Syllabus Resources

New for Fall 2021

  • Download the COVID-19 Expectations and the Crimson Commitment (8/11/2021)
  • A Syllabus Template has been added to Canvas Commons.
  • The Syllabus Generator will now generate a syllabus for mini-semesters.
  • The required statement on Disabilities and Discrimination Accommodation has been updated (8-4-2021)
  • The Student Syllabus Policy page has been updated and will continue to be updated for the Fall semester.

This is a general resource and tool intended for all audiences of all NMSU campuses. Additional syllabi requirements may vary depending on the type of course being taught, program level requirements related to specialized accreditation, or requirements mandated by department heads and/or deans within a specific department or college. 

Syllabi Tools

Syllabus Generator

Input your course information into the generator and copy & paste to a document or your Canvas page. You will need to be on the NMSU VPN or log in using your NMSU username and password to access the generator. 

Syllabus Generator

Syllabus Template on Canvas

Import the Syllabus Template from Canvas Commons and fill out your course's information

Syllabus Template on Canvas

Syllabus Student Resources & Policy 

A Syllabus Student Resources & Policy webpage has been created as a resource for faculty and students of all campuses. It contains the current and standard language for academic misconduct and the American Disabilities Act, as well as other helpful information for students. You can also download a Syllabus Addendum with basic information for all campuses here

Starting Spring 2021, faculty can place the following statement in their syllabi to cover the requirements for the required language:

Please visit https://provost.nmsu.edu/faculty-and-staff-resources/syllabus/policies for university policies and student services, including Discrimination and Disability Accommodation, academic misconduct, student services, final exam schedule, grading policies and more

Student Syllabus Resources & Policy

 

Additional Resources

In addition, resources available through the department of Digital Learning include research-based practices and design templates that will assist you in moving your course - whether taught online or face-to-face - toward meeting generally accepted standards of quality.

 

COVID-19 Classroom Management Resources

Required Sections

All required sections are housed on the Syllabus Student Resources & Policies page. By including the following statement (beginning Spring 2021) in your syllabus, it is not necessary to include the sections in printed or posted syllabi. 

Please visit https://provost.nmsu.edu/faculty-and-staff-resources/syllabus/policies for university policies and student services, including Discrimination and Disability Accommodation, academic misconduct, student services, final exam schedule, grading policies and more.  

Expectations for General Education Syllabi and Instruction 

General Education Certification Packets

Alignment of Essential Skills to Content Areas within the New Mexico General Education Curriculum

General Education Content Area Skills associated with the content area
Communications Communication
Critical Thinking
Information & Digital Literacy
Mathematics Communication
Critical Thinking
Quantitative Reasoning
Science Critical Thinking
Personal & Social Responsibility
Quantitative Reasoning 
Social & Behavioral Sciences Communication
Critical Thinking
Personal & Social Responsibility
Humanities Critical Thinking
Information & Digital Literacy
Personal & Social Responsibility
Creative and Fine Arts Communication
Critical Thinking
Personal & Social Responsibility
Other* Select any three of the five essential skills for association with course learning outcomes.
*Courses within an institutions discretionary nine credits, including interdisciplinary courses may fall outside of the six content areas as the institutions discretion. 

Optional Sections for all syllabi 

NEW: Download the optional syllabus statement regarding mandatory reporter disclosure.

Plagiarism: you are encouraged to include a plagiarism statement such as the following:

Plagiarism is using another person’s work without acknowledgment, making it appear to be one’s own. Intentional and unintentional instances of plagiarism are considered instances of academic misconduct and are subject to disciplinary action such as failure on the assignment, failure of the course or dismissal from the university. The NMSU Library has more information and help on how to avoid plagiarism at http://lib.nmsu.edu/plagiarism/

Writing Center Information: The Writing Center offers free services to all NMSU students through one-on-one consultations at any stage in the writing process, from understanding assignment directions to revising final drafts. Consultants advise students on aspects of proofreading and editing, but do not provide editing services. Information about the Writing Center is available at https://towc.nmsu.edu/

Assistance for Members of the Military and Veterans:  The Office of Military and Veterans Programs provides services to current and former service members.  The office can be reached at

575-646-4524 or 646-1113 (fax) mvp@nmsu.edu Location: Corbett Center Student Union, Room 244 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm

Email Communications:  Your NMSU email account is the official means of communicating with the university.  Information critical to your success at NMSU is delivered to you via this account, and you are expected to follow rules and policies provided to you via this communication method.  Any email from you to the instructor should be sent either through the CANVAS course management system or through your official NMSU email account. Please be advised that due to privacy and security concerns, we are unable to respond to emails from or about students that do not originate from an official NMSU email address.

