Handbook for Special Faculty
The University of South Carolina at Sumter was established in 1966 for the purpose of encouraging higher education in Sumter County and adjacent areas and, more specifically, to provide a program of college courses of such quality and diversity as to allow its students to make significant progress toward a baccalaureate degree. In 1973 the mission was expanded in the areas of Continuing Education and Graduate Studies.
Today USC Sumter offers the Associate degree in Arts and in Sciences and also has joint Baccalaureate programs with other USC System campuses. USC Sumter takes pride in offering courses as part of a high quality undergraduate program and emphasizes excellence in the classroom.
USC Sumter offers courses in a 16 week day program on the Sumter Campus, in an accelerated 8 week evening program at both the Sumter and Shaw AFB Campuses, and with secondary high schools in our service area, both public and private. In addition, during the summer, there are two 5 week semesters.
Central Switchboard Telephone: 803-775-8727
The majority of the USC Sumter classes are offered at two primary locations in the community (see maps): the Sumter Campus and the Shaw Campus. The Sumter Campus is located on Miller Road between Alice Drive and Guignard Drive.
The Shaw Campus is located on Highway 441 just outside of Shaw Air Force Base. The classes are taught in the Base Education Center located at 398 Shaw Drive.
General Concerns: The facilities at the Sumter Campus are on State property and are governed by State regulations. The facilities at the Shaw Campus are provided by the Air Force and are governed by Military and Federal regulations.
The following basic guidelines and information are provided to meet the basic needs of the University and the military:
1. There is to be no smoking, eating or drinking in the classrooms at either campus.
NOTE: Effective 1 Aug 1990, the CLEAN INDOOR AIR ACT was instituted on the Sumter Campus and as such there will be no smoking in any form in all buildings on the campus.
2. Classrooms are to be kept neat and orderly, and all chalkboards erased upon the completion of the class.
3. At the Shaw campus empty cans, bottles, paper and trash should be deposited in the appropriate receptacles. For cigarette butts please use the special buttcans that are provided outside each classroom. No trash in the buttcans, no butts in the trash cans!
4. At the Shaw campus there are locks on all of the classrooms. Faculty will sign for and be issued a key for the semester on the first night of classes. The classrooms should be locked after class unless another class is waiting to use it. The Key must be returned at the end of the semester. (See P. 14 for Sumter Campus key distribution procedures.)
5. At the Shaw Campus emergency telephones are located in the classroom building. At the Sumter campus there are telephones in the division offices, though these offices are normally not open after 5:00 pm. There are public phones in the front of the library, in the canteen of the Classroom building, in the lobby area of the Nettles Building, and near the "round room" (Room 652) in the Schwartz Building.
Courses at USC Sumter are taught on a semester basis. Courses which are taught in the day program are primarily taught on a 16 week schedule, however, there are a limited number of 16 week evening courses, primarily in Engineering, Science, and Math. The dates of contract courses taught at area high schools may vary from our regular semester dates. The Fall semester typically begins in late August and runs through mid December. The Spring semester typically begins early in January and runs through mid May. Classes are offered on Mon/Wed/Fri for periods of 50 minutes each, or in Mon/Wed or Tue/Thur sessions of 75 minutes each. Laboratory courses and some Math courses will have a different schedule.
Running concurrently with the day program is an accelerated evening program. The evening program is offered in five 8 week terms per year (Fall I & II, Spring I & II, Summer I). Evening courses are offered on Mon/Wed or Tue/Thur for two and one-half hour periods. Laboratory courses will have a different schedule.
Courses are also offered during the day in two five-week Summer terms. The first term traditionally begins in early June and runs to mid-July. The second term immediately follows and runs to mid-August.
Courses at the Shaw Campus are traditionally offered only in the evening program. The courses have the same schedule as evening program courses on the Sumter Campus. In addition, the evening program at the Shaw campus has one 8 week Summer term. The Summer term traditionally runs from early May to early July.
The exact dates for the beginning of classes, final exam period, last day to drop a class (with or without a refund), etc. are printed in the Undergraduate Schedule of Courses which is usually available in the middle of the preceding semester. Principal or designated contact at local secondary high schools will have the dates of high school contract courses.
TEACHING FOR USC SUMTER
Since the number of permanent faculty of USC Sumter is limited, qualified special faculty are sometimes sought to teach specific courses in the day, evening, or high school program. These special faculty allow the University to offer the diversity and quality of courses that are needed by the community.
