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FAQ:  Students


What should I do if I think a student might need mental health counseling?

If you feel that a student is depressed or otherwise might need mental health counseling, you should not hesitate to refer him or her to our Office of Advising and Counseling.  Depending on the seriousness of the situation, you can go about it in a few different ways.  You could recommend the student go down to Advising and Counseling (1st floor of College Center) and meet with a counselor.  If you feel the situation is more serious, you can walk the student directly to that office and ask that a counselor see the student immediately.  If you'd like to speak with someone about your student, please contact the Office of Advising and Counseling.


What should I do if a student is being disruptive in class?

Please see this handout (.docx)  for ways to deal with various levels of disruptive behavior in the classroom.  If you'd like to speak with someone about your student, please contact Jason Fredericks, Assistant Dean of Student Services (x8311).


What should I do if a student asks for accommodations for a physical or learning disability?

Please see our FAQ on Support Services for information about accommodations.  Faculty may not provide any accommodations without an official letter from the Office of Disability Services that outlines the kinds of accommodations to which a student is entitled.


Do students receive an orientation?  What about a study skills class?

All new students are encouraged to attend ROARS (Raritan Orientation, Advising and Registration Session), the college’s new student orientation sponsored by the First-Year Experience Program.  There is also a college-credit course called The College Experience which focuses on providing students with not only study skills but also a variety of tools for navigating college life.


What happens if students on the roster don't show up for the first day of class?

This is likely to happen to a small handful of students. You are encouraged to email them as soon as you can and advise them to attend the next class fully prepared. It's possible that some of the students who don't show up have no intention of attending. In this case, if a student is still on the roster but has never attended when you receive what we call the 10th day roster (the roster that becomes official on the 10th day of the semester), you can administratively withdraw the student. If students on the roster miss the first day but then show up, you can encourage them to catch up immediately and make them aware of your attendance policy.


What should I do if a student shows up to class but isn't on the roster?

You should send students who do not appear on your class roster to Enrollment Services (College Center, 1st floor) to confirm that they are registered for your class.  In order to return to the class students need a receipt from the Finance Office showing that they have registered and paid for it. Students who are not on the roster are not officially registered and are not permitted to attend class, sit for exams, or submit assignments.


What if a student misses a required in-class essay?

This is at your discretion. You could contact the student, and if there is a valid excuse, you could have the student make it up in the Testing Center.  It's helpful if your syllabus includes a statement regarding this situation. For example, you could say, "Make-up in-class essays will only be given in the case of a documented emergency."  If you have extra in-class essays, a student missing one will not necessarily jeopardize his or her grade.  However, if you just assign the three required in-class essays (including the final in-class essay for English Composition I, or the final exam for English Composition II), you might consider being flexible about the student making up that in-class essay so he or she doesn't automatically fail the class for missing an in-class essay.


What if a student doesn't turn in the required work?

Your syllabus (as well as individual essay assignments) should spell out your policy regarding late work. For example, some faculty drop an essay’s grade for every day it’s late. If a student is not handing in the required work during the first part of the semester, you should give the student a Midterm Warning grade.  If a student continues not to submit work (but still comes to class), the student will fail the course.


What should I do if a student turns in an essay that does not fit the assignment?

If the student seems to have misunderstood the assignment, you could require a mandatory revision and clarify the assignment’s requirements with the student.  If the student wrote the paper for another class, then that is a violation of academic integrity. The Student Handbook specifies that "[s]ubmitting work for a grade that was executed in another or previous semester without the instructor's permission" is a violation of the academic integrity policy.  If the paper included research but the assignment did not call for research to be done, that may be a clue that there is plagiarism.  If you are unsure of what to do, consult the Chair of the English Department.


What if a student doesn't show up to take the final?

If a student doesn't show up but contacts you regarding an emergency, you could put the final exam in the Testing Center if the student can make it up right away.  Otherwise, you could give a grade of “incomplete” (assuming the student's situation warrants that). If a student doesn't show up and doesn't contact you, then his or her grade for the final would become an F (as would missing any other assignment). Failing the final does not necessarily mean failing the class.


What if I have a student who needs help with his or her typing skills?  What assistance is available?

The Academic Support Center can help students learn to use TypingWeb to improve their typing skills.  The program is free and web-based, so students can use it themselves independently of the ASC; working with a tutor is not required. 


What if a student says he or she cannot afford to buy the books for the class?

There are opportunities for students to get financial assistance with textbooks.  Students in this situation should consult with the staff in the Financial Aid Office.

Please also remind your students that the books used in ICRC I, ICRC II, English Composition I (with and without Workshop) and English Composition II are on reserve at the RVCC library.  Students who can not buy or rent their textbooks immediately can xerox the readings from the reserve copies until they get their own copy of the book.


What if students don't want to write in their books because they’ve rented them or want to sell them back?

It's important that students are fully aware of the bookstore’s textbook refund policy and buyback policy. It seems that many students do not write in their books because they think it will lower the amount of money they would get for them.  Students are able to underline, highlight, and annotate their books even if they have rented their textbooks or want to sell them back to the bookstore at the end of the term.  The bookstore’s policy states that “Writing, highlighting and underlining are acceptable” when it comes to buyback and rented books.  Students should check with the bookstore for more information, including problems that do impact the book’s value.

Instructors should include a statement about this policy in their syllabi.  See the common syllabus for English Composition I on the English Composition I resources page for an example of such a statement.


For students who want more experience writing, what kinds of writing-related opportunities are there at RVCC?

Students can get involved in the school newspaper, The Record.  The English Department also offers ENGL 248: Creative Writing I and ENGL 249: Creative Writing II, and there is a Writing for the Media course (COMM 251) offered through the Communication and Languages department that students could take in conjunction with working on the school newspaper.  The college also has a Literary Club that produces an anthology of student work.




Updated 6/23/14 by SA

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