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Academic Integrity

“Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner.  Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle.  Consistent with this expectation, the University’s Code of Conduct states that all students should act with personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts.

Academic integrity includes a commitment by all members of the University community not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception.  Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others.”

From Penn State’s University Faculty Senate Policy 49-20

On-line Academic Integrity tutorial


Class Attendance

“The faculty, staff, and other resources of the University are furnished for the education of students who attend the University.  A class schedule is provided for students and faculty so that a reasonably orderly arrangement for instruction is facilitated.  The fact that classes are scheduled is evidence that the faculty believes class instruction is important.  Therefore, class attendance is important for the benefit of students.

Accordingly, it is the policy of the University that class attendance by students be encouraged and that all instructors organize and conduct their courses with this policy in mind. A student should attend every class for which the student is scheduled and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken. In each case, the instructor should decide when the class absence constitutes a danger to the student's scholastic attainment and should make this fact known to the student at once. A student whose irregular attendance causes him or her, in the judgment of the instructor, to become deficient scholastically, may run the risk of receiving a failing grade or receiving a lower grade than the student might have secured had the student been in regular attendance.

Instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for regularly scheduled, University-approved curricular and extracurricular activities (such as Martin Luther King Day of Service, field trips, debate trips, choir trips, and athletic contests). However, if such scheduled trips are considered by the instructor to be hurting the student's scholastic performance, the instructor should present such evidence for necessary action to the head of the department in which the course is offered and to the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled or to the Division of Undergraduate Studies if the student is enrolled in that division.

Instructors also should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss classes for other legitimate but unavoidable reasons. Legitimate, unavoidable reasons are those such as illness, injury, family emergency, or religious observance. If an evaluative event will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the student should contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work. An instructor might not consider an unavoidable absence legitimate if the student does not contact the instructor before the evaluative event. Students will be held responsible for using only legitimate, unavoidable reasons for requesting a make-up in the event of a missed class or evaluative event. Requests for missing class or an evaluative event due to reasons that are based on false claims may be considered violations of the policy on Academic Integrity (Policy 49-20).”

From Penn State’s University Faculty Senate Policy 42-27


Weather/Emergency Course Cancellation Information

In the rare event that the University is closed due to an emergency or weather-related issue, you should not report to your classes.  The closures are enacted to ensure the safety of the University community and it is strongly recommended that you adhere to any directions provided by University officials regarding the emergency or weather issue.

Faculty members reserve the right to cancel individual class meetings.  When possible, efforts are made by the faculty member to inform students via the course syllabus, email, or ANGEL so they aware of the cancellation.


Disabilities Statement

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs.  Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Office for Disability Services (ODS) Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus.  For further information, visit the ODS Web site.   At University Park, the ODS is located in room 116 Boucke Building and can be contacted at 814-863-1807(V/TTY). 

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation.  If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter.  Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible.  You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.  Instructors should be notified as early in the semester as possible regarding the need for reasonable academic adjustments.


Contacting Your Instructors

The contact information for your course instructors should be provided to you in the course syllabus.  The instructor might also include additional information about their preferred mode of correspondence.  No matter the mode of contact, be sure that you are clear and concise with your communications.

Instructor email addresses can also be obtained by searching the University Directory or by clicking the instructor’s name that appears with the course on the Schedule of Courses.

Email is often used to facilitate the interaction with your instructors.  When emailing anyone within the University, you should utilize your Penn State email account.  Here are a few points to remember when sending an email to your instructors:

  • Always error on the side of formality (address your email to Dr. X or Professor X)
  • Do not use “texting language”
  • Include enough information; be specific
  • Allow enough time for a response (at least 24 hours)
  • Proofread your message before sending

    Remember, email is effective for brief communications.  Your instructor may suggest a face-to-face meeting in order to provide a more detailed answer/explanation.

    Learn more about Preparing for Faculty Office Hours

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