Sample Syllabus Statements

Drafted in consultation with the Center for Diversity & Inclusion, Sexuality & Gender Inclusion, Dean for Curricular & Academic Engagement, Learning Center, Title IX Office & Wellness Center.
Sample Statement: Academic Honesty and the Code of Academic Integrity
Sample Statement: Policy Regarding Conflicts with Academic Responsibilities
Sample Statement: Policy Regarding Final Examinations
Sample Statement: Learning Center: Academic Support and Disabilities
Sample Statement: Library Support
Sample Statement(s): Title IX Reporting Policy
Sample Statement: Language for Sensitive Content
Sample Statement(s): Names & Pronouns
Sample Statement: Wellness

Sample Statement: Academic Honesty and the Code of Academic Integrity

The academic program at the College seeks to promote the intellectual development of each student and the realization of that individual’s potential for creative thinking, learning, and understanding. In achieving this, each student must learn to act rigorously, independently, and imaginatively.

The College’s understanding and expectations in regard to issues of academic honesty are fully articulated in the Code of Academic Integrity as published in The Scot’s Key and form an essential part of the implicit contract between the student and the College. The Code provides framework at Wooster to help students develop and exhibit honesty in their academic work. Yo are expected to know and abide by the rules of the institution as described in The Scot’s Key and the Handbook of Selected College Policies.

Dishonesty in any of your academic work is a serious breach of the Code of Academic Integrity and is ground for serious penalties. Such violations include turning in another person’s work as your own, copying from any source without proper citation, violating expectations for a group project, submitting an assignment produced for a course to a second course without the authorization of all the instructors, and dishonesty in connection with your academic work. You will be held responsible for your actions. Particular attention should be directed to the appropriate use of materials available online. Whether intentional or not, improper use of materials is a violation of academic honesty. If you are unsure as to what is permissible, please contact your course instructor.

To learn more about the College’s expectations for academic integrity in student research and writing endeavors, or to learn about available modules and quizzes designed to help students learn about plagiarism, citation, and the proper incorporation of source material into research essays, please contact the office of the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.

Sample Statement: Policy Regarding Conflicts with Academic Responsibilities

The College of Wooster is an academic institution and its fundamental purpose is to stimulate its students to reach the highest standard of intellectual achievement. As an academic institution with this purpose, the College expects students to give the highest priority to their academic responsibilities. When conflicts arise between academic commitments and complementary programs (including athletic, cultural, educational, and volunteer activities), students, faculty, staff, and administrators all share the responsibility of minimizing and resolving them.

As a student you have the responsibility to inform the faculty member of potential conflicts as soon as you are aware of them, and to discuss and work with the faculty member to identify alternative ways to fulfill your academic commitments without sacrificing the academic integrity and rigor of the course.

Sample Statement: Policy Regarding Final Examinations

No final examinations are to be given during the last week of classes or on reading days. Students who wish to reschedule a final exam must petition the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement in writing in advance of the examination. The student must confer with the instructor before submitting a petition, and the instructor should indicate to the Dean if they support the petition. Normally, such petitions are granted only for health reasons. If other reasons necessitate a request for a change in a final exam, the request must be submitted three weeks in advance of the examination.

Sample Statement: Learning Center: Academic Support and Disabilities

[The first two paragraphs are encouraged but optional for your syllabus. However, we ask that at minimum, you include the Disability Support Statement (last paragraph).]

The Learning Center, which is in APEX (Gault library) offers a variety of academic support services, programs and 1:1 meetings available to all students. Popular areas of support include time management techniques, class preparation tips and test taking strategies. In addition, the Learning Center coordinates peer-tutoring for several academic departments. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment at the APEX front desk or visit the Learning Center Website for additional options.

An additional support that the Learning Center offers is English Language Learning. Students can receive instruction or support with English grammar, sentence structure, writing, reading comprehension, reading speed, vocabulary, listening comprehension, speaking fluency, pronunciation, and American culture through 1:1 meetings with the Learning Center staff, ELL Peer Tutoring, ELL Writing Studio courses, and other programming offered throughout the year. Students seeking ELL support are encouraged to visit the APEX front desk.

The Learning Center also coordinates accommodations for students with diagnosed disabilities. At the beginning of the semester, students should contact the Learning Center (ext. 2595) to make arrangements for securing appropriate accommodations.  Although the Learning Center will notify professors of students with documented disabilities and the approved accommodations, students are encouraged to speak with professors during the first week of each semester.  If a student does not request accommodations or does not provide documentation to the Learning Center, faculty are under no obligation to provide accommodations.

Sample Statement: Library Support

THE LIBRARIES AND THE RESEARCH HELP DESK

Your librarian for this course is_[insert name]__.  You can ask your librarian for help with research in this class and can make an appointment with them using the research consultation form.

The Libraries also provide walk-up assistance at the Research Help Desk.  There you can get help with your research and information needs, including finding and using items we have in the Libraries; learning expert tips to refine your search for articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers; making an appointment with a librarian for help on a project; and learning how to evaluate the information you discover.

Research Help Desk Location & Hours:

Gault Library Level 1

Monday – Thursday    9am – 10pm

Friday                            9am – 5pm

Sunday                          1pm – 10pm

Sample Statements: Title IX Reporting Policy

Version 1:

In accordance with Title IX, faculty who become aware of any incident of sexual violence are required by law to notify the College of Wooster’s Title IX Coordinator. For more information about your rights and reporting options at Wooster, including confidential and anonymous reporting options, please visit http://www.wooster.edu/offices/title-ix/.

