Teaching the adult part-time student is a challenge and a responsibility. Students are entitled to an atmosphere conducive to learning and to even-handed treatment in all aspects of the teacher-student relationship. Faculty members have a responsibility to ensure reasonable confidentiality in their communications with and about students, on and off campus. The following guidelines reflect our commitment to quality programs and are intended to encourage excellence in academic instruction in University College. Please read them with care and adhere to them at all times.
Accessibility of Faculty
Instructors have a responsibility to make themselves accessible to students at times other than class periods. They should occasionally be available to students prior to class and should provide a telephone number where they can be reached at specified times.
Faculty who do not have an assigned office in their department generally meet with students in their classroom, Holmes Lounge, or the library. When some privacy is needed, use of an office in January Hall or West Campus may be arranged in advance by calling (314) 935-6700.
Please hold all classes in accordance with the University College calendar, both online and printed each semester in the University College course schedule. Vacation and holiday dates should be observed. Makeup classes, if necessary, should be scheduled by the instructor with the consent of the students. Please inform the Office of the Dean of any such changes.
Note that, unlike the day school, University College does not have a reading period prior to final examinations. Examinations are normally given during the final scheduled class of the semester. Plan to meet for the final class even if no examination is held in order to assure the proper number of contact hours.
The day, time, and place of class meetings are all specified in the University College course schedule. Do not alter this schedule without prior consultation with the Office of the Dean.
Washington University is a relatively secure environment. Of course, every member of the campus community must be aware that safety and security require each individual's participation and support. To that end, Campus Police and others, including Residential Life, offer programs on how to reduce risk and on what community members can do to contribute to the safety of everyone. The university periodically reevaluates security measures as a part of an ongoing concern for students' personal safety and the safety of their belongings.
The university has instituted several programs to assure student safety: "blue light" telephone connected directly to the police department are located throughout the campus and will instantly alert Campus Police to the whereabouts of someone in need of assistance. A shuttle operates at night and transports students to or from anywhere on campus; to use this service, students should have Washington University IDs. Also at night, an escort is available to walk a student to a car or residence hall: Call (314) 935-7777.
The university's Campus Police department, a fully empowered, professional police force, patrols campus 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides emergency motorist assistance and first aid. The department also offers a number of services to help students protect their property, such as renting high-security bicycle locks, providing bicycle registration, and helping students mark their valuables with personal registration. Campus police can be reached at (314) 935-5555.
The Campus Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 requires the university to publish an annual report of campus security policies and crime statistics and to make it available to prospective students and employees upon request. You may view a copy on the WUPD website.
Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather
On rare occasions, classes must be canceled because of snow or ice. Classes are canceled only on authority of Washington University Human Resources, after consulting with the dean of University College and deans of the other evening divisions. Announcements to that effect will be posted on emergency.wustl.edu and announced on local radio and TV stations.
Classes canceled due to inclement weather may be rescheduled by the instructor upon agreement of students in the class. Instructors are responsible for arranging such meetings and for clearing the availability of a classroom with the University College office (314) 935-6700.
Time may also be made up by extending the length of meeting time of subsequent classes. Rescheduled classes must meet prior to the end of the semester so that grade deadlines can be met.
Cancellation or Substitution of Classes
Faculty are expected to meet all classes when and where advertised for the duration of the class period. If it becomes necessary for an instructor to miss a class meeting due to illness or an emergency, it is the instructor's responsibility to provide a substitute and to notify the Office of the Dean (314) 935-6720, or, after 5 p.m., the University College office (314) 935-6700. Every effort should be made to notify University College well in advance of an absence. If the instructor cannot find a substitute, the department coordinator may be able to assist.
If a class will not meet as scheduled, it is the responsibility of the instructor to notify each student in the class. Please inform the University College office of any and all such changes, since we frequently must deal with the students affected. Failure to meet these obligations may result in termination of appointment.
A telephone number for each student appears on the official class roster. You may wish to confirm these numbers or determine an appropriate work number where students can be reached in late afternoon in the event of an emergency. We will post notices of cancellation in the classroom, but prefer that students be contacted before they come to campus.
Classrooms are assigned on the basis of projected enrollments, course requirements, and, to the degree possible, convenience for faculty and students. If for some reason a change from the room designated in the course schedule must be made prior to the first class meeting, instructors will be notified. University College will post a change of room notice on the door of the originally scheduled classroom, together with a campus map directing students to the newly assigned room and building.
Please do not change classrooms without consulting the Office of the Dean. Classroom space on campus is limited and normally all available rooms are assigned. Necessary room changes may be made by the University College office after classes have begun and enrollments have stabilized. Requests related to room assignments should be directed to (314) 935-6720.
Class Size Limits
The enrollment limit for University College courses, unless otherwise approved, is set at 30, and courses seldom exceed that number of students. The nature of some courses may require that enrollment be limited. For example, individual attention or small group work may be given to students in speech, drama, or some writing classes. Class size will be limited only on the recommendation of the departmental coordinator and approval of University College, and such requests should be made when the class is scheduled so that limits can be published in the course schedule. When appropriate, additional compensation or a teaching assistant may be provided for exceptionally large courses.
Undergraduate Course Enrollments and Course Cancellation Policy
Specific teaching and service assignments may be dependent upon sufficient enrollment and satisfactory performance, and assignments may be changed or amended as required by the departmental administration. If a course is cancelled within seven (7) days of the first day of classes, a cancellation fee of $250 per credit hour up to a maximum of $750 will be provided.
