Textbooks are chosen for each course by the faculty in the relevant program. All sections of a particular course use the same textbook. Desk copies of texts and ancillary materials are available from your faculty course leader, or by contacting the department office administrator.
A detailed course syllabus should be distributed to students at the first class meeting. Treat your syllabus as the contract between instructor and students. Feel free to contact any of the full time instructors or the department chair for copies of their syllabi.
Your syllabus must include the following:
Name, number and description of course (can use description in class schedule)
Student Learning Outcomes—see course outlines of record on department website.
Days, times and rooms for class and lab meetings
Required and recommended textbooks and other materials
Your name and how to contact you (instructions for communicating via campus mail, your campus e-mail address, your campus phone extension)
Description of the grading system, including the number of points allotted to tests, quizzes, lab exercises and other assignments.
Policy on academic integrity, with reference to the SMC Code of Academic Conduct (The code of conduct may be included in the syllabus or the location of the classroom posting or website may be noted.)
College policy on dropping class with a "W" and the deadline dates for the semester.
Policy on attendance
Policy regarding late assignments
Policy on DSPS accommodations and religious holiday accommodations
It is recommended that all schedules be included as part of your syllabus:
Schedule of topics to be addressed in course with assigned reading indicated
Schedule of lab exercises, if labs are part of the course
Dates of tests, quizzes, papers, other assignments, and the final exam
Schedules must be provided to students, regardless of whether or not they are part of the syllabus.
Please upload an electronic copy of your syllabus to mProfessor at the beginning of each semester. Link to SLOs are provided, as needed, upon upload.
Chemists should send a copy of your lab schedule to the chemistry stockroom lead lab technician.
Physicists should contact the Physics stockroom for assistance with equipment for their lab schedules.
SMC Model Syllabus
(Includes other suggested items that will help your syllabus set a good tone for the semester and protect you as the instructor, in case of conflicts that could arise during the semester.)
SMC Computer and Network Resources
Email: You must activate an e-mail account for yourself on the SMC website. Do this as soon as Human Resources has processed your paperwork. This email account will also provide you with a network account needed to use college computers as well as for many of your administrative responsibilities including accessing your class roster, adding or dropping students, and assigning grades. Go to
account activation. You will need your SMC ID number, obtained from HR, to complete this form. The chair and other campus personnel will be communicating with you and the rest of the department by this email address, and you are responsible for reading these messages.
Class Rosters/mProfessor: Your
class roster and many other resources. The roster includes current students (indicated by an X in the Active column), students who were enrolled but dropped, and student contact information. The portal also provides access to rosters where you will obtain your wait list; get add codes for students; drop students; and submit Midterm Placement Rosters, Student Learning Outcomes Rosters, and your final course grades.
Canvas: An online course management resource, Canvas, is available to you if you choose to use it. It provides discussion forums, a convenient way to email all the student in your class, a place to post your syllabus and other documents, and much more. Sign into
Canvas for more details. Note that your students will only have access to your Canvas page if you choose to publish it, once it is constructed in Canvas. Links to Canvas are also located from your mProfessor portal. Students have Canvas links to any published classes from their Corsair Connect Student portal.
Photocopying (and Webprint): Reprographics is located in the Media Center Building on Pearl Street, just south of the library. All photocopying of student materials (handouts, exams, etc.) must be done there by their staff. The department has a very limited supply of toner and paper for the photocopier in the Faculty/Staff workroom and thus maintains a very strict policy that class materials may NOT be copied there. Instead, you may submit your originals to reprographics at least four hours before you need them, then pick them up your copies in the Media Center.
submit jobs to Reprographics electronically from anywhere using Webprint. (Links also available from the main SMC website under
technology resources.) Your SMC network login and password (the same as for email and mProfessor) will enable you to access this system. You will just need to have PDF versions of your documents to upload.
Printers/Copiers: The Xerox machine in the staff workroom also functions as a scanner and printer for faculty and staff use. Part time faculty have a quota of 750 copies per year, and full time have 1500 per year. This printer should NOT be used to make multiple copies for distribution to students! Our budget for toner and paper simply cannot support this and the cost per page is also dramatically lower at Reprographics. You will login to the machine using your same SMC account login and password. (Click on alternate login on the touch screen.)
