Note that elements required in a course syllabus are so indicated. Otherwise, this document is not intended to be prescriptive but rather a helpful model of practices culled from syllabi submitted to CPC. It can be used as a checklist/reminder for faculty and as a guideline for newly hired faculty.
When designing the course, faculty may find it helpful to consult resources for inclusive teaching. A suggested website is poorvucenter.yale.edu/InclusiveTeachingStrategies.
Semester and year
Class time and location
Instructor contact information
Course Description [REQUIRED]
Include prerequisites and requirements that the course satisfies. (See “Anatomy of a Course Description.”)
Course Goals/Objectives or Learning Outcomes [REQUIRED]
What does this course aim to do? What knowledge does it seek to introduce? What skills does it seek to develop? what will the students have acquired or learned by the end of the semester?
Community-engaged Learning (CEL)
If the course has a CEL component, what is the nature, expected commitment, and transportation options?
Course Readings and Materials
Are e-books acceptable? Is a specific edition required? Are there any special resources that will be especially valuable for students? Will course materials be available on reserve through Olin Library? Will course materials be available for purchase through the Kenyon bookstore or somewhere else?
Policy on Changes to the Syllabus
Can students expect any changes to the syllabus? If so, what sort of changes? How will students learn about adjustments?
Requirements and Expectations
Description of Assignments [REQUIRED]
General rubrics/guidelines for how assignments will be evaluated. CPC recommends scaffolding large assignments with interim due dates and feedback at multiple stages of the process.
Expectations for Homework and Out-of-class Instruction Time [REQUIRED]
General expectations for homework, meetings outside of class, use of office hours, Writing Center, field trips, Moodle discussions, out-of-class screenings, etc. Consult the credit hour policy for details on college-wide expectations for instructional and homework hours.
Expectations for Class participation [REQUIRED]
Suggestions for achieving good class participation; general rubrics for evaluating class participation, if applicable. Criteria for evaluation are especially important for courses in which participation is a high percentage of the final grade. Consider offering multiple types of opportunities for participation beyond “speaking up in class.”
Expectations for Assignment Submission
Format (font, margins, number of pages, as appropriate); style (e.g. Chicago, MLA, perhaps with web address?); method of submission (in class, via Moodle page, etc.).
Policy on Attendance [REQUIRED]
Specific information regarding expectations and penalties (for example, number of points deducted from final grade) for excessive absences (how many is excessive?). What kinds of absences are excused? Information regarding College policy on excused absences. Information on contacting professor about absences. Please refer to college policies on attendance and expulsion.
Late/Missing Work Policy [REQUIRED]
Late submission policies and penalties; policy on granting extensions for assignments.
Expectations for classroom civility and inclusivity; policy on laptop use in class, cell phones, leaving the room during class; guidelines for peer evaluation and general discussion, and grade disputes.
Communications with Professor
Expectations of courtesy; email etiquette; expectations of response time to student requests; what to do in case of illness, personal emergencies, etc.; expectations regarding office hours.
Assessment and Grading
Weighting of Class Assignments [REQUIRED]
Usually given as a percentage or as a number of points for each assignment or for each type of assignment, including participation and presentations; grade penalties for absences and late work (if not discussed elsewhere).
Students should receive feedback and have a sense of where they stand on the grading scale prior to midterm so that they can make adjustments to their study approaches and informed decisions about the P/D/F and withdraw options. Early and consistent feedback is particularly important for 100- and 200-level courses.
If a professor chooses not to give grades on interim work or other assignments for pedagogical purposes, the student should still receive feedback and be assessed with a progress grade at key points in the semester, particularly at midterm.
Grading Scale [REQUIRED]
Letter grade equivalents for percentages or points that will be used to determine the course grade.
College Statements and Policies
Statement on Academic Honesty [REQUIRED]
Specifying some of the more common forms of academic infractions (see “Academic Integrity and Questions of Plagiarism” in Course Catalog). Information on academic honesty as it pertains to your course may be crucial should a case of academic infraction arise. If collaborative work is included in the course, explain the expectations for and limits of collaboration among students. An example of a general statement on Academic Honesty is as follows:
“At Kenyon College we expect all students, at all times, to submit work that represents our highest standards of academic integrity. It is the responsibility of each student to learn and practice the proper ways of documenting and acknowledging those whose ideas and words they have drawn upon (see Academic Honesty and Questions of Plagiarism in the Course Catalog). Ignorance and carelessness are not excuses for academic dishonesty.”
