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Sample Statements for Syllabi

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. 

Academic integrity 

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 (CMICH Login Required)

Accommodations 

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 the Student Disability Services website

Attendance policy  

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 bi-modal (e.g., hybrid, hyflex) course: You are responsible for your own learning. I am here to facilitate your learning and understanding of our course content. I will help you as much as I can, but learning the material is ultimately up to you. This includes:

  • Read the entire syllabus and know the policies for each class in which you are enrolled – pay attention to deadlines and due dates!
  • If you choose to attend remotely (e.g. video-conference) make sure your computer set-up is ready for it – webcam, microphone, high-speed internet.
  • In Blackboard, check the Course Calendar and Announcements regularly (at least 2-3 times per week). Also, check your email daily
  • If not attending the live class (either in person or online), keep current on class recordings.
  • Keep current with all course assignments, quizzes, and examinations.
  • Ask questions and communicate with the instructor.

Remember that the greater degree of online learning you choose means you also assume greater responsibility for your own learning outcomes.

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! 

Excused absence for face-to-face class attendance while in quarantine or isolation: Student health, safety, and well-being are the university’s top priorities. To help ensure your well-being and the well-being of those around you, please follow the guidance provided on the CMU COVID-19 website.  As these protocols may change, you are responsible for following all guidelines currently in place.  If you need to quarantine or isolate, please reach out to me as soon as possible to discuss arrangements for your continued attendance and participation in class.

Civic participation

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.

At www.Michigan.gov/vote (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.

Communication 

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 and 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 disrespect to others, post inappropriate or offensive pictures or comments, or exhibit other inappropriate behaviors may be subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Students Rights, Responsibilities, and Disciplinary Procedures. 

Communication devices and technology during class meetings

When using technology during class, please be respectful of your neighbors. Your activity and screen are visible to them and can be distracting and are shown to decrease your learning and that of your peers. Instagram, Netflix, YouTube, etc., as well as homework for other classes, should all be enjoyed outside of our classroom and class times.

Copies of assignments 

It is your responsibility to retain a copy of any materials that you submit to your instructor. 

Course reserves 

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 this class. 

Exams

HyFlex (asynchronous): Students are not required to come to class for exams or quizzes but may do so (at designated times during class sessions (see course calendar)). All exams and quizzes will be taken online through Blackboard. You will have 72 hours in which to take each assessment; the exam’s time limit still applies, and it must be completed by the deadlines noted for each exam and assessment in the course calendar.  

HyFlex with Faculty-Defined Parameters (synchronous): All exams and quizzes will be taken synchronously (during our usual class time) using Respondus Lockdown Browser/Monitor. To ensure social distancing, students need to identify their preference in advance of the exam using a shared, class-wide document I have posted online (in MS Teams or Blackboard) (see deadlines in course calendar).

  • Remote students will need to ensure their webcam is engaged and show the area around them (keyboard, desk).
  • In-class students may participate in the exam online or may have a hard copy of the exam.

Face coverings and masks

Masks and other face coverings are required to be worn, covering mouth and nose, in classrooms and all buildings (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. 

The evidence is clear that face coverings are a crucial part of keeping coronavirus at bay and support the university’s commitment to providing all members of its community with a safe, healthy, caring, and supportive environment. Masks should cover the entire nose and mouth, per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control. Students seeking a medical exemption should consult University Health Services.

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. Students not adhering to the policy on face coverings 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.

Financial wellness*

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  the Financial Wellness Collaborative page for more information.

Food insecurity*

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.

Format

HyFlex: This course is delivered in the “HyFlex” format with some parameters to ensure an equitable, inclusive, and safe learning experience. Students may attend class in person or alternatively participate in online activities. This choice may be made weekly, which is the flexibility part of HyFlex. The attendance and participation policy will be discussed during class in the first week. Additional questions should be addressed to the instructor. Access information for the required technology is provided below.

HyFlex with Faculty-Defined Parameters: As we meet twice a week, I will send you a survey to inquire about the following: 

  1. Do you have reliable internet at your location?
  2. Does your PC have audio and a microphone?

If you do not have the proper equipment to participate remotely, then you may plan to attend in-class every day. The attendance and participation policy will be discussed during class the first week. Additional questions should be addressed to the instructor.

Gentle weekend and wellness days 

This class follows the Central Michigan University policy as noted in the CMU Academic Calendar for Gentle Thursday/Friday or Wellness days; class will not be in session during these specific days. 

