T_L 536 01

TL 536 - Innovations in English Language Arts Instruction

2021 Fall Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 14994

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

Times and Location

Instructor Information

Sonja Brandt

About the Professor

For information about your professor for this course, Dr. Sonja Brandt, as well as to find information on how to introduce yourself, view the Week 1 folder found under Weekly Folders inside our Blackboard course. Welcome, graduate-level Reading Education students! 

Course Description

This course considers the current curricular trends and research-based best practices in teaching English Language Arts. Students will critically examine and apply current instructional approaches in teaching English language and vocabulary, classroom discourse practices, and digital literacies. We will consider the ways various instructional methods support the advancement of literacy development for all students, considering ways to modify and adapt curriculum to meet the cultural and linguistic diversity of today's classrooms.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain both theoretical and practical knowledge in teaching students to use spoken, written, and visual language to effectively communicate with a variety of audiences for different purposes and to enhance overall academic learning (ESPB 05007.7; CAEP A.1.1; ILA 1.3). 
  2. Understand the basic components of language, including grammar and vocabulary, and be able to use this knowledge in teaching of literacy and the language arts (ESPB 05007.3; CAEP A.1.1; ILA 1.3).   
  3. Explore how digital technologies can enhance learning in the language arts classroom and effectively integrate technologies into language arts classroom (ESPB 05007.12; CAEP A.1.1; ILA 5.3).
  4. Develop language arts curriculum that is developmentally appropriate for all students (including ELL and SPED), supportive of relevant academic standards, and culturally relevant for all students of the classroom (ILA 2.1; ILA 5.1).
  5. Apply research-based instructional frameworks to lesson planning in multiple areas of language arts instruction in order to develop inclusive and responsive classroom practices (ILA 2.1; ILA 4.3; ILA 5.1).
  6. Collaborate with peer colleagues to reflect on teaching and learning, develop instructional plans, revise and edit professional written work, and hone expertise in reading education (CAEP A.1.1; ILA 2.4; ILA 6.1; ILA 6.2; ILA 7.2). 

Professional Standards:  

This course meets the following Advanced standards for accredited programs for the professional practice of Reading Specialists: 

ND ESPB 

05007.3 The teacher candidate has studied and had experiences with teaching a variety of strategies which enable word recognition for comprehension and/or which develop and extend vocabulary. 

05007.7 The teacher candidate has studied curriculum development to integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening. 

05007.12 The teacher candidate has studied current, appropriate instructional technologies. 

CAEP 

A.1.1. Candidates for advanced preparation demonstrate their proficiencies to understand and apply knowledge and skills appropriate to their professional field of specialization so that learning and development opportunities for all P-12 are enhanced through: 

  • Leading and/or participating in collaborative activities with others such as peers, colleagues, teachers, administrators, community organizations, and parents; 
  • Supporting appropriate applications of technology for their field of specialization; and; 
  • Application of professional dispositions, laws and policies, codes of ethics and professional standards appropriate to their field of specialization (ILA standards). 

Additionally, this course addresses the following:

2017 ILA standards for Specialized Literacy Professionals 

1.3: Candidates demonstrate knowledge of theoretical, conceptual, historical, and evidence-based components of language (e.g., language acquisition, structure of language, conventions of standard English, vocabulary acquisition and use, speaking, listening, viewing, visually representing) and its relationships with other aspects of literacy (Vocabulary project) 

2.1: Candidates use foundational knowledge to design, select, critique, adapt, and evaluate evidence-based literacy curricula that meet the needs of all learners. 

2.4: Candidates collaborate with and coach school-based educators in developing, implementing, and evaluating literacy instructional practices and curriculum. 

4.3: Candidates create and advocate for inclusive and affirming classroom and school environments by designing and implementing instruction that is culturally responsive and acknowledges and values the diversity in their school and in society (Speaking & Listening project) 

5.1: Candidates, in consultation with families and colleagues, meet the developmental needs of all learners (e.g., English learners, those with difficulties learning to read, the gifted), taking into consideration physical, social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual factors. 

