General information necessary for survival:
1. Written work format: All written work is expected to be typed and stapled (do not use paperclips; fancy folders are unnecessary). Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and structure are expected. Do not use cover sheets (save a tree); instead, please provide all pertinent information in the top left corner of the first page. For example:
Other than the identifying information, all work should be double-spaced (unless otherwise indicated), and in 12 font with normal (1 inch) margins (unless you are writing in UNI MA thesis format). Do not put extra spaces between paragraphs.
2. Work expectations: The Academic Regulations of the University make clear: "Students are expected to attend class, and the responsibility for attending class rests with the student." In addition to attending class, students also are expected to spend time out of class learning the material. The general guideline it that 1CH is the equivalent of approximately 3 hours of work (meaning 1 hour spent in class calls for 2 hours of out-of-class preparation) each week over the course of a whole semester. So, if you are in class for 3 hours a week (or are enrolled in a 3CH course), then you ought to be spending at least 6 hours every week outside of class reading, researching, writing, studying, etc. This standard is the basis on which the Registrar's Office assigns hours of University credit for courses. For graduate students, the ratio is more like 1:5 than 1:2.
3. Academic Ethics: The UNI "Academic Ethics Policies" makes clear that "Cheating of any kind on examinations and/or plagiarism [which includes the purchasing] of papers or projects is strictly prohibited." Any work which violates the academic ethics policy of UNI will receive zero credit and, if the violation is serious enough, the student may receive an F in the course as well as additional disciplinary actions. For clarification, see the "Academic Ethics Policies" section contained in the 2006-2008 catalogue of courses (link).
The guidelines set forth by the University Faculty Senate at UNI will be upheld in this course in regards to cheating and/or plagiarism. Specifically, article 3.01 states that:
Students at the University of Northern Iowa are required to observe the commonly accepted standards of academic honesty and integrity. Except in those instances in which group work is specifically authorized by the instructor of the class, no work which is not solely the student's is to be submitted to a professor in the form of an examination paper, a term paper, class project, research project, or thesis project.
Cheating of any kind on examinations and/or plagiarism of papers or projects is strictly prohibited. Also unacceptable are the purchase of papers from commercial sources, using a single paper to meet the requirement of more than one class (except in instances authorized and considered appropriate by the professors of the two classes), and submission of a term paper or project completed by any individual other than the student submitting the work. Students are cautioned that plagiarism is defined as the process of stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another, or presenting as one's own an idea or product which is derived from an existing source.
It is not acceptable for the work or ideas of another scholar to be presented as a student's own or to be utilized in a paper or project without proper citation. To avoid any appearance of plagiarism or accidental plagiarism, it is important that all students become fully cognizant of the citation procedures utilized in their own discipline and in the classes which they take. The plea of ignorance regarding citation procedures or of carelessness in citation is not a compelling defense against allegations of plagiarism. A college student, by the fact that he or she holds that status, is expected to understand the distinction between proper scholarly use of others' work and plagiarism.
A student who is found to have improperly used others' work must expect to be penalized for such action--even if the argument is made that the action was taken with innocent intention-and the student's instructor will normally judge such work "unacceptable." But it should be noted that the assignment of a low or failing grade for unacceptable work is not in itself a disciplinary action--even if the assignment of such a grade results in the student's receiving a lower grade in the course--including "F"--than he or she would otherwise achieve. Such a response by an instructor is part of the normal grading process; if a student feels that he or she has grounds to protest a grade received through this process, the student has access to the academic grievance procedure which the University has developed to deal with all student academic grievances.
On the other hand, cheating and plagiarism are issues which can affect a student's status at the University in more serious ways. As an educational institution, the University maintains standards of ethical academic behavior, and recognizes its responsibility to enforce these standards. Therefore, the following procedures of academic discipline prevail at the University of Northern Iowa.
If a student is determined by an instructor to have committed a violation of academic ethics, the instructor may take additional disciplinary action including, but not limited to, grade reduction for the course in which the infraction occurs, even if the reduction is over and above the normal consequences resulting from the grade merited by the unacceptable work.
In cases where such disciplinary action is taken, the instructor is obliged to report the action in writing, to the student, to the instructor's department head, (and, if the student is from a different department, to the head of the student's department), and to the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will notify the student in writing that such action has been taken, and will maintain a file for each student so disciplined. (This file is confidential and is independent of the student's normal University records.)
