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Setting Up Your Class

Evaluating Teaching & Learning Effectiveness

Academic Policies, Procedures & General Information

Syllabus Guidelines
All credit faculty are expected to distribute a syllabus during the first class meeting. For some courses, the syllabus and class schedule might have already been compiled by the course coordinator. For courses where the division has not assigned a set syllabus and schedule, the faculty member facilitating that section has the responsibility of developing a syllabus and distributing it during the first class meeting.

A preformatted syllabus template has been created to assist you in developing your syllabus.

Every course taught at HCC has a "common course outline" listing the course description, major topics and objectives, and other information common to every section. Common course outlines can be accessed via the HCC website or they can be obtained at the Division Office. It is very important for your course syllabus to correspond to the description, topics and objectives listed in the common course outline.

We suggest that the common course outline become the first page(s) of your course syllabus and that other information, specific to your requirements for the course, be included as listed below:

Instructor Information

  • Instructor's Name
  • Instructor Contact Information--HCC provides all credit faculty with a college email account. College voicemail accounts are available through your Division Office upon request. Home phone numbers and email information may be provided to students if that is the preference of the faculty member.
  • Division Office Name and Location
  • Hours Available to Meet with Students

Course Information

  • Course Number/Section
  • Course Title
  • Credits: Lecture and Laboratory
  • Prerequisites: Required and Suggested
  • Required Text/Supplementary Materials
  • Addtional Course Objectives
  • Behavioral Objectives - Summarize what a student should learn to complete the course successfully.  (It is recommended that objectives be phrased in a manner consistent with Bloom's Taxonomy of educational objectives.

Class Policies

  • Course Requirements
  • Evaluation - Grades
  • Attendance Poilcy
  • Due Dates
  • Make-up Work
  • Final Exam Date - If any, refer to final exam schedule available in the schedule of classes or Schedule Plus (Cumulative Final Exams must be administered during the scheduled Final Exam Period)
  • Other

Instructional Policies

  • Withdrawal Date, Add/Drop
  • Academic Honesty and Plagiarism Guidelines

Reference Materials

PLEASE NOTE: Faculty may not change the assigned text for a course without having the advanced approval of a division chair, who is responsible for ordering textbooks through the bookstore.

Grades and Official Class Records

An official record of students’ grades, as stipulated below, must be maintained throughout the semester. Grade books with attendance records MUST be submitted to your Division Office at the end of the semester. There is an official grade book form available in your Division Office, or you may use your own format.

Grade Books

Minimally, the following information should be included in the grade book when returned to the Division Office at the end of the semester:

  • An accurate account of all students' grades or scores with the scores being identified; i.e., test score, research paper, etc.
  • A grade scale which is clearly defined to permit someone to interpret the grading procedure to an inquiring student at a time when the instructor might be unavailable.
  • A clearly labeled final grade and how it was determined.
  • Attendance records and information such as student phone numbers (if different from roster records) for possible later contact.
  • Any other appropriate information used in determining grades. 

Maintaining Accurate Attendance Records

It is very important that all instructors maintain accurate student attendance records. When submitting final grades, faculty members are required to report the last day of attendance for students who earned a grade of “F.” This information must be reported by the college to stay in compliance with federal financial aid guidelines. The last day of a student’s attendance in your class is a vital item of information to the college’s Office of Financial Aid. The forms that faculty use to submit this information at the end of a term are forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid to help the college stay within the federal guidelines.

Final Examinations

The use of final exams is encouraged to support content synthesis. Final Examinations are not part of the regular semester but are a separate, pre-scheduled period and published in the College Schedule Plus. If an instructor requires a final exam, it must be given during the time listed in the Final Exam Schedule. Exceptions are made for certain distance learning formats. All final exams are administered in the regularly scheduled classroom, unless otherwise designated by the division chair. The instructor will inform the class of the final exam schedule during the first week of the semester and indicate that information on the course syllabus. Click here to view the final exam schedule.

