HSEC Common Policies for Students

The following common policies have been developed to standardize courses within this program. Individual courses may have additional policies in effect that augment or supersede the following.

Special Needs Policy

If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need accommodations for this class, it is your responsibility to contact Student Ability Success Services at 619-594-6473 (Calpulli Center, Suite 3101) as soon as possible. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive, and that accommodations based upon disability cannot be provided until you have presented your instructor with an accommodation letter from Student Disability Services.

If you have other non-disability related concerns or if you feel uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or unhappy, privately communicate these concerns to the instructor or department directors.

Credit/No Credit (Pass/Fail)

Homeland Security students may not take courses with a credit/no-credit designation. Non-HSEC students may be eligible for CR/NC but should inquire with their department prior to enrollment. Students may audit course subject to instructor permission and conditions.

Incomplete Status (I)

Students that encounter a justifiable and unforeseen circumstance (e.g., family emergency) that prevents participation during the regular semester may be eligible to receive an Incomplete (I) status and complete coursework within one year subject to a written aggreement. Incomplete cannot be used to re-take or avoid a failing grade. Consult part six of the SDSU General Catalog for more information.

No Recording Policy

Audio and/or visual recording or photography of any instructor, classmate, or guest lecturer during classes or exams is strictly forbidden. These courses are intended to foster free discussion and recording devices produce a chilling effect on participation.

Internet & Blackboard Policy

Students must have reliable, regular, and affordable access to high-speed Internet connection and a personal computer (either at home or by using the Love Library Student Computing Center). Students are expected to regularly interact with the (online course web portal that provides online discussion and assignment submission capabilities. Instructors may also use email to send announcements and pertinent information. It is very important for students to regularly check email and adjust junk mail or spam settings such that important messages are not filtered. Content posted online or in email messages forms an important part of a course and should be treated as required reading unless otherwise specified. Students should be skilled at the use of online reference websites to clarify difficult concepts presented.

First Class Absence

If an enrolled student does not attend the first class meeting of the semester or session and is not present at the start of the second meeting, the instructor may officially delete (drop) the student from the course roster, allowing waitlist students to replace them.

Attendance Policy

Your attendance and participation at each class meeting is extremely important. In-class meeting time is not only used to deliver content, but also to expand upon the readings and encourage questions and inter-student discussions. Absences from class meetings will negatively affect your learning and progress towards learning objectives. Students are still responsible for assignments, required readings, and any insights developed through in-class discussion despite absences. Notify the instructor in advance of any planned absences and ask classmates for notes and information you have missed.

Preparation & Participation

Please arrive prior to the start of class, ready to learn, and having completed all the assigned reading beforehand to enable thoughtful in-classroom discussion. If you are not prepared, you lack respect for your classmates that made time to complete the assignments. We all genuinely have something to contribute to the discussion; if you do not prepare, you cannot participate, and thus deprive others of your perspective and opinion (and selfishly benefit from other's perspectives and opinions). Active participation means that you listen not only to the instructor but also to your peers. Your eyes should be focused on the person speaking, not on your laptop or mobile device.

Telephone Usage Policy

Modern times dictate that almost all students (and instructors) will be carrying a mobile telephone with them during class meetings. You are required to silence your device during class meetings. Sending messages or checking emails during class time is discourteous and disruptive, and may lead to expulsion from the classroom. If you must place or receive an urgent voice call or text message, silently exit the classroom and complete your communication outside (or during a break). All devices must be surrendered prior to any exams.

Wifi Usage Policy

Internet capable devices may only be used for purposes directly related to class activities, such as working on exercises, taking notes, or referencing information that is relevant to the class. All other uses (e.g., chatting, texting, games, social networking, email, unrelated web browsing) are prohibited. Your Internet Service Provider (the University) will also govern the acceptable use of your Internet connection. Confidentiality of any radio transmissions (including WiFi) is not assured so be cautious with your data privacy.

In-Class Courtesy / Student Conduct Policy

Students are expected to show the instructor, guests, and fellow students respect by their courteous behavior during class meetings. If you bring food or drink into the classroom (and if allowed by the facility), kindly clean up after yourself. Disrespectful behavior includes reading, watching, listening, or working on unrelated materials or working on assignments, external communications, or sleeping. Disruptive, threatening, or aggressive behavior will result in removal from the classroom and potentially further administrative discipline.

