Instructional Policies and Operational Responsibil

III.    INSTRUCTIONAL POLICIES AND OPERATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Administrative Withdrawals and Reinstatements

As stated in the current General Catalog, you should initiate an administrative withdrawal when, in your opinion, a student has missed so many classes he/she will not meet minimum course objectives.  The student will receive an “X” or “F” on his/her transcript instead of a “W.”

A student may be reinstated, with the approval of the appropriate instructor, into a class from which he has been administratively withdrawn.  A student must initiate a request for reinstatement within seven (7) days of the official date of drop by personally contacting the instructor involved. 

If you have any questions regarding the Administrative Withdrawal/Reinstatement policy, please contact the Dean of Admissions and Records, Registrar, or Associate Registrar.

Advisement System

Each student at South Plains College is assigned a full-time faculty member as an advisor.  The advisor is a faculty member in the program area in which the student is majoring.  However, during any given semester, a student may take (a) class (es) taught only by part-time instructors.  In order to provide better service to the student, it is important that these faculty members have a good understanding of the College and the resources available for a student in need.

Attendance Policy

Whenever absences become excessive and, in the instructor’s opinion, minimum course objectives cannot be met due to absences, the student should be withdrawn from the course. 

Students are officially enrolled in all courses for which they pay tuition and fees at the time of registration.  Should a student, for any reason, delay in reporting to a class after official enrollment, absences will be attributed to the student from the first meeting of the class.

A student who does not attend a class and does not officially withdraw from that course by the 12th class day in a regular semester or by the 4th class day in a summer session should be administratively withdrawn from that course and receive a grade of “X” or “F” as determined by the instructor.  Instructors are responsible for clearly stating their administrative drop policy in the course syllabus, and it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of that policy. 

Discipline

In the event that you experience a problem with a student disrupting class or the educational process, document the incident in a memo format and submit it to the appropriate Departmental Chairperson.  If the problem continues, notify the Associate Dean of Student Services or the Dean of Students.  A specific course of action is detailed in the Student Handbook.  If, during class, the student is uncontrollable, immediately send for an administrator.

Dismissal of Classes

Faculty is expected to meet classes for the total allotted time.  “Walks” are not considered a part of the educational program at South Plains College.  If you have an off-campus event planned, please notify your Departmental Chairperson, in case of an emergency. 

Faculty Absences

It is thought to be in the best interest of the students, the department, and the faculty that the classes of absent instructors be taught by members of the department if at all possible.  The instructor who needs to be absent from class for personal or professional reasons should follow the procedure detailed below:

Notify the Departmental Chairperson of an upcoming absence as far in advance as possible so that an in-house substitute can be arranged. 
 

If the absence is due to an emergency, first notify the Departmental Chairperson.  If the Departmental Chairperson is unavailable, notify the appropriate Instructional Dean.  In the event that a substitute cannot be located, the class will be notified of the emergency.  Please be sure to personally talk with the departmental chairperson, do not just leave a voice mail message. 
 

When a substitute is needed and an in-house substitute is not available, the instructor may arrange for a qualified individual outside the college to cover the class.  Compensation for the substitute is the responsibility of the instructor, not South Plains College.

Full pay is deducted from a faculty member’s salary for unauthorized absences and such absences will result in dismissal.

Final Examinations

A final examination is required in all regularly scheduled courses.  The type of exam is up to the individual instructor’s discretion.  The College does not prohibit the final examination to be given over only the material covered since the last major exam.  However, most professional educators have found a comprehensive final examination to be the most effective learning tool.

The final exam in any class is usually administered during the last class meeting before final grades are due.  A memo as to the date of final exams and the date and time final grades are due  will be issued.  PLEASE ADHERE TO THIS MEMO.  (Refer to the final examination schedule for testing dates.)

All final examinations will be given according to the semester schedule and will be held in the regularly assigned classrooms.  Always verify the final examination schedule with the current semester Schedule of Classes publication. 

Final exams for evening classes will be held during regularly scheduled class beginning on Monday of the designated week of finals.  Finals for Saturday classes will be held on the Saturday prior to the week of finals.  Conflicts in test schedules should be worked out with the individual instructors.

All library books are due on Friday before the first day of finals week.

Final Grade Rolls

At the end of the semester, you will turn in a signed grade report which will be your Final Grade Roll printed from the Campus Connect system.  Grade book sheets are to be turned in at the same time. 

All grades are required to be submitted electronically through the Campus Connect system on all students before grade reports will be executed.  A single instructor who does not submit their grades electronically will delay the reports for all students on all campuses.  Please help prevent this problem for the Admissions and Records office. 

