Below we have provided some helpful syllabus language you can use as part of your course.  Feel free to steal an adapt to your needs – no attribution needed!

Encouraging Sharing of Concerns:

One of the best ways to support students in your classroom is to make sure it’s part of the first conversation you plan to have with them.  Below, we have included some language for classroom syllabi that encourages students to share when they notice behavior that concerns or worries them.  Please use this language when communicating with students about classroom expectations.

  • Supporting Fellow Students in Distress:  As members of the Elon community, we each share a personal responsibility to express concern for one another and to ensure that this classroom and the campus as a whole remains a healthy environment for learning.  Occasionally, you may become worried or concerned about a fellow classmate’s well-being.  When this is the case, I would encourage you to share these concerns with me or to Elon’s Student Care and Outreach program (  Although you can report anonymously, it is preferred that you share your contact information so they can follow up with you personally.

Encouraging Early Communication and Classroom Fairness:

Below we have included syllabus language for attendance, missed assignments, and late assignments that encourage early and proactive communication.  For more tips, visit our page on how to balance classroom fairness with individual support.

  • Missed Classes: “Any student who needs to miss a class for unavoidable, extraordinary circumstances must notify me prior to the start of class.  Any absence regardless of reason or excuse (but with an exception for incapacitation) that occurs without prior notification is considered unexcused and will result in a X-point deduction from the student’s final grade.“
  • Missed Quizzes and Tests: “Any student who will miss a quiz or test for unavoidable, extraordinary circumstances must notify me prior to the start of class in order to schedule a make-up opportunity.  All missed quizzes or tests must be made up within X class periods of the student’s absence in order to obtain full credit. Failure to schedule or make up a missed quiz or exam within X class periods will result in a zero for that quiz or test.”
  • Late Coursework: “All assignments are due by the start of class on the date indicated in the syllabus.  No late assignment will be accepted without an email from the student before the start of class sharing that the assignment will be turned in after the deadline.  Grading for late assignments: assignments turned in after the start of class will immediately have X% of the total points available deducted from the grade for that assignment.   Each subsequent 24 hour period following the start of class will result in an additional X% deduction in the total available points.  Example: A 10 point assignment is posted to Moodle 5 minutes after the start of class.  The student can achieve a maximum of N points (loss of X%).  Example: A 10 point assignment is posted on Moodle 25 hours after the start of class; the student can achieve a maximum of M points (X% immediate loss + X% for each 24 hours = Y point loss).   No credit will be given for final exams that are turned in late.”