Semester at SDSU: Student Life

Semester at SDSU

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Student Expectations & Etiquette

We expect that a big reason that you chose to study in San Diego was our great weather and beaches, but we do want to remind you that the main purpose of your time in the Semester at SDSU program is to study.  Below we have provided some important academic and cultural information to prepare you for your academic life in San Diego.

 

Class Attendance

  • Students must be enrolled full time.
  • Students on an F-1 visa must have 12 units of undergraduate or 9 units of graduate courses.
  • Students are expected to attend all class meetings for the entire class times.
  • While attendance may not be required at your home university, it will be expected in most of your classes at SDSU.
  • Not all SDSU professors take attendance, but many do have class participation as a requirement. Failure to attend class can lead to a significant reduction in your grade.
  • Courses meet Monday-Friday. You might not have classes every day of the week, but you should not make any travel arrangements until your class schedule is set.

 

Class Behavior

Students should not use cell phones to talk or text during class. Most professors will require that you keep your cell phone off or silent during class, and most will also require that you keep your phone in your backpack or bag so it is not a distraction.

In many classes, students will be expected to participate in class discussions. Some professors will ask for students to volunteer information, but some professors call on students randomly. It is, thus, a good idea to come to class prepared so as not to be embarrassed in front of the class. Remember that class participation is an important part of the grade in many classes.

Students should not talk to each other during class. Students who disrupt the class will often be asked to be quiet in front of the whole class (the professor may use a sarcastic or humorous tone when doing this). If a student continues to disrupt the class, the student may be asked to leave. If you are asked to leave for being disruptive, this can negatively affect your grade.

 

Email

When sending emails to professors or advisors, it is important to be polite and formal.

Impolite: I need to meet with you because you gave me the wrong grade.
Polite: Would it be possible to set up an appointment with you to discuss my grade?

Impolite: This is the second time I am emailing you. Why haven’t you responded?
Polite: I am not sure if you received my email on (include date), but (repeat original message).

Please allow the professor or advisor a reasonable amount of time to respond to your email. It is never a good idea to email someone more than once in the same day. Remember that they may have many emails ahead of yours, and that they will get to your message as soon as they can. Do not expect professors or advisors to respond outside of regular work hours. Messages sent on weekends or holidays might not be answered until the next official work/school day.

 

Cheating

Cheating is a very serious offense that can lead to your failing the assignment, failing the class, being dismissed from the class, or being dismissed from the Semester at SDSU program.

According to the SDSU website (http://www.sa.sdsu.edu/srr/conduct1.html) cheating is defined as the act of obtaining or attempting to obtain credit for academic work by the use of dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means.

Examples of cheating include, but are not limited to

  • copying, in part or in whole, from another’s test or other examination;
  • discussing answers or ideas relating to the answers on a test or other examination without the permission of the instructor;
  • obtaining copies of a test, an examination, or other course material without the permission of the instructor;
  • using notes, cheat sheets, or other devices considered inappropriate under the prescribed testing condition;
  • collaborating with another or others in work to be presented without the permission of the instructor;
  • falsifying records, laboratory work, or other course data;
  • submitting work previously presented in another course, if contrary to the rules of the course;
  • altering or interfering with the grading procedures;
  • plagiarizing, as defined; and
  • knowingly and intentionally assisting another student in any of the above.

Students found cheating in class may be sent before a judicial review process (http://www.sa.sdsu.edu/srr/discipline2.html). DO NOT CHEAT IN CLASS.

 

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is also a very serious offense that can lead to your failing the assignment, failing the class, being dismissed from the class, or being dismissed from the program.

According to the SDSU Library Plagiarism Tutorial: “Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s words, sentences, or ideas and passing them off as your own without giving credit to the original author.”

You might be plagiarizing if you:

  • Hand in someone else’s work as your own.
  • Buy a paper from another source.
  • Copy complete or parts of sentences, phrases, paragraphs, or ideas from someone else’s work, published or unpublished, without naming the original
  • Copy any work, including any type of multimedia (graphics, audio, video, internet streams), computer programs, music compositions, graphs, or charts without naming the original author.
  • Paraphrase someone else’s idea or phrase in your paper without naming the original author.
  • Hand in your own paper in more than one course.

In the U.S., plagiarism may have serious academic and professional results. American schools, including ALI and San Diego State University, regard plagiarism as academic dishonesty. If you plagiarize, you may fail an assignment, receive a lower course grade, Professors have access to a computer program to easily identify most cases of plagiarism.

Students who are having difficulty understanding the proper way to cite material can find help online (http://library.sdsu.edu/guides/sub.php?id=258) and at the library on campus.

 

Code of Conduct

Hostile and offensive actions will NOT be tolerated at the American Language Institute. These actions include fighting, bullying, sexual harassment, stalking, theft, destruction of property, or any actions that put other people in danger or make people feel threatened. Any student who shows these behaviors, or participates in these actions, may be immediately dismissed from ALI.

In addition, ALI administration may take legal action as necessary to protect students, staff and faculty and their belongings ALI students must understand that they are representatives of the ALI, San Diego State University and their home countries. It is the student’s responsibility to behave as a good representative while they are attending ALI.