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Academic News and Key Reminders for Faculty and Professional Staff

Winter Quarter 2019

January 7, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to Winter quarter 2019. 

To help you navigate the quarter, this memo provides a few key reminders for the Winter Quarter. 

Academic Calendar

Key dates for Winter Quarter can be found at: https://drexel.edu/provost/calendars/academic-calendars/quarter-2018-2019/

Some key dates for our Winter Quarter are given below:

Winter Quarter 2018-19

Classes begin: Monday, January 7, 2019

Course Add/Drop deadline via DrexelOne (11:00PM): Sunday, January 13, 2019

Martin Luther King, Jr. day (University Holiday): Monday January 21, 2019

Course Withdrawal deadline: Friday, February 22, 2019

Winter quarterclasses end: Saturday March 16, 2019

Ordering Textbooks and Course Materials

The Textbook Selection policy <http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/textbook_selection/> establishes Drexel’s response to student needs and federal compliance regarding the selection and posting of information for textbooks in conjunction with student registration. Faculty are required to provide textbook information in a timely manner through Faculty Enlight; if textbook information is not available at the deadline, a projected decision date must be provided. 

Course Grades, Final Grade Submission and Course Management using Drexel Learn

Grades are to be submitted in accordance with the grade submission deadlines.

All courses are linked to Drexel’s Learning Management System, Drexel Learn. Instructional materials and reference materials should be disseminated through Drexel Learn. Please refer to the Acceptable Use Policy and P2P and Copyright Policy regarding the dissemination of copyrighted materials.

Final grade submissions may be made using the BBLearn gradebook. More information is available on the Registrar grade submission page.

Instructors should continually update course grades in the Drexel Learn gradebook and make use of the weighted average and running total features in order to provide students with current information on their course performance. For information on setting up the Drexel Learn gradebook, please refer to the following links:

For further information, please contact the Instructional Technology Group at itg@drexel.edu.

Students must be provided a substantive grade by week 7, the end of the course withdrawal period.

Policy Notes

Academic policies may be found at http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/overview/. Among various policies that were updated in Fall 2016-17 to better promote student engagement and success, I call your attention to the following policies:

Enrollment Confirmation

All students are required to confirm their term enrollment; they will be alerted to confirm enrollment upon log in to Drexel Connect.

Course Enrollment

Attendance in a class requires official enrollment for two primary reasons:

  • many courses use Drexel Learn (Blackboard Learn) which requires enrollment and students are precluded from access without official enrollment
  • students sitting in class with or without instructor knowledge leads to late add requests; enrollment must be linked to attendance in a class for compliance, data accuracy, and safety
Course Add/Drop

The add/drop period extends through the first week of the quarter.

Course Withdrawal

The withdrawal period begins the second week of the quarter and ends on Friday February 22, 2019.

Academic Integrity

The rationale for the policy is clearly stated: “Drexel University expects all members of its community to uphold the highest values of academic integrity.”  Possible violations include the use of electronic media and self-plagiarism.

Course Repeat

Noting that several Drexel courses require a C grade in their prerequisite courses, this policy reduces the penalty incurred in students’ GPAs for a limited number of instances of sub-par performance. With enhanced advising and tracking of student performance, students will be allowed to petition, upon registering to retake a course that only the highest grade be counted in cumulative GPA. This petition may be sought and used up to a maximum of four separate occurrences in the course of an undergraduate degree. This option is limited to one occurrence for each specific course for courses in which the prior grade was a C- or below. Advisor guidance is required in this process as the petition form can only be retrieved directly from undergraduate advisors.  Notwithstanding, each time a course is taken appears on the transcript and credit toward degree counts only once per course. Students who do not petition the grade substitution option or have exceeded the allowed occurrences for grade substitution, will have all repeated grades averaged into their term and cumulative GPAs. 

Academic Standing – Undergraduate Students

Students may be dismissed and reinstated to the University a maximum of two times. A third academic dismissal will result in final and permanent dismissal from the University without the right to return.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

All students are reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid each year to ensure they are making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).  Withdrawing from courses as well as adding or dropping courses may impact a student’s academic progression and time to degree, Title IV financial aid funding for the term in question, and will be considered in the assessment of Satisfactory Academic Progress. Before withdrawing from class, you are urged to review the impact of withdrawal on their program plan, particularly if withdrawing from critical pre-requisite courses. Contact Drexel Central or your academic advisor to determine the potential consequences of withdrawal on fulfillment of federal financial aid criteria. You are strongly encouraged to review the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy posted on the Drexel Central website.

