IMPORTANT SEMESTER INFORMATION AND CRITICAL DATES

 

Date:    July 26, 2021 

To:       Southeastern Faculty

From:  Tena L. Golding, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

RE:      Fall 2021 Semester Informational Memo

 

Welcome back!  As you make final preparations for your fall classes, the information below is provided to help ensure you include required information on your course syllabi, are aware of major deadlines, and to remind you of some of the University policies relevant to the management of your courses. 

At this time, COVID-19 remains a fluid situation and guidance may change.  We will continue to monitor and adjust accordingly.

Please be reminded of the following.

  1. Classes should be delivered in the format specified in the Schedule of Classes/LEONet (see Southeastern Course Delivery Formats). The delivery format may not be changed once students have registered for the class.
  2. Course instruction must occur through the entire semester or term for which the course is scheduled. Instruction may not end prior to the last day of classes scheduled for the course in accordance with the University’s Academic Calendar
  3. As per the Academic Continuity Plan, every class must be prepared to transition to remote delivery at any time. 
  4. While social distancing in the classrooms is not required at this time, please do not remove the social distancing stickers.
  5. The complete Faculty/Staff Exposure Protocol can be found here.  http://www.southeastern.edu/admin/hr/policies_procedures/exposure/index.html
  6. Faculty/Staff who become aware of a student COVID-19 case should submit a Link report at southeastern.edu/link and encourage the student to self-report via the same link.
  7. Contact tracing for COVID-19 cases by our case management teams continues to be an important part of the safe campus plan for Southeastern. To assist with contact tracing, please take attendance and consider using a seating chart in classes.
  8. Faculty and students must comply with the Face Mask/Coverings Policy (pending and subject to change).

 

IMPORTANT DATES

The Fall 2021 Academic Calendar is available at: http://www.southeastern.edu/admin/registrar/dates/calendar/#Fall%2021 

Please ensure that your course syllabi correspond to the pertinent dates listed in the Academic Calendar (first and last day of classes; drop/add period; withdrawal and resignation deadlines; holidays; rental textbook return deadline). 

The important dates listed below are also provided in the Course Information tab of your Moodle course. You should include deadlines specific to the type of class you are teaching (Term I, Regular Session or Term II) on course syllabi.  

 

For Term I Classes

  1. Wednesday, August 18: First day of Term I classes
  2. Wednesday, September 1: ACADEMIC CHECKPOINT I
  3. Wednesday, September 15: ACADEMIC CHECKPOINT II
  4. Friday, September 24: Last day to withdraw from Term I classes. Deadline at 12:30 p.m.
  5. Wednesday, October 6:Term I classes end
  6. Monday, December 13: Last day to return rental textbooks without a fine
  7. Friday,December 17: Student accounts will be charged for any rental books not returned by 12:30 p.m.

 

For Regular Session Classes

  1. Wednesday, August 18: First day of classes
  2. Wednesday, September 15: ACADEMIC CHECKPOINT I
  3. Wednesday, October 13: ACADEMIC CHECKPOINT II
  4. Friday, October 29: Last day to withdraw from classes or resign from the University. Deadline at 12:30 p.m.
  5. Friday, December 3:Last day of classes
  6. Monday, December 13: Last day to return rental textbooks without a fine
  7. Friday,December 17: Student accounts will be charged for any rental books not returned by 12:30 p.m.

 

 For Term II Classes

  1. Wednesday, October 13:First day of Term II class
  2. Wednesday, October 27: ACADEMIC CHECKPOINT I
  3. Wednesday, November 10: ACADEMIC CHECKPOINT II
  4. Friday, November 19: Last day to withdraw from Term II classes. Deadline at 12:30 p.m.
  5. Friday, December 3:Term II classes end
  6. Monday, December 13: Last day to return rental textbooks without a fine
  7. Friday,December 17: Student accounts will be charged for any rental books not returned by 12:30 p.m.

 

 

GRADES AND ACADEMIC CHECKPOINTS

Grades provide important feedback to students regarding their academic progress.  While faculty are expected to post all grades in Moodle in a timely manner, Academic Checkpoints serve as an early alert and intervention strategy and are an essential component in our efforts to improve student success and student retention rates. These Checkpoints occur around the 1/3 and 3/5 points of the semester and provide students with meaningful assessment of their academic progress.

