Faculty & Staff

Syllabus Requirements

A syllabus should be given out in your classes and reviewed with them during the first week of class. It should also be posted on Blackboard, no later than the first day of class for all classes including face to face classes. For questions or problems with Blackboard, please contact Ramona Coveny at 857-6201.

The syllabus is your contract with your students. It should spell out your class policies and expectations. These policies are enforceable and supported by the college as long as they are in writing on the syllabus and followed consistently for all students.

Please provide a copy of your syllabus to the division office during the first week of classes.

Syllabus Requirements

The following information should appear on all syllabi.  If there is a standard syllabus for a course in your department, you should create an attachment that includes your policies on any item that is individual to your class or not covered on the departmental syllabus.

General Information

  • Course title and number
  • Instructor's Name
  • Instructor's contact information
  • Office hours and location
  • E-mail address

Course Description

This should include the course description shown in the college catalog, but may also include any other comments that the instructor wishes to add. The catalog description can be found at http://courses.vccs.edu/mcf/ Simply type in the course name (ie. BIO 101) under courses and hit search. The description will appear at the right. You may cut and paste this into your syllabus.

Course Goals and Objectives

These can be found on the course outline for each course. Course outlines are located at http://www.virginiawestern.edu/facstaff/outlines.php.

Course Prerequisites

(If none, state this on the syllabus.)

Textbook and Required Materials

Please list the ISBN number of the required textbook(s) for your assigned courses.  This is part of a state-wide initiative mandated by the General Assembly to reduce the cost of textbooks to college students, and will allow students to purchase the appropriate text at the location of their choice. ISBN numbers have changed to thirteen digits. The appropriate ISBNs are located on the textbook list under the "Textbooks" link on the menu to the right.

Course Requirements

Instructor policies


You will be asked to withdraw all students who stop attending before the withdrawal deadline.

Academic Honesty

Please include a statement that refers students to the college policy on academic honesty, available on line in the VWCC Student Handbook, section 5; also, should you wish to include the consequences for cheating, please do so.  Options available to faculty include the following:

  • Require that the work be completed again
  • Award a grade of zero for the work (assignment, test, quiz, etc.)
  • Award a grade of F for the course.

Faculty may elect to use options (b) and (c) together.

The Student Conduct policy is accessible on-line in the Student Handbook. Go to this link to download the handbook (PDF file). The student conduct policy is in section 5.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the process for reporting an incident of academic dishonesty or student misconduct.  Forms are available in the division office for these reports.

Attendance Policy

Please include information regarding your attendance policy, and any impact that attendance has on grading in your course.  The college policy on attendance is as follows:  "The policy on attendance and make-up examinations is generally the prerogative of each instructor.  Instructors will provide students with a statement of their attendance policy during the first class meeting.  When the number of unexcused absences reaches a sum equivalent to 30% of the total instructional time (e.g., 5 weeks in a 15-week course), the instructor will drop the student from the class.  (See explanation under "Grading System".)  There will be no refund of tuition or reinstatement in the course when an instructor has dropped a student for non-attendance." You may choose to follow this policy or create a more stringent attendance policy.

Faculty should also be aware of the college policy related to attendance and withdrawal:  "Students who violate the attendance or participation guidelines for the course as of the withdrawal deadline will be reported to the Admissions Office and withdrawn with a grade of "W".  Students who stop attending or participating in a course after the withdrawal deadline will receive a grade of "F".  There will be no refund of tuition or reinstatement in the course.  Financial aid recipients who receive all "W" or "F" grades in their courses will incur an outstanding tuition debt to the college and will be blocked from future enrollment."

Make-up Tests

You may wish to include a written statement regarding your test and quiz make-up policy.  It is your prerogative to determine if make-ups are permitted, and if there is a grade penalty attached.  You may also establish a deadline for make-ups, and describe the consequences related to not completing make-up work on time.

Late Work

You may wish to include a written statement regarding your late work policy.  It is your prerogative to determine if late work is accepted, and if there is a grade penalty attached.  You may also establish a deadline for late work and describe the consequences related to not completing late work on time.


Credit classes are typically graded on a 10 point scale. The developmental grading scale for math classes is as follows:

  • S: 75-100
  • R: 50-74.9
  • U: 0-49.9

For Developmental Math Courses: There is a departmental final exam for MTH 09, MTH 03, and MTH 04. The final exam must count for at least 25% of the course grade in these courses.

Please check with your program head for any restrictions for final exams.

Calculators (Math Classes)

  • No calculators are allowed in MTH 09 or MTH 03
  • Scientific Calculators are allowed in MTH 04
  • Some credit classes allow scientific or four-function calculators. The only classes in which graphing calculators are allowed are MTH 115, MTH 116, and MTH 177 .

Inclement Weather Information

For day classes, state the meeting times for a delayed schedule for each section. The inclement weather schedule is located at http://www.virginiawestern.edu/inclementweather/

Outline of Topics to be Covered

This may be a list of topics to be covered or a calendar of topics.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

You must include the following statement:

"The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides protection from illegal discrimination for qualified individuals with disabilities.

It is the policy of Virginia Western Community College to make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with documented disabilities. These disabilities include but are not limited to physical, psychiatric or learning disabilities. A student who wishes to request accommodations in this class should notify Student Support Services Office early in the semester so that the appropriate arrangements may be made. In accordance with federal law, a student requesting accommodations must provide acceptable documentation of his/her disability to a counselor in Student Support Services. For more information, call or visit Student Support Services, in suite 102 Student Center, or call for an appointment. 857-7286."

You may also wish to add this sample wording "Once you have met with a counselor in Student Support Services, it is the responsibility of the student to meet with their instructors and bring the appropriate forms from Student Support Services to request accommodations; it is recommended that this meeting take place as early as possible in the semester to facilitate an optimal learning environment.  Please contact the instructor after class or during office hours during the first weeks of the semester to discuss your needs."

Mathematics faculty – please note that the departmental policy requires that calculators are not permitted in developmental mathematics classes, unless the student has a documented disability of dyscalculia or mathematics disability, unspecified.  For additional information, please contact the Math Program Head, Rachelle Koudelik-Jones at pkoudelik-jones@virginiawestern.edu

Emergency Evacuation Statement

Use this statement: "An evacuation plan is located on the wall beside the door of each classroom. Please make yourself aware of the exits and discuss any concerns with the instructor at the beginning of the semester. If asked to evacuate, please do so in a calm and orderly manner using the nearest exit. Do not try to use the elevator in case of a fire or other situation that might cause a power outage." In the event of a fire evacuation, students should move out of the building to Lot 8E or the tennis courts. In event of a shelter in place, there will be designated interior rooms to use. You may want to include these room numbers on your syllabus. You may also want to include information about the VW Alert system. This information is located under the "Emergency Information" link on the right menu.

Teach Act Copyright Notice

This statement needs to be on Blackboard - if it is on your syllabus, then it will be on Blackboard. If you do not include it on your syllabus, it needs to be on Blackboard for each section you teach.

"The materials provided for this course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course, and may not be retained or further disseminated."


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