Instructional Policies and Procedures
Absenceback to top
Faculty are expected to attend all scheduled classes unless they have made prior arrangements with their division dean. In cases of illness or emergency, full-time faculty members must call the designated number at the campus where their classes are held so that Student Information Center staff and faculty secretaries can post a notice to inform students.
Faculty absences for day classes call:
Bedford Campus 781-280-3922
Lowell, City 978-656-3156
Lowell, Federal 978-656-3156
Lowell, Talbot 978-656-3095 or 3054
Lowell, Derby 978-656-3280
As early in the day as possible, instructors of evening or weekend classes who will be absent must notify the Student Information Center at the campus where the course is given:
Bedford Campus: 781-280-3605
Lowell Campus: 978-656-3221
Students must be informed that an evening or weekend class will not be held in the event of a faculty member’s absence. It is critical that students not be placed in the position of traveling to campus for a class that will not meet. To facilitate contacting all class members, it is useful to establish a "calling chain" at the first class meeting. In emergency situations, the Student Information Center staff can assist in student notification, but it is the faculty member’s responsibility to let them know their assistance is required.
Please refer to Article 13.04 of the collective bargaining agreement regarding your responsibility for making up missed classes.
In accordance with Chapter 375 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the College adheres to the established policy, which is published in full in the Academic Catalog.
Attendance (Student Attendance Policy)back to top
Although Middlesex does not have a uniform attendance policy, the Collective Bargaining Agreements require that instructors have an explicit attendance policy written in their syllabus. It is assumed that students will attend all class meetings, except in cases of reasonable extenuating circumstances. Non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal from class.
While the attendance policy specifics will vary from course to course and instructor to instructor, the consequences of student absences should be made very clear. Students who miss more than four successive class hours, or a total exceeding six class hours, are unlikely to achieve a passing grade. Students should be made aware that in cases of emergency or illness causing extended absence or irregular attendance, they should contact their instructors. To the extent that excessive absence results in failure to complete assigned work or participate in classroom activities, students may be advised by their instructor to withdraw from the course. (For information about what to include in your syllabus, see Appendix B).
Students who receive financial aid or veterans' benefits are required to submit a form signed by teachers of all their courses to confirm that the students are attending classes. For financial aid purposes, the faculty member's signature is sufficient as proof of attendance. Faculty can expect students to present this form.
Audit Policyback to top
Registered students may audit a course with permission of the instructor and according to the instructor's conditions. Any change from credit to audit status (AU) or from audit to credit status must be made during the first month of classes during the fall and spring semesters. For summer sessions, any changes must be made during the first four class meetings.
Class Listsback to top
Class lists are always available to faculty through MiddleNet.
During the fall and spring, class lists are available on the first day of classes for the semester. Class lists for faculty teaching day classes are placed in their mailboxes. (See Appendix C for more information about mailbox locations and where adjunct faculty should pick up class lists).
Room Assignmentsback to top
Your room assignment will be indicated on your class list. Room assignments will also be posted in various locations on the campuses. We are very short on rooms; one that may seem empty could be reserved for a short-term course or a special event. Therefore, it is EXTREMELY important that you do not change classrooms or class meeting times without clearance.
More importantly to you, we need to be able to locate you in case of an emergency. Requests after three weeks into the semester should be addressed to the Student Information Center at 978-656-3226.
Course Selection Changesback to top
Add/drop is facilitated through MiddleNet and the Student Information Center as well as by phone at 1-800-818-3434. Students may add and drop classes during the first week of the semester. During the second week of the semester, students may drop, but can add a class only through Late Admit. These forms are available and are processed through the Student Information Center only, since a signature from the instructor allowing them into the class is required. In either case, faculty should encourage students to arrange a meeting with their academic advisor to ensure that their course changes meet their program requirements.
Students may officially withdraw from a course and be assigned a grade of "W" during the first ten weeks of the semester. Faculty should advise students wishing to withdraw to contact the Student Information Center at either campus or to call 1-800-818-3434. Failure to attend a course or section does not constitute formal withdrawal. Students who stop attending class and fail to complete the Add/Drop procedure will receive a grade of “F” for the course. Students who need to drop a class after the tenth week can do so only if they withdraw from all of their classes. They should be referred to the Student Information Center for assistance with this procedure.
Examsback to top
Final Exam – Day Classes
Day faculty give and proctor final exams during final exam week. The division dean should be notified early if a day course will not have a final exam. The Final Exam Schedule is published in the Semester Schedule. Copies can also be obtained through the Student Information Centers. As soon as the exam has been prepared, the course instructor should inform the faculty secretary of where to find the prepared final exam papers in case some emergency should prevent the instructor from being present to administer the exam.
