Academic Calendar and Student Accommodations
- 1. THE UC BERKELEY ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
- 2. ACCOMMODATION OF RELIGIOUS CREED
- 3. CONFLICTS BETWEEN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
- 4. ABSENCES DUE TO ILLNESS
- 5. ACCOMMODATION FOR DISABILITY
- 6. ACCOMMODATION FOR PREGNANCY AND PARENTING
- 7. READING, REVIEW, RECITATION (RRR) WEEK
- 8. COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES AND FINAL EXAMS
- 9. ACCOMMODATION AND SUPPORT MEASURES FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE
- 10. HARDSHIP ACCOMMODATIONS
1. THE UC BERKELEY ACADEMIC HONOR CODE
The Honor Code states, “As a member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.” The code is endorsed by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, the ASUC, the Graduate Assembly, and the University Administration.
The ASUC and the Academic Senate developed an Honor Code Guide for Syllabi that is intended for use either verbatim or adapted by faculty for inclusion into course syllabi. Resources for further pedagogical exploration are available to all instructors on the Academic Integrity web page and through customized workshops developed by the Center for Teaching & Learning.
In compliance with Education code, Section 92640(a), it is the official policy of the University of California at Berkeley to permit any student to undergo a test or examination, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student’s religious creed, unless administering the examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided. Requests to accommodate a student’s religious creed by scheduling tests or examinations at alternative times should be submitted directly to the faculty member responsible for administering the examination.
Reasonable common sense, judgment and the pursuit of mutual goodwill should result in the positive resolution of scheduling conflicts. The regular campus appeals process applies if a mutually satisfactory arrangement cannot be achieved.
The link to this policy is available in the Religious Creed (link is external) section of the Academic Calendar webpage.
Religious Holidays Calendar
A 2019-20 Religious Holidays Calendar has been compiled and is now posted on the Center for Teaching and Learning’s website. This calendar will be updated on an annual basis to assist faculty and staff in course and activity planning and to reference in the accommodation process. To facilitate communication between students, instructors and staff, the following form may be useful:
The Academic Senate has established Guidelines Concerning Scheduling Conflicts with Academic Requirements to address the issue of conflicts that arise between extracurricular activities and academic requirements. These policies specifically concern the schedules of student athletes, student musicians, those with out-of-town interviews, and other students with activities (e.g., classes missed as the result of religious holy days) that compete with academic obligations.
These policies were updated in Spring 2014 to include the following statement:
-The pedagogical needs of the class are the key criteria when deciding whether a proposed accommodation is appropriate. Faculty must clearly articulate the specific pedagogical reasons that prevent accepting a proposed accommodation. Absent such a reason, the presumption should be that accommodations are to be made.
The guidelines assign responsibilities as follows:
-It is the instructor’s responsibility to give students a schedule, available on the syllabus in the first week of instruction, of all class sessions, exams, tests, project deadlines, field trips, and any other required class activities.
-It is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor(s) in writing by the second week of the semester of any potential conflict(s) and to recommend a solution, with the understanding that an earlier deadline or date of examination may be the most practicable solution.
-It is the student’s responsibility to inform him/herself about material missed because of an absence, whether or not he/she has been formally excused.
The complete guidelines (link is external) are available on the Academic Senate website. Additionally, a checklist to help instructors and students comply with the guidelines is available on the Center for Teaching and Learning website.
**Please note: Simultaneous proctored administration of a remote exam is an appropriate solution to exam security concerns. Berkeley faculty, faculty at the destination institution and the normal proctoring services here and remotely are presumed to be suitable sources of independent proctoring. Care should be taken that conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest be avoided in undertaking proxy proctorships. It is not a significant increase in faculty workload to have a suitable proctor pick up exam copy(s) several days in advance, followed by returning the completed exams with several days after administration.
Instructors are asked to refrain from general requirements for written excuses from medical personnel for absence due to illness. Many healthy people experience a mild-to-moderate illness and recover without the need to seek medical attention. University Health Services does not have the capacity to evaluate such illnesses and provide documentation excusing student absences. However, UHS will continue to provide documentation when a student is being treated by Tang for an illness that necessitates a change in course load or an incomplete.
From time-to-time the Academic Senate has issued guidance concerning missed classes and exams due to illnesses such as influenza advising that students not attend class if they have a fever. Should a student experience repeated absences due to illness, it may be appropriate for the faculty member to ask the student to seek medical advice. The Senate guidelines advise faculty to use flexibility and good judgment in determining whether to excuse missed work, extend deadlines, or substitute an alternative assignment. Only the Committee on Courses of Instruction (COCI) can waive the final exam. However, a department chair can authorize an instructor to offer an alternative format for a final exam (e.g., paper, take-home exam) on a one-time basis (https://academic-senate.berkeley.edu/coci-handbook/220.127.116.11.2 (link is external)).
Instructors are reminded of their responsibilities for accommodating disabilities in the classroom in the following areas:
Confidentiality: Information about a student’s disability is confidential, and may not be shared with other students.
Role of Instructor: Course instructors play a critical role in enabling the University to meet its obligation to appropriately accommodate students with disabilities who are registered with the Disabled Students Program (DSP) and who have been issues a Letter of Accommodation.
