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AP: Section G - Responsibilities of Teaching Faculty

7.00

Insuring an Appropriate Educational Environment

Faculty members have the responsibility of insuring an educational environment that promotes academic excellence.  All individuals have the right to a positive secure environment, one in which persons can realize their potential as intellectual, social, political, economic and creative beings.

Each faculty member will provide for students a statement of expectations and standards for ensuring an educational environment.  This may be accom­plished in a discussion format during the first class period and/or in writing as part of the course outline.

Students who do not comply with the faculty members' stated expectations of classroom behavior may have their registration in the course canceled by the faculty member, through the process outlined in section 4.25 of the Academic Code.

7.00a

Semester/Credit Hour Policy and Compliance

SUNY Cobleskill calculations of credit hour follow the State University of New York (SUNY) policy which is applicable to its Community Colleges and State-Operated Campuses. The policy is below:

Summary

The State University of New York (University), like most American higher education, has adopted a variant of the traditional "Carnegie Unit" as a measure of academic credit. This unit is known in the University by the familiar term, "semester credit hour," and is the primary academic measure by which progress toward a degree is gauged. It is recognized that such a unit measures only a part, albeit a major part, of a composite learning experience, based upon formally structured and informal interactions among faculty and students.

Policy

Over the past several years, for academic purposes, some faculties have allowed modifications of the classical Carnegie definition of a semester credit hour, which has stipulated that one semester credit hour be awarded for fifteen sessions of 50-minutes duration in classroom lecture-recitation each requiring two hours of outside preparation by the student. Today there are many types of educational experiences with which credit hour assignment may properly be associated. 

In the interest of accurate academic measurement and cross-campus comparability, the following definitions and practices apply in controlling the relationship between contact and credit hours. These definitions constitute a formalization of current and historic policy in order to ensure consistency throughout the College. Courses may be composed of any combination of elements described, such as a lecture course which also has required laboratory periods or a lecture course having an additional requirement for supervised independent study or tutorial activity.

A semester credit hour is normally granted for satisfactory completion of one 50-minute session of classroom instruction per week for a semester of not less than fifteen weeks. This basic measure may be adjusted proportionately to reflect modified academic calendars and formats of study.

New York State Education Department

All credit-bearing degree and certificate programs at SUNY Cobleskill are approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Calculation of credit hours for these programs follow NYSED guidelines, which are consistent with the State University of New York’s adoption of the Carnegie definition of a credit hour.

Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, Title 8 – Education Department, Chapter II – Regulations of the Commissioner, Subchapter A – Higher and Professional Regulations, Part 50 – General, Section 50.1 (o) stipulates the following: Semester hour means a credit, point, or other unit granted for the satisfactory completion of a course which requires a total of at least 45 hours for one semester credit. (in conventional classroom education this breaks down into at least 15 hours (of 50 minutes each) of instruction and at least 30 hours of supplementary assignments), except as otherwise provided pursuant to section 52.2(c)(4) of this Subchapter. This basic measure shall be adjusted proportionately to translate the value of other academic calendars and formats of study in relation to the credit granted for study during the two semesters that comprise an academic year.

Section 52.2(c)(4) stipulates: A semester hour of credit may be granted by an institution for fewer hours of instruction and study than those specified in subdivision (o) of section 50.1 of this Subchapter only: (i) when approved by the commissioner as part of a registered curriculum; (ii) when the commissioner has granted prior approval for the institution to maintain a statement of academic standards that defines the considerations which establish equivalency of instruction and study and such statement has been adopted by the institution; or (iii) in the event of a temporary closure of an institution by the State or local government as a result of a disaster, as defined in section 50.1(w) of this Title, when the commissioner has granted approval for the institution to maintain a statement of academic standards that defines the considerations which establish equivalency of instruction and study and such statement has been adopted by the institution.

New York State Education Department's Policies Regarding Time on Task in Online Education

The College adheres to the New York State Education Department’s Office of College and University Evaluation policies on “Determining Time on Task in Online Education,” which is excerpted below.

Time on task is the total learning time spent by a student in a college course, including instructional time as well as time spent studying and completing course assignments (e.g., reading, research, writing, individual and group projects.) Regardless of the delivery method or the particular learning activities employed, the amount of learning time in any college course should meet the requirements of Commissioner's Regulation Section 50.1 (o), a total of 45 hours for one semester credit (in conventional classroom education this breaks down into 15 hours of instruction plus 30 hours of student work/study out of class.)

"Instruction" is provided differently in online courses than in classroom-based courses. Despite the difference in methodology and activities, however, the total "learning time" online can usually be counted. Rather than try to distinguish between "in-class" and "outside-class" time for students, the faculty member developing and/or teaching the online course should calculate how much time a student doing satisfactory work would take to complete the work of the course, including:

  1. Reading course presentations/ "lectures"
  2. Reading other materials
  3. Participation in online discussions
  4. Doing research
  5. Writing papers or other assignments
  6. Completing all other assignments (e.g., projects)

The total time spent on these tasks should be roughly equal to that spent on comparable tasks in a classroom-based course. Time spent downloading or uploading documents, troubleshooting technical problems, or in chat rooms (unless on course assignments such as group projects) should not be counted.

