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Syllabus Policies

Syllabus Statement: Campus Climate for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Clarke University is committed to fostering a welcoming campus community that celebrates the unique contributions of each person and promotes an inclusive learning environment. To promote our core value of justice for the common good, we strive to respect diversity, practice inclusion, and seek equity. We all benefit from a diverse learning environment and the sharing of differences in ideas, experiences, and beliefs. Dimensions of diversity can include sex, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, income, socio-economic class, faith and non-faith beliefs, religion, political affiliation, ideology, educational background, linguistic background, family or marital status, military experience, and geographic identity. Clarke University expects students, faculty, and staff to respect the individual intersection of these experiences and characteristics in our community and our classrooms.

In this class, … [Include a personal note as the instructor of the course, such as “If you ever have a concern about my behavior or that of another student in the class, please, please feel free to approach me in person, by email, or with an anonymous note under my door… whatever it takes so that I can continue to work on creating an inclusive classroom environment.”]

If you witness or experience an act that undermines these commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Clarke University, you should submit a bias incident report online online.

Class Attendance Policy

Clarke University’s class attendance policy is consistent with the institution’s focus on students as key contributors to the learning that takes place in each class. Students are expected to attend all classes and must be present during finals week. However, Clarke University recognizes that students may sometimes need to miss class.

Clarke University recognizes four types of absences – Officially Excused Absences, Instructor-Excused Absences, Approved Absences, and Unexcused Absences.

Instructor-Excused Absences


Instructor-excused absences are handled between the student and the instructor. Each course syllabus outlines the expectations for attendance, which may vary among different instructors and classes.

Examples of absences that may be excused by an instructor include missed classes due to a family commitment, severe weather conditions, or a death in the student’s extended family. Vacations, late arrivals, or early departures before summer, winter, or other breaks do not constitute excused absences.


Students who need this type of excuse are expected to personally inform the instructor in advance of the absence when possible. Instructors may ask for documentation and will use their judgement as to whether or not to excuse the absence. Instructors may allow students to makeup the missed material; they may assign appropriate substitute material, disregard the missed assignment, or make a similar arrangement. Instructors may require students to submit scheduled assignments or complete quizzes or exams before the missed class.

Officially Excused Absences


Officially excused absences occur when an unexpected event or a situation beyond the student’s control prevents a student from attending class. In these situations, the Academic Affairs Office assists students by directly notifying their instructors of the excused nature of the absence.

Examples of officially excused absences include significant illness or injury that requires hospitalization, or a death in the immediate family.


Officially excused absences require the student to provide appropriate documentation to the Academic Affairs Office in advance of the absence, when possible, or as soon as the student returns to the university.  The Academic Affairs Office then contacts the student’s instructors. Instructors will accommodate these students by allowing them to submit late work or make up missed assignments or exams.

Approved Absences


Approved absences are scheduled, university-sponsored events in which students serve as representatives of the university.

Examples of approved absences include musical performances, academic conferences, and athletic competitions. Approved absences do not include practices or rehearsals.


Approved absences require the student to personally inform the instructor in advance of the planned absence. This notice must be given no later than one week before the anticipated absence. When unforeseen circumstances prevent this advance notification, the student must make every effort to communicate with the instructor as soon as possible. Instructors will use their discretion in making reasonable accommodations to minimize the disruption to the student’s educational experience. These accommodations may include requiring that the student complete substitute assignments for experiences that happen in class. When possible, instructors may require that scheduled assignments, quizzes or exams be completed prior to the absence. Students bear the responsibility for all missed class material.

Unexcused Absences


Absences which are not approved or excused will be considered unexcused.


Faculty members are under no obligation to allow students to complete work missed from unexcused absences. Course syllabi may outline attendance policies that result in a penalty that may affect course grades.

Academic Support Services

Academic support is available in the library for all students by appointment, online, or drop in. Providers include: 

  • Reference Librarians are available for research consultation and assistance with online databases & e-books, both in person and through teams. Online at Nicholas J. Schrup Library, email, call (563)588-6320.
  • The MARC (Margaret Mann Academic Resource Center), upper level of the library, Room 228. Online at
    • Professional staff who support writing across the curriculum, time-management, learning and study strategies, note-taking, college reading strategies, and English language assistance.
  • One-on-one work with trained peer coaches for writing, skills, and course content.
  • Course-specific study groups and SWAG (Study With AGuide) sessions.
  • Assistance for students with disabilities requesting accommodations.
  • Website with resources and strategies tailored specifically for Clarke students.