Occasionally students cannot take an exam for some legitimate reason at the scheduled time. The instructor may make individual arrangements with the student to make up the exam.
College policy requires that there be a significant culminating assessment of student learning conducted during the final exam period, or in the case of the evening classes, the last scheduled class meeting. This policy is consistent with the fact that the finals week is contractually part of the semester and that student learning and/or assessment should take place during that time. It is understood, of course, that for some classes a traditional examination is not necessarily appropriate and that a suitable alternative form of assessment could be implemented or completed during the final exam period. If you plan to give an alternative assessment, please notify your dean by mid-semester.
Final Exams - Evening Classes
Final exams for evening, weekend, and summer courses are usually given during the last class. The instructor makes individual arrangements with students for make-up exams or activities; in such cases, a copy of the final exam must be sent to the division dean and their grades to the Student Information Center or entered through MiddleNet.
Gradingback to top
The grading system that the college uses can be found in the College Catalog. Only the letter grade should be reported. The interpretation is for your information only.
*Please note that the grades of C-, D+, D, D- and F earn grade points that are less than the minimum 2.00 Grade Point Average (GPA) needed for graduation.
Mid-Semester Deficiency Grades
Grade sheets are sent to all instructors mid-semester. Any student who has been attending class but whose name does not appear on the grade roster must go to the Student Information Center to confirm his or her registration.
Mid-semester deficiency notices are sent to students who are performing at the "D" or "F" grade level (or the "C-" grade level in clinically related courses of the Health Careers Division). The intent is to notify students of their academic status. The deficiency grades are also forwarded to the students' academic advisors. They are not recorded on the student's official academic record. Mid-semester deficiency grades and final grades must be entered into MiddleNet or hand delivered to the Student Information Center by the faculty member or someone he/she specifically designates.
Final grades can be submitted electronically using MiddleNet or on grading sheets. Final grading sheets are sent to each instructor near the end of the semester. For those handing in grading sheets, the college uses Optical Mark Reader equipment to process grades. Directions for completing the forms or using MiddleNet are enclosed with the grading sheets. Late grades compromise the students' registration, graduation and transfer.
Day faculty are notified of deadlines for submitting grades each semester. Grades for evening classes are due in the Student Information Center 48 hours after the final class.
The grade "I" or Incomplete is recorded when, for reasons beyond their control, students miss a final examination or some part of the required coursework. Most instructors require students to notify them of the reason for their absence before awarding this grade. No quality points are awarded for an Incomplete. All Incomplete grades must be removed by completion of the necessary course requirements within the following semester. After that period, remaining incomplete grades will be converted to an "F" grade.
In Progress Grades
The grade "IP" applies to self-paced courses only. To receive the IP ("in progress") grade, students must:
- complete at least one-half of the course material
- demonstrate good attendance
- sign a contract with the instructor detailing the conditions and timeframe for full completion of the course.
Students with IP grades must complete the course in the semester following the one in which they began it, or they will receive an F grade, unless the instructor has granted an extension.
An instructor may change a grade by completing a Grade Change Form, which is obtained from and sent to the Student Information Center. Grade changes may also be submitted via an instructor’s official MCC email to GradeChange@middlesex.mass.edu. For example, this procedure might follow the make-up of an incomplete grade, or in case of error. Please refer to the student handbook (click on Quick Links) for information about students’ right to appeal grades.
Student Recordsback to top
Retention of Student Records
Faculty have a responsibility to maintain a permanent set of student grade records. At a minimum, it is recommended that faculty also retain, for three years, any materials upon which the grade is based such as exam grades, grades on term projects and papers, and attendance records. Faculty may be called upon to write letters of recommendation or supply information to a former student's prospective employer. It is not unusual for students to question the basis for a grade long after the semester has ended.
Students’ Access to Letters of Recommendation
Under the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, an applicant has access to letters of recommendation to academic institutions unless the individual waives that right. If the student has provided a form for a recommendation, the above will be stated on the form, and it will be clear whether or not the student has signed the waiver. If the instructor simply writes a letter, he/she should assume that the student will later have access to that letter.
In the current legal climate, instructors hardly need to be warned to be accurate when making statements about students, which are not completely positive. The possibility exists that an instructor will need to produce the objective evidence on which his or her statements are based. Faculty should keep copies of written recommendations.
Student Records Access
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1975 (the Buckley Amendment), students are guaranteed privacy regarding their academic records. For details regarding your obligations under the provisions and applications of this statute, please see the Academic Catalog. Students do have access to their files and may challenge any material they believe to be erroneous. Confidential material kept by the Financial Aid Office, the Disability Support Services Office, the Health Services Department, and counselors is not available to faculty members.