Writing a Syllabus

Especially for a new instructor, the task of writing a syllabus can be a daunting one. The faculty member needs to clearly present their layout for the class, their expectations, and the policies that they will follow.

Every instructor’s syllabus is unique, but individual faculty members build the syllabus for their particular course sections upon the framework of the course’s master syllabus.

Master syllabi for all courses taught at ACC

To promote complete and consistent communication to students, ACC has items that all course syllabi should include. The goal is to provide all students with clear statements of course expectations, requirements, and policies that may (among many other factors) help them succeed in the class.

Many faculty may find the template and resources on the Master Syllabus checklist page useful. Faculty are encouraged to follow the template to give students a consistent layout from course to course. Innovative and engaging arrangements and styles can be a refreshing change of pace, however, and if you have a syllabus example you’d like to share, please email it to syllabi@austincc.edu.

Many syllabus statements, particularly those relating to college policies like academic integrity, are consistent across courses and the college. Since the syllabus is a contract between the instructor and the student, faculty members are encouraged to incorporate the college policy language approved through the shared governance process, as it establishes a stronger position in case of grade disputes or lawsuits. Some faculty may choose to download and print the college policies document and include it with their first day handouts.

Instructors are encouraged to review the course syllabus point-by-point with the students on the first day and answer any questions. Some instructors ask students to sign a statement confirming they have read and agreed to the terms of the syllabus.

Examples of a syllabi for transfer and workforce courses also are on this website, and descriptions for each of the syllabus components are in the master syllabus template.

Send questions about syllabi-related issues to syllabi@austincc.edu.

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