5.3: Candidates integrate digital technologies into their literacy instruction in appropriate, safe, and effective ways and assist colleagues in these efforts (KEY ASSESSMENT) 

6.1: Candidates demonstrate the ability to reflect on their professional practices, belong to professional organizations, and are critical consumers of research, policy, and practice. 

6.2: Candidates use their knowledge of adult learning to engage in collaborative decision making with colleagues to design, align, and assess instructional practices and interventions within and across classrooms. 

7.2: Candidates collaborate with and coach peers and experienced colleagues to develop, reflect on, and study their own and others’ teaching practices. 

Course Materials

Required Textbooks:

  1. Overturf, B., Montgomery, L., Smith, M. (2013). Word nerds: Teaching all students to learn and love vocabulary. ISBN: 978-1571109545 
  2. Mirra, N. (2018).  Educating for empathy:  Literacy learning and civic engagement.  New York, NY: Teachers College Press. ISBN: 978-0807759141 
  3. Muhtaris, K. & Ziemke, K. (2015). Amplify: Digital teaching and learning in the K-6 classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.ISBN: 978-0325074733
  4. Ruday, S. (2020). The elementary school grammar toolkit: Using mentor texts to teach standards--based language and grammar in grades 3-5. NY: Routledge. ISBN: 0367436809 
    • Note: There are two other books for different grade levels in this (Elementary School) Grammar Toolkit series. You may order one of those instead of it fits your current or future grade levels better. Both are by Sean Ruday and both are 1st edition. The common core grammar toolkit: Using mentor texts to teach the language standards in grades ____ [grades 6-8, blue cover, ISBN 978-0415739771] and [grades 9-12, green cover, ISBN 978-1138302600]. 

Technical Requirements/Assistance

You will use Microsoft Word to complete assignments (files created using Pages in Apple can be saved as a Word file before submitting). Students are expected to use their official UND email in the course. Visit the Office 365 Email webpage for information on your UND email and how to download/install a free version of Microsoft Office. For technical assistance, please contact UND Technical Support at 701.777.2222. Visit the University Information Technologies (UIT) website for their hours, help documents and other resources.

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

The course content is organized into 16 weeks. Each week contains a purpose, learning outcomes, a variety of readings, as well as other information selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. Discussions, blogs, wikis, weekly assignments and major projects will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials over the course of this class.  

To get the most from your experience, it is recommended that you consider the following: 

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard function
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents (Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
  • Send, receive, and manage email 
  • Create and share/upload video files of yourself 
  • Access websites and other resources as described and provided within the course 
What Should Students Do First?

Prior to the start of the first week you should have reviewed the syllabus and shared your Flipgrid introductory video (see the Week 1 folder for more information).

How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities

On the left side course menu in Blackboard there is a “Weekly Folders” tab. Inside Weekly Folders you will find all the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. You can also learn more about our course by navigating to the "Major Projects" tab.

Resources

Many services are available to UND students such as writing assistance from the UND Writing Center, free online tutoring from Smarthinking, and more. Visit the Student Resources page for more information. Students also have access to the UND Student Resource Site via Blackboard. It is recommended that you become familiar with the tools and tutorials within the site to better equip you in navigating the course.

Course Requirements/Expectations

Technology:  

Because this is an online course, students must have regular access to the Internet, as well as properly functioning computer hardware and software.  At the minimum students must be able to use and access Blackboard and email on a regular basis.  Some assignments may require students to scan in their work to create a pdf document, or to create an audio or audiovisual recoding of their work.  Occasionally students will also be asked to participate in video technologies such as FlipGridYuJa, and Zoom.   

Submitting Work:   

Assignments are to be turned in on Blackboard before 11:59 PM on the day they are due.  If you are unable to complete an assignment on time, contact the instructor to make alternative arrangements prior to the due date.  Assignments turned in late without prior arrangements will lose points. Formal written assignments that require the inclusion of references should follow APA guidelines. E-mailed assignments will be accepted if Blackboard is down or inaccessible. 