Accommodation Services

Clarke is committed to making classes accessible for all students. One way this may happen is through providing reasonable accommodations (such as extended time for testing, books in alternate format, or note takers) for those with documented mental or physical health conditions that impact learning. To determine eligibility, discuss options, and arrange services, students can contact the Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) in the MARC, call (563)588-8107, or email

Student Concerns

At Clarke, student concerns are sent as an attempt to connect with you and show you that we care about your success. These concerns are sent through email, so it is important that you check your email daily (minimum). When you receive a concern, you should set up a time to meet with your professor, advisor, and athletic coach to communicate about strategies and resources available for resolving the concern. Many resources are provided to you as part of your tuition to help you find success. The MARC is one of these valuable resources for academic and accommodative resources. It is not remedial and is available to all students at Clarke—undergraduate through graduate. Use it early and often—the best students do!

Statement on Academic Integrity Policy

Clarke University’s mission and Catholic tradition call us to act in ways that foster a more just world.  Thus, we recognize academic integrity is fundamental to our work together. As a “caring, learning community committed to academic excellence,” we cannot tolerate academic dishonesty because:

  • A community is built on personal relationships.  Any breach of trust disrupts these relationships and weakens our community.
  • When caring individuals recognize value in another’s work or ideas, their choice is to acknowledge and even celebrate it, rather than misrepresenting ownership of the work.
  • Academic excellence depends on a commitment to follow through on our learning.  We cannot pretend to be excellent.  We must work hard to achieve excellence, and we must assume responsibility to do so.

Students are expected to be aware of and abide by specific principles of academic honesty.  Academic integrity specifically prohibits the following forms of academic misconduct:

  • Cheating
    • Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance (e.g., copying another student’s work or using unauthorized notes during an exam; sharing one’s work with another student).
    • Consulting another student’s work from previous semesters, or checking homework or test answers from previous semesters.
    • Using unauthorized materials, such as hidden notes, tape recorders, cell phones, cameras, text messages, computers and other equipment.
  • Plagiarism
    • Using another person’s exact language without the use of quotation marks or proper citation.
    • Re-arranging another’s ideas or material and presenting them as original work without providing proper citation.
    • Submitting another’s work as one’s own; this includes purchasing work from other sources, including the Internet.
    • Submitting a translation of someone else’s original words claiming them as one’s own.
  • Other forms of academic misconduct
    • Submitting a previously graded assignment without the current instructor’s permission.
    • Falsifying, fabricating, or distorting information (e.g., providing an erroneous source, taking a test for another student, altering college documents, forging an instructor’s signature).
    • Engaging in misrepresentation (e.g., lying to improve one’s grade; turning in another student’s work as one’s own; falsely claiming to have attended an assigned function such as a theatrical performance, a public speech, a job interview, a home visit, etc.).
    • Seeking unfair advantage (e.g., requesting an extension by using a falsified excuse, obtaining an exam prior to its administration).
    • Denying access to information or material to others (e.g., stealing or defacing print or non-print materials).
    • Stealing, abusing, or destroying academic property (e.g., stealing library materials, vandalism of academic property).
    • Bribing (e.g., offering materials or services of value to gain academic advantage for oneself or another).
    • Engaging in misconduct in research and creative endeavors (e.g., failure to adhere to federal, state, municipal, and university regulations for the protection of human and other subjects).
    • Making unauthorized copies of copyrighted material including software and any other non-print media.

Any violation of this policy will be treated as a serious matter. Penalties ranging from failure of the assignment or exam to failure of the course will be enforced. In cases of repeated or flagrant violations, a student may be dismissed from the university. Faculty will report cases of academic dishonesty to the academic affairs office. If applicable, the student life office will be notified as well for additional disciplinary action.

Academic Federal Government Policy

Academic credit is awarded based on student achievement resulting from instruction and out-of-class student work.  For every credit received in a semester (fifteen weeks or the equivalent), the undergraduate student should expect to participate in at least one hour of direct instruction (face-to-face or online) and to complete a minimum of two additional hours of student work per week.  The Federal government requires this minimum standard for instruction and corresponding student work be used in awarding Federal financial aid (34 CFR 600.2). For every graduate credit received in a semester (fifteen weeks or the equivalent), the student should expect to participate in at least one hour of direct instruction (face-to-face or online) and to complete a minimum of three additional hours of student work per week.


  • A three-credit hour undergraduate course would require a minimum of 9 hours of student work (instruction and homework) weekly.
  • A three-credit hour graduate course would require a minimum of 12 hours of student work (instruction and homework) weekly.

All Clarke practicums, clinicals, and field experiences and courses follow the Clarke University, departmental, programmatic, accrediting body, and/or affiliated site’s guidelines and policies as applicable.