Faculty are required to report grades in Moodle by Academic Checkpoints I and II as described below.

  • For undergraduate courses, instructors mustprovide some type of evaluation and notification of standing in the course on or before Academic Checkpoint I and again on or before Academic Checkpoint II. This will ensure that undergraduate students have at least two graded assignments before the last day to withdraw from a class.

 

  • For graduate courses, instructors mustprovide some type of evaluation and notification of standing in the course on or before Academic Checkpoint II. This will ensure that graduate students have at least one graded assignment before the last day to withdraw from a class.

Please note that these checkpoints are the minimum. Students should have sufficient feedback (i.e., graded homework, assignments, tests, etc.) throughout the entire semester to know how they are progressing in the course. The more, the better.

 

Mid-Term Grades

While Academic Checkpoints are required in all courses (including dual enrollment), mid-term grades must be entered into LEONet for students in the following courses (including dual enrollment):

  1. All 100-level courses
  2. COMM 211
  3. ENGL 230, ENGL 231, ENGL 232
  4. HIST 201, HIST 202
  5. MATH 200, MATH 201, MATH 241
  6. POLI 201, POLI 202

The mid-term grade deadline and other related information will be explained in a later memo from the Records Office.

 

Final Examinations: Final exams should be scheduled as per the Final Examination Schedule based on the format of the class specified in the Schedule of Classes/LEONet. Please contact the Center for Faculty Excellence for additional information on online testing, proctoring with Respondus Monitor, and  alternative forms of assessment.

Submission of Course Grades: Grades will be due as indicated in the Academic Calendar and will be submitted according to the procedures described in a later memorandum.

 

COURSE INFORMATION

The Course Information tab of the Academic Course Template used in Moodle contains a Course Syllabus AND a Policy Statement section for each course. Students are required to complete the Course Syllabus and Policy Statements Validation in Moodle.

Course Syllabus

Instructors should post the course syllabus in Moodle by the first day of class. The following elements are required.

  1. Instructor's name, office, and office hours – For more information on expectations for office hours, please refer to the Faculty Office Hours policy.
  2. Course schedule, including course objectives, a week-by-week outline of course topics, activities, exams, etc.
  3. For hybrid courses, the specific dates of face-to-face class meetings.
  4. Method of grading and/or grading scale
  5. Approximate number and type of major examinations, papers, and projects. Please consider alternative forms of assessment in the online environment. All students do not have access to the same technology or the same internet speed. Timed tests may be problematic for some students. The Center can help with ideas.
  6. Other factors influencing the student's grade
  7. Class Attendance policy- Specific policies regarding (but not restricted to) the makeup of missed exams and/or assignments, submission of excuses for absences and the manner in which attendance and participation in class activities impact course performance.** Remember, faculty can no longer withdraw students for excessive unexcused absences. Please maintain regular communication with your students –if you miss someone for a couple of days – please reach out.
  8. Additional information required for courses with an Online Learning component, as per Southeastern’s Distance Education Policy.
    • Technology requirements for the course including any special software requirements
    • Procedure for resolving technical complaints, including contact information for technical support
    • Preferred method for contacting instructor, e.g., email, phone, text message
    • Netiquette expectations
    • Instructor's response time for student communications [Faculty engaged in 100% online courses are required to maintain a 24 hour maximum response time (excluding weekends, holidays, or extenuating circumstances) for returning student emails]
    • Procedure for determining attendance
    • Student participation/interaction requirements
    • Information on Distance Learning Library Services

Additionally, a current knowledge base for each course (i.e., a reference list of books, journals, manuscripts, and other scholarly materials used as the foundation in teaching a course) needs to be on file in the office of the department head.

 

** Class Attendance: Regular and punctual class attendance should be expected. Faculty may base students’ grades partly on activities and assignments that require the students’ presence in class but keep in mind that a component of a course grade based solely on student attendance and not on the quality of work performed while in attendance is problematic. Also, keep in mind it is difficult to defend policies that fail to provide students with opportunities to make up missed assignments or exams when feasible and when a student’s absence results from a valid reason (e.g., documented illness, death of a family member). If valid student absences are so numerous that it is not feasible to make up the work or exams, students should be advised of any available and appropriate alternatives given their particular circumstances (e.g., request to resign from the university for serious medical reasons). In addition, please note the following.

