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Professional Obligations Of Faculty

C2 Classroom Responsibilities

  1. General Academic Regulations

    College policy on such academic matters as the system of grading, the Pass/Fail option, incompletes and withdrawals, academic standing, changes of courses, academic appeals, and student load are found in the section of the annual College Catalog entitled "General Academic Regulations." Faculty members should acquaint themselves with these policies, be able to explain them to students, and operate within their framework.

  2. Admission to Classes

    Class lists are available through the faculty member's KnowHopePlus account. Class lists are updated in real time and are considered to be the list of those students officially enrolled in a course. Faculty members should inform the Registrar's Office of any discrepancies in the class lists and should require those attending the class, but not officially enrolled, to register for the class before the end of the drop/add period.

  3. Grades and Grading

    The College Catalog describes the system of grading used at Hope College.  Each faculty member should determine with clarity the criteria upon which the final grade for his/her courses are to be based; adopt clear, adequate and consistent methods for securing evidence of student growth and achievement; and inform students early in the semester of these criteria and methods.
    To help faculty persons, the Academic Affairs Board has authorized the Registrar to publish grade distribution studies annually. These enable instructors to examine their own grading practices in comparison with the practices of their colleagues.
    The letter "I" (Incomplete), according to the College Catalog, "is given only when unusual circumstances beyond the control of the student prevent giving a specific grade." Teachers must use personal judgment in interpreting such circumstances; however, such circumstances are not to include student negligence. Nor should an "I" be given for poor or inadequate performance which the student, by additional work, may raise to a passing grade.

  4. Grade Reports

    Faculty members report to the Registrar for each student a grade estimate at the middle of the semester and a final grade at the close of the semester. The final grade is the only one that appears on the student's permanent academic record (transcript). The midterm estimate is useful for the student and his/her advisor and also gives the instructor a good basis for conferring with his/her students, especially those who are performing poorly. Since student grades are distributed to the student, to his/her advisor, and, in some cases, to parents, it is essential that faculty members observe the deadlines established for such grade reports.

  5. Faculty Class Absences

    Regular meeting of classes at the scheduled times is considered important at Hope. Because students pay for instruction, they have the right to expect that the contracted class schedule will be followed and that the faculty will be available to provide instruction. Illness, serious family emergencies, and occasional attendance at important professional meetings are the only legitimate reasons for class absence by the instructor. When such occasions arise, the faculty member is responsible for informing the departmental chairperson as far in advance of the class session as possible. The faculty member and chairperson will decide upon appropriate action to be taken.
    When the cause of absence is other than illness or emergency, the faculty member must request, in advance, permission to be absent by completing the absence form and submitting it for approval by the departmental chairperson and the divisional dean or Provost.

  6. Student Class Absences

    The Student Development Office notifies a student's teachers and advisor of any illness which is expected to result in hospitalization, more than three days of missed classes, or the need to go home temporarily. The Health Center Staff does not write excuses. A professor who wants to know if a student is being seen for illness may call Health Services for verification.
    When a student is absent from class over a period of time - a week or two - the teacher should make a sincere effort to contact the student and/or the student's academic advisor. If the student needs counseling or if the advisor cannot contact the student, the advisor shall report this to the Office of the Dean of Students. Such reporting is often helpful in discovering illness or personal problems for which help can be given.
    The teacher is responsible for determining how and under what conditions any absence may be made up, for determining what effect of such absences on the course grade, and for informing students during the opening week of class of the absence policy for that course.
    In most instances, the mode of instruction and learning at Hope includes group sessions. Here, teachers make their primary impact through lectures, the asking and answering of questions, and the discussion of ideas. Here, too, occurs the exchange of ideas among students, which also can be very illuminating. When a course is so structured that the class session is considered an integral part of the learning process, and when students contract for such a course, they miss an irreplaceable element when they miss class. Teachers, therefore, may legitimately claim that all absences have an adverse effect upon the student's expected progress in that course, unless such absence is made up to the satisfaction of the professor. Students may, however, be denied makeup privileges. If the professor does not allow the student to make up the class absence, the faculty member should discuss the negative impact of such absences with the student, so that the student may make an informed decision about elected absences.