Directions for submitting grades electronically through the Campus Connect system are as follows:

  1. Open Internet Explorer (Netscape will not work correctly for grade submission).
  2. From the South Plains College homepage (www.southplainscollege.edu), select Faculty and Staff and then select Campus Connect.
  3. Log in with your user name and password.  (If you do not have a password, please contact Olga Lozano at ext. 2601.)
  4. Select Grade Entry.
  5. Select the term and click the submit tab.  (Do not enter anything in the COURSE CODE field.)
  6. Select the course and click on the submit tab.
  7. Enter grades for all students in that course.
  8. Mark the course “YES” Final Grade Posting to indicate these are the final grades for this course.
  9. Click on the PRINT button and print a copy of the grades.
  10. Select the SUBMIT button.  (If you forget or are unable to print before you click on the “submit” button, you may go to class rosters and print from there.  Class rosters will indicate grades if the grade submission has been successful.)
  11. Repeat the process for each of your courses.
  12. Print and sign your name at the top of each printed page near the course title.
  13. Submit your grade book sheets and your printed, signed grade reports from the Campus Connect system to the Admissions and Records office either at the Levelland campus, Reese Center campus or in the Dean of Technical Education’s office in Room 114 at the Advanced Technology Center (ATC).

Grade Book Sheets

You will receive grade book sheets at the beginning of the semester in which you must keep official recordings of grades and attendance.  At the end of each semester or summer session, all faculty members are required to turn in their grade book sheets for the course(s) they have completed teaching.

The grade book sheets must reflect the attendance of each student and the method by which the final grade for each student was determined.  That method must be clearly defined so that South Plains College could reconstruct the means by which the final grades were determined, if required to do so in the future.

If your final grade roll(s) or grade book sheets are not returned to the Admissions and Records department at the end of the semester, South Plains College reserves the right to hold your payroll check until the above mentioned items are turned in.

Grading Practices

At the beginning of the semester, faculty members should explain to their classes the basis for evaluation that will be used in awarding grades.  This information should be a part of the printed syllabus. 

A grade is assigned for all courses in which a student is regularly enrolled during any semester or summer session.  A grade once earned and entered upon a student’s record cannot be removed and may not be changed without the approval of the instructor and the Instructional Dean.  If a student repeats a course, it is with the understanding that the last grade earned is the one to be counted toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Grades should reflect the extent to which students have attained course objectives.  Course objectives should be the common knowledge of the instructors and the students.

Student grades may be interpreted as follows:

GRADE INTERPRETATION GRADE POINTS
PER SEMESTER HOUR 
A Excellent
B Good 3
C Average 2
D Below Average 1
F Failing 0
I Incomplete Not Computed
P Pass Not Computed
PR Progress Not Computed
W Student Withdrawal Not Computed
X Administrative Withdrawal Not Computed

 

Please refer to the General Catalog for a continued explanation of grades.

Incompletes

Occasionally a student is unable to complete the requirements of a course even though he/she is otherwise performing satisfactorily.  In this case, a letter grade of “I” (incomplete) can be assigned to the student.

An “incomplete grade” form must be completed stipulating how the incomplete grade can be removed.  This form must be approved by the appropriate Instructional Dean and turned in with the final grades.  Please follow through before the stipulated deadline and assign the student a letter grade.  A grade change form needs to be completed and turned in to the Admissions and Records office in order to remove an “I” from the student’s record.

Instructional and Office Hours

Faculty members are expected to meet classes for the total allotted time as set in the Schedule of Classes.  Also, faculty are expected to be accessible to students for consultation.  Since office space cannot be provided for associate faculty, being available for a determined amount of time before or after class is acceptable.  Please state on the course syllabus when and where you will be available for consultation.  Students may leave messages for you by calling the departmental chairperson in your area.  Providing your students with a home phone number or office number is encouraged and appreciated. 

Official Class Roll

On the 12th class day of the Fall and Spring semesters, and on the fourth class day of summer sessions, the College will generate an official class roll and grade book insert for your use during the semester.  The 12th (or fourth) day class roll must be certified by your signature and returned to the office of Admissions and Records by the time and date specified on the cover memorandum.  (PLEASE ADHERE TO THIS MEMO.)

The 12th and fourth day class rolls are used for state reporting and to determine state supported funding.  Therefore, it is very important that they are certified accurately, neatly, and returned promptly.  When you turn in the official class roll, you will be issued a computer generated grade book insert. 

If a student’s name appears on the class roll but that student has never attended your class, please write, “HAS NOT ATTENDED” by his/her name.  In addition, an absenteeism report needs to be filled out by the instructor and returned to the Admissions and Records office.  The student will then be administratively withdrawn and receive a letter grade of “X”.  A letter is sent to the student informing him/her that they have been dropped for excessive absences.

Please do not make any other notations on the official class rolls.  Please check with the Admissions and Records office if you have any questions about your class roll or if the class roll is otherwise inaccurate.

Pay Scale

Associate faculty salaries shall be $424.00 per semester hour for individuals who have taught less than four semesters for South Plains College, $450.00 per semester hour for those who have taught four semesters or more and shall not exceed $3,600.00 in any one semester. 

