Please see the College academic policies and programs in the Gordon College Undergraduate Academic Catalog.
Please note: Several sections below have been updated in accordance with the general guidelines for campus life–these updates are highlighted in white text boxes like this one. In any case of discrepancy between highlighted text and standard text, the guidance in the highlighted text supersedes other guidance until further notice.
Gordon College is committed to a holistic view of learning that encourages students to participate in a variety of educational opportunities both in and beyond the classroom. In fact, Gordon offers such a wide array of educational activities that occasionally schedules for various learning programs conflict with one another. When scheduling conflicts arise, classroom requirements take priority. Faculty members have jurisdiction over attendance policies in their classes, and students are required to abide by the attendance requirements described in course syllabi.
Faculty members, however, are encouraged to support the wide variety of programs at the College by exploring ways a student can make up portions of the course missed because of College-sponsored events. On occasion athletic teams, mission programs, musical groups and other College programs schedule events or tours that conflict with class times. Students will be expected to confer with faculty well in advance of such dates to discuss possible alternatives, normally before the end of the second week of the semester. (Student athletes are not allowed to seek alternatives to class sessions to attend athletic practices. Faculty members should also recognize that student athletes themselves are sometimes given short notice about playoff competitions or makeup competitions in athletics.) Students are responsible for all work missed and may be required to complete additional assignments in lieu of class attendance.
If a student does provide adequate notification, the College expects all faculty members to make reasonable accommodation for the student. However, the faculty member has the right to determine whether or not a student should be excused from a class session to participate in another College-sponsored event, taking into consideration the student’s academic performance, the nature of the subject matter covered during the class session, and the number of absences either incurred or requested by the student.
Some faculty members plan field trips as part of their courses. If at all possible, such trips should be scheduled at times that do not require absences from other classes or conflict with obligations students have accepted as members of athletic teams, student development programs, musical groups, etc. If an academic field trip is scheduled during a time that conflicts with other courses or other College-sponsored events, the faculty member scheduling the field trip must allow the student an alternative way of fulfilling the requirement of the field trip.
No College events or field trips requiring class absence may be scheduled during the first five school days of the quad or semester, during final exams (quad or full-semester) or during the annual LEAD conference in the spring, unless approved during the prior semester by the Academic Programs Committee.
Division of Education’s practica have priority over other College-sponsored events that occur during practica periods.
In addition to meeting classroom requirements for their courses, students must also meet chapel and convocation attendance policy requirements as defined in the Gordon College Student Handbook.
Notice of a class cancellation will be sent via email. Students must wait 15 minutes before leaving if an instructor fails to appear for class. If all classes are cancelled due to inclement weather or other reasons, it will be announced the college mass notification system (phone, email, text, etc.) and posted on the college websites.
There will not be a formal final exam period scheduled for the fall semester 2020. Any decisions regarding the spring final exam period will be made at a later date.
A final examination or other appropriate in-class activity is required during scheduled quad and semester final exam periods. Faculty are not authorized to change final exam times. Quad and final exam schedules are clearly detailed on class schedules each term and on the College website. Final examinations may not be changed due to travel arrangements or outside commitments or conflicts. However, students are not required to take more than two in-class final exams on any given day. Students with three or more final exams on the same day may petition to have one examination time reassigned by contacting the Registrar’s Office. Changes are not allowed for any other reason. The Academic Programs Committee will only consider petitions demonstrating severe emergency. Students failing to take final exams receive automatic zeros, which are averaged into the final course grade.
The Gordon College student is expected to live a life of honesty and integrity consistent with the demands of Christian discipleship. Therefore, academic dishonesty—which occurs chiefly in the form of cheating and plagiarism—is regarded by Gordon College as a major violation of both the academic and spiritual principles of this community. A student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive disciplinary sanctions, which may include a failing grade on an assignment or failure of the course; in extreme cases and/or a repeat offense, the student may also face academic suspension or expulsion from the College. Given the serious consequences of academic dishonesty, students are encouraged to discuss any difficulties openly with their instructors instead of resorting to dishonest conduct.
Plagiarism is defined as presenting another person’s words, work or opinions as one’s own. The College recognizes that not all forms of plagiarism are the same and, as such, has adopted the following classifications:
A person is an accomplice in plagiarism and equally guilty if that person:
Responses to instances of plagiarism come at the supervising faculty member's discretion in accordance with the following guidelines:
Students have the right to appeal decisions regarding academic dishonesty. Should a student wish to appeal, he or she must submit a formal request to the Provost’s Office within 10 business days of learning of the decision. The Associate Dean/Registrar will convene a small group comprising of a representative from the Office of Student Life and a full-time faculty member in order to review the particulars of the case and weigh the student’s appeal.
As academic dishonesty constitutes a violation of both the academic and spiritual principles of the College community, the Provost’s Office will communicate regularly with the Office of Student Life regarding such instances. The purpose of such communication is primarily so that the Student Life staff, who are often aware of additional behavioral issues or personal difficulties, can maintain a comprehensive overview of the student and also alert academic staff to other relevant concerns.
*This policy was approved by the Academic Programs Committee in April of 2015. Portions of this policy have been adapted with permission from the policy at Westmont College.
Gordon College has high academic standards for both faculty and students. Each student has the right to expect competence in faculty instruction and fairness in the student evaluation process. Each faculty member has the right to expect that students will complete all assignments outlined in the course syllabus.
These rights must be exercised in an atmosphere of trust which grows out of a common Christian commitment. A faculty member trusts the students to complete assignments without cheating or plagiarizing. Students trust the faculty member to provide the best instruction and to make fair professional judgments regarding student performance.
When the trust relationship is violated by either party, the community is committed to seeking reconciliation at the lowest possible level and as quickly as possible.
Most rights and responsibilities of both faculty and students are already contained in The Administrative-Faculty Handbook and the College catalog. However, to focus on those aspects of the student/faculty relationship growing out of classroom interaction, the College is committed to the following:
Students with concerns regarding accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 should contact the Academic Success Center immediately. If the situation is not resolved, refer to the grievance policy in the Academic Support Center section (p. 87).
If a faculty member feels a student has violated his or her rights, and discussion with the student proves unfruitful, he or she may seek redress through the student judiciary process (see page 40). If a student feels a faculty member has violated his or her rights, and discussion with the faculty member proves unfruitful, he or she may seek redress through the following procedure:
Online students may file a complaint with the office of the Vice President for Academic Initiatives, either by email (Kristen.Broughton@gordon.edu) or phone (978-867-4113). For matters not resolved at the institutional level, Massachusetts residents enrolled in online courses may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) using the general complaint form; online students residing in SARA member states (other than Massachusetts) may appeal complaints to the DHE using the SARA Complaint form.