Class Participation:  

Participation is important in an online course, so that ideas can be shared and discussed in a supportive and collaborative learning environment.  You will be expected to participate in a variety of ways including posting of comments and responses to classmates in whole and small group settings.  Please be constructive, respectful and professional in all communications, and be an accountable colleague and group member.  

Time Commitment:   

As this course meets graduate credit requirements, you are expected to put in the same amount of time into online courses as you would if you were enrolled in a face-to-face course on campus. For example, if a three-credit course were meeting on-campus it would meet for 3 hours each week for 16 weeks. In addition to this meeting time, you would be expected to spend an additional one to three hours for each hour of class on assignments and readings. Thus, you can anticipate spending 6-12 hours each week on this three-credit class (e.g., readings, working on assignments, discussion, and other). 

Course Requirements:  

In this graduate level course, students are expected to  

  • complete all readings in a reflective and critical manner  
  • demonstrate graduate-level skills in thinking and communication 
  • be considerate of others’ thoughts and opinions  
  • Assignments that are not well-written or well-thought out will be returned to the student for revision. Unless otherwise directed, format assignments using 12 pt. font and 1 inch margins and follow APA style. All assignments must be posted in Blackboard unless otherwise directed. E-mailed assignments will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor. 

Central Standard Time is used for due dates and times. 

Communication

Announcements: 

Announcements will be posted on the main Blackboard page (and subsequently emailed directly to you) on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters. 

Email: 

You are encouraged to post your questions about the course in the FAQs Discussion Board Forum in the Blackboard site (found under Resources). This is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information.  I will respond back to you within 72 hours during the week and may not respond on the weekend until the next business day. If you have not heard back from me within 72 hours, please email again.  

Discussion Forums, Blogs, & Wikis: 

These tools are an excellent way for you to engage with the course material and with your peers.  Each week will have at least one of these tools for you to participate in. You are expected to read all assigned discussion boards, blog posts, and/or wiki pages and provide thoughtful contributions. 

Netiquette: 

When participating in (an online) class it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas. Our online posts are our main interactions and discussions as a community of teachers and learners. We are here to learn from and alongside one another!  

Assessments

Weekly Assignments

The semester begins on Monday, August 23, 2021. Your first assignments will be due the following Sunday, August 29, 2021, by 11:59 PM CST.  This is considered “Week 1.”  Each week you will be asked to complete course readings and activities and submit assignments to help you consolidate and reflect on the information you have explored during the week.  All assignments are due by midnight on Sundays, unless stated otherwise.  Some assignments will be completed individually, in a small group, or whole class discussion.  Each assignment will be worth 2 points and in total will count for 50% of your course grade.  Weekly assignments will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • 2 Points: Extensive, excellent, strong effort, engaged, addresses all elements of the task, participation supports individual or when appropriate group learning; clear and documented linkages to course content. 

  • 1 Point: adequate but thin response (perhaps there were some missed key points or underdeveloped ideas; may be some inaccuracies; ideas or expression underdeveloped with few linkages to course content); lack of participation or timeliness may be hindering rather than helping the learning either individually or within the group; 
  • 0 Points: limited, weak, no pass, effort not evident; disengaged, appears not to complete or refer to course content or work is not submitted; participation significantly hinders the learning either individually or within the group 

Course Projects

Vocabulary Project:   

As you read the Overturf, Montgomery, and Smith (2013) text, you will build a 10-day Vocabulary Plan in keeping with their design. During each of the 4 weeks we spend reading the text, I will indicate what part of your plan you should be working on. During week 5, you will have time to review, revise and finalize your plan before submitting it. In the best of all worlds you would develop and implement the plan and then reflect on its value to your classroom instruction. Further details are posted under “Major Projects” on the blackboard site (15% of your grade). 