Class Rosters

Initial rosters will be printed after the close of regular registration. This list does not include any students who register during late registration. Please check student's registration form and payment receipt before adding a name to this roster.

Faculty may utilize HCC Express for Faculty to access and print up-to-the minute class rosters (see below).

myHCC

myHCC is a web-based interface to Howard Community College’s administrative database. myHCC is designed to provide credit students and faculty with secure access to useful real-time information and services.

myHCC allows faculty to access the following features: Class Roster, Course Availability, and My Class Schedule. myHCC is also used to register for faculty development trainings. Click here for instructions on how to register for faculty professional development trainings via myHCC.

Verifying NA Rosters

Correction rosters will be printed after the last day to add or drop a class. No student should be attending your class if his/her name is not on this roster. Please immediately refer unlisted students to the assistant registrar for resolution. Faculty must note this roster with a "NA" next to any student who has never attended a single class. (The "NA" grade is a permanent non-punitive grade. Failure to assign this grade when applicable will adversely affect the student's transcript and GPA). After signing this roster, please forward to the Registrar's Office (or Division Office) by the requested date. It is very important to turn in the NA Rosters on time because they impact student’s financial aid.

Official rosters will be printed after the correction roster information has been entered into the computer file. State reports are compiled from this data. Final Grade rosters will be printed for faculty to enter student final grades. The grades are electronically scanned and entered into the computer files. Close adherence to the instructions which accompany the rosters will assure that the grades are entered accurately and quickly to the student records. The completeness of this final roster depends entirely on your cooperation. By attending to any registration problems early in the semester, this last task will be hassle free.

Student Withdraw

Students may initiate withdrawal from a course by completing an official withdrawal form and submitting it to the Records Office. The deadline is published in the Credit Schedule of Classes and is close to the midpoint of each term.

Faculty should be sure students are informed of their course status so that they can make reasonable decisions about withdrawal. Students who officially withdraw by the deadline receive a "W" for the course. The “W” is not computed in the GPA. Before withdrawing from a course, students should consult an advisor in the Admissions and Advising Division Office for assistance and guidance.

Attendance

Regular class attendance is one of the most important responsibilities of each student. Although the college does not have a required attendance policy, instructors are encouraged to set their own attendance policies with appropriate penalties for violation. If attendance is required, the instructor must publish the requirement in the course syllabus.

Observation of Religious Holidays

Religious holidays will occur during the year. Instructors are asked to be flexible with students wishing to observe such holidays. Please allow your students to make up missed work. Students should not be penalized for missing class on these holidays.

Custom Class

CustomClass is the non-credit way to take most of the credit courses listed in the credit schedule of classes. CustomClass students sit in the same class as credit students; however, they are enrolled as non-credit or Continuing Education students. The CustomClass student receives the same instruction but does not get a grade/transcript. CustomClass students are noted by a special designation on class rosters. More information on Custom Class can be obtained through the Division Offices.

Evaluating Teaching & Learning Effectiveness

Teaching and Learning Observations

Departmental evaluation in the form of classroom observation and/or conferences between adjunct faculty and division chairs, or an appointed full-time faculty member, may be held at any time during the semester for purposes of improving instructional quality.

A copy of the Classroom Observation Form is provided in Appendix A for reference. Howard Community College observes faculty to evaluate an instructor’s relationships with a class, the quality of the class content, and the quality of the classroom delivery. Additionally, individual divisions and disciplines have specific criteria which are also evaluated and will be listed under “Program-Specific Objectives.” Please consult with your course coordinator or chair regarding program-specific objectives.

Idea Survey Student Evaluations

During the last half of each semester, division chairs select instructors/courses for evaluation by students. Forms and instructions are distributed to faculty, completed by students, and are processed and returned to division chairs and faculty members.

