Syllabus Criteria

The course syllabus is a contract between the instructor and the student. Therefore, it is very important for the syllabus to address as many issues as possible and to be written in a manner that is easy to understand. A complete course syllabus should include but not be limited to the following:
 

  1. Course title, number, section number, and credit hours
  2. Semester and year
  3. Instructor’s name
  4. Pre-requisites or co-requisites, if they exist
  5. Instructor’s office location, office hours (including online hours, if applicable), office phone number, and class meeting time (note: instructors might also wish to include an email address)
  6. Textbook(s) – required and/or optional
  7. Course description (may use the description from the NMSU/NMSU-A Catalog).
  8. Student Learning Objectives
  9. Tentative calendar of activities, including dates for papers, projects, tests, and field trips (note: instructors teaching hybrid or web-enhanced courses should also include the dates for all class sessions which meet face-to-face)
  10. Instructors teaching online, hybrid, or web-enhanced courses should include instructions for accessing all relevant course materials online, software requirements, and basic pc skills required.
  11. Instructors teaching online, hybrid, or web-enhanced courses should include a link to the Student Resources page.
  12. New Mexico HED Core Competencies, if applicable (These may be obtained from instructor’s division head. At least one of the core competencies should be related to a course objective)
  13. Attendance/absence/tardy policy – including penalties
  14. What procedure to follow in the event of a campus or Holloman Air Force Base closure
  15. Exactly what items are required for grades for the course (how many exams, term papers, reports, etc.) and when these items are due
  16. What weight is given to each item in determining the final grade
  17. Grading scale for course grade (including an “S”)
  18. Late/incomplete assignment policy, including penalties
  19. Makeup policy for missed/late/incomplete assignments/tests, including penalties
  20. Consequences for cheating, plagiarism, absences, tardies and/or other breaches of class discipline
  21. NMSU-A Mission Statement: The mission of New Mexico State University at Alamogordo is to provide quality learning opportunities for individuals in the diverse community we serve.
  22. Non-Discriminatory Statement (http://nmsua.edu/student-services/nmsu-disability-accommodation-and-discrimination-information/)
  23. What a student does “In Case of Emergency” (you may copy and paste the following statement): If someone in your family needs to contact you in an emergency, the person calling should know the class you are attending (e.g., COURSE PREFIX AND NUMBER) and use the following telephone numbers:
     

    1. Alamogordo Campus, Daytime: 575-439-3700 (Admissions Office)
    2. Alamogordo Campus, Evening: 575-439-3761 (Science Center Secretary)
    3. Holloman AFB, Daytime: 575-479-4318 (NMSU-A/HAFB Coordinator) or 575-572-3971 (Base Education Office)
    4. Holloman AFB, Evening: No emergency number is available
    5. (To student: insure that your class building, room number, and time of class are available to any individuals who might need to contact you in case of emergency)

  24. Emergency Evacuation Plan (to be determined by NMSU-A Administration–should include procedure for evacuation and regrouping locations). To make an emergency call from a campus phone, dial 8-911.
  25. Classroom conduct (including netiquitte for online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses) including the NMSU/NMSU-A prohibition of smoking in classrooms (you may copy and paste the following statement: No smoking in NMSU/NMSU-A classrooms or within 50 feet of the entrance to any building on campus. Any student engaging in disruptive behavior will be required to leave the class and, at the instructor’s discretion, may only be allowed to return to class after he/she meets with the Vice President for Student Affairs.)

 

Other areas to consider, if applicable

  1. Student’s responsibility to obtain missed information when absent
  2. Professionalism in occupation/technical and business fields
  3. Student’s responsibility when withdrawing from course
  4. Instructor’s limited prerogative to change syllabus schedule in writing and/or by announcement (e.g., The instructor reserves the right to change or modify any of the above statements/policies with one week’s advance notice in class)
  5. Special data concerning programs, such as non-transferability of Occupational Education in Business (OEBU) courses, etc.
  6. Lab safety and/or hazardous material statement, if applicable
  7. Student use of cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, or other electronic devices in class
  8. Important dates such as last date to withdraw, especially for classes with a different schedule
  9. A notice reminding dual-credit students that they are subject to the same policies/procedures which apply to all regular college students.
  10. Children in Classrooms: Children are permitted in classrooms at the instructor’s discretion. Children must not be permitted to disrupt classes.
  11. Statement reinforcing the syllabus’ status as a contract (e.g., By choosing to remain in this course, the student automatically accepts the statements/policies set forth in this document)


Note to Instructors: It is recommended that instructors be as specific as possible when designing a course syllabus. Omitting a policy or including a vague policy may result in difficult situations with students and/or supervisors.

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