Digital Literacy Project (Key Assessment) 

This assignment is one of several Key Assessments you will be required to complete as part of our accreditation assessment system.  The purpose of this Key Assessment is two-fold:  to measure your progress as an educator in meeting CAEP educator standards and to measure the effectiveness of UND’s educator preparation program.  More specific information will be provided by your instructor about the requirements and expectations for this Key Assessment. 

Based on ideas from Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom, you are to plan for and implement a new digital learning tool in your instructional setting.  You may do this with an entire class or with a small group of students. If you are not currently teaching, you will need to search out a classroom or a setting where you can work with a group of students (3 or more) to implement your plan. In addition to the planning and implementation, you will prepare a written reflection. Detailed guidelines are posted under “Major Projects” on the Blackboard course site (25% of your grade). 

Empathy Project:  

Using ideas presented in the Mirra course text, you will develop a class project to engage students in building empathy and/or civic engagement appropriate to the grade level you teach.  There are many possibilities for topics and curricular connections for this project.  Detailed guidelines are posted under “Major Projects” on the Blackboard course site (10% of your grade). 

Grading

Grade Distribution  

Weight of assignments/ percentage and point distribution for grading are as follows: 

  • Weekly Assignments: 50% of the course 

  • Vocabulary Project: 15% of the course 

  • Digital Literacy Project (Key Assessment): 25% of the course 

  • Empathy Project: 10% of the course 

Grading Scale  

Class participation and assignments are weighted and graded on a point system.   

  • A = 93 - 100%
  • B = 81 - 92% 
  • C = 71 - 80% 
  • D = 61 - 70% 
  • F = 60% & Below  

Incomplete Grading  

It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor.  (See “Grading System” in the UND 2020-21 Catalog).

