Teaching at CSUDH

1st Day of Class

The first day of class should be more than just a day to go over the syllabus before going home early. You can do a number of other things to set the tone for the course. For some ideas, see “Make the Most of the First Day of Class” compiled by the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Instructors are required to hold places for students pre-enrolled in the class. Prior to the end of the second week of classes, an instructor may, by following the appropriate procedures, initiate a formal drop of students who:

  • Have missed the first two class meetings of a term (or the first meeting if the class meets only once a week), and
  • Have not advised the instructor (or the department chair, if no instructor was assigned to the course in advance) that their absence is temporary.

The instructor should inform the Registrar Office of this action by the end of the second week. However, it is the responsibility of the student to make certain that his/her drop has been officially recorded.


Absence and Class Cancellation Guidelines

You must notify the office staff if you are unable to meet your class, your office hours, or are delayed in traffic so the department can post a notice on the classroom door. You should also inform your students as much advance notice as possible. Check with your respective College Dean (or designee) for the proper protocol to follow.

Academic Calendar

Keep track of deadlines and events during the academic year by accessing the current and upcoming academic calendars.

Academic Freedom

Each faculty member is entitled to full freedom in the classroom; however, it is the faculty teaching responsibility in acknowledging the department standardized syllabi and outcomes for specialized content courses and multiple sections of certain courses in the curriculum. You may reference the Academic Affairs Policy AAPS028.001, Teaching Responsibilities and Academic Freedom.


It is the CSU policy to make its programs, services, and activities accessible to students, faculty, staff, and the general public. Access to publications, instructional material, computer software, hardware and electronic information, as well as access to the campus.

If you need assistive technology assistance the labs and offices around the campus offer screen magnifying software (Zoomtext) and document reading software (Zurzweil 3000) to accompany assistive hardware such as adjustable workstation tables. Read more at https://libguides.csudh.edu/accessibility-services

The CSUDH Instructional Technology Center provides faculty workshops showing how to make Web pages, documents, and media accessible. For workshops and more information, click here.

For information on web accessibility, click here.

Faculty and students who would like to arrange special course test accommodations or students who need further assistance may contact the Student disability Resource Center (SdRC) at (310) 243-3660, Welch Hall, Room D-180, or via email at dss@csudh.edu.

Accessing Your Courses

Blackboard (Learning Management System)

CSUDH utilizes Blackboard to deliver course materials to students and enhance the teaching learning environment online, face-to-face, or using a hybrid model. For tutorials on how to use the software, Blackboard Instructor App, and to learn more, visit the Blackboard IT Service Portal.

PeopleSoft - Faculty Center

The Faculty Center (see figure 8) is a module in PeopleSoft via www.MyCSUDH.edu to allow faculty to access teaching schedules, class rosters, grade rosters, advising, etc. For faculty tutorials, please visit https://at.csudh.edu/docs/?page_id=1769.

Classroom Audio-visual Equipment/Computers

As of fall 2012, there are 115 Enhanced Technology “Smart” Classrooms (ETCs) on CSUDH campus. Enhanced Technology Classrooms (ETC) are installed and supported by Instructional Technology. The "smart" classrooms are equipped with podiums containing the following state-of-the-art equipment:

  • Dell computer with CD and DVD capability
  • 17" monitor, keyboard and mouse
  • Plug-ins for a laptop computer including signal to the projector
  • Audio and network connections
  • Two network connections (one for the computer and one for the laptop)
  • A VHS machine or VHS/DVD player combination unit
  • A powered speaker system for high quality sound
  • A "SmartPanel," which allows for the switching of inputs (computer, laptop and VHS) to the ceiling-mounted projector and the control of volume from each of the sources
  • A document camera, to display print materials, small objects and transparencies (must be backed with a sheet of paper).

If you have any difficulties with the equipment, please contact the department office.

Course Proposal/Modification/Instructional Modality

When a department course is added to the university catalog or modified in any significant manner, official documentation is filed in the department office. You should consult a copy of this document before you prepare your class and its syllabus to ensure that you are addressing university approved or mandated course elements or activities and are aware of required Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs).

Review the Curriculum Change Process overseen by the Office of Academic Programs.

Review the below Academic Affairs policies.