The IDEA system is used to provide students with the opportunity to give feedback on the quality and impact of classroom instruction. This system is produced by the Kansas State University Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development. During the Fall semester, all sections of all classes are evaluated and during the Spring semester, select sections are done. The purpose is two-fold – one of evaluation and one of development. These surveys are administered during the later part of the semester. The results are available to faculty after semester grades are submitted.

Academic Policies, Procedures & General Information

Class Cancellations

For class cancellations, please notify your Division Office in advance (before class time). It is recommended that you call your Division Office’s main phone line to prevent missed calls when staff are out. A Classroom Alert Email will be sent and signs posted for students.

Weather-Related Cancellations

Weather-related class cancellations due to weather emergencies will be published on the HCC website. Cancellations will also be aired on local radio and television stations affiliated with the three major networks between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. When Howard County public schools are closed because of weather emergencies, the HCC classes held at these schools are automatically canceled. Special attention should be paid to confirm whether closing decisions apply to the county school system or HCC, credit, non-credit, day and/or evening courses. If classes are canceled any time after school opens, announcements will be made in the same manner. A recorded message will be played on the college’s main telephone number, 443-518-4800.

Late Opening Policy

If the college has a late opening and there is more than 30 minutes of time left in a scheduled class at the late opening time, that particular class will meet for the remainder of the class time.

Early Closing Policy

If the college will be closing early and there will be more than 30 minutes of time available for a scheduled class before the college closes, that particular class will meet during the available time.

Student Academic Complaint Procedure

A student who has an academic complaint, including a specific academic complaint involving a faculty member that remains unresolved through informal means, may enter into a formal process of problem resolution. The student academic complaint form may be obtained from the division offices.

Definition of an Academic Compaint

An issue related to classroom instruction, such as a grade dispute (including late penalties, acceptance or non-acceptance of late assignments, and incomplete grades).

Time Limit - A student must initiate the academic complaint by the end of the seventh week of the next full semester.

Procedure for Resolution of Student Concerns Involving Faculty

1. The student must begin the formal complaint process by scheduling an appointment with the instructor to discuss the problem. Many times misunderstandings can be resolved by honest, open dialogue.

2. If the student cannot resolve his/her problem during the meeting with the instructor, the student may schedule an appointment to see the appropriate division chair or associate division chair. Prior to scheduling the appointment the student must submit the student academic complaint form, including a written description of the problem, the resolution the student is requesting, and the signature of the instructor to confirm that the required meeting has taken place. An appointment will be made when the division chair or associate chair has received written reports from both the student and the instructor.

3. If the concern is not resolved at the division chair level, the student’s written complaint, the instructor’s written response and the chair’s or associate chair’s recommendation will be forwarded to the vice president of academic affairs. At this stage in the academic complaint process, the student has the right to meet with the vice president of academic affairs to present additional support for his or her complaint, but the student is not required to do so. That appointment must be made within two weeks of the meeting with the division chair or associate chair. After that two-week period the vice president will assume that the student does not desire such a meeting and will make a judgment on the case.

4. The decision of the Vice President of Academic Affairs is final. This decision will be communicated to the student in a formal correspondence.

NOTE: Supporting evidence may be attached at any level.

Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is of utmost importance to Howard Community College (HCC). Broadly, academic honesty means incorporating one’s own thoughts and materials in all academic activities (e.g., papers, projects, lab reports). A violation of academic honesty involves misrepresentation, the submission of materials for evaluation that are not the student’s own, or fulfillment of an academic exercise that does not result from individual effort or intellectual production. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to: unauthorized use or copying of materials, unauthorized assistance with assignments, unauthorized use of devices or tools, unauthorized prior knowledge of the contents of assessment instruments, such as exams, quizzes, or surveys, and falsification or fabrication of information.

Policy and procedures related to academic honesty are communicated through the college catalog, class schedules, course outlines, and faculty and student handbooks. At a minimum, all catalogs, class schedules, and course outlines will contain the following statement: “Academic honesty, as defined in the Student Handbook, is expected of all students.”

