Syllabus Statements

This resource provides samples of common policy statements found in both undergraduate and graduate syllabi. This resource offers sample syllabi language that addresses topics such as attendance and participation, late work, classroom respect, and communication policies.

Students are expected to attend class on Tuesdays (all students) and Thursdays remotely (scheduled students). If you’re sick, please email me prior to class; a required Zoom meeting will need to be scheduled to discuss coursework. Students may miss the equivalent of one week’s worth of classes without penalty. After that, the attendance and participation grade will be lowered by 10 points for each absence or for failure to arrange an individual conference/Zoom meeting. 

- Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell (West Liberty University)

Attendance Policy 
1. Regular attendance in this course is strongly recommended. 

a. Many ideas and concepts are explained and examined through in-class discussion. 
b. In-class activities and extra credit opportunities cannot be made-up at a later date. 
c. Following the guidelines given in class will be expected in all presentations. 
d. Class time is valuable.

- Sean Maulding (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

You will come to class on the dates indicated in the course calendar. Each class period is valuable, and every community member is needed for our discussions to be fruitful. Should you be absent from class, you will get any missed notes and/or activities from another student in the class and visit me during office hours if you have further questions or concerns. If you do not regularly attend class, it will be challenging for you to succeed in this class. If you are excessively tardy or miss an excessive number of classes, I will speak with you to ascertain the issue and how I can best support you. 

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

Care Responsibility Policy (adopted from Dr. Melissa Cheyney at Oregon State University): It is my belief that, if we want to make education more accessible, we must be attentive to the caring responsibilities that have the potential to interrupt classroom attendance and participation. Currently, the University of X does not have a formal policy on the relationship between coursework and care work. This policy is a reflection of my own beliefs, values, and commitments to students, staff, and faculty with care responsibilities. 

1. All exclusively breastfeeding babies are consistently welcome in this classroom to the extent that is necessary to facilitate the breastfeeding relationship. “Because not all women can pump sufficient milk, and not all babies will take a bottle reliably, I never want students to feel like they have to choose between feeding their baby and continuing their education. You and your nursing baby are welcome in class anytime” (Cheyney).

2. Having an ill child, spouse, family member, or friend that requires care can often result in unforeseen disruptions in attendance, participation, and focus. If you are comfortable, please share these care responsibilities with me and trust that we can find ways to accommodate your needs as you provide this important and necessary care. Some of these accommodations may include the possibility of occasionally bringing an ill child to class to cover gaps in care, virtual participation in lectures, and paper extensions. All of these accommodations will be decided on a case-by-case basis. 

3. In this classroom, we will welcome and respect the various care responsibilities held by all participants. 

4. I maintain high expectations for each and every student in this classroom, but also believe that cultivating an acceptable academic environment and truly valuing the diverse perspectives that you all bring to the classroom requires acknowledging the other labor that you perform and the possibility that, if you are responsible for care work, caring for others may require more attention and energy at particular times. I hope that you feel comfortable disclosing these care responsibilities to me and feel supported as you strive to balance those with your obligations as a student.

- Brittany Knutson (University of Minnesota—Twin Cities)

Class Attendance – in person or virtually: Students MUST be ready to learn, whether we meet virtually or in person. Virtual class is EXACTLY like in person class; therefore, students are expected to do the following: 

A. Have camera on 
B. Be dressed to attend class 
C. Have a notebook and writing utensil to take notes 
D. Participate in discussions 
E. Take participation quizzes about the material presented

- Colleen L. Mestayer (Tennessee Technological University)

Class meets three hours a week. Attendance is required and roll will be taken each class. If you need to miss a class, you have to let me know in advance. You can send an email prior to the class. You can miss up to three hours of class, and you need to send an email for each. If you miss more than 3 hours of class, 5 points will be deducted from your overall grade. This is non-negotiable. Students are required to attend class and take the attendance policy seriously. 

- Emel Ozdora Aksak (Bilkent University)

1. Participation, Professionalism, In-class Exercises, & In-class Activities (60 points) 

This portion comprises online and in-class activities including engaging exercises, active discussion, arriving to class on time, attendance, and being an overall professional audience member and student. This means listening to your classmates, supporting them with eye contact, not using smartphones, and not using your laptop or practicing your own presentation while someone is presenting. Enthusiasm and commitment in joining classroom activities is expected in every class. Be prepared to move, go outside, talk, and listen to your classmates. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

*My rule for technology (which affects participation/attendance) is the following. I know that students often take notes on their laptops or devices, but some may end up using that as an excuse to simply use their device during class for non-class things. So, this policy, while it does not reduce the chances of students playing games or surfing the web, etc., it does increase the chances that they are also taking notes simultaneously. 

Electronic/Mobile Devices 
Please silence your phone when class begins and put it away until class is over. No matter how inconspicuous a student may be, cellphone use is obvious, distracting, and disrespectful to me and your peers. 

Devices will not be allowed for any reason beyond notetaking. If you want to use any device for notes in a particular class period, you must do two things: 

1. Sign up at the beginning of that class period. 
2. Email your notes to me immediately after class. 0.5% will be deducted from attendance/participation each time any electronic device is used without the above things happening.

- Stephen Warren (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Attendance will not be taken; however, please note, what you get out of this class will depend on the effort and commitment you make regarding your own learning. 

To create a dynamic learning community, participation/engagement, is an essential component of this course. Participation can be defined in numerous ways, including joining our group discussion; listening to your classmates and instructor; fully engaging in solo, partner, and group activities; coming to class prepared; completing readings and assignments; arriving on time; being present during our class session; being respectful of diverse points of view; asking for help when needed; and supporting your classmates. To help you assess your own participation, I invite you to reflect on the following questions:

  • Presence: How engaged was I in today’s class? Was I listening? Was I late or did I leave early? 
  • Engagement: Did I actively participate in all in-class activities? Did I bring the required assignments and materials? Did I work collaboratively with my partners or group? 
  • Openness: Was I open to trying new experiences? Did I respect others' views even when they differed from my own? 
  • Contribution: Did I communicate my learning needs to the group? Have I actively contributed to creating the class I want, while being mindful of others' needs, too? Have I shared my insights, observations, questions, comments, or concerns? Have I allowed space for others to share their insights, observations, questions, comments, or concerns? 
  • Self-Responsibility: Have I taken responsibility for the choices I have made regarding coming to class, turning in my work, and engaging fully with the course content? Finally, and perhaps most importantly, what would the group have missed had I not been in class?

- Kristen C. Blinne (SUNY Oneonta)

Attendance and participation are key to having meaningful and productive class activities and discussions. Because this course emphasizes discussion, students are expected to attend every class and come prepared to discuss the material for the day. 

At minimum, “participation” means attending class regularly, being on time, reading the assigned material before class, and being ready to engage in any class activities. Participation will be assessed a variety of ways throughout the semester (but not limited to): 

1. In-class discussion and activities: You will be assessed on the quality and quantity of your participation in-class activities and discussions. 

2. Instructor Assessment and Peer Assessment: Throughout the course of the semester, you will be evaluated on your engagement in class and through the weekly reflections. The peer assessment included in the group project contributes to your engagement point total. In this way, engagement is understood on an individual and group basis. 

NOTE: If for any reason you find that something is preventing you from repeatedly making it to class and participating, please reach out to me – I am happy to collaborate to find solutions with you!

- Communication Educator

Attendance, participation, and presence 

Communication as a discipline and a set of skills can be learned best when you participate in course activities and actively evaluate your colleagues’ work. Thus, your active presence - that is, productive, substantial, original, and critical - is mandatory. Presence implies engagement in a dialogue with people and texts. Mere observation, or just marking your presence with an expression of agreement or disagreement, does not count "by the end of the day." As a result, your participation equals presence and attendance, and they all will influence your grades. Since we have soft schedule, without time appointed for class meetings, class absences are not relevant. You are expected to contribute to the course activities as they are scheduled during particular weeks. You should be logging into Canvas at least three times a week to view assignments, presentations, contribute to discussions, post questions, read posting of others, etc. I will announce most activities and assignments in advance and will provide ample time for completion. 

The expectation is that the assignments will be posted before the beginning of the week, and you will complete the assignments during the following week. Thus, developing a routine is essential. Always work forward, rather than backward. If you plan to be absent from class activities for longer periods of time because of a sport, job, school, medical, or family event, please kindly let me know so that we can make arrangements for the assignments to be completed in a timely manner.

- Natalia Rybas (Indiana University East) 

Attendance is essential for your success in this course. That being said, you will be allowed to decide if attendance has an impact on your individual grade. Your attendance will be taken into consideration when approving quarterly assignment points and assigning final grades. If you miss a class, you are responsible for all material discussed that day. Plan to get the notes for any missed days from a classmate. 

Miscellaneous Assignments (300 points; various options): 
This category also takes a “choose-your-own-adventure” format. You will decide how you want to earn (up to) the remaining 300 points in this course by choosing from the “Assignment Bank” on Canvas and/or proposing additional assignments. You may opt to put 100 of these 300 points toward attendance, where the percentage of days you attend class becomes your score out of 100.

- Hailey Otis (Bates College) 

Late assignments will be penalized one point for every day late. This refers to all days (Sunday-Saturday), not only to days we meet for class. There is a limit of five (5) days to turn in a late assignment. After five (5) days, the assignment will receive a zero (0). 

Example: An assignment is due on a Friday but is turned in on a Monday. 

