This page offers answers to frequently asked questions from faculty and is organized by the following topics.
- Teaching Preparation
- Campus-wide Course Policies and Expectations
- Classroom Issues and Student Support
- Instructor Evaluation and Contracts
- As I develop my syllabus, what resource documents should I make sure to review?
Contact your Instructional Coordinator/Program Director to request a copy of the Course Outline and department syllabi for all courses you will be teaching. The Course Outline is a formal document outlining the expectations for the course. Many departments have also developed syllabi for courses to assist with consistency across sections. You may also request from your Dean’s office copies of other instructors' syllabi from previous semesters. They can assist you in seeking permission from other instructors to share these.
The college has also created a Syllabus Template that new faculty are strongly encouraged to use so that all necessary information is included in the syllabus document. The template is available at https://distancelearning.elgin.edu/faculty_shared/resources/TLSD_SyllabusTemplate.html . NOTE: Adult Education faculty should contact their program director to discuss syllabus development.
2. What information is available from the Class Roster on the AccessECC Portal?
- Hyperlink to easily access the Student Profile from the Class Roster
- Ability to email the entire class or an individual student from the Class Roster
- Check box option at the bottom to show or hide waitlisted students and to show or hide dropped and withdrawn students
3. How can I learn more about how to use ECC’s course management system Desires2Learn (D2L)?
If you are just starting out with D2L, you might begin by contacting the Distance Learning office to schedule a one-on-one session. To schedule, contact the Distance Learning Help Line (x7620 or email@example.com). There are also extensive tutorials available on the D2L login page.
4. How do I make copies?
You can get copies made for your class in two ways:
- Use a copy machine in the area of your office or classroom – contact your division’s Office Coordinator to receive the copier ID number and passcode to use
- Submit a duplicating request (click here for the online form) to the Copy Center (located in Bldg. D, Room D101)
- In person by completing Copy Center request form
- Via email - send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy Center Information (located in Bldg. D, Room D101)Hours:7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Fri. 847-214-7283 email@example.com
- How can I email my entire class?
There are multiple methods. First, there is an email feature available through AccessECC Portal in the Class Roster. Simply click the “Email these Students” link at the top of the roster page. A second option is to email students through the D2L Classlist. Note: students will not be listed in the Classlist until a few weeks prior to the start of the term. Also, remember that any responses to your email will be returned to your ECC Gmail account so you must log in there to check messages. There is a widget on your D2L homepage that notifies you of Gmail messages received. Accessing this email account can be done through your D2L home page (click Student Mail in the blue tool bar or going directly to www.google.com/a/student.elgin.edu). You may also forward to the Gmail account to your employee email address. A third option is to create your own distribution list using your preferred email communication tool.
Keep in mind whichever option you use, be sure to put all recipients in the Blind Copy (BCC) line in order to protect student’s privacy. It is expected faculty will use the student’s ECC issued email address for all correspondence.
2. How do I access my ECC-issued email accounts?
ECC faculty are issued two email accounts. Faculty are expected to actively and regularly manage both ECC email accounts. Faculty should not use personal email accounts when conducting ECC business with students or with support offices.
- ACADEMIC email (firstname.lastname@example.org) - The first part of the this email address is your user name (first initial, last name, then the last four-digits of your employee ID number). Faculty are issued a student email address as this address is integrated with the Desire2Learn learning management system. When students click the icon to email their instructor within D2L, it will be sent to this address. This is a Gmail account. You can access these messages via a link in the Employee Portal at elgin.edu/accessECC, via gmail.com, or via a link within D2L for "ECC Student Mail." You may choose to have students use this address to separate your employer communications from your student communications. You may also choose to forward the @student.elgin.edu account to the @elgin.edu account (forwarding in reverse cannot be done for security reasons). The password for this email account was established when you created your Employee Portal/accessECC login. Faculty are expected to regularly (every few days) monitor this email address.
- OFFICE email (email@example.com) - The first part of this email address is your first initial of your first name followed by your last name (no numbers in this address). This account will be used for employee-related communications from your Dean's office, Human Resources, student services offices, etc. Emails sent to this account can be viewed using the Microsoft Outlook program on campus computers or via the internet at https://webmail.elgin.edu. Faculty are expected to regularly (every few days) monitor this email address.
Contact the ECC Information Technology Helpdesk for additional support at 847-214-7979.
3. How am I notified the college is closed for emergencies?
Elgin Community College partners with Rave Mobile Safety to offer an emergency notification system called 'Rave Alert' to deliver reliable emergency text and email messages to employees and students any time there is an emergency or safety issue for the campus community.
No registration is required. You are automatically signed up if you are an ECC, administrator, staff, current student, or prospective student.
Campus-wide Policies and Expectations
- What is the attendance policy?
