DEPARTMENT STANDARDS OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPs)
We have in place and strictly follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure successful running of the Department. Below are the Department’s SOPs:
- Support staff, including clerical and technical staff as well as the research assistant to the Chairman, shall arrive at work on time and leave on time as per University policies and regulations. A grace period of 15 minutes will be allowed. If a support staff will be running late more than 15 minutes, that staff should notify the Chairman of the Department, through a phone call or a text message, indicating that he or she will be late or will not show up at work at all because of an emergency or a situation beyond his or her control. The staff should provide to the Chairman the specifics of the emergency or situation beyond his or her control.
- If a support staff will be away from work for more than two days, he or she should write Human Resources and copy the Department Chair, explaining why he or she will be absence from work and when he or she will return to work. Such letter will be kept in the staff’s file.
- If a student is having a problem, not administrative in nature, the first point of contact is the student’s adviser. If the adviser cannot be reached easily, the student should contact the Chairman. If the problem is administrative in nature or involves a faculty member (including the student’s adviser), the student should report the problem to the Chairman. If it is a problem that office staff can handle other than the Chairman, the student should contact support staff in the Department.
- Faculty and other instructional staff should be at work per their schedules. All faculty members and instructional staff are to be on time in class and to leave class per the time allotted for the class. If a faculty member will be late for more than 15 minutes due to an emergency or situation beyond the faculty’s control, he or she should call and inform the class (through one or more students of the class) that he or she is running late, but is on his or her way to class. If a faculty member will be unable to attend a class at all, he or she should give advance notice to the class and to the Chair about his or her absence from class. He or she should indicate how long he or she will be absent from class. All faculty members should abide by University policies and regulations regarding the behaviors of instructors, including class attendance.
- During Add & Drop, the course instructor, in consultation with the Chair, shall approve Add & Drop for the student he or she will be adding to his or her class. The instructor shall ensure that the student is eligible to do the course and that adding the student is in accordance with the class-size capacity policy of the Department and the University Policy on Class Size, meaning the instructor should not add students to exceed the class capacity as required by University Policies.
- The Chairman, as the academic and administrative leader of the Department, will be responsible for scheduling classes, admitting students, approving students’ course loads, allocating space for departmental activities, supervising departmental staff, managing internal and external communications, and conducting department meetings. All issues relating to these will be handled by the Chairman.
- All decisions and actions of support staff regarding interactions with students shall be in line with this Curriculum Guide. Every staff is expected to read and become familiar with provisions herein so that their decisions and actions can be informed and by this guide.
POLICIES OF THE DEPARTMENT
Policy on the Use of Textbooks and Instructional Materials in the Department
The Department welcomes creativity and innovation by instructors when it comes to teaching; however, it is the policy of the Department that texts, articles, and other instructional materials used by instructors and lecturers are relevant to the topics and must be relatively up-to-date. Instructors and lecturers shall challenge students to make use of textbooks, reference books, and instructional materials in the University Libraries and in other libraries accessible to them. Instructors shall ensure that students use peer-reviewed journal articles when conducting research or completing assignments. The Department shall ensure that instructors and lecturers adhere to all Faculty Senate guidelines regarding the use of textbooks, pamphlets, and all instructional materials.
Course Guidelines and Course Load Policy
To help students navigate smoothly through their four-year program, the Department has adopted and will periodically adopt a number of guidelines and regulations as the need arises. Below are a few regulations that both the faculty members and students MUST follow:
- No students are allowed to take an upper-level course without first successfully completing SOCI 201 (Introduction to Sociology).
- No students are allowed to do SOCI 405 (Practical Research) without first successfully completing SOCI 403 (Introduction to Social Research). To ensure that students complete their studies within four years’ time, students are allowed to do both SOCI 402 and SOCI 403 together. Students are advised to seek advisement from their advisers and/or the Chairman of the Department when registering for these courses.
- Students are strongly advised to avoid taking extra courses not required for graduation. The Department encourages students to do the Math and Science courses in the freshman years before attempting to take Sociology courses.
- The following shall guide students’ course loads, that is, the number of credit hours a student shall carry per semester: a) Re-admitted and probation students shall carry not more than 12 semester credit hours; b) Students with a GPA between 2.00 and 2.99 shall carry at most 15 semester credit hours; c) Students with a GPA between 3.00 and 3.33 shall carry at most 18 semester credit hours; d) Students with a GPA above 3.33 shall carry at most 21 semester credit hours; e) Remedial students (if any) are eligible to do PE 101, ROTC 101, & ULSL 101.