  • AA 2015-02, Ensuring Consistency Across Instructional Modalities and Location
  • AA 2017-10, Course Instructional Modality
  • AA 2018-04, General Education Changes to Area G

You may also reference the following resources:

The course numbering system for the University is based upon three-digit numbers as follows:

  • 001-099: Sub-collegiate courses, not for baccalaureate credit.
  • 100-199: Lower division courses normally taken in the freshman year.
  • 200-299: Lower division courses normally taken in the sophomore year.
  • 300-399: Upper division courses normally taken in the junior year.
  • 400-499: Upper division courses normally taken in the senior year.
  • 500-599: Graduate courses ordinarily limited to graduate students, Post baccalaureate students, and last semester seniors with prior departmental approval.
  • 600: Graduate Continuation Course. For graduate students who have completed all course requirements.

Essay and Written Assignment Requirements

You should expect the students to write clearly and logically, to assemble evidence consistent with their topics and in a manner that is appropriate for their level (first year, senior, graduate, etc.), to be able to argue appropriately to the topic and level of the paper, to use proper grammar, to turn the paper in on time, and the like. Student writing abilities differ considerably, thus, you will find a wide range of performance. You may want to include a copy of your grading rubric in your course syllabus.

Many students may try to turn papers in late. You can encourage them to turn materials in on time by having a penalty for late papers, but we have found that there are still students who turn work in late regardless of penalties. Be sure to clearly state your policy for late or missed exams or assignments in your syllabus.

You are required to save student written work for one year after the end of the course. You can do so in your office on campus (if there is room) or someplace else. You can also return papers and exams to students if you prefer (that is your decision, however, unreturned work must be kept for at least one year after the end of the course). If you are no longer teaching at CSUDH, please consult department chair about storing student papers/exams.

Evaluation of Teaching (PTEs)

The University uses a web-based system to administer the Perceived Teaching Effectiveness (PTE) through the Office of Faculty Affairs and Development. Information from student evaluations of teaching effectiveness (PTE) is used as one element in assessing instructional effectiveness. Students have an opportunity to provide electronic feedback on their courses and instructors; and, the faculty has an opportunity to use the results for course improvement. Tenured faculty with roles of department chairs, coordinators, peer reviewers, and deans may also use the results as one of several tools and documents for faculty periodic evaluations, pursuant to Article 15 of the CFA/CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Students have access to complete their evaluations from any desktop computer or mobile device via MyCSUDH.edu or the link sent to their CSUDH student email account.

All courses taught shall be evaluated, according to Article 15.15 of the CFA/CSU Collective Bargaining Agreement and PM 2022-05, Process for Student Course Evaluations of Faculty Perceived Teaching Effectiveness. The electronic PTE data collected shall be incorporated as part of the Personnel Action File (PAF).

A “best practice” for PTE administration is to allow students ten (10) minutes at the end of class to complete their PTE. If you do so, the instructor must leave the classroom while the students access the PTE.

The PTE survey will be administered as noted in the PTE schedule for that term. Courses scheduled with an early end date will be processed on a case-by-case basis.

Only the individual faculty, Deans, Department Chairs (tenured) and Peer Committee Reviewers (tenured) will be granted access to the evaluation results pursuant to Article 15.2 of the CFA/CSU CBA.

The portal can be accessed from any desktop computer or mobile device using your campus credentials at https://dhwapp.csudh.edu/perceived/login or clicking on the PTE icon via MyCSUDH. We encourage you to review the PTE Faculty User Guide.

The PTE results of the student survey will be made available to you at the end of the semester and when all grades have been submitted. Instructors may print their PTE result(s) for courses they taught only. Faculty are encouraged to keep a copy of their reports for their own records and/or for inclusion in the RTP evaluation process.

You may complete the Online Optional Questions form via the PTE portal.

You may access the PTE results by logging via the PTE portal, going to the PTE Reports tab, selecting the PTE Results Report, term, and department.

Further information on the PTE process, user guides, schedule, PTE tips, including the questions asked on the survey, can be found on the PTE website.


Final exams or final class meetings are required in all courses and shall be held at the times listed in the final exam schedule, not before. Any exception requires written approval of the instructor, department chair, and college dean. Individual student exceptions in time or place of the final exam period require the approval by the instructor and department chair. Final examination times are posted in the Schedule of Classes and shall be noted on the class syllabus. For more information on the course information/syllabus content refer to the Academic Affairs Policy, AA 2015-03, Syllabus Content Policy. Check with the department office for more information.

