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The Educational Policies Committee asks colleagues to use these guidelines when creating syllabi for course proposals. These guidelines may also be useful to faculty who are revising or enhancing syllabi.
Syllabi at Kalamazoo College
- A detailed course description, including course title.
- Learning outcomes and goals.
- Draft timeline of quarter, including schedule of readings, assignments, exams, and events that occur outside of scheduled class time.
- Planned types and number of assignments, exams, and other tasks on which students will be evaluated.
- Grading scale, including how final grades are determined.
- Accommodation Statement – please visit Resources for Students with Disabilities for more details (example statement in FAQ).
- Religious Accommodation Statement – please visit Office of Religious Spiritual Life for more details (example statement in FAQ).
- Academic Integrity Statement – please see the Student Development website.
- Attendance and tardiness policy.
- Late work policy.
- Required texts.
- Faculty member’s name, office hours, contact information.
- Planned pedagogical techniques.
- Grading rubric for lab work.
- Rubric for attendance and class participation.
- List of relevant Learning Commons resources.
- Number of office hours.
- Estimate of the weekly hour time commitment outside of class.
- Land acknowledgement statement.
- Policy against harassment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have an example for the accommodations statement?
One example, taken from the First-Year Seminar syllabus guidelines:
“If you are a student with a disability who seeks accommodation or other assistance in this course, please let me know as soon as possible. Kalamazoo College is committed to making every effort to providing reasonable accommodations. If you want to discuss your overall needs for accommodation at the College, please direct questions to the Associate Dean of Students Office, (269) 337-7209. For more information, please visit the Student Life page for Disability Services: https://www.kzoo.edu/student-life/students-with-disabilities/.”
Do you have an example for the religous accommodations statement?
“Religious accommodations: please contact your instructor well in advance of the need for accommodations around attendance or deadlines due to religious observance. For more inforamtion on religous accommodations and observance on campus, please see the Office of Religous and Spiritual Life or contact Chaplain Liz Candido (email@example.com or at 269.337.7362).”
Do you have an example for the academic honesty statement?
Taken from the First-Year Seminar syllabus guidelines, developed in collaboration with the Provost and Dean of Students:
“This course operates under the College Honor System. That means: we treat each other with respect, we nurture independent thought, we take responsibility for personal behavior, and we accept environmental responsibility. Academic honesty is a critical part of our value system at K. When you borrow an idea, express the idea in your own words, thus thinking it through and making it your own, and acknowledge the source of the idea in a note, or, in certain situations, use the exact words of the source in quotation marks and acknowledge with a note. Ideas raised in class are part of the public domain and, therefore, sources of the ideas need not be acknowledged. If you are ever in doubt about this, you must ask. For the full policy, please see the Student Development page for Academic Dishonesty: https://studev.kzoo.edu/policies/academic-dishonesty/.”
Should I check with the Library or IS about my required resources?
If class resources rely on the support of the Library or Information Services, they must be confirmed before submitting a proposal. Resources must be ensured as either available or acquirable by the respective departments. For Library resources, please contact the Collection Services Librarian (Leslie.Burke@kzoo.edu). For IS resources, please contact the Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, please visit the faculty support pages available here:
What factors should I consider when grading attendance and participation?
The weight of attendance/participation generally should not exceed 20% of the overall grade, unless there is a compelling pedagogical reason to make an exception. In all cases, but most especially those where the weight is at or near this maximum level, we feel it advisable to be as specific as possible in setting the parameters for assessing attendance/participation (e.g. what does active participation look like? How many points are lost for being absent?). When crafting these specifics, please bear in mind the following College policies:
- Faculty may not request doctors’ notes from students who report missing class for illness;
- Student athletes should not be penalized for missing class when they have scheduled games, but can be assigned alternative work; and
- Faculty may not require activities scheduled outside of regular class times without offering an alternative to students who have a conflict.