students in physics class

Code of Conduct

The College of Science and Mathematics expects that its students, professors, and staff members will exhibit academic, professional, and interpersonal conduct of the highest standards.

Examples of appropriate CSAM student conduct include, but are not limited to, the following:

Classroom Etiquette and Behavior

Classrooms and laboratories are the primary learning environments for CSAM students. It is critical that classrooms be safe, positive, and encouraging spaces which aid in the creation of a supportive and mutually respectful community. Disruptive, disrespectful, or unprofessional behavior is therefore not tolerated in CSAM classrooms and laboratories. Expectations for CSAM classrooms include:

Classrooms and laboratories are the primary learning environments for CSAM students. It is critical that classrooms be safe, positive, and encouraging spaces which aid in the creation of a supportive and mutually respectful community. Disruptive, disrespectful, or unprofessional behavior is therefore not tolerated in CSAM classrooms and laboratories. Expectations for CSAM classrooms include:

  1. Attendance at all scheduled class meetings and activities.
    1. Class attendance promotes personal success in a course, and demonstrates commitment, engagement, and motivation.
    2. Absences should be genuinely unavoidable and communicated to the instructor in advance.
  2. Arrival at the classroom before the scheduled start time.
    1. Arriving after the class session begins is disruptive to other students and distracting to the instructor.
    2. Students should be seated in the classroom or laboratory at least five minutes early to ensure that class can begin on time without interruption.
  3. Active participation and attention.
    1. Students should not converse with one another while the instructor or other students are speaking.
    2. Side conversations are noisy, distracting, and disrespectful to others.
  4. Mobile devices, cell phones, handheld game consoles, and other personal electronic devices should always be turned off and put away during the class period.
    1. Attention and discussions should always be on the current classroom activity.
    2. Texting, web-browsing, gaming, and similar activities are disrespectful to the instructor and fellow classmates, and serve as barriers to success in the course.
  5. Prepare for class.
    1. Consult the course syllabus before each class meeting and complete all readings or homework in advance.
    2. This not only improves success, but is courteous to instructors and other students.
    3. Unprepared students cause delays and impose on the time of students who came to class prepared.
  6. Take responsibility.
    1. Rather than assign blame to instructors for low course grades, students should consider what personally might have been done differently to earn higher grades.
    2. Other students who earned higher grades had the same instructor and classroom experience. Avoid exhibiting a sense of entitlement.
    3. One way to take responsibility is to seek help when help is needed: Students are encouraged to do any/all of the following:
      1. Visit the instructor during office hours
      2. Visit the CSAM Student Success Center (RICH 283)
      3. Visit the Tutoring Center (Webster Hall 200A/300A)
  7. Complete assignments on time.
    1. Requests for deadline extensions are unfair to other students who already completed the work.
    2. Extension requests are discourteous to the instructor: extensions require additional instructor time, work, and management of the assignment.
    3. Note: this does not include extensions accommodated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  8. Do not request extra credit assignments.
    1. Asking for extra credit work also creates work for the instructor.
      1. It takes time and effort to create, manage, and evaluate an assignment not included in the course syllabus.
    2. The instructor would need to do this work for all students in the course. It is unfair for one student, but not other students, to earn extra credit.
  9. Respect other students.
    1. Interactions with other class members should be professional and courteous.
    2. Participation in class discussions should be mutually respectful and inclusive.
    3. Students should be self-aware of how their own behavior affects others.
  10. Always exhibit academic honesty.
    1. Complete all quizzes and exams without any assistance from any other person or device unless otherwise instructed by the professor.
    2. Notify the instructor immediately upon observing academic dishonesty in others.
    3. Write in your own words. Do not plagiarize or paraphrase.
  11. Obey all laboratory safety rules.
    1. Laboratories can be dangerous!
    2. Disobeying rules can result in serious injury to self and other students.
    3. Obey each rule, even if you do not personally understand the reason for a rule.

Email Etiquette and Conduct

Your Montclair State University email account is the only way your instructors and other university officials can communicate with you outside of class. It is important to use this mode of communication effectively, respectfully, and professionally. Some expectations for email correspondence with CSAM faculty and staff members include:

  1. Check email regularly.
    1. Some critical messages are time sensitive and require immediate action.
    2. Review your email messages at least once each school day.
  2. Be professional when writing to instructors and university staff.
    1. Students have a professional relationship with employees of CSAM – communicate accordingly. Guidelines for professional written communication include:
      1. Use a descriptive subject line. (“Appointment to discuss exam three.”)
      2. Begin with a salutation: (“Dear Professor Smith,”)
      3. Write in a professional and respectful tone.
        1. Avoid accusatory or angry language.
        2. Avoid abbreviations used for texting or social media (“R U?”)
      4. Proofread before sending.
        1. Grammatical and spelling errors are sloppy and ruin credibility.
      5. End with a closing phrase and your name: (“Sincerely, Jane Brown”)
  3. Provide sufficient background information and context for your message.
    1. Make sure the recipient understands why and what you are requesting.
    2. Include your class and section number in the body of your message.
    3. Use your student email account.
    4. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits university employees from discussing student information with anyone other than the student.
    5. The only way to verify your identity is to use your student email account.
  4. Avoid asking unnecessary questions by email.
    1. Example: “When is the final exam?” is a question that could be answered by consulting the syllabus on Canvas.
  5. Avoid sharing unnecessary or irrelevant personal information.
    1. Discuss only what relates to the class and the specific topic of the message.
  6. Err on the side of being too formal.
    1. Unless professors or staff members have indicated otherwise, it is not appropriate to address them by first name.
    2. When in doubt, instructors should be addressed as “Professor” or “Dr.” and other members of the staff as “Mr.” or “Ms.”
  7. Never ask an instructor “Did I miss anything important in class last week?”
    1. The answer is always “yes” and asking the instructor to provide missed information is inconsiderate.
    2. It is more appropriate to contact the instructor in advance of an absence and make arrangements for a classmate to collect class notes or recordings.
  8. Express gratitude.
    1. Typing “thank you!” at the end of the message conveys to the reader that you are grateful for the assistance you have requested.
  9. Do not send email messages when angry or upset.
    1. It is better to wait, calm down, and write the next day with a clear mind.
    2. A good rule of thumb is to ask: “Would people who I want to respect me approve of the message I am about to send?”
  10. Allow sufficient time for a response.
    1. Members of the faculty and staff have many other responsibilities and may not reply immediately.
    2. At minimum, anticipate at least one full school day (excluding weekends) for a response.
    3. After a few school days, it is acceptable to send a subsequent “gentle reminder” message (e.g. “Professor, I was wondering if you have had a moment to consider my request?”).
  11. If the subject matter is complex, visit the instructor in office hours to discuss in person.
    1. Avoid endless and exhausting email exchanges that could be discussed quickly face-to-face.
    2. If you have a course conflict with the instructor office hours, politely request an appointment at another mutually convenient time.

View general policies for student conduct at Montclair State University