The following principles and process help maintain a positive environment conducive for learning. So that Scripture may be taught and understood with minimal distractions, we expect these policies to be followed by all students.
Be ready to start class on time. Students shall be in their seats, ready for class to begin at the appointed time. If the teacher is late, students may talk quietly while waiting. Every effort will be made to inform students should class be cancelled because of sickness or other emergency. Otherwise, students should allow the instructor 15 minutes before leaving. When the teacher begins class, students should be quiet and give attention to the class.
Stay in class until it is over. The teacher’s authority to start and end class should be respected. Students are not to leave early without telling the teacher beforehand, and then only for unavoidable circumstances of an urgent nature. Students not staying the entire period may be counted absent. At the end of class, students should wait until teachers announce that they are dismissed before beginning to talk, stand, or put away materials.
Save conversations until after class. During class, there are very few times when talking between students is appropriate. Occasionally asking a student for clarification on a teacher’s words or briefly commenting on a topic relevant to the class may be acceptable. Regular conversation or chattering among students is a distraction both for the teacher and the class members. Talking makes it difficult for other students to hear what the teacher is saying. Refrain from any unnecessary discussion that competes with the message of the teacher.
Ask clarifying questions, but avoid argumentation. We encourage students to ask questions for clarification or further information about a topic being discussed in the class. However, the classroom is not a forum for students to present competing viewpoints. If the issue is relevant, a student may ask the teacher a question about an issue of interest to all, but the classroom setting is not conducive to trap or attack a teacher. Questions that do not fit the topic of the class should be handled in e-mail or private conversation. Argumentative or hostile student interaction with teachers is not appropriate for the classroom.
Don’t distract the class through inappropriate behavior. Students are not to engage in behavior distracting from the instructor’s teaching. Examples of inappropriate distracting behavior include the following:
- doing work/reading of a non-class orientation,
- using electronic devices (laptop, tablet, MP3 player, cell phone) in a way that is irrelevant to class or distracting to others. This includes text messaging, Internet access, placing or receiving calls, or checking voice messages. Cell phones should be off unless there is an emergency. Improper usage of computers during class will lead to the loss of the privilege of using a laptop the rest of the semester.
- intentionally making loud noises or rude comments that compete with the teacher for the students’ attention,
- regularly moving between locations in the classroom, and
- engaging in unsolicited comments on what is being taught.
While others could be listed, the general principle is that any intentional behavior which keeps the teacher from having the class’s full attention is inappropriate.
Respect the teacher’s authority to set policies. The authority of the teacher in the classroom is paramount. Teachers create policies on a number of issues; the student is expected to abide by all of them. These may include, but are not limited to, food and drink restrictions, late work, usage of electronic devices, locking the door when class begins, no questions until the end of class, or anything that they think will be beneficial to the learning experience. Any student believing that a particular policy is inappropriate should address the concerns in writing to the teacher or the Vice President of Academics, while continuing to follow the policy.
Students who violate the classroom decorum policy may receive a verbal warning for the first violation, written notice for the second violation, and dismissal from the class for a third violation. The appeals committee of the faculty will hear any petition by dismissed students.
1st Violation: Warning – On the first violation of this policy, a student will be given a verbal warning by the teacher, either at the time of the violation or the end of class.
2nd Violation: Written Notice – On the second violation, a student will be issued a written reprimand by the faculty member, copied to the academic office.
3rd Violation: Dismissal – On the third violation, a student will be officially removed from the class. The Academic Policies Committee will hear any appeal by dismissed students. The student may attend class until the appeal is resolved.
The college classroom is intended for students who are enrolled in a course and the instructor to have an ongoing learning experience. That learning experience is changed by the presence of visitors (including children). Therefore, as a general rule, visitors are not allowed to come to class, except for the following exceptions. Out of courtesy, please confirm with the instructor before bringing visitors to the class.
- Prospective students may visit class after checking in with the admissions department.
- Parents of students may attend a class when visiting, subject to the room availability.
- Some classes may have a policy where no visitors are allowed at all, and this is at the discretion of the professor.
- Occasionally, an instructor may invite children to class for purposes of instruction. An example might be a Christian education class in which the presence of the child actually helps the learning process.
- Teenage children may attend class with their parents, as it is assumed that they will be able to learn from what is being taught. They must not bring anything that could distract the class (cell phone, gaming device, etc.). Their presence is subject to the approval of the instructor and available space within the classroom.
Note: In case of emergency, when a parent needs childcare during class, another student could hold a baby or watch a child and count it as Christian service (but not if the babysitting is paid). Students who need childcare on a regular basis are expected to contract with a childcare facility or pay a student for services as needed.