Guidelines and Standards for General Education Courses

1. Civility in the Classroom

Any successful learning experience requires mutual respect on behalf of the student and the instructor. The instructor, as well as fellow students, should not be subjected to any student's behavior that is in any way disruptive, rude, or challenging to the instructor's authority in the classroom. Nor should a student feel intimidated or demeaned by his/her instructor. According to university policy, the instructor is responsible for maintaining a productive learning environment:

The instructor has the primary responsibility for control over classroom behavior and can direct the temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct which otherwise violates the general rules and regulations of the institution. The instructor may report such misconduct to the assistant dean for Student Conduct for implementation of such disciplinary sanctions as may be appropriate, including extended or permanent exclusion from the classroom (Rights and Responsibilities, 7).

Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to the following: intentionally antagonizing the instructor, receiving beeper or phone messages or text-messaging in class, leaving class early or coming to class habitually late, eating in class, talking out of turn, doing assignments for other classes, and engaging in other activities that detract from the classroom learning experience. Telephone and beeper messages are particularly disruptive, so telephone and beepers should be set on silent mode during class.

Work missed by the student (if s/he is removed from the class) will not be allowed to be made up, and the student will be considered absent for the day(s) removed from the class.

2. Academic Dishonesty

Faculty in the English department take very seriously any incidents of academic dishonesty. Students found guilty of academic dishonesty may face a range of sanctions including a zero for the assignment or failure in the course, as well as additional sanctions imposed by the Office of Student Conduct. The Department, in agreement with the University, defines academic dishonesty as follows:

Academic Misconduct. Plagiarism, cheating, fabrication, or facilitating any such act. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

  1. Plagiarism. The adoption or reproduction of ideas, words, statements, images, or works of another person as one's own without proper acknowledgment.
  2. Cheating, Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise . The term academic exercise includes all forms of work submitted for credit or hours.
  3. Fabrication. Unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  4. Facilitation. Helping or attempting to help another to violate a provision of the institutional code of academic misconduct.

(Rights and Responsibilities, p. 6)

All suspected and/or confirmed incidents of cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct, as required by University policy. For a detailed description of the procedures involved in an academic misconduct hearing, refer to Rights and Responsibilities, p. 7, available at the Student Affairs website.

3. Disabled Students

For a student to receive accommodation because of a mental or physical disability, he/she must provide documentation from the Office of Disabled Students Services, located in KUC 120 (x2783). Although disabled students may complete course requirements under conditions that are made in consideration of their disability, they are still held accountable to the same standards and overall course requirements.

4. Absences and Tardies

Student attendance is required in each and every class meeting. Additionally, each instructor in the English department establishes his/her individual policy concerning absences and tardies. The instructor's own record serves as the official document of absences/tardies. A student is not entitled to challenge this policy in any way.

From the MTSU Catalog (p. 49-50) :

A student is expected to attend each class for which he/she is registered except in cases of unavoidable circumstances. Class attendance will be monitored during the term. Students who are reported for non-attendance will be assigned a grade of F to appear on their transcripts, and non-attendance will be reported to appropriate agencies. Distribution of future financial aid will be suspended if applicable.

Exceptions are made for University-sanctioned activities. Students shall not be penalized for such absences. Students anticipating participation in University functions which will take them out of classes should discuss these absences with their instructors at the earliest convenient time.

The fact that a student may be absent from a class does not, in any way, relieve that student of the responsibility for the work covered or assigned during the absence. It is the responsibility of faculty members to excuse or refuse to excuse absences of students who miss their classes. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain excuses for absences and to arrange with the faculty member in question to make up the work missed. Absences begin with the first date the student is enrolled in class.

Mailing Address:
Department of English
Middle Tennessee State University
Box 70
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Main Office: Peck Hall 302

Chair: Dr. Stephen Severn


Telephone: (615) 898-2648

Fax: (615) 898-5098