Welcome to UConn's Department of Human Development & Family Studies, which for over a century has been producing, using, and sharing practical knowledge about human development, family relations, and the family in society. The Department's faculty and administrators are committed to creating a social and intellectual climate that enhances both the learning experience of students and the teaching experience of instructors. We strive to be responsive to student needs and to create an atmosphere in our classes that promotes student involvement and academic rigor. At the same time, it is the faculty's expectation that students will participate actively in their own education -- challenge themselves, take responsibility for their learning, and capitalize on the unique opportunities available in the Department of Human Development & Family Studies.
Because students and instructors occupy reciprocal and interdependent positions in the university, this document addresses both students' and instructors' needs and obligations.
The following items constitute what we believe are rightful expectations on both sides, expectations deserving specific mention because their violation can cause serious disruption of the educational process. The faculty and students who developed this statement hope that with a shared understanding of these rights and responsibilities, and with a cooperative spirit of academic partnership, students and instructors together will be able to enjoy an effective climate for teaching and learning.
Student Rights / Instructor Obligations
Students taking HDFS courses can expect:
A clear, complete syllabus distributed at the first class that includes a(n):
- Listing of all course requirements with due dates;
- Explanation of grading criteria that are compatible with the University's policies, including the use of + and - grades;
- Statement of how attendance and class participation contribute to the grade;
- Policy regarding missed exams; and a
- Policy regarding missed or late assignments.
An experienced and trained instructor who:
- Prepares a focused and well-organized educational experience for each class session;
- Begins and ends class on time;
- Returns graded exams and assignments within a reasonable time (normally two weeks);
- Speaks respectfully to students in and out of class;
- Works to maintain an orderly and constructive class atmosphere, and manages class discussion in a manner respectful of all persons and open to diverse opinions;
- Posts and maintains regular office hours;
- Schedules and keeps appointments with students for the purposes of class consultation and positive classroom learning experiences, and notifies students in advance if appointments need to be rescheduled;
- Responds to students' e-mail and voice-mail messages (normally within five working days);
- Adheres to the University's policy prohibiting discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, disabled veteran status, physical or mental disability, mental retardation, and other specifically covered mental disabilities( www.diversity.uconn.edu/diversity.html); students who need special accommodations due to a disability should consult with each of their course instructors at the beginning of the course and review the information available from the Center for Students with Disabilities (www.csd.uconn.edu/);
- Respects and protects student confidentiality rights according to University policy, which includes federal and state regulations; and
- Provides students with information concerning the procedures for handling complaints and grievances. (Students are encouraged to consult the University of Connecticut's Student Code ( www.dosa.uconn.edu/student_code.cfm for information regarding general university policies with respect to student grievances.).
Instructor Rights / Student Obligations
Instructors teaching HDFS courses can expect:
- Students who are fully prepared to engage in course learning experiences and who:
- Familiarize themselves with the course syllabus, WebCT and Vista information, and other course related expectations at the beginning of the semester;
- Attend class regularly and give their full attention to class activities without the distraction of newspapers, internet use, text messaging, etc.;
- Arrive on time and remain until the end of the class, or, when that is impossible, inform the instructor in advance of extenuating circumstances and consult with the instructor on ways to minimize disruptions to the class that might result from late arrival or early departure;
- Turn off cell phones and pagers before the class begins;
- Obtain and read required materials;
- Complete all reading and written assignments on or before due dates;
- Prepare and present to the instructor at an appropriate time questions and points for clarification.
- Submit assignments on time and in the designated format, or inform the instructor in advance if a submission deadline will be missed;
- Take final exams during the official university sanctioned examination schedule, or, when that is impossible, petition the Office of Student Affairs as specified in University policy;
- Follow the University of Connecticut's Student Code, specifically including policies regarding cheating and plagiarism (see www.dosa.uconn.edu/student_code.cfm );
- Discuss with the instructor any problems they are having with the class;
- Arrive on time for appointments, or, when necessary, notify the instructor in advance to reschedule or cancel;
- Use proper terms of address with the instructor (usually "Dr." or "Professor") and with their peers; and
- Engage in class discussion and individual conversation in a manner respectful of all persons and open to new opinions and insights.
Updated, August 2006