Department staff will not proctor exams or accept examination or term papers. Student should submit their examinations directly to you, and if, as an exception for some reason, they are left in your office or under your office door, you should make it clear that this is at a student’s own risk. You should also advise students to keep copies of their work. The department office will not receive (faxed or) emailed assignments.

The CSUDH Learning and Testing Center provides proctoring services Monday through Friday. The student and faculty must complete the Proctor Service Request Form and should be submitted to the Toro Learning and Testing Center prior to scheduling an exam appointment. For more information on the procedures and testing hours, click here.

Freedom of Speech

As an institution of higher education, CSUDH is committed to freedom of speech and preserving academic freedom, freedom of inquiry and research, freedom of teaching, and freedom of expression and publication. Of course, the ideas of different members of the institution’s community will often and quite naturally conflict. It is the University’s policy to provide all members of the University community, including faculty, students, and staff, the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn. Fostering the ability of members of the University community to engage with each other in an effective and responsible manner is an essential part of the University’s educational mission. The activities must be conducted in conformance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, as well as university policies, procedures, and regulations. For an overview of the University policy on freedom of speech in relation to meetings, events, time, place, and manner held on University premises can be found at https://www.csudh.edu/student-conduct/campus-policies/freedom-of-speech/.

Grade Appeals

The purpose of the grade appeals process is to afford an opportunity for an undergraduate or graduate student to appeal a final course grade under certain circumstances, such as, instructor error, computational, or clerical error or contrary to procedures established in course syllabi; or were prejudicial or capricious.

Before initiating a formal grade appeal, students will seek informal resolution with the instructor or Department Chair. Informal resolution requires the student to meet with the faculty member or Department Chair no later than 30 calendar days immediately following the assignment of the original grade. The timeline can be extended if the student requests and receives an extension from the College Dean or can demonstrate extenuating circumstances beyond 30 calendar days. If the matter is not resolved with the instructor or Department Chair, the student may submit a formal grade appeal, in writing, to the Dean of the College within 21 calendar days after receiving the decision of the instructor or Department Chair. The Grade Appeal Process can be found online at https://www.csudh.edu/student-conduct/other-student-policies/ and the AA 2017-01, Student Grade Appeals Policy. 

Remember to save student written work for one year after the end of the course. You can do so in your office on campus (if there is room) or elsewhere. You can also return papers and exams to students if you prefer (that is your decision, however, unreturned work must be kept for at least one year after the end of the course).

Grading and Grade Distribution

Student grades are submitted at the end of each semester by one of the following grades (with the grade points earned):



Grade Points











Very Good


















Barely Passing






Incomplete (Not counted in grade point average)



Incomplete Charged



Withdrawal Unauthorized



Withdrawal (Not counted in units grade point average)


The following grades are to be used for approved courses only:


Audit (Not counted in grade point average; no units allowed)


Credit (Not counted in grade point average; but units count for bachelor's degree)


Credit in sub-collegiate course (Not counted in grade point average; no bachelor's degree credit)


No credit (Not counted in grade point average; no units allowed)


Report in Progress (Credit is deferred until course grade is received)


Graduate Continuation Course


Report Delayed

In your syllabus you should notify students whether or not you are using plus/minus grading. Grade carefully, honestly, and responsibly.

Prior to the add deadline, please check the final course roster (available through MyCSUDH.edu Portal) to confirm that all your students are registered and that outstanding permission numbers have been used. If any name is missing, have the student verify their enrollment in MyCSUDH.edu, inform the department ASC immediately and try to resolve the issue. It is unlikely that the student will be able to register after the add deadline even if they have been attending the class since the beginning. Nonetheless, the student may submit a Petition for Exception when unusual circumstances exist. The student can download the Petition for Exception form here and submit the form to the College Dean’s Office.

You may also reference the following resources:

Grade Submission

Grades can begin to be entered during the final examination period and by 3pm on the last day of the semester in MyCSUDH. For Extended Education grades are always due 72 hours after course end date. Login to the MyCSUDH portal and click on the Faculty Tab, Faculty Center icon, and Grade Roster icon. For detail instructions, click here.

