Lecturer Handbook


Welcome to the College of Social Sciences (COSS). The purpose of this COSS Handbook is to help you get started as a Lecturer in the Departments within the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State. It can be somewhat daunting at first, but once you learn your way around, you will know that there are many valuable resources to help you set up and maintain your classes.

First and foremost, the Faculty Handbook and the Academic Policy Manual, available online at http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/forms-policies/faculty-handbook.html and http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/forms-policies/apm/index.html will be your main go-to source.  In this you will find information regarding faculty responsibilities, instructional support resources, and many other valuable sources. It is helpful to bookmark these sites and review them as-needed.

The University New Faculty Survival Guide and Faculty Handbook (2004-2005) can be found at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/forms-policies/faculty-handbook.html



Fresno State uses Blackboard as its Learning Management System. While you are not required to use Blackboard, it is an effective way to communicate with your students and you are strongly encouraged to use it. Today’s students take Blackboard as a given in all their classes. The use of Blackboard also saves paper and printing costs (the syllabus and other course materials can be placed online and students’ work can be turned in online via Blackboard). Blackboard is very user friendly and easy to learn. Its uses are nearly endless, once you learn how to use it. There is help available either by phone, web, or walk-ins.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your Department Chair if you need help with Blackboard. Walk-in help is also available in the Henry Madden Library on the second floor in Studio 2. Other sources for help:

· Blackboard Help: 559) 278-7373 or after hours (559) 278-5000

· bbsupport@csufresno.edu

· http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/blackboard/


NOTE: If you are teaching a course and you would like to use Blackboard, you must make sure that the course is “made available” to your students before they can see the course, its contents, and anything you post. To make a course “available,”

· Log onto Blackboard

· Find the course that you would like to make available

· Click on the course title

· Course Management Panel (lower left side of the screen under the course buttons)

· Customization

· Properties

· Under Set Availability section – Click on Yes > Submit


Classroom Technology

All classrooms are equipped with a projector, control panel, and a DVD player. In most classes, you will need to provide your own computer. If you do not own one, you can check one out from the Library. The classrooms have a VGA cable, but if your computer does not have this port, you will need to provide your own HDMI cord. If you are teaching for the first time, it’s a good idea to test it out in a classroom (during an off-class time) before your scheduled class. Again, don’t hesitate to request assistance during that process.

If you are experiencing technology problems in the classroom, help is just a phone call away. You can use the phone in the classroom and in most cases helpdesk technicians can talk you through the solution. In some cases they will need to send a technician to the class.

Classroom and Video Services at 278-2674 can help with video/media related issues.


My Fresno State

You will access My Fresno State for a variety of functions at:



If the link does not work, you may also access My Fresno State at:

www.fresnostate.edu (located under the Quick Links tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page).

You sign in using your Fresno State email username and password. You have several options after you sign in: Employee Self Service or Faculty Self Service.


Employee Self Service

Using this link brings you to personnel functions. You will want to keep your personal information up-to-date here. You can also access past pay warrants and benefits information here. You will also go here monthly to report absences even if you did not have any absences during the report period. To do this, click on My Fresno State: https://my.fresnostate.edu/psp/mfs/EMPLOYEE/EMPL/h/?tab=PAPP_GUEST.


If the link does not work, you may also access My Fresno State at:

www.fresnostate.edu (located under the Quick Links tab in the upper right hand corner of the home page).

After you sign-in, click on Employee Self Service, then under Time Reporting click on Report and View Absences, then enter the dates or no leave taken, then submit. You must complete this by the 5th day of every month even if you do not have any absences.


Faculty Self Service

Using the My Fresno State link, go to Faculty Center. Here you can access your class schedule and rosters.  It is also here that you will submit your grades at the end of the semester. To do this, click on Faculty Self Service, then click on Faculty Center. Select the term you would like to see and your class schedule should show up.  Here you will see links to class information, rosters, grade reporting (if available), and text book ordering information. There is an icon legend that will help you navigate this site. Instructions regarding grade recording and grade change requests are also found here.