A student wishing to appeal or dispute the disciplinary action taken may seek redress through the University academic grievance structure. In the case of a successful grievance, the evidence of the disciplinary action taken by the instructor will be expunged from the student's file by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
In cases of particularly flagrant violations of academic ethics relating to cheating or plagiarism, the instructor may feel obligated to recommend suspension from the University of Northern Iowa for a period ranging from the term in which the infraction occurs (with a loss of all credit earned during that term) to permanent suspension from the University.
Such recommendations are sent in writing to the department head and the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the latter of whom informs the student in writing that the recommendation has been made. In such cases, the academic appeals procedure is automatically invoked by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Until the mandatory academic appeal in such cases has been completed, the recommended suspension is not in effect. In cases of a successful appeal to such action, the materials will be expunged from all University records.
Finally, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will regularly monitor all files relating to disciplinary action taken against specific students. If the monitoring reveals that there is a history of disciplinary actions taken against a particular student (excluding any actions which have been successfully grieved) such that there are three or more instances of such action subsequent to any academic grievances generated by such actions, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs will, as a matter of course, institute proceedings for permanent suspension of that student. The procedures demand that the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs notify the student in writing that suspension procedures have been invoked, and there is an automatic appeal to the University academic grievance structure in all such cases. All parts of the academic grievance structure (including those stipulated in the immediately preceding paragraph) apply in such cases, except that the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, as the disciplinary officer, functions in the role of the instructor in an academic grievance relating to a specific class.
4. Due dates: Papers, assignments and tests should be turned in at the beginning of the class period on the day they are due. Work not handed in at the beginning of class will be considered a day late. Late work will receive 10% (or one letter grade) reductions for each day handed in past the deadline. You may "stop the clock" if you discuss the late assignment with me prior to when it is due. If something beyond your control occurs, please contact me as soon as possible to explain why an assignment will be late. You may email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone me (273-2714). You may request to "stop the clock" be emailing a request that contains the following:
a) the new due date and time
b) the reason for the need to stop the clock, and
c) what you believe to be an appropriate penalty for the late assignment.
5. Completion expectations: All assignments must be completed to pass the course, even if this means you do a late assignment for no credit.
6. Style: Use either MLA or APA citation format on all papers. Buy a copy of the most recent style manual to see format suggestions.
7. Non-discrimination policy: The UNI Policy Statement on Anti-discrimination and Harassment Policy makes clear: "It is the policy of the University of Northern Iowa that there will be equal employment and educational opportunity without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other basis protected by federal and/or state law. This includes the provision of a campus environment that is free from illegal discrimination and harassment. The University will not tolerate any form of illegal discrimination or harassment and will not condone any actions or words from employees or students that constitute such." For additional information, contact the Office of Compliance and Equity Management, 117 Gilchrist Hall, 273-2846, (link).
If you have a particular educational need, please contact me early in the semester concerning what I can best do to make the learning experience a positive one. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) provides protection from illegal discrimination for qualified individuals with disabilities. Students requesting instructional accommodations due to disabilities must arrange for such accommodation through the Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services is located at: 103 Student Health Center, and the phone number is: 273-2676. The Office of Disability Services has procedures in place to determine the validity of disability claims as well as the need for instructional accommodations.
8. Incompletes: If, for some reason, you need to request an incomplete for a course, please see the procedures outlined in the "The Making Up of Incomplete Work" section of the catalogue of courses (link). According to UNI policy, "The Incomplete is restricted to students doing satisfactory work in the class who, because of extenuating circumstances, are unable to complete the work of the course. The Incomplete is limited to assigned work during the final sixth of the term."
9. Grievance procedure: According to UNI Policies and Procedures, 12.02 Undergraduate Student Academic Grievance
A process for the redress of academic grievances must be available to students within the framework of academic freedom, the integrity of the course, and the prerogative of the faculty to assign grades. In recognition of this, the University of Northern Iowa hereby establishes the following procedures. These procedures shall be the sole and exclusive means for the redress of an academic grievance, including the change of a student's grade. Grievances involving alleged acts of discrimination based on protected classes, including sexual harassment, are subject to Affirmative Action procedures.
For more information on undergraduate processes (link).
For more information on graduate student processes (link).
10. Grade appeals: You are welcome to seek a grade change on any specific assignment or test if you believe it as graded incorrectly. To do so, you will need to submit your appeal in writing during the class period immediately following the return of the graded assignment. In the appeal, you will need to do the following:
a. Identify which assignment or test question you are appealing.
b. Justify why your answer or performance deserved more points. In this section, you are expected to cite course readings, lecture notes, and/or assignment descriptions. In other words, make a case and provide evidence for why your answer is correct.
c. If you are seeking partial credit, then quantify what amount of grade change you think is warranted.
