Course Syllabus Policy

1.00 Purpose

This policy on course syllabi contributes to student success by outlining the required components of a syllabus such that faculty and students have a shared understanding of course expectations, grading, and learning. This policy is intended to reflect the University's commitment to the principles, goals, and ideals described in the CSU Monterey Bay Founding Vision Statement and to its core values.

2.00 Distribution and Retention

All undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses, regardless of the method of delivery, must have a syllabus consistent with accessibility practices (see guidelines related to publishing accessible content as well as accessible course materials), defining the expectations of the instructor and the responsibilities of the student. Instructors shall be responsible for preparing and distributing a syllabus as a hard copy in class, or as an email attachment or embedded link, or with equivalent information on a learning management system to all enrolled students no later than the end of the first week of instruction.

Academic units or Instructors shall submit final versions of syllabi to the Department by census. Syllabus-equivalent information embedded in the learning management system or other electronic means shall be compiled by the instructor into an archivable format for submission to the Department. The Department shall maintain the records of all course syllabi, as specified by Executive Order 1031, the Records Retention and Disposition Schedules for the CSU.

3.00 Syllabus Components

Individual departments and/or colleges may develop guidelines on course syllabi that differ from this policy but may not omit the required components as set forth in this policy (e.g., additional course syllabi components may be required for faculty who teach courses aligned with state/national accreditation standards). In this case, Departmental and/or College guidelines shall be developed collaboratively and approved by a faculty vote in compliance with shared governance.

3.10 Required Components

All course syllabi shall include the following components:

  1. The instructor's name, CSUMB email contact information, regularly scheduled office hours [1] and other ways the student can interact with the instructor outside of class;
  2. The course title and number, class meeting location (physical or virtual), the days and times of class meetings, number of units, pre-requisites, and the course catalog description;
  3. The student learning outcomes for the course;
  4. A list of required texts and instructional materials to be used throughout the course;
  5. Specification of any technology requirements, such as computer, special hardware devices, or software apps, or access to specific learning management system platforms that students must have in order to participate in classroom activities and/or to submit assignments;
  6. The grading policy, which includes the weighting of assessment activities in relationship to the final grade (e.g., assignments and examinations), and course policy for missed for late work that has an implication for grading and the grading scale;
  7. A reference to the University's Enrollment and Registration Policy, (i.e., information about requesting an incomplete or a withdrawal);
  8. Statement regarding availability of disability services (e.g., TLA website);
  9. Descriptions of the learning activities or learning modules students use to achieve the learning outcomes (i.e., explanation of the assignments or reference to descriptions in the learning management system) and a calendar or timeline of when assignments are due and how to submit them (e.g., in class, hard copy, or through learning management system);
  10. Statement about academic integrity (e.g., statement on the TLA website) or link to the University's Academic Integrity Policy or college-level practices;
  11. Statement regarding the collection of student work for assessment (e.g., statement found on the TLA website);
  12. A "subject to change" disclaimer that allows a faculty member to revise the course syllabus during the semester, and a description of the circumstances and process by which this would occur. Students shall be notified (i.e., digitally or in hard copy) of any substantive changes (e.g., change in due dates or change in point value of an assignment) to the syllabus.

3.20 Recommended Elements

In addition to the required elements, it is recommended to include the following:

  1. Criteria and grading rubrics for assignments;
  2. Description of appropriate classroom behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior (e.g., limitation or prohibition on the usage of cell phones and/or other technology devices, talking in class, class discussion protocols, eating in class, etc.). Suggested language may be found on the TLA website;
  3. Special guidelines for the course (e.g., that collaboration is permitted on take-home work, or that calculators can be used on exams, or field work protocols, or the use of audio and/or visual recording during class);
  4. Information about or links to University information about academic deadlines, campus holidays, availability of tutoring services, availability of student support services in the Center of Student Success and the Personal Growth and Counseling Center, etc.;
  5. A link to the University's Grade Appeal Policy.

3.30 Instructional Faculty:  Professional Responsibilities

The CSU-CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CSU-CFA CBA; Article 20.1c) states that syllabus preparation and revision are part of the instructional responsibilities that extend beyond classroom duties. Specifically, the CSU-CFA CBA states:

c. The performance of instructional responsibilities extends beyond duties in the classroom and includes such activities as: preparation for class, evaluation of student performance, syllabus preparation and revision, and review of current literature and research in the subject area, including instructional methodology. Research, scholarship, and creative activity in the faculty member's field of expertise are essential to effective teaching. Mentoring students and colleagues is another responsibility that faculty members are frequently expected to perform. Just as faculty members may teach online, they may perform other duties online, pursuant to campus policies.

4.00 Continuous Renewal

This policy shall be reviewed five years from its effective date to determine its effectiveness and appropriateness. This policy may be reviewed before that time as necessary.

s/ President Eduardo M. Ochoa

Effective Date: September 17, 2019

Certification of Process

Reviewed by: Educational Planning and Policy Committee, Policy Facilitation Team, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, Associated Students, Academic Personnel, Human Resources, ASEC, Academic Senate, and Provost.