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UHD Common Syllabus Language Policies

UHD Common Syllabus Language (as of August 14, 2023)

This information is considered part of the syllabus for all classes at UHD in accordance with UHD's policy on course syllabi .It exists in addition to all other requirements in the syllabus that​ your instructor provides and all other university, system, state, and federal policies and requirements including the UHD Student Handbook. Substantive changes to this set of policies will be communicated to faculty and students via official UHD email systems.

Most importantly—we are here to help you succeed at UHD! Please do not hesitate to ask questions of your instructor or any staff member.

Responses to University-Wide Disruptions
In the event of university-wide disruptions for any reason, including weather, health, and safety concerns, UHD may require instructors and students to engage in their classes via different modalities and/or timelines to minimize disruption to the continuity of the semester. Such changes may entail adjustments in syllabus content. Instructors will communicate any changes in writing to all enrolled students as soon as circumstances allow. Disruptions aside, instructors reserve the right to adjust their syllabi as needed in order to accommodate the education needs of the class, but any such changes will be communicated to students in writing during the course of the semester.

Please check the UHD website to understand how UHD is responding to any unexpected circumstances and regularly check your class Blackboard or Canvas site and Gatormail sources for information specific to your classes.

Academic Honesty
As a UHD student, you are responsible for following the UHD Academic Honesty Policy Statement 3.A.19, which defines the scope of academic honesty and identifies processes for addressing violations, including an appeal process. As per the policy, “students are responsible for maintaining the academic integrity of the University by following the Academic Honesty Policy. Students are responsible for doing their own work and avoiding all forms of academic dishonesty." Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating and plagiarism. Use of any generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, including ChatGPT, may be considered a violation of the UHD Academic Honesty Policy; each faculty member will specify when students may use AI tools and when use of AI will constitute a violation of the UHD Academic Honesty Policy for their own course sections. If you are not sure, you should ask before using AI tools.

Your faculty member will identify the penalty for academic honesty violations and the penalty of an F in a course is recommended “in instances of multiple and/or flagrant violations." The policy also requires that all violations are reported to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Accessibility and Statement of Reasonable Accommodations
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student population. Accordingly, UHD strives to provide reasonable academic accommodations to students who request and are eligible, as specified by Section 504 and ADA guidelines. Students with disabilities may work with the Office of Disability Services to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. If you have a disability, or think you may have a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services, to begin this conversation or request an official accommodation. Office of Disability Services, One Main St., Suite GSB 314, Houston, TX 77002. (Office Phone) 713-221-5078 (Website) (Email)

Attendance and Roster Certification
Students are expected to participate regularly in classes as appropriate to the modality of the course. If the class has scheduled meeting times, either online or in-person, students are expected to attend all class sessions. In addition to class meeting times, students are expected to dedicate time to relevant course work outside of class meeting times based on the number of credit hours per course. For a typical 3-credit course, students should budget an average of 6 additional hours per week outside of class. This may vary for lab, practicum, or other classes that do not have standard meeting times or formats.

Your failure to attend class (in-person, hybrid, HyFlex, or synchronous online), engage through the course in the Learning Management System course (online asynchronous), or make contact with faculty to adequately explain your absence by the 12th calendar day of the semester may result in your being administratively dropped from this course. Being dropped from this course may affect your enrollment status and/or your financial aid eligibility.

Book Purchasing
A student of this institution is not under any obligation to purchase a textbook from a university affiliated bookstore. The same textbook may also be purchased from an independent retailer, including an online retailer.

Recording of Class Sessions
Some of the sessions in courses may be pre-recorded, recorded or live-streamed by the instructor. Such recordings/streaming will be available only to students registered for this class. Students should not share these instructor-recorded sessions with those not in the class, or upload them to any other online environment. Students should not record or stream course sessions. Doing so may be a violation of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please check with your instructor before sharing recordings of class content with any individual.

Religious Holy Days
The University of Houston-Downtown respects the religious observances of students even though they may conflict with university class meetings, assignments, or examinations as per the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Texas Administrative Code §4.4 Student Absences on Religious Holy Days.

