Preparing for classes

Blackboard Learn Course Management System

At SUNY-Oswego, Blackboard Learn is used as the college's official course management system. If you have worked with other course management systems before, the transition to Blackboard should be rather straightforward. You are encouraged to start working on your online course supplements as soon as you have your LakerNet ID. As long as you are listed as the instructor of your courses in the college database, your Blackboard Learn course shells should be available for you to work on now.

Some useful resources on using Blackboard are:


Our local campus Blackboard support team can be reached by email at:


Classroom technology

A video presentation on the use of Advanced Technology Classrooms (ATCs) is available here (you must have iTunes installed on your computer to view this). Information on the technology available in our ATCs) is available here.  Phones are available at the podium in most ATCs to call for assistance if a problem arises while setting up for class or during a class.


Teaching support

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching provides a variety of services to help you get started:

  • one-on-one consultations on a drop-in basis in Lanigan 121 (next to the Lake Effect cafe).
  • a collection of video recordings of past workshops on a wide variety of teaching-related topics.
  • a collection of links (under construction) to information on best practices

 Library resources

Penfield Library provides many services for faculty. Information about Penfield Library's support services may be found here.

Syllabus requirement

On 5/2/2011, the SUNY-Oswego Faculty Assembly passed a requirement that all instructors must, within the first week of the term, provide all students in every course with a printed or electronically distributed syllabus that contains, at a minimum, the following information: 

  • Course title, number and section, as well as semester and year
  • Class meeting days, times and location
  • Instructor name, contact information and office hours
  • Required and recommended textbooks/materials
  • A section on grading that includes required learning activities (papers/projects/exams/quizzes, etc.) along with their relative weight in the overall course grade. Attendance and /or make-up policies should be included here if they impact grading.
  • Student learning objectives
  • Final Exam date and time or a statement indicating that there is no final exam
  • Disability Statement: "If you have a disabling condition, which may interfere with your ability to successfully complete this course, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resource Services."
  • Intellectual Integrity Statement: "SUNY Oswego is committed to  Intellectual Integrity. Any form of intellectual dishonesty is a serious  concern and therefore prohibited. The full policy can be found at


Final Exam policy

All courses will involve some form of comprehensive evaluation; final examinations are an integral part of this procedure in many cases. For every course requiring a final examination, the day and hour scheduled for this purpose must be used, and the examination must be limited to that specified period of time. All evening courses in which final examinations are to be given will hold the examination during final exam week at the day and hour of the regular class meeting.

The last examination of the semester in a course must be given during the final exam week at the scheduled time. During the last week of class, examinations may only be given if there is also a comprehensive examination given during the scheduled final examination period.


 Prerequisite/Corequisite Challenge Policy

In cases where the student does not meet a stated prerequisite or corequisite of a course and there is no "or permission of instructor" qualifier in such listing, the student may submit a Prerequisite Deviation Form to the home department of the course to seek approval for registering for it. A Prerequisite Deviation Form in such cases may require additional written documentation, explanation of alternative coursework, background, or abilities which adequately prepare the student for the course.

The signature of the student's advisor and the department chair of the home department of the course or someone authorized to sign for the chair signifies approval of the deviation. A copy of the form will be kept in the student's permanent folder digitally imaged, and the student will be given a copy for his or her record upon request.


Classes capped at either 19 or 49 students

A general rule on our campus has been that to be added to any course that is full to capacity, students need permission from the instructor of the course.  If a course is capped at 19 or 49 an additional, but very critical step is added to the process. All such Adds require, first, the instructor's signature on an Add Form, then the student will need the signature of the Associate Provost (Rameen Mohammadi) in order to be registered for the course.  There is a simple, basic, rubric that is applied: does the student need this specific course/section in order to make appropriate progress towards graduation? (i.e. are there NO other options available to the student?)


 Student Absence

Regular class attendance is obligatory. Faculty may consider attendance when determining grades, subject to the policies below. 

Two federally mandated acceptable excuses: 

  • Religious Beliefs
  • Athletic Team Membership


Drops at Instructor Discretion

Students who have two unexcused absences during the first two class meetings of the semester may be dropped from the course at the discretion of the instructor. The instructor or the department offering the course will notify the Registrar of this action which terminates a student's registration in that course.


Disabilities Accommodations

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act establish legal obligations for the institution, faculty, and staff to provide reasonable accommodations that facilitate the access of otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the programs and activities of the college. Discrimination against individuals with disabilities is illegal. Faculty are expected to cooperate in providing reasonable classroom accommodations.  Students with documented disabilities will provide faculty members with a letter from the Office of Accessibility Resource Services in order to identify the accommodations they may need relative to instruction and testing. Faculty are urged to engage in discussion with students with disabilities in order to understand the effective provision of accommodations. Questions regarding accommodations should be directed to the Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities at the Office of Accessibility Resource Services.



Under the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), students have the right to: inspect and review education records, seek to amend education records, and have some control over the disclosure of information from education records. The privacy and confidentiality of all student records shall be preserved. Non-Directory Information is information that if released would generally be considered an invasion of privacy such as student's grades. This information will not be released without the student's written consent. 



Changing Grades: Faculty members who have made clerical errors in assigning grades must complete the Grade Change Form. After review by the appropriate Department Chair, the appropriate Dean will review the request, The Dean in turn will give instructions to the registrar concerning changing the grade. The instructor is not expected to change a grade unless there has been a clerical error. All grade changes can only be made during the first six weeks of the next semester. 

Distribution of Grades: Final grades are distributed to students through the Registrar's Office. Faculty members who post grades should use a system that insures that the requirements of the Buckley Amendment pertaining to the confidentiality of grades are carefully met. The listing should not be in alphabetical order.  Social Security or Student College ID numbers should not be used. Some faculty may require students to submit a code word to which the grade can be assigned.

Final Grades: At the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters and after summer sessions, final grades are recorded by instructors in myOswego. These grades become part of the student's academic record.

Midterm Grades: Assignment of midterm grades for all 100- and 200-level courses is required; grades are expected to be entered into myOswego by the time specified in the academic calendar.

Registration for Courses: In order to receive credit for a course, a student must officially register for the course at the beginning of a semester through prescribed registration procedures.

Academic Appeal Process: Students may appeal academic decisions that they feel are unfair. A student who believes she/he has been evaluated unfairly should first discuss the matter with the professor of the class. If the issue is not resolved with the professor, the student may next appeal to the department chair. The student has the right to continue the appeal in an orderly progression to the next supervisor, but it is best to resolve issues at the source. A student's appeal should be presented in writing. The student may select an advisor to aid her/him through the process. For further information about the appeal process, please contact the Office of the Associate Provost, 703 Culkin Hall, 312-2232.


Canceled Classes Due to Weather

To find out if classes are canceled because of inclement weather, members of the campus community have several options: check, the SUNY Oswego website; call 312-3333, the SUNY Oswego Information Line; listen to radio and television; or, in residence halls, see digital signage notification or check with the front desk.

Clery Act/Title IX Reporting Statement 
SUNY Oswego is committed to enhancing the safety and security of the campus for all its members. In support of this, faculty may be required to report their knowledge of certain crimes or harassment. Reportable incidents include harassment on the basis of sex or gender prohibited by Title IX and crimes covered by the Clery Act.  

Academic Calendar