Grading scale 

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 ocrie@cmich.edu

Inclusion*

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. 

Incomplete 

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. 

International students*

Welcome to CMU and this class! While you are probably already familiar with the  Office of Global Engagement, there are many other services on campus that you may find helpful. All CMU services are available to domestic and international students alike. There is free support for mathematic skills (Mathematics Assistance Center) and writing (Writing Center), as well as tutoring for specific classes you may want help with (Academic Advising and Assistance). As you approach graduation or begin looking for an internship, you may also want to visit the Career Development Center

Late assignments 

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 will be accepted after the course end date. 

LGBTQ chosen names, personal pronouns*, restroom locations

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). View Central Michigan University’s chosen name policy and the name change form. 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 names 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. 
Our class meets in [building], the closest gender-inclusive restroom is located [location]. The closest gendered restroom is located [location]. Please take care of yourself and take your time in accessing the bathroom that fits your needs. You can find a list of gender-inclusive bathrooms here.

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 the Director of the Office of LGBTQ Services & Gender Equity Programs, Shannon Jolliff-Dettore

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 library's website for more information.

Make-ups

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. 

Mathematics assistance center

The CMU Mathematics Assistance Center provides free tutoring in mathematics and statistics to students enrolled in select courses. Tutoring is available online and via telephone. See what courses qualify and register on their website.

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 in Foust 102 by calling 989-774-3381 for free, confidential counseling services. More information and other resources are available on the Counseling Center website. 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. 

Military veterans*

(As a veteran myself [if applicable]), I value the experience, unique contributions, and challenges faced by veterans, military members, and their dependents in my class. I would strongly encourage connecting with the CMU Veterans’ Resource Center 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.

Recordings

Recordings are not intended to replace or substitute for attending lectures synchronously, but I recognize that some students will miss the lecture on some days. For this reason, recordings of each synchronous class/lecture will be available shortly after each class. I use <MS Teams or WebEx> to record class lectures. As soon as links are available, I will post these <identify where students can access recordings (i.e., Blackboard)>. If you miss a class meeting for any reason, make sure to get the notes from a peer who attended and watch the recordings. Enrollment in this course indicates your consent to audio and video recording for educational purposes related to this course.

Religious accommodations

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 ongoing 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 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 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 ombuds@cmich.edu.

Students who are caregivers*

For many CMU students, the responsibilities of being a student are balanced with the responsibilities of being a parent or caregiver. I encourage you to seek out the camaraderie of Central Family Connect, a student organization that connects student caregivers with campus resources—and with peers who share similar joys and challenges. I also encourage you to communicate with me via office hours or email about how I can support your success in this class.

Technology in bi-modal learning

In-Class: Microsoft Teams: To support bi-modal learning, all classes will be live-streamed via Microsoft Teams. You have been added to a “group” in Teams called XYZ 123: Title of Course.  On Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:55am, I will launch MS Teams to begin live streaming at 10am. If joining remotely, simply turn on your audio, mute your line, and click “join.”  We will use this platform to engage through small groups, polling, and Q&A in the chat, which a student in the class or I will monitor. If you attend in person and would like to use your PC or mobile app to participate in chats or polls, please feel free to do so, but you must be on mute to avoid unnecessary echoes. Learn more about Microsoft Teams in this CMU Knowledge Base article (CMICH Login Required). If you utilize MS Teams via your mobile device, please check your data plan to avoid incurred fees.

In-Class: WebEx’s Personal Room: To support bi-modal learning, all classes will be live-streamed via WebEx (link here). On Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:55 am, I will launch WebEx and will expect you to enter early to minimize distractions for others.  If joining remotely, simply turn on your audio, mute your line, and click “join.”  We will use this platform to engage through an occasional poll but mainly through the chat, which a student in the class or I will monitor. If you attend in person and would like to use your PC or mobile app to participate in chats or polls, please feel free to do so, but you must be on mute to avoid unnecessary echoes. Learn more about WebEx in this CMU Knowledge Base article (CMICH Login Required). If you utilize WebEx via your mobile device, please check your data plan to avoid incurred fees.

Out-of-Class: Blackboard: All course content is housed in our course shell in Blackboard.  If you have missed class or are unclear about due dates, please consult the course calendar and the learning folders containing everything we have discussed, including links to recorded lectures, PowerPoints, and other materials.  All materials, such as handouts and guides, will be provided digitally.

WebEx

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.

Writing center

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.