  7. Absences Related to Performance or Other College Activities

    Occasionally, another College activity (e.g., a sporting event, field trip, music or theatre performance or Model U.N.) conflicts with regularly scheduled classes. The College recognizes the value of such activities, but also realizes the difficulties resulting when such activities conflict with regularly scheduled classes. In an effort to reduce these difficulties, the Academic Affairs Board adopts these guidelines for students and faculty members:

    1. Students involved in athletics and other organized campus programs are expected to schedule their classes not to interfere with practice sessions or meetings.
    2. Students with class conflicts resulting from field trips or on-campus events scheduled in other courses or from officially-sanctioned athletic events are responsible for informing their teachers of these conflicts as early as possible in the semester and for ascertaining whether these absences can be made up.


    1. If students have informed them in advance, faculty are encouraged to make an effort to accommodate students with conflicts resulting from off-campus field trips and on-campus events assigned in other courses, as well as officially-sanctioned athletic events.

    2. If a course requires field trips at times different from when the class sessions are held and the teacher knows those dates and times when the schedule is ready for printing, such sessions should be listed in the Schedule of Classes.

    3. If there is flexibility in scheduling field trips, faculty are encouraged to consider weekends or class days when their students would accrue the fewest absences in other courses.

    4. Faculty members should provide alternatives for outside activities which they require but have not included in the syllabus.

    5. Faculty members should provide alternatives for exams scheduled outside class meeting times.

    6. Since tours and trips scheduled during spring break often require numbers of students to be absent from class, every effort should be made to confine officially-sponsored spring tours and field trips to the actual spring recess period. If such confinement appears to be impossible, a written request should be made to the Provost for permission to extend the time of absence from the campus. Any such request should be for class days following rather than preceding the spring recess. Such extension will not be allowed beyond two class days.

    7. For overseas travel by athletic teams and student performance groups, a separate administrative policy has been established. Copies of that policy are available from the Office of the Provost.

  8. Communication Skills

    All faculty bear a share of the responsibility for bringing their students to an adequate level of skill in communication. Insistence on clarity and correctness of expression in oral and written work is one of the criteria each teacher should include for each course.As appropriate, faculty should refer to the official guide to writing form and style adopted by the College, and distributed to all faculty.

  9. Examinations

    Some indication of students' progress in achieving the goals of a course should be given no later than the end of the first month.  Where the chief means for sampling performance is by written or oral testing, an hour test should be given no later than the end of the fourth week.
    For freshmen or beginning students, it is good to provide evaluation even earlier.
    Unless some other form of assessing student progress is appropriate, all courses end with a final examination that is to be given in the two hour block provided in the examination schedule published by the Registrar's Office. In fairness to students and other faculty, all faculty members are required to hold final examinations at the scheduled time; any variation from this requirement shall be granted only in severe emergency and with the express approval of the Provost. For the same reason, the final week of regular class sessions shall be kept free of hour tests whenever possible. Ideally, such testing should be incorporated in the final exam in the scheduled examination time.
    In the cases of individual students with schedule conflicts known in advance or students who have been prevented by illness or emergency from taking the examination at the scheduled time, their final examinations may be rescheduled at the faculty member's discretion.

  10. Term or Research Papers

    When such assignments are given, instructors should provide instruction in the process of research in their discipline and be available for conference with their students during the process of defining the topic, discovering relevant materials, arriving at sound conclusions, and organizing the results in a meaningful way. The College library staff is ready to assist teachers in some of this instruction, especially in explaining the resources of the library and methods for finding data.
    In order to ensure adequate time for study for final examinations, term papers should be due, whenever possible, prior to the final week of classes. Reasonable exceptions to this policy might include a seminar in which oral presentation of the results of research constitutes the culmination of the semester's work.

  11. Code for Academic Integrity


    As it seeks to fulfill its mission, the Hope College community assumes that each of its members will operate with integrity and honesty, with a sense of personal responsibility, and with mutual trust and concern toward others in all facets of the life of the College. In order to apply this principle to academic life in a fair and consistent manner, the following policy has been adopted to clarify the expectations regarding conduct, and to establish a set of procedures for dealing with situations that violate these expectations.

