Many facultyopen and/or close each class session with prayer, not in a ritualistic fashion, but as an act of worship and with a sincere desire for God's direction in the learning process and in the lives of members of the class.
The nature of the university and the dignity of the profession demand a dignified classroom atmosphere. All classes should begin and close on time. One should normally avoid dismissing a class ahead of time and should use all of the regularly scheduled class periods.
A classroom should be left in readiness for the next class, including erasure of chalkboards and the arrangement of seats.
It is suggested that at the first class meeting of a term, instructors distribute a written guide which outlines course requirements, schedules, and objectives. In courses with pre-requisites, it is also suggested that faculty ensure that all enrollees have met stated pre-requisites at the first class session.
Attendance: Faculty and Students
Instructors are responsible for being present at every class session. If for any reason an instructor cannot be present for the class, notification should be made to the department chairperson or dean's office. The class will be officially dismissed only when no feasible educational alternative is possible.
Regular class attendance is expected of all students. One should conduct class in a manner that will encourage academic excellence and the growth of Christian character. Because of the tremendous variety of class size and purpose, specific requirements in attendance, and the final authority for attendance and any effect it might have upon grades, rests with the individual faculty member, but the specific rules for each class should be made clear on the first day of class. Certain attendance requirements are outlined in the current Student Handbooks of each school.
There is no arbitrary way to determine how much should constitute a class assignment. As a guideline, one should endeavor to determine what will occupy the average student for about two hours out of class for every hour in class. Some students will, obviously, need more time; others will accomplish the work in less time. It is a help to check occasionally to find out how much time students are actually spending on assigned work.
In all class requirements, it is well to remember that some students size up the instructor and carefully calculate how much they have to do and with how much they can "get by." The student will adjust to what is known to be a fixed standard.
All written assignments should be checked for both content and form. Poor English and careless spelling are not to be tolerated. Such carelessness in form should either lower the grade or necessitate the re-doing of the assignment, depending upon the circumstances.
In the undergraduate programs, the MLA Style Sheet is recommended for term papers. This may be supplemented by any of the elementary manuals that are based upon the Style Sheet. Instructors wishing to deviate from the Style Sheet may issue special instruction sheets.
In the graduate programs of Talbot School of Theology and the School of Intercultural Studies, the standard for thesis and term papers is Turabian’s, “A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations,” and an updated supplement prepared by the Talbot Library Committee. For the writing of graduate papers and dissertations, the doctoral programs use the A.P.A. form.
Term papers should be called for as early in the semester as the nature of the work will allow and when returned should be given out in class and not sent through house-mail.
A student should be discouraged from doing "extra" work in an effort to redeem a poor grade. The first requisite is that the student do the assigned work to the best of his/her ability. "Extra" reading may be done too superficially to have any effect on the total knowledge of the course, especially if it is based on quantity and not on content. Additional reading and research are reserved for the student who has already done assigned work well and not as a substitute for it.
All assignments must be in by the time of the final examination unless the Office of the Dean of Student Development or the dean of the instructional school has in advance granted an extension of time for some valid reason, such as protracted absence due to illness. In the event that an extension of time is granted, it is the student's responsibility to see that the resulting "RD" (Report Delayed) grade is cleared if credit is to be earned.
In the event the student has not turned in his/her work by the time of the last day of instruction, and has not been granted an extension of time, the student is to be given a grade of "F" for that work and this is to be averaged in with the other grades for the semester.
It is recommended that each undergraduate course include a minimum of two tests or comparable bases for judgment, preceding the final examination. Tests should not require more time than the ordinary class period. All papers, tests, and examinations are to be returned promptly to the students so that they may profit by the grading of their work. Instructors may collect these examinations again after the students have perused them.
It is the prerogative of any faculty member to waive final examinations for any graduating senior when conditions warrant it. Such conditions might be a high grade average in the course, written research, or some other similar consideration.
Students who are doing poorly at the end of the sixth week should be counseled so as to determine the nature of the problem and ways to provide encouragement. If dropping the class is recommended they may do so before the end of the twelfth week with a grade of "W" going on the transcript.
Although authority for taking disciplinary action is vested primarily with the Office of Dean of Student Development, the responsibility for the effective functioning of the disciplinary system falls upon every faculty member and every student.
