favorable to effective work. If the instructor has reason to believe that a student has violated the academic honor code (cheating, plagiarism, lying, stealing or vandalism, facilitating academic dishonesty), he/she is to file an incident report with the assistant vice president for academic affairs as soon as possible after the incident has occurred. At this time the faculty member is asked to present all facts and documents necessary to support his/her belief that the student has violated the honor code. (http://www.elon.edu/students/handbook/)

2.†† The responsibility of the instructor is interpreted to include:

a.       Clear exposition of the values and obligations of the honor system

b.      The maintenance of order

c.       Quiet demonstration of the importance of personal interest, fairness and mutual consideration

d.      Uniform procedure in handling of violations

3.      In the event of a violation, the incident should be reported and in no case shall the decision be left to the discretion of the individual instructor or his/her department.

4. It is the practice for students to sign a pledge for all tests, examinations and all outside written work which is to be completed independently, indicating that they have neither given nor received unauthorized aid.

5.†† A member of the faculty who has cause to report a student should do so through the office of the provost/vice president for academic affairs.

6.†† Each faculty member has the responsibility to indicate to his/her classes the policy in regard to the pledging of assigned work done outside of class. There should be complete and explicit instructions as to whether such work is to be pledged under the honor system.

K.         Final Examinations

1.       The university calendar provides a week at the end of each semester for final exams. If a final exam is not required in a course, the instructor should use exam week to schedule an extra class or complete fieldwork. In no case, however, may a faculty member complete other regular assignments such as term papers, oral reports, and other projects that are not part of the culminating assessment of student performance.

2.       A 3-hour period is set aside for each final examination. Faculty members should prepare an examination considered to require a minimum of ninety minutesí work on the part of the majority of the class. The exam may be cumulative or sectional at the discretion of the instructor. At the request of a student, the faculty member should allow the student to see the graded final exam paper. It is not customary to permit the student to keep it.

3.       The day and time of final exams are set by the provost/vice president for academic affairs and are published in the last section of this Handbook. The time of an exam may not be changed, and no student may be excused from a scheduled examination, without authorization as appropriate (see II, 13, G, 2, Missed Tests and Examinations).

 

L.       Collection Policy

†††††††† No student is permitted to take a final examination unless his/her account is cleared in the business office. This is a policy statement by the Board of Trustees. Students who do not pay their accounts or make satisfactory arrangements may be disenrolled from class by a memo from the provost/vice president for academic affairs at the request of the business office. Faculty cooperation in this matter is necessary.

M.        Grading System and Quality Points

1.      Graduation is dependent upon quality as well as upon quantity of work done. A student earns quality points as well as semester hours if his/her level of performance does not fall below that of a "D-." Letter grades are used. They are interpreted in the table below, with the quality points for each hour of credit shown at right.

Grade
Quality Points
 
A
4.0
A-
3.7
B+
3.3
B
3.0
B-
2.7
C+
2.3
C
2.0
C-
1.7
D+
1.3
D
1.0
D-
0.7
F
0.0
I
Incomplete†††
0.0
P
Passing (not counted in cumulative avg.)
0.0
S
Satisfactory (not counted in cumulative avg.)
0.0
U
Unsatisfactory (counted in cumulative avg.)
0.0
WD
Medical Withdrawal
0.0
W
Withdrawal
0.0
NR
No Report
0.0

A grade in the "A" range indicates distinguished performance in a course.
A grade in the "B" range indicates an above-average performance in class.
A grade in the "C" range indicates an average performance in which a basic understanding of the subject has been demonstrated.
A grade in the "D" range indicates a passing performance despite some deficiencies.
A grade of "F" indicates failure.

Grades of "A" through "F" are permanent grades and may not be changed except in case of error. After an instructor has certified a grade to the registrar, he/she may change it before the end of the next regular grading period. The change must be made in writing and have the written approval of the department chair.

2.      Final grade report forms for all classes will be put in faculty mailboxes during examination week. The forms must be correctly filled in with all information requested. Final grade sheets which contain "I" grades will not be accepted by the registrar's office unless the reasons for each "I" grade are explained in writing on the grade sheet.


3.      Grades of each student will be sent to the student, and to the faculty advisor. One copy will be kept in the registrar's office.


4.      Repeat Courses: Courses repeated within four semesters of attendance (excluding winter and summer sessions) following the first enrollment in the course count only once in computing the cumulative grade point average. In such cases the most recent grade is counted rather than any previous grade(s) received. However, a course repeated more than once will count in the cumulative grade point average each time it is repeated.