Faculty are NOT authorized to open the copier and attempt to make repairs, or even to add or remove paper from the trays, as the new copier is easily damaged. Please notify the department office administrator immediately about any jams or problems, and leave a sign on the copier saying it is down. When the copier is down, you will have to go to Reprographics to use the copiers there, which function in the same way as the one in the workroom. You can print from a memory stick or go to the faculty computer lab, also in the Media Center.
Students must only use printers in the student computer lab (SCI 240) for their own printing. Lab documents that can be printed prior to the lab meeting (such as experimental procedures and lab report forms) should be printed by students elsewhere before arriving at the lab. Instructors are responsible for enforcing this policy!
Printers found in some of the laboratories are there only for very limited use. They are to be used by students, only with instructor permission. We do not have a budget to provide toner, paper or maintenance for these printers. They are provided so instructors can allow students to print out data, spectra, or other information that is critical to complete a lab.
Before classes begin, students add classes once their registration date arrives. Once a class enrollment reaches its limit (28 for physical science lab classes, but often larger for lecture-only classes), the class is closed to further enrollment. Within a few weeks of the semester starting, a wait pool is opened for closed classes, and students are placed on the list in chronological order. If at any time, an enrolled student drops a closed class, the class is re-opened and the first person who tries to add the class will get that spot. Wait pool students receive an email notification of the opening.
If a class was closed at midnight before classes begin, the class stays closed, even if students drop on that first day of the term. If the class was not yet full when classes began, students can continue to enroll until midnight prior to the second class meeting, at which time those classes close, even if the class isn't yet full.
The only way a student can add a closed class is to obtain an add code from the instructor. You can obtain add codes in mProfessor. Faculty should add students from the wait list, in order, before adding other students (crashers). The wait list can be viewed from mProfessor, and typically appear at the bottom of the roster.
If you have space after all wait list students are accommodated, you must use an impartial, random method (such as a lottery) in order to add students remaining students, as this is required by state law.
Be careful not to overenroll chemistry lab courses, due to safety regulations. Issues of safety, including potential fire code violations, occur in a laboratory or classroom with too many students. Students are told in the class schedule that they must be present at the first lab session of a chemistry course to be assured of admission to limited lab spaces.
It is highly recommended not to drop "no shows" until the end of the second meeting of the class. Since it may happen that someone on your roster misses the first class and then arrives late for the second session, it is recommended that you delay adding students until the end of (or at least some time during) the second meeting of the class and/or until after all labs have met once. Otherwise you may end up with more students enrolled than you have seats.
Do not allow unenrolled students to remain in your classroom. Tell students wishing to audit that they must enroll and can take the class on a Pass/No Pass basis by seeing a counselor during the first two weeks of the regular semester.
You may drop students from the class in mProfessor by navigating to the drop roster and clicking next to the student's name you wish to drop. Students avoid a "W" on the transcript by dropping or being dropped before the end of week 2 (or the end of week 1 for summer or winter session). Please be sure to drop all "no shows" by this deadline.
During a semester, a student may be dropped from a class when, in the instructor's judgment, the number of absences has become excessive or the student is no longer participating in the course. Such judgments should be based exclusively on the student's prospect for successfully completing the course, and should be consistent with statements in the course syllabus, and be consistent with college policy. Faculty will determine the consequences of absences and late arrivals.
From the third through twelfth week of each regular semester, dropped students receive a "W" on their transcript. After this time, no further course dropping/withdrawals are allowed. For the summer and winter sessions, the deadline for dropping is at 75% of the total semester length. Check in mProfessor for exact deadlines. Students can check the dates in their student portal.
A student may petition for late withdrawal for documentable, extenuating circumstances only. (Being unhappy with a grade doesn't qualify, and many petitions are denied, even when faculty support them!) The forms are available from the Admissions and Enrollment office, and ultimately require an Admissions officer to decide if the student is to be granted a late withdrawal or not. Faculty can comment and will be required to verify when students were actively attending the course. Faculty should sign the form as part of the verification of dates of attendance, but the signature is not an endorsement of the student request. Faculty can state whether or not they support the petition, and state why. Faculty do not need to examine the documentation to verify the validity of the student's claim, as it is Admissions responsibility to ensure that the policy is enforced consistently.
You are expected to meet your class for every scheduled meeting and for the full, scheduled time. If you are ill or have an emergency that prevents you from meeting your class, call the numbers below, as soon as you can before the schedule start time of the class. Make sure you talk to a live, human who takes down the message, rather than leaving a voicemail.
