Instructional Reminders for Fall 2021

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

As you prepare for the fall 2021 semester, please consider the following eighteen topics:

  1. COVID. Updated information about COVID and the university’s responses can be found at The CSU system announced this summer that students and employees on campus would be required to be vaccinated unless they had an approved exception for medical or religious reasons, but you cannot ask about vaccination status. Currently, everyone is required to wear a multilayered face covering indoors. Social distancing is not required while maintaining a face covering indoors, but if eating or drinking indoors, one must maintain at least six feet of distance from others. If students report they are ill, please accept their self-report and encourage them to stay home. Please inform such students how to make up missed educational experiences and assignments.
  2. Course Syllabi. Academic Senate Policy #F15-257 requires that you provide students with a syllabus at the beginning of the semester that clearly states the course requirements, in particular those assignments on which you base the final grade. It also specifies several required items for syllabi, so please consult the policy. Include all Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for which the course is designated (e.g. GE and/or major).
  3. Instructional Resources. You can find useful information about instructional resources, especially in this time of COVID-19, at the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL) and the Instructional Continuity website.
  4. Black Lives Matter. Resources and responses to Black Lives Matter have been posted.
  5. Office Hours. Faculty are expected to keep regular office hours. Check with your department or program for more specific expectations. Please post your office hours and contact information in a convenient place to assist students seeking to connect with you.
  6. Advising. All majors and minors in LCA are encouraged to see a major adviser and an adviser in the Advising Resource Center (ARC) at least once a semester. For advising in the major, see program websites for individual majors. For advising from the ARC, students may drop-in to a Zoom session, make an appointment, use the Chat Box, or email ARC advisers can provide information about academic requirements outside of the major and let students know about other resources. Please consider sharing information about the ARC with your students on your syllabus or elsewhere.
  7. Tutoring and Additional Support for Students. The Tutoring and Academic Support Center (TASC) provides multiple resources for students. Consider letting students know about their services in your syllabus, through other course materials, and making referrals. Sometimes life presents students with challenges that interfere with their academic work. If you are concerned about a student’s well-being you can complete a Dean on Call Referral Form or refer the student to the Action Care Team. For emergency financial crises, student can apply for support through the Hope Crisis Fund.
  8. Academic Ethics. Make your expectations about academic ethics clear (e.g., appropriate use of quotations and citations, the types and amount of collaboration that are and are not acceptable in the class you teach, whether work used in another class may be submitted in your class, etc.). What seems self-evident to you might not be clear to students or may/may not be the practices in other classes. Consider providing students with a statement about the academic ethics you expect in the class(es) you teach. View information about the College of Liberal & Creative Arts policy and procedures regarding plagiarism or other forms of cheating. A link to a PDF or Word copy of the form for reporting instances of plagiarism is located in the section titled “Plagiarism Resources” near the bottom of the LCA faculty resources page.
  9. Student Conduct. The Office of Student Conduct posts student conduct policies and procedures for addressing behavioral problems. You might find it helpful to refer students to the Student Code of Conduct.
  10. Class Sessions and Final Examinations. Do not schedule required attendance beyond the time specified in the official class schedule and final-examination schedule assigned by the University. To require attendance outside of official designations is not permitted and doing so might interfere with other classes or other commitments students have made. Please abide by the Academic Calendar.
  11. Wait Lists. These lists are used during the registration process to replace students who were enrolled but dropped. Once a class meets, it is within the instructor’s discretion to determine which student(s) to add to the class roster. If you are not familiar with the practices in your program, discussing them with your Chair or Director. View information about how to secure your class roster and other information in Campus Solutions.
  12. Dropping or Withdrawing Students. Through the third week of classes, students may drop a class without any notation on their transcript. From the Senate policy on withdrawals (S18-196): “faculty are authorized to instructor-drop students who do not attend the first class meeting or do not meet the course criteria. Faculty are strongly encouraged to instructor-drop all students who are not attending class before the end of the drop period. Courses that are primarily or exclusively taught using an asynchronous online learning mode during the drop period are required to have at least one activity that captures participation (e.g., assignments, forum posts, engagement exercises) due during the drop period. Students that don’t complete these one or more initial activities would be considered as ‘not attending the first class meetings’ and may be instructor-dropped for non-attendance. . . . From the beginning of the fourth week through the twelfth week of instruction, withdrawal from a course will be permissible, for serious and compelling reasons as defined and specified by the student.” It might be helpful to let students know about these timelines and the withdrawal policy. For procedures after the twelve week, see the section on Appeals at the bottom of the Registrar’s website on withdrawals.
  13. Grading Options. For classes that allow students to choose a letter grade or CR/NC grading option, students must choose their option by Monday, October 18 according to Academic Calendar, though the date could change (look for additional announcements). It would be helpful if you provide students with some feedback about their performance in class throughout the semester, so they can make an informed choice about the grading option. University policy prohibits changes in the grading option after the deadline except for clerical or administrative errors.
  14. Time Conflicts with Classes. Students are not permitted to take classes that overlap with each other in terms of time. Students need to choose classes that do not conflict with each other. Please be sure any students who are considering overlapping classes know that such enrollment will not be approved.
  15. Confidentiality of Records. The Registrar posts information about our responsibilities regarding student privacy and provides guidance on what one must do to honor that privacy.
  16. Electronic Participation and Cameras. The Academic Senate recently revised its online policy to include information about camera requirements in synchronous classes. Faculty who are teaching online need to comply with the policy which includes some specific requirements and exemptions.
  17. Independent (Special) Studies. To enroll in special studies (699 or 899), a student must have the following cumulative grade point averages: 3.00 for undergraduate students and 3.25 for graduate students. Graduate students may not include more than a total of 6 units of special studies (699 or 899) as part of their Graduate Approved Program. Students should have demonstrated their ability to work independently and their form should reflect the serious academic work that will be completed through the special studies. The special studies project must have the approval of the Instructor and the Department Chair or Program Director. Transcripts must be attached to approved-forms before they are delivered electronically by email to with the following subject line: Last Name, First Name – University ID Number – Type of Form.
  18. Important Dates. See attached document, “Student and Instructionally Related Dates & Deadlines Fall 2021.” Consider including on your syllabus dates that are related to students’ studies and grades (e.g., drop deadline, CR/NC deadline).

Student and Instructionally Related Dates & Deadlines Fall 2021

August & September

October & November

  • Monday, Oct 18th – Last day for students to request CR/NC Grading
  • Thursday, Nov. 11th – CAMPUS CLOSED, Veterans’ Day
  • Monday, November 15th – Last day for withdrawal, student initiated (online)
  • Monday, Nov. 22nd through Wednesday, Nov. 24th – Fall Recess; No classes; Offices open
  • Thursday, Nov. 25th and Saturday, Nov. 27th – Fall Recess; CAMPUS CLOSED

December & January

  • Friday, December 10th – Last day of Instruction & last day for students to complete SETE’s
  • Saturday, December 11th through Friday, December 17th – Final Exams
  • Friday, Dec. 24th through Monday, January 3rd – Winter Recess; CAMPUS CLOSED
  • Tuesday, December 28th – Grades Due (11:59pm)
  • Friday, January 7th – F 21 grades available on SF Gateway
  • Friday, January 17th – Official transcripts available with F 21 grades