Anti-Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism shall be defined as the act of incorporating ideas, words, or specific substance of another, whether purchased, borrowed, or otherwise obtained, and submitting same to the university as one's own work to fulfill academic requirements without giving credit to the appropriate source. Plagiarism shall include but not be limited to [a] submitting work, either in part or in whole, completed by another; [b] omitting footnotes for ideas, statements, facts, or conclusions that belong to another; [c] omitting quotation marks when quoting directly from another, whether it be a paragraph, sentence, or part thereof; [d] close and lengthy paraphrasing of the writings of another; [e] submitting another’s artistic works, such as musical compositions, photographs, paintings, drawings, or sculptures; and [f] submitting as papers purchased from research companies. Your written work may be submitted to an online plagiarism detection system (such as TurnItIn.com) where it will be included in a reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic dishonesty ("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: [a] copying, in part or in whole, from another's work or examination; [b] collaborating with others in work to be presented without the permission of the instructor; [c] using notes or other devices considered inappropriate under the prescribed testing condition; [d] falsifying records, laboratory work, or other course data; [e] altering or interfering with the grading procedures; and [f] knowingly and intentionally assisting another student in any of the above.

This course has zero tolerance for academic dishonesty and students involved in cheating or plagiarism will be given a failing ("F") grade for the course. Additionally, students will be reported and referred to the SDSU Office of Judicial Procedures for discipline at a University level which may include punitive sanctions, such as probation, suspension, or expulsion.

Restricted Enrollment Policy

All Homeland Security courses are restricted to graduate students and some have footnotes (notably "ZL") in the Class Schedule with other restrictions. Students from disciplines outside Homeland Security are welcome to enroll, subject to approval from the instructor.

Non-Attribution Policy

The Homeland Security program presents the student with a wide range of highly qualified and informative classmates, guest speakers, and instructors. To allow these individuals to speak candidly, they are assured that what is said in classroom discussions, posted on the course website, or mentioned in other electronic, written, or verbal methods, will not be attributed to them outside the classroom, regardless of classification, disclaimer, or public domain. Quoting someone outside the course environment without permission may risk your reputation, or the reputation of others. This most certainly would have the effect of stifling participation, causing them to speak in a guarded manner. Ultimately the quality of education provided would suffer. Hence, what your fellow students, guest speakers, and instructors say during their lectures is not for attribution. It may be acceptable to say "someone in my class" made a particular statement, but the individual's name shall not be divulged. Use good judgment, common sense, morals and ethics when making this determination. Individuals who violate this non-attribution policy are subject to administrative and disciplinary action per University policy.

Non-Disclosure Policy

During certain presentations, discussions, or guest lectures, the instructors, guest lecturer, or fellow classmates may ask for discretion in a particular topic. The topic might not be for public distribution or the speaker is simply uncomfortable with its contents being discussed outside the classroom. In order to foster trust and open communication within our classroom, it is strictly required of anyone enrolled or involved in this course to maintain the secrecy of information properly identified as sensitive for a period of no less than five years or until such information enters the public domain or is otherwise released by its originator. Communication within class or on the course website is considered to be "not for disclosure" only if properly identified by the originator by explicit notification. For example, in an online posting that is not for disclosure, its originator should place a disclaimer before the text of a form similar to "NOT FOR PUBLIC DISCLOSURE", or "DO NOT FORWARD". In verbal class discussions, a speaker can indicate a sensitive topic with a statement such as "the following should not leave this room" or similar admonition. Individuals who violate this non-disclosure policy are subject to administrative and disciplinary action per University policy.

Government Security Clearance Policy

Some students, classmates, instructors, guest lecturers, or observers may be under the restrictions of certain U.S. Government Security Clearances issued by the Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Energy, Dept. of State, or other government agencies. Those that hold these security levels must at all times remember their duty to uphold secrecy and must not at any time disclose any information that contradicts oaths, agreements, or pledges of secrecy that they have previously sworn or agreed to. At no point should there be a situation where a student or other class participant mentions during a discussion "Well, this is classified information, but just don't tell anyone..." or similar situations. The previous non-disclosure policies will not protect an individual that has knowingly violated their secrecy oaths and it is highly recommended that those with sensitive government clearances review the guidelines on information disclosure with their privacy officer and/or facility's security officer.

For the protection of those that hold security clearances, please do not discuss or post online materials which you know or suspect to be under U.S. Government classification. Security clearances prohibit the handling or transmission of documents which exceed the classification level of the individual, or which are displayed outside of approved facilities or information mediums. While you may not be under such restrictions, your classmates might; your actions can have a detrimental effect on their ability to uphold their oaths, agreements, or pledges. When in doubt, please consult the instructor prior to discussion in class or online.

HSEC Common Policy Updated January 2018


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