Comments to instructor relating to Grading:

Assignments and Grades:  A clear statement about the assignments, exams and any other types of graded work required in the class, together with specific weights or point values for each graded item, is very helpful in avoiding misunderstandings and grade appeals.  Other grade related issues that you may wish to address include:

  • Multiple submissions: You may want to indicate whether it is permissible for the student to submit his or her work that has been submitted for credit in other courses.
  • Make-up work and exams: It is recommended that your policy on make-up work be included in the syllabus.  Refer to section on Attendance Policies concerning make-up work for students who are absent on university business. 
  • S/U Grading Option: Students enrolling under the S/U grading option must earn “xx” grade to receive an “S”.  Students must elect the grading option prior to the last day to add a class.  Students should check the course catalog for eligibility and availability of the S/U Option generally.
  • Final Exams: Per the university schedule, the Final Exam in this course is scheduled for [XXX insert date and time] in the regular classroom.

Canvas Grade Posting:  Canvas automatically provides to students a calculated grade “Total” (to date) that is a percentage based on the total number of points possible and compared with the total number of points earned.  This helps students know how well they are performing in a class – when it works right.  The problem is that if the instructor intends to use a weighted average, but does not group those assignments in Canvas and assign the relative weights, then the “Total” score that Canvas calculates and displays to the student may be completely wrong and misleading. 

Faculty who are using Canvas to post grades should either (1) properly group and weight the assignments so that the “Total” grade the student sees in Canvas is accurate or (2) “hide” the Total Score (Instructions:   go to “Settings”; -click “Edit course details”; -click “more options” under “Visibility”; -click “hide totals in student grades summary”.  If you are using the weighted average and displaying the Total, you can “test” the grade calculation function by using the student view (eg. give your test student grades so you can see how the grades are being displayed to students and whether the weighting is being applied correctly).

Grades at Midterm:  Faculty should be prepared to provide students with information about where they stand in the class prior to the last day to drop courses with “W”.  The provost’s office has encouraged the use of the Banner mid-term grade feature to make information available to students concerning their standing in the class. All instructors of 100- and 200- level classes are required to submit a grade that reflects work completed as of the sixth Friday following the date classes begin during the regular Fall and Spring semesters. Early performance grades include the option for the instructor to use “S” or “U” for courses which are graded on an “A” to” F” scale at the end of the semester. The deadline for submitting these grades is currently under review and will be provided when it is available.  Early performance grades are used only for student retention efforts.

It is suggested that instructors provide students with information about the availability of these grades and that they assist students in understanding what the grades mean in the context of the particular class.  For example, include in the syllabus a statement of the following sort.

Mid-semester grades for this class will be posted no later than MM/DD/YYYY.  You will be able to access these grades through your MY.NMSU.EDU under the Student Tab:   Click on Student Record / Midterm Grades.

In this class the mid-semester grade will reflect your performance on about Y% of the total graded work in the class.  If you are doing more poorly in the class than you expected, you should consider the opportunities to raise your grade to the desired level or, alternatively, consider withdrawing from the class and possibly adding a mini-session course.  If you are doing well, congratulations on your success – but be mindful that there is still a significant portion of the graded work to be completed.  Please meet with me if you have questions.

Final Exams:  The dates for final exams are published in the course schedule each semester (at https://records.nmsu.edu/final-examination-schedule/ . The final exam period is expected to be a class meeting time, even if no final exam is administered at that time.  The date or time at which the final is offered may not be changed without the unanimous approval of students in the course, as well as the approval of the department head.  No exam given during the week before Finals Week may be more than one class period in length.  If your class is offered at times that do not match the standard university time blocks, please check to make sure that the classroom is available for your final exam.  Most classrooms are scheduled through Academic Scheduling, 646-4718, but others (BC 115, 204, and 247, and GU 303) are scheduled through the Dean’s Office.)

Final Grades:  Final letter grades are normally released to students on the web (via MyNMSU) within a day or two after the deadline for submitting grades.  If you wish to make final grades available to students before that time, you may do so through CANVAS.  Under FERPA regulations, public posting of grades is not permitted even with a confidential PIN number identifier.

Incomplete Grades:  Under university policy, incompletes may be given only if a student has a passing grade at mid-semester (the last day to withdraw from a class) and is precluded from successful completion of the second half of the course by a documented illness, documented death, family crisis or other similar circumstances beyond the student’s control.  An incomplete should not be given to avoid assigning a grade for marginal or failing work.  Instructors assigning the “I” grade can choose to make the “I” grade permanent, and require students to register for the course in a subsequent semester to earn credit (Option A), or may allow students to complete remaining work in the course by an identified deadline (within one year) and then submit a change of grade form to substitute the earned grade for the “I” grade (Option B).   Requirements for removal of the “I” grade under Option B must be clearly stated on the “I” grade form. Incompletes do not automatically convert to F’s if the course is not completed.  Under Option B, the faculty member can state on the form that an incomplete will become an F, but then it is incumbent upon the instructor to process a change of grade form to accomplish that result.