In determining the time on task for an online course, useful information includes

  1. The course objectives and expected learning outcomes
  2. The list of topics in the course outline or syllabus; the textbooks, additional readings, and related education materials (such as software) required
  3. Statements in course materials informing students of the time and/or effort they are expected to devote to the course or individual parts of it.
  4. A listing of the pedagogical tools to be used in the online course, how each will be used, and the expectations for participation (e.g., in an online discussion, how many substantive postings will be required of a student for each week or unit?)

Theoretically, one should be able to measure any course, regardless of delivery method, by the description of content covered. However, this is difficult for anyone other than the course developer or instructor to determine accurately, since the same statement of content (in a course outline or syllabus) can represent many different levels of breadth and depth in the treatment of that content, and require widely varying amounts of time.

SUNY Cobleskill Guidelines and Procedures

All semester/credit hours awarded by SUNY Cobleskill will conform to the definitions listed above. Therefore, all units of credit awarded will conform to the SUNY and NYSED definitions. These guidelines are also in compliance with policies set forth by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

SUNY Cobleskill generally follows a semester system with fall and spring semesters consisting of a minimum of 15 weeks. Summer terms are typically less than 15 weeks but adhere to the policy in terms of meeting time and the amount of work required. Terms for certain academic programs (for example, compressed summer schedules) have been adjusted but nonetheless adhere to the policy in terms of the amount of work required. The winter session occurs over a 28 day period of instruction. Time on task and instructional activities are designed to replicate the summer. Only select courses are approved for offering in the winter session.

Faculty and program administrators are responsible for developing, maintaining, and evaluating the curriculum within an academic program, although the SUNY Board of Trustees or its representative retains final control and approval of the curriculum. Assignment of credit hours for courses is determined within the program based on faculty expertise and student learning outcomes. New courses are, upon review and approval at the program level, reviewed by the College Curriculum Committee and the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

In their review and approval of new courses and major revisions of existing courses, the College Curriculum Committee is charged with following the policy on credit hours and certifying that the expected student learning for the course meets the credit-hour standard.

Approved courses are sent to the Registrar’s Office for inclusion in the College Catalog. The Registrar reviews the class schedules prior to the start of each semester to ensure that all classes are scheduled for the minimum number of minutes corresponding to the credits assigned. Any discrepancies are brought to the attention of the appropriate department for correction or explanation. The following tables summarize how the credit hour translates to the particular instruction method.

Lecture and Seminar: Courses with multiple students which meet to engage in various forms of group instruction under the direct supervision of a faculty member.

Table 1 - Lectures and Seminars: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded Minimum Contact Time
per Week
Minimum Contact Time per Semester
(15 weeks)
(contact time
x 15) 
Minimum
out-of-class student work per week
(contact time per week x 2)
Minimum
out-of-class student work per semester
(15 weeks)(out-of-class work x 15)
Total Instructional Time per semester
(contact time per semester + out-of-class student work per semester)
1 50 contact mins 750 contact mins 100 mins 1500 mins 2250 minutes
(37.5 hours)
2 100 contact mins 1500 contact mins 200 mins 3000 mins 4500 minutes
(75.0 hours)
3 150 contact mins 2250 contact mins 300 mins 4500 mins 6750 minutes
(112.5 hours)
4 200 contact mins 3000 contact mins 400 mins 6000 mins 9000 minutes
(150 hours)

 

Laboratory: Courses with a focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member wherein the student performs substantive work in a laboratory setting. The minimum contact time per credit is typically twice that of a lecture (2:1 ratio), assuming “substantial outside preparation.”

Table 2 - Laboratory : Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded Minimum Contact Time
per Week
Minimum Contact Time per Semester
(15 weeks)
(contact time
x 15) 
Minimum
out-of-class student work per week
(contact time per week ÷ 2)
Minimum
out-of-class student work per semester
(15 weeks)(out-of-class work x 15) 
Total Instructional Time per semester 
(contact time per semester + out-of-class student work per semester)
1 100 contact mins 1500 contact mins 50 mins 750 mins 2250 minutes
(37.5 hours)
2 200 contact mins 3000 contact mins 100 mins 1500 mins 4500 minutes
(75.0 hours)
3 300 contact mins 4500 contact mins 150 mins 2250 mins 6750 minutes
(112.5 hours)
4 400 contact mins 6000 contact mins 200 mins 3000 mins 9000 minutes
(150 hours)

 

Clinicals: Courses with a focus on experiential learning under the direct supervision of a faculty member wherein the student performs substantive work in a clinical setting. The minimum contact time per credit is typically three times that of a lecture (3:1 ratio), depending upon the amount of outside work assigned.