  • That assignment is three days late (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday). 
  • This assignment will be penalized three points, one from every day late. 
  • After Wednesday, that assignment will receive a zero (0). 

Late assignments can be emailed to me, delivered to my on-campus mailbox (with the date clearly marked), or delivered to my office (again, with the date clearly marked; I don’t want you to lose any extra points). Makeup quizzes will not be permitted. If you do not take a quiz, you will receive a zero (0). Due to time constraints, makeup presentations will not be allowed, unless there is an emergency. You must be prepared to present on your scheduled presentation day. If there is an emergency, let me know as soon as you safely can and arrangements to present at a later date will be considered. 

- Sean Maulding (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

As a general rule, late work will not be accepted. If you feel you have extenuating circumstances and need to submit something late, please contact me as soon as you are able, and we will discuss it. Extending deadlines is at my discretion. 

- Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell (West Liberty University)

Deadlines are an important aspect of life, especially in our professional careers. Thus, all assignments are due by the dates clearly posted in Canvas. I do not accept late assignments. Only extenuating circumstances will be considered as an excuse for an assignment to be late. It is for this reason that you should plan ahead. Please do not ask to turn something in late if you do not have an extenuating circumstance. Remember that there are more opportunities for turning in assignments than there are assignments required in the course. A missed deadline carries no penalty to your grade. Just make sure you don't miss multiple deadlines, or you will run out of chances to submit your work! 

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

Deadlines: Without prior arrangements, work can be submitted up to one week later for 50% credit. For example, if it’s a 100-point assignment and you turn it in up to a week late, the most you can receive is 50-points. After a week, the work is not accepted and is graded as a zero. It is your responsibility to work on your assignments in a timely manner and to avoid last-minute problems. It is your responsibility to take care of your technology. Obviously, discussion questions can never be accepted late. The syllabus keeps moving. 

Note: This has worked for me to reduce late work at the end of the semester. It's for journalism students, where deadlines matter.

- Mary Angela Bock (The University of Texas)

Our goal for the semester will be to respect deadlines in order to ensure a timely completion of coursework. However, if you cannot submit your assignment on time, we will meet to establish a new deadline for completing the assignment.

- Brittany Knutson (University of Minnesota—Twin Cities)

MAKE-UPS AND LATE ASSIGNMENTS There will be no make-up exams or deadline extensions. Exceptions can be considered only in cases of extraordinary, documented circumstances, as determined by the instructor.

- Emel Ozdora Aksak (Bilkent University)

If you are having any issues at all, I encourage you to always tell me beforehand (such as a short email or text). This practice helps us stay in touch if a small problem turns into a big problem, which may ultimately help us figure out how I can assist you. 

Overall, please stay in communication with me. Keep me in the loop. Be proactive. I am not going to chase you down about grades or assignments as you are responsible adults, and I will treat you as such. This is a professional communication course and I expect you to communicate as such. 

Lastly, I typically do NOT accept late work. That being said, late work will be accepted at the discretion of the professor. 

The instructor reserves the right to request third-party documentation for missed classes/work.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

Grace Period 
We could all use a bit more grace these days, so here is a little for you… Although assignments are due by 10:00 PM, no late penalty will accrue if it is submitted before 10:00 AM the next morning. This is to encourage you to get a good night’s sleep but have some flexibility, too. 

Late Work 
Please contact me if you have circumstances that you think will make you fall behind, so we can work something out. Learning is a social enterprise. We need ALL our voices in the classroom to learn from each other effectively. 

  • Assignments that cannot be submitted late: When you are the discussion leader, a portion of your grade is based on how you facilitate this interaction. This portion of your grade cannot be made up when submitting work late (beyond the Grace Period). When you’re late with these assignments, you are depriving us of course content as well as your voice and wisdom in interpreting this information. 
  • Work Late by 1-2 Days: Turning in work late makes it difficult for me to respond to your work in a timely manner, and it may make you fall behind on other assignments. To discourage this, late work (beyond the grace period) will be downgraded by 10% for the first day, 20% for the second day. 
  • Work Late More than 2 Days: If your work will be late beyond 2 days, you will need to contact me so we can discuss how best to proceed. I will want to have documentation of something unforeseeable and serious to be allowed to make up work.

- Jo Anna Grant (California State University, San Bernardino)

Rolling Submission Policy & Late Work: 
Our course implements rolling deadlines. Assignments are due between Friday at 11:59 pm and Sunday at 11:59 pm for each module. For example, quizzes are due on Friday at 11:59 pm (EST), but if you need the extra time, you can submit on Saturday or Sunday without a point penalty. Essentially, you will have an additional 48 hours to refine your work and turn in quality assignments should you choose. For this reason, late work will not be accepted and will receive a zero (0) if turned in after the Sunday deadline unless you can provide official documentation (i.e., doctor’s note). If you are having issues with understanding an assignment, you must talk to me well in advance from the assignment’s due date. Contacting me after an assignment is due about any issues pertaining to content or logistics is not a reason to be given an extension or credit on an assignment (i.e., “I didn’t understand the assignment”; “I accidentally uploaded the paper rubric instead of the paper.”). Additionally, continuous, and habitual technical difficulties do not excuse students from work or penalty. Plan your work and work your plan!

- Communication Educator

Deadlines I will announce most activities and assignments in advance, with weekly modules published before Thursday. I strongly encourage you to submit your work before the deadline. The deadlines will fall on Thursday 6 pm and Monday 6 pm, your time zone, with 24 hours grace period. These deadlines are meant to prompt you to submit your assignments and to take a few hours off. 

Late/make-up work 

  • All assignments are to be completed by the date assigned. 
  • Extenuating circumstances require documentation and will be considered on case-by-case bases. 
  • Communicate if you have planned or unplanned circumstances that prevent you from meeting the deadlines.

- Natalia Rybas (Indiana University East)

Make up policy 
Given that this is an asynchronous, online course, there are only two excusable reasons for missing coursework: 1) documented emergency (including illnesses) and 2) emergency technological disruptions. 

  • If you miss an exam or a quiz because of a documented emergency, you will need to email me as soon as you are medically or physically able with the following information: 1) Do you have a valid reason for missing a quiz or exam? 2) Do you have proper evidence? (Police report, medical excuse, funeral documents, etc.) 
  • If you miss an exam or a quiz because of a technological disruption, you need to properly document the disruption and it must comply with several elements: 1) the disruption lasted the entirety of the time the exam or quiz was open. For example, if an exam is open for 4 hours, and you decided to log in when there was a half hour left, and your internet is not working, that will not suffice for a make-up. 2) It is a legitimate disruption to your service: not knowing how to use Blackboard or where to find something is not a legitimate disruption to your service. 3) Finally, you took pictures with your phone or screenshots with your device to demonstrate the date and time you tried to access, and your service was not working. 
  • If the reason is valid, you will be provided a make-up, but it may be different from the original exam (both in format and style). If the reason is not justified, a make-up may not be offered, or it will be with a late penalty (to be determined by the instructor) of the grade for that exam. Justifiable reasons for missing in-class assignments are based on the list of excused absences defined above. 

Article presentations - These have been scheduled in advance, so there are no valid excuses for missing them, except in the case of documented emergency (detailed above).

- Communication Educator 

Due Dates 
Deadlines for assignments are important for time management on the part of both student and instructor. They allow the instructor to provide timely, substantive feedback on assignments in order to foster student progress. That being said, the relationship between due dates and feedback/grades in this class operates as follows: 

  • If you turn an assignment in by the date designated on the syllabus, you can expect timely, extensive feedback from your instructor on that assignment.
  • If you turn in an assignment up to one week after the due date designated on the syllabus, you can expect some feedback from your instructor on that assignment. 
  • If you turn in an assignment later than one week after the due date designated on the syllabus (but before the final submission deadline for that part of the class), you can expect a numerical grade from your instructor on that assignment with no to minimal written feedback. You are always welcome and invited to come discuss an assignment, grade, or feedback verbally during my office hours.

- Hailey Otis (Bates College) 

Please be on time and fully prepared for each class session. 

a. Excessive tardiness can be disruptive to fellow students. 
b. Never walk in late during another student’s presentation. 

i. Points will be deducted from your presentation. 
ii. Wait quietly in the hall for the applause.

c. Please refrain from leaving class before the scheduled end time. 

i. Leaving class early can also be disruptive to fellow students. 
ii. Packing up to leave before you are dismissed bugs me. 

Electronic devices can only be used for class purposes, or for excused purposes (i.e., translators or other school-sanctioned devices). I know that people use their phones. Just reviewing my cellphone policy is making me want to check my phone at this very moment. I get it. The occasional text is okay (keyword= occasional), but do not let these become a distraction for you or for your fellow classmates. I would prefer all phones to be on silent for the entire duration of our class. Please let me know in advance if you need your device for an emergency purpose. I am strict about electronic devices during presentations. If your phone goes off, if I see you using your phone, if I hear a phone vibration, if you are using a laptop or tablet for any reason during a presentation, you will lose points from your presentation for every such occurrence. 

- Sean Maulding (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

Students should demonstrate respect for the learning environment, including their fellow students, contributing to an atmosphere conducive to learning. Students are expected to arrive on time and be prepared by keeping up with readings, script writings, and assignments. 

- Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell (West Liberty University)

You will act with civility and personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights, and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. You will recognize that this course encourages different perspectives related to such factors as gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, class, religion, abilities, and other relevant cultural identities and also seeks to foster understanding and inclusiveness related to such diverse perspectives and ways of communicating. 

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

Students should realize that they are communicating in an academic setting and should conduct themselves accordingly. Students should use the guidelines below for communicating with their professor and classmates. 

  • Be courteous and respectful of others’ opinions. If you feel the need to disagree, do so in a respectful way by acknowledging your classmate’s point of view or argument. Then, present your point of view. 
  • Do not use inappropriate or offensive language which may be interpreted as racist or sexist. Foul language is not tolerated in face-to-face classes and will not be tolerated in an online class. Violations will be dealt with on an individual basis. 
  • Use language that is appropriate to an academic setting rather than "chat," "text," or "instant messaging jargon," and refrain from using characters like smiley faces.
  • Be mindful of the tone of your message or post. Communication in an online course is mostly written and it is easy to misinterpret someone's meaning.
  • DO NOT SHOUT when posting to discussions or composing email. Using capital letters is considered shouting. Run a spell check before posting anything to the discussion board or when communicating with the email tool. Use proper spelling, capitalization, grammar, usage, punctuation, and titles when communicating with classmates and the professor. 
  • Stay on topic. Avoid "spamming" classmates with emails and posts that have nothing to do with course content.

- Julie Snyder-Yuly (Marshall University)

Classroom Conduct: It is my wish that our classroom where each of us can feel comfortable and accepted. We may discuss controversial issues; it is our job to allow others to express their opinions and to truly listen to ideas with which we may disagree. It is essential that we work to help one another -- communication, by its nature, is not something we can pursue alone. In keeping with our effort to maintain a collegial environment, crude, vulgar, or insulting language will not be tolerated. 

Note: I want students to feel that they can express themselves, but within the bounds of civility.

- Mary Angela Bock (The University of Texas)

Under the general heading of "Conduct" I have the following as a bullet point – 

  • Intellectual Generosity: Practice attentive, ethical audience member communication based on intellectual generosity. This means paying attention and engaging in active listening toward the speaker – whether that person is me, a guest speaker, or another student in the class. Ask constructive questions that enhance your & others' learning.

- Arshia Anwer (Manhattan College)

In addition to the required university disability/accessibility statement below, I want to stress to all students that I am happy to discuss any reasonable (or unreasonable!) accommodations you need. I want you to succeed in this course and beyond, and I fully understand that sometimes we all need a little extra help. If I can assist in any way—addressing learning styles, extra assistance, class pacing, etc.—please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Also, while Title IX mandates university commitment to nondiscrimination, I want to stress my personal commitment to creating an inclusive classroom. I expect students to treat one another with respect and compassion, and to maintain a positive, professional, and welcoming learning environment. My office door is open, and I promise to provide a welcoming space for all of my students. 20-21 was a hard year for everyone, and this semester will likely still be not-quite normal. In acknowledging that, I promise to interact with you with kindness first; please extend the same grace to me, your classmates, and community.

- Lindsey Sherrill (University of North Alabama)

Even though we will not be in a physical classroom, we will still converse and discuss ideas that may be uncomfortable or controversial. Therefore, it is imperative that the virtual classroom (and particularly the discussion forums) be civil. To facilitate this process, I request that you: 

  • Maintain respect for instructors, guests, and one another in the class regardless of different opinions, values, or other group differences. 
  • Give one another equal opportunity for discussion. 
  • Practice good reading skills. If you plan on replying to someone, make sure you read their entire post. 
  • Refrain from using any degrading or offensive language. 
  • If you have a concern about the class or about me, you should not bring it up publicly. Address it privately with me during office hours.

- Communication Educator

Course Commitments: 

  • We commit to learning from each other. We will listen to each other and not talk at each other. We acknowledge differences among us in social identity, backgrounds, opinions, skills, interests, and values. We realize that these differences are valuable, even if sometimes uncomfortable. We will respect our differences to create an even more creative, aware, and understanding environment.
  • We will respect and value each other for our opinions, experiences, and difference in interpretation of those experiences.
  • We will assume that each of us is doing the best they can, working to speak to each other’s best selves, recognizing that we only have an incomplete and partial view of each other.

- Kristen C. Blinne (SUNY Oneonta)

Students are always expected to behave in a respectful and courteous manner toward the instructor and other students. As a class, we will actively work to create a safe atmosphere for open discussion and personal growth. Seriously disruptive or inappropriate behavior will result in punitive measures in accordance with the University’s Code of Student Conduct. As this is a university course, you are expected to behave in a responsible and respectful manner to both your fellow students and your instructor. 

In order to create a positive and successful learning environment, each student is expected to participate in class by contributing ideas that relate to the topic, asking questions to clarify understanding, responding thoughtfully when called upon, and giving respectful attention to the instructor and classmates. 

Constructive criticism and encouragement are appreciated. Personal put-downs and attacks on the opinions of others will (absolutely) not be tolerated. A positive classroom environment improves learning for both the individual student and for the class as a whole. 

You are expected to be courteous to everyone (including the instructor) during lectures, presentations, and in any public forum. This means be a mindful communicator. Before speaking you should pause and reflect on what you want to say and how you want to say it. 

It is highly recommended that you engage in the following communication strategies for meaningful and productive interaction with individuals or groups, especially if conflict is involved (borrowed from Rodriguez, 2019): 

  • Perspective-taking: take a moment to demonstrate understanding; validate the perspective of the other person 
  • Empathy: take a minute to show concern; show that you care 
  • Solidarity: Illustrate your willingness to be an ally 

If your behavior is distracting for either the class or your instructor, you will receive a penalty toward your participation score reflected at the end of the term. Such behaviors may include and are not limited to: 

  • Scrolling through the internet during class 
  • Studying for another class 
  • Using cellphones or if your cellphone goes off during class (if you are expecting an important phone call, please let me know before class so you can step out) 
  • Using social media on your personal computer/tablet/smartphone, etc.

- Communication Educator

Instructor and Student Responsibilities 

As the instructor of this course, I promise to: 

1. Treat all students fairly and with respect 
2. Be prepared for class discussion & available for explanation/assistance outside of class 
3. Be efficient, consistent, and fair with grading 
4. Create a safe space for learning, questioning, and failure 
5. Check my biases and privilege in the pursuit of knowledge 
6. Be willing to admit when I’m wrong 

In return, I expect you to: 

1. Treat myself and your classmates with respect 
2. Come to class prepared and engaged 
3. Be mindful of your language and actions in the classroom 
4. Check your biases and privilege so as to foster critical thinking 
5. Ask for help when you need it 
6. Be willing to fail

- Hailey Otis (Bates College) 

I can be reached in one of three ways: 

1. Office Hours (or by appointment), which are listed above. 

2. E-mail. Although I do check my email often, an immediate response is not guaranteed. The sooner you send the email the better, as I might not be able to respond in time if the email is sent the night before our class session. 

3. Office Telephone. The number is listed above. I always have access to my email; I don’t always have access to my office telephone. Please take this into consideration when choosing how to contact me. 

Grade Discussions I am more than willing to discuss your grades with you. For privacy reasons, I cannot discuss grades via email or over the phone. I will not negotiate with you for a different grade. However, if you feel there has been an error on my part, I will listen to your reasoning. If you are unsure of why you received a particular grade, I am willing to help you better understand during office hours or by appointment. Please bring the syllabus, the graded assignment(s), and the assignment prompt to our discussion. 

- Sean Maulding (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

The best way to get in contact with me if you have any questions is by email. If you would like to schedule a time to meet with me, click this link to make an appointment: [insert link]. These appointments times are virtual. A Zoom link will be emailed to you once the appointment is scheduled. 

- Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell (West Liberty University)

Please be aware of basic email etiquette rules when emailing your professor (or any person who is not a friend of yours, for that matter). Make sure to properly address me within your greeting (i.e., Hello Professor Putman or Hi Dr. P). Within your email, make sure to include your course name and reason for the email. Finally, make sure to sign your email with your FULL name. Do not sign with –Mike. You are likely not the only “Mike” or “Michael” that I have as a student, and I may not be able to figure out who you are if you are using your personal email account (you can email me using whatever account you choose). 

If you are struggling with your college-level writing skills, you are not alone! It took many years for me to improve my own writing, and this was primarily due to the help of excellent professors and a bunch of fantastic writing studios. Students with difficulties writing college-level research papers or presentations should seek the help of our awesome writing center tutors. Students can schedule appointments with the Writing Studio and Brandywine Learning online [link] or drop in for assistance when needed. They are paid to help you with your writing and can even help with your outlines! 

Understanding how you learn is the first step toward success. Sometimes, asking for help is the bravest move you can make—you do not have to suffer in silence. Penn State welcomes students with all types of disabilities into the University’s educational programs. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, it is Penn State’s policy to provide reasonable academic adjustments for students with documented disabilities. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact [provide contact information], participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, you will be provided with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with me as soon as possible so we can discuss any accommodations needed in my course. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations. For further information, please visit [link].

Many students face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional wellbeing. The university offers a variety of free and confidential services to help you through difficult times. These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of students’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation. When I was in graduate school, the free counseling is absolutely what got me through those difficult four years! The counseling team can be found in the Student Affairs suite of the Student Union building. Walk-in hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm, or you can set up an appointment by calling [phone number]. More information is available at [link]. 