Schedule of Topics and Assignments

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
8/23 Word Nerds: Introduction
Word Nerds Chapter 1
Word Nerds Chapter 2
Unit I: Words, Words, Words
Text: Word nerds: Teaching all students to learn & love vocabulary
Introductory post on FlipGrid
Discussion post #1
Vocabulary planner
8/30 Word Nerds Chapter 3
Word Nerds Chapter 4
Marzano’s Six Steps to Better Vocabulary Instruction
Unit I: Words, Words, Words
Text: Word nerds: Teaching all students to learn & love vocabulary
Comments on peer FlipGrid videos & discussion post #1
Discussion post #2
Small group “juicy words” assignment
Vocabulary cycle days 1 & 2
9/6 Word Nerds Chapter 5
Word Nerds Chapter 6
Unit I: Words, Words, Words
Text: Word nerds: Teaching all students to learn & love vocabulary
Comments on peer discussion post #2
Discussion post #3
Small group “virtual chain” assignment
Vocabulary project activities
9/13 Word Nerds Chapter 7
Word Nerds Chapter 8
Word Nerds Epilogue
Unit I: Words, Words, Words
Text: Word nerds: Teaching all students to learn & love vocabulary
Comments on peer discussion post #3
Discussion post #4 (small group)
Vocabulary plan with assessments draft
9/20 Amplify Foreword
Amplify Introduction
Amplify Chapter 6
Unit II: Digital Teaching & Learning
Text: Amplify: Digital teaching & learning in the K-6 classroom
Comments on peer discussion #4
Discussion post #5
Flip Grid reflection
Final vocabulary project plan
Vocabulary Project Due!
9/27 Amplify Chapter 1
Amplify Chapter 2
Unit II: Digital Teaching & Learning
Text: Amplify: Digital teaching & learning in the K-6 classroom
Comments on flip grid & peer discussion post #5
Discussion post #6 (small group)
Padlet quote
Research digital tools for project
10/4 Amplify Chapter 3
Amplify Chapter 4
Additional readings as assigned
Unit II: Digital Teaching & Learning
Text: Amplify: Digital teaching & learning in the K-6 classroom
Comments on peer discussion post #6
Discussion post #7
Small group article summary
Draft of digital plan
10/11 Amplify Chapter 5 Unit II: Digital Teaching & Learning
Text: Amplify: Digital teaching & learning in the K-6 classroom
Comments on peer discussion post #7
Flipgrid reflection
Digital plan peer evaluation & revisions
Digital Project Plan should be complete & ready for implementation. Remember to video record yourself teaching one lesson!
10/18 Grammar Toolkit: Section 1: Chapters 1-5 Unit III: Teaching Grammar
Text: The Elementary School or Common Core Grammar Toolkit text of your choice!
Discussion post #8 (small group)
Grammar mentor text template
Peer-coaching video conference with small group
10/25 Grammar Toolkit: Section 2: Chapters 6 - 11 Unit III: Teaching Grammar
Text: The Elementary School or Common Core Grammar Toolkit text of your choice!
Comments on peer discussion post #8
Discussion post #9
Grammar mentor text template
Peer-coaching video conference with small group
11/1 Grammar Toolkit: Section 3: Chapters 12 - 16 Unit III: Teaching Grammar
Text: The Elementary School or Common Core Grammar Toolkit text of your choice!
Comments on peer discussion post #9
Grammar mentor text template
Peer-coaching video conference with small group
Digital Literacy Project due
11/8 Educating for Empathy: Introduction
Educating for Empathy: Chapter 1
Unit IV: Empathy & Civic Engagement
Text: Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning & Civic Engagement
Digital literacy project reflection
Flipgrid reflection
Discussion post #10
11/15 Educating for Empathy: Chapter 2
Educating for Empathy: Chapter 3
Educating for Empathy: Chapter 4
Unit IV: Empathy & Civic Engagement
Text: Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning & Civic Engagement
View & respond to peer Flipgrids
Comment on peer discussion post #10
Discussion post #11
Empathy project plan
11/22 No tasks this week - Happy Thanksgiving!
11/29 Educating for Empathy: Chapter 5
Educating for Empathy: Conclusion
Unit IV: Empathy & Civic Engagement
Text: Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning & Civic Engagement
Comment on peer discussion post #11
Discussion post #12
12/6 No readings - work on final project! Unit IV: Empathy & Civic Engagement
Text: Educating for Empathy: Literacy Learning & Civic Engagement
Comment on peer discussion post #12
Empathy project due
Course evaluation

Course Policies

Policies for Students in Educator Preparation Programs 

Dispositions:   

The Council of Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP) requires the university to monitor the academic progress and dispositions of every student enrolled in a program leading to an education license or credential.  Dispositions refer to a student’s actions and behaviors in terms of professionalism, ethics and human relations. Should a concern arise about a student’s progress or dispositions, faculty, instructors and/or cooperating teachers may request a one-on-one meeting with the teacher candidate or advanced student to discuss areas of strength or concerns.  Written documentation of this conference may be included in the student’s permanent file.  Specific procedures are delineated on the form, Professional Dispositions for UND Teacher Education.    

Technology:  

Because this is an online course, students must have regular access to the Internet, as well as properly functioning computer hardware and software.  At the minimum students must be able to use and access Blackboard and email on a regular basis.  Some assignments may require students to scan in their work to create a pdf document, or to create an audio or audiovisual recoding of their work.  Occasionally students will also be asked to participate in video technologies such as FlipGridYuJa and Zoom. 

Submitting Work:   

Assignments are to be turned in on Blackboard before 11:59 PM on the day they are due.  If you are unable to complete an assignment on time, contact the instructor to make alternative arrangements prior to the due date.  Assignments turned in late without prior arrangements will lose points. Formal written assignments that require the inclusion of references should follow APA guidelines. E-mailed assignments will be accepted if Blackboard is down or inaccessible. 

Class Participation:  

Participation is important in an online course, so that ideas can be shared and discussed in a supportive and collaborative learning environment.  You will be expected to participate in a variety of ways including posting of comments and responses to classmates in whole and small group settings.  Please be constructive, respectful and professional in all communications, and be an accountable colleague and group member.  