  1. In accordance with University policy and federal financial aid legal requirements, each faculty member shall keep a permanent attendance record through the 14th class day. Please understand this is a federal requirement; it is not an individual choice. Failure to maintain a class attendance record through the 14th class day can result in legal difficulties for the university.
  2. Throughout the semester, each instructor should keep a record of attendance to encourage students’ attendance, participation, and retention.

 

Academic Continuity Plan

The Academic Continuity Plan is an action plan to continue meaningful academic instruction in the event of a disruption to normal class schedules. There are three phases - Monitor, Remote and Closure. The key element in all phases is to communicate with students and let them know what to expect.  There is a tab in all Moodle courses labeled “Academic Continuity Plan,” that links directly to the plan.

To ensure the continuity of courses in the event of a natural disaster or similar emergency the following course information is required to be posted in Moodle for each course by the first day of class:

  • Course syllabus with a week-by-week outline of course topics, activities, exams, etc.
  • Directions to the student indicating how specific instructions for the course will be communicated when the Academic Continuity Plan is implemented.

 

POLICY STATEMENTS

As indicated above, the Course Information tab of the Academic Course Template used in Moodle now contains a Policy Statement section for each course. This Policy Statement section of the Course Information tab contains the following:

 

Academic Continuity Plan

Students should be familiar with Southeastern’s Academic Continuity Plan -- an action plan to continue meaningful academic instruction in the event of a natural disaster or similar emergency. There are three phases - Monitor, Remote and Closure. When implemented, the course format, or the format of instruction, may be modified to enable completion of the course through other means.  Refer to the University’s emergency banner on the main webpage to determine the status of the Academic Continuity Plan (Monitor, Remote, or Closure).  Specific instructions will be communicated to students by course instructors.

 

Academic Integrity

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. Behavior that violates these standards is not acceptable. Examples are the use of unauthorized material, communication with fellow students during an examination, attempting to benefit from the work of another student and similar behavior that defeats the intent of an examination or other classwork. Cheating on examinations, plagiarism, improper acknowledgment of sources in essays and the use of a single essay or paper in more than one course without permission are considered very serious offenses and shall be grounds for disciplinary action as outlined in the Academic Integrity Policy.

 

Accommodations for Disability

If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Student Accessibility Services, Tinsley Hall 102. No accommodations will be granted without documentation from Student Accessibility Services.

The deadline for registering or making accommodation changes is two weeks prior to the start of the Final Exam period. Any requests received after the deadline will generally be considered for the following semester.

 

Children in Classroom

The classroom is not a place for children or other family members and students are not to bring their family members for day care or babysitting. For more information, please see the Casual Visitors Policy.

 

Collegiate Recovery Program

Southeastern Louisiana University LION UP Recovery is a community for students in or seeking recovery from substance use disorders and process addictions. To learn more about LION UP Recovery, go to Southeastern.edu/Recovery or email Recovery@southeastern.edu.

 

Detection of Plagiarism

Students agree by taking this course that all required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity to Turnitin for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the Turnitin reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of such papers. Use of the Turnitin service is subject to the Terms of Use posted on the Turnitin website. (This statement may not apply if Turnitin will not be used.)

 

E-mail Communication

As per the University e-mail policy, only Southeastern’s email addresses can be used for course communications.

 

Face Mask/Coverings Policy (pending and subject to change)

The University has the right to require that face coverings or masks be worn on campus when required or recommended by public health officials or government leaders of relevant jurisdiction, or when the University Administration deems it necessary and appropriate in response to a communicable disease or other emergency.

 

Lecture Capture and FERPA

Certain content obtained through the video and audio recording of classes may be classified by the Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) as an educational record.  Such records are protected by the guidelines established by FERPA and require your written consent for 3rd party disclosure. An overview of these guidelines can be found on the website of the U.S. Department of Education with additional information available through Southeastern’s Center for Faculty Excellence.