Class Roster

Each class has an enrollment room capacity. This number is listed on your class roster. Students who want to get into the class after it is full must add themselves to a wait list and are automatically added when someone drops within the first 10 days of instruction. The students wanting to add the class (on the wait list or not) will need to attend so they do not miss important information. After the add period is over, students will need a permission number, which is only given if room capacity is not exceeded or in extreme cases - see part IV of the University Faculty Handbook at http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/aps/forms-policies/faculty-handbook.html



You are required to have a syllabus for your students. You do not need to print it, instead you are encouraged to post-it to Blackboard. You should consider the syllabus as a contract and make sure it is as complete as possible. As per University policy, during the first week of the semester, you will need to provide your Department Administrative Assistant with a copy of all course syllabi for their records.


Your Syllabus needs to follow a University standard syllabus template that includes:

· Class/meeting times and place

· Office hours – also send to Department Administrative Assistant

· Your contact information (please use Fresno State email)

· Prerequisites of the course - if any

· Required and optional textbook, reading materials

· Student Learning Outcomes   – See Below


· Calendar (to include important dates such as last day to withdraw, holidays, final exam days, etc.)

· Requirement of the course and grading policies (exams, quizzes, papers, etc. and how many points they are worth to make up 100%)

· Attendance policy

· Disruptive class room behavior statement (See Appendix I below)

· Computer policy (See Appendix I below)

· Disability statement (See Appendix I below)

· Copyright statement (See Appendix I below)

· Plagiarism/Cheating statement (See Appendix I below)

· CSUF Honor code (See Appendix I below)



You can find more syllabus information and a date calculator here:

· http://fresnostate.edu/academics/cfe/resources/syllabus-template.html


Student Learning Outcome (SLO)


All faculty, tenure track, full-time lecturers, and part-time, must have Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) that are appropriate for their specific course clearly stated on all of their syllabi. Furthermore, the student learning outcomes and the assignments for the course should be aligned. In other words what you state that students should know and be able to do upon completion of the course must be able to be measured by the assignments you use for the course. If it is a G.E. course, you must include the appropriate G.E. learning outcome on the syllabus and have at least one assignment that addresses this learning outcome. For non-G.E. courses, one of the course student learning outcomes should relate to one of the Department/program learning outcomes. It can be identical to a Department/program outcome or it can be stated differently,

but be focused on at least one aspect of a student skill that is the focus of one of the Department/program outcomes. Department/program learning outcomes can be found on the Department/program Student Outcomes Assessment Plan or SOAP, which is posted on the OIE website at Office of Institutional Effectiveness.  You will find it here: http://fresnostate.edu/academics/oie/assessment/soap/index.html


However, since Departments/programs frequently update their SOAPs, it is better to obtain a current copy of the SOAP from the Department Chair or Department Assessment Coordinator and the Department may have additional requirements in regard to syllabi, outcomes, and/or assignments for specific G.E. or non-G.E. courses. Therefore, if you have any questions about student learning outcomes, you should initially meet with your Department/program Assessment Coordinator, but the Director of Assessment and former College Assessment Coordinator Dr. Melissa Jordine is also available to provide assistance should your Department indicate that it is up to you to develop course learning outcomes.


Book Orders

Book orders should be turned in as soon as possible. You submit this to the bookstore using a form found at Fresno State bookstore website.  You have the option to submit your order as a standing order which simplifies things. See Juanita Gonzales, Text Book Coordinator with any questions (jugonzales@csufreno.edu). Desk copies need to be obtained directly from your publisher representative.


