Welcome to Salt Lake Community College! New beginnings, great expectations, now what? What to do? –Go to class! Study! All of that is true.
As a student and an educator, I have a feeling of eagerness and anticipation that comes from starting a new semester in college. Starting a new semester is like taking a trip. It will require planning where I will be going, who I will go with and knowing how to use resources to complete your trip to your destination –a successful and competent college completion. As you start a new chapter in your life, you are expected to use tools to guide your first step into college. One of those tools is like a roadmap called “course syllabus.”
A course syllabus is created by professors/instructors in each college class. It provides students with all the information they need about the course. It has contact information like your professor’s name, office hours, office number, phone number and email, a schedule of how many times you meet for classes, tests, quizzes and assignments such as chapter readings, presentations, etc., and a course preview including what you will learn and the professors/instructor’s expectations.
A college course syllabus is a contract between you and the professor. As a contract, a course syllabus details the terms, conditions, penalties and consequences. A college course syllabus, as a contract, is a thorough and concise document. It does not leave any room for not completing your assignments on time. Some course syllabus terms and conditions contain attendance policy, assignment deadlines, tests dates and times, conditions for turning in homework on time and consequences or penalties when assignments or tests are not completed by the due date. It also contains a calendar for the course including the date, chapter to be prepared before class, quizzes or exams and tests).
College professors will give you a course syllabus in a form of a handout or a link to access it online. Your professor will hand out the course syllabus the first day of class and discuss the components of the course syllabus to make sure that information, expectations, terms and conditions are clear.
Read your syllabus and course calendar after each class.
Review your assignments and the grading provided to make plans in managing your time.
Organize your assignments, tests, quizzes and exams using your course calendar from the course syllabus.
Make sure to keep the classroom rules and expectations as you are expected to demonstrate civility in your behavior in class.
Always remember, as college professors/instructors say: “It’s on the syllabus!”
Each course syllabus contains the following:
A title page:
- Course number and title
- Semester and year
- Number of credits
- Meeting times and location,
- Professor/Instructor’s information (Name, Office location, office hours, contact information).
Course Description: a short introduction to the course such the length of the course, purpose of the material.
Course Objectives: knowledge, skills students will gain at the end of the course.
Course Organization: an explanation of the organization of themes or topics of the course. Materials list required such as books with authors, editions and ISBNs, reserve reading, course readers, software, lab materials lists and supplies required for students to gain course knowledge and skills.
Pre-Requisites and Co-Requisites: such what English, Math, software use and course of study subjects that need to be taken prior to the course listed to acquire the skills set to be successful in the current course.
Course Requirements: listed to help you understand what exams, assignments, projects, performances, attendance, participation, class presentation, research and written work required for the course. Due dates and for each assignment and exam dates are also listed as part of course requirements.
Evaluation and Grading Policy: breaks down how the grades will be calculated for each assignment and gives an explanation of the professor’s policy regarding evaluation and grading.
Course Policies and Expectations: are spelled out on your course syllabus such as policy for attendance, participation, tardiness, academic integrity, missing homework, missed exams, recording classroom activities, food in class, use of electronics in class and general expectations for student behavior.
Course Calendar: lists topics of discussion and assignments on the days of classes.