If you are interested in the possibility of teaching for USC Sumter as a special faculty member, you should first contact the Chairperson of the Division which is responsible for the course offerings in your area of specialization. The Division Chairperson will be able to discuss with you the possibility of employment.
In general, before an individual can teach at USC Sumter, that person's resume, official graduate and undergraduate transcripts, and at least three letters of recommendation must be on file with the University. These credentials are then evaluated by the USC Sumter Administration. Interviews with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and with the Dean are also generally scheduled. Credentials and recommendations are then submitted to USC Columbia (or to another degree-granting campus, if the course is from that campus's catalog) which makes the final decision on employment.
Employment as a special faculty member at USC Sumter is for a particular course, campus, time, term and salary (for example, English 101 on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Sumter Campus from 5:15 - 7:45 pm in Fall I), and carries no implication of future employment nor salary continuity. The terms of employment are specified in a contract (see below). A copy of the contract is given to the individual instructor; another is kept on file in the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The contract may be canceled due to insufficient course enrollment or by the necessity of staffing the course with a full-time employee.
The USC Sumter policy governing the employment of special faculty is ACAD 300: "Special Faculty", a copy of which is attached.
Though not always, Special Faculty teaching at local area high schools usually are employed by the school or district.
GENERAL FACTORS: The responsibilities of any individual concerned with the instruction of students are usually considered to be so apparent and reasonable that they are just part of an unwritten "code of scholars." However, these responsibilities are so fundamental to the integrity of an educational program that it seems appropriate to specify some basic considerations.
1. At the beginning of the term you are responsible for stating clearly the instructional objectives, the grading procedures, and the attendance policies for each course that you teach (a course syllabus can be used to meet these requirements). The objectives of the course must be consistent with the course descriptions published in the University Catalog. Throughout the term the classroom instruction should be directed toward the fulfillment of, and examinations should be consistent with, the stated objectives.
2. It is expected that graded exams, papers, etc. will be returned to the students in a timely manner for inspection and discussion.
3. You are expected to meet all of your classes at the scheduled time for the full class period. In case of illness or emergency, you are expected to notify the appropriate Division Chairperson, Director of the Shaw Campus, or follow your school's standard operating procedures. The class must also be told of your "wait" policy in case you are unavoidably detained.
4. You are entitled to freedom in the classroom to discuss relevant subject matter, but controversial material which has no relation to the course should not be introduced in the teaching procedure.
5. You will need to maintain accurate records of class attendance so that the University is in compliance with regulations associated with federal financial aid programs.
6. It is important that you process administrative paperwork (i.e. grade reports, class roll verifications, etc.) by the dates and times they are requested.
SYLLABUS: A course syllabus should be given to each student of the class. It is important that this syllabus be distributed no later than one week after the beginning of class. Furthermore, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requires that one copy of this syllabus and a copy of the final exam be kept on file in the appropriate Division office. You should provide a copy of the syllabus to the Division Chairperson as early in the term as is feasible. A copy of the final exam should be forwarded at the end of the term.
CLASS ATTENDANCE: Enrollment in a course obligates the student not only for prompt completion of all work assigned but also for punctual and regular attendance and for participation in whatever class discussion may occur. It is the student's responsibility to keep informed concerning all assignments made. Absences, whether excused or unexcused, do not absolve students from their responsibilities.
Absence from more than 10 percent of the scheduled class sessions, whether excused or unexcused is excessive and you, as the instructor, may exact a grade penalty for such absences.
Your attendance policy should be clearly defined to the students at the beginning of the semester. It is of particular importance that a student who anticipates absences in excess of 10 percent of the scheduled class sessions receive prior approval from you before the last day to change a schedule, as published in the University's academic calendar.
It must be emphasized that the "10 percent rule" stated above applies to both excused and unexcused absences. Faculty members should notify classes specifically of the attendance policy which they intend to follow in each class.
CLASS RECORDS: You will be provided a temporary class roll by the first class period. It is important that you carefully monitor class attendance and inform any students not on the class roll that they should correct the problem with the Records Office. After the first week of class you will receive an Official Class Roll Verification Form. This form should be completed immediately and returned to the Records Office.
This form is for indicating students who are on the roll but not attending class or those who are attending class but are not on the roll. It is very important that the form be completed and submitted in a timely manner. Failure to do so could result in significant difficulties with grades, other records, and subsequent registrations.
Once a student has registered and paid for a course, his/her name will remain on the Class Roll unless the course is officially dropped, a section change is processed, or a withdrawal from the University is completed by the last day to withdraw without a penalty.
