Including explicit statements regarding classroom and university policies and procedures can elevate your syllabus’ transparency and provide additional resources to learners. Below is a list of sample statements.
Face Covering and Social Distancing
Face coverings, such as masks and social distancing (6 feet apart), are required in all buildings and classrooms (CMU’s policy on face coverings)
. Students who have forgotten their face coverings may obtain a disposable mask from one of the 40 vending areas on campus. Vending machine locations are available on the
Fired Up for Fall website
Refusing to wear a mask in any building or classroom without an accommodation letter from Student Disability Services is a violation of university regulations (section 3.2.31 of the Student Code of Conduct
) and exposes the student to possible sanction for not adhering to university regulations. Refusing to maintain social distancing guidelines also violates the same university regulations. Students not adhering to the policy on face coverings or social distancing will be asked to leave the classroom and the building. In addition, faculty and/or staff may file a report with the Office of Student Conduct.
As educators, communicating with students often depends on learning environments. A course taught bi-modally will differ from an online or classroom course. In order to reach all audiences at once, it is important to provide clarification concerning course delivery, hardware and software requirements, participation expectations, etc. Here, we provide a range of flexible narratives, from a “pure” HyFlex approach to a more prescriptive option, depending on your course, content, teaching style, etc. Feel free to apply this language to your course syllabus and modify it as needed. As always, please connect with your chair concerning specific course and departmental policies.
To promote integrity and deter dishonest academic work, it may be useful to consider including a statement of expectations and consequences related to academic misconduct in your course syllabus. Visit the Office of Student Conduct web page for more details. For more information, see the
Academic Integrity Policy
Central Michigan University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sect 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. If you have a disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please register with the Office of Student Disability Services (Park Library, Room 120, 989-774-3018) and contact me with a letter of accommodations as soon as possible. Retroactive requests for accommodations will not be honored. For more information, see
For an online course: Fulfillment of attendance requirements is determined by completing assignments on time. If you fail to submit an assignment by the required date (usually Sunday at midnight), you are considered absent from class and will be noted on the class roster as absent and reported to CMU. Being absent does not relieve you of the requirement to complete the assignment for that week. If you know that you will be out of town for an extended period, please contact your professor ahead of time to make other arrangements for assignments. Students are expected to attend all WebEx sessions and check Blackboard daily for announcements.
For a face-to-face course: Class attendance is required. Attendance will be taken each class period. More than two (2) unexcused absences will cause your grade to be lowered a third of a letter grade for each occurrence (e.g., 3 missed classes would change a B to a B-, 4 missed classes would change a B to a C+). Note that this policy is for your own good as learning occurs through class discussion and interaction that cannot happen when you are not here— and I will miss you!
Central Michigan University complies with the Higher Education Act (1993 and 2013) to aid university students in participating in the civic life of the country by voting in elections, and I am firmly committed to supporting you in your quest to be an actively participating citizen. Therefore, to promote voting in local, state or national elections, I encourage you to utilize the information I provide below to register and vote. If you wish to be even more engaged, you can make a difference by becoming a poll worker on Election Day.
(or an appropriate corresponding website for your state) you can register to vote (online if you have a Michigan driver’s license or state ID), request an absent voter ballot, find your polling station, view your ballot, and/or sign up to work the polls on Election Day.
The following communication policy outlines behaviors that are and are not appropriate in all methods of communication in the online class environment. Any questions about this policy should be addressed to the instructor.
When communicating online, DO:
- Ask questions about class material
- Ask questions about assignments
- Respond to other students’ postings in a way that will provoke conversation
- Reply to postings when you are addressed and generally display behaviors that encourage conversation
When communicating online, DO NOT:
- Use offensive or abusive language
- Mock or make derogatory comments about anyone else’s posting
- Display inappropriate pictures or graphics
- Leave a posting that is addressed to you unanswered
- Hesitate to post a question that you have – remember, many students may have the same question but are too afraid to ask so you are benefiting them as well by posting it.
- Classroom Civility/Etiquette
Each student is encouraged to help create an environment that promotes learning, dignity, and mutual respect for everyone. This applies to all aspects of the class, particularly communication and interactions. Students who use offensive language, are verbally abusive, display deference or disrespect to others, post inappropriate or offensive pictures or comments, or exhibit other inappropriate behaviors in the online class environment may be subjected to disciplinary action under the Code of Students Rights, Responsibilities, and Disciplinary Procedures.
Copies of Assignments
Attention CMU students: It is your responsibility to retain a copy of any materials that you email to your instructor.
If your instructor has placed material on reserve in the library, it can be found at the Check Out desk located on the second floor of the Park Library. Below are things to know when using reserve items in the library:
- You must have your CMU ID or a guest borrower card in order to use course reserve material.
- You will be asked to provide the course subject and number of your class or the name of the instructor.
- If your instructor has placed an item on electronic reserve, it will be available through the Blackboard course shell for that particular class.
