STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Prior to the commencement of all courses, the Instructor of Record must provide a course syllabus, placed on an electronic course management system, (referred to below in its current form, as Moodle,) indicating the following:
Faculty Office Hours
Faculty are expected to be available for conferences with students during times when students/faculty are not otherwise assigned (ie: lecture, lab, clinic, or research activities). Conferences may be requested either by instructors or students.
All new courses (including electives) or any major modifications proposed to the curriculum must be submitted through the Curriculum Committee.
Credit for coursework will be computed as follows:
One lecture hour = one credit.
Class scheduling is the responsibility of the Registrar and the Office of Academic Affairs. Schedules will be distributed to chairpersons, clinic chiefs, students and faculty prior to the beginning of the term.
In the event that it becomes necessary to make a change in a lecture or laboratory schedule (lengthening, shortening, adding, canceling or rescheduling), the Registrar must be notified at least five working days prior to the change to avoid conflicts. No changes will be made without written approval by both the Department Chair and the Dean for Academic Affairs. It is the responsibility of the Instructor of Record to communicate directly with the students regarding any modifications of class schedule, time or location. Any permanent changes, after being approved by both the Dean and the Office of Student Affairs, should be communicated by the Registrar.
The switching of times with another instructor should also be handled in a similar manner, since there are some classes that do not have the full roster of students attending.
Elective courses will be offered to students periodically from a catalog of Curriculum Committee approved courses maintained by the Registrar. Courses will be opened for registration prior to the term and filled on a first-come-first-serve basis until limits are reached.
Elective courses will be graded on an "honors-pass-fail" basis. The instructor shall provide the student with a statement of the criteria for awarding the appropriate grade.
If a student withdraws from an elective course within one week of the first meeting, no notice shall appear on the transcript. If a student withdraws after this period, a "W" shall appear on the transcript indicating withdrawal.
Instructors of Record may retain the services of guest lecturers with specific expertise on a particular topic. Guest lecturers may not work for or represent industry in the delivery of specific material without permission of the Department Chairs and Dean for Academic Affairs. Funds for payment for guest lecturers come from departmental budgets and must be requested and approved by the Department Chair prior to the term the course is taught.
Attendance in Courses and Clinic
Policies regarding attendance in courses are determined by the Instructor of Record. A clear statement of the policy and its use in grading will be articulated to the students in the course syllabus and at the beginning of class. Unless explicitly stated, attendance in classes, seminars, or laboratories, is at the discretion of the student, who is responsible for all requirements, including those requiring participation, material, and assignments covered in the course. Students missing any class, seminar, lab, or clinic may not expect special accommodations without prior specific requests to the Instructor of Record who has full discretion on such matters.
Attendance in clinic assignments is always mandatory. Procedures for dealing with anticipated absence and appropriate penalties or disciplinary action for failure to follow these procedures are established and communicated to the students by the Department of Clinical Education.
Leave from Courses and Clinic
Students wishing to attend international, national or state-wide optometric activities or major academic meetings on days when classes and/or clinics are scheduled must request an excused absence for the activities they will be missing. Students must make the request in writing at least 4 weeks in advance to the course Instructor of Record (IOR) and/or respective Service Chief(s) (for internal clinics), or primary clinic supervisor (for external clinics).
Students with excused absences are responsible for any missed material or assignments and may be required to switch sections to make up a missed lab or clinic. Any excused absence will be granted at the discretion of the IOR, Service Chief, or external site supervisor, and may be denied if it coincides with a written test, quiz or practical assessment, or if the student’s course performance is unsatisfactory. Any change in class or testing schedule to accommodate an excused absence is at the discretion of the Instructor of Record. If a large percentage of the class seeks permission to attend an activity at the same time, the instructor may elect to reschedule or hold class at his or her discretion. Students are responsible for making up any examinations or assessments that may be missed during their absence.
Students may appeal a decision relating to this policy in writing to the Dean for Academic Affairs.
Leave of Absence
Upon petition in writing to the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs, a student in good standing may be granted up to a one year leave of absence in extenuating circumstances. Details are available in the Student Handbook.
Permission to audit is on a space-available basis, in compliance with appropriate state statutes, and is at the discretion of the Instructor of Record. The auditor shall attend without formal recognition (i.e., transcript).
Requests to audit are handled by the Office of Student Affairs, which shall communicate with the Department Chair and Instructor of Record of the course being requested for audit. The policy document on special students and auditing is detailed in the ”Auditing Courses” section of the Student Handbook.