Here is where you can find more information about book orders:



Disruptive Students

It is extremely important that you handle disruptive students as soon as the infraction occurs and do not let it get out of hand. If talking to the student does not work, contact your Department


Chair. If you feel you are in any danger, contact the Campus Police Department (and your

Department Chair). Here is the link to more information regarding disruptive students:




Students with Disabilities

Occasionally you will have a student who identifies themselves as having a disability. As faculty, we do not make judgments of what accommodations need to be made, but rather follow the guidelines provided to us by the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office.  In some cases, a note taker will be needed and/or test taking out of the class. It is the student’s responsibility to provide the SSD paper work in order to receive accommodations at the

beginning of the semester or as soon as possible after the course has begun. If test taking out of class is required, you will be contacted by the SSD office to provide exams. They can be contacted in the Henry Madden Library, Room 1202 (278-2811).



Each Department within the College of Social Science does their own copying. Please give the Department at least 24 hours to assist with copying. You will be given a code for use of the copy machine. To save copies, handouts can be put on Blackboard for students to print for themselves.



Be sure to follow the copyright laws.




Many times it is possible to avoid copyright infringement by adding a web link to Blackboard that takes students to the assigned reading.


Office hours

Faculty needs to observe office hours, but you can do that in many different modes, such as in person, by email, or by phone. The University policy on office hours can be found in Academic Policy Manual 338 at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/facultyaffairs/forms- policies/apm/300.html


Your office hours are roughly proportional to the total units you teach. Refer to the above policy for details.


Consultation Days

The last two days of the semester are considered Consultation Days (also known as “dark days”).

As faculty, we are expected to use these days to meet with students and to hold office hours.


Final Exams

You are required to meet with your classes on the scheduled final exam time and date. It is calculated in the number of hours met. See part VI of the University Faculty Handbook.


The final exam schedule can be found here:



Student grades dispute

If you have a student who disagrees with the grades you give, follow Academic Policy 415 to resolve it. This policy lays out the procedures for how a student might seek a solution related to grading complaints. There are two steps: one informal and one formal. The informal step involves you, the student, the department chair, and the Associate Dean of the College (if needed). If things don’t get resolved at this step, the student can file a formal petition and the university will form a committee to hear the case. Consult the APM 415 (and 242 and 243) for details at:


http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/facultyaffairs/forms-policies/apm/200.html http://www.fresnostate.edu/academics/facultyaffairs/forms-policies/apm/400.html


Always check with your Department Chair if there is an issue with student grades that is not resolved between you and the student.


Canceling classes

If for any reason you need to cancel a class, notify your Department Chair and Department office in advance (with a justification), and make alternative arrangements for your students (such as reading assignments, exercises, and online discussions, etc.). It is important to notify your students, too. Each Department may have its own class cancellation policies, so check with your Department Chair. Also, please note that you may not have any off-campus person teaching your class, proctoring an exam, picking-up papers, or serving in any capacity for your course(s) in

your absence.


Working Personnel Action File (WPAF)

You have the right to know what is in your Working Personnel Action File (WPAF), which is kept in the College of Social Science office (SS 108). You will be notified when something is added to your file and you may request to see the file. It is important that you update your C.V. whenever you have something to add, such as training related to your teaching, a publication, an honor, or a service you performed. You can request to update your C.V. anytime, and it is a good idea to update it at least annually. For more information on the policy on Personnel Action File, see Article 11 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement: http://www.calstate.edu/LaborRel/Contracts_HTML/CFA_CONTRACT/CFAtoc.shtml




Center for Faculty Excellence (formerly TILT)



Get answers to all technology questions and blackboard questions here. They offer training on various topics. You can call in for help or walk into the lab for assistance. Please note that all faculty are eligible to apply for all programs and professional development opportunities including, but not limited to: Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) and eScholar training.




Lynda.com is a collection of video tutorials. They have many topics, both for students and faculty.  It helps if you know the exact topic name you are searching for because they have thousands of videos.


Syllabus Template


This changes frequently, so it is a good idea to use it each semester. By using the template, you will be adhering to accessibility requirements.



College of Social Sciences Advising Center


The College of Social Science has an Advising Center for academic advising.