Version 2:

The College of Wooster is committed to fostering a campus community based on respect and nonviolence. In accordance with Title IX, Wooster is legally obligated to investigate incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occur on our campus. Faculty who become aware of any incident of sexual violence, including harassment, rape, sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, are required by law to notify Wooster’s Title IX Coordinator. For more information about your rights and reporting options at Wooster, including confidential and anonymous reporting options, please visit http://www.wooster.edu/offices/title-ix/.

Version 3:

The College of Wooster is committed to fostering a campus community based on respect and nonviolence. To this end, we recognize that all Wooster community members are responsible for ensuring that our community is free from discrimination, gender bias, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. In accordance with Title IX, Wooster is legally obligated to investigate incidents of sexual harassment and sexual assault that occur on our campus. Faculty who become aware of an incident of sexual violence, including harassment, rape, sexual assault, relationship violence, or stalking, are required by law to notify Wooster’s Title IX Coordinator. The purpose of this disclosure is to ensure that students are made aware of their reporting options and resources for support. For more information about your rights and reporting options at Wooster, including confidential and anonymous reporting options, please visit http://www.wooster.edu/offices/title-ix/.

Sample Statement: Language for Sensitive Content

This should be modified by faculty as appropriate to their specific content areas. 

Taking Care of Yourself: In this course, we will be discussing sensitive topics such as trauma, depression, anxiety, sexual assault, addiction, relationship problems, suicide, and other mental health concerns. The course content may elicit strong reactions from some students, and it is understandable that some may feel uncomfortable discussing these issues in class. Although you are not expected to share personal information in class, discussing these issues as a group is unavoidable. Please take the time to care for yourself. If you are struggling with personal issues, or find the content of course overwhelming, please seek assistance at the College of Wooster Wellness Center. You can learn more about their services by visiting https://www.wooster.edu/offices/health/.

I also encourage you to speak with me.  You do not need to share why the topic may be overwhelming, but by alerting me that you may not be able to participate during particular discussions, we can then work together to find alternate ways for you to share their ideas instead of verbally expressing them in class.

Sample Statement(s): Names & Pronouns

Ideas for Syllabus Statement & Productive Discussion during the First Class

(a.) Brief statement on intention, inclusion, and why we include pronouns (b.) How you would like students to refer to you: name and pronoun (optional) (c.) How students can share their name and pronoun (d.) The option to not share pronouns (e.) A reminder that pronouns and names can change (f.) Information on how students can change their information in the system

(a.) All people have the right to be addressed and referred to in accordance with their personal identity. We include pronoun introductions because we recognize that you can’t know what pronoun someone uses based on their name or by looking at them and we want to be sure to use the pronoun that you want when we refer to you. I will do my best to address and refer to all students by the names and pronouns that they share in class, regardless of what is listed on the roster, and I support classmates in doing so as well. (b.) I would like for you to refer to me as Dr./Professor/Dean (last name) or (first name). I use she/her/hers pronouns. (c.) In this class, we will have the chance to indicate the name that you would like to be called and, (d.) if we choose, to identify pronouns with which we would like to be addressed. (e.) The name and pronoun(s) that you use may change and, if they do, please let us know you would like us to change how we address you. (f.) If you are interested in changing your chosen name and pronoun(s) in the College of Wooster system, you can find additional information here:https://www.wooster.edu/offices/sgi/resources/name/

Some faculty also choose to add personal reflections &/or a statement about being both inclusive and supportive of one another.  Here is one example (shared verbally in class):

It is also important to give each other some grace around pronouns, pronunciation of names, etc., if or when we make mistakes. This is not at all to absolve ourselves of responsibility for using correct pronouns and names. But I find it useful to acknowledge that even with the best of intentions, sometimes we can still make mistakes.

I sometimes use the example that although I always attempt to pronounce students’ and colleagues’ names correctly, since I wasn’t raised speaking all of their native languages, I know I still often come up short. I appreciate gentle corrections on pronunciation, but even then, I sometimes still struggle to form the right sounds.  Most friends are very generous with me, but I know that it must be frustrating to consistently hear your name mispronounced.

Relatedly, as a queer parent in a majority straight community here in Wooster, I often find myself having to differentiate between *genuine* questions about my family from people who are supportive …. and those that are intended to harm or belittle. So my responses to the very same question can be very different depending on whether the asker’s tone and demeanor are affirming or antagonistic.

I think is behooves all of us to think about a speakers’ intentions with pronoun usage as well.  Ultimately what is most important to me in the classroom (and really anywhere) is NOT that none of us ever make mistakes or ask questions about experiences that are different from our own—in fact, we learn a lot from doing both—but that we each commit to making a concerted effort to be inclusive and respectful … and do our best to help each other achieve that joint goal in supportive ways.

Sample Statement: Wellness

As a student, you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning. Do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and do not hesitate to seek support during times of struggle. There are many helpful resources available on campus, and an important part of being a successful college student is learning how to ask for help. The Longbrake Student Wellness Center offers confidential counseling services and has a counselor on call 24/7 for emergencies. Call 330-263-2319 to reach a staff member or schedule an appointment. You can view additional services online at https://www.wooster.edu/offices/health/.  For financial concerns, I encourage you to reach out to the Dean of Students office at 330-263-2545. For safety concerns you can reach Campus Security and Protective Services at 330-263-2590. YOU@WOO organizes many of these campus resources; visit https://you.wooster.edu to get started.

This website is maintained by the Dean for Faculty Development at the College of Wooster. Contact me if you have questions or suggestions. Dr. Christa Craven: ccraven@wooster.edu