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ENGLISH DEPARTMENT HANDBOOK
The purpose of this handbook is to give faculty information on how the Department functions and what resources are available to them If you have questions, call the Division Office (ext 1443), Sydney Sims, the Department Chair (ext 1762), or your assigned mentor. Complete information is available in the Moorpark College Catalog, the Schedule of Classes, and your contract.
Additionally, faculty can download various forms, get college updates, and access class rosters, by going to MyVCCCD.
Division Office Operation
The Division Office is open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM; the extension is 1443.
The Division Dean is Inajane Nicklas. Her Administrative Assistant is Gwen Chater (ext 1839). The Clerical Assistant is Mickey Agular (ext 1866). If you have clerical requests for the Division Office, please allow three working days.
Please respond quickly to messages and requests for information. Returning forms in a timely manner reduces delays on important projects. If your phone number, address, or e-mail address changes, notify the office immediately so that we can get information to you quickly and accurately.
The copy center is located in the Student Center. You have access to two copy machines on a walk-in basis (the Division Office will assign you an auditron number). Alternatively, you may submit a Xerox Request form to have the copy staff complete jobs for you. The Xerox Request forms are available in the copy center. Requests should be made at least 48 hours in advance.
Faculty Office Hours
Full-time instructors are obligated to hold one office hour per week for every class taught, with at least one office hour on every teaching day. Please turn in the Office Hour Card to the Division Office and post your hours on your office door. Adjunct instructors are paid for one office hour per semester. Currently, there is no dedicated office space for adjuncts, but many full-time instructors are willing to share their offices.
Each instructor will be assigned a campus voice-mailbox. Check your mailbox frequently so accumulated messages don't clog the system. A list of voice-mail numbers for all English faculty is available here.
English instructors may choose textbooks that reflect their own strengths and interests. Sample textbooks are located in the Division Office, and there is a list of texts by various instructors for each course. NOTE: do not use the same textbook for developmental (03,02) and transfer level (1A) courses. Book orders are made via the bookstore's online system. Desk copies should be ordered directly from the publisher.
During the first week of classes, give your students a syllabus that includes:
● A chronology of learning activities
● Due dates for papers, projects, and assignments
● A clear statement of your grading policies.
● A clear statement of your attendance policy. The college policy (yours may
differ) is that students who are absent 1/9 of the total number of class hours
may be dropped.
● A statement about ACCESS (Disabled Student Services). Sample statement
● Some words of wisdom about classroom civility and respect for diversity
● Course objectives that reflect those found in the Course Outline of Record
Rosters for your classes can be downloaded through MyVCCCD.
If you need a substitute, please make arrangements with a colleague and inform the Division Office of the substitution; otherwise we can arrange one for you. If you arrange a a trade or courtesy sub, pleas get prior approval. There is a general policy that classes in which students miss many hours need to be covered; however, a single-hour class meeting may just be canceled. Final determination will be made by the Dean.
All instructors are evaluated every six semesters (excluding summer) by a committee consisting of the Dean, the Chair, and a peer in the discipline (full- or part-time) selected by the evaluatee. The committee members visit the classes and discuss their observations with the evaluatee.
All instructors are evaluated by the students of one preparation each semester. The Division Office will send out forms and instructions for this evaluation.
Fall, Spring, and Summer schedules are planned by the Department Chair to meet students' requirements. We try to accommodate faculty preferences and requests within the constraints of classes and hours that generate the best enrollments and use of available rooms.
Instructors are paid for a certain number of hours of professional development per semester; you are therefore obligated to complete those hours. The Flex Day Committee schedules activities during the week before classes and throughout the semester; you may choose to do these or other professional development activities (a list of possible self-assigned flex activities are included in XXXXX) as part of your flex time. Full-time faculty are obligated for 36 hours a year, including participation in the Mandatory Flex Day at the beginning of the Fall semester. Part-time faculty (except those teaching only late-start classes) are obligated for flex hours equal to their normal weekly teaching load (thus, if you teach 6 hours a week, you need to complete 6 hours of flex activities).