Time Commitment:   

As this course meets graduate credit requirements, you are expected to put in the same amount of time into online courses as you would if you were enrolled in a face-to-face course on campus. For example, if a three-credit course were meeting on-campus it would meet for 3 hours each week for 16 weeks. In addition to this meeting time, you would be expected to spend an additional one to three hours for each hour of class on assignments and readings. Thus, you can anticipate spending 6-12 hours each week on this three-credit class (e.g., readings, working on assignments, discussion, and other). 

Course Requirements:  

In this graduate level course, students are expected to  

  • complete all readings in a reflective and critical manner  
  • demonstrate graduate-level skills in thinking and communication 
  • be considerate of others’ thoughts and opinions  
  • Assignments that are not well-written or well-thought out will be returned to the student for revision. Unless otherwise directed, format assignments using 12 pt. font and 1 inch margins and follow APA style. All assignments must be posted in Blackboard unless otherwise directed. E-mailed assignments will not be accepted without prior permission from the instructor. 

Central Standard Time is used for due dates and times. 

Instructor Responsibilities and Feedback

Insert responsibilities students can expect the instructor to meet. Example provided below.

  • The instructor will provide feedback on all assignments and group activities during the following week.
  • The instructor will be available during appointed Office Hours to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer advice. Send an email to set up a date and time and a Zoom link will be emailed to you.
     

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA POLICIES & RESOURCES

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties to the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter, and will have little tolerance of or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access & Opportunity, Disability Support and Medical Services

If you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need accommodations in this course because of a disability, please visit with me as soon as possible. My office hours are at the top of this syllabus. If you plan to request disability accommodations, you are expected to register with the Disability Support Services (DSS) office online, (180 McCannel Hall, 701.777.3425).

If you have a temporary medical condition such as a broken arm or recovering after surgery, you may be able to arrange for courtesy services. In most cases, it is expected that you will make your own arrangements for these services. Examples of courtesy services include access to a test scribe if the student has a broken hand; lift equipped van transportation when the student has a broken leg or temporary accessible parking for a student using crutches for a short period. If you are unable to make your own arrangements, please contact DSS (777-3425). Unlike services and/or accommodations provided to eligible students with disabilities, the University is NOT obligated to provide courtesy services.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem is not resolved, meet with insert name of conflict mediator or ombudsperson if available in your department, otherwise delete this sentence. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college Dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the Provost next, and then to the President.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to: Donna Smith, Director of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator, 401 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.affirmativeactionoffice@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 500 West Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60611 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Sexual Violence

If you or a friend has experienced sexual violence, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, or sex-based harassment, please contact UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Sexual Violence

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual violence they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been the victim of sexual violence, you can find information about confidential support services on the Title IX webpage.

UND Cares Program

The UND Cares program seeks to educate faculty, staff and students on how to recognize warning signs that indicate a student is in distress.

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, some students may struggle. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or differently than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

UND Cares about Your Success

Important information is available to you through Starfish, which is an online system used to help students be successful. When an instructor observes student behaviors or concerns that may impede academic success, the instructor may raise a flag that notifies the student of the concern and/or refer the student to their academic advisor or UND resource. Please pay attention to these emails and take the recommended actions. They are sent to help you be successful!

Starfish also allows you to (1) schedule appointments with various offices and individuals across campus, (2) request help on a variety of topics, and (3) search and locate information on offices and services at UND.

You can log into Starfish by clicking on Logins on the UND homepage and then selecting Starfish. A link to Starfish is also available in Blackboard once you have signed in.

Ensure Accessibility

To comply with the latest accessibility guidelines, documents posted online, including, but not limited to, Adobe PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and online flipbooks, must be screen-reader friendly. For directions on how to make your syllabus and other course materials accessible, visit the Creating Accessible Content webpage on the TTaDA site.