General Class Policies for Classes at Saint Martin's University

Your university experience will be the basis for your future success. Take it seriously and make the most of it!  

Teaching is merely a means to the end - learning. I view my role as a "senior partner" who guides students by linking course concepts to the student's personal experience or previously existing knowledge, whatever that may or may not be. This is why I require students to fill out a
class survey to ascertain who you are and what you want out of the course. Among the problem based assignments I hope to use include: Question of the Day; "What If" role playing (aka "The Situation"); conceptual workshops; concept mapping (using the "inspiration" program available on line at SMU library). Some, if not all, of the examples used in class are from real cases I or others have litigated, including notices of claim filed with government entities. I also utilize panel presentations and "open interviews" of local business people and members of the legal profession. 

I try to weave into any course Benedictine values based on the "Rule of Benedict" (RB) which acknowledges the primacy of God and reverence of all persons and all creation, seeking the "common good" and individual respect. [See, e.g.]. Although nearly 2000 years old, the RB remains relevant today. It is expected that you will attend classes and behave in a respectful and professional manner. Beyond learning the subject, you need self-discipline - the type of discipline expected in the "real world" by employers and exemplified by the RB.  

Grades will be maintained by me. I will provide status reports via e-mail (if requested ) several times during the semester. Errors that I might make entering a grade can be detected using these reports. It is your responsibility to save returned material for grade verification and correction. Missing assignments, quizzes and exams result in zeros against your final grade.  

I take attendance each class and may have assigned seating depending on the size of the class and my memory. Historically, students that have received low grades in this class have had attendance problems. There will be material presented in class and distributed via e-mail that is not included in the text, as well as occasional demonstrations that will facilitate progress on your assignments. You are responsible for obtaining copies of notes and handouts from other students for any class that you must miss. I value class participation. I like seeing you. Your presence and participation during each and every class period contributes to everyone's overall learning. Persistent absence, tardiness, chatting in class will harm your grade. I will attempt to form on-line discussion groups/blogs for each class. Also check your specific class for office hours. The first thing you need to do to demonstrate that you are serious about the course is to complete the
Class Survey. This will be counted as part of your grade for participation. 

Makeup quizzes and tests will only be allowed under extraordinary circumstances as determined by me.  

Assignments will be considered late if they are not delivered at the beginning of class on the specified due-date (unless other arrangements have been made prior to the due date.) Late assignments will be devalued at 10% per calendar day. Assignments turned in after the fifth day will be evaluated at 50% (max) of their original value. No late work will be accepted after the last regular class meeting of the semester. 

In most cases, I do not allow assignments to be resubmitted for grade adjustments, but am willing to discuss extenuating circumstances and options. Further, I do not give extra credit for additional work. I do however, attempt to make my objectives and expectations for each assignment as clear as possible. I am also available to discuss or clarify any assignment before, during and after class, by appointment, by phone or email. 

Students are expected to behave within reasonable and appropriate standards for a college classroom. Class participation, comments and conduct are expected to be considerate of others’ needs and rights. Disruptive, harassing, or rude behavior can result in immediate dismissal from the class, and possible disciplinary action under provisions of the Student Conduct Code (see SMC Student Handbook). If you find that someone’s behavior is affecting your ability to effectively learn in this class, please contact me immediately. Switch pagers and phones off. Do not eat in class – that’s what the cafeteria is for.  

Unless otherwise indicated (e.g. team projects), instances of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will result in a score of '0' (zero) on the assignment in question, and can result in a failing course grade, suspension, or expulsion from the college. All issues of dishonesty will be handled in accordance with the "Academic Dishonesty" policies listed in the current college catalog (as follows). 

Academic dishonesty consists of any of the following acts: 
 Assisting another student on examinations, tests, quizzes or other assignments, or receiving assistance from a student without permission of the instructor. 
Using unauthorized materials for assistance during examinations, tests, quizzes or other assignments.  Plagiarism is the act of using the words and ideas of others without giving proper credit. Common variations of plagiarism includes: 
  • Having another individual write a paper or take an examination for a student. 
  • Directly quoting material without using quotation marks or proper indentation. 
  • Not giving credit for another person’s original ideas and organization.
 Plagiarism and cheating are considered unethical actions and a violation of academic policy. The procedures for dealing with these cases are outlined in the Saint Martin's University Student Handbook 
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