Grade Appeals:  Please make sure that you are familiar with the rules for Academic Appeals (under Regulations in the undergraduate catalog; see the Graduate Student Appeals Board section of the Graduate Catalog).  Appeals must be submitted within 30 days (undergraduate) or 10 days (graduate students) after the start of the regular semester following the assignment of the grade.  The appeal must be submitted in writing to the faculty member and the faculty member must respond in writing within 10 days of receiving the written appeal.  If not satisfied, the student may appeal to the department head, and ultimately to the Dean.  If you deny an appeal, please make sure that the student is aware of the next step in the process.

Record Retention:  Instructors or their departments are required to keep grade books or computer records of students’ scores, the course grading record, attendance records (when absences are penalized), etc. for two years.  In cases involving grade appeals, records should be kept for at least two years after the appeal is adjudicated.  (Keep in mind that grade appeals can arise as late as 30 days after the start of the subsequent regular semester.)

Attendance Policies:  [insert explanation of instructor’s policies]

Comments to instructor on Attendance Policies:

Faculty are free to decide whether or not attendance is required and whether there are penalties for absences but such rules should be clearly stated in the syllabus. If there are rules relating to students who arrive late or leave early, those also should be described in the syllabus. University policy states:   “Students making satisfactory progress in their classes will be excused from classes when they are representing New Mexico State University on a university sponsored event (e.g., ASNMSU President represents NMSU at legislative session, student-athletes competing in NMSU scheduled athletic events or education field trips and conferences).  Authorized absences do not relieve the student of class responsibilities.  Prior written notice of the authorized absence will be provided to the instructor by the sponsoring department.” 

In addition, if you choose to not require attendance, you will still need to track attendance. We have an obligation to report the last date of attendance for students who do not finish a course per Federal Financial Aid guidelines.

Important Dates for Fall 2021

Students may add courses through Thursday, August 19, 2021 without instructor permission and through Friday, August 27, 2021 with instructor permission.  Late registration fees will apply for courses added after Friday, August 20, 2021.  Students may withdraw from classes and receive a refund until Friday, September 3, 2021. The deadline for withdrawing from a course with no refund (W) is Monday, October 18, 2021.  Students may withdraw from the university (withdraw from all classes) through Friday, December 3, 2021.

Important Dates & NMSU Academic Calendar (including mini-semester dates): https://records.nmsu.edu/important-dates-students/

There are different deadlines for mini-semester courses. Courses which are dropped (canceled) during the registration period do not appear on the student transcript and there is no tuition charge.  No faculty or department head signatures are required to add or drop a class during the open registration period (if the class is open).  In the case of a withdrawal, the course remains on the student’s transcript and the grade is listed as “W”.  

Prerequisites:  The prerequisite(s) for this course are:  xxx.  Students who do not meet the prerequisites may be dis-enrolled during the first few weeks of class.  Please see me if you have not satisfied the course prerequisites.

Comments to instructor on prerequisites: 

Many course prerequisites are currently being enforced through Banner, however, students who had prerequisites in progress at the time of registration were permitted to register and may remain in the course after having failed to complete the prerequisite.  Students who are blocked from registering may present you with an add slip.  Please make sure that you understand why they are seeking your approval to add the class and note on the add slip if you are approving a prerequisite override.  Students may also seek your signature to add a closed class.  In the case of a closed class you may enter an override through myNMSU to allow the student to register themselves rather than using an add slip.  Please do not use the prerequisite override in myNMSU since prerequisite issues may be complicated.  For example, prerequisites may include basic skills requirements (English and Math) that may not appear in the course description.

Cross-listing:  This course is cross-listed as XXX.  You may not earn credit for both this course and the cross-listed course.  Completion of the course under either cross-listing will satisfy any requirements that exist under either cross-listing.  (E.g.  a student who takes BLAW 325 cannot earn credit for the cross-listed FIN 325; and BLAW 325 will satisfy a FIN elective requirement for Finance majors.)

University Grading System

Grade reports are not automatically mailed to students. Students can access grades and credits by the web using my.nmsu.edu. It is the responsibility of the student to provide updated grade addresses to the Office of the Registrar. At the request of the student, the instructor will provide information on progress in the course prior to the last day to drop a course.

The NMSU system of grading is expressed in letters, which carry grade points used in calculating the cumulative grade–point average:

Letter grade per unit of credit Grade points
A+ 4.0
A 4.0
A– 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B– 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C– 2.0
D+, D, D– 1.0
F 0
W — Withdrawal 0
N — Grade not submitted 0
CR — Credit authorized, but not letter grade 0
IP — In progress 0
RR — Progress in undergraduate course 0
PR — Progress on graduate thesis 0
S* — Satisfactory work 0
U — Unsatisfactory work 0
I — Incomplete 0
AU — Audit 0

*An S grade is a grade satisfactory to the professor and is normally equivalent to the letter grade of C or higher.

In computing the overall grade–point average, the total credits in which grades of A, B, C, D, or F have been assigned is divided into the total number of grade points earned.

The following information is available for use as supplemental material. If you generate your syllabus through “Start My Syllabus”, the required information will be included.

Last updated: August 30, 2021