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Common Policies for All General Education Writing Courses

[Rev. January 2021]

To support the best learning and teaching conditions, the Writing Program has adopted a minimal number of policies that govern all of its General Education Writing courses. Individual faculty may revise these policies for tone, style, and degree of explanation, and some policies provide a range of supported options. Any revisions shall appear on the syllabus for a particular section of the class. However, all modifications shall be consistent with the policies below. Alternatively, a syllabus may simply inform students that "General Education writing course policies pertain to this class" and direct students to the Writing Program course policies webpage.


Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy. Students with disabilities who seek reasonable accommodations in the classroom or other aspects of performing their coursework must first register with the UNF Student Accessibility Services (SAS) center located in Building 57, Room 1500. SAS staff members work with students to obtain required documentation of disability and to identify appropriate accommodations as required by applicable disability laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After receiving all necessary documentation, the SAS staff determines whether a student qualifies for services with the SAS and, if so, the accommodations will be provided to the student.  SAS staff then prepares a letter for the student to provide faculty advising them of approved accommodations. For further information, contact the SAS by phone at 904-620-2769, by email at, or visit the SAS website at .

Our courses are inclusive environments, organized in the spirit of Universal Design. We are committed to helping all students engage with every aspect of our courses. Please talk with your instructor early in the semester so that they can resolve any access needs and design accommodations to help you succeed in your course.

Service Animals & Technology

Disabled students, faculty, and staff often employ assistance in the form of wheelchairs, canes, technology, and service animals. Please recognize that these technologies are an extension of the disabled person, and do not interact with these technologies without the disabled person's permission. In particular, please refrain from petting or talking to service animals unless the handler has given you permission.


First-day Attendance

UNF requires that all students attend the first class meeting for any course in which they are registered. If a student fails to attend this first class meeting, they may be dropped from the course. For online courses, all students must log into Canvas and evidence their participation by the end of add/drop deadline, or they may be dropped from the course for failure to satisfy the university's first-day attendance policy.

General Education Writing Courses

Because absences negatively affect student performance, the Writing Program requires that all students attend or tend to at least 80% of class-specific obligations. Any student who misses 20% or more of scheduled classes or deadlines will receive an F for the course.

In-person Courses Online Courses
Students are expected to
  • attend every class meeting
  • attend scheduled conferences
  • complete online activities
Students are expected to
  • meet every assignment deadline
  • attend scheduled conferences
  • complete course activities


For online courses, instructors will, at a minimum, offer weekly assignments that document active student involvement within that course. These assignments may include, but are not limited to, discussion board postings, emailing with the instructor, and submitting or completing work in Blackboard.

This attendance policy will stand regardless of the quality of the student's work.

Civility and Tolerance

The Writing Program affirms the UNF Student Conduct Code: "The Student Conduct Code is designed to promote responsible behavior for all students consistent with the welfare of the UNF community."

  1. Because writing courses rely on interaction, civility and tolerance are vital to foster productive classroom and learning environments. Instructors will act to reduce behaviors that may compromise such environments. These actions may range from informal conversations, to formal communications, to requested action by the Division of Student Affairs, or in the case of extreme classroom disruption, to contact with the University Police for assistance.
  2. By definition, education depends on encountering new ideas and information. Some of these new ideas may conflict with an individual's existing knowledge or perspective. The Writing Program expects students to engage such materials thoughtfully, in ways that reflect the values and mission of the University of North Florida.
  3. Students shall refrain from any activity that disrespects the classroom environment and learning conditions for others.
  4. Students should use professional email etiquette in communications with faculty and peers. [See Purdue OWL for more information.]

Late Assignments

Assignments are due when they are due. Late work will be accepted only at the discretion of the instructor, and work based on in-class participation cannot be made up. The Writing Program supports the following range of options concerning late work: a lowered grade, delayed instructor evaluation or response, no credit.

Violation of Academic Integrity

The University of North Florida's Academic Integrity Code "expects all members of the academic community to respect the principle of academic freedom and to behave with academic integrity." Each student is responsible for reading and understanding this policy.

Violations of the Academic Integrity include, among others:

  • Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication: Alteration or invention of any information, including citations, in an academic exercise.
  • Multiple submissions: submitting substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) more than once without authorization.
  • Plagiarism: Presenting someone else's language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source. This definition applies to texts published in print or online, to manuscripts, and to the work of other student writers.

[See Student Handbook for the complete listing of academic integrity violations.]

Students who violate the academic integrity code will receive an F on the specific assignment and may receive an F for the course. The instructor will inform the Director of the Writing Program of violations of academic integrity.

Continuity of Instruction Plan

In the event of disruption of normal classroom activities due to an emergency such as hurricane, pandemic or other unforeseen event or combination of events, the format of this course may be modified in order to enable completion of the course requirements. In that event, you will be provided an addendum to this syllabus that will supersede this version. It is your responsibility as a student participant to be proactive during any emergency to find instructions that your instructor will post via email or Canvas, which you should check daily.

Useful Student Resources

Many students experience stress while adjusting to college. The services below are available free to students. Contacts for each office follows-their staffs include trained, caring professionals who have experience helping students deal with specific academic, security, psychological, and emotional issues.

The Writing Center

Building 4 / Room 2501

First-year Advising/Undergraduate Studies - Academic Advising and Tutoring

Founder's Hall, 2/1200, (904) 620-1012

The UNF Counseling Center

Founder's Hall, 2/2300, (904) 620-2602

UNF Campus Police

Building 41, on UNF Drive across the street from the Information Booth

Non-Emergency Number: (904) 620-2800

Note: Police officers are available 24 hours a day to provide safety escorts to any member of the University Community. To request an escort, contact the UPD at 620-2800.

The Women's Center (and Victim Advocacy Program)

Founder's Hall, 2/2100, (904) 620-2528,

24-hour Crisis Helpline: (904) 620-1010

Military and Veterans Resource Center

Founder's Hall, 2/1100 (904) 620-5131,

Interfaith Center

Building 2, Room 1400, (904) 620-5715,

LGBTQ Center

Student Union, Building 58E, Room 1111, (904) 620-4720

FERPA Policies

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guarantees students and their parents certain rights. In relation to those rights, our course policies include the following:

  1. Your instructor cannot discuss your grades with you via email.

  2. Your instructor cannot discuss your grades and/or progress with your parents or any third party unless you have signed a waiver of your FERPA rights with One Stop. Your instructor will require proof that the waiver has been signed before I discuss your grades or standing in the class with your parents.

  3. If you fail the course and you are on financial aid, your instructor is legally required to report your attendance record to the financial aid department.