Georgetown Policies

As you design and teach your class at Georgetown University, you’ll want to keep in mind a few campus policies. The quotes below come from the official university policies (with hyperlinks to the original sources included). You’ll also find some examples of how Georgetown faculty have, when relevant, included this information on their syllabi.

(NOTE: if you borrow from these examples, make sure to check the accuracy of any web addresses and contact information, as these do sometimes change.)

Attendance by Students

From Georgetown’s Academic Standards page: “Attendance at classes is restricted to those who are officially registered or who are present at the specific invitation of the instructor. All students are expected to attend all classes, including participation in activities required by the instructor during campus ‘closure,’ and to complete all of their assignments in a timely fashion. All course requirements are to be completed no later than the date of the final examination. Absences may have an adverse effect on grades in a course, up to and including failure. ‘Absence’ is defined as the failure of a student to be present when the class roster is checked by the professor. Lateness may be listed as absence, since students may be refused admission to any class when late. Flagrant cases of absence that affect the student’s achievement of course objectives may necessitate withdrawal from the school. Students absent for several days because of illness should notify their Dean’s Office. A prolonged absence may necessitate the student’s withdrawal from the University for the semester.”

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGETOWN FACULTY:

Attendance

I take it as a non-negotiable starting point that missing class will harm your ability to do your best in this course. It follows self-evidently that you will be unable to participate in a class at which you are not present. Nevertheless, I believe you are all mature enough to be expected to make decisions for yourselves, and to set your own priorities. I do not assign an attendance grade per se, nor will I penalize you directly for missing a class; however, if you miss class, you risk harming your maintenance grade. To put it simply, if you miss more than three classes this term, you will significantly harm your maintenance grade, and you will risk undermining the trust of your classmates. You will also interrupt your progress in the course. If you miss more than five classes this term, you will be unable to pass this course.

Attendance and Participation

Students are responsible for attending every course meeting and actively participating in course discussions. Students who arrive after class has begun, or who miss class entirely, will be penalized on their final grade.

Expectations

Please make sure to arrive on time for class. Attendance is extremely important and participation will form a large part of your final grade! If you have a documented family or medical emergency and are unable to attend class, or need to submit an assignment late, please email me as soon as possible. To facilitate your active engagement in class and minimize distractions, the use of cell phones, mobile devices, iPads, and laptops are not permitted in class, unless specifically noted in advance as part of an activity or exercise. Accommodation to this policy can be made, however, if required in a particular case, in consultation with the Office of Disability Support Services. All course materials will be posted on Blackboard, along with this syllabus, which is subject to change and may be updated during the semester.

NOTE: See the “Religious Holidays” section below for information on students who may need to be absent because of religious observances.

Course Evaluations

“Online evaluations are completely anonymous. Instructors, departments and Deans can see feedback in an aggregated form or as individual response sets, but the responses are never attributed to specific students. Instructors, departments and Deans will not be able to determine which students completed evaluations and which did not. Faculty do not receive any evaluation results until after all grades have been submitted for each course. Likewise, the evaluation survey will close before final exams begin and before grades are for the semester become available to students.

“The results of some questions (Section I, question 5; Section II, questions 2, 3, 5 & 6; Section III, questions 2, 3, & 5) are published online in the schedule of classes, available to students through MyAccess, unless otherwise specified by faculty through the Course Evaluation Request Form on MyAccess. Using this form, faculty can opt out of having their results published each semester.

“Quantitative results (multiple choice questions) are provided to faculty, department Chairs, Program Directors, Deans, and the Provost for use in rank, tenure and merit decisions. Qualitative results (comments) are available only through CoursEval and only to the faculty member to whom they pertain. Comments are not shared with department Chairs, Deans, the Provost or their designees. Results can only be provided to anyone other than these individuals with the written consent of that individual faculty member.”

For more detail on these policies, visit Georgetown’s Course Evaluation Policies page.

Disabilities Accommodations

“Georgetown does not discriminate or deny access to an otherwise qualified student with a disability, and students with disabilities may be eligible for reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAA) of 2008. However, students are responsible for communicating their needs to the Academic Resource Center. The University is not responsible for making special accommodations for students who have not requested an accommodation and adequately documented their disabilities. Also, the University need not modify programmatic, course, or degree requirements considered to be an essential requirement of the program of instruction.”

For more information, see Georgetown’s Disability Support page, hosted by the Academic Resource Center. It can be helpful to review with students that there are many forms of disability, including a large spectrum of mental health issues. Even if they choose not to request accommodations for class, there are many campus resources available to support students.

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGETOWN FACULTY:

Special Accommodations

If you believe that you have a disability that will affect your performance in this class, please contact the Academic Resource Center (http://academicsupport.georgetown.edu/) for further information. The center is located in the Leavey Center, Suite 335. The Academic Resource Center is the campus office responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students with disabilities and for determining reasonable accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and University policies.

