Useful Information for Mathematics Faculty
FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law to protect student privacy. The short version: don't make information about a student available to anyone other than that student or an SCC employee with a legitimate need to know. In addition to protecting students' privacy, keeping information about the location or grades of a student private may also protect their safety. For loads more details, here's some official information and the Wikipedia entry. Examples:
Office Hours: Faculty are required to hold office hours for a minimum of 1/3 hour (meaning a 50-minute "academic hour") per week per credit taught (e.g. about 1.5 actual hours if you're teaching one 5 credit class, or 3 actual hours for 10 credits). Post your office hours schedule on your office door using the form emailed to the division each quarter, and send the information to the Division Secretary. Inform the Division Secretary if you are going to miss some office hours. If you miss office hours without taking leave (e.g. sick leave or professional leave), the time must be rescheduled, and the rescheduled time should be included when you contact the Division Secretary.
Syllabi: Syllabi are required by the College for all credit courses. Please read Policy 6100 for instruction on syllabus content. If possible, post your syllabi online instead of printing a copy for every student to reduce the department's printing costs.
Class Rosters/Assigning Grades: You may view your class roster online at any time via Instructor Briefcase. See human resources for an ID number and pin. Towards the beginning of the quarter, use the roster to make sure that all of the students attending your class have registered. At the end of the quarter, you'll input your grades on Instructor Briefcase.
Grading: Instructors may report grades from 0.7 to 4.0 in 0.1 increments, and the grade 0.0. Grades from 0.1 to 0.6 may not be assigned. Decimal grades may be considered equivalent to letter grades as follows:
The following letter grade symbols are also used:
Explanations of these grades, to help you determine when to use them, can be found in Policy 6260.
Most math courses have student option grading. This means that students will be assigned a grade point at the end of the quarter, or they may choose to be graded on the Pass/0.0 or Pass/No Credit scales. If your course is numbered above 100, students who choose the alternate grading must submit a Pass-Option form, signed by their instructor, to the registration desk no later than the end of the day at the midpoint of the quarter. If your course is numbered below 100, students may change to P/0.0 or P/NC grading at any time up through the last day of instruction. Rather than turning in a form to registration, they should make the request to you in writing.
Use of State Resources: Teaching for SCC means you're a state employee, and resources provided by SCC (including office phones, computers, and your SCC email account) are considered state resources. As such, they are to be used primarily for your SCC work. Personal uses, such as a phone call for a non-work reason, are only allowed if such use is brief, infrequent, not for an activity from which you profit, not disruptive of any SCC work, and other state guidelines. Your emails through your SCC account are public record - that doesn't mean that the public can view them, but they could be subpoenaed if necessary (though this is extremely rare - but for your protection and to follow the law, use a non-SCC email account for non-work emails).
Using Campus Phones: To make on-campus calls, just dial the 4-digit extension. To make a local off-campus call, dial 9 for an outside dial tone and complete the call as usual. For work-related long distance calls, contact the Division Secretary to get a SCAN code.
Waitlists/Overloads: If your class is full, a waitlist will be in effect for the first three days. Any time an enrolled student drops, the student at the top of the waitlist will automatically be enrolled. If the class is full and students ask to be added to your class, it's your decision whether or not you want to overload your class. If you decide to do so, some considerations: (1) If the waitlist is in effect, make sure you take students in the order that they're waitlisted. (2) Ask students who are not waitlisted to get on the waitlist instead of signing them in ahead of waitlisted students. (3) Use the gold half-page overload form in addition to the white schedule change form. (4) If students ask to be signed in after the waitlist period ends, make sure they've met the prerequisites before signing the form.
Final Exam Scheduling: To make sure the final exam for your class doesn't conflict with your students' other finals, the exam must be given at the time indicated on the final exam schedule in your usual classroom. Giving the final at any other time requires approval from the Dean.
Smoking Policy: Smoking on College grounds is permitted only in designated areas.
Textbooks and Online Homework: The math department has chosen the texts we use for each course we offer. To get a copy of the assigned text for your course, see the department chair. You may wish to use an online homework system such as WAMAP, Math XL, or Enhanced Web Assign in one of your classes; for more information on this, please speak to the Department Chair.
Safety and Security: For emergencies, using a campus phone, dial 4499 or make an outside call to 911 (9-911), or send a student who knows the nature of the problem and the room number to make the call. For non-emergencies, dial 4633. For weekend and after-hours facility matters, call the Safety and Security Pager number 969-8723. If you're on campus at night, you might want to put these numbers in your cell phone.
