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Teaching Expectations & Academic Policies

This page contains the Provost’s Guidelines for the Administration of Courses for the 2023-24 academic year, required syllabus statements, and academic policies. There are also links to the academic calendar and the University holiday calendar.

Teaching Guidelines & Syllabus Statements

The Provost’s Guidelines for the Administration of Courses for the 2023-24 academic year are described below. These guidelines reflect best practices and pertain to courses in all modalities—in-person, hybrid, and online.

Below are the teaching expectations for all courses. Please note that in-person classroom time should account for at least 70% of the course contact hours, unless the course is part of an established online program.



Reach out to students before the course begins

Send a welcome message using either Camino announcements or email. Access student email addresses from your course rosters in Workday (see this guide for accessing your course rosters). Consider recording a welcome video in a Camino discussion, which students can reply to with their own video introductions.*

Faculty need not have finalized a syllabus or course plan before reaching out to students. It is suggested your message includes the following:

  • Introduce yourself and a brief description of your course
  • Date, time, and location of first-class meeting
  • Description of course modality (meeting in-person, a combination of in-person and online, etc.)
  • How to access course content (e.g., course expectations, assignments, etc.) on Camino
  • Let students know that a copy of the syllabus will be posted on Camino on the first day of class.

*By default, students cannot contribute to discussions until the beginning of the term. You can manually change your course’s start date on your course settings page to allow students to participate earlier than the term start date.

Include and publish a syllabus in Camino for every course and publish the course

Include learning outcomes, assignments, due dates, schedule for class sessions and attendance policy, at a minimum.

Here is a guide describing how to use the syllabus tab in Camino, and here is a guide for publishing courses. For support with your Camino course design, contact the Instructional Technology group at

Record all online synchronous class sessions

Schedule zoom sessions in Camino using Zoom and choose “record to the cloud”—recordings will automatically be uploaded to Panopto and appear in the Class Recordings folder in Camino, where all students can access them. Get support for using Zoom.

Consider recording in-person classroom sessions to further facilitate student learning

National and SCU student surveys identify class session recordings as a practice that facilitates student learning by providing students with an opportunity to review class material. All SCU classrooms are equipped for recording.

To order recording in a classroom, use the Self Service Portal or contact Media Services at 408-554-4520,

Hold weekly office hours that are accessible to all students

Host regular individual or group office hours in person or using Zoom at consistent, published times and/or by appointment.

This SCU guide and this webpage provides some suggestions for conducting office hours via Zoom.

Address University policies on Discrimination, Harassment/Sexual Misconduct (Title IX), Accommodations for Pregnant and Parenting Students, and Accessibility 

See Required Policy Information for all Course Syllabi below or in this downloadable version of the Teaching Expectations.

Communicate your expectations and policies on academic integrity

Set and clearly communicate ground rules on your syllabus and throughout the course. What does academic integrity look like in the discipline? In course assignments and assessments? Check-in with students periodically to build a classroom community around learning, and student wellness (which is often the source of academic integrity issues). Tell them what’s off limits and why. See this resource for more on teaching students about academic integrity. Excellent additional resources for faculty and students are available in the SCU LibGuide here (includes info about course sharing sites, professional codes of conduct, and more).

Communicate your policies on AI tools, such as ChatGPT

Just as with academic integrity, your students will rely on you to set expectations and establish guidelines for the use of new and emergent generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT, Bard, Dall-E, etc.), which are readily available to them. Because of widespread use and the quickly changing landscape of generative AI, students need to hear from you about expected and acceptable uses of technology for text-generation, translations, editing, coding, image generation, and more. Provide specific guidelines on your syllabus and assignments. Include, for example, under what circumstances and why students’ use of generative AI or other technological tools would constitute a violation of academic integrity. Some faculty encourage experimentation, others require the use of AI tools in some assignments but not others, and some prohibit the use of AI altogether. Inform students of your expectations and rationale -- ideally in the context of your concern for their learning and ethical and professional development. Acknowledge that tools and contexts for their use are changing quickly, and that we are all learning and adapting.