The SUNY College of Optometry Policy on Examinations is designed to minimize conflicts between examinations and other assessments of students during a given semester. For this policy, an examination is defined as a written assessment that requires a full class session for completion. A quiz is considered to be a single short written or oral assessment used to contribute not more than 10% to a final grade and that does not require a full class session for completion. A lab practical/assessment is essentially a non-written assessment of laboratory concepts that takes place during the laboratory portion of the course using materials or procedures taught in the laboratory. Written assessments of laboratory concepts, whether they are in the laboratory or classroom, are considered to be examinations or quizzes, depending on scope, and will be administered according to the following policy statements:
· All procedures for student assessment and the determination of the final grade for each course must be clearly defined in the course syllabus.
· The dates and times of all examinations and lab practicals, and whether there is a midterm or final examination, must be clearly stated in the syllabus. Defined dates for quizzes are recommended but not required.
· All examination and lab practical dates are fixed and registered in a master calendar at the beginning of the semester and may not be changed without a written request from the Instructor of Record/Course Coordinator and approval from the Office of Academic Affairs.
· The dates and times of all midterms and finals are determined by the Office of the Registrar and, once finalized, are not subject to change. Midterms and Finals weeks are posted on the Academic Calendar, which is available prior to the Academic Year.
· With the exception of lab practicals, no examinations or quizzes are permitted the weeks before or after midterms week, or the week before finals week. If a course has a single midterm and/or final, it must be scheduled during midterm or final weeks.
· In order to ensure that the overall schedule of assessments during any given semester is as reasonably balanced as possible, the Office of Academic Affairs will examine the schedule of assessments at the beginning of the semester and may initiate discussions with instructors regarding the timing of assessments. It is understood, however, that there may be days when scheduling more than one assessment, or scheduling assessments on back-to-back days, is unavoidable. For security, all examination grades must only be posted electronically via Moodle. (Final course grades will be posted through the student portal on my.sunyopt.edu.)
· In keeping with SUNY Optometry policy, students observing religious holidays on days when classes and/or clinics are scheduled will be excused attendance on those days. However, to be excused, students must notify the Instructor of Record of these dates at the beginning of the semester or as soon as the syllabus is available. Students may be required to make up any missed material, requirements, labs or clinics and it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that any missed examinations or assessments are made up.
Instructor Responsibility Regarding Cheating and Unethical Behavior
Retention of Examinations and Clinical Evaluation Forms
Policies regarding student retention of assessment material are at the discretion of the Instructor of Record. If an instructor permits students to retain exams, a copy should also be placed in the library. Written examinations and clinical evaluation forms not given to students should be kept on file for a period of three years from the end of the term during which they were given. After that period is over, the examinations should be discarded in a secure manner.
Student performance shall be reported as:
In each course, including clinical laboratories and internships, there shall be stated criteria for the assignment of grades.
"F," "U, and “I" Grades
"F," "U," and “I” grades in required courses must be made-up within 4 weeks following the end of the academic term. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor to arrange for equivalent course work, including an appropriate examination that will result in credit and a grade for deficient course work. If there are problems because of the unavailability of a faculty member, the student should contact the Department Chair and the requirements may be amended.
The grade for this equivalent course will appear on the student's transcript. Both grades will be used to calculate the grade point average except in the circumstances that the student repeats a portion of the professional curriculum, resulting in his/her anticipated date of graduation being delayed by a year. In this case, the grade(s) in the repeated course(s) and not the original grade(s) will be used to calculate the grade point average. Under such circumstances, the student will be ineligible for college scholarships that are based on grade point average. Any grade received during and after the repeated portion of the professional curriculum will remain on the transcript and will be calculated in the GPA and all policies regarding academic eligibility and course and standing will apply.
Student Grievances and Appeals of Final Grades
Students who have an academic grievance should proceed as follows:
Advancement to Next Academic Year
Students must achieve passing grades in all courses before advancing to the next academic year. If other than a passing grade is received (either and "F" or an "I"), it must be made up as described above or in a manner as determined by the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs with input from both the Committee on Course and Standing and the Chairperson of the appropriate Department. This policy may be modified on an individual basis upon recommendation of the Chairperson and with the final approval of the Academic Dean.
Grade Posting Confidentiality
Student grades are posted in accordance with the the policy on examinations described above, and in a manner that will maintain confidentiality. There shall be no unauthorized disclosure of grades.
Final grades must be delivered and posted electronically as instructed by the Registrar within one week of either the final examination date or of the date of the last class if no exam is given. Grades must be submitted electronically by the instructor through the student portal on my.sunyopt.edu.
Supplemental grades such as for the completion of "I" grades or for "F" grades must be submitted by the instructor to the Registrar on the "Grade Change Form" available from The Office of Student Affairs, and signed by the Department Chair and VP and Dean for Academic Affairs.
