VPAA 07-02 Letter
HSU Policy on Content of Syllabi
The Academic Senate and the President recently approved a new “HSU Policy on Content of Syllabi” (VPAA 07-02 ), which replaces the existing campus policy in the HSU Faculty Handbook and is attached for your reference. In addition to addressing the content to be included in each course syllabus, the policy also encourages all faculty members to post syllabi online in a format that is accessible to individuals with disabilities.
The Academic Senate and the President have also approved a Resolution on Incorporating Accessibility into New Course Proposals (#10-07/08-EPRevised) which states that all proposals for new courses must indicate how all instructional materials and online course materials will be provided in a format that is accessible to students with disabilities. This policy will take effect beginning Fall 2008; by Fall 2012, all class materials, including syllabi, must be in a format that is accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Three kinds of support are available for faculty members working to format syllabi and other class materials appropriately.
Second, periodic workshops on accessibility (e.g., Accessible Word Documents/Accessible Syllabi, accessible PowerPoint) are facilitated by Cassandra Tex, the Student Disabilities Resource Center's Assistive Technology Specialist. These workshops offer guidance, examples, and hands-on experience in making instructional materials accessible. Workshops are announced through campus-wide emails, and announcements and resources are also available on both the ATI and the Faculty Development websites. The next workshop on creating Accessible Word Documents is scheduled for May 9, 2008. There will also be a workshop on making PowerPoint Accessible though LecShare on April 25, 2008. Please see the Faculty Development website for details.
Third, technical support for faculty in making word documents and PowerPoint slides accessible is available from trained Student Accessibility Fellows in the Courseware Development Center (CDC) at 707.826.3633. Also, the FTSC will be scheduling special drop-in hours to assist faculty in making Syllabi, Word documents and PowerPoint slides accessible. Assistance for staff is available through the Help Desk at 707.826.HELP (4357) or help [at] humboldt [dot] edu.
These new policies are intended to assist all students in obtaining the information needed to succeed in their courses. In order to make our instructional information available to all students, it is important to make our instructional materials, including syllabi, accessible.
Robert A. Snyder
Interim Provost and VPAA
Mark A. Larson
Chair of Academic Senate