Student Conduct Issues: For issues with students that are beyond minor issues you can quickly resolve (i.e., beyond, say, students who chat during class but cease when asked), contact the appropriate authority. In some cases, it may be appropriate to contact more than one person. In addition to taking the problem out of your hands, contacting authorities allows the college to keep records on student issues and adapt their response if there is a second or third offense reported by other faculty.
Math Faculty Canvas Classroom: Math faculty members have access to our online Canvas "classroom". Lots of helpful information can be found here, including minutes from math department meetings, information about our courses, Course Information Letters (see below), and a few shared teaching materials. To log into the "classroom", go to http://canvas.shoreline.edu and log in. Once logged in, you should see our classroom (Master Department Math Faculty) listed as one of the courses you are taking. Just click on its name and start exploring! If you don't see it, contact the Department Chair.
Course Information Letters: Make sure you get the Course Information Letter for every course you teach - it tells you exactly which textbook sections to cover, and other guidelines. Course Information Letters, and a related document, the Master Course Outlines, are among the most important resources on the Math Faculty Canvas site, though you can also request them from the Department Chair. Be sure to look at both before teaching a course for the first time.
Supplies: Need a pen or whiteboard marker? They and other supplies can be found in the workroom 2800 building, or in the Information Office (5390) on the third floor of FOSS. If you can't find what you're looking for, ask a secretary.
Important Dates: It helps to be aware of Important Dates such as the last day that students can withdraw with a W grade. Check out the Shoreline calendar for that information and all sorts of other ongoings; there are links in the left-hand column to the academic calendars, which show dates of instruction, holidays, and when grades are due.
Faculty Bargaining Agent: The exclusive bargaining representative for all faculty is the Shoreline Community College Federation of Teachers (SCCFT), which is affiliated with the WFT/AFT/AFL-CIO. Every academic employee has the right to join and support the Federation, to engage in collective bargaining, negotiation, and other activities related to employment as a faculty member at Shoreline. Dues are deducted from your paycheck whether or not you join, since you are affected by the work of SCCFT. For further information about Federation membership, contact the Federation office (ext. 4535) or the Federation President.
Student Access to Textbooks and Calculators: Most SCC Math classes require a textbook, and some require a graphing calculator. If a student tells you they can't afford one of these materials, here are some resources you can tell them about:
Resources to help students: In addition to the textbook and your office hours, SCC students have several other resources for help, some of which they might not know about.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: You'll receive notification from the Office of Student Services if there is a student in your class who is approved to receive accommodations for a disability, and what accommodations they may receive. If a student requests any other accommodation, direct the student to request it through OSS.
Assessment and Placement: In order to take a math class above MATH 060 (Basic Math) at SCC, a student must meet the prerequisite, usually an appropriate score on the COMPASS placement test, a 2.0 or better in the previous math class, or instructor permission. It's common for students to come to you the first few days of the quarter asking to add your class with a registration form for you to sign. If they aren't on the waitlist, their prerequisites haven't been checked, so make sure they've met the prerequisite before signing them in since your signature allows them to get into the course. The simplest way to verify a prerequisite is to ask them to bring you a copy of their COMPASS scores or a transcript with their previous math class. You can find a link to the Placement Chart with COMPASS cut-off scores on this prerequisites page. If you are not sure whether or not a student has met a prerequisite, send them to a math advisor (any full time math faculty member or the Math Learning Center Director) or have them email email@example.com .
Closure of College: When it snows, the College will not be closed as long as campus parking lots, roadways, and walks can be kept open. If the college does close due to snow or other emergencies, the College President or a designated representative may cancel classes and close the college. Announcements will be made over select radio and television stations, including KING, KIRO and KOMO, online at SCC's main website and the Intranet, as well as on all staff telephones via the voicemail system. Conditions might be worse at SCC than near your home - if you see any snow at all, check the college website before heading to work.
Medical, Dental, and Life Insurance: To be eligible for state-paid healthcare/insurance benefits, you must have a .50 FTE (full-time equivalency) or higher appointment for two consecutive quarters. That means teaching at least 7.5 credits. Spring and fall are allowed to be considered consecutive quarters. Eligibility begins at the start of the second consecutive quarter. You may also become eligible for these benefits if you combine teaching employment at more than one state college to equal .50 FTE. Contact human resources at ext. 4769 for more information.
Everything Else: Yeah, there's a lot to know. If you have further questions or want advice, the Department Chair and the Division Secretary are two great resources. Other math faculty members are also happy to help.