I understand that the majority of college students experience some type of financial insecurity at some point—from lack of steady income to housing insecurity to confusion about debt or financial aid—and that these stresses can impact their lives on campus. Students do not need to navigate these challenges on their own. The Financial Wellness Collaborative, located in Bovee UC 116A, offers 1:1 Peer Coaching for students to talk about scholarships, budgeting, credit and debt, paying back school loans, and many other financial issues. They are a first-stop resource for students who are feeling overwhelmed or confused about their financial situations. Visit
for more information.
One in three CMU students report being hungry without immediate means to satisfy that hunger. I understand being hungry makes learning and succeeding in college difficult. CMU has compiled a
list of community resources
available to address concerns related to food insecurity and other basic needs.
Statement on Gentle Weekend: This class follows the Central Michigan University Gentle Thursday/Friday policy as noted in the CMU Academic Calendar; during Gentle Thursday/Friday, class will not be in session.
Graduate Level: *Graduate students: The College of Graduate Studies has officially removed the grade of "C-" from the graduate grading scale. The new scale will go from "C" to "E". Therefore, a grade of C- or less cannot be applied to your degree or used towards graduation.
Harassment and Discrimination
Central Michigan University, an AA/EO institution, strives to maintain our campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students that is free of all forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment based upon age, color, disability, ethnicity, familial status, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religion, sex, sex-based stereotypes, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight. Any student who has concerns about such behavior should contact their instructor or the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity at 989-774-3253 or
CMU prides itself on being “an inclusive community of scholars” and adheres to the core values of “integrity, respect, compassion, inclusiveness, social responsibility, excellence and innovation.” As such, I intend for this learning environment to be a place where you feel respected and valued, and have your identities supported and affirmed (e.g., race, class, gender, gender identity, national origin). If you experience marginalization or discrimination in this class, please let me know so we can make our learning environment more inclusive and just. I can help connect you to resources or make adjustments to better meet your needs.
An incomplete is a temporary grade used by the instructor in cases when a student is unable to complete course requirements because of illness or other justifiable circumstances. It is assigned only in cases in which the student has completed satisfactorily the major portion of the course requirements and has convinced the instructor of their ability to complete the remaining work without re-registering for the course. It is not given to a student who is already doing failing work.
An instructor who assigns a grade of "I" submits a formal statement to the department chairperson of requirements to be satisfied for removal of the Incomplete grade. A copy of the statement of requirements, including deadlines for their completion, shall be made available to the student.
It is the student's responsibility to contact the instructor to make arrangements for completing the remaining work. A student should complete the remaining work within one calendar year following the receipt of the "I" grade. If after one calendar year the "I" grade has not been changed by the instructor to a specific grade ranging from A to E, the "I" would be retained as the permanent grade. An "I" (Incomplete) may not be removed by registering again for the course.
Late assignments will be reduced by 20% if received within one week of the due date. Assignments received later than one week will be reduced by one letter grade. All work must be completed to receive credit for the course. Missing assignments will result in a failing grade, so please catch up if you get behind. No late work accepted after course ends date.
*LGBTQ Chosen Names and Personal Pronouns
Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns (e.g., they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs). Central Michigan University’s chosen name policy can be accessed here
and the name change form can be accessed here:
. Rosters do not list pronouns, so, while you are not obligated to do so, you may indicate the pronouns you use so that I do not make assumptions based on your name and/or appearance/self-presentation. Chosen names and pronouns are to be respected at all times in the classroom. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen, so I encourage an environment of openness to correction and learning. I will not, however, tolerate repeated comments that disrespect or antagonize students who have indicated pronouns or a chosen name. Chosen name and personal pronouns may evolve over time, so if at any point during the semester you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.
*LGBTQ Equality Statement
I am firmly committed to diversity and equality in all areas of campus life. In this class, I will work to promote an anti-discriminatory environment where LGBTQ students feel safe and welcome. I recognize that discrimination can be direct or indirect and take place at both institutional and personal levels. I believe that such discrimination is unacceptable, and I am committed to providing equality of opportunity for all by eliminating any and all discrimination, harassment, bullying, or victimization. If you need additional support or access to resources, please reach out to Office of LGBTQ Services & Gender Equity Programs,Shannon Jolliff-Dettore, Director of the at
Library and Research Services
As a CMU student, you have full access to the services and resources of the CMU Library. Reference librarians will help you find information on your research topic and answer other questions related to the library. The library's Documents on Demand office will obtain copies of the books and journal articles for you. Check out the
for more information.
Make-ups and Rewrites
Make-ups are generally not allowed. With the understanding that extenuating circumstances sometimes arise, make-ups may be considered at the professor’s discretion and will be handled on a case-by-case basis provided that the student contacted the Instructor prior to the missed assignment. In the event that a make-up is allowed, the student should be prepared to provide documentation verifying their reason for missing the assignment, exam, etc. Please note technical difficulties do not constitute a valid excuse.
Make-ups are not allowed. With the understanding that extenuating circumstances sometimes arise, make-ups may be considered at the Instructor’s discretion and will be handled on a case-by-case basis provided that the student contacted the Instructor prior to the missed assignment. In the event that a make-up is allowed, the student should be prepared to provide documentation verifying their reason for missing the assignment, exam, etc. Please note technical difficulties do not constitute a valid excuse.
