Faculty FAQs

Preparing for the Semester

What am I required to include on my syllabus?

See the recommended Syllabus Template.

Where are GW policies and model syllabus language on student use of Generative AI tools (e.g., ChatGPT)?

The provost has issued guidelines and additional guidance for the use of GAI tools in connection with academic work at the University.

What are GW policies regarding religious holidays?

See the policies and calendar of religious holidays.

Campus Emergencies

What should I do in the event of a campus emergency?

The Office of Emergency Management has published guidance for faculty members.

Academic Scheduling

How do I request a change to my course, such as meeting time, enrollment cap, or assigned room?

All requests should be submitted through your department chair to the Dean's Office scheduling liaison. If approved, the scheduling liaison will submit the request to the Academic Scheduling Office.

What is a cross-list cap?

If two or more courses are cross-listed, this means that they are taught by the same professor and meet in the same classroom at the same time. Each individual course will have its own enrollment cap, but the courses combined have one overall cap that can be reached through any combination of the individual caps. Just because one of the cross-listed courses is closed does not mean that the other is closed.

Why can't I move my class to another room that is empty?

All classroom changes must be made through your Dean's Office scheduling liaison. A classroom may be left empty for a number of reasons including scheduled maintenance or reservations that are planned to take place in that room one or more times during the semester. Just because the room is open one day does not mean it will be open the next. You may request to switch to another room when you contact your Dean's Office scheduling liaison, and the Academic Scheduling Office will be happy to check for any future conflicts. Please note that unapproved room changes can result in disruptions to instructional time, as the classroom may be assigned to another course or event later in the term.

Why can't I access my course in Blackboard?

Only a professor who is listed in Banner and the schedule of classes as an instructor for a given course can have access to that course in Blackboard. If you are teaching a course but your department still has that course listed as "Staff" in Banner and the schedule of classes, your Dean's Office liaison needs to inform Academic Scheduling that you are teaching the course.

How can I reserve a room for a make-up class or review session?

You can reserve a classroom through our online reservation request form.

How can I reserve a room for final exams?

The exam schedule is carefully designed to eliminate any time conflicts for students, who may have as many as six or seven exams scheduled during the exam period. Instructors who wish to reserve rooms for finals will need to affirmatively request them using the electronic Undergraduate Final Exam Request Form. This will be distributed to all departments by the start of the second week of the semester. Final exam rooms will then be assigned by Academic Scheduling for any courses where the instructor requested space.

Once undergraduate exams are finalized and assigned rooms, instructors of graduate courses have the opportunity to request a room for a final exam using the Graduate Exam Request Form. These are distributed to all departments once the undergraduate exam schedule is finalized.

What is the Reading Day policy?

Except for the case in which a Reading Day is also designated as a Make-Up Day, all designated Reading Days are intended for use by students to prepare for final exams. On Reading Days, faculty are not permitted to hold make-up classes or offer exams. If an instructor wishes to request the use of a classroom during the Reading Days, (s)he must state in writing that the activity to be held: 1) will be a voluntary review session, and 2) no new material will be covered.

What if I need ADA accommodations considered when classrooms are assigned?

The Academic Scheduling Office will make every possible effort to meet all ADA accommodation requests approved by the university's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office. Individual faculty members should work with the EEO Office to receive approval for requested accommodations. Once approved, the faculty member will need to submit a Special Classroom Request form through their Dean's Office. Please understand that room assignments are made at least one full semester prior to the first day of classes. Timely submission of the Special Classroom Request form is required to make the best possible room assignment.

Withdrawals and Tuition Refunds

When is the last day to withdraw from a course?

See Withdrawals & Refunds.

What is the tuition refund schedule?

Refer students to the Tuition Refund Policy and Student Accounts. Do not discuss tuition or refunds beyond referring students to this policy and the appropriate offices.

Classroom Expectations

How can I record my classes?

Use the Echo360 lecture capture tool to record classroom lectures and make them available to students on Blackboard. All lecture capture classrooms can record in-room audio and instructor PC’s presentation materials; however, some classrooms are also equipped with a camera to record a video of the instructor and/or all content projected in the classroom. Support for Echo360 is provided by the Instructional Technology Lab.

What if a student becomes disruptive in class?

See these recommendations, including advice on how to set clear and effective expectations for successful behavior in academic settings.

May I forbid a student from returning to my classroom for more than one session?

No, you may only prohibit a student from attending for a single session. If you believe a student should not be permitted to return to your classroom, contact Student Rights and Responsibilities. Also, see the recommendations for managing student behavior in academic settings.

Are students allowed to bring animals into classrooms?

Only service animals, all of which are dogs or miniature horses, are permitted in classrooms. If it’s not readily apparent that the animal is a service animal, you may ask the following questions:

  1. Is the animal a service animal required because of a disability; and
  2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

If it's not a service animal, you may ask the student to remove it from the classroom. If the student responds that it is a service animal, you may not ask additional questions, even if you have doubts. If you have doubts, consult with Disability Support Services after class.

For further guidance see Service Animal Guidance.

Are students allowed to record me during class time without my permission?

Under GW’s Statement of Student Rights & Responsibilities, if an instructor prohibits a recording of a session, then a student is prohibited from making such a recording (with exceptions for disability accommodations). In general, GW students are prohibited from recording people where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Supporting Students

What if a student accuses me of prohibited discrimination?