Refer to the Syllabus Template for the college’s attendance policy. In addition, check with your Instructional Coordinator/program director or Dean for guidance regarding instructor-specific policies used in your department. Some departments have established attendance policies. In the absence of department policies, the policy is up to each individual faculty member. Instructors should define their attendance policy within their syllabus.
2. Can I provide breaks for my class?
The Office Coordinator has calculated break time into the class meeting schedule. Confirm how much break time has been allocated with the division’s Office Coordinator. In general, if the course is less than two hours there is not a formal break. If the course is two hours or more, schedule a formal break in the middle.
3. How do final exams work?
There is no formal exam week at ECC. Instructors are also not required to administer final exams, unless it is standard department practice. Check with your Instructional Coordinator/Program Director to determine if this is the case. It is expected all faculty will provide instruction to each class through the last scheduled meeting day.
4. When are grades due?
All students must receive a midterm and final grade, regardless of whether the student has stopped attending prior to the end of the semester. Midterm grades are due the Monday after your midterm date (see www.elgin.edu/grading for a spreadsheet listing all class midterm dates). Final grades are due by the date listed in the official academic calendar (available at www.elgin.edu/calendar). All grades, including midterm grades, are entered via AccessECC Portal and available to students there. Students also receive midterm grade notices if receiving a D, F or W. For more information on grading, visit www.elgin.edu/grading. For questions about grading, contact your program director, dean, or associate dean.
5. Can I drop a student from my class?
Refer to the Administrative Procedure 1.202 Schedule Changes and Course Withdrawals. All instructors will complete midterm grades for students in their course. The withdrawal grade (W) is for students who never attended or students who may have participated in the first two weeks but are no longer participating. (NOTE: Adult Education instructors should contact their Director about when W’s are assigned.) All students should receive the grade earned as of the midterm date of the course. Students may withdraw themselves until the withdrawal deadline for the course (see www.elgin.edu/grading). If the student does not, they will receive the grade earned.
6. If I finish my lesson before the class time is over, can I dismiss early?
Because early dismissal can disrupt other classes and can shortchanges students of their class meeting time, be prepared to fully engage students for the entire class meeting period. It is always helpful to end each class meeting reviewing what was learned, the class meeting objectives, and previewing what will be covered in the next class meeting.
7. Am I required to maintain office hours?
Per the ECC Faculty contract, both Unit Adjunct Faculty (UAF) I’s and UAFII’s need to maintain 25 minutes per week for every credit or contact hour. Instructors must submit their hours in writing by the 10th day of instruction for approval by the Dean. Adjuncts who are not part of the faculty union should confirm with their department what the expectation is for office hours. All faculty should notify their students, verbally and via the syllabus, regarding how they can meet with you.
8. Where are the adjunct faculty offices? Where can I meet with a student outside of class?
Adjunct faculty offices are available in most buildings. Faculty typically prefer to be in an office with other adjuncts in their department or near their classroom space. Contact your Dean’s office to request key access to the most appropriate office space for your needs:
- Building A, room 231
- Building B, rooms 290 or 312
- Building D, room 223
- Building G, room 230
- Building K, room 174 or 176
- Building M, room 188.02
In addition, some buildings have rooms designated for student consultation which may also be used by adjunct instructors for meeting with students. Contact your Dean’s office to inquire if there are any of these near your teaching area.
9. What do I need to do to take my students out of the classroom?
There is a Field Trip Request form that must be completed for each course if you want to take students off campus. You must allow at least two weeks for this form to be processed. If taking students to other places on campus, please notify the Division office as well as leave a note with your location in your classroom for students or your Dean. Keep in mind if you are taking your class to the library, you are expected to be present for the entire class time.
10. What if I need to miss a class or am running late?
Please call your Dean’s Office Coordinator, Director, or Administrative Assistant as soon as possible if you are sick, running late or need to miss a class. It is important that you speak with someone. If you are unable to reach any of these contact people, contact the College Operator at 847-697-1000.
If a substitute is not found, the Division staff will contact students and put a notice on the door of the classroom. It is helpful if you can also email your students. If absences are pre-planned, you must receive approval from the Instructional Coordinator/Program Director/Dean in advance. All substitutions need to be approved by the Dean.
11. What if I have students sitting in on my class who are not on my roster?
The student must not be allowed in the classroom unless they are formally registered and show on the class roster. Students who are not registered should be directed to the Registration office in Building B (first floor) B105. Adult Education students should be directed to the front desk in Building K.
12. Does the college use waitlists?
Most courses do offer waitlists up until the payment due date, which is generally ten (10) days before the start of the semester. After payment due date, waitlists are cleared and students may register only if space is available and on a first come first serve basis through registration.
13. What is the grading policy?
Administrative Procedure 1.103 Student Grades outlines the acceptable grades and expectations for midterm, final, and incomplete grades as well as grade change procedures. See www.elgin.edu/grading for more information.