Accommodations for students with disabilities

Students with documented disabilities have the right to specific accommodations that do not fundamentally alter the nature of the course. Please alert me should you require accommodations.

Accommodations and Support

When it comes to issues around health and wellness, you may face challenges in your time at Georgetown—and even in the course of one semester. It’s important to be aware of the resources available to support you, myself included.

  • Accommodations Requests: If you have a disability that may affect your academic work or well-being and for which accommodations may be necessary, I encourage you to approach me within the first two weeks of the course (or, in other circumstances, as soon as possible after accommodation becomes necessary) so that I can arrange for your needs to be met in this regard. You will also need to contact the Academic Resource Center (http://academicsupport.georgetown.edu), located in Leavey Center.
  • Student Support: There are many resources on campus available to students for support throughout their time at Georgetown, covering physical and mental well-being. You can find a comprehensive brochure listing these resources at https://studenthealth.georgetown.edu/self-care.

For more information, see Georgetown’s Disability Support page.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

From Georgetown’s Faculty Handbook: “Georgetown University provides educational opportunities without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, age, color, disability, family responsibilities, familial status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, personal appearance, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, veteran’s status or any other factor prohibited by law in its educational programs and activities.”

Grade Submission

For information about grade submission deadlines and instructions, visit the Grade Submission Policies page.

Honor Code

Georgetown’s honor code governing students prohibits dishonest conduct and conduct lacking integrity of a variety of kinds, including (but not limited to) cheating on exams, plagiarism, using false citations, submitting work for multiple purposes, submitting false data, falsifying academic documentation, abuse of library privileges, and abuse of shared electronic media. All students are expected to adhere to the following pledge:

“In pursuit of the high ideals and rigorous standards of academic life I commit myself to respect and to uphold the Georgetown University honor system: To be honest in every academic endeavor, and to conduct myself honorably, as a responsible member of the Georgetown community as we live and work together.”

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGETOWN FACULTY:

Academic Integrity and Courtesy

As a Jesuit, Catholic university, committed to the education of the whole person, Georgetown expects all members of the academic community, students and faculty, to strive for excellence in scholarship and in character. The University spells out the specific minimum standards for academic integrity in its Honor Code, as well as the procedures to be followed if academic dishonesty is suspected. Over and above the honor code, in this course we will seek to create an engaged and passionate learning environment, characterized by respect and courtesy in both our discourse and our ways of paying attention to one another.

Honor System

All students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic and personal integrity in pursuit of their education at Georgetown. Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, in any form is a serious offense, and students found in violation are subject to academic penalties that include, but are not limited to, failure of the course, termination from the program, and revocation of degrees already conferred. All students are held to the Georgetown University Honor Code.

For more information, visit the Georgetown Honor System page.

Georgetown Honor Code

The Georgetown Honor Code can be found online at http://honorcouncil.georgetown.edu. It is essential that you read this fully and abide by it your entire time at Georgetown. You must, for instance, cite all sources in presentations and when writing papers and you may not turn in the same paper for more than one class without the explicit permission of both instructors. Unless specifically noted, the exercises I assign must be completed individually.

For more information, visit the Georgetown Honor System page.

Instructional Continuity

From the Georgetown Policies page: “Instructional activities will be maintained during university closures. Faculty members should prepare for the possibility of an interruption of face-to-face instruction by establishing a policy within the course syllabus to maintain instructional continuity in the case of an unforeseen disruption. During a campus ‘closure,’ the regular class time schedule must be honored by all campus departments so that students will remain available for those faculty members who wish to maintain continuous academic progress through synchronous distance instruction.

Maintaining instructional activities is central to Georgetown’s ability to fulfill its fundamental mission of teaching and research. Except in very rare situations, classes will not be officially canceled in the event of a campus ‘closure.’ If a delayed opening or campus closure is announced then faculty members should not conduct on-campus instruction, but use their instructional continuity plan to provide instruction without an in-person class meeting. If a faculty member elects to use “liberal leave” when that option is announced, then the faculty member should use the pre-planned remote instructional back-up plan rather than simply not hold class.”

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGETOWN FACULTY:

Instructional Continuity

If campus is closed for any reason, please make sure to check your email. I will be in touch with instructions on where to find materials for continuing class instruction. This may include additional readings, video or audio files, and/or writing assignments.

More information and ideas for how to handle closures can be found on Georgetown’s Instructional Continuity page.

Minors, Protection of

“Georgetown University is committed to the safety of all individuals in its community. The University has particular concern for those who are potentially vulnerable, including minor children, who require special attention and protection. This Policy establishes guidelines for those in the University community who may work or interact with individuals under 18 years of age, with the goal of promoting the safety and wellbeing of minors.”

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGETOWN FACULTY:

Working with Minors

Given that this course is a community based learning course Georgetown University’s policy for faculty and students who work with minors applies to all students enrolled in this class. During the first week of the semester, please read the policy and accompanying materials, sign the signature page, and return the signature page to me. In addition, you will complete a liability form, contract, and time record form. All forms are available on Georgetown's Hoya Link page.