Review this SCU resource about AI and Academic Integrity and note that it contains a link to an SCU student-generated set of guidelines about ChatGPT and similar tools. You can also find additional resources from Georgetown University.

Communicate your attendance policies

Attendance expectations should be clearly stated on course syllabi. As noted in Chapter 8 of the Undergraduate Bulletin, and in SCU schools' Graduate Bulletins, attendance policy is left to the discretion of the instructor, subject to accommodations required by law and by University policy. The Bulletin also provides guidance for students who need to miss class because of a significant religious observance. A list of religious holidays can be found on the Office of Diversity and Inclusion website.

Follow University Guidelines for contact hours 

Chapter 8 (Academic Program Policies and Regulation) in the University Bulletin states that “one unit of credit represents approximately three hours of work per week per term by the student, including time engaged in class and time commitment to class preparation, studying, and assigned projects.”

Consulting a workload calculator can help you estimate time demands for coursework. Please note, students have reported that work often takes longer in an online environment, including reviewing pre-recorded videos. 

It can be helpful to offer students a rough estimate of the amount of time they will spend engaged in synchronous instruction and asynchronous instruction, as well as time spent completing assignments, quizzes, and projects to ensure that your course expectations fall within these parameters. 

Ask students for mid-quarter feedback

Provide students with an opportunity to give anonymous feedback on how the course is going at the mid-quarter point. This resource provides sample questions for informal ongoing feedback and mid-quarter feedback.

Conduct final exams during finals week (not before or after)

The guidelines from The University Bulletin (p. 576) for final examinations apply: “If the final examination is a take-home examination, it may not be due before the scheduled final examination time or any later than the last day of the examination period. Similarly, other end-of-quarter assignments (papers, projects, for example) may not be due any later than the last day of the examination period.” 

In face-to-face and fully synchronous online classes, final exams must be given on the date and time scheduled by the Office of the Registrar.

Additional resources for teaching are always available from the Faculty Collaborative for Teaching Innovation and Academic Technology.

All Santa Clara University syllabi must refer students to the following policies. Below are examples of statements that faculty may use.

Academic Integrity 

The Academic Integrity pledge is an expression of the University’s commitment to fostering an understanding of—and commitment to—a culture of integrity at Santa Clara University. The Academic Integrity pledge, which applies to all students, states:

I am committed to being a person of integrity. I pledge, as a member of the Santa Clara University community, to abide by and uphold the standards of academic integrity contained in the Student Conduct Code.

Academic integrity is part of your intellectual, ethical, and professional development. I expect you to uphold the principles of this pledge for all work in this class. I will clarify expectations on academic integrity -- including the use of AI tools such as ChatGPT and course sharing sites for all assignments and exams in this course. If you have questions about what is appropriate on any assignment, please let me know before you hand in work. For more resources about ensuring academic integrity in your work, see this LibGuide on Academic Integrity.

Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct (Title IX)

Santa Clara University is committed to providing all students with a safe learning environment free of all forms of discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.

Please know that as a faculty member, California law SB 493 requires me to report any information brought to my attention about incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct to the SCU Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office (408) 551-3043. This includes, but is not limited to, disclosures in writing assignments, class discussions, and one-on-one conversations.

Should you need support, SCU has dedicated staff trained to assist you in navigating campus resources, accessing health and counseling services, providing academic and housing accommodations, helping with legal protective orders, and filing a formal complaint with the University or with law enforcement. Please see the Student Resources page for more information about reporting options and resources.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or sexual violence and wishes to speak to a confidential resource who is not required to report, please contact one of the following SCU resources for support:

  • SCU Wellness Center
  • CAPS
  • Any individual (clergy, counselors) acting in a professional capacity for which confidentiality is mandated by law

I am happy to help connect you with any of these resources.