Final grades may be changed by the course instructor only in the event that the original grade issued was in error. Written notification by the instructor to the registrar must be on the "Grade Change Form" available from Student Affairs, and signed by the Department Chair and VP and Dean for Academic Affairs.
Evaluation of Academic Performance
The Committee on Course and Standing meets with the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs at the conclusion of each semester to review student academic performance. When a student's performance is less than satisfactory as defined by criteria below, the Committee may recommend the issuance of a letter of concern, probation, retaking course work, or dismissal. In cases where a student is ineligible to advance (see below), the committee may recommend special requirements for retention.
When a student is already on probation or in a special academic program, the Committee will review the student's performance and may recommend removal of such status or dismissal on academic grounds if performance indicates. Students having academic difficulties are considered individually by the Committee and recommendations are made to the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs. The Dean will make appropriate decisions after considering the recommendations of the faculty and the Committee and will then communicate his/her decisions to the student concerned and, if contrary to their recommendations, to the Committee.
Students for whom action other than normal advancement has been recommended may, at their option, communicate information directly to the Course and Standing Committee in person, via a representative, or by written statement when the committee is considering such action and before a recommendation is made.
(See "Academic Dismissal from the College".)
Exemption from Course Requirements
Exemption from a course requirement is at the discretion of the course Instructor of Record. The basis of the determination is typically either (a) evidence of prior satisfactory completion of equivalent coursework, or (b) the passing of a prerequisite examination. Upon the granting of an exemption, the instructor should forward a written statement to the Registrar indicating the basis of the exemption. Such students will receive the letter "X" in place of a grade for the course. (See Section on "Grades")
Academic Probation: Professional O.D. Program
The VP and Dean for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Committee on Course and Standing, may place a student on
academic probation if the student’s current level of achievement is deemed seriously deficient.* Academic probation is
mandatory; however, when:
1. The term GPA falls below 2.00; or
2. The cumulative GPA falls below 2.00;
3. Or a grade of "F" is earned for any clinic (third- or fourth-year clinics), whether on or off campus; or
4. Two grades of “F” are earned in an academic term; or
5. Three grades of "D" or below are earned in an academic term.
*If a student fails any course that has a clinical lab, consideration of academic probation is mandatory.
Placement on probation will appear on the academic transcript.
Ineligibility to Advance: Professional Program
The VP and Dean for Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Committee on Course and Standing, may determine that a student
is ineligible to advance in the Professional O.D. Program** when he/she is deemed incapable of fulfilling institutional or
academic requirements in a timely manner. Ineligibility to advance in the professional program, however, is automatic when:
1. Two grades of "F" are earned in the same course, regardless of whether the course was remediated or retaken; or
2. Two consecutive grades of "F" are earned in clinic (third- and fourth-year clinics), whether on or off campus; or
3. The term or cumulative GPA is less than 2.00 after having been on probation for three consecutive quarters/two
4. The term G.P.A. is 1.00 or less
** A student who is ineligible to advance in the professional program is subject to academic dismissal (see section on Academic Dismissal) or may be required to satisfactorily repeat portions of the curriculum.
Academic Dismissal: Professional O.D. Program
Dismissal is reserved for those situations where the student is deemed incapable of fulfilling institutional or academic requirements in a timely manner. When a student is being considered by the Committee on Course & Standing for a dismissal recommendation, the student shall be notified in writing that such a recommendation is to be considered. The student shall, at his/her option, have the opportunity to (a) voluntarily withdraw from the program, (b) submit a written statement of mitigating circumstances to the committee for its consideration, or (c) appear personally to explain any mitigating circumstance before the Committee on Course & Standing makes its recommendation to the Dean for Academic Affairs. The student will have the opportunity to meet with the Dean or Academic Affairs to review his/her case.
Appeal of Academic Dismissal
A student who wishes to appeal the decision of academic dismissal may do so to the President of the College within one week following his/her verbal or written notification of dismissal by the Dean for Academic Affairs, whichever is earlier. The President will consider such appeal, which shall be presented in writing by the student.
For the student who is separated from the College because of academic problems, or voluntarily leaves and then is readmitted, the following will apply:
1. The student’s transcript will contain his/her complete academic record at the College. A notation will appear indicating the date and the reason for separation, e.g. leave of absence, withdrawal, dismissal, etc., as well as the notation and date of readmittance.
2. Grades for all years attended, including unsuccessful year(s) will remain on the transcript. All grades will be utilized in calculating the cumulative GPA.
3. If a student is readmitted, the Committee on Admissions or the Committee on Course & Standing may recommend the conditions under which the student is readmitted, e.g., all courses repeated, exemptions granted for course(s) previously passed, etc.
