Undergraduate Policies & Guidelines

For all faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants. Prepared and maintained by the Associate Department Head.

Have a working knowledge of the relevant University Academic Policies, Regulations, & Rules.

  • Course Syllabi:  All course syllabi should be posted on your web page.  Email your students the week before classes begin, welcome them to the course, direct them to your on-line syllabus, and ask them to print a copy and bring it to the first day of class.  NC State Syllabus Regulations.
  • Course Policies:  Have clear policies and review them with students at the beginning of the semester (course expectations, grade calculation, make-up exams & quizzes, attendance, absences, and penalties for late work).  It helps to review your policies with the students, not only at the start of the semester, but periodically during the semester. Stick to your written course policies when situations arise.  Return graded student assignments, papers, and exams in a timely manner.
  • Final Exams: List the date and time of the final exam on your syllabus and let your students know them at the beginning of the semester. 

    Final exams should only be offered at the time scheduled by the Office of Registration and Records in the designated classroom.  If students request to take an exam early because of family or travel plans they should be told that they can receive a grade of incomplete and take the exam after the semester is over at a time that is mutually convenient for the student and instructor.

    An exception can be made in the case of military deployment with official documentation. 

    For extenuating circumstances such as a death or serious illness in the family, the student needs to contact the University’s Absence Verification Officer (absence-verification@ncsu.edu) and document the circumstance.  

    In these special cases when a student is allowed to take the exam early, the student should sign an honor code pledge that s/he will not discuss the exam with another student.

