Faculty Handbook: Academic Procedures
This is a brief overview of some of our academic procedures and practices. Your Academic Dean, your Department Chair and your Academic Assistant can provide more information – this should supplement the information they provide and help you become more acquainted with our institution.
The Faculty Alliance is made up of all full-time or part-time benefited, contracted teaching faculty, or full-time personnel who are paid on the faculty salary schedule or issued faculty contract. All members of the Alliance are eligible to nominate, vote for and serve as members of the Faculty Senate (see item below). The executive committee for the Alliance is the officers of the Senate. The Alliance advocates to the administration on all academic policy matters and many institutional policy concerns. Voluntary dues, currently $20, are collected and used to support our Casper College Alliance (CCA) activities including the fall picnic, the holiday breakfast, and the retirement dinner. The CCA is made up of members from the three college alliances: faculty, staff and administration.
Casper College is firmly committed to the philosophy of shared governance. Our faculty members are encouraged to participate in this process through active involvement with the Faculty Alliance. Full-time faculty members at Casper College are automatically members of the Faculty Alliance (see item above) and our adjunct faculty is associate (non-voting) members. The Faculty Alliance meets three times a year – generally in August, January, and April. The Faculty Senate is composed of members of the Alliance. The Senate meets each month and works on behalf of all faculty and participates in the governance of the College though a committee structure. Faculty senate is composed of 17 members: three members elected from each academic school and one from Continuing Education and Educational Resources. Senators are elected to two-year terms.
Training and Development
Casper College is committed to providing professional development activities for faculty. These include tuition waivers for Casper College courses (eligible after six months of employment) and limited tuition reimbursements for graduate level coursework related to a degree program through the Board of Cooperative Educational Services – BOCES. Sabbaticals (eligible after six years of service) are available on a competitive basis under a variety of scenarios, including one semester at full pay, one year at half pay, or one year at half-time for full pay. On-campus in-service activities are available on a semi-routine basis and limited reimbursement of expenses related to travel for professional conferences and conventions through the Faculty Senate and your school are also possible. Contact your Dean or your Department Chair for more information. As you pursue further training and development, please keep in mind that there is a pre-approval form for all classes and workshops you would like to take and apply for future credit toward your development as a Casper College instructor. Please see the section on Educational Advancement for further details.
Full-time Faculty can earn educational advancement on the salary schedule by either completing pre-approved coursework or by attending pre-approved workshops, conferences, seminars, or in-service training sessions. Pre-approval forms are available on-line under Academic Affairs Forms and must be signed by you, your Department Head/Program Director and your Academic Dean prior to submittal to the Academic Affairs office. Make sure to obtain approval before the event or course. Once the actual activity is completed, documentation to that effect must be submitted to Academic Affairs by June 15th for consideration in the following academic year. Movement is typically limited to one column per year, which is equivalent to six graduate credits or 180 clock hours. Additional work can be “banked” for movement in subsequent years. There is one notable exception to the movement limits. Upon completion of a graduate degree, movement to either column 6 (Masters) or column 19 (Doctorate) will occur at the next contract period regardless of the number of columns involved.
Adjunct faculty will receive a step increase on the salary schedule for every 24 credit hours taught at Casper College. Placement will also be reviewed once an instructor receives a higher degree. Salary changes will occur at the next contract period once official transcripts are on file in the Academic Affairs office.
Casper College receives numerous requests for space usage from our campus, local, state and national communities. All requests for non-academic space (meetings, workshops, outside class events, clubs, unscheduled labs, etc.) must be made through the Facilities and Partnerships Coordinator’s office (2265). Requests for space are scheduled on a priority basis; please check for current priority booking deadlines. Consulting the college’s policy manual for more details.
All faculty members are expected to participate in the advising of students. Advising loads are variable and an attempt to make this task more equitable has been undertaken (#1400:30:02). Additionally, Academic Deans have the authority to modify the major requirements for graduation in consultation with Department Heads/Program Directors. It is important to remember that all students are expected to meet our general education requirements – waivers and substitutions are not permitted.
Every effort should be made to meet all of your scheduled classes. If for any reason you are unable to fulfill this obligation, please consult with your Academic Dean. Substitute arrangements can often be made ahead of time with one of your colleagues to prevent loss of instruction time owed to our students. Regardless, a Faculty Absence form should be filled out, signed, and forwarded to the Academic Affairs office. Faculty members are afforded professional leave, consulting leave, and sabbatical leave on a limited basis. (Forms Page)
Faculty members who choose to teach above their normal required load are eligible to receive “overload” compensation. Please check with your Academic Dean to determine your load status. Payments for overload situations will occur at the end of February for the fall semester and at the end of May for the spring semester. Payments are based on the type of work done (lecture, lab, or non-teaching) and your individual placement on the salary schedule. Details regarding these calculations are available in the Casper College policy manual (#1400:12:01). Academic Affairs can also supply compensation quotes to you upon your request.
The faculty members of each academic department are asked to participate in an annual departmental review process. These reviews provide valuable information and unique perspectives that can then be utilized at all levels. The department review is a critical component of the planning, assessment, and budgetary cycles.
Casper College uses an integrated student management system called “WebAdvisor” by Datatel. A WebAdvisor account will be established for you once Human Resources receives you hiring paperwork. You can access your account (from any computer with web access) for class roster information, for grade entry (midterm and final), and for any student information you may need. The Casper College “Faculty and Staff” page has the “WebAdvisor” link included as part of the listing of available services. You will use your email username and password to access WebAdvisor.
Class rosters are available through the Casper College WebAdvisor data management system. If students are attending but are not listed on the roster, advise them to go to the Enrollment Services office immediately to correct the problem.
Cancellation of Courses
The determination to cancel a credit course due to low enrollment will be made on a course-by-course basis. Although most cancellations occur before the start of the semester, there are occasions where cancellations occur during the first week of the semester. The Vice President for Academic Affairs will consult with the appropriate Academic Dean prior to any such cancellations. Also, if you feel a course should be cancelled, please consult with your Academic Dean. Although you do not have the authority to cancel a course, your Academic Dean does. When a course is cancelled at the last minute, your Academic Assistant will be asked to post signs on doors to help notify our students of the cancellation and will work with you to contact students so that they will have the opportunity to enroll in other courses in order to maintain their needed course load.
On occasion, students may approach faculty to mentor them in the pursuit of coursework beyond what is offered in a traditional course or within the current semester schedule. If a faculty member agrees to teach the class/co-op as an independent study, a proposal should be written by the student and negotiated with the instructor to mutual satisfaction within two (2) weeks of the beginning of classes (one (1) week for summer). A completed independent study form serves as a contract between the faculty member and the student. The contract, along with supporting documentation (i.e., syllabus), is signed by the faculty member, the student and the Academic Dean. A copy of all documentation is then given to the student for her/his records and a second copy is sent to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to contact the registrar and have the intended course added to WebAdvisor in order for the student to register for the independent study/co-op. Credits for the course are included in the student’s current semester load. Students will not receive credit, even though they do the work, if they do not register for the class. It is wise to check your WebAdvisor class roster to assure that the student has registered. In most cases the student must complete independent studies within the requisite period not to extend beyond the end of the current semester. (Forms Page)
Registration for classes starts during an early registration period several weeks before the semester begins. When a particular class is filled, the Enrollment Services office will start a wait list. The names on the list are kept in the order they are received; this gives the Academic Dean and Vice President the opportunity to add sections or increase the class capacity. The waitlist is monitored daily and when an opening occurs, the Admissions and Student Records office enroll the student into the class and notifies students they have been added to classes. Approximately 2 to 4 weeks before the classes start or before final registration, the waitlists are deleted and the students are notified they will not get into that class from the waitlist. At that point, students may ask the instructor for permission to enroll in a closed class. The final decision on enrollment for these students is up to the instructor for the course. If you agree to let an additional student into your class, you will have to sign off on add/drop form.
Excessive absences or tardiness may result in a lowered grade; and, at the discretion of the college administration, a student who fails to attend regularly may be asked to withdraw from college.
Each instructor keeps a record of absences. When an instructor believes that absences are affecting a student’s work, the instructor can notify the Student Success Specialist by submitting a Retention Alert (RA). The RA is a link on the top of the class roster next to the Grade Change Report.
Grade Books/Paper or Electronic
If you would like a paper grade book, your Academic Assistant can provide one to you. You also have the option of setting up an electronic grade book if you would prefer. Please keep a record of both grades and attendance for all your students. Instructors for at least one calendar year should retain grade books containing records of how student grades were computed after the completion of a course. Adjuncts, retirees and faculty leaving Casper College for other employment should leave their grade books with their Academic Dean.
Traveling with Students
Field trips should always be cleared in advance of the scheduled trip. A complete itinerary (template available upon request) must be filed with the Academic Dean and the Student Services office at least one week prior to departure. A list of students and faculty in attendance must accompany the itinerary. A travel release must be on file for each student participating in the trip. When taking students off campus and using a college vehicle, make sure you read the guidelines for requesting a vehicle. You will then need to contact your Academic Assistant to send in the transportation request through Trip Request on MySchoolBuilding. If you request a college vehicle and one is not available, you may provide your own transportation and be reimbursed. If you decide to take your own vehicle to a college-related activity even though one is available from the institution, you will be reimbursed at a lower rate for attending that event only. It is important to remember that when traveling, receipts must be provided to the finance office when requesting reimbursement and it will take three to five business days for your reimbursement request to be processed. The college mileage rates will change to realign with the IRS standard mileage rate at the beginning of each fiscal year.
You will be notified periodically of students who withdraw from class before the published withdrawal date. After that date, students may withdraw from a course with instructor permission only. Because of this, all instructors are asked to publish their withdrawal policy on the syllabus for each course they teach. The college administration will strictly follow these published guidelines when discussing potential withdrawals with students.
A student is not automatically withdrawn from class due to non-attendance. Instructors wishing to withdraw a non-attending student may do so anytime after the fourth week of class and before the official college withdrawal date.
A grade of “incomplete” may be used when the student, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is unable to finish the work of the course provided the student would otherwise have had a passing grade. A student who has received an incomplete must arrange with the instructor for completion. The course must be completed by a date mutually agreed on by the instructor and the student, and the final grade submitted no later than the end of the succeeding full semester (summer term excluded) unless an extension of time has been approved. Failure to meet these obligations will result in the “I” grade being administratively changed to a grade of “F”.
A student who wishes to enroll in a course only for informational purposes may audit the course. The
auditing privilege carries full rights of class participation, but it offers no academic credit and no grade. Auditors are expected to attend class regularly. If the student satisfactorily completes the audit requirements you establish, an “audit” notation is entered on the student’s permanent record. If the student does not satisfactorily complete those requirements, a “W” may be recorded. Full tuition is charged for an audit. A change from credit to audit in any course may be made at any time up to the deadline for withdrawal from that course with official permission from you. Students wishing to change from audit to credit in any course must have your written permission. You may request an administrative withdrawal of auditors for prolonged and unreasonable absenteeism.
No grades or classes will be deleted from a student’s transcript. However, the instructor who awarded a grade may change it at any time up to one year after it was recorded. These changes can be accomplished through the Casper College WebAdvisor data management system by choosing the “Submit a Grade Change” option. In most cases, no one other than the instructor who awarded it may change a grade. If there are extenuating circumstances involving a grade that was filed more than one year ago, it may be changed ONLY with the approval of the Department Chair/Program Director, the Academic Dean and the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
A syllabus must be provided to each class member at the beginning of your courses – it is essentially a contract between you and the student. A clear, comprehensive syllabus is your first line of defense in cases of student grievances. Because of this, Casper College has adopted a required syllabus format that which is available online. In addition to providing copies to your students, an electronic copy must also be given to your Academic Assistant by the end of the first week of classes. Your Academic Assistant will then post the syllabi to the website.
Academic Affairs Forms
From time to time, faculty members will need to complete a form either to note an absence from the campus or to obtain funds for an educational conference. Copies of those documents can be found on the College’s website under Forms. Some of the more common forms include: Curriculum Proposal/Change Form, Course Syllabus Template, Educational Resources Form, Faculty Absence Request Form, Faculty Development Application Form, Faculty Educational Pre-Approval Request, Faculty Load Data Form, Independent Study Proposal/Co-op Proposal and Travel Course Application.