Syllabus Statement Examples

Often we write syllabi as contractual type documents, but these documents often create distance between faculty and student rather than bringing them together. Many Texas State students are first-generation college students and have difficulty navigating the language of the syllabus. Of course you'll need to include the required information, but take this opportunity to use the syllabus as a warm welcome. For example, students often don't know what you mean by "office hours." You could explain to them that you will be in your office (or on ZOOM) waiting to help them personally with questions they have, no appointment necessary.

Texas State syllabus policies and requirements can be found in AA/PPS 02.03.01 section 13.01.

Here are some other syllabus statement examples from faculty members at Texas State and other universities that are intended to create a welcoming environment. If you have developed any statements that you would like to share, please email them to us or submit with the link at the bottom of this page.

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  • It is the University’s goal that learning experiences be as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability, contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible at 512.245.3451 to establish reasonable accommodations. Please be aware that the accessible table and chairs in this room should remain available for students who find that standard classroom seating is not usable.

     UPPS 07.11.04.05

  • “We learn as whole people. To learn effectively you must have basic security: a roof over your head, a safe place to sleep, enough food to eat. If you’re having trouble with any of those things, please talk with me or with the Dean of Students. Together we can work to make sure those needs are met.” - Yvonne Seale, SUNY-Geneseo

    “It can be challenging to do your best in class if you have trouble meeting basic needs like safe shelter, sleep, and nutrition. If you have difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or lack a safe and stable place to live, I urge you to contact XXX and/or me. We are here to help.” - Dalie Jiminez, University of Connecticut

    “The syllabus is an overlooked and undervalued tool. For many law school professors, Fall 2020 required revisiting the usual syllabus format and retooling course expectations.” - Sarah J. Schendel, The Pandemic Syllabus, Denver Law Review

    Basic-Needs-Syllabus-Statement-Welcome-Survey.pdf

  • In our structured and unstructured discussions and dialogues, we also will have many opportunities to explore some challenging issues and increase our understandings of different perspectives. Our conversations may not always be easy; we sometimes will make mistakes in our speaking and our listening; sometimes we will need patience or courage or imagination or any number of qualities in combination to engage our texts, our classmates, and our own ideas and experiences. Always we will need respect for others. Thus, an additional aim of our course necessarily will be for us to increase our facility with the sometimes difficult conversations that arise as we deepen our understandings of multiple perspectives – whatever our backgrounds, experiences, or positions.

    Alisse Portnoy, Introductory-level English class, University of Michigan.

  • As a first-generation faculty member, I understand being the first in your family to attend college can be challenging as you navigate additional obstacles in addition to being a first-year student. We will discuss resources that can help you, including student organizations, mentors and support services. Use them! I did. I am happy to help you connect to resources and services. You have made it this far. Keep going! 

  • Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. I will try to provide any resources or services I may be aware of. 

    Bobcat Bounty is Texas State’s on campus food pantry and distributes food items every Thursday from 5-7 pm.

  • The Honor Code

    1. All faculty, staff and students are responsible for supporting the principles of conscientiousness, respectfulness and honesty and demonstrating a commitment to the university’s Academic Honor Code. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty undermine the very purpose of the university and diminish the value of an education. Specific expectations for academic integrity and sanctions for academic dishonesty are outlined on the Honor Code Council website and in UPPS No. 07.10.01.

    2. As members of a community dedicated to learning, inquiry and creation, the students, faculty and administration of our university live by the principles in this Honor Code. These principles require all members of this community to be conscientious, respectful and honest.
    WE ARE CONSCIENTIOUS. We complete our work on time and make every effort to do it right. We come to class and meetings prepared and are willing to demonstrate it. We hold ourselves to doing what is required, embrace rigor and shun mediocrity, special requests and excuses.
    WE ARE RESPECTFUL. We act civilly toward one another and we cooperate with each other. We will strive to create an environment in which people respect and listen to one another, speaking when appropriate, and permitting other people to participate and express their views.
    WE ARE HONEST. We do our own work and are honest with one another in all matters. We understand how various acts of dishonesty, like plagiarizing, falsifying data and giving or receiving assistance to which one is not entitled, conflict as much with academic achievement as with the values of honesty and integrity.

    The pledge for Students:

    Students at our university recognize that, to ensure honest conduct, more is needed than an expectation of academic honesty, and we therefore adopt the practice of affixing the following pledge of honesty to the work we submit for evaluation: I pledge to uphold the principles of honesty and responsibility at our university.

    3. Honor Code: All students are required to abide by the Texas State University Honor Code. The pledge for students states:

    Students at our university recognize that, to insure honest conduct, more is needed than an expectation of academic honesty, and we therefore adopt the practice of affixing the following pledge of honesty to the work we submit for evaluation: I pledge to uphold the principles of honesty and responsibility at our university.

  • Mental health issues can diminish academic performance and may affect students’ ability to participate in activities. The Counseling Center at Texas State provides free and confidential mental health services on both its San Marcos and Round Rock campuses. For additional information, visit the Counseling Center’s website or call 512.245.2208. Additional resources are available at mindsmatter.vpsa.txstate.edu.

  • Students and faculty are full partners in fostering a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. Our actions should promote respect for both one another and the traditions of collegiate learning. This includes synchronous online sessions such as those conducted in Zoom or MS Teams, among other venues.

    Students are expected to dress and act appropriately and professionally for all video and synchronous sessions. This includes creating videos for classes and participating in real-time video conferences or exams. It is expected that the video is turned on and you be in a private setting. We will not host meetings while you are driving or not in a confidential environment to respect your privacy and ensure your safety. It is also recommended that you use headphones with a microphone to minimize audio interference. Reasonable exceptions to this policy will be made for students who do not have access to a computer, camera, headphones, or internet access.

    Texas State policy (PPS 4.02) states that disruptive behaviors will not be tolerated in any type of learning environment. Examples of such behaviors include but are not limited to: making loud noises, speaking without recognition, making personal threats or insults, eating or drinking in classrooms, sleeping during class, using electronic equipment prohibited by the instructor or disrespectful of other students, using inappropriate or vulgar language, or taking other actions that others might find offensive, demeaning, or disrespectful.

    Any violations of this policy will be dealt with according to TXST policy UPPS No. 07.10.05, Student Behavior Assessment Team.

    For further guidance, please see AA/PPS No. 02.03.02 (4.02) and Section 2.02 of Texas State’s Code of Student Conduct.

Statement to Share?

Send us your statements so we can share them with other faculty on campus.