Faculty Resources

Faculty Handbook

As a faculty member, this handbook will provide you with information about the services available on campus, as well as information about disabilities in general, the laws involved and teaching strategies that may be of help to you in the classroom.

Curriculum/Accommodation Questions

If you have a question about improving instruction or providing students with appropriate accommodations call our office (615) 230-3472, or Email the Director of Disability Services.

Syllabus Guidelines

The course syllabus refers to a written course description that provides the objectives, assignments, and schedule. The syllabus is a mediator between the faculty member and the student. It outlines expectations and requirements for successful completion of the course. Included in the syllabus is a disability statement.

Disability Services' Sample Syllabus Statement:

For students with disabilities:

It is the student's responsibility to self-identify with the Office of Disability Services to receive accommodations and services in accordance with The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Only those students with appropriate documentation will receive services. For further information, contact the Office of Disability Services at X3472 or visit the office which is located on the ground floor of the Wood Campus Center.

Disability Services: (615)-230-3472 (615)-230-3488 TTD

Disability Services Website www.volstate.edu/disability

Essential Elements of an Accessible Syllabus

Basic Information: Course title, course number, number of credits, current year, current term, meeting time and location, your name, location of your office, office phone number, email address, office hours, appointment times, information on teaching assistants, and a syllabus disability statement.

Classes, skills, and information required prior to enrolling in course.
Course Objective:
Information to be covered, general themes, and course activity.
Learning Objectives:
A precise statement (s) linking subject matter and student performance. The objective includes competencies skills, and knowledge students should acquire by the end of the course.
Required Materials:
For textbooks include title, authors, editions, and local book retailers. For any additional material required list in syllabus and note resources available.
Course Schedule:
Supply schedule of events; include discussion topics, exam dates, assignments, and readings to be completed for each day.
Grades and Policies:
Describe policies on attendance, late assignments, make up work, grading policies, and academic misconduct.
Disability Statement:
Informs students of their right to seek appropriate accommodations and modifications by self identifying with the Office of Disability Services. It also provides information on how to contact the office.

Universal Design Principals

Universal design is an approach to designing course instruction, materials, and content to benefit people of all learning styles without adaptation or retrofitting. This method of teaching provides equal access to learning, not simply equal access to information, and Universal Design also allows the student to control the method of accessing information while the teacher monitors the learning process and initiate any beneficial methods.

Who will Benefit?

While this design enables the student to be self-sufficient, the teacher is responsible for imparting knowledge and facilitating the learning process. It should be noted that Universal Design does not remove academic challenges; it removes barriers to access. Simply state, Universal Design is just good teaching

  • Students who speak English as a second language
  • International students
  • Older students
  • Students with disabilities
  • A teacher whose teaching style is inconsistent with the student's preferred learning style
  • All students

Principles of Universal Design

(compiled from The Ohio State University Partnership Grant)

  • Identify the essential course content
  • Clearly express the essential content and any feedback given to the student
  • Integrate natural supports for learning (i.e. using resources already found in the environment such as a study partner.)
  • Use a variety of instructional methods when presenting material
  • Allow for multiple methods of demonstrating understanding of essential course content
  • Use technology to increase accessibility
  • Invite students to meet/contact the course instructor with any questions or concerns