5.      Pass/Fail Courses: Students may take two courses outside the major, minor or general studies requirements on a pass/fail basis. However, this option must be chosen at registration and may not be chosen after classes have begun.

N.        Posting of Grade

Grades are considered a part of a studentís educational record and will not be released or posted in any personally identifiable form, including listing by student identification/social security number, unless the student gives written consent. Acceptable alternatives for distributing test results and grade information to students include:

1.    Posting of grades by student identification/social security number of all students who sign a consent statement for each occasion on which grades are to be posted or for the entire semester. The written consent may be obtained by a petition to be signed by all members of the class who wish their grades posted or by having a consent statement on the answer sheet of each test or exam.

††††Posting of grades without a consent statement by using a system of random numbers or letters or other symbols, not personally identifiable, known only by the faculty member and the individual student. 

2.   The mailing of grades in self-addressed and self-stamped envelopes.

3.††A faculty member may also leave examinations and other graded material with the secretary assigned to his/her department who may distribute the material to students who offer sufficient identification.
 

O.         Mid-Semester Progress Reports

Mid-semester grades constitute formalized feedback for students prior to the drop/add date and are a vital means of communication between faculty and students. Faculty are encouraged to communicate clearly to their classes the meaning of the mid-semester grade, including how it was calculated and the portion of the final grade that it represents. The intent of the mid-semester grade is to provide early, accurate, and significant feedback regarding a studentís progress in the course, making it helpful to both students and their advisors. Therefore, mid-semester grades of S, U, NR, and I must be cleared through the appropriate dean.
 

(7/02)

 

P.        Final Grades

†††††††Final grades for each course are to be turned in to the registrar's office by the deadlines specified in the university calendar. In the spring term, grades for graduating seniors are due on an accelerated scheduled published by the registrarís office.

Q.         Academic Warning, Probation & Suspension

†††††††At least a "C" average (grade point average of 2.00) is necessary to satisfy the institutionís academic requirements. Records of each student whose grades fall below this average in any semester are reviewed by the committee on academic standing, which may (1) place the student on academic probation or (2) suspend the student. One academic semester must elapse before students suspended for failure to maintain normal academic progress are eligible for reinstatement. A student who is suspended a second time for academic reasons is normally not readmitted to the university for further study.
 

R.         Independent Study Guidelines

Independent study application forms are available at the registrar's office. Instruction by independent study can be a stimulating experience for instructor and student alike. In order for this to occur the faculty adopted the following guidelines in 1975:

1.    There are two uses of independent study:

a. For students who, in the opinion of the course director and the department chair, are academically talented

b. For students who need a specific catalog course to graduate

2.   The requirements for an independent study course should be roughly equivalent to those of a course taught in a regular classroom environment.

3.   Normally, independent study:

a.       Will not be used to repeat a course

b.      Will be limited to juniors and seniors

4.    Independent study will not be used to avoid a specific professor.

5.    Normally:

a.       A student will be enrolled in only one independent study course at a time

b.      A professor will direct no more than eight hours of independent studies at a time

c.       A four-hour course will require one fall or spring semester's time

6.    A student will not be allowed to enroll in a course by independent study, if that course is scheduled for that semester

 

S.         Special Courses

†††††††Courses are not to be given privately or to small groups of students without the approval of the provost/vice president for academic affairs. Under NO circumstances is a faculty member permitted to receive money from a student for private instruction. The student pays money only to the business office and the teacher is paid only by the institution.

T.        Incomplete Grade Policy

1.†† An "I" grade signifies incomplete work because of illness, emergency, extreme hardship, or self-paced courses. It is not given for a student missing the final examination unless excused by the department chair upon communication from the student. In any case, an instructor giving the grade of "I" will note the reason for the grade in the "comments" column of the final grade report sheet.

2.†† The student receiving a grade of "I" completes all work no later than nine class days after mid semester grades are due in the following regular semester. A final grade is submitted to the registrar by the instructor the following Monday. After this date, the "I" grade automatically changes to "F" unless an extension is granted by the dean of the school/college.

 

U.        Notes

1.†† The precise dates in fall and spring semesters by which all work toward removing an "I" grade is due to the instructor are printed in the official university calendar, registration schedules, on the grade report of the semester on which the "I" is given.

2.†† When a student has an "I" grade, the faculty advisor is encouraged to recommend a lighter load the next semester.

(7/03)