Please see information on the Financial Aid web site:  http://www.drexel.edu/drexelcentral/finaid/eligibility/terms-and-conditions/satisfactory-academic-progress/

Change of Academic Program - Undergraduate Students

The change of major process has been streamlined.

Statute of Limitations for Change of Grades or to the Academic Record

This policy specifies a one-year timeframe under which appeals for such changes will be considered.

Statute of Limitations on Earned Course Credit

This policy specifies the timeframe for acceptance of courses taken in years prior.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Drexel Learning Alliance

The Learning Alliance is a network of offices on campus and online that support students' academic success including tutoring. By working together, the partner offices ensure students receive guidance and support, and this network provides a direct referral to additional resources when needed. The member offices of the Learning Alliance can be found at http://drexel.edu/studentlife/student_family_resources/learning-alliance/.

Center for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS)

The Center for Learning and Academic Success Services (CLASS) <http://drexel.edu/studentlife/student_family_resources/class/> and empowers students to develop skills and strategies that foster academic success and personal growth through purposeful interactions with peers and professional staff.

CLASS supports Drexel University students' efforts to achieve their academic goals through a variety of services, including Academic Coaching, Tutoring, Teaching GSTD 100: Strategies for Academic Success, Workshops and Events. CLASS also houses several programs that promote student success and academic engagement.

Religious Observances

The Religious Observances Policy http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/religious_observances/encourages respect for the diverse spiritual backgrounds of the Drexel community and sets guidelines to accommodate the observance of religious holidays and practices.  Please review this policy and the Religious Observances Calendar http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/religious_observances_calendar/ which lists dates for most observances that might be invoked. Instructors are expected to provide appropriate accommodations for religious observances. More information on religious accommodations can be found at <http://drexel.edu/studentlife/diversity/spiritual-and-religious-life/religious-accommodations/>.

Absence from Class

In the event of absence due to a routine medical illness, students are to be encouraged notify instructors that they will be unable to attend class and engage in appropriate self-care. Extended absences due to medical illness may require supportive documentation. Syllabi should provide an instructor's policy on absences. Instructors should be familiar with policies on absences due to several factors:

  • Medical illness <http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/absence/>
  • Extended absence - Absence from Class <http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/absence/>
  • Religious observance - Statement on Religious Observances<http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/religious_observances/>
  • Military service - Absence due to Military Service <http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/overview/~/media/Files/provost/policies/pdf/absence_military_service.pdf>
  • University Sponsored Activities - Absence from Class<http://drexel.edu/provost/policies/absence/>

Disability Accommodations

Through the Office of Equality and Diversity’s Disability Resources (DR) team, the University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to ensure equal educational and employment access, including equal access to University courses, programs, facilities, services, and activities. Please see the Office of Equality and Diversity's general policies page to access the Reasonable Accommodation of Individuals with Disabilities policy along with the Service and Assistance Animals Policy.

Students, faculty or staff seeking reasonable accommodations for their disabilities must register with DR to receive an accommodation. It is the individual's responsibility to provide their Accommodation Verification Letter (AVL) to the person facilitating their accommodations in advance of when those accommodations are needed, and to inform them of which of their approved accommodations they are requesting to use. Student AVLs are now provided to instructors electronically using the ClockWork5 system. When providing or facilitating accommodations for students with disabilities, it is important to remember that any student with a disability should be treated exactly the same as all other students, with the only exception being the accommodations specifically stated on the student's Accommodation Verification Letter (AVL). If a student requests an accommodation not listed on their AVL, they must be referred to DR to have those additional requests reviewed and evaluated.

Student statements of honor

In conjunction with the Academic Integrity Policy and the Student Code of Conduct, statements of honor have been approved for the undergraduate student and graduate student populations.

  • Undergraduate Students: As members of the Drexel University undergraduate student body, we seek to uphold a learning environment that embraces preeminent standards of education, integrity, and community. We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that is beyond reproach, adhering to the University's Code of Conduct and Academic Honesty policies. Devoted to the principles of mutual respect, equality, and honor, we assume an obligation to serve one another.
  • Graduate Students: As a Drexel University graduate student and aware of the University's mission, I commit myself to excellence in research, teaching, and service. In furtherance of that aim and because I understand that my actions affect all members of the Drexel community and my profession, I pledge to conduct myself with the highest integrity, honor, and respect in all my endeavors.