Students Repeating a Year of Study
For the student that is required to repeat a full year(s) of study, the following will apply:
1. A notation will be made on the transcript indicating that the year(s) is (are) being repeated.
2. All courses that are being repeated will be indicated with a “Y” after the grade received.
3. Grades for all years attended, including the unsuccessful year(s) will remain on the transcript and be utilized in calculating the cumulative grade point average (see Grading System explanation for repeated courses).
Students are subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal from the College, for actions deemed inappropriate according to the Policy on Ethical Conduct, as adopted by the College Council and distributed to all students in the Student Handbook..
Leave of Absence
Upon petition by a student in good standing, a one year leave may be granted by the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs for students in the professional program. Graduate students may petition the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research.
The college computes and maintains records of students' class rank. It is placed on student transcripts, which are available as requested by the student and for evaluation of academic progress.
Class rank, to be a valid barometer of a student's performance, must be computed properly. Therefore, the following guidelines should be adhered to:
The Dean’s List recognizes those students whose term grade point average is 3.25 or higher. Students on Academic Probation will not be eligible. Eligible students will be notified, by letter, from the Dean for Academic Affairs after each term in which they qualify.
Readmitted Students or Students Repeating a Year of Study
For the student who is separated from the College because of academic problems or voluntarily leaves and then is readmitted, the following will apply:
The students' transcript will contain their complete academic record at the College. A notation will appear indicating the date and the reason for separation, e.g., leave of absence, withdrawal, dismissal etc., as well as the notation and date of readmittance.
Grades for all years attended, including unsuccessful quarters or year(s) will remain on the transcript. All grades, with the exception of the initial grade in repeated courses, will be utilized in calculating the cumulative GPA.
If a student is readmitted, the Committee on Admissions or the Committee on Course & Standing may recommend the conditions under which the student is readmitted, e.g., all courses repeated, exemptions granted for course or courses previously passed, etc.
For the student that is required to repeat a full year or years of study, the following will apply:
A notation will be made on the transcript indicating that the year(s) is being repeated.
All courses that are being repeated will be indicated with a "Y" after the course number.
Grades for all years attended, including the unsuccessful year(s) will remain on the transcript. All grades, with the exception of the initial grade in repeated courses, will be utilized in calculating the cumulative grade point average.
Non-matriculated students may attend courses for credit on a part-time basis and pay tuition on a per-credit basis.
All requests by individuals for special student status should be referred to the Office of Student Affairs, which will provide an application form. The application form will be sent to the instructor of the particular course(s) who will evaluate it on the basis of: (1) Whether the course can accommodate the student, and (2) Whether the student's background is suitable for the course. The approval of the Department Chair and the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs is required subsequent to the instructor's approval.
If the application is approved, the student must register with the Office of Student Affairs and pay all necessary tuition charges.
Requirements for Graduation
A student must receive a passing grade for every required course in the curriculum (including clinics) and at least a 2.0 grade-point average in order to be considered for graduation. A student on probation is ineligible to graduate.
Availability of Academic Records
Upon written request of the student, his/her grades will be made available to whomever is designated in the request.
At the request of the president or VP and Dean for Academic Affairs, term reports and written instructor comments may be made available.
Transcripts from the SUNY College of Optometry will be provided at Course and Standing meetings. Transcripts of grades of prior institutions attended, copies of standardized test scores and letters of recommendation may be requested, upon a majority vote, by the Committee on Course and Standing. The registrar or a person designated by the registrar shall be responsible for distributing and collecting all documents, and copies thereof, which are utilized at faculty or Committee on Course and Standing meetings. All such documents and copies must be returned to the registrar or designee prior to the end of the meeting.
The chairperson at each meeting where student records are discussed must inform all present about the necessity to maintain confidentiality of all student records and of the proceedings of the meeting.
The use of student records, scores and grades for educational research may only be made available as de-identified group data. Proposals for educational research involving student records must comply with FERPA regulations and will be evaluated by the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs in consultation with the VP for Student Affairs and the President of the Student Council.
Proposals must include:
A statement of the objective of the study.
Textbooks and Readings
Instructors of Record must include a list of all required readings and textbooks in the course syllabus. Required text books will be made available in the library reserves. All required texts and other materials requiring time to acquire should be provided to the Department Chairs and a compiled list of all required texts and materials must be provided to the Office of Student Affairs in advance of the term for dissemination to the students.
Procedures for Changing Educational Policy
This document may be modified as specified in the Faculty Bylaws
NOTE: This document will be maintained by the Chairperson of the Educational Policy Committee with the assistance of the VP and Dean for Academic Affairs.