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Course Syllabus Tips

Some tips for faculty regarding the syllabus for their courses abroad.

Course Syllabus

Like any Smeal course at University Park, each course requires a formal syllabus including an overview of the course, schedule of topics, list of readings, class presentations and basis for grading. The resulting spectrum of grades should reward the top academic performers more than their peers, just as they would at University Park.

Faculty are encouraged to deliver clear academic and behavioral expectations to students. We strongly recommend that behavioral expectations and accountability statements should be included on the faculty syllabus. You may choose to include a provision for grade penalties due to misbehavior or absenteeism. We encourage adding statements like:

  • Academic Integrity Academic integrity is as critically important abroad as it is here at Penn State. Penn State Faculty Senate Policy 49-20 defines academic integrity as “the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner… [and] a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception.” Please read (and make sure you fully understand the implications of) this policy, which can be found at: http://www.psu.edu/ufs/policies/. You are also subject to the academic integrity policies of the host institution if you are caught cheating, plagiarizing, or otherwise being dishonest about your work while abroad.

  • Class Attendance You are expected to attend and participate in all of your classes, labs, recitations, and field trips as necessary and as scheduled at your host institution. Please remember that you are a student first and foremost when studying abroad.

  • Behavior According to the Penn State Office of Judicial Affairs, the University can report student discipline information to the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of students under the age of 21; this includes violations of foreign law and/or host institution rules regarding alcohol or controlled substances, or general discipline problems abroad.