Mathematics Assistance Center
*Mental Health Matters
It is important to take care of your emotional well-being. I recognize that students can experience mental health challenges that make learning difficult. If you find that life stresses such as increased anxiety, feeling down, strained relationships, suffering a loss, or dealing with a personal struggle are interfering with your academic or personal success, CMU is here to help. Please consider contacting the CMU Counseling Center at Foust 102 by calling 774-3381 for free, confidential counseling services. More information and other resources are available at
. I am available to assist you in connecting with resources that might best meet your needs.
Mutual Respect and Professionalism
Students must demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities, adherence to ethical principles, and sensitivities to others’ diverse backgrounds. This includes showing courtesy and respect toward all students, regardless of differences. Students must demonstrate accountability in their actions, as well as a commitment to integrity. Examples of unprofessional behavior include but are not limited to plagiarism, inappropriate public behavior, cheating, and recurring issues with punctuality and attendance.
(As a veteran myself [if applicable]), I value the experience, unique contributions of, and challenges faced by veterans, military members, and their dependents in my class. I would strongly encourage connecting with the CMU Veterans’ Resource Center (bit.ly/2Ejn3kX
) if you have not already done so. I would be interested in hearing your experiences, concerns, or questions, if you would like to share them. Your success in my class is my main mission, so please come to me for support with classroom material. You are welcome any time in my office hours, or email for appointments at other times.
Discussion boards and chat rooms are the primary communication channels in online courses. Most of the time, those tools are text-based. Pay attention to the following when you are communicating with your instructor and/or peer students in online courses: Check before you post. Always check whether a similar question to yours has been posted and answered on the discussion board to avoid duplicated messages and responses. Use a descriptive subject line. When creating a new message or replying a message, use a descriptive subject line that reflects the content of your message. It can help readers catch the key concept even before reading your message. This makes the discussion more efficient. Use emotional symbols (:-), ;-), :-(, :`-(, :-p, etc.) to indicate the tone of voice. It is often hard to tell the emotion of a text-based message. Use emotional symbols to give your message a little social touch. :-) Do not edit or change the message content once someone has already responded to you. If you have something to add or change, simply add a follow-up message. People in this course may come from places around the world, so be respectful to other cultures and languages. Be careful with sarcasm. Respect others. Like all communication and discussion occasions, use your professionalism and talk to others with respect. Unprofessional messages will be removed.
Presentation Skills Center
Available to on-campus and online students, faculty, and staff, the
Presentation Skills Center
offers free individual or group consultations and practice sessions. Clients have the opportunity to record and analyze their speeches, and detailed feedback is made available during the session.
If an academic or work requirement conflicts with your religious practices and/or observances, you may request reasonable accommodations. Your request must be in writing, and your instructor or supervisor will review the request.
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, dating violence, domestic violence/intimate partner violence, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, stalking and retaliation will not be tolerated and are expressly prohibited. CMU strives to eradicate sexual misconduct through primary prevention and on-going awareness programs, education, training, clear policies and serious consequences for acts of sexual misconduct. The Sexual Misconduct Policy applies to all CMU faculty, staff and students regardless of sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. Sexual misconduct and retaliation both on- and off-campus are strictly prohibited. CMU strives to offer resources and support to students experiencing concerns about sexual misconduct. Confidential resources and support centers, such as the Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (989-774-2255) and the CMU Counseling Center (989-774-3381), provide confidential support for students.
*Student Disability Services
CMU provides students with disabilities reasonable accommodations to participate in educational programs, activities or services. Students with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in class activities or meet course requirements should register for services through Student Disability Services, 120 Park Library, 989-774-3018,
**Student Ombuds Office
The Student Ombuds Office was established to support all CMU students throughout their university experience, and assist those seeking guidance, information, and conflict resolution. You can contact the office with questions about where to go and who to talk to about different issues, when you are experiencing challenges, or to brainstorm possible solutions. The Ombudsperson, or ‘Ombuds’, handles all matters in an independent, informal, confidential and impartial manner; only concerns related to imminent threats of harm and violations of the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy require formal reporting. The Ombuds can advise you on the process to file a formal complaint or grievance, which is often the final step in an effort to resolve a dispute. Although it is not required, a consultation with the Ombuds is recommended before submitting a formal complaint or grievance, to allow you the opportunity to ask questions and make an informed decision about whether it is something you want to pursue. You can contact the Student Ombuds Office
at 989-774-3010 and at firstname.lastname@example.org
This course utilizes WebEx online software to deliver real-time lectures and hold office hours. WebEx sessions are archived for those who cannot make the live session. Complete instructions will be available in Blackboard.
The CMU Writing Center is a free online service for all CMU students, providing help with grammar, citations, bibliographies, drafts, and editing of academic papers. Suggestions and feedback are typically provided within two business days. For additional information and to submit work, visit the
CMU Writing Center website
* Members of the Multicultural, Diversity, and Education Council (MDEC) academic senate committee created these statements in partnership with various campus offices after different student subpopulations voiced the importance of supportive and inclusive syllabus statements through the ongoing
Hearing Diverse Voices panel series.
** The Student Ombuds Office contributed this statement for inclusion in the sample syllabus statement collection.