    1. Expectations

      ACADEMIC INTEGRITY is based on principles of honesty and individual responsibility for actions. As these principles are applied to academic life at Hope College, it follows that a student will not:
      1. Give, offer or receive aid on examinations other than that specifically allowed by the professor.

      2. Do course work in a manner that is inconsistent with the standards of conduct set forth by the professor.

      3. Knowingly represent the work of others as his/her own. This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism.

      4. Falsify or fabricate data. This has particular application to laboratory work and research.

      5. Engage in conduct that destroys another person's work or hinders another in her/his academic endeavors. This has particular application to computer files, library resources, and laboratory or studio work.

    2. Violations

      With the aim of maintaining and promoting integrity in the community and in a spirit of helpful concern, every member of the community is encouraged to address any perceived violations of integrity directly by confronting the appropriate party. The following procedures have been defined to ensure that apparent violations are handled in a prompt and just manner.

      1. If a faculty member observes an apparent violation of academic integrity, the faculty member should arrange an informal, private meeting with the student within one week. At that meeting the faculty member will discuss his/her suspicion with the student and inform the student of the options below, and of the student's right to appeal any action taken by the faculty member.

        1. If the student has an explanation, which is acceptable to the faculty member, the case may be closed with no written record or further action.

        2. If the matter is not resolved, the instructor may impose a sanction, taking into consideration the circumstances and seriousness of the violation. In the case of major violations the faculty member may assign a failing grade in the event (test, paper, performance, etc.) or for the course. Sanctions for minor violations may include downgrading the work or assigning additional work to replace the work in question. The faculty member may also recommend to the Provost that additional non-grade sanctions be imposed.

        In the event that any sanction is imposed by the faculty member, the incident and the action taken must be reported in writing to the Provost (with a copy to the student) within one week of the informal meeting.


        1. If a sanction has been imposed, the student has the right to file a written appeal to the Provost (with a copy to the instructor). This appeal must be filed within one week after the student receives notification of the sanction. The Provost will then review the incident, resolve it to the satisfaction of both parties, or refer it to the Student Standing and Appeals Committee (SSAC).

        2. If the incident is referred to the SSAC, the SSAC may act on the basis of the written record, or may invite the parties to submit additional information. If the student is found to be innocent, the faculty member will be notified and any academic sanction imposed against the student will be nullified.

        3. If the student is not found innocent, the Provost will decide whether to impose a non-grade sanction. The Provost will take into account the faculty member's recommendations, any related record in the Provost's office, and recommendations from the SSAC or the office of the Dean for Student Development.

        4. If additional non-grade sanctions are imposed by the Provost, the student may appeal these to the SSAC.

        5. If, after meeting with the student to discuss an apparent violation, the faculty member is unsure of what action to take, she/he may refer the matter to the SSAC through the Provost even if no sanction has been imposed. The faculty member may seek advice from the Provost and SSAC at any time.

      2. All proceedings will be conducted with strict confidentiality by all those involved in the matter. Records of alleged violations resulting in innocent findings will be promptly destroyed. In cases where guilt is established, reports from the faculty member and the SSAC will be retained by the Office of the Provost for the duration of the student's academic career at Hope College. The record will also allow the recording of the student's defense. All related reports shall be destroyed upon graduation. The record of a student suspended or expelled for a violation will be retained for three years before being destroyed. All provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act shall apply regarding release of information from these records.

      3. Course syllabi should contain a reference to these procedures and detail their applications for that particular course. Syllabi may refer students to the STUDENT HANDBOOK for the full text of the Code for Academic Integrity.

      4. Faculty are encouraged to create environments conducive to fostering integrity by all. This means that proctoring examinations may be necessary in some instances, but it also calls for positive action on the part of the instructor to remove undue temptation.

      5. The Administrative Affairs Board will maintain its charged oversight of the conduct of the SSAC and will also take overall responsibility for encouraging and maintaining an atmosphere supporting academic and social integrity.