Table 3 - Clinicals: Classroom/Faculty Instruction and Outside Student Work

Credits Awarded Minimum Contact Time
per Week
Minimum Contact Time per Semester
(15 weeks)
(contact time
x 15) 
Minimum
out-of-class student work per week
Minimum
out-of-class student work per semester
(15 weeks)(out-of-class work x 15) 
Total Instructional Time per semester 
(contact time per semester + out-of-class student work per semester)
1 150 contact mins 2250 contact mins 0 mins 0 mins 2250 minutes
(37.5 hours)
2 300 contact mins 4500 contact mins 0 mins 0 mins 4500 minutes
(75.0 hours)
3 450 contact mins 6750 contact mins 0 mins 0 mins 6750 minutes
(112.5 hours)
4 600 contact mins 9000 contact mins 0 mins 0 mins 9000 minutes
(150 hours)

 

Independent Study: Courses of study in which a faculty member regularly interacts and directs student outcomes with periodic contact (e.g., Special Projects, Topics in Current Research). Minimum credit hours are determined based on faculty instructional contact minutes and student outside work time. In all such instances, such courses must match the total amount of work using the examples listed in table 1 above, and the faculty member is required to keep records of the meeting times and student work assigned so that contact hours can be calculated.

Internship/Practicum/Field Experience: Courses of study in which a faculty member regularly interacts and directs student outcomes with periodic contact, but where the actual learning environment takes place on or off campus at an approved site. The learning experience will typically involve a site supervisor or preceptor, and directed activity/learning will occur outside of a lecture setting. Contact time and outside student work requirements must be established and documented and must match the total amount of work using the examples in table 1 above. Number of credits and hours will be determined by each department.

Accelerated Courses: Courses offered outside of a standard 15-week semester in which the credit hours offered are the same as standard semester courses and the content and substantive learning outcomes are the same as those in the standard semester. These courses must meet the total amount of instructional and student work time as the examples in table 1 above, even if delivered within an accelerated time frame.

Online Courses: Courses offered entirely online without any on-site face-to-face meetings required. These courses have the same learning outcomes and follow the same syllabus of a lecture course, but with online delivery methods. Contact time is satisfied by various means as outlined in each courses syllabus. These methods can include, but are not limited to, online group discussions and projects, papers and exams, and singular faculty engagement to name a few. In all cases the courses meet instructional time and projected student engagement time. In all such instances, these courses must meet the total amount of instructional and student work time as charted in table 1, even if delivered online or asynchronously.

Hybrid Courses: Courses offered in a blended format with one or more on-site face-to-face class sessions and at least one or more online sessions, both containing direct interaction with a faculty member. Contact time is assessed using both on-site definitions (for the on-site portion) and online definitions as above (for the online portion). In all such instances, these courses must meet the total amount of instructional and student work time as charted in table 1, even if delivered online or asynchronously.

Procedures

7.01

Course Outlines

During the first week of classes, a course outline is to be given to each student enrolled in a course.

7.02

Content of Course Outlines

Outlines must specify:

 

When appropriate, inclusion of the following should be considered:

7.09

State law requires that any student in an institution of higher education who is unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of his/her religious beliefs is to be excused from any examination or any study or work requirements. State law also stipulates that we have the responsibility to make available equivalent opportunities to make up work missed because of these absences and that students have the obligation to make up any work missed work.

7.10

Course Grades

Each student enrolled in a course shall receive a grade. These grades are posted by the faculty in Banner Web within deadlines established by the registrar.

7.11

Assignment and Test Grades

grades for assignments and tests can only be posted via the secure on-line course management system.

7.20

Final Examinations

Faculty members are expected to state their final examination policies in their course outlines. Final examinations are to be administered during the period so designated.

7.21

Final Exam Policy

7.30

Safety

Students and employees, under the direction of a faculty member, must be informed of safety hazards.  Faculty must ensure that appropriate safeguards are in effect, that proper medical attention is sought in case of accident or injury, and that accident report forms are filed within 24 hours if the circumstances so warrant.

7.40

Field Trips

A request to conduct a field trip must be approved by the school dean eighteen (18) days prior to the trip.

7.41

Whenever a trip removes students from other courses or scheduled activities, faculty in charge will place a notice on SharePoint seven (7) days prior to the trip giving date and time of trip and names of participating students.

7.42

Field trips will not be scheduled during the last week of classes unless approved in writing by the vice president for academic affairs.

7.43

Field trips that affect student attendance in any other class shall be taken during non‑class periods, on weekends, or during vacation periods whenever possible. No field trips should exceed two days of classes.  Every effort should be made to avoid taking field trips during the first week of each semester, thus permitting each instructor to get his/her course started in an appropriate manner.  (See Section E, 5.24)

7.44

Faculty Academic Advisement Guidelines for Exchange/Study Abroad Programs

The guidelines listed below are designed to help faculty effectively advise students who wish to study at an institution abroad and receive credit at SUNY Cobleskill for the experience. These guidelines have been developed so students’ overseas studies will complement their programs of study at SUNY Cobleskill.