Classroom and Course Policies


Classroom and Course Policies

Attendance Policy: You are required to be in class every day. Media professionals are expected to be at work every day—the news doesn’t stop—and you will be treated no differently. You will be completing graded assignments and writings during class, so if you miss a session, it will have a negative impact on your grade. The School of Communications attendance policy is attached above, but to reiterate, it says: “A student who misses more than 20 percent of scheduled classes in a term (more than eight absences for classes meeting three times a week, more than five absences for classes meeting twice a week) automatically receives an F because the student has missed too much content and participation to pass a course in a professional school. Teachers will lower the final grade in a class for each absence beyond the equivalent of one week of class (three absences for classes meeting three times a week, two absences for classes meeting twice a week, and one absence during winter term or a summer session) as indicated in the course syllabus. An exception may exist for a student who misses more than a week of classes for a sanctioned university activity, such as presenting research at a national forum, class travel or university athletic travel. Students participating in such events must submit a written request in advance to the professor.” Please note, as well, that arriving late to class is unacceptable. Every two times you’re late will count as an absence, so be on time.

Coursework: This includes all in- and out-of-class assignments and examinations. If you miss a class because of illness, participation in a university-sponsored activity, job interview or other causes, I may assign additional work. If you have an excused absence, you may be allowed to make up the work you missed on the same deadlines. You may not, however, make up work if you have an unexcused absence.

You are required to take the final exam at the scheduled time. You will know far in advance the date and time of the final. There’s rarely an excuse for missing a final. Students who know they will miss a final exam must secure permission for a makeup from the department chair of the School of Communications.

Preparation: Follow the syllabus closely. Be sure to complete all assignments before you come to class. Be sure not to miss your deadlines, which are rigid for a reason. You are training to become a professional communicator. You will be expected to turn in assignments on time in the professional working world. I expect the same from you in class.

Honor Code: All work done in this class is expected to be your own. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE OR FABRICATE! I will spot-check your work periodically throughout the semester to ensure that all work is original and not lifted or completely made up. You may not recycle someone else’s work or your own. You may not lift material from another source without proper attribution. If you plan to paraphrase material, the words you write must be substantially different from the material from which you’re working. Even in that instance, though, give credit where credit is due. Attribution is key. If you do one-on-one interviews for an outside assignment, you must provide me with names and contact information so I can ensure that all quoted material is accurate. If you are caught plagiarizing or fabricating or simply masquerading someone else’s ideas as your own, you will receive a failing grade for that assignment. If you deliberately fabricate a story, I will fail you for the course.

All students are expected to uphold the four fundamental values of the Elon Honor Code:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Responsibility
  • Respect

Breaches of these values will result in an academic or social honor code violation report.  Honor code violations include: plagiarism, lying, cheating, stealing or vandalism, and facilitating academic dishonesty.  These violations may result in the lowering of a grade or failure of a class.  While “intent” may be considered in assigning sanctions, it is not a factor in determining responsibility for an offense.  Students should consult with their professor if they are uncertain about whether specific activities are violations of the honor code.

Definitions and examples of each of the Honor Code violations above may be found at

Students with Challenges: Students with challenges, including physical challenges, learning disabilities or serious health concerns, should discuss their needs with me and provide me with the Elon documentation available to students with special needs. If you have a concern, and you do not have documentation, contact Susan Wise for more information. Office phone: 336-278-6500. E-mail: Necessary accommodations can be arranged.