Final grades and grade book inserts must be submitted to the office of Admissions and Records before your check will be distributed.  If your check is not picked up within one week, the College will mail it to your home address.

Deductions made are for Social Security/Medicare as mandated by Federal Law and for taxes:  Social Security is 6.2% (FICA/OASDI) and 1.45% (Medicare) of salary and a portion of income tax corresponding to your entries on the W-4 which is on file in the Payroll office.  The Federal Government requires that South Plains College withhold Social Security or a Social Security alternate annuity contribution for all part-time employees at 7.5% and is not matched.  You are given the choice of contributing to Social Security or to Metropolitan Life Pension/Annuity Company.  It is mandatory that you sign up for one of these two plans.  If you do not make a choice, you will be required to pay Social Security.  If you are already active in the Texas Teacher Retirement System, you are not required to have your salary further reduced.  However, you must fill out a Personal Data Form with TRS so that you will be on South Plains College reporting district.  If no form is filled out, you will be required to pay Social Security. 

In the event that a course is canceled after the third class meeting, you will be compensated for those three days.  Marginal enrollment classes (those with less than 15 students) usually will be canceled before the second class meeting.  You may be asked, especially during the summer sessions, to meet the class once or twice if the enrollment in marginal in order to allow students to register late.

Progress Grade

The grade “PR” is administered when progress has been made in a developmental course but not sufficient progress to meet the exit criteria or passage of the TASP Test for that particular skill area.  The “PR” grade is used only in developmental, non-college level courses.  This grade requires signatures from the Departmental Chairperson and the appropriate Instructional Dean. 

Harassment, Including Sexual Harassment

Harassment, including sexual harassment, is contrary to basic standards of conduct between individuals and is prohibited by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and state regulations.  Any employee who engages in any of the acts or behavior defined below violates College policy, and such misconduct will subject an employee to corrective action up to and including immediate discharge.

This policy applies to employees of South Plains College in their interaction with other employees and students.  Furthermore, executive management at each College location will establish appropriate procedures to insure that non-employees (vendors, contractors, trades people, etc.) on College premises are also made aware of the intent of this policy. 

Employees who feel they have been discriminated against on the basis of gender, or sexually or in any other manner harassed, should immediately report such incidents, following the procedure described below, without fear of reprisal.  Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent permitted by the circumstances. 

Harassment.  Verbal, physical or visual conduct of a racial, ethnic or other type, which in the employee’s opinion impairs his or her ability to perform the job. 

Sexual Harassment.  Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances or visual, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.  This definition encompasses many forms of offensive behavior, including gender-based harassment of a person of the same gender as the harasser, conduct of a sexual nature that creates an offensive, intimidating or hostile work environment; and coerced sexual conduct by a person in a position of authority in the workplace.  Examples of prohibited sexual harassment include:

  • unwelcome sexual flirtation or advances.
  • offering employment, promotions or other benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
  • making or threatening reprisals for refusing sexual advances.
  • visual conduct such as leering; making sexual gestures; displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures; cartoons or posters; suggestive or obscene letters, notes or invitations.
  • verbal conduct such as derogatory comments; epithets; slurs; sexual innuendo; sexual jokes; graphic verbal commentaries about an individual’s body; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual. 
  • physical conduct such as unwanted, suggestive or offensive touching; assault; impeding or blocking movement. 

Sexual or other forms of harassment of an employee or student by any College employee, regardless of  position, will not be tolerated.  Sexual harassment by a non-employee, for example, a customer, vendor or supplier, is also prohibited. 

Employee: Any employee of the College.
Student: An individual enrolled in any credit or non-credit course at South Plains College. 

Complaints of harassment of any type will be handled through the College’s Grievance Procedure policy, which provides several options and a specific process by which an employee or student may initiate action on a job or instructional related complaint. 

Student Initiated Drops

All students must go to the Admissions and Records office in person in order to drop a class.  If a student is withdrawing from school, he/she must complete the withdrawal form obtained from the Counseling Center and return it to the Admissions and Records office and obtain clearance from various departments.  The instructor, advisor, and Financial Aid office are notified whenever a student drops a class.

If one of your students informs you that they have dropped your class, never assume that student has followed proper procedure.  If you do not receive a “notice of class drop”, please notify the Admissions and Records office promptly.

Texas Academic Skills Program

The Texas Academic Skills Program (TASP) Test, which was mandated by House Bill 2182 in 1987, provides information about the reading, mathematics, and writing skills of students entering Texas public colleges and universities.  This program has overwhelming effects on SPC students.  Part-time faculty should familiarize themselves with the terms and conditions of TASP.  Information booklets are available in the Counselor’s area. 

Temporary Class Roll

At the beginning of the semester, you will receive a computerized temporary class roll.  This is not a final roster as late registration is still in progress and students are still adding and dropping.  If you suspect a problem with your class roll, please notify the Admissions and Records office.  

 


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