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

I place a QR code to the following video atop all Syllabi. 
“Snoop Dogg says read the syllabus” 

- Brian Lang, Dr./Slytherin (University of Jamestown)

Please follow the standard email "netiquette" guides provided below: 

  • Subject line - include the topic you wish to discuss and the COURSE NAME or NUMBER (CMM 103) 
  • Salutation - Dear Dr./Professor LAST NAME (Your instructors have names and titles, and none of them are "Hey") 
  • First line - Something nice, remember your professors are human. No flattery, but something courteous is always nice.
  • Second line - I am in your CLASS NAME that meets on DAY and TIME. This is the question I have or the help I need. If the question is about an assignment or due date - Let us know the action you have taken to find the answer. I've looked in the syllabus, at my notes, and I have asked my peers, and I think this is THE ANSWER, but I am still not sure. This is the action I would like you to take. 
  • Closing - Thank you, FULL STUDENT NAME (remember we teach multiple sections with many students, providing us your full name at the end and the course at the beginning helps us help you more quickly. 

Remember, whether you are in school or at work, emails are formal documents and should be treated as such. Writing an effective email is a good skill to have. These are not texts and should be written correctly, without text speak or emojis. I plan to treat you with the same email netiquette and feel free to call me on it if I don't, because I will call you out! We are all humans, and we will all make mistakes this is how we learn!

- Julie Snyder-Yuly (Marshall University)

"Check This Out - .99" 
Students receive a lot of grades throughout the semester, so they may not always read feedback, particularly if they receive full credit for an assignment. However, there are times when they've earned full credit because they've technically completed an assignment correctly, but there is still feedback they need to read in order to ensure success on a future assignment. (This is particularly true for scaffolded assignments.) In this type of situation, I adjust their assignment grade to end in .99 (for example 9.99/10). This serves as a quick visual signpost for them to review my comments on the assignment without impacting their overall grade in the class. Every semester students tell me this system is a simple, quick, and easy communication tool that helps them succeed in the class.

- Kate Jones (Wake Tech Community College)

Communicating with the Instructor: When contacting me via e-mail, expect a response within 48 hours. I will contact you via e-mail and/or Blackboard. Check your e-mail and our Blackboard often for class updates. 

Do your best to be involved and to not miss multiple classes. Take notes in class. I will give you many tips and suggestions on upcoming speeches that will guarantee your success. Please come to class, come to office hours (even if just to chat), call me with problems or concerns, e-mail me about anything, make a Zoom appointment with me, talk to me about the discipline, and ask about ways to get involved. I am here for you and your academic advancement. My job is to help get you a job.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

When writing to the professor, students are expected to: 

1. give the email a subject, 
2. use a greeting, 
3. write the body in full sentences, and 
4. sign it using your name. Students are expected to model professional media and communication career practices while communicating.

- Arshia Anwer (Manhattan College)

Contacting me 

Email is the best way to contact me for personal matters. I check my email regularly, however, due to volume, please allow 24 hours for me to respond to your messages (except on weekends). Likewise, I request that you check your email regularly too, and respond to any messages I send to you with the same 24-hour consideration. Please note: Generally, I do not review school emails on weekends or after 6:00 pm weekdays.

If you have general questions about the course or the content, please post your questions in the virtual forums designated for these questions. In a physical classroom, when you raise your hand and ask a question, everybody benefits from the answer to the question. In order for us to recreate this experience, it is better for you to ask those types of questions in the public forums. 

Also, please be aware that I will not answer any emails that ask questions that are answered in this syllabus or in Blackboard. Always consult the syllabus or Blackboard before asking a question about the course. 

When you send an email, please adhere to the following protocols: 

  • Emails without clearly identified subject lines will NOT receive replies. 
  • Provide a proper salutation (you may address me as Dr. X or Prof. X), clearly state your question/concern, and sign the email with your full name. 
  • Do not use texting language. This is an academic correspondence so prepare your email accordingly. 
  • Follow the guidelines for Classroom Respect when composing your message. Disrespectful emails will not receive replies, and may, if warranted, be forwarded to administration for review. 

Finally, if you send an email about an important issue (one not answered in the syllabus) and you do not receive a response in the appropriate time frame (minding the weekend’s exception), it is your responsibility to follow up with me and make sure I have received your message. “I sent you an email and you never answered” is not an appropriate excuse for failing to fulfill your class duties.

- Communication Educator

As we all know, ZOOM has become a video tool that allows us to interact with students in both a mediated classroom environment and in one-on-one office hour meetings. My communication policy specifies that if we are moving to a ZOOM facilitation instead of a Face2Face classroom, they will be notified in advance. On the syllabus, I have provided a QR Code for the room that the students will enter in ZOOM. Additionally, my syllabus includes a QR code for office hours. If the students need to visit with me, they scan the QR code on their phones and are immediately brought to my office hours after input of the class password. Similarly, our ZOOM classes (if any) have a QR code on the syllabus, too. 

Tentative Course Schedule
- John Perlich (Bemidji State University) 

A Few of My Favorite Things: I do not want you to waste important learning time trying to figure out how to make me happy; however, in the spirit of transparency, below is the scoop about some simple things you can do to brighten my day:

  • Knowing you care about learning. I love learning, and as Joseph Joubert states, “To teach is to learn twice,” thus for me, it is an honor to be able to spend this time exploring the beauty and complexity of communication with you. That said, it is a real bummer when I encounter learners who seem to be completely uninvested in being part of a learning community. While every group dynamic is different, each of us contributes to the whole in our own unique way. Therefore, it is vital that you actively work to find and share what is meaningful to you within the context of our course. 
  • Seeing you in class. I know that life happens, and you cannot always be present; however, your contribution is vital to our group. It brings me great joy to see you when class starts, and it can be quite disruptive to our group dynamic if your on-going contribution is to come in late, leave early, or disengage while present.
  • Device-supported learning zones. Laptops, tablets, and cell phones are wonderful tools to connect (and disconnect), but for the time we share together, I ask that you please put your devices on silent. Answer any calls outside of class unless it is an emergency. Legend has it that if one is texting, surfing the interwebs, listening to headphones, or using their laptop/tablet for non-class related work, the flying hamster of doom will rain coconuts on them. Is it really worth the risk? 
  • Compassionate Conversations: Please come to class on time, prepared with materials, ready to engage. If your tendency is to contribute frequently to class discussion, take a step back to allow others to step up. If your tendency is to contribute infrequently to class discussion, I encourage you to step up! It is vital you respect others’ opinions even when they differ from your own so we can create a safe, positive environment where everyone can express their own opinions, beliefs, values, and ideas. Sharing diverse ideas and worldviews is important to the success of this class; however, I ask that you please be mindful of any language or behavior that you feel might denigrate another person or group.

- Kristen C. Blinne (SUNY Oneonta)

Course Communication (Communicate EARLY and OFTEN!) 
Regular communication is IMPORTANT. 

Here are our communication channels: 

1. For general course questions, your first go-to stop should be our syllabus. Next, be sure to visit our Q&A Forum in Microsoft Teams. If you don’t find the answer there, post your question to the forum to ask your peers. As long as you stay subscribed to the forum, you will be notified via email whenever a new post is made. If you know the answer to one of your classmates’ questions, please answer it! 

2. If you can’t get an answer from the Q&A Forum or if you have a personal question or one related to course work, please email me directly at You can expect a response within 48 hours. 

3. Should you encounter a crisis that requires my immediate attention, you may call/text me at ###-###-####. If I do not immediately answer, please leave a detailed message and I will get back with you shortly *beep*! 

4. I will regularly communicate important information and course updates through the course announcements in Blackboard. I will send out an announcement at the beginning of each week with an overview of that week’s content, upcoming assignments, and expectations. When necessary, I will send out an additional announcement later in the week with reminders or other important information. 

5. Learning together should be fun and that happens when we have some space to informally chat with each other. For this reason, I created the ‘Discussion Café’ Forum on Microsoft Teams. Here you can share with each other any fun stuff, interesting things happening on campus or in the community, recommendations for books, movies, music, etc. Please keep it civil and remember to follow netiquette. Do not post offensive material. A good general rule: if you must guess or ask someone if it is inappropriate to share with the class, it probably is. 

Our course offers in-person or virtual student hours. During student hours, I will be in Location & Office #xxx, but will have access to MS Teams. Feel free to drop by for an in-person meeting or email me to request a virtual appointment. If I am ever with another student, I will let you know via a quick message through Teams and then I will let you know when I am available. If you’d like to guarantee a specific set time to meet, it is best to schedule an appointment. 

Student hours are a great way to get guidance about assignments, further understanding about course concepts, and/or help with course logistics. Basically, student hours are YOUR time to meet about questions, ask about feedback, learn how to improve understanding, or work and learn about opportunities for academic growth. Microsoft Teams does not have a waiting room option. For this reason, you should make an appointment with me during our scheduled time block. Here are the steps to make an appointment: 

1. Email me with your requested time for an appointment and what you would like to meet about – this can be a time within office hours, or, if this does not work, feel free to request another time. Please do not email me without reviewing your schedule and proposing a time first. 

2. Monitor your email diligently to communicate about your appointment time. If your appointment is outside of the scheduled student hours’ time, you should look at your email often to accept an invitation sent by your instructor to access your personal MS Teams meeting. If you do not accept the invitation, your instructor reserves the right to keep that time open for other students. 

