What are the requirements for your syllabi?
This accessible syllabus template includes fields for the requirements listed below; please note that FAM 820.9 Course Syllabus Policy and Guidelines and the Chancellor's Office determine which elements of the syllabus are required. Regulations regarding classes taught in a hybrid or fully online environment are also addressed in the Distributed Learning Policy. Wherever possible, links to official campus policies are provided in the lists below.
- Instructor's name, office location, campus phone number and/or e-mail address and office hours (FAM 852.6). You might want to read this article about 'Making Office Hours Matter' in Inside Higher Ed, too, for ideas about how to encourage students to use office hours.
- Class term, meeting times, location(s). Note FAM 818.8 Meeting, Dismissal and Conduct of Classes.
- Course goals, objectives and/or expected student learning outcomes
- Required text(s) and/or materials. See FAM 872.2 Policy on Course Materials for specific requirements regarding materials authored or published by the instructor.
- Types and descriptions of major assignments, including Examinations (FAM 832.4). Note that faculty are required to have some kind of activity during the Final Exam period for each course. The Final Exam Schedule can be found on the Academic Scheduling website, as are the T forms for Special Topics courses and the Request for a Change in Final Exams.
- Basis for assigning a course grade. See FAM 840.4 Policy on Grades and FAM 840.72 Student Grade Posting Policy.
- Statement of ADA compliance, including contact info for the Services to Students with Disabilities office. It is the student's responsibility to seek academic accommodations for a verified disability in a timely manner.
- Referral to the 'Academic Regulations and Procedures' in the CSUSB Bulletin of Courses for the university's policies on course withdrawal, cheating and plagiarism. See FAM 803.5 Policy and Procedures Concerning Academic Dishonesty.
- A statement of commitment to the values of inclusion, diversity, and equity. Consider some guidelines when crafting such a statement.
Faculty offering web-based or other distributed learning courses must also include (FAM 820.9):
- The statement, per the CSU San Bernardino Distributed Learning Policy, If faculty have chosen to use non-university supported course resources, that “the university will not provide technical support for those resources that the university does not endorse any products which may be advertised through those resources”;
- Information regarding minimum computer hardware and software requirements for the class as well as what campus facilities are available to support these requirements for students who cannot afford to buy the technology; and
- Alternate procedures for submitting work in the event of technical breakdowns.
Optional Elements (strongly encouraged):
- Prerequisite courses, prior knowledge and/or additional skills required of the student.
- Policies on participation and attendance, especially as those items affect final grades.
- Provisions for the makeup of missed or late assignments, if any. See FAM 818.9 Missed Class Time and Makeup Policy for information about extracurricular and cocurricular activities.
- Other information essential to the course, such as:
accessing online resources. Note that faculty using non-university-supported resources must state in their syllabus that the university will not provide technical support for those resources and that the university does not endorse any products which may be advertised through those resources (see FAM 827.3 Distributed Learning Policy).
special assignments such as field trips (FAM 836.1) or service-learning activities that are accomplished at off-campus locations. See FAM 807.65 Policy on Attire for Students in On-Campus Simulation or Clinical Supervision Classes, Field Trip Forms (multiple) through Risk Management.
safety considerations and concerns. Faculty should note that there is an Incident Report form for any safety or student concerns.
- Consequences for cheating and/or plagiarism.
- Individual department or program guidelines (including professional standards).
Coyote Hour statement: "Students are encouraged to make the most of Coyote Hour, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 1pm. During this time, there are no scheduled classes, allowing students to actively participate in campus engagement activities, interact with peers, and attend various programs and guest speaker events. Your support in observing Coyote Hour will greatly enhance your sense of community on campus and personal development."
- Resources for students, such as:
Faculty are responsible for making sure that all of course syllabi meet accessibility standards. Samples of accessible syllabi can be found at these locations (you may want to copy and paste language from the CSUSB syllabus, such as SSD information, if you are borrowing the accessible syllabus from another campus):
State law and the Chancellor's Office require that all California State University instructional materials be accessible to all students, regardless of ability. Information about making course materials accessible can be found at WebAim.org and the CSU Accessible Technology site. For information about campus resources, please visit the CSUSB Accessible Technology Initiative page.
Required Language regarding Accessibility
If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the ADA, you are required to register with the Office of Services to Students with Disabilities (SSD). If you are taking classes at the San Bernardino Campus (SBC), SSD is located in UH-183. At the Palm Desert Campus (PDC), SSD is located in RG 203A. You can telephone the SBC-SSD at (909) 537-5238, or the PDC-SSD at (760) 341-2883, ext. 78117, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the Faculty Notification Letter from SSD.
Students should inform their instructors about the type of assistance that may be required in the event of any emergency, and also to contact the SSD office regarding special needs for evacuation.
Faculty are responsible for reporting all incidences of academic dishonesty during the term.
- Academic Dishonesty Report Form
- For more information about procedures and resources for students, visit the Student Conduct and Ethical Development office webpage.
Academic ('Grade') Grievances:
Academic or grade grievances must be initiated by the student within 40 business days after grades are issued. Academic grievances can concern grades, non-admittance to a course, major or program and suspension or expulsion from the university. In general, this means that faculty must keep records for at least one term (Fall, Winter or Spring) after the course has ended. For grade grievances, students file a report with the appropriate Dean's Office. The Department Chair then works together with the Dean's Office to collect pertinent information such as syllabi, grading rubrics, etc. Attempts are made to resolve the issue before the College Level Report is completed. If the student is dissatisfied with the College Level Report, the grievance moves to the Vice President of Student Affairs' office and the Academic Grievance committee for a final resolution.
Non-academic grievances are usually complaints of discrimination, harassment or inappropriate behavior. They may be filed by a student against a student, faculty, staff or administrator. The grievance must filed within 20 work days after the end of the academic term.
How does your syllabus 'measure up'?
How would you rate your syllabus? Besides the required and optional elements listed below, does your syllabus inspire students? Does it convey a sense of the class and what students will learn by the end of the term? If you're not sure, we suggest looking at the following resources:
- Syllabus Rubric: a reference guide and scoring sheet for syllabi developed by the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Virginia. This rubric won the 2014 POD Network Innovation Award.
- Syllabus Ideas: CSUN's Undergraduate Studies office has links to syllabus ideas on their website, including ideas for syllabi in service-learning courses and visual syllabi. Vanderbilt University also offers thoughtful ideas.
- Course Design Tutorial: Not sure where to start? This online tutorial that will help you to organize your thoughts and ideas. Although the focus is on geoscience faculty, the tutorial can be helpful for a wide variety of disciplines.
- Carnegie Mellon also breaks down the components of the syllabus.
- Other design modes:
- the syllabus as infographic (note that you'll need to make sure you have an accessible version of the syllabus available)
- the syllabus as a doodle (accessibility is important to keep in mind for non-visual learners)
- the motivational syllabus (note that you'll need to make sure you have an accessible version of the syllabus available)
- Resources to making your syllabus accessible. Making your word documents accessible to people with disabilities.