The two-fold role of the faculty in this area is to help foster loyalty toward the institution and its values. Students who are in violation of the standards of conduct and who fail to respond positively to the personal counseling and/or admonition of faculty members (in the graduate programs, this complaint may more appropriately come through a dean of the school) should be referred to the Office of the Dean of Student Development. The members of the faculty are expected to know the standards governing student behavior, which appear in the Student Handbook and to report to the Office of the Dean of Student Development or the appropriate staff member all cases not readily handled by the classroom instructor, such as cases of misconduct in class of an extreme nature, failure to respond to summons, violations of the stated standards of conduct, or acts of dishonesty in relation to class work.
- Cheating: Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise.
- Fabrication: Intentional and unauthorized falsification or invention of any information or study aids in any academic exercise. It also includes falsification of academic records, forgery, entering computer accounts not one’s own without consent of the owner, and entering or deleting data in another’s account without permission.
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty.
- Plagiarism: Representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own (without giving credit to the source) in any academic exercise.
Consequences: The faculty member is responsible to confront the student and if the academic dishonesty is established to his/her satisfaction, one or more of the following consequences may result:
- The assigning of a lower grade to the examination, assignment, or course.
- The loss of credit for the course.
- The professor may refer the student to the Dean of Student Development for possible further disciplinary action which may include probation, suspension, or dismissal from the university.
In the classroom the instructor has authority for maintaining discipline and order.
Student Grievance and Appeal Process
The impact of State and Federal legislation upon private higher education in the United States is significant, including the whole area of students' rights. The University Student Handbook, available from the office of the Dean of Student Development, deals with the subject of student grievances and appeal procedures.
Student grievances against a faculty member are conducted in accordance with procedures outlined in the student handbook. Other established procedures may be followed in the case of graduate students.
Letter Grades and Grade Points
Biola uses the following letter and grade point correlates:
A few select courses utilize a Pass-Fail (P/F), Satisfactory (S), or Credit-No Credit (C/NC) evaluation. Consult the current catalog for information concerning academic standards in the various programs of the university.
Report Delayed Requests
Purpose: The purpose of the Report Delayed (RD) notation is to meet the needs of a student who faces unforeseeable emergencies that are beyond his/her control. Examples are extended personal illness and family emergencies.
Student Responsibilities: Report Delayed requests will not be granted for reasons which relate to such matters as excessive employment or over scheduling, therefore the student should plan ahead and:
- Schedule course load levels and class assignments in keeping with personal responsibilities to family and employer and ability to handle class assignments and stress.
- Evaluate course progress and assignments yet to be completed prior to the twelfth week (last week to drop classes without an "F" for the course -- see current catalog for exact date) and drop courses for which the work cannot be completed by course and academic calendar deadlines.
Procedure: Request forms may be obtained from the office of the dean of the instructional school. All undergraduates and graduate students need the signature of the dean of their respective school. The individual faculty member will be notified by the University Registrar.
Time Limits: Maximum time extensions are:
- General Policy: All course requirements must be completed within six weeks of the end of the term.
Exception to general policy: If serious illness continues past the six-week deadline, an extension may be granted. Absolute, extended deadlines are:
- Fall and Interterm courses - August 31 following.
- Spring and Summer Session courses - January 31 following.
- In case of the inability of a student to complete the course work due to circumstances beyond the student's control, the University Registrar will assign a "W" (official withdrawal) for the course grade. (Note: Rosemead graduate programs differ from this policy. Consult the current catalog.)
- It is the responsibility of the instructor to inform the University Registrar when the work is completed. Grades should be submitted to the University Registrar within two weeks after the maximum time extensions.
The faculty member is to report all grades to the Office of the University Registrar on the forms provided no later than five working days after the close of classes. Students will receive grade reports from the University Registrar after grades have been recorded. Students should not be encouraged to visit faculty offices or the Office of the University Registrar for grades. Grades can be posted or communicated to the students at the option of the instructor in a manner that does not violate confidentiality.
A student should be given the privilege of discussing the grade with the instructor, particularly with respect to the basis for calculation of the grade and accurate recording.
The professor should not plan to modify grades after they are recorded. Once a grade has been submitted, the only acceptable reason for its change is that it was in some way improperly computed or recorded. Essentially, a change of grade is justified because of mechanical error in initial computing or recording; a change is not warranted because of reevaluation of the student's performance. It is expected that the grade will be evaluated and assigned correctly the first time.
