The following points are offered in both of the preceding contexts:
The MSU Code of Teaching Responsibility sets out a list of information that should be included in syllabi. Normally, an effective instructor group's syllabus will meet the requirements, but the matter is worth checking against the Code, to put the syllabus on the solidest ground.
Section B of the TE Department's policy for handling disputes between instructors and students calls for the syllabus for each section of each course to provide "(a) the name and contact information for the person to whom students can address complaints that they cannot resolve with the instructor, and (b) the URL for these procedures."
Required Content for Teacher Preparation Course syllabi
Experience has shown that providing written information such as the following can help avoid confusion or problems down the line. Copy and paste into your syllabus the information below (download a Word or PDF file from the TPP website):
- Attendance and Participation. (This statement applies to TE301, 302, 401, 402, 407, 408. TE 801, 802, 803, 804 should use a modified version that does not include references to field placements since this is covered in the TE501/502 syllabus. TE 501 and 502 allow for 4 absences from the field each semester.)
Regular on-time attendance and full participation in class is critical to learning. Of course, illness and other emergencies cannot be avoided. If you are unable to attend a class session, you must call or email the instructor in advance. Similarly, you must call your collaborating teacher in advance if you are unable to meet a field visit commitment. You will make up all field absences. If you are unable to attend school, you need to call your mentor teacher in advance. Do not rely on your peers to relay messages—make sure you communicate directly with your MT.
This course is planned on the assumption that you will come on time and come prepared to participate. The instructor reserves the right to adjust your grade as a response to absences or excessive tardiness.
In accordance with the Teacher Preparation Program's Professional Conduct Policy, attendance and punctuality in class meetings and field experiences are critical to your success in this course and in the Program. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the policy that is on the web at http://education.msu.edu/academics/undergraduate/professional-conduct.asp.. In the case of recurring absences or tardiness, your Team Coordinator will be notified and you may be required to attend a meeting regarding your attendance. More than two absences in class or in your field placement will affect your grade and may result in a failing grade for the course.
- Grading (in general). All assignments and requirements must be completed satisfactorily to receive a passing grade in the course, including those assignments related to your field placement.
- Grading for TE 401/2. In order to pass this section of TE 40X, each subject matter must be passed with a 2.0 or above. Also, a satisfactory report must be received from the teachers in the field experiences during TE 40X. If you receive less than a 2.0 in either subject matter section of this course, the lower grade will be the final grade for the course. The entire course would need to be repeated in order to continue in the Teacher Preparation Program.
The grade "incomplete." MSU policy is that "the 'I' (incomplete) grade may be given only when the student (a) has completed at least 12 weeks of the semester, but is unable to complete the class work and/or take the final examination because of illness or other compelling reasons; and (b) has done satisfactory work in the course; and (c) in the instructor's judgment can complete the required work without repeating the course." For the entire grading policy at MSU, please visit: http://www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Print.asp?Section=521.
Since each course from TE 301 on is a prerequisite for each succeeding course, incompletes must be cleared before the first meeting of the succeeding course. Therefore, it is wise to avoid Incompletes entirely.
- Academic Honesty and Integrity We assume that the student is honest and that all course work and examinations represent the student's own work. Violations of the academic integrity policy such as cheating, plagiarism, selling course assignments or academic fraud are grounds for academic action and/or disciplinary sanction as described in the university's student conduct code. Incidents of plagiarism are taken very seriously and will be pursued. Students are strongly cautioned not to copy any text verbatim on class quizzes, tests, reports, projects, or other class assignments without using appropriate quotations and source citations. For University regulations on academic dishonesty and plagiarism, refer to:https://www.msu.edu/unit/ombud/academic-integrity/plagiarism-policy.html
- Problem solving. Syllabi should contain a statement that directs the student to address problems that might arise by first contacting the course instructor. If the problem is not resolved, a syllabus should list the name of the next most appropriate contact person who is usually the Team Coordinator.
- Accommodations for disabilities. It is Michigan State's policy not to discriminate against qualified students with documented disabilities in its educational programs. If you have a disability-related need for modifications in this course, contact your instructor and the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. Instructors should be notified as early in the semester as possible. For an appointment with a counselor, call 353-9642 (voice) or 355-1293 (TTY). Instructors in the course may request a VISA Form (Verified Individual Student Accommodations Form) from a student requesting services. The OPHS website is at http://www.rcpd.msu.edu/Home/.
- Counseling Center. Even normal, capable, intelligent, and reasonable persons like the members of this class sometimes face situations and problems that they find difficult to deal with by themselves. TPP's instructors or cluster leaders might be able to help. Also, MSU has an Office of Student Affairs and Services, with a Counseling Center, for which the phone number is 355-8270. The Center is at 207 Student Services Building. Website: http://www.couns.msu.edu/
- Writing Center. Teachers are models and coaches of writing for their students, and must communicate effectively in writing with colleagues, parents, and others. For those reasons, teacher candidates are expected to write effectively and conventionally. If you need more help in meeting those expectations than you can get from your instructors and other teacher candidates, try the Writing Center at 300 Bessey Hall, 432-3610. Grammar Hotline: 432-1370. Website: http://writing.msu.edu/