    University policy for students who have three exams in a 24-hour period: https://policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-20-14https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif.
  • Clear attendance and absence policy: Refer to the University Attendance Regulations as needed and consult with your language section coordinator should you need guidance in establishing your policy. There are increasing instances of students who stop attending class, then show up at the end of the semester with medical documentation, requesting that they be excused for numerous absences and wanting to make up the coursework. Anticipate such a scenario in your policy.
  • Enrollments: Do not give students permission to add your class beyond the capacity of your classroom. If you do, you risk having students disenrolled against their wishes, or having the class canceled. Registration and Records strictly enforces the legal capacity of classrooms.  You may check your classroom capacity and if there is space to add a student, you may do so if you wish by sending the student with a signed note [with student’s name and i.d. number] to the Main FLL Office to be registered.  Students are not allowed to attend a class if they are not enrolled in it. NC State faculty and staff are not allowed to "sit-in" on a class - they need to register through the Non-Degree Studies Program.
  • Class Rolls: Check your class rolls frequently during the first week of classes: students will add and drop, and your class rolls will change; be attentive to the academic semester calendar.  You will notice that students can add classes without permission of instructor until a given day & time and with permission of instructor until a second given day & time (Census Date).  It is at your discretion to allow a student into your class or not after the student add deadline; you are under no obligation to do so. The Department does not allow students to add courses after the Census Date.  I respect the domain of your classes and will only add students to them when there are extenuating circumstances.  I also do my best to enforce prerequisites for courses, but from time to time make exceptions in special cases, and will send the student to you w/ a placement waiver contract. The contract is valid only if is signed by me or by Assistant Head Susan Navey-Davis.  Make sure to keep track of the Registration & Records Academic Calendar.
  • Prerequisites: For lower-division courses please distribute and check prerequisite sheets to make sure that the student should be in your class.   Students with a grade of either 'F' or 'U' for the prerequisite course should not be allowed in the class. Students may not take the prerequisite course for 'Audit.' Explain to students that it is a violation of the University Honor Code to misrepresent their level of proficiency. If students have not met the prerequisite and insist on staying in a course, or if a native speaker of the language insists on staying in a 100-or 200-level course, let me know and I will have them disenrolled. It is important for students to be in the right course.  Please review prerequisite sheets during the first week of classes, hold onto them until the end of the semester.  For upper-division courses in French, German, and Spanish: follow the same procedures as for lower-division courses. Please verify that all students are registered for the correct grade status in your courses.
  • Placement: Some students place a bit below the cut-off level on the placement test and request if they can move up to the next level. Refer these students to me.  I may send them to you with a placement waiver form and a recommendation. Generally, if the student appears to be motivated about language learning, and has had previous training, I may place them in a higher level than indicated on their placement test. If you receive a form from me, it will have a raised seal to verify authenticity. Only placement tests with a raised seal from the FL Lab, Sat-II, AP, or IB tests are valid.  Students in FL* 101 courses who have never studied the language are not required to take the placement test. Become familiar with our placement policies and procedures.
  • Students in 101 Courses: The majority of the students in our 101 courses have had one, two, or more years of study in the language, but have placed into FL 101.  Any student who has already studied the language of the class and has not taken the placement test, should do so immediately.  There are some students in FL 101 who are true beginners. We need to accommodate these students too. (1) Please identify them during the first week of class; (2) Suggest a MWF section; (3) Early in the semester, have them see you during your office hours to go over some basics and to get them acclimated to the language; (4) Recommend our tutoring services; (5) Make them aware that they may have to work a bit extra to succeed in the course.
  • Students in 201 Courses:  Students in CHASS (College of Humanities & Social Sciences), PCOM (Poole College of Management), or those minoring or majoring in a foreign language need to take FL* 201 for a grade. (Some students in Design need to take FL* 202 for a grade.) Therefore, please check your 201 class rolls to see whether a student is taking the course for Credit Only or Audit.  If they are in the above categories, they must change their status from Credit Only or Audit to Letter Grade. Changes are not permitted after the grade status deadline. A loss of time and extra paperwork can be avoided if we verify our students' grade status during the semester. Note:  For all courses beyond FL* 201 -- if students are registered as Credit Only, it is a good idea to ask them if the course is counting for any type of requirement -- if so, then they should change their status to a Letter Grade.
  • Native/Heritage Speakers: Native and heritage speakers of languages other than English are not permitted to receive credit for 100- and 200-level FL courses of their native language.  If such students are in your class, ask them to drop the course. If they insist on remaining in the course, notify me and I will have them disenrolled.  Note: in some cases, the FL 202 level may be suitable for a heritage speaker - this is to be determined by the section coordinator of the language in question at his or her discretion.
  • Enrollment is required: Please check your class rolls often during the first ten days of classes and especially after the registration period is over:  Students may not attend your class if they are not on the class roll. Students may present a case of extenuating circumstances to you, but we cannot allow students to remain in a class for which they are not enrolled.  If students are on a class roll, but not attending the class, send a progress report after the first day of classes and remind them to drop the course.
  • Grade Submission: Let students know how they are doing in your class as often as feasible. Also, let them know their grade average for the course by the last day of class (a breakdown of participation grade, quizzes, exams, papers, etc.). Students sometimes contact the department after grades have been reported to question their grade, often because of a misunderstanding of their standing in the course entering the final exam, especially regarding their class participation grade, and point deductions for absences. Keep a detailed record of your students' grade breakdown in case a student challenges a grade at semester's end. Once a grade is submitted, students cannot submit late work and request a grade change.  Make yourself available until the day of graduation, even if by email, in case students try to contact you about their grades. Students must have a C- or better for the Credit Only grade of ‘S.' Be attentive when you submit final grades.  Make sure the grades you enter are the correct ones and that you can justify them in case a student challenges a final grade.
  • Extra Credit:  In order for a final grade to reflect the student's achievement of the learning objectives of a course, the grade may not include "extra credit."
