I Have A Student Who… - Counseling Department

The "I have a student who…" workshop was first presented as a Flex workshop in August 2006 for faculty and staff. It was designed to give participants an idea of how to proceed when  problem behavior gets in the way of the flow of the classroom instruction. The workshop was organized by Rosemary O'Neill, Ron Travenick,  Martha Brown, Ann Burdette, Diane Cheney, Sally Bratton, and Ben Peralta, et al.

After a similar Flex workshop in August 2007, the "I Have A Student" Booklet (PDF) was made available on this web page for faculty and staff.

Forewarning Students in the Course Syllabus

“Coping With Misconduct in the College Classroom” - Gerald Amada PhD.

 “Unfortunately, many instructors have reasonable behavioral expectations of their students that they do not bother to enunciate or explain to their charges.  They may take it for granted that students will not rudely interrupt their lectures, leave the classroom prematurely and without permission, or plagiarize.  If they are especially fortunate, a few semesters may pass before they are actually forced to deal with such behavior.

It would probably be very advantageous if, at the outset of each semester, instructors took the time and effort to determine in their own minds which classroom behaviors could reasonably be deemed unacceptable and penalizable.  They might, for example, ask themselves: Is repetitive chattering acceptable?  Is lateness acceptable, and if not, at what point is an academic or disciplinary penalty warranted?  Is plagiarism ever acceptable?  If it is never acceptable, what is the correct or proportionate disciplinary response to this infraction?  Is it all right for students to eat and drink in class?  May students carry electronic devices (e.g., phones, beepers, music devices) that interrupt and disrupt classroom activities?  Should students be allowed to read a newspaper or sleep in class?

In determining such behavioral standards instructors might wish to share their questions and concerns with colleagues and appropriate administrators in order to ensure that the standards they ultimately formulate and encode are both reasonable and legally enforceable.  When this process is finally completed, instructors are usually quite prepared to set down some of their behavioral expectations in the course syllabus.

What is the value and purpose of placing behavioral expectations in the course syllabus?  For one thing, many if not most students overlook or disregard the codes of student conduct that are emplaced in the college catalogue.  Because they normally consult the catalog early in each semester primarily to access their prospective courses and do so in the frenetic rush of making many critical academic decisions, they usually have little time or inclination to bother with such mundane matters as reading the code of student conduct; it would hardly seem relevant or vital to their particular needs at the time.  Thus, when instructors definitively state in writing those behaviors that are prescribed in their particular classes, their students are likely being apprised of college behavioral codes for the first time.

Placing codes governing classroom behavior in a syllabus serves a second purpose.  It accentuates or underscores the importance of civil comportment in the classroom.  It is an important reminder to students that instructors appreciate and expect respectful classroom behavior and have the prerogatives to intervene and discipline when students behave disrespectfully.  It conveys to students that instructors are not only acknowledged authorities in their respective fields, but are also persons who have the institutional and legal right to teach in a climate of consensual respect.  Finally, it hopefully communicates to all students that their rights and privileges to learn in the classroom, free from harassment and disruption, will be protected by a duly designated authority of the college: the instructor.”

Sample Handout For Students

[Download the Sample Handout for Students (DOC).]

Creating A Collegiate Environment

Creating a proper learning environment is the cornerstone of getting a good education. Everyone in the Ohlone College Community: instructors, staff and admintrators is responsible for helping to create this environment.

Simple rules of courtesy apply. Students are expected to show respect for the instructor and students in the class while demonstrating academic honesty. The following are a list of guidelines for student conduct in the classroom.

  • Arrive on time.
  • Attend class regularly.
  • Stay until class is over.
  • Come to class prepared with appropriate reading and writing materials.
  • Be a good listener while a lecture is in progress or other class members are sharing information with the class. (This means not speaking with your friends in separate conversations during class).
  • Please do not bring food or drink into the classroom.
  • Class time and environment are reserved for students(no children please)
  • Refrain from being loud, boisterous or argumentative in class.
  • Be respectful of others and do not interfere with their rights.
  • Listen and participate
  • Be Polite and Courteous
  • Use appropriate language.
  • All communication and electronic devices are silent and turned off in the classroom (cell phones, beepers, music etc).

Lack of honesty in the classroom is a serious offense. The consequences of cheating or any dishonest behavior at Ohlone College are severe and may include the possibility of expulsion. The following are grounds for disciplinary action:

  • Cheating on tests
  • Turning in work that is not one’s own(plagiarism)
  • Talking during tests
  • Furnishing false information to instructors or other college personnel.
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