3. Accept the invitation via your school email. If you need to reschedule or cancel, please let me know within 24 hours. I know student hours can feel challenging, so here is some information for you (adapted from Experience Office Hours, X State).

Why we use student hours: 

  • Clarification – If you are unsure about an assignment, a lecture or anything else about our course. 
  • Questions – Questions may arise after reading material, listening to a lecture, or while completing homework. 
  • Interest – Our course and its material or a module may be of particular interest to you – feel free to use this time to dive into that subject more. 
  • Mentorship – Develop relationships with the people you might ask later for a letter of recommendation. This is a great space to practice professionalism, relationship building, and communication. 
  • Opportunity – Connect with your instructors to learn about opportunities on campus, research conferences, and more (if applicable). 

When we use student hours: 
At any point in our semester, you can drop in to say hello, if you need someone to listen, practice interpersonal communication/professional exchanges, or get feedback on exams, course work, and/or papers. 

Tips for successful student hours: 

  • Prepare before you go – Write your questions down beforehand and bring something to take notes; if you want to talk about a paper or an assignment, bring a hardcopy or bring your computer. 
  • Be active in the conversation – Be clear about what you are looking for in this time. For example, you may say, “I’d like to ask you about…” or “I’m having trouble with this…”. Instructors aren’t mind readers, but if they know the information you need, they can help moving forward. 
  • Don’t be afraid to get all the answers you need – Instructors work very hard to be clear about the information they give you, but sometimes you may need to seek more clarification. Not only does this demonstrate your willingness to learn, it helps you truly understand the course concepts and eases uncertainties! 
  • Make an exit plan – If there is a certain time you need to leave by, consider letting your instructor know. This helps the meeting move with smooth transitions and ensures that your instructor will do their best to get you the best answer(s) possible while respecting your time.
  • Make visits a habit – Office hours can be difficult to go to. Just like anything, the more you practice, the better you’ll be. Remember that this is YOUR time and taking advantage of these opportunities shows you are invested in your learning. Instructors are excellent resources and can help you with your course and your [school name] experience. They want to help! Make office hours part of your semester schedule. Know this – I am always happy to help! No question should go unanswered. Your understanding is important to me. Below are a few things that may be helpful as you use student hours: 
    • You do not need to have an assignment completed to receive help; at any point, you can ask questions. 
    • You are never bothering me if you drop in or schedule an appointment during student hours – that is why I am here! 
    • If you are unable to attend student hours, feel free to email me to arrange an alternative meeting time. 

Email Guidelines: 
College courses are considered professional atmospheres, this includes email. All of us (me included!) are expected to use email etiquette while communicating through email. As you think about your goals beyond [school name], one skill to consider is building and maintaining professional communication skills; these go a long way. In your emails, please include: 

  • Your section number and a specific subject in the email (ex. Section 101: Paper #1 Question).
  • Salutation and greeting (ex. Hi, Title/Instructor Name (please be sure it is your instructor's preferred name); not Hey). This is my biggest pet peeve – a lack of salutation communicates the wrong message and treats email as a text message. Please do not do this. I will not return emails that read this way. 
  • Proper punctuation and spelling (ex. You, not u; your, not ur – etc.). I reserve the right to not respond to emails that do not follow to these guidelines. I respectfully request that you do so to maintain a positive, respectful, class dynamic (even when sending emails). Thank you! 

As a “rule,” before emailing an instructor about course logistics, you should: 

  • Make sure to look at your syllabus, our Blackboard Forums, course announcements, and course schedule before emailing to ensure you do not already have access to the information you need.
  • Review what steps you have taken to solve your problem and communicate those steps in your email. 
  • Proofread your email and re-read so it makes sense (this prevents unnecessary back and forths). 

I generally and diligently monitor my email throughout the week from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. I will try to respond to emails within 24 hours of receiving them. If you have not heard from me within 24 hours, please check to ensure that I have received your email by sending me a follow-up. My inbox is always open, and I invite you to use email as a communication tool for all aspects of our course. 

Please note that I do not email on weekends (Saturday & Sunday), so plan accordingly (e.g., email me before Friday morning if you need something within 24 hours). Note that reaching out last moment does not shift your responsibility for completing an assignment. Additionally, do not expect a response ASAP if you waited until the last moment. Please do not email last minute with the expectation your instructor will respond by the time an assignment is due. My inbox is always open, however – use it! 

NOTE: If you are facing a crisis or emergent situation, please email me and mark your email with high importance or type URGENT in the subject line. I will do my absolute best to get back with you within the hour.

- Communication Educator

Considering that this course is a communication course and that you are entering a world where you must communicate professionally, I expect all email correspondence to be professional. As such, please compose your thoughts completely before hitting send; multiple emails prior to an initial reply are frowned upon. Before emailing me, please double check the syllabus and course materials on Blackboard for an answer. I will do my best to respond to all emails within 24 hours.

- Sammi Munson (George Mason University)

Each week, I shall send an email reminder about any assignments that are due. Please only email me to set up one-on-one meetings (virtual or in person). 

  • You DO NOT need to email me regarding absences, and I shall not respond to emails regarding assignments, as all the pertinent details will be provided in class, online, or via our weekly email.
  • In lieu of emailing me, I invite you to speak to me before, during, or after class and/or during my scheduled office hours. 
  • If you are unable to visit me during office hours (virtual or in person), please book an appointment at [link], specifying the reason for meeting in the booking request.
  • Emails sent for any other reason will not receive a reply. 

This policy is designed to encourage you to listen actively and also to engage in conversations with me about course content in class or during office hours. *For more in-depth discussions, please plan to meet in person or call my office. By doing so, this will allow us to get to know each other better and create a more conversationally-rich interaction.

- Communication Educator

This is a course that invites presentations and discussions on a variety of topics. Those topics may be difficult or uncomfortable for some of us in the class. As speakers and as audience members, I ask that you respect your classmates’ various identities and beliefs. It is possible to present or discuss controversial topics, and to hear them, respectfully and critically. This classroom is a safe space. Although controversial topics are allowed, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, islamophobia, xenophobia, and other forms of explicit hate are not. If you are unsure of your topic, please check in with me. If you would like to discuss the emotional impact of a presentation, I am here for you. 

- Sean Maulding (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

As the professor, my duty is to model best practices for inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. Learning exists when students from different backgrounds come together through collaboration. This class supports the inclusion of all students by creating a supportive environment where everyone feels welcomed to contribute to the conversation. 

- Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell (West Liberty University)

My pronouns are she/her/hers. When speaking about me or describing me to others, please use those pronouns (i.e., Do you think her grading style will be hard? When is she in her office today?). If you feel comfortable, please feel free to disclose to me and/or your classmates your own pronouns. Also, please note that in my courses it is acceptable to use gender neutral pronouns in presentations, discussions, and in written work (they, them, theirs, ze, hir, hirs, etc.). 

Students and faculty equally have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Professional courtesy and sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture, religion, politics, veteran’s status, (a)sexual orientation, (a)gender, gender identity and gender expression, age, disability, immigration status, language, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the instructor with the student’s legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or (a)gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records. 

I will be open to and affirming of a variety of intersecting identities and eager to learn more about your specific identities as Penn State students. I also bring my own identities into the classroom, my office, and virtual spaces; my identities are simultaneously privileged and marginalized in the various contexts in which I operate daily. 

– Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

My goal for you is to make this one of your best academic experiences during your college years. Given the college experience, materials/discussions may sometimes challenge your own perspectives and values. As a class, we will handle these instances in a mature manner. If you are especially sensitive to any topics, please discuss this with me. I will make every attempt to warn you beforehand and/or avoid topics if possible. 

There may be times in which the topics we discuss in class appears controversial in its purpose, methods, or findings. You have a right to believe whatever you believe about the issues we discuss, and I encourage you to express your views on all matters relevant to the course content. You also have a right to express your disagreement with whatever views others or I express in the class. Finally, you have a right to decide whether or not to modify your views. 

To be clear, your grade in the class will be based on your understanding, your reasoning, and your ability to effectively perform presentations, not on the content of your opinions. 

I'll do my best to create a classroom climate that includes opportunities for intellectual growth, enlightening conversation, and mutual respect. I ask for your commitment in helping me in achieving these goals and making this a positive, inclusive learning atmosphere for all of us.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

You Belong Here! 
Whatever your identity, abilities, immigration status, family status, or needs you are welcomed here! CSUSB has numerous ways to support you, help you feel connected, and succeed. Below are just a few. 

Accessible Materials are for Everybody 
I’ve made an effort to make the materials on our course website accessible, and available to you in multiple formats. A new feature in Blackboard called Ally is helping with this. When you see the Ally Symbol (a capital A with a down arrow beside it) next to a file or resource in Blackboard, you can download it in many different formats—you choose. Here is a link to step-by-step instructions on using Ally. Want to listen to the day’s reading drive, or do the dishes, etc.? View the captions on videos while you watch or download the transcript to read later? Download materials in a format for your mobile device or Kindle? Ally makes it easier for all of us to learn in the ways that work best for our needs. 

