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Syllabus Suggestions

Academic Honesty Statement

Each faculty should include a statement on Academic Honesty in their syllabi such as:

Students will be expected to adhere to standards of academic honesty and integrity, as outlined in the Standards for Student Conduct Code. All assignments must be original work, clear and error-free. All ideas/material that are borrowed from other sources must have appropriate references to the original sources. Any quoted material should give credit to the source and be punctuated accordingly.
Academic Honesty and Integrity: Students are responsible for honest completion and representation of their work. Your course catalog details the ethical standards and penalties for infractions. There will be zero tolerance for infractions. If you believe there has been an infraction by someone in the class, please bring it to the instructor’s attention. The instructor reserves the right to discipline any student for academic dishonesty, in accordance with the general rules and regulations of the university. Disciplinary action may include the lowering of grades and/or the assignment of a failing grade for an exam, assignment, or the class as a whole. Academic dishonesty cases will be referred to the Dean of Students Office and may result in suspension or expulsion from CSU San Marcos and the CSU System.

It is best for behavioral standards to be published in the syllabus and discussed the first day of class.  Information should specify the behaviors that are prohibited, how you will manage behavioral issues, and the consequences that may result.  Remember, an instructor may ask a student to leave a class session, but may not drop a student from a class for disruptive behavior.  Explaining why your behavior standards are important for the course and how they benefit students can help students understand and abide by established expectations.  A statement in the course syllabus might include:

“Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at Cal State San Marcos, and the University's Academic Honesty Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work.  Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Dean of Students Office. The Standards for Student Conduct Code can be found at”

Classroom Expectations  

Faculty should consider composing and sharing something like this list at the beginning of the semester:

  • I expect you to show civility and human concern for each of those with whom you work and study while presenting a positive attitude and professional demeanor. This includes such things as remaining alert (and awake!) in class, respecting and never interrupting others, limiting private conversations, and keeping phones off.
  • I expect that you will arrive to class on time and, if you must miss class, to let me know in advance by an e-mail or telephone call.
  • When you do arrive late, I expect you to take your seat quietly, not disrupting the class, and join us as soon as you are able.
  • Just as you can expect me to be prepared, I expect you to come to class prepared, having read the assignment beforehand and having thought about how you can participate in that day’s discussion.
  • I expect you to work with your team members and obtain their input when working on group exercises and projects. I also expect you to know when it is not appropriate to work with others and to ask me if there is any question about collaboration.
  • I expect you to understand that this class is a dynamic one, with disagreements, but with respect.
  • I expect you to be truthful and honest in all that you do. Work you submit will meet the academic honesty standards of Cal State San Marcos.
  • I expect that you will appreciate the diversity of our campus and respect the rights of each member.
  • I expect that you will contact me with questions, concerns, or issues which need to be addressed. We are a team and I expect you to be my team mate, as I am yours.
  • I expect you to enjoy our class and time together.
  • I expect you to hold me to these same high standards