First, treat the student with respect and care. Provide them with resources such as the CARE Network. Let them know that the University has processes for reporting such concerns, such as the Student Discrimination Report Procedures and the Bias-Incident Reporting website. Without agreeing with their allegation, you may affirm that inclusive learning environments are important and that you hope they will find a way to get support and provide feedback, whether to you directly or through the reporting systems. If they provide feedback, listen attentively and then ask for time to reflect. You, too, may seek support on how to address the allegation in Faculty Affairs and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement.

How should I support students who request disability-based accommodations?

If a student informs you of a physical or mental health condition, including illnesses and injuries, that might qualify as a disability, encourage them to contact Disability Support Services (DSS). Don’t ask them for any information about their conditions. Don’t attempt to determine for yourself what accommodations might be appropriate. If accommodations are appropriate, you will receive a Letter to Professor issued by DSS.

What if it comes to my attention that a student or other member of the GW community may have experienced sexual harassment or assault?

Promptly contact the Title IX Coordinator at [email protected] or 202-994-7434.

Whom should I contact about students struggling in class?

GW's Office for Student Success supports academic progress, student engagement and well-being to ensure student satisfaction and successful student. You may encourage students to take part in success coaching.

If you believe a student might benefit from tutoring services, encourage them to contact Academic Commons.

If you believe a student might benefit from help on their projects at all stages of the writing process, encourage them to contact Writing Center.

If a student informs you of a physical or mental health condition, including illnesses and injuries, that might qualify as a disability, encourage them to contact Disability Support Services.

If you identify students who may need additional support, submit a CARE Referral.

What are GW requirements for protecting student information?

Refer to the FERPA FAQs for Faculty and Staff.

Do students have a right to complete course evaluations?

Yes, but only during the designated response period.

Faculty GWeb Resources

How do I view my class list?

Please refer to our View Class List instructions for guidance. Please note courses will only appear in View Class List if students are registered for the course. Please follow View Assignments instructions to view all courses being offered.

Grading

When are final grades due to the Office of the Registrar?

Grades should be submitted within five (5) business days following the final exam, or following the last scheduled class meeting if no exam is given. Should a faculty member need more time to grade a significant amount of student work, he or she should contact the Office of the Registrar to discuss an extended deadline.

How can a student switch from a letter-grade option to pass/fail or audit?

The student must complete a Registration Transaction form to designate the pass/fail or audit option. The deadline to switch a grade mode is the end of the eighth (8th) week of a semester or fourth (4th) week of a summer session.

What are the terms of the undergraduate Academic Forgiveness Policy?

Undergraduate students in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, GW School of Business, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Elliott School of International Affairs, and Milken Institute School of Public Health are eligible to repeat for credit and request grade forgiveness for three undergraduate-level courses taken at GW in which they received a grade of D+ (1.3) or below (except if the failing grade was due to a violation of GW’s Code of Academic Integrity). With the approval of their academic advisor, a student may repeat a course under this policy at any time during their enrollment at GW; however, a course is not eligible for this policy if the student has taken a subsequent course for which the initial course is a prerequisite.

Under what conditions should I give grades of Incomplete (I)?

The symbol I can be recorded if a student, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is unable to complete the work of the course, and if the student has informed you of, and accepts, such reasons before the date when final grades must be reported. The symbol can be used only if the student’s prior performance and class attendance in the course have been satisfaction. For more details on the undergraduate policy see Undergraduate Regulations. For graduate students see Graduate Regulations.

How do I submit final grades online?

Please refer to our Faculty Grade Entry instructions for guidance.

Online grading is made available approximately one week prior to the end of the semester. Only the primary instructor for the course may submit grades online. If your course is being taught by more than one faculty member, you may not be listed as the primary instructor. Contact your department to coordinate the submission of grades from multiple instructors for different students within a course.

How do I change a student's final grade after submission?

In order to change a final grade that has already been submitted, a faculty member must submit the new grade through the Grade Change Workflow in GWeb. Please refer to our Faculty Grade Change Instructions for guidance. 

What if I suspect a student of violating the Code of Academic Integrity (cheating, plagiarism, etc.)?

If you identify actions that may violate university expectations and the University Code of Academic Integrity, instructors are expected to address such incidents as described in the Code of Academic Integrity. The Code of Academic Integrity is facilitated by the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities in the Division for Student Affairs.

Examinations

May I hold final examinations outside the published final examination period?

No. All undergraduate final exams must be given during the final exam period listed in the academic calendar and must be given on the day and time listed in the final exam schedule.

What if a student asks to reschedule a final examination?

University policy regarding final exam conflicts states that one final exam may be rescheduled if a student has three or more final exams scheduled on the same day. Students who are observing a religious holiday during the final examination period shall be allowed to have any examination rescheduled if it conflicts with their day(s) of religious observance.

In order to reschedule an exam, the student must consult and reschedule the makeup exam with the instructor at least three weeks prior to the last day of classes. Whenever possible, the make-up exam should take place during the final exam period.

Recommendations

What information am I allowed to include in a student's recommendation?

Information contained in education records may not be disclosed without the student's written consent. Please have any students for whom you are writing recommendations complete a Student Consent for Faculty/Staff Recommendation form if you plan to include academic information such as individual grades, specific course performance, cumulative GPA, test scores, academic honors, or current academic status.

Statements made from your own personal observations or knowledge of the student do not require a written release.