Statement on Accessibility Accommodations [REQUIRED]
Please use the header “Accessibility Accommodations” for this statement. Please be attentive to possible changes in wording for this statement. The recommended language for this statement communicated to faculty currently is as follows: (two choices)
“Any student who thinks they may need an accommodation to access this class should contact Student Accessibility and Support Services (SASS) at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss academic accommodations.”
“Kenyon College values diversity and recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity. Our shared goal is to create learning environments that are accessible, equitable, and inclusive. If you anticipate barriers related to the format, requirements, or assessments of this course, you are encouraged first to contact the office of Student Accessibility and Support Services (SASS) by emailing email@example.com, then to meet with the instructor to discuss accommodation options or adaptations.”
Statement on Title IX [Recommended]
Here too, it might be best to model your statement on one of the recommended versions. Please be attentive to possible changes in wording for this statement.
2018-19 Sample Responsible Employee Syllabus Statements
A statement in your course syllabus is an excellent way to communicate how you will fulfill your role as a Responsible Employee. If you have questions, please contact Kenyon’s Office for Civil Rights.
- Option 1: Kenyon College seeks to provide an environment that is free of bias, discrimination, and harassment. If you have experienced any form of harassment/misconduct/assault, interpersonal violence, or stalking we encourage you to report it. If you report the incident to a faculty member, they must notify Kenyon’s Civil Rights & Title IX coordinator of any information about the incident you provide. More information can be found on the following College webpages: Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct and ADA/504 Student Grievance Procedures.
- Option 2: As a member of the Kenyon College faculty, I am concerned about the well-being and development of students, and am available to discuss any concerns. However, I want you to know that faculty members are legally obligated to share certain information with the College’s Civil Rights & Title IX coordinator. This is to ensure the student’s safety and welfare is being addressed. These disclosures include, but are not limited to: reports of discrimination or harassment due to a protected characteristic, sexual harassment, sexual assault, relational/domestic violence, and stalking.
- Option 3: As a faculty member, I am deeply invested in the well-being of each student I teach. I am here to assist you with your work in this course. If you come to me with non-course-related concerns, I will do my best to help. It is important for you to know that all faculty members are mandated reporters of any incidents of harassment, discrimination, and intimate partner violence and stalking. Meaning, I must report any such discussion to the Civil Rights/Title IX coordinator. I cannot keep information involving sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, interpersonal violence, or any other form of harassment or discrimination based on a protected characteristic, confidential. The Health and Counseling Center, the College chaplains, and the staff at New Directions Domestic Abuse Shelter & Rape Crisis Center are confidential resources.
- Option 4: We will be studying and/or discussing a number of issues that may cause discomfort or distress. If you wish to speak with me about any readings, assignments or class discussions, please understand that I may be required to report information about sexual misconduct, discrimination, and discriminatory harassment to the Civil Rights & Title IX Coordinator. For confidential support, you may contact the following resources: the Health and Counseling Center, the College chaplains, and staff at New Directions Domestic Abuse Shelter & Rape Crisis Center.
- Option 5: Kenyon College does not discriminate in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law. The requirement of non-discrimination in educational programs and activities extends to employment and admission.
All employees, including faculty, are considered Responsible Employees and must notify the College's Civil Rights & Title IX Coordinator with any relevant information.
For further information, please refer to the following Kenyon College policies: Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct and ADA/504 Student Grievance Procedures.
Statement on Names and Pronouns
Please consult ODEI’s website for recommended statements on names and pronouns and tips for classroom inclusion.
Land Acknowledgement Statement
Kenyon College acknowledges that the lands on which we live, work, celebrate, and heal are the ancestral homelands of the Miami, Lenape, Wyandotte, and Shawnee peoples, among others. The disputed Treaty of Greenville (1795) and the forced removal of Indigenous peoples from this region allowed for the founding of the College in the early 1800s. As a community, we are committed to confronting this dark past while also embracing through education and outreach the many Indigenous communities that continue to thrive in Ohio.
Copyright of Course Materials
Course materials created by the faculty instructor such as slide presentations, handouts, assignments, outlines, quizzes, tests, and classroom recordings are protected by copyright law. You may share these materials with other students enrolled in the course. You may not reproduce, distribute, or display course materials for anyone outside of the class without the faculty member’s explicit, written consent. Students are not permitted to record class sessions without the permission of the instructor.
Weekly Course Schedule [REQUIRED]
Including calendar of readings, class activities and due dates for submission of assignments.
When scheduling due dates for assignments, please respect the College’s grace period and reading period policies.