General Course Policies (Fall 2020)

The following policies apply to all courses for the Fall 2020 semester at Framingham State. For any policies specific to an individual course, please see the course website or Blackboard.

Learning in a Pandemic

We are living in the midst of a crisis that has already lasted for months and will persist for many more, no matter how successful our efforts. This will not be an ordinary semester. Most of us will not come to campus very much, if at all. Our courses will be remote. I’m working (obviously), but from home, and with my kids at home too trying to do their school work. Some of you may have lost your jobs, or have been asked to take on more. Even with all of the precautions we’re taking, some of us may get sick. We may know people who get sick, suffer, or die. We already do.

If you are facing difficulties, please reach out, whether to me as your instructor, an advisor, or someone else you trust. You’re never required to divulge any personal information you don’t wish to share, so you get to decide how much to say. I want to engage in a spirit of generosity and kindness, and ask only for a little in return as we all navigate this world together.

Commitment to Anti-Racism

At Framingham State University, faculty, staff, and students work together to sustain a learning, working, and living community free from hate, discrimination, harassment, and intolerance. We recognize the damaging effects of systemic racism—including policies, structures, and historic practices—on the experience and success of communities of color. Coming from different backgrounds and different levels of privilege, we can all affirm and engage in antiracist work.

 

Diversity of voices, and of minds, strengthens our ability to solve problems and to ask and answer questions about the world we share. As your instructor, I commit to upholding community values of inclusion, civility, accessibility, and mutual respect. I expect this class to commit to creating a community that affirms and welcomes all persons from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and supports the realization of everyone’s potential.

Accommodations

My goal is for every student to be situated so that they can succeed in the course. As I wrote above, if you are struggling, please reach out so we can discuss how to help your situation. If you are eligible for formal academic accommodations from the university, please get in touch so we can go over how best to address those in the context of your course. All accommodations are determined by the Center for Academic Success and Achievement in consultation with the student. If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for an accommodation, please get in touch with CASA.

Blackboard

Our “classroom” for the semester will be the course Blackboard site. Everything you need to do in the course should be listed there, and I will post announcements regularly to keep you up to date. If something seems like it’s missing, please let me know.

Communication

All students are required to maintain a Framingham State e-mail account, and course announcements will be sent to that address. Please check your FSU account regularly for updates.

University Assessment

Framingham State University (FSU) is committed to the assessment of student achievement regarding academic outcomes. This process addresses the issues of what you need to learn in your program of study and if you are learning what you need to learn. The assessment program at FSU has four specific and interrelated purposes: (1) to improve student academic achievements; (2) to improve teaching strategies; (3) to document successes and identify opportunities for program improvement; and (4) to provide evidence of institutional effectiveness. Students enrolled in general education courses may participate in the FSU assessment effort. This might involve your class instructor submitting copies of your assignments for review, responding to surveys, or participating in other measurements designed to assess the FSU student learning outcomes. No identifying information will be reported and only aggregated data will be used. If you do not wish to participate in any assessments, please notify your instructor.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism

The academic community is built upon the free, open, and honest exchange of ideas and opinions. In order to achieve such an environment, students need to be confident that their peers are holding themselves to the same high standards. Cheating undermines the reputation of a university’s degrees and violates the trust of all members of our intellectual community. Accordingly, no form of cheating will be tolerated in this course. All students are expected to conform to the university’s code of conduct at all times. Any student found cheating will be referred to the Dean of Students according to university policy. Cheating on any assignment will result in an automatic failure of the assignment and other possible repercussions.

Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one’s own without giving proper credit to the source. You must acknowledge the original author or source of all quotations and ideas through quotation marks, footnotes, etc. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following:

  • the submission of a work, either in part or in whole completed by another;
  • failure to give credit for ideas, statements, facts or conclusions which rightfully belong to another;
  • failure to use quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, a sentence, or even a part thereof;
  • close and lengthy paraphrasing of another’s writing, without credit or originality;
  • use of another’s project or programs or part thereof without giving credit.

Submission of a work completed for another class either in a previous or concurrent term is academic dishonesty. In short, plagiarism is not allowed under any circumstances. If you have any questions about whether something might be considered plagiarism, please ask.

FSU Notice of Non-Discrimination and Diversity

Framingham State University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination, equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action. The University is dedicated to providing educational, working and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people.   Furthermore, the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA,” M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 11H11I, 11J) protects the rights of all residents and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion that interfere with their civil rights. The MCRA protects the right to attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights.

Workload

Federal regulations require that students engage in two hours of work outside of the classroom for each credit hour. For courses at Framingham State, which are four credits, that means that students are expected to work for approximately eight hours per week outside of class.