Discover new ideas for crafting a great syllabus and learn about CSUN Faculty Senate's policies related to the course syllabus.
CSUN Syllabus Requirements
The formal CSUN Syllabus Policy was approved by Faculty Senate on March 5, 2015. There are 13 basic requirements that all CSUN syllabi must include such as:
- contact info,
- course description,
- main topics,
- evaluation methods (e.g., grading criteria, plus/minus system),
- due dates,
- revision date if modified,
- GE or IC outcomes (if applicable),
- available first class meeting,
- AND students can print from a single document.
- This helpful check-list created by Cheryl Spector is a tool to make sure you have these basics.
Please keep in mind that the cost of textbooks can be an extreme hardship for our students, which is why there is an Affordable Learning Solutions Initiative. Consider finding reduced cost or even free options.
Finally, if your course requires self-authored materials (e.g., textbook, book), make sure you are following the CSUN Faculty Authored Material Policy.
Imagine if your syllabus could be a tool to empower, motivate, and invite students into the learning process about your course instead of a document doling out all the work to be done, professor's rules to follow, and punishments for those who can't keep up.
The five parts of a learning centered syllabus includes:
- The learning goals & objectives are measurable & assures significant learning
- The assessments/assignment activities are transparent & aligned to course objectives
- There is an inclusive & promising learning environment that is inviting, supportive with high expectations & acceptance of difference (more ideas for inclusive teaching)
- There are dynamic activities using evidence based & active learning
- The schedule is motivational & logical
Consider these options to learn more about the learning-centered syllabus:
- Learning-centered checklist
- Examples of learning-focused syllabi
- Evidence that the learning-focused syllabus matters
- This work originates from Michael Palmer and associates who developed a learning-focused syllabus rubric for faculty to rate their own syllabi.
- In Fall 2017 Faculty Development will offer workshops (or invite us to your faculty meeting)
- In Spring 2018 Faculty Development will offer faculty a funded Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on the Learning-Centered Syllabus (details TBD).
- Our new program, The University Corporation Learning-Centered (TUC LC) Grant (formerly known as Beck Grant) offers support to make your syllabus more learning-centered (proposals due in Spring).
Essentially we help faculty to create courses they will love to teach so that students will love to learn.
Contact us if you are interesting in more information: .
Include these Campus Resources
CSUN offers an array of student resources but unfortunately many students are unaware they exist, unclear how or where to find them, or may feel apprehensive to seek out help. But if you include these in your syllabus, you could make a huge difference!
- Food Pantry at CSUN: over half of our students are Pell grant eligible ~ their family's household income is $30,000 or less
- Emergency MataCare grants, one-time grants to prevent evictions, urgent child care issues, etc.
- University Counseling Center (USU)
- Help lines (after hours when the USU is closed) for numerous topics/needs (e.g., suicide, drug, rape, LGBQT, military, or any crisis)
- Pride Center offers support and resources to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, & questioning students, faculty, & staff
- Learning Resource Center offers tutoring, a writing center, & more
- Campus computer labs
- To de-stress, invite students to our spa-like Oasis for relaxation or our Student Recreation Center (SRC)
- Disabilities Resource Educational Services (DRES), some students with disabilities aren't aware they can receive assistance
- Student Health
- Career Center for resume writing & interviewing
Did you know, the Office of Student Success Innovations recently held student focus groups and they learned that students wish professors would share more campus resources in the syllabus.
Other syllabus best practices
Trans-Inclusive Resources -- Want resources on how to make your syllabus and classroom environment trans-Inclusive, visit CSUN's Pride Center website and scroll down to Transgender Ally Resources for tips and recommendations.
Sexual Misconduct Disclosures -- Sample syllabus statements regarding sexual misconduct disclosures and maintaining a respectful learning environment.
Syllabus Components -- Academic First Year Experiences hosts a guide to best practices for the syllabus, including how to address office hours and class participation.
What Others are Saying about "The Syllabus"
- Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- they use Ken Bain's, What the Best College Teacher's Do... a syllabus has 3 parts
- Fresno State-- Syllabus quiz
- Cal State Dominguez Hills-- Assessment Resources & Tools (including syllabus frameworks and templates)
- Humboldt State-- Syllabus help
- Cal State Long Beach-- Teaching Jumpstart
- Cal State LA -- The Syllabus
- Cal State Monterey Bay--Syllabus Guidelines
- San Diego State University-- Effective Practices
- San Francisco State-- The Helpful Syllabus
- San Jose State University -- Developing Your Curriculum and Course Syllabus
- Cal State University San Marcos -- Designing a Syllabus
- Self-Paced Online Modules to redesign your syllabus -- Illinois State University
- Constructing a Syllabus -- DePaul University
- Writing a Syllabus -- Cornell University
- Best Practices for Learning-Centered Syllabus -- University of West Florida
- Course Planning and Syllabi -- Washington State University