Preparing to Teach at Stetson
Faculty should be aware of the following information as they begin to prepare for and then teach their classes at Stetson:
All faculty must create a detailed syllabus for each class taught, according to the expectations of the department and the college or school. Department chairs and deans can provide specific information including sample syllabi, but a good syllabus typically includes:
- Course number, title, unit/half-unit, meeting time(s) and place(s) - Use TBA, if needed
- Your name, office location, office phone number, Stetson University email address and instructor website (if applicable)
- Office hours, regularly scheduled and by appointment. If you aren't ready to set hours at this point, use general text assuring students that four hours will be scheduled, spread reasonably through the week: "These hours will be posted on my office door, provided to the department secretary and forwarded to the dean's office. I welcome appointments at other times, and I am happy to make alternative meeting arrangements, the library for instance, for students who cannot access my office."
- A Brief Overview of the Course: a brief narrative description of the topics and major learning goals of the course; some important and enticing questions the course will address; what students will be able to learn and how will they will learn it; special features such as community engagement or meetings with visiting experts; the purpose of the course in general and liberal study, to build skills in a major or to prepare certain understandings and skills for post-undergraduate study or for careers, etc.
- A list of required texts: note those titles that students should purchase (and are available in our bookstore), as well as works found in the library (on reserve) or available on the web; emphasize edition, if important; list prices are helpful if you can provide them.
- A list of requirements noting graded work, with due dates and your grading scale: the value of each graded assignment (percentage of final grade) and your grading scale. Indicate how homework, attendance, group projects, etc. figure into final grades. Note the final exam day/time (so students who have to fly home for the holidays will know the date up front).
- Attendance policy: be explicit, even repetitive (see item six above).
- A statement on academic honor: Note that students are expected to observe the university's academic honor system.
- Additional items: note your commitment to support students who are working with our varying abilities office in the Student Success Center, the availability of tutoring or study groups and any other point of special interest about your course.
Textbooks and other required materials to be procured from the Stetson University Bookstore must be submitted in time for securing them before the first class session. Check with your department secretary for forms and procedures to be followed.
University Honor System
The university's expectations for academic honesty are outlined in the Stetson University Honor System and can be found online at http://www.stetson.edu/other/honor-system/.
The duPont-Ball Library provides information for new faculty at http://www2.stetson.edu/library/welcome_faculty.php. Library faculty and staff are eager to help in supporting the specific needs of your course. Books and periodical articles may be placed on reserve at the circulation desk of the library.
Many classrooms are already equipped with some audio/visual equipment for class use; however, if there is something specific that you require but that isn't already in the classroom, it may be reserved through the Office of Learning Technologies (386-822-7182). Your department secretary can help with these arrangements.
Office Space and Computer Access
Your department chair or academic dean will provide you with working space on campus and access to Stetson University's computer resources. Full-time faculty will be provided with office space and a computer for professional use. Adjunct faculty may not have an individual office or computer, but space to meet with students outside of class can be arranged through your department chair or academic dean.
Stetson University is proud of its tradition of personal attention to student needs. To that end, it is important that all faculty (full or part-time) make themselves available to students outside of class. The methods are different for each faculty member and each class, but time immediately before or after class, scheduled office hours, email or phone contact are some avenues to consider.
At Stetson University, each instructor sets his or her own attendance policy and includes that policy in the syllabus. Instructors are asked to record attendance regularly as poor attendance can be a sign of serious academic or personal problems, and early intervention can help students avoid falling into academic trouble. If a student has missed three consecutive classes without explanation, faculty should report the absences through MAP-Works as an Academic Update. Faculty can sign in to MAP-Works either through Blackboard or at the MAP-Works website using their network username and password. The Student Success Center monitors Academic Updates, and our staff will contact the student and update the instructor. Continue to update MAP-Works if the absences continue. The email firstname.lastname@example.org will also be monitored, but we prefer you utilize MAP-Works. If you have any questions about the system, please contact the Student Success Center at 386-822-7345 or email@example.com.
Class rosters can be obtained through your course on my.stetson.edu. Students not on the official class roll should not be permitted to remain in your class. These students should be referred to the Office of the Registrar for proper registration. Reminders about this are sent out by the registrar's office.
If you are unable to meet a scheduled class, notify the department chair, department secretary or the dean's office as far in advance as possible so that a substitute instructor or assignment can be arranged and so that the students can be notified as appropriate.
Student Success Center
The Student Success Center is located on the second floor of the Carlton Union Building (CUB) in room 229. You can contact the Student Success Center at 386-822-7345 and firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available on their website.
Tutoring is centrally coordinated through the Academic Success Center, with peer tutors available in many disciplines to help students. Tutoring is provided to currently enrolled Stetson University students free of charge. Most tutoring sites offer walk-in service, with some sites also offering students the ability to schedule an appointment. Students can meet with a tutor to review principles, learn content-specific study strategies and enhance content area knowledge. Details for tutoring times and locations are kept up-to-date on the ASC's website.
Academic Success Center
Located behind the CUB at 209 East Bert Fish Drive, the Academic Success Center (ASC) offers opportunities for students to reach their individual goals in the higher education environment through ensuring equal access and skills-based coaching and tutoring.
Additionally, the ASC coordinates accessibility for students with disabilities and partners with students and their faculty to recommending reasonable accommodations for a successful college experience. Any student who voluntarily self-identifies and provides appropriate documentation verifying a disability may receive services. Disabilities may include hearing and visual impairments, specific learning disabilities, attention disorders, speech impairments, mobility impairments or temporary impairments.
Final Exams and Project
A final exam or final project must be given in each course at the end of the semester. The examination schedule is set by the Office of the Registrar and students may not reschedule or miss any final exam without prior approval by the academic dean. Students who miss a final exam without prior approval from the academic dean are liable for failure of the course. Students scheduled to take more than two final exams in one day may request of the academic dean's office that one exam be rescheduled. Final exams and student presentations are not to be held on Reading Days.
Grades and Incompletes
Grades must be turned in for each student who takes a course for credit. Suitable means for evaluating student performance are determined by the instructor and should be explicitly stated in the syllabus. At least one important grade should be given before the middle of the term so that students have a clear basis for interpreting their interim (or warning) grades at midterm. (Note that Stetson University allows drops without academic penalty until roughly mid-semester).
Final grades are due by dates and times set in the academic calendar. Grades are entered electronically at my.stetson.edu, and an instructor's responsibilities for a course are not concluded until all grades are submitted.
Students requesting an incomplete in your course must make that request in writing. It must be approved by the instructor, the department chair and the academic dean.