For more detail on this policy, visit the Georgetown policy page.

Religious Holidays

From Georgetown’s Academic Standards page: “Georgetown University promotes respect for all religions. Any student who is unable to attend classes or to participate in any examination, presentation, or assignment on a given day because of the observance of a major religious holiday (see below) or related travel shall be excused and provided with the opportunity to make up, without unreasonable burden, any work that has been missed for this reason and shall not in any other way be penalized for the absence or rescheduled work. Students will remain responsible for all assigned work. Students should notify professors in writing at the beginning of the semester of religious observances that conflict with their classes. The Office of the Provost, in consultation with Campus Ministry and the Registrar, will publish, before classes begin for a given term, a list of major religious holidays likely to affect Georgetown students. The Provost and the Main Campus Executive Faculty encourage faculty to accommodate students whose bona fide religious observances in other ways impede normal participation in a course. Students who cannot be accommodated should discuss the matter with an advising dean.”

You can find the list of religious holidays on the Campus Ministry page.

Right to Privacy/FERPA

“Georgetown University has the ability to release certain limited items of information about enrolled students at its discretion upon request by interested parties. These items of information, referred to collectively as ‘directory information" by the U.S. Department of Education, are the following: Name, Addresses, Telephone Numbers, Date and Place of Birth, Parent Names, Major Field of Study, Dates of Attendance, Expected Date of Graduation, Degrees & Awards Received, Previous Educational Institution, Participation in Activities and Sports, and Weight and Height of Members of Athletic Teams.

“No other items of student information will be released to any person or organizations outside of Georgetown University without the written consent of the student, except for certain categories of outside persons or organizations specifically exempt by federal law. These exceptions are listed in the document ‘Official Student Records Policy,’ printed in university catalogs and bulletins and available at the University Registrar's Office.”

For more information, visit the Registrar page on disclosure of student information.

Study Days for Undergraduate Students

From Georgetown’s Academic Bulletin: “The University normally designates 2-3 days between the end of classes and the beginning of the final examination period each semester as study days (see the Academic Calendar for the actual dates). This provides time during which undergraduate students can complete the work of the semester and prepare for final examinations. The study days should be free from any required activities or deadlines for papers or other last assignments. If a professor wishes to schedule a review session or a make-up class, attendance must be voluntary, not mandatory. Final assessed activities in all courses (the traditional final exam being but one example) should fall in the examination period following the study days. The instructional length of the semester should not be foreshortened by placing final assessments in the last week of classes.

“All final examinations are to be administered during the final examination period scheduled by the Registrar for the course in which the final is being given. No member of the faculty should alter the examination schedule or schedule an undergraduate final examination either during the study days or during the final week of classes. Assignments that are not cumulative, such as interim exams, can be given during the final week of classes only in the instance in which the course also includes a final exam or project that is given or due during the final exam period. If the last interim exam is the last assessment in a course, it should be given during the final exam period as scheduled by the Registrar. Take-home final exams must be due AFTER the study days. Term papers or projects can be due in the last week of class as long as there is also a final exam. If there is no final exam, term papers and projects must be due after the study days end. These term papers and projects are defined as substantial assignments that generally play a major role in determining the grade for a course.”

Title IX/Sexual Misconduct

From Georgetown’s page on Sexual Misconduct / Title IX: “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (‘Title IX’) prohibits discrimination based on sex in any educational programs, which includes sexual harassment or any acts of sexual misconduct. Title IX requires the University, upon becoming aware of any incident of sexual harassment and misconduct to respond appropriately to protect and maintain the safety of the University community, including students, faculty and staff.

“To achieve this, the University has appointed a Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators, listed here. The Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators help provide a safe educational and work environment to students and employees as they provide information about available on- and off-campus resources, explain the University’s formal complaint process, help individuals navigate through the University’s systems, and monitor the University’s climate with respect to sexual misconduct.

“Please note that the Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators are not confidential resources. Students and employees who wish to keep the information confidential should contact the University’s confidential counselors.”

EXAMPLES FROM GEORGETOWN FACULTY:

Please know that as a faculty member I am committed to supporting survivors of sexual misconduct, including relationship violence and sexual assault. However, university policy also requires me to report any disclosures about sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator, whose role is to coordinate the University’s response to sexual misconduct.

Georgetown has a number of fully confidential professional resources who can provide support and assistance to survivors of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. These resources include:

Jen Schweer, MA, LPC
Associate Director of Health Education Services for Sexual Assault Response and Prevention
(202) 687-0323
jls242@georgetown.edu

Erica Shirley, Trauma Specialist
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
(202) 687-6985
els54@georgetown.edu

More information about campus resources and reporting sexual misconduct can be found at Georgetown's Sexual Assault page.

A more comprehensive exploration of Georgetown University policies for faculty, students, and staff, can be found here.

Please reach out to us at cndls@georgetown.edu if you'd like to have a conversation with someone at CNDLS about these or other teaching issues.