Graduate Course Enrollments and Course Cancellation Policy
Courses with fewer than 3 students enrolled 8 days prior to the beginning of the semester are canceled by University College. If your course has 3 students or more enrolled, but fewer than the minimum enrollment, a decision will be made whether to continue or cancel the course. The decision to teach a course below the minimum enrollment is based on 1) student needs, 2) pedagogy of the course, and 3) financial considerations. If a course is permitted to run below the minimum enrollment, you will be paid an amount up to 60% of the for-credit tuition revenue*, not to exceed full compensation. If a course is canceled due to low enrollment or for another reason, no compensation will be paid. University College reserves the right to cancel a course at any time.
*Some visiting students in special programs pay the University College evening undergraduate tuition rate.
At the beginning of the semester, please provide all students with a syllabus, or course plan, containing the following:
- A list of all written text materials to be used in the course and an indication of when they are to be used. Please do not require students to purchase expensive books unless they will be used extensively in your class.
- A calendar of all class sessions, with specific dates indicating what topics are to be covered in each class and when examinations will be held.
- A clear statement of written work assignments or other projects, including their due dates, required length, and grading standards.
- A statement of your policy on late attendance, absences, and incomplete or late written work.
- An indication of how grades will be determined, specifying expectations for those choosing the Credit/No Credit option as well as for letter grades.
- A statement concerning academic integrity and possible sanctions for plagiarism (see the Academic Integrity section of this handbook for a sample statement).
As you prepare your syllabus, please review the course description published in the University College Course Schedule. Students enroll in courses on the basis of the descriptions and it is important that instructors attempt to adhere to them in the teaching of their courses.
New instructors should consult their program coordinators for advice. Additional questions concerning the course syllabus should be directed to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Special Programs at (314) 935-4320 or a University College graduate advisor at (314) 935-6778.
At least one month prior to the beginning of classes, please deliver an updated copy of your syllabus to your University College coordinator.
You are urged to give consideration to how you will respond in the event of an emergency in your classroom or nearby. Before your class begins, determine the location of the nearest available lavatory, telephone, and the best way to exit the building. Frequently departmental offices are closed after 5 p.m. and it may be necessary to use a cellular telephone to call the campus police (314) 935-5555 or dial 911 in the event of an emergency.
"Blue Light" telephones located outside on paths and near parking lots are direct lines to the campus police department. They may be used for emergencies or to request assistance with dead car batteries at night. You may wish to take note of their location.
More information about emergency resources and preparedness is available on the University's emergency website.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guarantees the privacy of student educational records, including student information accessible through Blackboard, grades, and course work with evaluative comments or grades. Only the individual student, and those university employees with a legitimate educational interest in the course or student outcome, may have access to student educational records. In accordance with FERPA, WUSTL requires the following:
- Student information accessible through WebFAC and Blackboard may not be shared, including with the other students in the class.
- If grades are posted publicly (physically or on a website), students’ names, IDs, or social security numbers (in whole or part) may not be used as an identifier, and students should not be listed in alphabetical order.
- Instructors must ensure, in the process of posting grades or returning graded material, that the students’ grades or evaluations are not visible to, or determinable by, anyone without a right of access to the information. Coursework may be returned in the following ways:
- faculty or teaching assistants personally handing work to students known to them;
- faculty/teaching assistants/administrative assistants returning work personally to students upon display of identification;
- campus mail (material placed in sealed envelope);
- using the Blackboard gradebook;
- by email to the student’s WUSTL email address; and
- through self-addressed envelopes provided by the student.
Faculty may ask students to sign a waiver, allowing their work to be returned in whatever manner specified, and acknowledging that in those circumstances other students might be able to observe their grade/evaluation. If students opt out of signing the waiver, material must be returned to them in a secure manner.
We encourage you to review the university's full FERPA policy online.
Sexual Harassment Policy
Washington University defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which creates an offensive, intimidating, or hostile environment. Such behavior includes but is not limited to situations where one person has authority over another. The full WUSTL Sexual Harassment Policy is available on the Human Resources website.
Members of the university community can expect to be free of sexual harassment, and thus all members of the university should guard against it. Anyone who believes he or she has been subjected to harassing behavior is encouraged to discuss the nature of the conduct and possible remedies with the dean by calling (314) 935-4806.
Social Media Guidelines
When using social media as a part of a class, faculty must seriously consider questions of student access and privacy, as well as the maintenance of professional and equitable relationships with all members of the class. Not all students in a class may have accounts with the particular social media platform the faculty member wishes to use; faculty should be sensitive to student concerns regarding the privacy of their personal data on some social networking sites. A student cannot be required to register with a non-university platform which collects personal data in order to participate in class activities or receive course information. Faculty are encouraged to use university-sponsored platforms for online discussion and interaction (e.g., Blackboard) wherever possible. Selective "friending" or "following" etc. of students who are currently enrolled in a faculty member's course outside of a dedicated course resource accessible to all students (even if initiated by the student) can produce the appearance of favoritism, and as such should be avoided.
In the early stages of course planning, please review with the dean and your University College coordinator requests for special classroom activities or supplies that may require an additional expense. At the time the course is scheduled, please submit for the dean's approval a detailed course budget for items that require additional expense. University College does not provide honoraria for guest speakers.