Classroom Expectations and Ethics

Christian Citizenship

UMHB accepts students of all faiths or persuasions, but attendance at the University should be understood by all as a statement of agreement to live in accordance with the regulations governing the campus community. The spirit of Christian behavior is demonstrated in conduct, speech, dress, attitudes, integrity, honesty in academic and personal activities, and respect for the property and rights of others as well as respect for the officials of the University. This applies both to on-campus and off-campus life.

Children in the Classroom

One of the advantages employees and students have at UMHB is the family atmosphere created by the small size of the UMHB classes and the value placed on people in our learning community. The value placed on people also makes it necessary for the university to provide employees and students a comfortable, safe, and non-distracting work or study environment. Students should not bring children into the classroom. Occasional needs or emergency situations should be discussed with students’ instructors. This policy is designed to be people-sensitive both in emergencies and in the day-to-day function of the university.

Student Responsibility

All students are responsible for knowledge of and adherence to regulations governing admissions, advising, registration, drop/add, withdrawal, and financial settlement. Students are also expected to be familiar with the specific academic and attendance requirements of the degree/certification that they plan to pursue.

Class Attendance

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor expects regular and punctual attendance in class. Punctuality is deemed to be as important as attendance since tardiness is disruptive and distracting to both faculty and fellow students and is undesirable for personal and professional activities. Students coming to class late assume responsibility for checking with the instructor to make sure they were marked tardy instead of absent. Because attendance is expected, students are responsible for all course work and assignments.

Types of Absence

University Excused Absence: An absence due to participation in certain University-related activities may be designated as a University Excused Absence. If an absence is designated as a University Excused Absence, faculty will provide reasonable opportunity for students to make up work that is missed. If it is not feasible for the student to make up work, some allowance may be made in order that the student will not be overly penalized.  The student must inform the instructor regarding a University Excused Absence in advance of that absence. This will allow a reasonable opportunity for the student to make up missed work. Depending on the policies of a course’s academic college, department or program, University Excused Absences may count toward the total number of absences allowed in a course.

Excused Absences: Students who miss class due to illness, death of a family member, or other unavoidable circumstances will be granted an excused absence. In that event, faculty will provide reasonable opportunity for student to make up work that is missed. If it is not feasible for the student to make up work, some allowance may be made in order that the student will not be overly penalized. The student must inform the instructor as soon as possible of such absences. It shall be up to the discretion of the faculty member to determine whether the circumstances that caused the absence warrant granting an excused absence. The instructor may request verifying documentation for non-medical care related absences (i.e. death in the family). It is the student’s responsibility to check with the instructor upon their return to class as to whether a particular absence will be considered excused.

Unexcused Absences: Absences for reasons other than University Excused Absences or Excused Absences are Unexcused Absences.  Students who miss class due to an unexcused absence may only make up work at the discretion of the individual instructor, as stated in the course syllabus.

In those instances where absence policies limit the number of absences allowed in a class, faculty may count all absences—University Excused Absences, Excused Absences, and Unexcused Absences—toward the total.  All absences are counted from the first class session of the term.

While colleges or departments have developed policies that are used by all faculty in the respective college or department, students are expected to be aware of and abide by the attendance policy that pertains to each class, as indicated in the course syllabus.

Academic Decorum

The learning environment involves an exchange of ideas and an exploration of concepts between faculty and students and a certain level of decorum facilitates that learning environment. In order to create an effective learning environment, students pledge to:

  1. Come to class prepared. This includes careful reading of assignments, being prepared to participate in discussions and completing any assignments that are due.
  2. Be attentive and responsive in class
  3. Respect fellow students’ opinions and ideas
  4. Contribute to the class by making topic-specific comments as appropriate
  5. Offer critiques and alternative ideas in a non-condescending manner
  6. Provide a fair share of work to group projects and team activities

Examples of disruptive behaviors to avoid include:

  1. Talking, sleeping, or otherwise distracting members of the class
  2. Using electronic devices in class without permission or in a manner that disrupts the class or other students
  3. Exhibiting argumentative or attention-seeking behavior
  4. Failing to show respect or act with civility

Academic Integrity

As an institution committed to the Christian values of honesty and integrity, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor expects all members of the learning community to commit themselves to high standards of academic integrity. Academic integrity is vital not only as we live out our Christian calling but also for our students’ success in their future vocations. To that end, students are expected to take responsibility for all the work they produce at the University and to ensure that it meets the University’s standards for academic integrity.

  1. Written work should reflect the student’s own ideas and any use of others’ words, ideas, or patterns of thought should be appropriately quoted and/or cited.
    • Plagiarism in any form is expressly prohibited.
    • Failure to comply with the university’s copyright policy is expressly prohibited.
  2. Students are responsible for understanding the instructor’s rules governing any particular piece of academic work and abiding by those rules. Any questions about persons or materials not authorized to be used on any particular assignment should be clarified before accessing those persons or materials.
    • Submitting academic work produced with unauthorized assistance or materials is expressly prohibited. This may include assistance from fellow students, other faculty members, textbooks, notes, online resources, or commercial sources such as professional paper writers that are available for hire, or any other material that has not been authorized by the instructor for use.
    • Papers (in whole or in part) or other work prepared for one course should not be submitted to meet the requirements of another course without express permission from the instructor.
  3. Students assigned to collaborate in group projects should contribute their fair share of the work necessary to complete the project or notify the instructor of their failure to contribute.
  4. Academic integrity requires that students be truthful in all their academic work.
    • Falsifying research data, lab reports, or other academic work product is expressly prohibited.
    • Students should refrain from disclosing the specific contents of any test, exam, or other required assignment to a student who will, or may, later be required to complete that same assignment.
    • Students should refrain from soliciting or otherwise acquiring specific information about the contents of any test, exam, or other assignment that will, or may, be administered in the future.
  5. As members of a learning community, we all have a responsibility to assure that all members have equal access to learning materials.
    • Keeping, taking, intentionally misplacing or damaging library books, online files, laboratory equipment, or other academic resources in order to obtain an academic advantage over another student is expressly prohibited.
  6. Students taking online courses should be diligent to maintain the same standards of academic integrity for work performed off campus as for work performed in the classroom, the library, or other campus facilities. Online students should maintain strict privacy of their login identity and passwords.
  7. The University’s standards of academic integrity go beyond the classroom to encompass all aspects of a student’s academic life.
    • Falsifying an academic record, a degree plan, a prerequisite waiver, or any other official document is expressly prohibited.
    • Students should not mislead any official of the University in order to secure a required form or otherwise obtain an academic advantage.
  8. The University is a learning community in which participants are responsible for one another.
    • Assisting a student in any violation of the academic integrity standards is expressly prohibited. For example, providing or receiving unauthorized assistance, including (but not limited to) taking another student’s exam, providing answers to another student during a test, or contributing to another student’s written work without permission.
  9. In furtherance of the mutual responsibility students share for academic integrity, students are expected to respond fully and candidly to any request from a University official for assistance in any investigation of violations of the University’s standards.
    • Failure to respond candidly and fully to such a request is a violation of the university’s standards.

This is not an exhaustive list and the university reserves the right to interpret and reasonably apply academic standards to individual situations.

A student who fails to meet these standards of academic integrity may receive a lower grade (including zero) on an assignment or a lower grade (including an “F” or “No Credit”) for the course, as determined by the instructor. The penalty for academic dishonesty may also include more severe penalties, up to expulsion from the University. Conduct which violates the student Code of Conduct may also be grounds for disciplinary action as described in the Student Handbook.

For more information regarding academic integrity at UMHB, contact the Provost’s Office.