Policies on Student Placements, Internships, and Field Trips
- All student placements and internships with outside agencies shall be approved by the Department Chair with the advice and consent of the Dean and the VPAA. University regulations regarding student placements, internships, field trips, and field practicums shall be strictly adhered to by the Department.
- Before any student is sent to an outside agency for placement or internship, a student placement agreement and/or student learning contract must be prepared and signed by appropriate or designated persons at the receiving agency and the Department.
- For field trips, the instructor taking students on a field trip must first specify the field trip in the course syllabus at the start of the semester. He or she should prepare and submit to the Department Chair for approval an action plan for the trip, clearly indicating the goal(s) of the trip, activities students will be involved in, and the duration of the trip.
Academic Policies on ‘D’, ‘DR’, ‘I’, ‘NG’, Other Grades, and Change of Grade
- Policy on ‘D’ Grade: The following regulations, as adopted by the Faculty Senate and provided for in the UL Student Handbook, shall remain in effect until otherwise reviewed and amended: a) No ‘D’ will be allowed for English 101, 102, 201, and 202; b) No ‘D’ will be allowed in major and minor areas of concentration. To be eligible for graduation, a senior student will be allowed a maximum of four ‘Ds’ in areas other than his or her major, Minor, and English 101 through 202.
- Policy on ‘DR’ Grade: The Department shall follow the University policy on assigning ‘DR’ grades to students. Faculty members shall uphold this policy and, when in doubt, shall consult with the Chairman for advice.
- Policy on ‘I’ Grade: The Department shall follow the University policy on assigning ‘I’ grades to students. Faculty members shall uphold this policy and, when in doubt, shall consult with the Chairman for advice.
- Policy on ‘NG’ Grade: The Department shall follow the University policy on assigning ‘NG’ grades to students as indicated in the Student Handbook. Faculty members shall uphold this policy and, when in doubt, shall consult with the Chairman for advice.
- Policy on Change of Grade: The Department shall follow the University policy on changing grades for students in line with the Academic Policies adopted by the Faculty Senate, which each faculty member signed for. Faculty members shall uphold this policy and, when in doubt, shall consult with the Chairman for advice. The Department shall ensure that all ‘Change of Grade’ forms are accompanied by supporting documents, such as, for example, class attendance records and test papers.
The Department shall enforce all academic policies adopted by the Academic Coordinating Committee (ACC) and the Faculty Senate.
Class Size Policy
The Department upholds the policies of the College and the University regarding the size of a class. None the less, to foster and ensure effective instruction and student learning outcomes, the Department ensures that the maximum size of a class is 50 students. This shall be the policy of the Department.
Class Attendance Policy
The Department believes that student learning outcomes cannot be achieved without the student attending class and interacting with the instructor and other students. The Department considers class attendance by both the instructor and the students very critical. The policy of the College and the University regarding class attendance, as indicated in the Student Handbook and other adopted standing policies of the College and the University, shall be strictly followed by all faculty members and students. Students are expected to attend class at all times. A grace period of 15 minutes shall be allowed for students to be in class. Coming to class after the 15-minute grace period shall be considered lateness. Instructors are to track class attendance by conducting roll calls at the start of class or by giving attendance sheets for students to write their names on. Class attendance is important and both instructors and students must see it as a priority.
Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Policy
Ensuring academic integrity is a major priority of the Department. We do not tolerate academic dishonesty at all among students. By ‘academic dishonesty’, we mean spying on an exam; doing a quiz or an exam for a friend; plagiarizing the works of others, and committing any act defined as ‘academic dishonesty’ by the University. The Department frowns heavily on plagiarism and will penalize a student who plagiarizes in accordance with University policies. Students are advised to avoid plagiarism by appropriately citing sources in line with the American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines. Instructors shall include in their course syllabi as a reminder this policy statement on Academic Integrity and Plagiarism.
Faculty Workload Policy
The workload of faculty members shall be in line with policies of the Department, College, and University and as defined in the Part-Time Lecturer and Overload Lecturer Contract Forms. In addition to the duties and responsibilities of faculty members as stipulated in the Employment Letter and/or the Contract Form respectively, each full-time faculty member shall be assigned advisement role. From time to time, faculty members are appointed to ad hoc committees.