The office administrator (4788)
The department chair (3180)
The chemistry lab technicians (for chemistry lab classes only, 4278)
The physics lab technician (for physics classes, 4729)
Campus Police (for any class, 4300)
Academic Affairs (4405)
The college is required to post a sign on your classroom door regarding an instructor absence, even if you have already contacted your class to let them know it is canceled.
Always notify the department office administrator and/or department chair of all absences so that payroll implications can be handled, as appropriate.
If you are going to miss two or more consecutive class sessions, the District will approve hiring a substitute to cover your class. Contact the department chair about finding a sub.
Science Classroom and Lab Rules
No food, drink, or gum is allowed in any Science classroom! The one exception is water in the lecture rooms only; drinking water is not to be brought into the chemistry labs. Instructors themselves must also follow this rule, and each faculty and staff member should diligent in enforcing this rule with students. There is no funding available for new carpet, repair of stained seats, etc., so we must work together to keep the classrooms in good condition.
Smoking is banned across campus, except in designated smoking areas. The entrances to the Science building are NOT designated smoking areas. Please politely remind offenders of this policy.
Locked cabinets for computers and other equipment are found throughout our classrooms and labs. It is each faculty member's job to leave them locked when finishing up in a classroom or lab.
Double check that classrooms and labs are locked when leaving—and check that the fob indicator is red and that the door is indeed fully locked. Do not allow students from the next class into the classroom unless their instructor is already present. Report problems with locks/fobs to the Department Office Administrator promptly, or call campus police, who can remotely lock rooms with fob access.
Please erase all white boards and put desks back into the standard configuration before leaving each lecture class. For chemistry labs, you must follow room cleanliness guidelines, posted in each room and emailed at the beginning of every semester to lab faculty, and leave each lab in a clean, safe state for the next class.
Incomplete "I" Grades
At the instructor's discretion, the grade of "I" in a course can be given when illness, accident, emergency, or special circumstances beyond the student's control prevents them from taking the final examination and/or completing other end of semester course requirements. The student must be passing the class with a grade of C or better prior to the final exam or final project. An "I" may not be used to extend coursework deadlines the student might reasonably be expected to meet, nor may it be used to make up work missed during an extended absence from the class. You do not need approval to give an "I" as it is solely left to the instructor to apply this policy.
Discuss with the student the date by which the student must complete the required coursework, which shall be no later than one year from the end of the term in which the original "I" was assigned. On mProfessor, you must delineate specific conditions necessary for the removal of the "I" and what grade will be assigned if those conditions are not met by the deadline. Make sure the student clearly understands these conditions. Incomplete grades will be counted in "units enrolled," but will not be included in "units attempted" or "units completed," and no grade points will be assigned. If the student meets these conditions, a written grade change form must be submitted to Admissions and Records—this cannot be done online.
Cancellation of Classes for Lack of Enrollment
Any class with an enrollment of fewer than eighteen students on or before the opening day of each semester or session is subject to cancellation. The decision to cancel a class is made by the Dean of Academic Affairs in consultation with the Department Chair.
For a class that is canceled after the class has already met, adjunct faculty are paid a minimum of two week's pay (one week's pay in summer or winter session). A full-time faculty member whose class is canceled must be reassigned to another section; this can result in the loss of a position by an adjunct faculty member. An associate faculty member (that is, a part-timer with associate status) whose class is canceled will be reassigned to another section of the same class if available, which can also result in the loss of a position by another adjunct faculty member.
Full time faculty must hold 4 office hours per week. The contract mentions different numbers of hours for classes with lower load factors, where instructors must teach more than 15 hours per week for a full load. However, the physical science department currently has no such classes, so all full time faculty must hold four hours per week, regardless of overload.
Part Time faculty must hold 15 minutes of office hours each week for each hour of class time. For example, a part time instructor teaching 7 hours per week must hold at least 105 minutes of office hours per week. Office hours may not be scheduled less than 5 minutes before or after your scheduled teaching time. (Current contract terms as of Fall 2017.)
For winter and summer, the office hour requirement for the entire term is equal to the number of "long" semester teaching hours for the class. (A class that is 7 hours in the Fall/Spring requires 7 total office hours across the 6- or 8-week semester.)
Some portion of office hours may be done online, with permission from the department chair. For this to be approved, instructors must ensure that students are able to easily access you online during a certain hour each week. Online office hours is not the same as answering emails at your own convenience.
Faculty should upload their office hours into the mProfessor portal by the end of week 1.
