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Expectations of Faculty

Parents have a wide variety of expectations for faculty, from why is the instructor being so tough on my student to why are they not being tougher. It is true that faculty teach a lot of different ways, which may be harder or easier for your student depending on his/her academic strengths, learning styles and level of interest in the class. (Every class can't be his/her favorite.)

So what can a parent expect from a faculty member? First, that the class has some structure. Your student should receive a copy of the syllabus or have access to one on Desire to Learn (D2L) during the first day of class. If you or the student has a question about the class that will be first place to look. Second expect that grades will be in a timely fashion. Generally a student should receive a grade for submitted course material approximately 2 weeks following the completion of the course assignment. If the instructor uses Desire to Learn (D2L), your student may need to look for the grade, rather than wait for it to be handed to them in class.

But faculty can't do everything. For example, they cannot share with a parent how a student is doing in his/her class. Those grades are protected records. Attendance is another issue faculty cannot share, for a couple of reasons. First, for courses with larger enrollments, most faculty do not take attendance and may not be able to recognize every student in the course. If faculty do take attendance, it is usually part of the grade for the course, which again means it's a private matter.

If you are concerned about how your student is doing academically, you do have an option. The Dean of Students office can check with faculty about a student's grades, if the faculty are concerned, invite the student in to have a conversation about what is happening, and make referrals to resources such as Tutoring Services, the Writing Center and even the Counseling Center for issues such as test anxiety or homesickness. After that conversation, it is up to the student as to what gets reported back to the parent.