Undocumented Student Success Center 
Whether you or a family member are undocumented, the Undocumented Student Success Center can help. It serves as a commons space for students and allies to connect about issues regarding immigration, AB 540, employment opportunities, and much more. Through the center, you can access legal services for immigration, naturalization, etc. that are free for CSUSB students, faculty, staff, and their immediate families. The center was created as a location where resources and assistance can be easily accessible to the undocumented community. It hosts multiple informational workshops related to our undocumented students and for our on- and off-campus community. Phone: [insert], Email: [insert], Location: [insert],  

Osher Adult Re-Entry Center Are you returning to college after a gap of 5+ years? Or just starting college several years after leaving high school? Do you have children? Are you formerly incarcerated? If any of these describe you, then this may be the center for you! The OARC provides resources for adult re-entry students to help make the most of their college experiences, including specifically for eligible adult re-entry students. They strive to serve as a bridge for adult/transfer students. Phone: [insert], Email: [insert]: Location [insert] 

Veterans Success Center 
CSUSB has been recognized as a top veteran-friendly school for 8 years in a row. At CSUSB, military service members, veterans, reservists, Guardsmen, and dependents can combine the call of duty with the call of opportunity. Through the Veterans Success Center (VSC) and their connection with other departments and organizations on and off-campus, CSUSB can provide you with the necessary support, resources, and information to make your journey successful. Phone: [insert], Email: [insert]; Location [insert]

Diversity and Inclusion 
I view the diversity that all students bring to this class as a resource, strength, and benefit. I intend that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well-served by this course, and that students' learning needs be addressed both in and out of class. I intend to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender identity, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated students will be contributing to much of the course content. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally, or for other students or student groups. 

CSUSB Land Acknowledgement 
We recognize that California State University, San Bernardino sits on the territory and ancestral land of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (Yuhaaviatam). We recognize that every member of the CSUSB community has benefitted and continues to benefit from the use and occupation of this land since the institution’s founding in 1965. Consistent with our values of community and diversity, we have a responsibility to acknowledge and make visible the university’s relationship with Native peoples. By offering this Land Acknowledgement, we affirm Indigenous sovereignty and will work to hold CSUSB more accountable to the needs of American Indians and Indigenous peoples.

- Jo Anna Grant (California State University, San Bernardino)

Disability Accommodations: Students needing accommodations due to disabilities must be registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) before requesting accommodations. I am more than willing to make the necessary arrangements, but it is imperative that you contact me at the beginning of the semester to do so. SAS is located in [insert location here] and can be contacted via e-mail at or by phone at (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Additional information on the accommodation process and eligibility can be found HERE [insert hyperlink here]. You may also report an accessibility barrier through this Qualtrics form. 

Pregnancy Accommodations: If you are pregnant at any point during the course term, you have the right to request accommodations due to pregnancy. To do so, you must complete this form and submit in-person to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance (ECRC) located in [insert location here]. ECRC staff can also be contacted via e-mail at or via phone at (XXX) XXX-XXXX. 

Diversity: This course encourages different perspectives related to such factors as gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and other relevant cultural identities. This course seeks to foster understanding and inclusiveness related to such diverse perspectives and ways of communicating. 

Title IX: Title IX is a federal law that provides that no person be excluded on the basis of sex from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity. Both Title IX and the university policies noted above make clear that sexual violence and harassment based on sex is prohibited. If you or someone you know has experienced discrimination on the basis of sex or any form of sexual misconduct, you can seek support (including counseling and academic support) from the university. Official forms to report Title IX violations and other misconduct can be found HERE [insert hyperlink]. Additionally, the university’s Title IX Coordinator can be contacted via e-mail at or by phone at (XXX) XXX-XXXX. 

As a faculty member, I am a mandated reporter. This means that I am obligated to report any information I become aware of regarding alleged acts of sexual discrimination, including sexual violence and dating violence. [School] Counseling and Psychological Services is available if you wish to discuss any concerns confidentially and privately. More on [school’s] Survivor Advocacy Program can be found HERE [insert hyperlink].

- Communication Educator

Commitment to Accessibility 
This class is committed to being accessible for students regardless of ability or health. At the beginning of the semester, I will administer a “Collective Access Survey” to develop a sense of how we can work together as class to creatively and collaboratively foster a space for learning that is inviting and accommodating to a diverse spectrum of minds and bodies. 

Students with disabilities may also wish to work with the Office of Accessible Education and Student Support to discuss a range of options for ensuring your success in this course, including official accommodations. [Insert office location and contact information]. If you have already been approved for accommodations through the Office of Accessible Education, please meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

- Hailey Otis (Bates College) 

My grading philosophy 
You will be expected to meet certain standards in terms of the application of knowledge, but you will also choose the grade you want to work toward earning and will maintain your own path toward earning that grade. Everyone’s path may not look the same, even though they may earn the same grade in the end. 

What this means in practice, then, is that you will the select the grade you want to work toward earning in the course and then complete the necessary coursework to fulfill that grade at your own pace (think of this as a contract). You need to take charge of your own performance and track your progress toward the grade you are working to earn. You will need to frequently consult this grading page to ensure that you are on track for your desired grade. 

**A second approach for my 400-level courses: In this course, we will use a contract-style of grading I refer to as the "Bucket Method." What this essentially means is that you will complete assignments from all three categories and the points earned (or lost) will affect your bucket, where you collect points toward your final grade. The rules for how the Bucket Method works in this course were co-constructed by our entire community during the first week of class. Here is what we all agreed to follow: 

  • All mandatory assignments must be completed. Failure to complete any of these assignments will result in a reduced final grade. 
  • All points earned on assignments from the written and oral categories will be put into your points bucket, from which your final grade is determined. 
  • There are 800 total points available between these two categories. 
  • The Creative Research Project is worth 100 total points. Should a student earn a 69 or less on the project, the points lost from this project will be subtracted from your overall bucket (where you earned points from the other two categories of assignments). Should a student earn a 70-79 on the project, nothing will be taken away or added to your bucket. Should a student earn an 80-89 on the project, 10 bonus points will be added to your bucket. Should a student earn a 90-100 on this project, 20 bonus points will be added to your bucket. 
  • The Pre-Engagement Reflections are worth 10 points each (12 total = 120 total points). Students must earn an average of 70 or better on this assignment to avoid any penalty to their overall bucket. Should a student's average on the reflections drop below a 70, the total missed points will be deducted from their overall bucket total. 
  • When a student earns a 69 or lower on any assignment in the written category (not the mandatory or oral categories), they have one opportunity to revise and re-submit the assignment for a chance at a higher grade. The revision must be submitted within one week after receiving the initial grade. Every student must complete at least two assignments from the written and oral categories. Beyond those two assignments, they may choose to submit more from either (or both) categories, in order to add more points to their bucket and achieve their desired final grade.

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

Grading Policy 
This class will employ specifications grading. In this context, that means all assignments will be graded as Pass (equivalent to 80% or above) or Fail (Below 80%). Any assignment that does not pass on the first submission is eligible for one revision. Failure to complete the required assignments at a passing level will result in a failing grade in the course (that’s a C in graduate school). 

To earn a B in CMM XXX: COURSE TITLE, you must complete the following assignments at a satisfactory level: 

  • Assignment 1 Description 
  • Assignment 2 Description 
  • Assignment 3 Description 
  • Assignment 4 Description 
  • Assignment 5 Description 

To earn an A in CMM XXX: COURSE TITLE, you must complete all the assignments required to earn a B and the following assignments at a highly satisfactory (90%+) level: 

  • Assignment 6 Description 
  • Assignment 7 Description

- Julie Snyder-Yuly (Marshall University)

Extra Credit opportunities are dependent upon what occurs throughout the semester. You will be notified of opportunities. If you want to see if participating in an event would grant you extra credit, please ask me and I will let you know. Extra credit opportunities typically include: 

  • Competing, attending, and/or volunteering at a speech contest. 
  • Participating in research opportunities offered by the CSS department. 
  • Attend any speakers noted by the professor as an extra credit option. 
  • Visiting the UT Center for Public Speaking for help on class speeches that do not have a Required UT Speech Center Visit OR visiting the UT Center for Public Speaking multiple times for class speeches that do have a Required UT Speech Center Visit.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

Concept Application Papers have a ‘you-choose’ content and submission date. The following course calendar shows possible due dates for papers throughout the semester. You have the option to choose any three chapters or concepts you would like to work with and will submit the corresponding paper one week from the date the chapter or concept is listed in the course calendar, which typically falls on Mondays.

- Arshia Anwer (Manhattan College)

Philosophy of Assessment 

  • No quizzes or tests
  • Draft projects are “ungraded”
  • Revisions are encouraged

Engagement & Professionalism: Grades for this course will be entirely based on your active and committed engagement, including all in-class activities and projects. As a class, we shall work together to determine some base criteria regarding engagement and attendance, creating collaborative criteria to help shape your individual assessment plan. Please note: While you are not required to contact me when you will not be present in class, please do be in touch with me if you find that you will not be present for a long period of time so that we can make accommodations, if possible, for you regarding your individual work. 

Feedback: Grades will not be determined until the end of the semester. As such, you will receive no grades on any of your assignments throughout the term – only feedback (e.g., asking questions, offering advice, sharing discoveries, and engaging in conversation with you about your process, not evaluating it). To this end, I, too, will not be keeping any records that resemble letter grades, points, or percentages. This grading system is designed to mirror performance review practices in work environments, which focus on feedback and/or periodic reviews - not grades. In most cases, what matters “on the job” is showing up prepared and on time (presence), taking initiative (participating and working well with others), meeting deadlines when set, and finding something meaningful you can connect to your life in some manner.

