CLASS PARTICIPATION POINTS
As indicated in your syllabus, 5% of your final grade for the course is for “Class Participation.” However, the minute you enrolled in this class you were given that five points. Even if you never speak in class, you will keep that five points* – provided you do not exceed the permitted number of absences.
In a class that meets twice per week, you may take two absences (“cuts”) without penalty. “Without penalty” means that, even after two absences, you will not have lost any of your points for class participation. However, upon the occasion of the third absence, you will lose two points from Class Participation, leaving you with only three. Upon the occasion of your fourth absence, you will lose the three remaining Class Participation points, leaving you with none. Upon the occasion of your fifth absence I reserve the right to drop you from the course.
*Note: in rare cases class participation points will be reduced if a student is disruptive or consistently sets a tone that is counter to the academic environment. See "THIRTEENTH GRADE" in the syllabus.
IF I LOSE ALL OF MY CLASS PARTICIPATION POINTS, CAN I EARN THEM BACK?
In rare cases at the end of the semester I may give points back for Class Participation IF and ONLY IF there was substantial participation on the part of the person involved. Active class participants are students who consistently raise their hand to answer questions, who pose challenging or interesting questions themselves, or who consistently use discussion time to help other students understand the lecture material. This cannot be set up via “arrangement.” In other words, don’t ask for it! If it is deserved, I will provide it at the end of the semester when I am determining your final grade.
WILL YOU MAKE AN EXCEPTION FOR A SERIOUS SITUATION, SUCH AS A DEATH IN THE FAMILY OR IF I AM HOSPITALIZED?
It should be understood at the outset that the two permitted absences are built into the course precisely because people have emergencies that require them to be absent. You should save your absences for just such an event. Very often I have students who have already used their two absences come to me late in the semester asking to be excused from class for a death in the family, a serious illness, etc. Invariably my question is, “Why did you miss class twice already?” Few even recall the reason. It is not inconceivable that someone could have three emergencies in a semester, but it is very unlikely. You have a responsibility to be in class, and you should strive to uphold this responsibility. If you believe you have experienced an unusual number of obstacles beyond your control you may seek me out to discuss your situation. If so, you should be prepared to document your statements. Finally, please understand that I reserve the right to decide if your situation warrants exception to the attendance policy.
WILL YOU STILL COUNT THE ABSENCES IF I BRING YOU VERIFICATION FOR MY ABSENCE, SUCH AS A DOCTOR’S NOTE?
Verification is not usually required. Unless you have had an attendance problem, it really isn’t any of my business why you are absent. This is “grown-up school.” This assumes that you can manage your own affairs and deal with the consequences of your situation. (But see the paragraph above concerning meeting with me.)
WILL YOU COUNT THE ABSENCE EVEN IF IT WAS PLANNED BEFORE I SIGNED UP FOR THE COURSE?
Yes. Also in this regard, please be aware that if your name is on the class roster provided to me by the Registrar, and you miss the first class, you have already accumulated your first absence.
Duty absences are permitted absences by police officers, fire personnel and active military personnel. On occasion I have granted duty absences to medical personnel who can prove that they were “mandated” to work overtime. However, duty absences are not permitted to an unlimited extent. Those who take them are required to verify that they were required to work, and should be prepared to describe the efforts they took to change their schedule. In addition, a student whose academic performance is less than C+ will not be permitted duty absences.
Note: Duty absences are NOT permitted when the student’s regular work shift falls at a time when there is class.
DO YOU COUNT LATENESS AGAINST THE CLASS PARTICIPATION POINTS?
I expect students to arrive on time for class, and generally I have very limited sympathy for repeated lateness; it reflects badly on you as a student (or an employee, etc.) If you are consistently late I am going to call you aside for a discussion about it. If it persists I reserve the right to reduce or eliminate your Class Participation points.
However, there are occasional situations in which lateness is unavoidable for a legitimate reason. If you believe this applies to you, speak to me about this before your tardiness becomes a problem.
HOW IS ATTENDANCE VERIFIED?
For the first few weeks of class I will call out attendance at the beginning of each class. If you arrive later and have not heard your name called, see me after class to let me know you arrived. After the first few weeks I will circulate an attendance roster which you must sign (sign only for yourself) before the end of class. Again, if you are late, you should see me after class to sign it.
If you forget to let me know you were late after attendance was taken, I have no record of your attendance, and you will be counted as absent. If you later mention to me that you were actually in class, I will give you credit for it if I remember you being there, but if I have no recollection of you being in attendance and you have no other verification, you will continue to be listed as absent.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is your responsibility to keep track of your attendance. You may ask for your attendance record at any time by e-mailing me. If you dispute my records, or if you feel that an absence should be excused, you must let me know immediately. I will not change attendance records retroactively. You should treat every absence as seriously as you would treat an absence from a job. You are best advised to make every effort to let me know you arrived late if you arrive after I have taken attendance or passed around the sign-in sheet. If you are absent, send me an e-mail letting me know the circumstances.
DID YOU KNOW?
The SCCC Administration officially
recognizes ONLY COMMUNICATIONS THAT UTILIZE THE COLLEGE EMAIL SYSTEM
(@sunysuffolk.edu). Therefore, if you wish to have your
email contacts with me formally "on record" (a wise idea if we are in dispute),
be sure to use YOUR college email address to contact me at MY college email
During the semester I check this mailbox every day that the system is operating.
DID YOU KNOW? The SCCC Administration officially recognizes ONLY COMMUNICATIONS THAT UTILIZE THE COLLEGE EMAIL SYSTEM (@sunysuffolk.edu). Therefore, if you wish to have your email contacts with me formally "on record" (a wise idea if we are in dispute), be sure to use YOUR college email address to contact me at MY college email address: Morser@Sunysuffolk.edu. During the semester I check this mailbox every day that the system is operating.