Suggestions for Syllabus Contract:

Disabilities accommodations

The Office of Student Development works with all students that identify as ADA to determine appropriate accommodations– faculty should not make accommodations for students without the explicit written recommendation from that office. Here is some example language:

“If you are a student with a disability who seeks accommodation or other assistance in this course, please let me know as soon as possible. Kalamazoo College is committed to making every effort to providing reasonable accommodations. If you want to discuss your overall needs for accommodation at the College, please direct questions to the Associate Dean of Students Office, 269.337.7209. For more information, please see ”

Honor Code

Here is some example language, developed in collaboration with the Provost and Dean of Students:

“This course operates under the College Honor System. That means: we treat each other with respect, we nurture independent thought, we take responsibility for personal behavior, and we accept environmental responsibility. Academic honesty is a critical part of our value system at K. When you borrow an idea, express the idea in your own words, thus thinking it through and making it your own, and acknowledge the source of the idea in a note, or, in certain situations, use the exact words of the source in quotation marks and acknowledge with a note. Ideas raised in class are part of the public domain and, therefore, sources of the ideas need not be acknowledged. If you are ever in doubt about this, you must ask. See the full policy at”

Violations of Honor Code

Let students know what will happen if they have a violation of academic integrity (reported to Dean Joshua-Wathel; failed assignment/failed class, etc…). Here is some example language as a starting point relating to plagiarism specifically; you will want to tailor to your class expectations and assignments:

Plagiarism will result in a score of zero points, further disciplinary action from the Dean’s Office, and possible course failure. No exceptions. Be sure you are presenting your own work.

Attendance Policy

Let students know if you have certain expectations and if/how grades will be penalized if expectations are not met. Also, make sure students know that you are willing – if you are willing, to work with them for circumstances that are known well in advance such as sporting events or conferences, or other college sanctioned events.

Information about Learning Commons

Example language:

“The Learning Commons is a network of peer support available to help you with a variety of skills and disciplines. The Writing Center, Research Consultant Center, and Center for New Media Design are on the first floor of Upjohn Library. Our English as a Second Language and Learning Specialist support programs are located there as well. The Math-Physics Center is in Olds-Upton Hall. It is my observation that students who frequent these centers generally learn more and receive higher grades, so I encourage you to use them early and often. More information about each of these centers is available at”

Overall, Be explicit about your policies on attendance, participation, electronic devices, late work, etc.