Missouri State University

Course Syllabi/Policy Statements

Policy Statement: Governing Policy G3.03 Faculty Handbook (Section 4.5.1.2) requires that all course syllabi/policy statements include statements on nondiscrimination, disability accommodation, cheating and plagiarism, attendance and a cell phone policy. The suggested wording for these statements, as well as several other recommended policy statements can be found on the Provost website. Faculty who wish to compose their own wording or to expand on these statements must comply with the Faculty Handbook, relevant University policies, and state and federal laws. All updates to syllabi should be made prior to the beginning of the semester. In addition to statements that are required by the Faculty Handbook, suggested wording about other university policies, including the University’s procedure for dropping classes is provided for faculty who might wish to include that information.

Reason or Purpose for Policy: To assist faculty in complying with Governing Policy 3.03 Faculty Handbook Section 4.5.1.2.

Entities Affected by this Policy: All faculty.

Line of Authority:

  1. Responsible Administrator and Office: Provost
  2. Contact Person in that Office: Associate Provost - Faculty and Academic Affairs

REQUIRED STATEMENTS

Statement of attendance policy (required—different for every instructor, no suggested wording is provided)

Note to instructors: The University’s attendance policy can be found at http://www.missouristate.edu/registrar/catalog/attendan.html. As stated in that policy, instructors must provide students with a written statement of the specific attendance policy for that class. The instructor has the responsibility to determine specific attendance policies for each course taught, including the role that attendance plays in the calculation of final grades and the extent to which work missed due to non-attendance can be made up. The University encourages instructors not to make attendance a disproportionately weighted component of the final grade, and also expects instructors to be reasonable in accommodating students whose absence from class resulted from: 1) participation in University-sanctioned activities and programs; 2) personal illness; or 3) family and/or other compelling circumstances.

Statement of Grading policy (required—different for every instructor, no suggested wording is provided)

Note to instructors: The University’s plus/minus grading system can be found at http://www.missouristate.edu/registrar/grades.html

Faculty have the choice to utilize either the standard grade policy or the plus/minus grading option but are required to indicate their grading scale on their syllabus.

Suggested wording for required statement on academic dishonesty:

Missouri State University is a community of scholars committed to developing educated persons who accept the responsibility to practice personal and academic integrity.  You are responsible for knowing and following the university’s student honor code, Student Academic Integrity Policies and Procedures and also available at the Reserves Desk in Meyer Library.  Any student participating in any form of academic dishonesty will be subject to sanctions as described in this policy.  
 
Note to instructors: Please be aware that the academic integrity policy requires that a student who is charged with academic dishonesty in a course be allowed to continue attending class and fulfilling course requirements while they exercise their right to appeal allegations of academic dishonesty.  The student should receive a grade of “Incomplete” in the course if an appeal from an allegation is still in progress at the end of the semester, or if the allegation of academic dishonesty is brought forward at the end of the semester.  The grade of “Incomplete” remains on the transcript until the appeal is resolved. 

Note to instructors: Some academic programs, especially graduate programs, may have published policies regarding additional sanctions for academic dishonesty. All program-specific sanctions should be included in course policy statements.

Suggested wording for required statement of nondiscrimination:

Missouri State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution, and maintains a grievance procedure available to any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against. At all times, it is your right to address inquiries or concerns about possible discrimination to the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance, Park Central Office Building, 117 Park Central Square, Suite 111, 417-836-4252. Other types of concerns (i.e., concerns of an academic nature) should be discussed directly with your instructor and can also be brought to the attention of your instructor’s Department Head.   Please visit the OED website at www.missouristate.edu/equity/.

Suggested wording for required statement on disability accommodation:

To request academic accommodations for a disability, contact the Director of the Disability Resource Center, Plaster Student Union, Suite 405, 417-836-4192 or 417-836-6792 (TTY), www.missouristate.edu/disability.  Students are required to provide documentation of disability to the Disability Resource Center prior to receiving accommodations. The Disability Resource Center refers some types of accommodation requests to the Learning Diagnostic Clinic, which also provides diagnostic testing for learning and psychological disabilities. For information about testing, contact the Director of the Learning Diagnostic Clinic, 417-836-4787, http://psychology.missouristate.edu/ldc.

Suggested wording on required cell phone policy:

As a member of the learning community, each student has a responsibility to other students who are members of the community.  When cell phones or pagers ring and students respond in class or leave class to respond, it disrupts the class.  Therefore, the Office of the Provost prohibits the use by students of cell phones, pagers, PDAs, or similar communication devices during scheduled classes.  All such devices must be turned off or put in a silent (vibrate) mode and ordinarily should not be taken out during class.  Given the fact that these same communication devices are an integral part of the University’s emergency notification system, an exception to this policy would occur when numerous devices activate simultaneously.  When this occurs, students may consult their devices to determine if a university emergency exists.  If that is not the case, the devices should be immediately returned to silent mode and put away.  Other exceptions to this policy may be granted at the discretion of the instructor.

OPTIONAL STATEMENTS

Suggested wording for emergency response statement:

Students who require assistance during an emergency evacuation must discuss their needs with their professors and the Disability Resource Center. If you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

For additional information students should contact the Disability Resource Center, 836-4192 (PSU 405), or Donald Clark, Director of Safety and Transportation, at 836-8870.

For further information on Missouri State University’s Emergency Response Plan, please refer to the following web site: http://www.missouristate.edu/safetran/erp.htm.

Suggested wording on dropping a class:

It is your responsibility to understand the University’s procedure for dropping a class. If you stop attending this class but do not follow proper procedure for dropping the class, you will receive a failing grade and will also be financially obligated to pay for the class. For information about dropping a class or withdrawing from the university, contact the Office of the Registrar at 836-5520.

Faculty may also wish to include relevant drop deadlines. See Academic Calendars (www.missouristate.edu/registrar/acad_cal.html) for deadlines.

Suggested wording on audio and video recording course activity:

Students may make audio or video recordings of course activity. However, the redistribution of audio or video recordings from the course to individuals who are not students in the class is prohibited without the express permission of the faculty member and any of the students who are recorded. 

Suggested wording on religious accommodation:

The University may provide a reasonable accommodation based on a person’s sincerely held religious belief.  In making this determination, the University reviews a variety of factors, including whether the accommodation would create an undue hardship. The accommodation request imposes responsibilities and obligations on both the individual requesting the accommodation and the University. Students who expect to miss classes, examinations, or other assignments as a consequence of their sincerely held religious belief shall be provided with a reasonable alternative opportunity to complete such academic responsibilities. It is the obligation of students to provide faculty with reasonable notice of the dates of religious observances on which they will be absent by submitting a Request for Religious Accommodation Form to the instructor by the end of the third week of a full semester course or the end of the second week of a half semester course.