- In advance: Because students with print disabilities usually need assistance from the DSP Alternative Media Center, reading materialsshould be provided well in advance (two or more weeks) before the reading assignment due date.
- Required or Recommended: Always indicate which course readings (including bCourses postings) are either “required” readings, or“recommended.”
- Accessible Format: Reading materials (especially bCourses postings) should be provided in an “accessible format,” e.g., clearly legible, “clean” (without stray marks, highlighting, or mark-ups), and whenever possible, in a Word Document or word-searchable PDF.
For more information about accommodations for students with disabilities, please contact the Disabled Students’ Program at 510-642-0518 or email DSP Director Karen Nielson email@example.com (link sends e-mail). For more information about providing reading assignments in an accessible format, please contact Martha Velasquez directly at firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail).
In alignment with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and with the California Education Code, Section 66281.7, it is the policy of the University of California at Berkeley to not discriminate against or exclude any person on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions, and to provide reasonable accommodations to students as appropriate. Instructors are reminded of their responsibilities for excusing medically necessary absences for pregnancy and related conditions and making reasonable accommodations in the areas of class sessions, exams, tests, project deadlines, field trips, and any other required activities. For graduate students, faculty advisors are reminded of policies regarding parental leave and the extension of normative time for academic milestones, as set out in the Guide to Graduate Policy.
While we anticipate that most academic accommodation issues can be resolved quickly between students and faculty, if a mutually satisfactory arrangement cannot be achieved, a student may seek further assistance or file a complaint using the campus appeals process or the complaint process in the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (link is external) or (specific to graduate students) email the Graduate Division at email@example.com (link sends e-mail).
The Reading, Review, Recitation (RRR) period—which are instructional days—before final exams provides students time to prepare for exams, to work on papers and projects, and to participate in optional review sessions and meetings with instructors. For the coming semesters, please keep these dates in mind:
In Fall 2019, formal classes end on Friday, December 6, 2019. RRR week will take place between the last day of classes (December 6, 2019) and the first day of the final exam period (Monday, Dec. 16, 2019).
In Spring 2020, formal classes end on Friday, May 1, 2020. RRR Week will take place between the last day of classes (May 1) and the first day of the final exam period (Monday, May 11, 2020).
Please note that the regular semester classroom will NOT be available during the RRR week unless the instructor requests it through the departmental scheduler.
Presentations of capstone projects, oral presentations, and performances are permitted, although flexibility in scheduling may be required to accommodate students’ individual schedules. The introduction of new material is not permitted. Mandatory exams or quizzes and other mandatory activities are also not permitted, with some very limited exceptions (capstone presentations, for example).
Please keep in mind that final exams and papers or projects substituting for final exams may not be due before the final exam week.
Detailed, updated guidelines on RRR week activities (link is external) are available on the Academic Senate web site. The Office of the Registrar has posted answers to frequently-asked questions (link is external) about the academic calendar.
In addition, the Center for Teaching and Learning has prepared some suggestions on making RRR week productive for instructors and students. If you have tips or ideas you would like to have added to this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail).
Campus policy stipulates that graduation ceremonies must take place after the conclusion of final examinations, with the exception of professional school ceremonies with graduate students only.
December Commencement will take place Saturday, December 21, 2019 and the May Commencement will be held Saturday, May 16, 2020. For more information, please see the Commencement Convocation Events Office website (link is external).
Contact CTL at email@example.com with any questions about these guidelines.
The 2016 University of California Policy on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence, in alignment with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, requires the campus to provide appropriate accommodations to student victims/survivors of sexual harassment, stalking, sexual assault, dating violence and domestic violence.
The SVSH policy identifies a number of appropriate measures, including but not limited to the following: excusing absences; issuing Incomplete grades; making reasonable academic and work adjustments in the areas of class sessions, exams, tests, project, deadlines, field trips, and any other required activities; developing alternative assignments; and permitting test-taking and course attendance in alternative locations.
A request for accommodations based on the SVSH Policy may come from any of a number of campus centers, including but not limited to the PATH to Care Center, the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD), Social Services, and Student Affairs Case Management. Instructors are reminded of their responsibility, under the Policy, to provide these accommodations to a student on the recommendation of an appropriate office on campus, and to preserve the confidentiality of a request made on behalf of a student. Questions about the appropriateness, suitability, and/or feasibility of a requested accommodation may be directed to the campus office that has recommended it. The SVSH Policy can be found online here: policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000385/SHSV (link is external).
Hardships such as housing or food insecurity, uncertain documentation and immigration status, serious medical and mental health concerns, and significant familial distress, directly affect a student’s ability to be present and committed to their educational endeavors. While instructors are required to respect accommodations requested through DSP, well-founded requests may also come from other sources, such as the Center for Support and Intervention. We encourage you to work with the notifying office to determine whether an adjustment, even if not required by law, might still be appropriate to allow. Instructors are encouraged to refer students to the Center for Support and Intervention to advise students experiencing significant hardships.
As with accommodations for illness, the Senate guidelines, referenced above, advise faculty to use flexibility and good judgment in determining whether to excuse missed work, extend deadlines, or substitute an alternative assignments.