All flex activities need to be recorded on a Flex Activity Form and submitted to the Division Office by the end of the Spring semester.
If you have difficulties with a student and need an administrator's assistance, the official procedure is to first seek the assistance of the Division Dean. If the issue cannot be resolved at that level, it should be taken to the Behavior Intervention Team.
Please be conscientious in fulfilling your contract obligation to turn in final grades within 48 hours of you last final exam. Late grades cause real hardship for students in registration and transfer.
Full-time instructors are expected to serve on College and Department Committees. Standing committees are: Academic Senate, Campus Environment, Curriculum, District Council on Student Learning Fiscal Planning, Safety, Staff Development, Student Success, Student Service Council, Technology, LLR, and Wellness. If you have an interest in one of these committees, please notify the Dean. Part-time instructors are invited (though not expected) to participate in committees.
Travel and Conference
The contract provides each full-time instructor up to $100 for travel and conferences. If you are not planning to use your allotment, please notify the office in writing so that other faculty may use the money; that means that part-time faculty can use these funds.
Staff Resource Center
Downstairs in the Library, the SRC has computers (PCs and Macs), VCRs, a laminator, and other resources for the use of all staff.
Official Course Outlines
Make sure your syllabi are in accord with the Official Course Outlines for the classes you are teaching. Outlines for English 03, 02, 1A, 1B, and 1C are available on the main Faculty Resource page. You can also get them from the Division Office, MCShare, or from the Curriculum Representative.
Self-Placement and Prerequisites
The English Department does not use a placement test; instead, students choose their own entry-level (02 or 1A) class after completing a Self-Placement Guide (Appendix 1) and scantron questionnaire. They do this either during orientation or on their own through Counseling; it takes about 20 minutes. The prerequisite for English 1A, as stated in the Schedule of Classes, is "English M02 or completion of the assessment process"--that is, the Self-Placement Guide and questionnaire. This means that students are blocked from enrolling in 1A until they have either passed 02 or worked through the Guide before enrolling. Most higher-level English classes have a prerequisite of 1A, which is also electronically enforced.
English 03 and 02 have a maximum of 21 students; 1A, 1B, and 1C are capped at 27. We encourage you to add a few students at the beginning of the semester to make up for predictable drops. However, adding more than a few jeopardizes our class caps, throws off the fall/spring scheduling balance, and compromises quality of instruction—not to mention your sanity. In any case, you may not add more than your room can hold.
Students may drop and add classes at will within the first few weeks of the semester (deadlines are printed in the Schedule of Classes). If a class is full, students need to get an authorization code from the instructor.
Attendance Policy (see also "Syllabi")
According to the Catalog, "when a student's absence exceeds in number 1/9 of the total class contact hours (in a full-semester class, absences equal to twice the number of hours the class meets per week), the instructor may, after due warning, request that Admissions and Records drop the student from the class." It is wise to establish a clear attendance policy in your syllabus, announce it at the beginning of the semester, and follow it consistently.
Paper Grading Standards
The Department has recently adopted a common set of standards, or "rubric," for grading papers. Your use of these standards is optional. You may wish to distribute them to your students along with your syllabus.
New part-time instructors are assigned an informal mentor from among the long-term members of the faculty. Your mentor is available to answer questions and provide moral support; you may also wish to attend each other's classes and discuss teaching techniques.
There is currently no dedicated office space on campus for part-time instructors, but many full-time faculty are happy to share their offices. Please let the Department Chair know if you would like to share space.
Moorpark Review and the Student Essay Anthology
Student Writing Awards
Save your best student writing to submit for a Departmental award in the spring. Sona Dombourian organizes the committee to judge the entries, choose the awards, and solicit contributions.
English Department Scholarship
Details coming soon.
Jerry Mansfield (ext 1762) maintains the English Department website. Please contact him about content or links.
Meetings are usually held on the third Thursday of each month at 4:00.