October 20, 2017

Policies

This page contains my policies that are not course specific and apply to all students in any of my classes. You will find specific policies related to grading variations from these, if there are any, in course specific policy pages.

Please read these carefully. I expect and presume that all students are familiar with these policies.

Cheating and Plagiarism

I am uncomfortable but compelled to explicitly state my policy on plagiarism and other forms of cheating.

  • Any type, amount and form of cheating will result in the involved student(s) (including the group work) receiving a zero for that assignment. I will also report the incident with the evidence to the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for information only. This is in accordance with the policy of the Dean’s Office.
  • A second instance of cheating will result in receiving an F for the semester and I will seek disciplinary action by the school.
  • The Internet makes copying material from variety of sources both easy and highly tempting. Do not give in to temptation. It is reasonably simple to detect plagiarism using writing analysis software and simple searches. A passage that comes from the mind and the pen of someone who has greater understanding of the subject matter and writing skills jumps out of the paper with a flag. It is far more obvious than one may think.
  • Everyone should see the links in the writing section and understand fully the meaning of plagiarism and how to avoid it.
  • Individual work means, well, individual. Even if the work is the result of a study session with a group of friends, each student is required to write his or her own assignment using their style and their own word. Submitting work that is almost identical to someone else’s is also plagiarism and is subject to the same rules. Merely changing the order of the words or substituting some words with synonyms does not clear the work from plagiarism.

I will gladly work with any student who needs help but I will not tolerate anyone copying other people’s work. Period. Read the document titled “Style Guide” to learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it.

Grading

I look at work that you do beyond homework with a positive eye. If you read an additional book, find a new article that pertains to class discussion and generally do work of this type you will not only receive a better grade but learn much more than the others in the class. Clearly, you must also show this work in class from which we will all benefit. I challenge all of you to seek new knowledge on your own and bring your experiences and reflections to the class discussions.

I would like to remind you the meaning of the letter grades as used at Providence College:

A Superior
B+ Very good
B Good
C+ Above average
C Average
D+ High passing
D Passing
F Fail

Average work is the baseline and receives a grade of C not a B. Average work is that anyone can produce, it is average. Good work (B) and better requires additional effort, initiative, creativity and a good understanding of the subject matter. Let’s keep the spirit of the grades and produce “good” to “superior” work for high grades. I tend not to use minus grades like A- so your grade in that range will either make it to an A or remain at B+ and that’s the way it is.

Late assignment submission

I do not accept late assignments. Any variations from this, when there is any, are clearly indicated in course specific policies. When these variations exist, you can count on at least minimal penalty for being late. Check the course specific policies to learn the differences if any.

Makeup exam

College policy states:

Students have a right and an obligation to make up a missed examination if the examination was announced at least one week before its administration. (The term ‘examination’ here means an examination scheduled for the full class period.) For students to avail themselves of the right indicated above, they must present, prior to the examination or within three days after its administration, a serious and verifiable reason why the examination was not taken at the scheduled time.

The privilege is only for the student who has a valid reason for not being able to take the exam on its regularly scheduled time and day. I agree with and enforce the college policy as it is stated.

For those who qualify for one, the make up exam will be at the end of the semester and I will determine the coverage. With a valid and verifiable reason, you may have only one make up exam. If you miss more than one exam, you will receive zero for the ones you cannot make up.

Withdrawing from the course

All course withdrawal requests must come before relevant deadlines. After the deadlines, only exceptional circumstances may qualify you for a withdrawal. Low grades do not constitute a reason for withdrawal. Except for extraordinary circumstance, you can count on my not giving you my permission to withdraw from the course if it is necessary. If you wish to withdraw from my courses, your best bet is to do it during the period in which you do not need my approval.