Faculty Handbook 2014–15
The Purchase College academic calendar is based on two semesters, fall and spring. Each semester consists of 15 weeks of classes and a recess period. As of 2014, the fall semester typically begins on the last Monday in August and concludes in December. The spring semester typically begins after Martin Luther King Day in January with commencement in mid-May, usually on a Friday.
Each student in a course must be provided with a written course syllabus at the first class meeting. A copy of the course syllabus must also be filed with the chair or director of the school or conservatory. If revisions of the syllabus become necessary, they must be written and circulated to all students in the course. The syllabus should contain at least the following:
For related information, please refer to Accommodating Students with Disabilities in this handbook and Academic Credit and Student Workload in the Academic Policies section of the Purchase College Catalog.
Student Absence Policy
Except in the School of the Arts where attendance is required and in College Writing courses, which have a common absence policy, the number of student absences allowed in a particular course is at the discretion of the instructor. However, faculty members are urged to encourage attendance, and the attendance policy must be clearly stated on the syllabus. Students absent from class for any reason are expected to complete all assigned work in the course.
Providing students with an assessment of their performance early in the semester is important to student retention. This is especially true for students who are new to the institution and for students who need to improve their academic performance. Because of the importance of early assessment and intervention, the college expects all faculty members to give students in undergraduate courses at least one major grade on a paper, examination, or other appropriate basis of evaluation early in the semester.
The last week of classes in each semester is commonly understood to be the exam period, and new work is not assigned during this time. The Office of the Registrar posts the exam week schedule at www.purchase.edu/departments/Registrar/FinalExamSchedule.aspx.
Student evaluations of instruction are conducted toward the end of each term. For on-campus courses, evaluation forms are distributed by the individual schools and conservatories. A packet of these forms (with instructions) for each course is placed in faculty mailboxes, and students complete the forms during class. For courses that are delivered entirely online, students complete an online survey, which is sent to their Purchase College email accounts.
For in-class evaluations, faculty members are asked to have one or two students (depending on the size of the class) administer the evaluations. To assure the confidentiality of this evaluation process, faculty members must leave the classroom until the responsible student volunteer has administered, collected, and sealed the completed evaluations in the provided envelope. A student volunteer will return the evaluations to the school/conservatory office. Faculty members should not return the evaluations themselves. Students may not ask for an evaluation form at a later date (e.g., if they miss the class session) or ask to change their evaluation after the forms have been submitted.
These evaluations provide students with an opportunity to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of their courses. The evaluations also help instructors improve their courses and are used as one component in the reappointment process. For related information, please refer to Student Evaluation of Instruction in the “Evaluation, Reappointment, and Promotion” section of this handbook.
Human Subjects Committee
If a course requires research involving interaction with or the collection of data from or about living human beings, the faculty member must contact the Human Subjects Committee for applicable policies and procedures, which may include prior approval. Please refer to the Human Subjects Policy in this handbook; the complete policy and guidelines are available on the College Policies site.
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