  • Code of Student Conduct: Be vigilant and strive to create a learning environment that discourages violations of academic integrity; tell students to familiarize themselves with the Code of Student Conduct if they have not already done so -- see especially Section 8 - Academic Misconduct. When a situation arises, document what happened, refer to the following: Academic Integrity, and then discuss the situation with the Associate Head. Make sure to give the Associate Head a copy of the Report of Academic Integrity Violation [RAIV] form when you send it to the Office of Student Conduct.  The OSC also deals with student behavioral problems as needed. 
  • In general, if there are unusual issues occurring with a student, of any sort, discuss with the Associate Head as soon as possible.
  • Students with Disabilities: There are students with disabilities in our classes who may have a difficult time learning a foreign language. Such disabilities could be learning, hearing, visual, or other.  Some students may receive accommodations - honor the accommodations. The Disability Resource Office works with students and faculty to ensure student success.
  • The Counseling Center counsels NC State students experiencing personal, academic or vocational problems. Suggest to students that they visit the CC if they are having personal issues affecting their performance in your course.
  • The Student Health Center is the primary medical service provider for enrolled NC State University students. Suggest to students that they visit the SHC if they are having health issues affecting their performance in your course.
  • NC State Cares: faculty are strongly encouraged to report behaviors that they feel are concerning or worrisome, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem.  Concerning Behavior Report.
  • Information regarding grading, the grade of incomplete, audits, credit only, etc. - consult the Undergraduate Programs Academic Resources. It contains the essential information regarding university regulations: Another useful resource is the College of Humanities & Social Sciences Academic Resources page.
  • Incomplete Grade: The grade of IN [Incomplete] is a temporary grade and should be given only in cases in which the student has been in good standing in the course, having successfully completed most of the course work (approximately 75%), yet because of an interruption of work late in the semester, due to a documented medical, family, or personal reason, cannot complete the final portion of course work by the end of the semester. Making up a final exam, a quiz or two, or handing in a final paper are the types of work that are generally accepted under the direction of the faculty member. The instructor of record needs to complete this work with the student.  The work must be completed during the following semester or the 'IN' automatically turns into an 'F.' Students are not allowed to sit in on a class during a subsequent semester, one for which they are not registered for, to make up an incomplete from a previous semester.
  • Academic Progress Reports:  You should submit via your MyPack portal, at any time during the semester, an Academic Progress Report to students who are not performing well in your class. This is an excellent way to allow students to know their status in a course so that they may make the necessary adjustments. Students' advisors also receive this report.
  • Student Privacy: Faculty are not at liberty to discuss student situations with parents unless the student has given permission to do so in their MYPack Portal, following the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment.
  • Grade Change:  No extra work is to be accepted to improve a grade after the grade is submitted.  Before you submit a grade, ascertain that it is the correct one. If you submit a grade change form, have clear reasons why you are submitting the change. The online form has an explanation section: provide a clear explanation for the change. The changes are routed to me for department approval after which they are routed to the CHASS Assistant Dean for final college approval.
  • Schedule Revision Form:  Never approve a request or sign this form. Send students to me if they present this form to you. There are some instances when I will ask if you approve one of the various transactions listed on the form before I give departmental approval. Late requests for Grade > Credit Only or Credit Only > Grade or requests for late drops – do not approve.  Remind students that they have the first ten days of the semester to change grade status or to drop the course; after the deadline, no changes can be made by the Department.
  • Audit: If a student would like to audit your course, s/he must register as an auditor.  Students may not attend a class if they have not paid a tuition bill and registered for a course.  Please have a clear understanding with auditors at the beginning of the semester what is expected of them to receive the grade of audit (AU) for the course. Here is the University's Audit Policy.  Here is the audit request form. The faculty member needs to write on the back of the form that permission is granted for the audit, sign, and date.  The student can then go to the FLL Office for departmental approval. Students may receive permission to audit after undergraduate registration is complete.  Please refer to the enrollment calendar. 
  • Late Drop: If students wish to drop a course after the deadline, please do not send them to the Department. They must go to the Dean's office of their college. If a student comes to you with the "Schedule Revision" form, asking you to sign the middle portion and approve a late drop, please do not do so. In such a case, please write a student progress report (attendance, exam, quiz, homework, participation, etc.), sign, and attach it to the form. At that point the student needs to go to the Dean's office of his/her college for the decision to be made.  For students in Humanities & Social Sciences, there is an additional form for the student and instructor to complete, available in the H & SS Office [106 Caldwell].
  • Independent Studies: Independent studies are reserved for students (generally FL majors) who wish to pursue a special topic that is not part of our regular course offerings at an advanced level of study. The student should meet regularly during the semester with the instructor and the work completed should be equivalent to that of a regular course. For those of you sponsoring an Independent Study project the forms can be found here: FL 298 or FL 498. Be sure that the form has a complete description of the project, a bibliography, a summary of the final form of the project, and how the final grade will be determined.  The Independent Study must be approved by the Associate Department Head.  At the end of the semester, report the student's grade to the Student Services Manager or the Associate Department Head and it will be submitted to Records and Registration.  The Independent Study is not used for students to fulfill lower-division general education requirements.
  • Study Abroad: If students request information about study abroad, direct them to the Study Abroad page.
  • FLL:  Familiarize yourself with the department's home page.  Quite often, the answers to questions of you and your students can be found there.
  • Graduating Majors: For those of you teaching upper-level courses in languages for which we have majors, remind students that for those intending to graduate in a given semester they need to submit their graduation applications during the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Computing Support:  Should any problems arise with the functioning of your computer, contact the information technology unit of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences.
  • Finally – please attend to the following: email is the primary method of communication on campus and should be checked frequently. You should tell your students that the best way to contact you is by email -- this avoids phone tag and provides a written record of your communication with students. If you have a specific need to communicate to the office staff, the best way is by email. They receive lots of various requests on a daily basis and this helps the staff to keep track of them so that they can assist you as effectively as possible. If you cannot keep your office hours on a given day, leave a note on your door. Students call the main office if they are having trouble getting in touch with an instructor; it is important to keep open the lines of communication with your students.

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