Course Syllabus Guidelines

RPTM Policy (Updated 7/14/2010)

Instructors are responsible for providing each student in a course with a copy of the class syllabus. In addition to the information as it appears in the master syllabus, the class syllabus will include information for the specific teacher and body of students. Points 1-15 are to be included on ALL syllabi.

1. Course title and number as they appear on the course application.

2. Course description as it appears on the course application.

3. Prerequisites and cross-listings for the course.

4. Instructor contact information: Including the name of instructor and accessibility to students (office hours, office location, telephone number, and e-mail address).

5. Course objectives or expected learning outcomes for students of the course.

6. Topical outline for the course.

7. Statement of General Plan: The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.

8. Statement on Academic Honesty: All students are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity in every phase of their academic careers. The penalties for academic dishonesty are severe and ignorance is not an acceptable defense. Each student is expected to do his or her own work for individual course assignments. Any student found plagiarizing a written assignment or falsifying a course requirement is referred for University disciplinary action. Violations of Academic Honesty will be handled in accordance with University and College of HHD procedures ( and policies (

The College of HHD Academic Integrity Committee states, “All course work by students will be done on an individual basis unless an instructor clearly states that an alternative is acceptable. Any reference material used in the preparation of an assignment, whether quoted or paraphrased, must be explicitly cited. In an examination setting, unless the instructor gives explicit instructions to the contrary…violations of academic integrity shall consist of any attempt to receive assistance from any person or papers or electronic devices, or any attempt to give assistance. Other violations include, but are not limited to, any attempt to gain an unfair advantage in regard to an examination such as tampering with a graded exam or claiming another’s work to be one’s own.” Possible additional statements on Academic Honesty --- ONLY to be included as a supplement to the above REQUIRED statement, NOT as alternatives: All academic work must meet the standards contained in “A Culture of Honesty.” Each student is responsible to inform themselves about those standards before performing any academic work.

Academic Integrity: All students are expected to act with civility, personal integrity; respect other students' dignity, rights and property; and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for self and others and a civil community. Academic integrity includes a commitment to not engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons' work as one's own, using Internet sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, "ghosting" (taking or having another student take an exam), stealing examinations, tampering with the academic work of another student, facilitating other students' acts of academic dishonesty, etc.
We expect each of you to complete your own assignments and reference any idea, information and wording that is not your own. Representing someone else’s thoughts as your own constitutes plagiarism. Students charged with a breach of academic integrity will receive due process and, if the charge is found valid, academic sanctions may range, depending on the severity of the offense, from “F” for the assignment to “F” for the course.

The University's statement on academic integrity is available at

In this course we will be using a tool,, to confirm that you have used sources accurately in your papers. If you have any questions about how to cite your sources, please review the materials available at or Students are responsible for ensuring that their work is consistent with Penn State's expectations about academic integrity. Additional information about the plagiarism prevention tool is available at and at

Below are sites that demonstrate good and bad ways to cite material

9. Statement of Accommodation: If you have a disability that may require assistance or accommodation, or you have questions related to any accommodations for testing, note takers, reader, etc., please speak with the instructor as soon as possible. Students may also contact the Office of Disabled Students Services (116 Boucke) with questions about such services 863-1807 (V/TTY).

Possible additional statements on accommodation ONLY to be included as a supplement to the above REQUIRED statement, NOT as alternatives:

Problems and Assistance: If you encounter a problem that affects your participation in this course, contact the instructor immediately. In addition, any student who needs an accommodation or other assistance in this course should make an appointment with the instructor as soon as possible.

10. Statement of Classroom Maintenance: Please help to keep the classroom clean and do not eat in the classrooms. Penn State Policy AD62 Scheduling and Use of General Purpose Classrooms was revised on August 23, 2006. The policy now stipulates that the college, department or individual scheduling use of the room (that means RPTM) is responsible and will receive direct billing for the assessment and repair of any damage or negligent or intentional damage attributed to room use, as well as janitorial and maintenance costs attributed to unauthorized food and drink use. Bottled water is the only beverage that is allowed in the classroom and the student must throw the bottle away or take it with them.

11. Principal course assignments: Such as required reading, papers, other activities, and the week of the course in which these assignments are expected to be completed and submitted.

12. Specific course requirements for grading purposes: Such as written and oral tests and reports, research papers, participation requirements, performances or other similar requirements.

13. Grading Policy. How the final grade will be determined with respect to weights or course points assigned to various course requirements.

14. Attendance Policy. If there are specific requirements for attendance, these should be stated; if attendance is to be weighed for the final grade, the syllabus should state what the weight or course points will be.

15. Required course material, including texts.

16. Policy for make-up of examinations.

Possible additional information contained in course syllabi:

Participation: The interactive nature of this course requires regular and consistent attendance at class. You are expected to: (a) read and synthesize assigned readings prior to class meetings, (b) arrive to class promptly, and (c) be actively involved in class discussion and activities. You are encouraged to participate in class by asking and answering questions, sharing ideas, experiences, and resources, and debating issues. If you cannot attend class contact me before the absence to work out arrangements for any missed course work. Please understand that it is especially important for students to support each other by attending classes in which other students present. Feedback in the form of peer evaluations is made for each of the class presentation assignments and these evaluations are used in determining grades (see Peer
Evaluations below). If you encounter a problem that affects your participation in this course, contact me immediately. Any student who needs an accommodation or other assistance in this course should make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

Assignment Late Policies: Assignments are due at the beginning of the assigned class period. An assignment is penalized by the rate of 10% per day (up to a total of 2 days) it is late past the required due date including the day the assignment is due. No assignment is accepted after the 2-day grace period.

Assignment Format Policies: All assignments must be typed, double-spaced with consecutively numbered pages, submitted with information on the front sheet of the paper including the course abbreviation and number, semester and year, title of assignment, and student's name. The paper must be stapled in the upper left-hand corner.

Peer Evaluations: Following student presentations the presenter, the students, and I will spend 5-10 minutes completing an evaluation form. These evaluations will be considered when determining the student's grade, and a compilation of the evaluations will be provided to each student.

Evaluation of Course and Course Instructor: Students will participate in an end-of-semester evaluation. Students are encouraged to informally submit recommendations for course improvements on a continuing basis throughout the semester.