Collaboration: Part of our group process will be to collaboratively determine our grading criteria and assessment goals. After we have a sense of our direction, we shall work together as a group to determine our grading criteria and what counts as an "A," and so on. To better guide our process, I shall meet with each of you individually over the course of the term to check-in about your progress. Remember: The spirit of this course is one of exploration and your grade will be based on your overall engagement.

- Kristen C. Blinne (SUNY Oneonta)

Since many of you are doing research for the first time, I have included a number of checkpoints along the way. You will be receiving A LOT of written and oral feedback from me, as well as a bit of written feedback from your classmates. Please, USE THIS FEEDBACK and implement it into your future drafts, research plan, etc. I am giving you feedback to help you learn and – therefore – to help you succeed (aka get a good grade). If you do not apply the feedback given early on, you will not like the scores you receive on your presentation and final paper.

- Sammi Munson (George Mason University)

Writing (500 points; three options):
The points assigned to writing in this class take a “choose-your-own-adventure” format. You are invited to choose one of the following three options for writing in this class: 

Option 1: Five Unit Papers 100 pts each 3 pages each 
Option 2: Midterm & Final Paper 250 pts each 5-7 pages each 
Option 3: Final Research Paper 500 pts 10-15 pages 

Each of these options will be discussed in greater depth in class and rubrics will be provided on Canvas. You will submit your choice of writing option at the end of week 2 via Canvas. 

Concept Engagement Assignments (200 points; various options): 
This category also takes a “choose-your-own-adventure” format. You will decide how you want to distribute the remaining 200 points in this course by choosing from three possible point configurations: 

Option 1 (Orange): Four 50 pt. assignments 4 x 50 pts = 200 pts 

Assignment #1 due: Sun, Feb 14th 
Assignment #2 due: Sun, March 7th 
Assignment #3 due: Sun, April 4th 
Assignment #4 due: Sun, April 25th 

Option 2 (Green): Two 100 pt. assignments 2 x 200 pts =100 

Assignment #1 due: Sun, Feb 28th 
Assignment #2 due: Sun, April 25th 

Option 3 (Blue): One 200 pt. assignment 1 x 200 pts = 200 pts 

Assignment due: Sun, April 11th 

Depending on which point configuration you choose, you’ll select assignments from either the 50 point, 100 point, or 200 point Assignment Banks to complete for each assignment due date that aligns with your choice. 

Miscellaneous Assignments (300 points; various options): 
This category also takes a “choose-your-own-adventure” format. You will decide how you want to earn (up to*) the remaining 300 points in this course by choosing from the “Assignment Bank” on Canvas and/or proposing additional assignments. You may opt to put 100 of these 300 points toward attendance, where the percentage of days you attend class becomes your score out of 100. At four instances during the semester, you will submit a proposal for how you will earn points for that quarter. Each quarter proposal should get you to at least the following point totals: 1st quarter = 75 pts, 2nd quarter = 150 pts, 3rd quarter = 225 pts, 4th quarter = 300 pts. 

*You will propose 300 total possible points throughout the semester for this category, but grades on each assignment will be assigned based on the quality of the work you turn in. In other words, you will earn a certain amount of points out of 300 and you cannot propose “extra” assignments to make up for points not earned on a previous assignment.

- Hailey Otis (Bates College) 

Grade appeals: I will NOT discuss any student grades on the day a grade is posted. Please follow these guidelines for discussing grade issues with the professor: 

  • Wait at least 24 hours. 
  • Set up a virtual appointment with me (during office hours). 
  • Discuss the grade issue with me within 7 calendar days of receipt of the grade. 
  • Thoroughly read through all of my comments, the syllabus, and assignment details before discussing grade with me. 
  • Be prepared with a legitimate argument. If you are going to claim that you deserve a better grade, you must have evidence to support this claim. 
  • I will not make a decision right then. Allow time for a decision to be made. I will notify you in writing as to my final decision.

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

Once you have received your final course grade, if you are confused or do not feel that your grade reflects your course learning, you may reach out to me to inquire about your grade following these guidelines: 

  • Wait 24 Hours: You must wait 24 hours after receiving your grade/project feedback before contacting me. 
  • Reaching Out: I am not able to discuss grades by email or phone; thus, all conversations will take place in person or on Blackboard or via Teams by appointment. 
  • 7-Day Window: Any grade concerns must be raised within seven days of receiving your grade. 
  • Reconsideration Rationale: To initiate this process, you must provide a written list of reasons as to why you believe your grade does not reflect your learning/work. The list should be thoughtful and clear, focusing on the work itself. Please do not include the following rationales in your list like, “I am normally an “A” student.” “I worked really hard (with no specifics). “I did not understand the project (ask for help before something is turned in to me). “If I do not pass this course, I will not graduate, get a scholarship, play on a team, and so on.”
  • Review Process: I will then review your grade grievance query if your list of reasons is approved. Please note: undertaking this process requires me to engage in an entirely new review process of your work, which takes time. I ask for your patience with this process.

- Communication Educator

Grade Discussions 
I am more than willing to discuss your grades with you. For privacy reasons, I cannot discuss grades via email or over the phone. I will not negotiate with you for a different grade. However, if you feel there has been an error on my part, I will listen to your reasoning. If you are unsure of why you received a particular grade, I am willing to help you better understand during office hours or by appointment. Please bring the syllabus, the graded assignment(s), and the assignment prompt to our discussion. 

- Sean Maulding (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale)

Challenging a Grade 
If at any time you disagree with a grade you earned on an assignment, follow the 24-7 rule. I will never discuss a grade with you in a public forum or through email. I will happily discuss any discrepancies with you during a formally scheduled appointment. You must wait 24 hours to contact me after receiving your grade and appeal within 7 days. Provide me with a written response to your grade via email no later than 7 days after the assignment has been evaluated. *You are responsible for keeping all graded materials until the end of the course.

- Communication Educator

This course will focus on individual and independent critical thinking. The university has a zero-tolerance policy for cheating and plagiarism. No form of cheating will be allowed, including passing off someone else’s work as one’s own, or recycling work for which credit is being (or has already been) obtained in another course. Plagiarism is the unacknowledged borrowing of the words (however few) and/or ideas of someone else. Students must identify within their essays the exact source of all words and ideas not their own. Depending on the severity, cheating or plagiarism will result in a grade of either F or zero for the assignment, or in a failing grade for the entire course. Consult the Academic Honesty Policy located online under Academic Policies and Procedures in the Student Handbook. 

- Danielle R. Mehlman-Brightwell (West Liberty University)

Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons' work as one's own, using Internet sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, collusion (working with other students on individual assignments or sharing your work with others), "ghosting" (taking or having another student take an exam), stealing examinations, tampering with the academic work of another student, facilitating other students' acts of academic dishonesty, etc. 

Academic dishonesty violates the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromises the worth of work completed by others. A student should avoid academic dishonesty when preparing work for any class. If charged with academic dishonesty, students will receive written or oral notice of the charge by the professor. Students who contest the charge should first seek resolution through discussion with the faculty member or the campus Director of Academic Affairs. If the matter is not resolved, the student may request a hearing with the University College Committee on Academic Integrity at the campus. 

Sanctions for breaches of academic integrity may range (depending on the severity of the offense) from an F for the assignment to an F for the course. In severe cases of academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to, stealing exams or "ghosting" an exam, students may receive a grade of XF, a formal University disciplinary sanction that indicates on the student's transcript that failure in the course was due to a serious act of academic dishonesty. The University's statement on Academic Integrity from which the above statement was drawn is available at [link].

- Angela Putnam (Penn State, Brandywine)

The work you submit must be your own work and it must be created for this class. You have to attribute any direct or paraphrased material from any other source, including Web sites. You cannot turn in anything that you wrote for another class, at an internship, or in another academic or professional setting. Incidents of academic dishonesty will be reported to the department administration. An academic honesty offense is defined as the act of lying, cheating, or stealing academic information so that one gains academic advantage. Examples of violations of the academic honesty: Cheating, Plagiarism, Bribery, Misrepresentation, Conspiracy and Fabrication.

- Emel Ozdora Aksak (Bilkent University)

The University is committed to the development of each student to become a productive and responsible citizen who embraces the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Upholding academic integrity and promoting an ethical standard that does not condone academic misconduct is an important demonstration of these values and underpins how we live and learn in a community of inquiry. Students are expected to act ethically in the pursuit of their education and to avoid behaviors that run counter to participation in and demonstration of their learning. The Academic Integrity Policy lists several common types of violations related to cheating, unauthorized collaboration or assistance, plagiarism, and more. While the policy lists common violations and examples, it is not an exhaustive list and instructors may identify other types of conduct that impacts their ability to evaluate what has been learned substantively enough to constitute a violation of this policy. An instructor may impose a wide range of sanctions for academic integrity violations from completing a more difficult replacement assignment to an F in the course. Particularly severe violations or multiple violations throughout a student’s academic career may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

This course is extremely writing-heavy and as such has a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism; it is cheating and a violation of the university’s academic integrity polices. It is important that you understand that presenting another person’s ideas or work as your own is considered plagiarism and will result in consequences ranging from a “0” on the assignment to an “F” in the class and possible university-level disciplinary actions. We will cover proper style and citation methods, you will be given materials online, and you are encouraged to visit the Center for Writing Excellence. The APA manual also offers guidance on avoiding plagiarism. I am happy to help you with citation questions. There is zero excuse for cheating and academic dishonesty. Please take this seriously. Any instances of plagiarism will be reported as violations of the academic integrity code. If you are unsure of what constitutes plagiarism, it is best to schedule an appointment with me before the assignment is due.