If a student believes that a grade has been improperly recorded, the student should contact the instructor involved. If the instructor decides that a grade change is warranted, he/she must send a grade change form to the Office of the University Registrar prior to the end of the subsequent semester.
Library: Services and Assignments
The library has been and continues to be developed to include a representative selection of books and journals in all fields of study in the Biola University curricula. The faculty member should be acquainted with the library resources in his/her field which are now on the shelves. Responsibility for adding and discarding material rests jointly with the faculty member, the Collections Development Librarian, and/or the Library Director. New titles that ought to be purchased should be brought to the attention of the department chairperson and the Collection Development Librarian. Six weeks or two months should normally be allowed for the ordering, receiving, and processing of a book before it is needed.
One of the major goals of education is to teach students to study for themselves and to make use of the various materials available. The use of the library by students is largely initiated by faculty. Whenever subject matter is adaptable to reference and research work, assignments should be given which will stimulate students to learn what is available for them in the library.
Well over a thousand different journal titles are available in the periodical section of the library--with active subscriptions placed for somewhat less that number of current issues. The library has the major periodical indexes for every significant field of study and students should be assigned work that will take them into contemporary journal publications.
Books and photocopied material may be placed on Reserve at the request of the instructor--usually indicating the need for a large number of students to read intensively-assigned selections available in limited quantity. Special request forms are available at the Reserve Desk, whereby an instructor may specify titles for limited circulation to students in specific courses. Care must be taken that material to be on reserve is actually among the library’s holdings, that a personal copy is supplied, or that sufficient time is allowed for ordering new titles to meet the class reserve need. The listing of materials on reserve may be constantly reviewed by both students and faculty in the notebooks that are kept at the Reserve Desk. All reserve materials are automatically removed at the end of the teaching period.
Faculty are responsible to ensure that materials placed on library reserve comply fully with all copyright requirements. A current copy of the university’s policy document, “Copyright Requirements Regarding Materials Placed on Library Reserves” is kept on file in each department/school office. Faculty should consult this document periodically to keep abreast of the developments or changes in this area.
Interlibrary loan services are available for faculty and students, including extensive computer verification of where in the nation certain titles may be located. Much of this sort of service is offered at little or no charge. Members of the Biola community desiring to actually use neighboring libraries may request the assistance of the Office of the Library Director in obtaining letters of authorization-introduction to such facilities. Readily accessible in this way is the fine library at nearby California State University, Fullerton, as well as the resources at several neighboring theological schools.
Extensive computer search services on a wide variety of databases are also available to faculty and students, at cost, through the Reference/Information Services Desk.
The professional librarians are eager to cooperate with faculty in offering class instruction in bibliographic technique and the efficient use of resources in various subject areas. These presentations, as well as guided tours of the library, may be arranged with the Public Services/Reference Librarian.
Audio-Visual Materials and the Media Center
Because of the diverse nature of educational materials available, the following division of materials services has been established:
Library: The library is responsible for all books, pamphlets, and related types of materials. If these materials contain audio cassettes, filmstrips, etc. they are then transferred to the Media Center. Microfilm, microfiche, micro card are all library items despite the film format.
Music: Most music records are the responsibility of the Music Department. Music disc recordings, tapes, etc. are housed in this department.
Media Center: Disc and audio recordings of a non-music or elementary school music nature are housed in the Media Center. All spoken, poetic, literature recordings, etc., are also housed there. Projection, audio, video, and related items are primarily Media Center items.
Academic Departments: Departments are responsible for their own specialized types of equipment and material. If this equipment is of a generalized nature usable by several departments in the university, it is then inventoried and circulated through the Media Center.
Equipment Repair: The repair of equipment is the responsibility of the department or school purchasing the item. If you have an item you think the Media Center can repair, consult them. If they repair it, charges will be made to the specific department.
If you have questions concerning the use of certain types of media, contact the Director of the Media Center.
Biola has a growing Media Center available to serve the needs of the faculty and students. The faculty is urged to take full advantage of its services. A manual, Handbook of the Media Center, which describes the functions and services of the department, is available from the Media Center.
Taking classes on field trips is encouraged when these are beneficial to the students. Department chairpersons should be notified of field trip plans in advance of the activity. Discretion should be used in scheduling such activities so that the privilege is not abused, the students are not jeopardized in their overall work, or the work of other faculty members is not impaired. Special considerations are not to be asked, nor expected, from other instructors.