Accommodations for Pregnant and Parenting Students

Santa Clara University does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy or related medical conditions. Absences due to medical conditions relating to pregnancy and childbirth will be excused for as long as deemed medically necessary by a student’s doctor, and students will be given the opportunity to make up missed work. Students needing accommodations can often arrange accommodations by working directly with their instructors, supervisors, or departments. Students needing accommodations can also seek assistance with accommodations from the Office of Office of Accessible Education (OAE) or from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX Office. This resource page from Title IX provides information for students and faculty regarding pregnancy rights.

Office of Accessible Education 

If you have a documented disability for which accommodations may be required in this class, please contact the Office of Accessible Education (, as soon as possible to discuss your needs and register for accommodations with the University. If you have already arranged accommodations through OAE, please be sure to request your accommodations through your myOAE portal and discuss them with me during my office hours within the first two weeks of class. 

To ensure fairness and consistency, individual faculty members are required to receive verification from the Office of Accessible Education before providing accommodations. OAE will work with students and faculty to arrange proctored exams for students whose accommodations include double time for exams and/or assistive technology. Students with approved accommodations of time-and-a-half should talk with me as soon as possible. The Office of Accessible Education must be contacted in advance (at least two weeks notice recommended) to schedule proctored examinations or to arrange other accommodations. 

In light of shifting health advisories related to COVID-19, exams may be administered online. Students with approved testing accommodations should contact me (at least two weeks notice recommended) prior to an exam date to notify me of their intent to use their testing accommodations on the upcoming exam to ensure their accommodations are effectively implemented.

Safety Measures

In order to meet our learning objectives, we will adhere to the highest standards for safety and mutual respect. I expect everyone to adhere to current university mask mandates at all times; to make their best attempt to make themselves heard when asking questions or contributing to discussions; and refrain from eating or drinking in class. It is expected that everyone will follow university guidelines about health and public safety measures outlined on the Prepared SCU website.

Use of Classroom Recordings

All online class meetings will be recorded and made available on Camino. As is stated in the Student Conduct Code: “...Dissemination or sharing of any classroom recording without the permission of the instructor would be considered “misuse” and, therefore, prohibited. Violations of these policies may result in disciplinary action by the University. At the instructor’s discretion, violations may also have an adverse effect on the student’s grade.”

Copyright Statement 

Materials in this course are protected by United States copyright laws. I am the copyright holder of the materials I create, including notes, handouts, slides, and videos. You may make copies of course materials for your own use and you may share the materials with other students enrolled in this course. You may not publicly distribute the course materials without my written permission.  

Technology Support

SCU can provide you with technology assistance, and you can also reach out to our providers directly for questions. For Camino (SCU’s branded instance of Canvas) support, contact or call 408-551-3572. You can also use the help button within the Camino platform (on the left hand navigation) for 24/7 support via chat or phone with our vendor. 

For Zoom assistance, contact Media Services at or 408-554-4520. You can also get support from the Zoom Help Center website.

For SCU network and computing support, contact the SCU Technology Help Desk at or 408-554-5700. They can provide support for MySCU Portal, Duo, eCampus, hardware and software issues, and more.


In addition to the required syllabus statements above, statements addressing diversity, equity and inclusion, student wellness, and academic resources, such as those below, are strongly recommended.

Syllabus Statements on Diversity, Inclusion, and Wellness

Santa Clara University syllabi are encouraged to include information for students to promote a more inclusive classroom. Below are recommended examples of syllabi statements that faculty may use. For more on developing an inclusive syllabus and course design see a campus resource on Inclusive Teaching and a toolkit from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE).

Land Acknowledgment

Santa Clara University occupies the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ohlone and Muwekma Ohlone people.

Respect for Diversity

It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diverse identities (e.g., those based on gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, religion, and culture). Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that we can make arrangements for you.