Observance of Religious Holidays
Santa Monica College District Policy requires that instructors make allowances for students who miss a class for religious reasons. The best practice is to avoid scheduling any exams on major religious holidays, and allow students to either make up or drop labs and other assignments that occur on religious holidays. Exam drop policies are not an acceptable way around this policy: students must be given a chance to make up all assignments that fall on religious holidays, regardless of any drop policy in your class.
Class Meeting Times and Breaks
You are expected to meet your classes on time and for the complete time interval scheduled. An instructor must be present at all times while a class or laboratory is in session.
Students in classes lasting two hours or longer are entitled to break time even if you don't need it yourself. Calculate your break time based on the bullets below:
If your class meets for less than two hours, no breaks are required.
Two hour classes must have at least 10 minutes of break time per session.
Three-hour classes must have 20 total minutes of break time.
Four-hour classes have and additional 10 minutes of break time (30 minutes)—each additional hour adds another 10 minutes of break time.
You are free to divide the break time however you see fit, but for long summer/winter classes, it is recommended to have one longer break to allow for students to eat or take care of any pressing, personal business.
Classes must not be dismissed early or started late, in lieu of giving breaks.
New part-time faculty are evaluated twice in the first four semesters, then once every four semesters thereafter. Full-time tenured faculty are evaluated every three years, and will have a panel evaluation every 9 years. Full-time probationary faculty are reviewed by panels during this period, according to SMC FA contract terms.
The Physical Science Department evaluates faculty according to the basic outline below:
A full-time faculty member designated by the Department Chair will visit the evaluatee's class, complete the District evaluation form, and meet with the evaluatee to discuss their observations. Class visits are unannounced. Copies of the evaluation form and comments will be given to the evaluatee in advance of the meeting, according to contract terms.
Professionalism Forms will be completed by the Department Chair, with input from the faculty evaluator, as appropriate. The Department Chair or faculty designee will meet with the evaluatee to discuss this form. Copies of the professionalism form and comments will be given to the evaluatee in advance of the meeting, according to contract terms.
The evaluatee must write and submit a self-evaluation along with copies of syllabi and exams that they have developed and utilized in their classes. The evaluatee must submit these to the faculty evaluator by the deadline established in the contract, and this should be prior to the meeting between the evaluatee and evaluator takes place.
The Physical Science department adopted a rubric used by evaluators to determine the overall evaluation result (Satisfactory, Needs Improvement, or Unsatisfactory) based on scores marked on the Professionalism Form and on the Classroom Instructor evaluation Form. The rubric is available upon request from the Department Chair, and is distributed to evaluatees and evaluators when the process is initiated.
Evaluatees will receive a packet via campus mail from Human Resources containing materials to conduct student evaluations of your teaching. Please follow the instructions in the packet closely. The student evaluation numerical results will be available via mProfessor shortly after you submit them, and will remain there for approximately 6 months. Handwritten comments submitted by students are available from the Department Administrative Assistant after grades have been submitted.
Evaluation Forms may be found at the
human resources website.
Additional details regarding each specific type of evaluation are covered in Article 7 of the faculty contract available on the
Faculty Association website.
All SMC faculty are required to perform professional development activities apart from their instructional assignment to fulfill their contract. Time spent on these activities is called Flex Time or Flex Activity. These activities are submitted online to the Department Chair via the mProfessor Flex Planner. If these contractually obligated hours are not submitted, approved, and completed by a faculty member, a pay deduction could occur. Details about various types of appropriate flex activities are found on the online Flex Planner.
Part-time faculty are required perform flex activities each fall or spring semester in which they have an assignment. The number of hours required is equal to weekly teaching hours of assignment (WTH). For example, an assignment of 7 WTH requires the part-time faculty member to complete 7 hours of flex activities. Note that departmental meetings, as well as departmental and institutional flex days, and extra office hours can be used by part-time faculty to fulfill their flex obligations.
Full-time faculty must perform 24 hours of individual flex activities and 30 hours of departmental/institutional flex time per academic year. Departmental and institutional flex hours are covered by the mandatory flex days in fall and spring. The 24 required hours of individual flex activities are proposed, approved and submitted on the mProfessor Contract Flex Planner, and these must be completed no later than mid-May each academic year.
Paid and banked overload hours taught by full-time faculty are treated just like part-time flex: for each WTH of overload assignment, an hour of flex is required for that semester. For paid overload, submit these hours using a separate Overload section of the Flex Planner on mProfessor. For banked overload, submit those hours in the regular Contract Flex Planner.