  1. To enter grades in PeopleSoft, begin by logging in as usual [Faculty Center].
  2. You will see two images next to each class name – one for the class roster and the other for the grade roster.
  3. Click the Grade Roster image to begin entering grades.
  4. You will see a list of students with a “pull-down menu” next to each name.
  5. Click on the menu (the little box with an arrow) and choose the appropriate grade.
  6. If you are not entering all the grades at one time, you will want to click the SAVE button at the bottom of the screen.
  7. If you have entered and reviewed all the grades, be sure to change the status (above the grade list) from Not Reviewed to Approved.

Office Hours

All faculty who teach shall hold office hours and are required to notify the department staff of your office hours before classes begin. Academic Affairs policy stipulates that faculty must schedule office hours each week during an academic term for (60) minutes for each three (3) units of instruction provided. And, shall be allocated in intervals of no less than 30 minutes. The site for holding office hours may be either on campus, in the field, online, or a combination thereof. Refer to the Academic Affairs Manual Policy, AA 2005-04 (AAPS040.001). 

If you must miss your scheduled office hours, please notify the department office staff in advance, and if possible, place a note on the door of your office.


Please check with your department office staff person for photocopying policy.

Smart Planner

Smart Planner is a personalized and interactive student degree planner that provides a customized path to graduation based on degree program roadmaps via the MyCSUDH Portal. The result is a more efficient and engaging experience that gives students a visual presentation of their current academic status and their future path to graduation. The intent is to aid students in completing their degree more quickly and effectively.  With Smart Planner, students, faculty, and advisors are able to:

  • View the student's individual remaining academic requirements to complete declared majors and minors in a semester format.
  • Plan the specific courses by term they intend to take to meet the requirements.
  • Run an Academic Requirement Report to include planned courses to assure they have planned appropriately for all degree completion requirements.

The Smart Planner Dashboard is an online data warehouse that allows approved users to access Smart Planner data for institutional and departmental analysis. With the Smart Planner Dashboard, approved faculty and advisors are able to:

  • Analyze future course demand based upon students’ planned courses in Smart Planner and course data in PeopleSoft.
  • Monitor Smart Planner usage by department, major and cohort groups.

To request Smart Planner training and access, email admit@csudh.edu with the subject line “Smart Planner Training Request for Advisor.”

For more information, go online at https://www.csudh.edu/registrar/registration/smart-planner-faq/.

Student Learning Outcomes

Learn about developing, measuring, and improving student learning outcomes, Assessment, and High-Impact Practices at https://www.csudh.edu/academic-affairs/student-learning/resources/. The Office of Assessment of Student Learning provides some further suggestions and ideas on syllabus content as well.

Student Progress

We expect you to keep your students informed of their progress/performance in the class by returning work in a timely fashion and giving regular updates on their cumulative grades. Research has shown that timely grading plays a central role in student success in classes. Please be welcoming to students who wish to discuss their grades and offer suggestions for improvement. Actively encouraging students to visit you in office hours also indicates an investment in students.

Timely and substantive feedback on student work is essential to the learning process. Even if exams or assignments are not permanently returned to students, students should still be given ample opportunity to examine them and review your corrections and suggestions during office hours.


A written syllabus (hard copy) is required; we encourage its posting on Blackboard and the web as well. You are also required to provide a copy of your syllabus for each course you teach at the beginning of the semester to your department. The copy of the syllabus shall be maintained on file until the next full program review. Any substantive changes to the syllabus should be communicated in a timely manner to students and department chair.

During the first week of classes an instructor will distribute electronically, physically, and/or post online the course syllabus. The syllabus content shall include at a minimum some required elements. Refer to the Academic Affairs Manual Policy, AA2015-03, Syllabus Content, and AAP 009.001, Policy for the Addition of Computer/Information Literacy Expectations and/or Student Learning Outcomes to Syllabi.

Undergraduate Advising Policy

All freshman students and students on Academic Probation will have a Freshman Mandatory Advising Hold before they can register for their second and third semesters. These holds will be removed until the student has completed the Mandatory Advising Session.

Holds placed on students with declared majors will be removed by the appropriate college designee. Check with the department office for the college protocol.

Holds placed on undeclared students will be removed by the University Advisement Center (UAC). Refer to the Academic Affairs Manual Policy, AA2005-09 (AAA013.002), Undergraduate Advising Policy.