in teaching both academic content and the professional values and
habits that will serve students well during their Elon years and
beyond. For example, honesty is the foundation of credibility and
trust. For that reason, we take plagiarism and other forms of cheating
seriously. Similarly, meeting deadlines is an essential professional
habit, for a communicator who misses deadlines or skips assignments
will have a short-lived career. For that reason, we have attendance
policies, withdrawal deadlines and other academic procedures.
Here are areas of expectation from the dean's office in the School
We believe so strongly in the value of small classes that we do
not sign students into already-full classes. Do not ask the dean's
office to override the class cap; we won't do so unless an extraordinary
reason exists (for instance, a senior needs a particular class to
graduate, or a student needs a specific course upon returning from
a semester abroad). Since we offer most courses every year, and
often every term, students will have plenty of opportunity to take
a particular course at a reasonable point in their Elon education.
We encourage our teachers to have attendance policies, starting
with the first day of class. Just as our alumni go to work every
day as professionals, we expect our students to come to class as
scheduled. An attendance policy enforces the fact that there are
consequences connected to the choices we make - whether it was to
stay up late and miss class the next morning, or choose to schedule
an appointment at the same time as a class. We tell students that
the choices they make reveal their priorities, and their first priority
at Elon should be academics. Teachers may award an "F"
to students who violate the attendance policies stated on their
All of us get sick now and then. A student should notify a teacher
in advance and later provide the requisite medical statement. Our
teachers are understanding, and missing a class or two because of
illness seldom harms a student's academic standing. Of course, being
ill does not excuse the consequences of missing course content or
assignments, and a student's grade may suffer if absent at key moments
in the course. If a substantial part of a course is missed because
of lingering illness, the student should retake the course when
he or she is healthy enough to properly complete the requirements
of the course in a timely manner.
A student may drop any class with a "W" (withdrawal without
penalty) through the first half of the term. The date is published
in the Academic Calendar for each term. We advise visiting with
the professor before deciding to withdraw from a course. After the
designated withdrawal date, no class may be dropped. A student who
later experiences health problems and needs to withdraw from all
courses for the term may request a "WD" (medical withdrawal)
from the university.
Students should engage in the free exchange of ideas and opinions
with civility and respect. Incivility and disrespect in the classroom
or outside of class is punishable through Elon's Social Honor Code.
This includes threatening or abusive communication to a teacher,
staff member or other students.
Elon's Academic Honor Code states that an atmosphere of trust is
central to the pursuit of knowledge within an academic community.
Plagiarism and other forms of cheating harm that atmosphere of trust.
If a violation occurs, School of Communications faculty normally
award an "F" for the course and submit an Honor Code violation
to the administration. Sadly, we experienced almost a dozen of these
cases the past year. We advise students to use proper citation in
the writing of term papers and to not become careless or deceptive
in their use of Internet texts. Simply put, it is not acceptable
to download whole sentences or ideas from a source without paraphrasing
the content, or placing in direct quotations, and use of the content
needs proper acknowledgment as well.
Final exams are part of an Elon education. Students should verify
the exam schedule prior to making travel plans, since final exam
dates and times apply to whole classes and are not adjusted for
the travel convenience of individual students.
An "I" signifies an incomplete final grade because of
emergency, extreme hardship or self-paced courses. An "I"
grade normally is not given when a student has missed a substantial
amount of class work; in that case, an "F" is the appropriate
grade so that the student retakes the course to gain the knowledge
expected from the course. A student receiving an "I" must
complete all work no later than nine class days after mid-semester
grades are due during the following semester. Otherwise, the "I"
grade automatically changes to "F."
We want an "A" to mean something special, so we encourage
our faculty to have rigor in their grading policies. An "A"
should signify truly outstanding work in the course, and most classes
will have only a few students whose work consistently rises to this
level. More commonly, students will earn a "B" that signifies
above-average work, or a "C" that signifies that an appropriate
grasp of the subject has been demonstrated. A grade of "D"
indicates a passing performance despite notable deficiencies, and
an "F" indicates failure.
Faculty members are responsible for final grades. If a student wishes
to contest a grade, the student first should talk with the teacher
to determine if a clerical error or other misunderstanding occurred.
If not, then the student can write a basis for appeal to the dean's
office within the first six weeks of the semester following receipt
of the grade, clearly specifying the grounds for appeal. A representative
in the dean's office will meet with the student and teacher and
then decide whether to uphold or recommend modification of the grade.
The teacher's grade shall stand unless evidence is presented of
capriciousness or arbitrariness by the teacher (bias or unfairness
in violation of the course syllabus). If the student wishes to appeal
further, the student's written appeal and the dean's ruling are
forwarded to the Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic
Whenever a student files an appeal, the dean's office will visit
with both the student and teacher in order to make the proper decision.
We believe one of the purposes of a university is to teach students
to articulate their own positions. On occasion, parents inject themselves
into an academic matter involving a son or daughter. We strongly
discourage this. In fact, the U.S. Family Educational Rights and
Privacy Act protects the privacy of educational records and may
prevent us from even discussing academic matters with parents unless
the student has expressly granted permission.
When the joyous
time of graduation comes, we want our students not only to possess
strong concepts and skills about Communications, but to have grown
in maturity and responsibility during their Elon years.