Credential Advising


Students who plan to go on to teach Junior high or high school, should receive advising as soon as possible. Dr. Lori Clune, Department of History, will advise them on how to complete the subject matter competency preparation program.


Appendix I

The following should be included in your syllabus.


Students with Disabilities

“Upon identifying themselves to the instructor and the university, students with disabilities will

receive reasonable accommodation for learning and evaluation. For more information, contact

Services for Students with Disabilities in the Henry Madden Library, Room 1202 (278-2811).”


Honor Code

“Members of the CSU Fresno academic community adhere to principles of academic integrity

and mutual respect while engaged in university work and related activities.” You should:

a)  understand or seek clarification about expectations for academic integrity in this course

(including no cheating, plagiarism and inappropriate collaboration)

b)  neither give nor receive unauthorized aid on examinations or other course work that is used by the instructor as the basis of grading.

c)  take responsibility to monitor academic dishonesty in any form and to report it to the instructor or other appropriate official for action.


Cheating and Plagiarism

"Cheating is the actual or attempted practice of fraudulent or deceptive acts for the purpose of

improving one's grade or obtaining course credit; such acts also include assisting another student to do so. Typically, such acts occur in relation to examinations. However, it is the intent of this definition that the term 'cheating' not be limited to examination situations only, but that it include any and all actions by a student that are intended to gain an unearned academic advantage by fraudulent or deceptive means. Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating which consists of the misuse of the published and/or unpublished works of others by misrepresenting the material (i.e., their intellectual property) so used as one's own work." Penalties for cheating and plagiarism range from a 0 or F on a particular assignment, through an F for the course, to expulsion from the university. For more information on the University's policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to the Class Schedule (Legal Notices on Cheating and Plagiarism) or the University Catalog (Policies and Regulations).



"At California State University, Fresno, computers and communications links to remote resources are recognized as being integral to the education and research experience. Every student is required to have his/her own computer or have other personal access to a workstation (including a modem and a printer) with all the recommended software. The minimum and recommended standards for the workstations and software, which may vary by academic major, are updated periodically and are available from Information Technology Services (http://www.csufresno.edu/ITS/) or the University Bookstore. In the curriculum and class assignments, students are presumed to have 24-hour access to a computer workstation and the necessary communication links to the University's information resources."


Disruptive Classroom Behavior

"The classroom is a special environment in which students and faculty come together to promote

learning and growth. It is essential to this learning environment that respect for the rights of others seeking to learn, respect for the professionalism of the instructor, and the general goals of academic freedom are maintained. ... Differences of viewpoint or concerns should be expressed in terms which are supportive of the learning process, creating an environment in which students and faculty may learn to reason with clarity and compassion, to share of themselves without losing their identities, and to develop and understanding of the community in which they live . . .


Student conduct which disrupts the learning process shall not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action and/or removal from class."


Copyright policy

Copyright laws and fair use policies protect the rights of those who have produced the material.

The copy in this course has been provided for private study, scholarship, or research.  Other uses may require permission from the copyright holder.  The user of this work is responsible for adhering to copyright law of the U.S. (Title 17, U.S. Code).  To help you familiarize yourself with copyright and fair use policies, the University encourages you to visit its copyright web page:  http://www.csufresno.edu/library/about/policies/docs/copyrtpolicyfull.pdf


Center for Faculty Excellence formerly known as Technology Innovations for Learning & Teaching (TILT) course web sites contain material protected by copyrights held by the instructor, other individuals or institutions. Such material is used for educational purposes in accord with copyright law and/or with permission given by the owners of the original material.  You may download one copy of the materials on any single computer for non-

commercial, personal, or educational purposes only, provided that you (1) do not modify it, (2) use it only for the duration of this course, and (3) include both this notice and any copyright notice originally included with the material.   Beyond this use, no material from the course web site may be copied, reproduced, re-published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way without the permission of the original copyright holder.  The instructor assumes no responsibility for individuals who improperly use copyrighted material placed on the web site.