Drexel Central: Student Financial & Registration Services

Drexel Central <http://drexel.edu/drexelcentral/> provides services to students and families regarding billing, financial aid and registration issues.  Drexel Central has three offices:

  • University City Campus - Main Building, Room 106
  • Center City Campus - New College Building, Room 1142
  • Queen Lane Campus - Room G-27 

Promoting an Inclusive and Respectful Learning Environment

The mission of the Office of Equality & Diversity (OED) is to promote, support, and sustain a welcoming University environment of equality, fairness and respect that fosters life-long learning through diversity and inclusion. OED is responsible for ensuring equal opportunity and compliance with University policies and federal, state and local laws prohibiting discrimination based upon race, color, religion, gender (sex), marital status, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, and any other prohibited characteristic. Please review the policies: Equality and Non-Discrimination Policy OED-1 and Sexual and Gender-based Harassment and Misconduct Policy OED-3.

For more information, please refer to the WIRED Guide at http://drexel.edu/~/media/Files/oed/PDF/Wired_Guide_Internet.ashx. Students, faculty members, and professional staff with questions about or complaints concerning discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation should contact the Office of Equality and Diversity at 215.895.1405 or OED@drexel.edu. Please visit the OED website and Title IX Resource Page for more information.

Security and Safety on Campus

Drexel University's Department of Public Safety prides itself on maintaining a safe campus environment for its students, faculty, and staff. The members of the Department of Public Safety are committed to the highest standards of quality in promoting a safe and problem-free educational environment. Drexel Public Safety encourages students, faculty, and staff to be alert, take precautions, and report crimes and suspicious activities. Your efforts to stay well-informed and take preventive action will help in maintaining the safest possible environment on Drexel’s campuses. “If you see something, say something.” For emergencies dial 215.895.2222 or 911. For non-emergencies dial 215.895.2822. Encourage students to register their cell phones for DrexelAlert and sign up for Drexel Guardian. The Public Safety website also contains a great deal of information that will help guide you. Here are some of the links that we think will be of great interest and benefit to you:

When a Student Is in Distress: How You Can Help

If confronted with distressing circumstances, students may turn to you as a faculty/staff member for assistance. Your participation in identifying and referring students who are in distress is extremely important. A student can be referred to Counseling Center staff at any time for a variety of services and support, but if a student appears to be in danger of imminent harm to him or herself or others, a referral is necessary. Specifically, if a student has expressed a direct threat to harm him or herself, has indicated that s/he intends to harm someone else, or appears to be potentially violent, you must call Drexel Police at 215.895.2222 or 911 for assistance. You can also contact and the Counseling Center, but it is important to address and control a "threat of harm" situation as quickly as possible. A call to DUPD or 911 is the most effective way in which to manage that type of situation.

The Counseling Center offers resources for faculty and professional staff for assisting a student in a time of distress. The website includes information on:

  • How You Can Help
  • Some Signs and Symptoms of a Student in Distress
  • Guidelines for Intervention
  • How to Make a Referral to the Counseling Center
  • Some Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Please note that a mental health referral or threat of harm action may not necessarily result in a petition for medical leave or student conduct repercussions. The decision to remain in school or pursue care away from the University is entirely up to the student, and conduct charges will be reviewed through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards if the complaint received is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Any student petition for withdrawal will be subject to the University withdrawal policy as outlined by the Office of the Provost.

Working with Drexel Student Veterans and their Dependents, Service Members

Drexel is proud to sponsor the Yellow Ribbon Program and provide educational opportunities for military veterans and their dependents as well as service members (including active duty and National Guard) across all of the University's programs. The University is committed to promoting an environment of support including assessing individual needs and providing services necessary to ensure the opportunity to participate fully in college life while meeting their service requirements. The Office of Veteran Student Services unifies services and support, and provides mentorship for student veterans and their dependents service members. These services include the provision of: admissions assistance; financing & certification of benefits; academic resources and support services referrals.

Please refer to page 11 of the WIRED guide from the Office of Equality and Diversity for a list of best practices to ensure the quality experiences at Drexel for veterans, their dependents, and active military personnel. Faculty or students may contact Dr. Rebecca Weidensaul, Assistant Vice President at 215.895.2501 or rebecca@drexel.edu. For more information, visit the Office of Veteran Student Services at 215 Creese Student Center, 3210 Chestnut Street.

International Students and Scholars Services

All international students should be enrolled full time. The International Students and Scholars Services http://drexel.edu/isss office staff advises international students, scholars and faculty on immigration, cultural and personal concerns. The ISSS office can be found in Main Building, suite 222.

With best wishes for a productive and happy New Year.
Here’s wishing you an interesting Winter quarter,

Shivanthi

Shivanthi Anandan, PhD
Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education