Gender Inclusive Language

This course affirms people of all gender expressions and gender identities. If you go by a name different from what is on the class roster, please let me know. Using correct gender pronouns is important to me, so I encourage you to share your pronouns with me and correct me if I make a mistake. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. For more on personal pronouns see 

Wellness Statement and Mental Health Resources

I know you will do the best you can in this class (and all of your classes); however, it should never be at the expense of your own mental health, physical health, and/or well-being. Jesuit education is grounded in cura personalis, concern for the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. What does this mean for you? Be kind to others, and more importantly, be kind to yourself. Attend to your sleep (quantity and quality); drink lots of water; move; get outside; and pay attention to beauty that isn’t coming to you on a screen. Eat good food; laugh; enjoy friends and family; look for opportunities to connect with others in new ways; pray, meditate, or otherwise attend to your spirit. And ask for help, even if you don’t think you need it. Lots of folks, including me, are here to support you. It’s never too late to reach out, and I am committed to helping you.

SCU has many resources and programs to support you. These resources may be especially helpful:

Wellness Center: 

The Wellness center provides resources to aid and promote student well-being across the eight dimensions of wellness, including student peer groups for healthful living, violence prevention, and recovery.

Santa Clara students are provided confidential counseling sessions at no cost through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Students have access to clinically appropriate, short-term therapy; group therapy; and other resources for care. A new 24/7 support line is also available: 408-554-5220

SCU Culture of Care:
If you are concerned for the mental or physical welfare of one of your peers, the Office of Student Life Culture of Care website provides resources for recognizing and helping someone in distress. 

Academic Concerns
If you are concerned with your progress in this class, please contact me so that we can find solutions together. Drahmann Center can also offer support with issues regarding your academic progress more broadly.  

SCU also has multiple options for free academic tutoring. Students can make appointments to discuss work in a range of courses:

Download a PDF version of the Teaching Expectations or make a copy to save to your Google Drive.

Academic Policies

Academic work at Santa Clara University is measured by credit unit. A unit of credit represents that amount of time and effort both within and outside of formal settings that a student devotes to a particular class. At the undergraduate level, one unit of credit represents approximately three hours of work per week per term by the student, including time engaged in class and time committed to class preparation, studying, and assigned projects.

A unit of credit for laboratory courses, independent study, internships, practica, and study abroad is awarded on the same basis as for a lecture course: One unit of credit represents approximately three hours of work per week per term by the student.

At the graduate level, course credit is determined by the college or school and is consistent with practices in the disciplines.

(Undergraduate Bulletin 2022-2023

Students are responsible for completing all course requirements as set forth by the instructor. Class attendance expectations and consequences for absences from class are left to the discretion of individual instructors subject to restrictions imposed by law, including, but not limited to, policies associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) (see below). The instructor's policies will be communicated clearly in writing. Students are accountable for all course assignments, whether or not the assignments were announced during an absence, and for meeting assigned deadlines, even when the deadline falls on the day a student is absent from class. For details on grading, see the Grading Policies and Regulations section in this chapter.

In certain situations involving unavoidable absence, students may be offered the opportunity to make up a missed assignment/activity or to complete an alternative assignment, unless the design of the course offers no opportunity for in-class work to be made up. These include both foreseen and unforeseen documented and verified situations such as:

  • Serious personal illness

  • Death of immediate family member

  • Participation in significant religious observances

  • Participation in events or activities as official representatives of Santa Clara University

In cases of unforeseen, unavoidable absence, students should contact the instructor as soon as possible. Under certain circumstances, the Cowell Center or the Office of Student Life may contact the instructor on behalf of the student.

In cases of foreseen absence due to significant religious observances or official representation of the University in events, students should discuss the conflict with the instructor well in advance of the absence in order to determine possible alternate arrangements. Class attendance expectations and consequences for absence are left to the discretion of individual instructors. Instructors may require documentation from the appropriate University personnel regarding the reason for the intended absence.

(Undergraduate Bulletin 2022-2023

The University Registrar, assisted by the academic deans, has responsibility and authority for scheduling classrooms each term for the University’s general purpose classrooms and for establishing scheduling priorities for all classrooms including specialized teaching spaces. The Registrar's class scheduling policy is published on their website.