 

Reporting Sexual Misconduct

If you would like to report a sexually oriented crime, please be aware that the University Policy regarding Sexual Misconduct is located online at: http://www.southeastern.edu/resources/policies/policy_detail/sexual_misconduct.html as well as the University Student Handbook  . The policy includes definitions of the various sexually oriented offenses prohibited by Southeastern as well as the reporting options for victims and the process of investigation and disciplinary proceedings of the University.

Southeastern faculty and staff are committed to supporting our students and upholding gender equity laws as outlined by Title IX. Please be aware that if you choose to confide in a faculty or staff member regarding an issue of sexual misconduct, dating violence, or stalking, we are obligated to inform the University’s Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Title IX Coordinator, who can assist you in connecting with all possible resources both on- and off-campus. If you would like to speak with someone confidentially, the Student Counseling Center (985-549-3894) and the Student Health Center (985-549-2242) are both confidential resources.

 

Student Behavior/Classroom Decorum

Free discussion, inquiry, and expression is encouraged in this class. Classroom behavior that interferes with either (a) the instructor’s ability to conduct the class or (b) the ability of students to benefit from the instruction is not acceptable. Examples may include routinely entering class late or departing early; use of communication devices, or other electronic devices; repeatedly talking in class without being recognized; talking while others are speaking; or arguing in a way that is perceived as “crossing the civility line.” Classroom behavior which is deemed inappropriate and cannot be resolved by the student and the faculty member may be referred to the Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability (OSAA).

 

Student Code of Conduct

The Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability (OSAA) is responsible for administering a campus-wide student disciplinary system that is student-centered and based on educational and developmental principles. OSAA strives to uphold community standards while respecting the rights of the individual. 

Students are expected to familiarize themselves with the Student Code of Conduct and University Policies and to conduct themselves in a manner that supports the educational mission of the University, as well as comply with University rules. 

 

Student Protocol for COVID-19

In order to help ensure a safe campus, it is imperative that all students follow the procedures outlined in the Student Protocol forCOVID-19.

 

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

Fee Payment Deadlines and Drop/Add Period: Please become familiar with the University’s fee payment deadline, which is available at: http://www.southeastern.edu/admin/controller/tuition/faq/index.html and the impact of non-payment on students’ enrollments in classes.

Class Rosters: Class rosters will be accessible online to department heads and faculty on the first day of classes. Online rosters are updated as changes are made. Please report all discrepancies early in the enrollment period. Also, because federal regulations now require us to report for students receiving federal aid the date of last attendance, as established by university policy, it is very important that faculty comply with University policy to maintain accurate attendance records throughout the 14th class day.

Do not permit students to continue attending a class if they are not listed on the class roster. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that he/she is properly registered to receive credit for the course. The Official Class Roster with instructions will be provided after the 14th class day. 

 

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): All University employees with access to students’ educational records are responsible for being knowledgeable of FERPA and adhering to it. Individual employees can be held personally liable for violations of this federal law. In addition, violations can result in the loss of federal funds to the University and our students, including student financial aid and funds from federal granting agencies. 

Lecture Capture and FERPA

Video and audio recordings of classes have many advantages.  Students can watch missed or previously attended classes, and faculty can post them for use in future semesters.  However, given the nature of the recording and its intended use, certain Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines must be followed. Please review the Online Learning Policies.

Other FERPA Guidance

Please read the following pages of the U.S. Department of Education website and learn and abide by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

 

It is important for faculty to know all aspects of the law that apply to postsecondary education. It is particularly important for faculty to know that:

  1. FERPA prohibits the public posting of grades in association with student names, social security numbers, or other student identification numbers. This means that individual students’ grades may not be posted in a manner in which anyone other than the individual student can see them – not electronically to the entire class or to a subset of the class electronically or on bulletin boards, doors, or walls or via any means by which others can associate a grade or grades with an individual student’s name or identification number. 
  2. FERPA also prohibits the publication or provision of class lists to third parties, including other students in a class. This includes photo rosters as well as lists of the names and/or W numbers of students in a class, group, or organization.

 

Thank you and have a wonderful semester!