What to Do at the End of the Semester

graduation photoWondering what you should be doing at the end of the spring semester? Commencement is just around the corner, which means finalizing grades for prospective graduates is of utmost importance.

These timely ideas come from the Adjunct Information Portal that AFAC has developed at spcs.richmond.edu/adjunct (definitely bookmark this site!). Click on Process > End of Term Procedures.

General End-of-Term Procedures

Schedule Course Exam

If applicable, be sure to schedule your final exam during the official exam period. Most SPCS classes (undergraduate and graduate) schedule exams during the same class time in the same room the week following the end of the term. Special situations like Weekend College, hybrid or online classes, and Summer term classes may follow a different schedule. Contact your assistant chair or program manager or coordinator for details.

Review the appropriate academic calendar for exam dates each term.

Submit Grades in BannerWeb

Submit final grades by the posted deadline. Be aware that prospective graduating students have an earlier grade submission deadline than non-graduating students. Review policies, guidelines and deadlines on the Registrar’s webpage.

Return Final Papers and Projects

Return final papers and projects with feedback to students, if feasible. Some faculty members prefer to leave papers in their mailboxes in the Special Programs Building or with the receptionist in North Court, Ryland Hall or the SPCS office.

Archive Grades, Attendance & Blackboard Course

It’s good practice to archive copies of your grades. You may download your grades from Blackboard as a CSV file, which you should retain. Similar guidelines apply to attendance records, especially when attendance issues result in grade reduction. You may also archive your entire Blackboard course for future reference and use.

Visit the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology for more information.

Spring-Specific End-of-Term Procedures

Attend SPCS Night

SPCS Night is the School’s annual awards ceremony for graduating students, where program area book awards are bestowed and other honors are recognized. The Itzkowitz Family Distinguished Adjunct Faculty Award recipient is announced at SPCS Night, as is the Gibb Family Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

The event includes an hour-long awards ceremony followed by cocktails and heavy appetizers in the Modlin Center lobby and patio.

Attend Commencement

Commencement Exercises are the highlight of the academic year at SPCS. Adjunct faculty members who taught in the summer, fall or spring term preceding Commencement are expected to attend the ceremony and march into the Robins Center wearing academic regalia of their highest degree received. The Assistant to the Dean sends out a request for responses early in the spring, along with an opportunity to order new academic regalia.

Adjunct faculty members unable to attend Commencement are expected to provide a written explanation for the absence to the dean. Participation in Commencement is a contractual obligation.

Engage in Professional Development

The University offers a variety of professional development opportunities to adjunct faculty members. All CTLT events are open to adjunct faculty, and all are offered to faculty members free of charge. The Library often offers free opportunities for professional development; visit the Library website for details. The Provost’s office also provides faculty development resources.

The best way to learn about professional development opportunities is by reading daily SpiderBytes. SpiderByte announcement are often the primary method for communicating opportunities to faculty and staff.

And here’s a bonus: If you’re reading this, you’re already engaging in Professional Development!

Daniel Hocutt

Web Manager and Adjunct Professor of English for the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies.