Policies

The First-Year Writing program expects your full engagement in the work of face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes. Because writing classes are intensive and interactive, missing classes, failing to meet deadlines, and/or not participating in required activities will significantly compromise your learning.

Should you face extenuating circumstances, however, we will remain as flexible as possible in accommodating you. Our specific policies are shown below. Please consult your instructor and/or Dr. Luke Niiler, Director of First-Year Writing (lpniiler@ua.edu) with any questions.

  • Face-to-face and hybrid classes: During Fall and Spring semesters, you should miss no more than four classes in sections that meet twice a week, and no more than six classes in sections that meet three times a week. During Summer semesters, you should miss no more than three classes. Your final grade will be reduced by 1/3rd of a letter (ie, B+ to B) for each additional class you miss. Please note that scheduled instructor conferences and online classes that meet at the same time as your regular class time count as regular classes.
  • Officially designated distance learning classes: Please read and follow all communications from your instructor, meet deadlines listed on the course schedule or syllabus, and participate in all class activities. These activities and assignments may include Blackboard or Turnitin assignments, online peer review, video conferences, ePortfolio work, etc. See your instructor’s late/missing work policy for additional details and penalties.
  • If you approach absence limits, begin missing deadlines, miss daily work due to absences, or fail to participate in required activities, it is your responsibility to promptly communicate your circumstances in a timely manner to your instructor, who can work with you to make alternative arrangements.
  • Note that all such arrangements are subject to the terms of your instructor’s late/missing work policy. Also note that late or missing work can result in grade penalties, per your instructor’s policy.
  • Attendance accommodation requests from the Office of Disability Services (ODS) should be shared promptly and privately with your instructor.

“A” work is generally regarded as excellent; “B” work is good; “C” work is competent; “D” work is marginally below college standards; and “F” work is clearly below minimum college standards. Work that does not follow the assignment (though otherwise acceptable) will also receive an “F.” Work that is not done or not turned in is recorded as a zero. Your teacher will provide more specific grading criteria on assignment sheets and/or rubrics. All major papers will be graded and returned before the next major assignment is due. Freshman-level proficiency in writing is required for a passing grade (see ABC-No Credit policy below).

Papers are graded A through F with pluses and minuses as necessary.

Paper grades can be converted to percentages like this:

A+=98, A=95, A-=92, B+=88, B=85, B-=82, C+=78, C=75, C-=72, D+=68, D=65, D-=62, F=50.

Final numeric grades will be converted to letter grades like this:

100-98=A+; 97-93=A; 92-90=A-; 89-88=B+; 87-83=B; 82-80=B-; 79-78=C+; 77-73=C; 72-70=C-; 69 and below=NC

Final grades for the class below a C- are given a mark of No Credit (NC), which does not reflect on your GPA but will require you to take the course again. You may also receive an NC for excessive absences; please see the attendance policy.
See the attendance policy.

Individual teachers may also have more specific policies about late assignments. Consult your class syllabus.

All students in attendance at the University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and to observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline. Academic misconduct includes all acts of dishonesty in any academically related matter and any knowing or intentional help or attempt to help, or conspiracy to help, another student.

The Academic Misconduct Disciplinary Policy will be followed in the event of academic misconduct.

The University of Alabama is committed to helping students uphold the ethical standards of academic integrity in all areas of study. Students agree that their enrollment in this course allows the instructor the right to use electronic devices to help prevent plagiarism. All course materials are subject to submission to TurnItIn.com for the purpose of detecting textual similarities. Assignments submitted to TurnItIn.com will be included as source documents in TurnItIn.com’s restricted access database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism in such documents. TurnItIn.com will be used as a source document to help students avoid plagiarism in written documents.
UA’s primary communication tool for sending out information is through its web site at www.ua.edu. In the event of an emergency, students should consult this site for further directions.

In the event of an emergency, your instructor will use Blackboard Learn to provide additional course information.

In the case of a tornado warning (tornado has been sighted or detected by radar; sirens activated), all university activities are automatically suspended, including all classes and laboratories. If you are in a building, please move immediately to the lowest level and toward the center of the building away from windows (interior classrooms, offices, or corridors) and remain there until the tornado warning has expired. Classes in session when the tornado warning is issued can resume immediately after the warning has expired at the discretion of the instructor. Classes that have not yet begun will resume 30 minutes after the tornado warning has expired provided at least half of the class period remains.

UA is a residential campus with many students living on or near campus. In general classes will remain in session until the National Weather Service issues safety warnings for the city of Tuscaloosa. Clearly, some students and faculty commute from adjacent counties. These counties may experience weather related problems not encountered in Tuscaloosa. Individuals should follow the advice of the National Weather Service for that area taking the necessary precautions to ensure personal safety. Whenever the National Weather Service and the Emergency Management Agency issue a warning, people in the path of the storm (tornado or severe thunderstorm) should take immediate life saving actions.

When West Alabama is under a severe weather advisory, conditions can change rapidly. It is imperative to get to where you can receive information from the National Weather Service and to follow the instructions provided. Personal safety should dictate the actions that faculty, staff and students take. The Office of Public Relations will disseminate the latest information regarding conditions on campus in the following ways:

  • Weather advisory posted on the UA homepage
  • Weather advisory sent out through Connect-ED–faculty, staff and students (sign up at myBama)
  • Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA at 90.7 FM
  • Weather advisory broadcast over Alabama Public Radio (WUAL) at 91.5 FM
  • Weather advisory broadcast over WVUA 7. WVUA 7 Storm Watch provides a free service you can subscribe to that allows you to receive weather warnings for Tuscaloosa via e-mail, pager or cell phone. Check http://www.wvua7.com/stormwatch.html for details.
The University of Alabama is committed to an ethical, inclusive community defined by respect and civility.  www.ua.edu/uact provides extensive information on how to report or obtain assistance with a variety of issues, including issues related to dating violence, domestic violence, stalking , sexual assault, sexual violence or other Title IX violations, illegal discrimination, harassment, child abuse or neglect, hazing, threat assessment, retaliation, and ethical violations or fraud.