TESTS: A critical responsibility of course instruction is the evaluation of the student's progress. The test style, the number of tests given, and the timing ( with the notable exceptions detailed below) are at the discretion of the instructor. However, testing should conform to the stated objectives of the class as noted earlier.
In any course or laboratory which meets once a week, or any 8 week or 5 week course or laboratory which meets more than once a week, no quiz, test, or examination may be given during the last class meeting prior to the final exam period. In any 16 week course or laboratory that meets two or three times per week, no quiz, test or examination may be given during the last two class meetings prior to the final exam period.
In any 16 week course or laboratory which meets more than three times per week, no quiz, test or examination may be given during the last three class meetings prior to the final exam period. Self-paced courses are exempt from this regulation.
FINAL EXAMS: Final examinations each semester are given in accordance with a schedule published well in advance of the examination period. Final exams in the eight week evening programs are on the last night of class. No deviation from this printed schedule is permitted unless specific prior approval has been secured from the Dean through the office of the Division Chairperson concerned, and all such deviations shall be reported to the office of the Dean of the University.
It is recognized that adherence to the final exam period will cause occasional conflict (i.e. a student has simultaneous exams or several concurrent exams). Such cases clearly require special handling and possible examinations at other times may be appropriate. Again, however, changes from the scheduled times require prior approval and in no case should they occur outside of the total examination period.
A student who is absent from any final examination will be given the grade of F on the course if he/she has not offered an excuse acceptable to the instructor. Re-examinations for the purpose of removing an F or raising a grade are not permitted.
GRADING: The grading system of the University includes the grades outlined below. Under this system undergraduate course credit will be granted only for earned grades of D (or better) or S. Any of the following symbols (except NR) will become a permanent part of a student's academic record when assigned.
A, B, C, D represent passing grades in order of highest to lowest. B+, C+, D+ may also be recorded for undergraduate students. F represents failure performance.
S and U indicate, respectively, satisfactory (passing) and unsatisfactory (failing) performance in courses carried under Pass-Fail or noncredit options.
W may be assigned, in exceptional cases to indicate satisfactory performance in courses from which the student withdrew after the last day to drop without a "W" (the deadline prescribed in the University's academic calendar). The grade is used primarily in cases of withdrawal for extenuating circumstances and requires the concurrence of the instructor and the Associate Dean.
WF is assigned for withdrawal from a course after the last day to drop with a "W". It is treated like an F.
I (Incomplete) indicates satisfactory attendance and performance, but failure to complete some portion of the assigned work in the course. This grade is not a substitute for a W, nor should it be used to allow the student to retake the whole course. It is assigned at the discretion of the instructor and can be completed only by arrangement with the instructor in the course and within one calendar year. The exact amount of time (up to one calendar year) available to the student for make-up, and the conditions of the make-up, are solely determined by the instructor and are specified on an Assignment of Incomplete Contract. This contract is available from the Records office and must be processed at the same time that the final grade is recorded.
AUD indicates a course was carried on an audit basis.
NR (No Record) is assigned by the Records Office only, in the event that the student's grades are not available to the Registrar when student grade rolls are processed. It is a temporary mark and must be replaced by a grade.
FINAL GRADES: The University grades are processed according to a rigid schedule, and it is imperative that instructors respect the appropriate deadlines for submitting grade reports.
All grades shall be due in the Records Office no later than seventy-two (72) hours after the date of the scheduled final exam, but grades may be requested earlier than that time. The final grades are to be indicated on the Final Grade Sheet according to the instructions which accompany the sheet. These grade sheets are provided by the Records office approximately one week prior to the final examination period. All students listed on the grade sheet must have a grade assigned to them. Assigned grades of F that are due to excessive absences should be annotated to that effect.
The instructor may wish to publicly post final grades for the convenience of the students; however, written prior permission by the student is required before you may legally publicly post grades. The Records office will provide a release form with the final grade sheets. Please let your students know your policy on posting grades and, if you do post them, where they will be posted. It should be noted that neither the Records office nor the Shaw office give final grades to students.
Grades will normally be available to the student through the TIPS system approximately 24 hours after they are entered into the computer by the Records office.
GRADE CHANGES: In case of a error in reporting final grades or to change an I or NR grade, the instructor must complete a change of grade form (available in the Records Office). In the case of an error in reporting final grades, the change of grade form must be submitted to the USC Sumter Faculty for approval. The completed form should be handed in at the office of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for forwarding to the Faculty. Special make-up work or examinations to change grades already recorded are not permitted.