14. What do I do if a parent contacts me about their student?
It is not the practice at the college level to speak to parents or other relatives about a student. We believe the important responsibility of student learning now rests with the student and that faculty/student conversations are the basis of this learning. However, in limited circumstances a student may provide consent through a Consent to Release form that information be shared with a third party. This information is limited and is most appropriately released by the appropriate office. Faculty can refer individuals seeking this information to the Records office for further information. The Student Academic Records policy may also be useful to review.
Classroom Issues and Student Support
1. Who do I contact to fix or request equipment in my classroom?
It is important to test all equipment in your classroom well before the start of classes, as the Information Technology staff typically is addressing a large number of issues in preparation for the start of the term. If you have any problems with classroom equipment, contact the Information Technology Helpdesk at x7979, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the Help Desk icon on the classroom computer desktop. The same area also provides A/V equipment. Please allow 48 hours advanced notice if possible.
2. There are students in my class who are unmotivated, not attending, not submitting homework, etc. What can/should I do to help them?
Instructors are expected to proactively reach out to students in their classes. It is best to begin connecting with and building community among students from the start of the class. Cultivating these relationships is essential. If you have students who are disengaged, it is important you contact the student in any way you can (phone, personal email, etc.). Rather than beginning with a punitive approach (offering threats of what will happen if the student does not complete work or participate in class), it is often most helpful to begin with friendly reminder and by asking direct questions ("Are there particular factors preventing you from submitting X assignment?").
In addition, use the Spartan Alert system as another step to send a formal letter to the student’s home. To initiate Spartan Alert, faculty must enter the student’s name into the Spartan Alert system on AccessECC. Please see www.elgin.edu/earlyalert for more information.
3. If I have concerns about a student or think he/she is in crisis, who do I contact or where do I refer him/her to? And how?
ECC has established a standing Behavioral Intervention Team to assist instructors in addressing students’ behavioral concerns. A reference guide is available via this link (click here) and is also available via the Employee Portal under “Faculty Resource" -> "Instructor Guildines and Important Dates." If you believe you, the student, or others are in immediate danger contact the ECC Police at x7777. Students can be referred to the Dean of Student Services and Development at x7274 for follow up or a Wellness Professional in the Student Success Center (B120).
It is expected that all instructors be familiar with how to serve students in distress. You can also refer students to the Wellness Center staff (located in B120) who can help students address any problems privately and confidentially.
4. How should I help students with personal problems?
On occasion, a student will reveal a serious personal problem that is beyond your expertise. You should refer the student to an appropriate resource for assistance. Refer to FAQ question above for various resources. However, we strongly encourage you to first talk with the student privately. Express both your caring concern and your lack of training in the area of concern. Ask if the student would like you to connect them with someone who is trained to assist with the problem. The keys to getting the student to agree to accept help are to (1) demonstrate a genuine care for the student’s welfare and a candid concern about the problem, (2) explain fully why you are recommending the person you want the student to see, and (3) offer to go with the student and introduce them to the person.
5. What do I do if I suspect one of my students plagiarized?
Acts of academic dishonesty are taken seriously and may include, but are not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, complicity, multiple submission, and misconduct in research. Familiarize yourself with Administrative Procedure 4.407 Academic Integrity regarding the process and guidelines. A free tutorial is available within D2L under the Student Resources link in the main toolbar. If the instructor determines the tutorial is insufficient and wants the student to document review of plagiarism information, you may require the student complete a non-credit Writing with Integrity course. Contact the Director of the Write Place, Scott Vaszily (email@example.com), for more information.
Instructor Evaluation and Contracts
1. How will my teaching be evaluated?
Each adjunct instructor (non-unit) will be observed during their first semester. Observations typically happen between September and November. The Instructional Coordinator/Program Director/Dean’s office will contact you to arrange this meeting time. There will be a pre-visit meeting to review expectations and class materials then a post-visit meeting to discuss and document the visit. Contact your Dean or Associate Dean if you have specific questions. For more detailed information about the classroom observation process, all faculty are invited to attend the Faculty Observation & Feedback workshop offered through CETL each semester. The workshop provides how tos for those doing the observations and can also be helpful for those being observed. Be on the lookout for registration information via email or in the dates provided on the homepage.
Student Evaluation of Instruction surveys will also be disseminated to your students via their @student.elgin.edu email address near the end of the term. It is important that you remind students to complete these evaluations, as they provide important feedback on your teaching. You may also allocate 15 minutes of class time to have students complete the student evaluations.
The results of these tools will be used to determine if you are asked to continue teaching at ECC. It is important for you to familiarize yourself with the criteria included in the Classroom Visitation form (available via Employee Portal under “Faculty Resources/Faculty Forms”).
2. Will I receive a contract? When will I get paid? Who do I contact if I have questions about my paycheck?
Your Dean’s office manages all instructor notices of appointment. Questions about contracts and/or payments may be directed to the Dean’s Office Coordinator.