Policy Statements—Consider including specific policies in your syllabus; here are some options:
- Grading Criteria—Be sure to add a grade conversion chart on your syllabus. For example, A=93-100, A-=90-92, B+=87-89, etc. Also note that, according to UConn policy, the following grade points per credit shall be assigned to grades: 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. For information on grades and grading policies, visit the Registrar’s page on Grades.
- Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence—Please add the following to your syllabus: The University is committed to maintaining an environment free of discrimination or discriminatory harassment directed toward any person or group within its community – students, employees, or visitors. Academic and professional excellence can flourish only when each member of our community is assured an atmosphere of mutual respect. All members of the University community are responsible for the maintenance of an academic and work environment in which people are free to learn and work without fear of discrimination or discriminatory harassment. In addition, inappropriate amorous relationships can undermine the University’s mission when those in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority. To that end, and in accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment, as well as inappropriate amorous relationships, and such behavior will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the University. Additionally, to protect the campus community, all non-confidential University employees (including faculty) are required to report sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking involving a student that they witness or are told about to the Office of Institutional Equity. The University takes all reports with the utmost seriousness. Please be aware that while the information you provide will remain private, it will not be confidential and will be shared with University officials who can help. More information is available at equity.uconn.edu and titleix.uconn.edu.
- Attendance—UConn has a unique attendance policy: You are required to describe the computation of the grades and the relation between grades and attendance at the beginning of the semester. Where grades depend on classroom participation, absences may affect the student’s grade. However, if a student were absent and the instructor reduced the grade, the reduction would be due to lack of class participation, not the student’s absence. Except for final examinations, instructors have final authority in permitting students to submit assignments late or make up examinations. Students should contact their instructor with any questions.
- Student Conduct Code—You may want to note that students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with UConn’s Student Conduct Code.
- Academic Integrity Statement—Consider adding a statement such as this: This course expects all students to act in accordance with the Guidelines for Academic Integrity at the University of Connecticut. Because questions of intellectual property are important to the field of this course, we will discuss academic honesty as a topic and not just a policy. If you have questions about academic integrity or intellectual property, you should consult with your instructor. Additionally, consult UConn’s guidelines for academic integrity.
- Copyright—The Office of the Attorney General in Storrs advises that instructors include an assertion of copyright in their syllabi and suggest the following language: My lectures, notes, handouts, and displays are protected by state common law and federal copyright law. They are my own original expression and I’ve recorded them prior or during my lecture in order to ensure that I obtain copyright protection. Students are authorized to take notes in my class; however, this authorization extends only to making one set of notes for your own personal use and no other use. I will inform you as to whether you are authorized to record my lectures at the beginning of each semester. If you are so authorized to record my lectures, you may not copy this recording or any other material, provide copies of either to anyone else, or make a commercial use of them without prior permission from me.
- Students with Disabilities—Here’s the recommended statement: The University of Connecticut is committed to protecting the rights of individuals with disabilities and assuring that the learning environment is accessible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability or pregnancy, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students who require accommodations should contact the Center for Students with Disabilities, Wilbur Cross Building Room 204, (860) 486-2020, or http://csd.uconn.edu/.
- Makeup Work for Legitimate Absences—Note that UConn does not have an attendance policy (except in relation to the final exam); you are encouraged to allow students to make up work for excused absences.
- Final Exam Policy—Here is an optional final exam policy statement: In accordance with UConn policy, students are required to be available for their final exam and/or complete any assessment during the time stated. If you have a conflict with this time you must obtain official permission to schedule a make-up exam with the Office of Student Support and Advocacy (OSSA). If permission is granted, OSSA will notify the instructor. Please note that vacations, previously purchased tickets or reservations, graduations, social events, misreading the assessment schedule, and oversleeping are not viable reasons for rescheduling a final.
Other policy statements related to the topics below may also be useful:
- UConn Mental Health Services
- UConn Sexual Harassment and Relationship Violence
- UConn Equity, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Affirmative Action
- Use of Personal Electronic Devices in the Classroom
- Appropriate Student Use of Class Notes and Course Materials
- UConn’s policy on changing grades
- Your unique communication policy—How and when should students contact you? When can you be expected to reply to an email? How formal should the language in email messages be? What should students call you?