- Lindsey Sherrill (University of North Alabama)

Academic Integrity: The [insert school/department here] strongly believe in academic integrity; thus, cheating and plagiarism are not tolerated. Examples of academic dishonesty include (but are not limited to) plagiarism, collusion (i.e., unauthorized collaboration), copying the work of another student, or allowing another student to copy your work, and possession of unauthorized materials during an examination. Also, if you submit work in this course that you have previously turned in for another course, it is considered self-plagiarism and violates University policy. Within this course, each paper must be new; you may not duplicate material across assignments. 

I take plagiarism of any kind very seriously. Any academic dishonesty will result in a failure of the assignment at a minimum and could also lead to disciplinary action by the Student Judiciaries, college, or university. Students who disagree with the academic sanctions may go through the standard grade appeal process followed by the School of X. 

Additional information for students on upholding honesty, the importance of academic integrity: Further definitions, procedures for reporting, and penalties for academic dishonesty are outlined HERE [insert hyperlink].

- Communication Educator

You will be graded AS A GROUP. Everyone will receive the same grade on group projects. If you discuss group issues with the professor at least 72 hours (3 days) before the presentation/paper due date, the professor will help mediate any issues so the group can move forward with the project. The professor cannot help the group if contacted less than 72 hours before the due date. If the group cannot resolve conflict with a group member (or members), a member can be “fired” from the group with a group consensus vote that would take place in the presence of the professor with all group members present. The “fired” group member must then complete the entire project individually by the same due date. No extensions will be granted. Grades for group projects will not be adjusted post submission/presentation. For example: After a presentation is complete or paper is submitted, members report that a group member (or members) did not do their fair share and this person should receive a lower grade. This group member’s grade will NOT be changed. Your members presented/submitted as a group and your group will receive that group grade. If you feel that a group member (or members) did not do their fair share, make it known to me in the Team Peer Evaluation Activity.

- Stephen M. Kromka (The University of Tampa)

COVID-19 policy under the heading "Accommodations" 
We are still in a state of emergency regarding COVID-19. The pandemic can fundamentally shape what the semester looks like, how we inhabit the class, and how we relate to each other and the course material. Please let me know if there are any issues that will prevent you from completing your coursework, and I will respond with the best way to proceed if you're facing any obstacles or feeling any stress/anxiety in completing any of the requirements for the course. Do not hesitate to talk to me about anything, even if you think it doesn't quite fall within the parameters of coursework -- this includes personal health, family obligations, work, and financial situations. As I write this syllabus, the COVID-19 situation is worsening, and that means it's my duty to make sure that I give you extra accommodations/ resources/ guidance to complete the work you need to. This offer is outside of the documented disabilities policy from the college stated above. If you are sick, particularly with symptoms of COVID-19, do not come to class. I will work with you to make sure you have the opportunity to complete material you missed because of an illness.

- Arshia Anwer (Manhattan College)

Grace Period
We could all use a bit more grace these days, so here is a little for you… Although assignments are due by 10:00 PM, no late penalty will accrue if it is submitted before 10:00 AM the next morning. This is to encourage you to get a good night’s sleep but have some flexibility too.

- Jo Anna Grant (California State University, San Bernardino)

My Promises to You…

  • I realize that this is a difficult and uncertain moment for all of us; therefore, I shall work to be mindful of my demands on your time. Please be mindful that I also have many responsibilities, and I shall work diligently to return and provide feedback on your work in a timely manner. 
  • I shall respect each of you as individual learners with unique needs and interests and not assess you by comparison. I shall regularly update you about our schedule. 
  • I shall remain flexible so that we can adapt the course to reflect the needs and interests of the group; however, I reserve the option to revise the course material, policies, and schedule as necessary to facilitate what I deem to be the best outcome for the overall course. 
  • Please discuss any questions or concerns you have with me as well as needs related to accessibility, religious observances, and so on.

- Kristen C. Blinne (SUNY Oneonta)

Student Support 
Your success in this class is important to me. We all learn differently and bring different strengths and needs to the class. If there are aspects of the course that prevent you from learning or make you feel excluded, please let me know as soon as possible. Together we’ll develop strategies to meet both your needs and the requirements of the course. 

What support is available to you? 

1. Instructor Support: I will be present to guide and facilitate your learning. Each week, I will be available for personal check-ins in whatever format you like. If you want to take advantage of a personal check-in, please let me know! 

2. A Question Forum in our Blackboard site titled “I have a question. Does anyone know?”: This forum is for problems and solutions related to this course, including technical glitches, questions about assignments and course material, and more. If you have a question or issue, post it here. If you can offer an answer or solution, please do so. 

3. [Instructor Name]'s Library: In my office is a six-book series written specifically for college students. You are welcome to “check out” these books for up to a week at a time. The sign-out sheet is in my office. Titles include: 

a. A Student’s Guide to Self-Care 
b. A Student’s Guide to Communication and Self-Presentation 
c. A Student’s Guide to Stress Management 
d. A Student’s Guide to College Success 
e. A Student’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Online Classes 
f. A Student’s Guide to a Meaningful Career 

4. X Campus Resources: If at any point throughout the semester you need support, X has several resources available to students. 

Successful Learning Tips: 

1. Check your email every day to receive announcements and reminders in a timely manner. 

2. Check our Blackboard course site frequently. 

3. Look ahead and create a study calendar for the whole semester. Use the course calendar and put the due dates for all assignments on your own calendar. Once you know when an assignment is due, don't wait until the day before to start working on it. 

4. Plan ahead! To be successful, keep up with all the materials and assignments, monitor and participate in discussion postings, and complete the assignments in accordance with the course schedule. 

5. Space your learning throughout each week. This is commonly known as distributed practice or distributed learning. It has been scientifically proven to be a much more effective approach of learning than massed practice, meaning cramming your learning experience within big chunks of time. 

6. The course materials are presented to you in a sequential order. It includes the readings and other course texts as well as required learning activities and assignments. I recommend that you engage with the materials in the presented order to allow the most beneficial learning outcome. 

7. Arrange a learning schedule that meets your individual needs for focused learning. Block off time at least two days each week for engaging with the course materials and completing your assignments. You will need to invest time for reading, writing your reading logs, watching videos, and completing the various course assignments. Better even: check in daily and make your class part of your daily schedule! 

8. Set up an inspirational and quiet learning environment either in your home or another space, like a library, that is conducive to focused and interrupted learning. If you do not have access to a quiet place to get work done, please get in touch with me. I am happy to help. 

9. If you encounter any technical issues, resolve them as quickly as possible. Most technical problems result from improper computer settings. If you encounter problems you cannot resolve, get help by contacting the office of information technology. 

10. Speak up! Asking for help is part of learning. Refer back to the section in the syllabus on communication.

- Communication Educator

Course structure 
Web based - All interactions will be through Indiana University's course management system Canvas and tools available through Canvas. The best way to view course materials is through Modules. Here is a quick start guide for students [link].

Asynchronous – We do not have a specified time to meet as a class. You organize yourself when you complete the assignments. Organized in time – The course requires weekly work. The schedule suggests the order of the course and provides a timetable for assignment completion. 

Interactive – The course suggests some interactive work among the students. In general, students will use discussions, messages, or other means to work together. We also have access to an informal discussion space (Q&A Community).

- Natalia Rybas (Indiana University East)

“Life Happens” Policy 

While I do not accept late work, I am fully aware that you have a lot more going on in your life than this class. Once a semester, you are allowed one “Life Happens” opportunity in which you can email me sharing that you will need a 24-hour extension on an assignment (note: you cannot use this for presentations or exams). 

Also, if there is ever something that is happening outside (or inside) our classroom that is impacting your ability to learn to your full potential, please do not hesitate to let me know. You DO NOT have to let me know the situation, but I am here to help work together with you to help find support and/or a solution. 

*Side note - this policy really helps students gain experience and practice with crafting an email to acknowledge their own capacities, and to set realistic boundaries for themselves amidst set expectations.

- Courtney Hook (Pepperdine University) 

The Elastic Clause
I reserve the option to revise our course material, classroom policies, and schedule as necessary to facilitate what I deem to be the best outcome for the overall course. 

-Communication Educator 

Please know that I am here to help, and I want you to do well in this course. I hope that you’ll always feel empowered to ask questions in class, engage with your peer groups, and read the textbook. In the end, you must earn your own grade in this class. Your final grade is largely dependent on your own attitude, efforts, and behaviors. 

“Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!” ~Ms. Frizzle

- Sammi Munson (George Mason University)

Community Wellness and Support: 

[School name] has a wide range of resources to help you succeed. Your faculty, staff, and administration are dedicated to providing you with the best possible support. We recognize that you may experience a range of issues during the semester that can negatively impact your learning. We also understand that stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance and affect your ability to participate in day-to-day activities. 

As your instructor, please note that if there is ever something that is happening outside (or inside) our classroom that is impacting your ability to learn to your full potential, I urge you to speak with me privately. You do not have to disclose your circumstances to me; however, by keeping me updated about your situation, I am better able to assist with any problems that may arise. If you do not feel comfortable approaching me with your concerns, I encourage you to reach out to more or more of these available resources:

[Insert campus-wide resource list] 

- Communication Educator