Please remember to attach the test or graded assignment to your appeal so that I can reference it.
Note: this is an appeal process for a specific assignment. Please refrain from generic appeals for improved grades (aka end-of-semester "grade grubbing"). I work very hard grading and providing detailed feedback. In the process, the grade you earn is the one I assign to you. Toward the end of the semester, or after the semester ends, do not seek a change in your grade to reflect what you “think” it should be, unless you believe I have incorrectly added the points you earned. I do not negotiate grades. Essentially, when you ask to have a grade changed, you are asking for me to be unfair -- to grade you with a different standard than I grade others. Here is something for you to think about: consider how this “grade-grubbing” appears to your professors, whom you may later need to write you a letter of reference or recommendation. What image do you want to leave with your professors?
Most students want to do well in their classes. As your professor, I also want you to do well, which requires that you work diligently and meet the course requirements. If you become concerned about your grade, please see me immediately. Do not wait until semester’s end, when most of the course assignments are completed and there are no additional opportunities for you to raise your grade by earning more points. I will not “find” extra points to add to your total points, no matter how upset you might be. Please note: there is NO extra credit in my classes.
11. Academic Learning Center: The Academic Learning Center asked the following be included in all syllabi: I encourage you to utilize the Academic Learning Center’s assistance with writing, math, science, reading, and learning strategies at no cost to currently-enrolled UNI students:
*The Writing Center offers one-on-one writing feedback for all UNI undergraduate and graduate students. Certified Writing Coaches work with students to help them successfully manage all phases of the writing process, from getting started, to citing and documenting, to editing and proofreading. Schedule appointments at 008 ITTC or 319-273-2361. The Writing Center also offers GRE Essay and PPST Writing preparation workshops, and the Online Writing Guide at http://www.uni.edu/unialc/writingcenter.
*Math and Science Services serves as an academic resource to bridge the learning gap that exists once the student leaves the classroom. Students may walk in during the semester to review for an exam, ask questions about preparing and studying for an exam/class, discuss confusing concepts, complete homework, meet with a study group, or study in a quiet setting. Individual consultations with trained staff are available by appointment. Visit us in 008 ITTC. Call 319-273-2361 to set up an individual consultation. In addition to tutoring services, we offer content-specific workshops and GRE Quantitative and PPST Math preparation courses. Register for workshops and courses at http://www.uni.edu/unialc/.
*The College Reading and Learning Center helps students transition to college-level reading and learning expectations at UNI. Students work with trained Academic Coaches by signing up for workshops, scheduling appointments, or walking in. While appointments are not always necessary, contact the College Reading and Learning Center at 008 ITTC or 319-273-2361 to ensure that an Academic Coach is available at a time convenient for you. Additionally, students can register for workshops and PPST Reading and GRE Verbal preparation courses at www.uni.edu/unialc or attend weekly walk-in study groups.
12. Email Accounts: For all my courses, it is a requirement that you obtain and use your university email account (even if you only set it up in order to have emails forwarded to another account). I use email to communicate changes to the syllabus, assignments, etc. You should check your email daily for class announcements. If you drop this class, you will need to visit the computer center and have your name removed from the class.
It is acceptable to communicate with me via email. However, recognize that these emails are examples of professional communication, not interpersonal chats. Use your emails to me to practice professional email etiquette (what might be expected at work). Thus, be sure that in all emails you properly address me, identify yourself, and make an appropriately worded request that contains specific information about the nature of the request. For example, if you are asking me if you can do something, be sure the body of the email includes, at a minimum, the word “please”. I will not respond to what I consider rude or inappropriately worded emails or emails that lack an appropriate salutation and sender identification. Additionally, do not email assignments to me. I do not accept them via email, with rare exception, and only then with written prior approval.
13. Other Policies: The Family Educational Right to Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law designed to protect student privacy. This means that only you have legal access to your grades, Your parents, friends or significant others have no right to discuss with me your course performance. You have the option to sign a waiver of these rights, but if you have not signed such a waiver, I am not allowed by federal law to discuss your grades with anyone but you. Please realize: if your parents contact me to talk about your grades, federal law prohibits me from doing so.
Just as I will seek to do everything possible to protect your privacy, please respect my privacy and contact me only in the ways I have provided you on the syllabus. In other words, do not contact me at home. You are welcome to contact me at work, through phone, email, stopping by my office during office hours, or setting up an appointment with me outside of office hours should there be a time conflict.