COURSE EVALUATIONS: It is the policy of USC Sumter to allow students in all classes the opportunity to evaluate the teaching performance of their instructors. Specific teaching evaluation forms have been developed for this purpose, and these forms will be distributed in all classes at least one week prior to the last day of class. The students should be given 10-15 minutes at the beginning of the class to complete the evaluations and the instructor will not be in the classroom during this period. The completed forms will be reviewed by the appropriate Chairperson and the Associate Dean prior to being returned to you. The evaluations will be given to you after the final grades have been assigned.
COURSE ASSISTANCE: From time to time an instructor will need assistance with activities directed at meeting the objectives of the course. The appropriate Division Chairperson and the Division Assistant, as well as the coordinator of the Shaw Campus, are available to provide assistance in a variety of ways.
TYPING & DUPLICATION: Tests, handouts, etc. can be typed, duplicated, and collated by the Division Assistant. However, due to the workload of the Assistant, instructors are asked to get the original work to the Assistant in a timely manner (3-4 workdays prior to the due date).
SUPPLIES: Gradebooks, pads, etc. which you may need can be ordered from the Division Assistant or Coordinator of the Shaw Campus.
AUDIO-VISUAL EQUIPMENT: When you need specialized equipment in your class (slide projectors, film projectors, VCR players, etc.) you should contact the Director of the Shaw Campus if you teach at Shaw or the Division Assistant if you teach on the Sumter Campus or use approved guidelines at your school campus.
KEYS: Some instructors on the Sumter Campus need to have access to controlled areas. In special cases a key to certain rooms can be assigned by the Division Chairperson to a special instructor.
As indicated earlier, Instructors on the Shaw Campus will sign for and be issued a key to their classroom on the first night of classes by the Director of the Shaw Campus. These keys are issued for the eight-week term and must be returned at the end of the term.
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: The University Bulletin contains basic descriptions of courses offered at USC Sumter and these descriptions serve to outline the general content of courses. However, these descriptions are very limited in scope. USC Sumter has produced a Course Description Book to provide students and faculty with a more detailed outline of course content since different instructors may emphasize slightly different content, require different texts, use different teaching strategies, and evaluate students differently. In addition, each Division is required to keep files of course syllabi, outlines, and final exams for each course. These files may also be consulted for more "in depth" information about course content, standards and grading.
TEXTBOOKS: Traditionally each instructor is responsible for the selection of the textbook for his/her course. Requests for texts or supplemental course material is due to the Bookstore Manager approximately two to three months prior to the beginning of the semester. However, in cases where a standard text is required for all sections of a course or when time constraints are restrictive, the instructor may be required to use a particular text. Complimentary copies of the text should be secured through the appropriate Division Chairperson.
The USC Sumter Library is available for the use of all instructors and students at USC Sumter. The Library staff is available to assist instructors ( i.e. secure reference material for courses, give tours of the library facilities, supervise reserve material for classes, etc.).
USCAN: The University of South Carolina Access Network (USCAN) is an on-line catalog which provides information about the collections of the University of South Carolina Libraries. It supplements and will eventually replace the card catalogs of each USC library. USCAN can be searched by Author, Title, Subject, or Keyword. Terminals are located in each USC campus library as well as the Shaw office.
Mail slots for special faculty are located in each Division office. Special faculty are urged to check their mail slots periodically. Information and paperwork associated with the activities of the University are transmitted through these facilities. Instructors may leave information at the library desk for distribution to USC Sumter offices. In addition, messages for special faculty members teaching on the Shaw campus may be left in the classroom.
All special faculty members are required to make themselves available to their students outside of normal classroom hours. Please contact the appropriate Division Chairperson or the Coordinator of the Shaw Campus to make arrangements for a meeting place or temporary office.
Although not required, special faculty members are eligible for a USC Sumter identification card for use in the University system. This ID is useful in using the Library facilities in the system, in taking advantage of the physical fitness facilities, etc. If an ID card is desired, the necessary arrangements should be made through the office of the Assistant Dean of Student Services.
The Nettles Building contains the Department of Intramural-Recreational Services and includes a fully equipped wellness center, three racquetball/handball courts, and a multi-purpose gym. Storage lockers and shower facilities are also available. A valid faculty ID card or letter from the Division Chairperson showing the dates of employment is required. For further details and hours of operation contact the Department of Intramural-Recreational Services.