To preserve the value of educational endeavors at HCC, faculty and students will exhibit academic honesty through the following core values:

  • Integrity: doing quality work that reflects one's best effort, honesty, and originality;
  • Respect: giving credit to those who assist in educational endeavors; and
  • Excellence: demonstrating a high standard of ethical behavior

HCC maintains the following expectations for each student. Students will:

  • submit work that represents the individual's own achievements, investigations, and study;
  • craft original work, contribute fairly to a group product, and acknowledge collaborators, even in collaborative learning opportunities; and
  • present data that is true to the student's own research, laboratory results, observations, and investigations, when reporting investigated results.

Students are expected to give full credit for the borrowing of others’ words or ideas. Intentional or unintentional use of another’s words or ideas without giving credit constitutes plagiarism. There are four common forms of plagiarism:

  • duplication of an author’s words without quotation marks and accurate references or footnotes;
  • duplication of an author’s words or phrases with footnotes or accurate references, but without quotation marks;
  • use of an author’s ideas in paraphrase without accurate references or footnotes; or
  • submission of a paper in which exact words are merely rearranged even though footnoted.

Every student is expected to submit work for a course or for any other academic purpose that has been done solely for that course or for that purpose. If the same or similar work is submitted to any other course or used for any other academic purpose within the college, prior written permission of the instructor must be obtained.

Any student intentionally aiding another student in any infraction of the academic honesty policy is considered equally responsible.

Faculty reserve the right to establish course-level policies in conjunction with, and in addition to, the stated academic honesty policy, provided that these policies are clearly delineated in the course syllabus.

Procedures for dealing with infractions of the academic honesty policy are:

First Infraction

The faculty member will give the student a “0” or its equivalent on the paper, examination, or presentation in question. The faculty member will notify the student and explain the reason for the grade. This action could result in a lower final grade. The appropriate division chairperson will be informed of the infraction in writing and the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student in writing of the consequences and implications of this infraction.

Second Infraction

The faculty member will give the student a “0” on the paper, examination, or presentation in question. A second infraction of the academic honesty policy, either in the same course or in another course, will also result in an automatic “F” in the course in which the second infraction occurred. Upon written notification from the appropriate division chair that an academic honesty infraction occurred, and a determination is made that a second infraction has occurred, the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student of the “F” for the course and make the faculty member aware that a second infraction has occurred. The student will be dropped from the course and barred from further class participation.

In cases where the second infraction occurs in the same course, the faculty member will notify the student and explain the reason for the “F” in the course, otherwise, the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student of the “F” in the course. The vice president of student services or designee will notify the registrar that the student is to receive an “F” for the course. The vice president of student services or designee will meet with the student involved and apprise the student of the implication of this second infraction.

Third Infraction

The faculty member shall give the student a “0” on the paper, examination, or presentation in question. The faculty member will notify the student and explain the reason for the grade. A third infraction of the academic honesty policy will also result in an automatic “F” in the course in which the third infraction occurred. Upon notification from the appropriate division chair that an academic honesty infraction occurred and a determination is made that a third infraction has occurred, the vice president of student services or designee will notify the student of the “F” for the course and make the faculty member aware that a third infraction has occurred. The student will be dropped from the course and barred from further class participation. The vice president of student services or designee will also notify the registrar that the student is to receive an “F” for the course. A third instance of plagiarism or any behavior involving an infraction of the academic honesty policy will result in disciplinary action as determined through the student judicial process.

Field Trips

Field trips required as part of a course must be approved in advance by the division chair, listed in the catalog, and paid for by the college. Other field trips may be planned on a voluntary basis with individual students covering all costs. The course instructor is solely liable for all personal and professional responsibilities except as released in writing by the division chair and/or individual students.

The following regulations shall apply to all field trips:

Student cars shall not be used for group transportation.

All field trips should normally be scheduled to avoid conflict with other classes of participating students. If required field trips conflict with other classes, the instructor should make arrangements that do not penalize the student.