Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • University Academic Senate / Provost

Responsible Office
Provost Office


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Instructional Policies

SG 3.04

  1. Policy Statement
  2. History

Policy Statement

In order to help ensure a quality educational experience, GVSU has established basic expectations instructors must meet when teaching a course.  It is important that students enrolled in a course receive timely and accurate information about the course.  In addition, faculty must fulfill obligations to be present to students both during class time and outside of class.

A.  Absence from Class

Faculty members are responsible for meeting all classes for which they are scheduled. If faculty members are absent from teaching responsibilities due to illness, they should notify their unit heads and students should be notified through Blackboard or other electronic means as early as possible. 

In those cases where absences can be anticipated, approval for such absences must be obtained from the unit head. The faculty members are then responsible for arranging for substitutes or otherwise covering their teaching assignments.

Classes must be held for the duration of the semester and for the scheduled amount of time.

B.    Change of Instructor, Time, or Place of Meeting

Change of instructor, time, or place of meeting for a scheduled class may be made only with the approval of the unit head and the Dean of the College. The office of the Dean of the College sends changes to the Registrar's Office where a current master schedule is maintained.

C.   Information Given at Beginning of Semester

Students should be provided with a course syllabus, in paper or electronic form, containing at least the following:

1.   General course information.  Instructor name, contact information, office hours, and required resources such as textbooks should all be specified.  Prerequisite courses listed in the catalog need not be reproduced but if specific prerequisite skills or knowledge are necessary they should be pointed out to students here.

2.   Learning objectives. The student learning objectives listed in the syllabus of record must all be represented in the objectives listed in the course syllabus, though the course syllabus may be more specific and may include additional objectives.

3.   Kinds of activities and assessments to be used.  This need not be a detailed list but should give students a clear idea of the kinds of work to be expected: projects, papers, in-class exams, field trip reports, etc.

4.    Grading scheme.  This section should give students a clear idea of the relative importance of different kinds of assessments and the basic scheme that will be used to assign final grades.

5.    Course specific policies.  The syllabus should describe the instructor's policies that apply to this particular course on topics such as attendance, makeup mechanisms for missed work, late assignments, handling of academic misconduct, etc.  If the course is subject to particular GVSU requirements (for example, those for SWS or General Education courses), pointers to those requirements should be given.

6.    The following statement should appear on the syllabus: This course is subject to the GVSU policies listed at http://www.gvsu.edu/coursepolicies/.  
       Faculty members should review this list each semester and familiarize themselves with the various GVSU policies listed.

D.  Faculty Availability to Students 

Members of the faculty are expected to publish office hours.  For a standard teaching load, instructors should be accessible to students for a minimum of one hour per week for every three credits taught.  Availability can be a combination of in-person office hours and on-line communication, including virtual office hours.  Each instructor must be reasonably available to meet with students in person.

E.    Selection of Textbooks

Faculty members are responsible for submitting information on textbooks and other required material for their courses when such information is requested from the University Bookstore.  Policies concerning use of self-authored textbooks may be found in Senior Leadership Team [SLT 3.12 ]Textbooks and Course Materials Policy.

F.     Culminating Experience

Instructors are expected to provide a culminating experience for each course.  This experience should be held at the same time and location scheduled by the Registrar.  Any exceptions must be approved by the appropriate academic dean.


August 27, 2019 - Changed "President's Cabinet" to "Senior Leadership Team"

May 31, 2019 - SG 3.04 Faculty Teaching Requirements (Selected) renamed Instructional Policies
-  Section A , C, and D amended

January 7, 2019 - FH 3.03 A-E retitled to SG 3.04

May 15, 2017 - FH 3.03.A "Absence from Class" amended

May 15, 2017 - FH 3.03.C "Information Given at First Class Meeting" amended 

May 15, 2017 - FH 3.03.E "Selection of Textbooks" amended

April 25, 2018 - FH 3.03 F "Culminating Experience" added April 25, 2018