Policies

Regular attendance in your writing class is vital to your growth as a writer. Regular attendance equals success. You should, therefore, strive to attend every class meeting. It is in class, after all, that you will learn the habits of good writers, as you will have ample opportunities for conversation, collaboration, questioning, revising, writing, etc.

Occasionally, however, you may have to miss class. The First-year Writing Program Attendance Policy makes reasonable allowances for such absences. Please review the following information carefully:

  • You should not miss more than six class meetings for classes meeting three times a week, or four class meetings for classes meeting twice a week. During Summer I and II terms, you should miss no more than three classes. You are considered absent any time you are not in class—no matter what the reason.
  • If you miss more classes, you will receive a course grade of NC (“No Credit”) for excessive absences. Your instructor is required to assign this grade, except in rare cases warranting a policy waiver. However, you may appeal an attendance-related NC grade to the Director of First-year Writing after grades have been submitted.

What You Can Make Up

  • Making up missed work does not erase absences. Again, you should strive to attend every class meeting.
  • You may make up major-grade work (such as papers or tests) if class was missed due to legitimate circumstances beyond your control (i.e., documented illness or medical emergency; a family funeral; activities at which you officially represent the University of Alabama). If such circumstances should arise, please promptly communicate them to and document them for your instructor.
  • You may make up major-grade work missed due to absences for other reasons only with the consent of your instructor.
  • You may arrange to turn in major-grade work in advance or online only if allowed by your instructor.

What You Can’t Make Up

  • Class discussions, group work, in-class writing, or other daily class work in a writing class cannot be reconstructed. Therefore, daily work missed due to absence or tardiness cannot be made up. Missed daily class work will have a negative impact on your grade!
“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.
  • If you are assigned a grade of NC and you don’t understand why, first speak to your instructor for an explanation of why you earned this grade.
  • After that, if you feel there are extenuating circumstances, you may appeal to the First-Year Writing Director (Dr. Luke Niiler, lpniiler@ua.edu).
  • All appeals must be made after final grades are submitted. No appeals will be heard until this time.
  • To appeal your grade, contact the Director of First-Year Writing with a written explanation of the extenuating circumstances that you believe warrant a grade change. You should be prepared to provide any necessary evidence such as doctor’s notes, and so on.
  • Appeals should be made in a timely fashion, ideally within two weeks of the posting of final grades.