Syllabus Guidelines

Go to Example Course Policies down

Syllabus Outline

The college has an official Syllabus Template that is very easy to use and automatically fills in certain details. It is available here:

Teaching Learning and Student Development (TLSD) Syllabus Template

In addition, we also have a document with college-wide information that you should make available to your students either in print form or posted in D2L.

College Details

Why? What does it or should it do?

Basic syllabus components:

The following information should be included in a syllabus.

Example Syllabi

See the appropriate Course link above for example syllabi for several of our courses.

Departmental Policies

As a professional educator, you have the academic freedom to craft your course and the accompanying syllabus as you see fit. The policies listed below are simply examples provided by the department.

Don't forget to also look at the syllabus inserts page for the required inserts there.

Attendance Policy


You are required to have a defined attendance policy and to include it in your syllabus. The most common policy is to allow the number of absences to be twice the number of credit hours of the course before the student is subject to instructor withdrawal. Some instructors count being tardy as an absence and some instructors of night classes (which meet in two hour blocks) take attendance twice: once for each hour.

Sample for 4 credit hour class meeting 4 days a week:    

Regular attendance is mandatory with no more than eight absences allowed.  Any student missing more than the allowed number of class periods (for any reason) is subject to withdrawal from the course.  Students violating the attendance policy after the 10th week will be assigned a failing grade.  If you are having an exceptional problem with class attendance, please see me and explain.  For success in this course, you should attend all classes and arrive on time!

Behavioral Expectations Policy


Your syllabus should contain a section for Behavior Expectations. One example is provided below.

Sample behavioral expectations statement:

All pagers and cell phones must be turned off in class. Please go to the washroom, buy a drink or snack before coming to class. You may not come and go from the classroom. You are responsible for reading material in the textbook ahead of time and remaining attentive while taking notes in class. Participation in class is expected. Bring you book, notebook, pencil and calculator to class each day.

Calculator Policy


Graphing calculators are required for MTH 112 and all higher level courses. A TI-83 or 84 is recommended. Instructors may require the use of graphing calculators for MTH 098.

Instructors may restrict the use of calculators with computerized algebra systems such as TI-89 or TI-92. Many instructors in transfer level courses restrict usage of calculators on some portions of their exams.


Mth096 A scientific or graphing calculator is allowed for use in this course on homework only.  Calculators are not allowed on exams unless told otherwise
Mth112 A scientific or graphing calculator such as the TI-84 (or TI-83+) is required for use in this course, though I may restrict their use on some quizzes and exams.  Calculators with symbolic manipulation capabilities such as the TI-89 or TI-92 are not allowed.  Consult me if you have questions about your model.

Students are not permitted to share calculators during exams or tests.

Homework policies:


The majority of ECC math instructors have some policy or protocol to encourage students to give sufficient and timely effort on work done outside the classroom. Typical homework policies require students to turn in homework assignments on a regular basis. Instructors vary on how much they grade and/or give weight to homework assignments.

Some instructors offer points for “board problems” or presenting homework problems to the class. Some post reviews and solutions on their web sites. Short “homework quizzes” are a recommended practice; these can be done once or twice a week or even daily.

Homework will be assigned at the end of every section and will be collected on exam days.  Points will be given for an honest attempt at the problems.  See attached homework list.

Homework will be assigned at the end of every section, but will not be collected.  Instead, homework checks will be given every week (see schedule).  This is a COPY activity.  With your textbook closed, you will copy the problem, work, and answer to five specific homework problems.  You will not have time to complete unfinished problems.  Your grade will be based on the correctness of the process and the answer.  Answers without work will be given no credit.  The answers are in the back of your textbook, so be sure to check your answers before a homework check.  Each homework check will be worth 10 points, and I will drop your lowest score.  Because of this, make-up homework checks are only allowed if you notify me BEFORE the check takes place.

Success in a math class depends on your ability to successfully complete problems individually. Being able to “follow along” in class does not mean you will be successful on quizzes and exams. You need to practice math by completing problems on your own.

Homework will be completed online using MyMathLab at An online access packet for MyMathLab was bundled with your textbook, if purchased new. Online access can also be purchased separately at

Every exercise has “helps” (such as seeing a similar example) available for immediate assistance. You have 3 attempts on all homework questions. Each section must be completed by the due date and time indicated (in MyMathLab). You may also print the assignments, so even when you are away from a computer, you can be working on the homework problems.

Final Exam Policy


The majority of ECC math courses require instructors to give a comprehensive final exam. See the individual course outline (details under the courses menu above). A departmental exam is available for Mth 090, 096, and 098. Most instructors weigh the final exam from 18-25% of the student’s grade.

Test and Quiz Policy


Most math instructors of transfer level courses give a minimum of four hour exams during the semester. More frequent assessment and testing is usually done in developmental courses where chapter tests are the most common choice. Additional quizzes are often part of course assessment.

Some instructors drop one test score; some do not.

Be sure you include a policy for make-up tests that works for your schedule as well as your students. 

Exams will be given covering each chapter from the text.  The dates for these exams are tentatively scheduled (see schedule).  No make-up exams are allowed, but if you know in advance that you must be absent, please see me about the possibility of taking an exam early.  You must contact me prior to the scheduled exam to be considered.  You may take only ONE exam this way.  A second missed exam will be recorded as a zero.

Grade Distribution


While there is no standard distribution of grades at ECC, most faculty use a standard 90/80/70/60 curve. There are no +/- grades at ECC. Here's an example of a possible grade distribution: 

 Grading Scale

90-100: A
80-89: B
70-79: C
60-69: D
0-59: F

You should not expect any “curving”, though grades are rounded.  (i.e. 89.5+ rounds to an A, but 89.4- is a B.)

Withdrawal Policy


The last day to withdraw from this course with a grade of W is <supply date>. After the tenth week of class, the only grades that will be assigned are A, B, C, D or F.

Note: You can find the withdrawal dates on the ECC website.

Placement Re-test


A student who earns an “A” in their first math course can request a re-test for the Compass Math placement exam. The testing office will verify that the student earned an “A” in their first math class and approve the student for one re-test, for the compass math placement test. Immediately upon completion of the test the student will be referred to the counseling office to assist the student in selecting the appropriate math course and then to registration.