A student whose absence is excused under this policy shall be treated consistently with the instructor's policies and procedures relating to other excused absences, except that no instructor policy may deny the opportunity for make-up work, as described here. Instructors should announce reasonable time periods for make-up work and exams in writing to the class and make clear the consequences of a student's failure to meet such time requirements. Students needing to reschedule missed work or exams for a holy day should submit a written request to each instructor at least one week prior to the class period or assignment/exam date that will be missed. An instructor should acknowledge receipt of that request via email to the student's official UHD email address. A new date for taking an examination or completing classwork missed for a holy day shall be set by the instructor in accordance with announced policies.

If a student and an instructor disagree about whether the absence is for the observance of a religious holy day, or if they disagree about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may appeal to the Office of the Provost. For further information about the state law, please see the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Texas Administrative Code §4.4 or contact the offices of the UHD Title IX/Equal Opportunity Services to review the policy.

Safety Precautions
All individuals coming to the UHD campus must observe all safety precautions articulated by the university. Please review the most current requirements on our website. Failure to comply with any institutional policies may constitute a violation of the student code of conduct and lead to disciplinary action through the Office of the Dean of Students.

Student Support Services
UHD has developed many resources to support your learning, engagement with UHD activities, and other UHD processes.  Please access this Student Success and Student Life website to get started. If you do not find the resource you need on this website, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 713-221-8100 or; they will make every effort to connect you with the help you need.

Student Counseling Services
As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning. These might include strained relationships, anxiety, high levels of stress, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, or loss of motivation. UHD Student Counseling Services is here to help with these or other issues you may experience. You can learn about the free, confidential mental health services available on campus by calling 713-221-8121 or at /student-life/counseling/.

Technology Requirements
All classes at UHD require students to access materials in our Learning Management System (Blackboard or Canvas) or other learning applications. Online, hybrid or even face-to-face classes will assign work that requires access to a computer for creating and submitting assignments, taking tests, conducting research, working with classmates, or engaging with the class. As importantly, if University locations are not available to students for any reason, the online environment becomes a critical pathway for continuing our classes and supporting your goals of completion. Unfortunately, most phones and even some tablets may not provide the level of technology or access that can maximize your success. Therefore, it is essential for every student at UHD to have reliable access to internet and a computer that meets some basic requirements.

You should communicate in a timely manner with your instructors in the case of any challenges in using technology.

Here are some resources to help you determine equipment needs and usage:

Testing and Final Exams
Asynchronous online courses may use a virtual testing option through the Learning Management System or other proctoring service option.  For synchronous online courses, any final exam will be offered virtually through the Learning Management System or other proctoring service option and will allow completion during the scheduled exam period. In-person or hybrid classes may have in-person or online exams during the scheduled exam period as indicated on the course syllabus. For more information on taking Blackboard tests or quizzes, see this guide; for Canvas, see this page​. If proctoring is required, your instructor will inform you of the process for setting up this option either through the Learning Management System or an alternative venue, and they will inform you of whether there are any additional costs as part of the course syllabus. Please note that proctoring services may require a current UHD ID.

UHD has a final exam period at the end of the semester. For any courses with a scheduled class meeting component, there are specific times scheduled for the exams which can be found on our academic calendars webpage.  Students are expected to be available during the scheduled period unless they have consulted their instructor and identified an alternative option..

Use of Blackboard, Canvas, Gatormail, and Zoom
You are expected to regularly participate in your classes as scheduled as well as engage course material through the Learning Management system​ as required by instructors.

Gatormail is the official UHD email communication system and UHD staff and faculty must use it to share student-specific information that is protected by federal FERPA guidelines. You should check your account regularly for both class and university messages.

If you are taking a class that has virtual online meetings that use Zoom or other university-supported technology, you are expected to attend at scheduled times and participate fully following any protocols established by your instructor. Zoom classes, activities, and/or exams may require live video. Your instructor will provide this information to you as part of the course syllabus. Students with concerns regarding any requirement to participate in live video for specific course learning outcomes and/or assignments should consult their instructor.


Previous Common Syllabus Language (Dec. 15, 2021-Aug. 15, 2022).pdf