Academic Resources

Academic Resource Hub   http://academichub.ua.edu/

Below is information to help you adjust to the difference between the educational system that you are accustomed to and the educational system found at The University of Alabama and information relating to the academic policies and customs that are expected at UA.

Student Conduct and Academic Dishonesty

General Policy
The preservation of freedom of discussion, inquiry, and expression is possible only in an environment in which the privileges of citizenship are protected and the obligations of citizenship are understood. Accordingly, the University has developed regulations and policies pertaining to students and to student organizations. Any student or organization violating an established policy or regulation of the University is subject to disciplinary action according to the provisions outlined in these Codes of Student Conduct. Personal conduct on University-owned or University-controlled property or at University-sponsored events is subject to University jurisdiction. The University may also enforce its own disciplinary policy and procedures, regardless of where misconduct occurs, when personal or organizational conduct directly, seriously, or adversely interferes with or disrupts the educational missions, programs, or other functions of the University. In addition to the guidelines of conduct set forth elsewhere in the Handbook and other official University publications, acts of conduct for which disciplinary action may be taken and the disciplinary procedures, which apply for the fair adjudication of alleged violations, follow.

The University of Alabama Academic Honor Code
The most basic governing provision of academic policy is The Academic Honor Code (http://www.studenthandbook.ua.edu/conduct.html):

1. All students in attendance at The University of Alabama are expected to be honorable and observe standards of conduct appropriate to a community of scholars. The University of Alabama expects from its students a higher standard of conduct than the minimum required to avoid discipline.  At the beginning of each semester and on tests and projects, at the discretion of the course instructor, each student will be expected to sign an Honor Pledge.

2. The Academic Honor Pledge reads as follows: I promise or affirm that I will not at any time be involved with cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or misrepresentation while enrolled as a student at The University of Alabama. I have read the Academic Honor Code, which explains disciplinary procedures that will result from the aforementioned. I understand that violation of this code will result in penalties as severe as indefinite suspension from the University.

Plagiarism and How to Avoid It
Plagiarism is more familiarly known as “cheating”. It is the act of presenting other people’s ideas, words, and/or the data that they have collected as being the product of one’s effort. It is therefore a form of lying and has no place in an academic institution. It is taken very seriously in the U.S. and the punishment may range from receiving a failed grade on a particular paper to being excluded from the class, or receiving a failing grade in the course.

Some forms of plagiarism, such as cheating on an exam, are obviously unacceptable and will be prosecuted. Sometimes, international students can be guilty of plagiarism because of confusion regarding proper attribution. Very simply, to attribute means to give credit to the originator of an idea, if you are choosing to use those ideas in your own work. If you are using someone’s exact words in your paper, you must enclose their contribution in quotes. At the end of the quote, make sure to indicate the source of the quote. If you are using someone’s ideas paraphrased in your own words, you will still attribute it, without using the quotation marks.

There are specific styles of attribution and referencing that are used in different fields. The most prominent are the guide published by the Modern Language Association (MLA), which is used in the humanities, and the guide published by the American Psychological Association (APA) which is used in the sciences. However, if you are in doubt about the appropriate way to attribute in your field, ask your professor.

Academic Grades

Your performance is evaluated by the means of grades, which are letters of the alphabet assigned to record a certain level of performance, by your instructor. Each letter is assigned a number of points, as shown in the chart below (from the UA Undergraduate Catalog):

Letter Grade Meaning Points per credit
A+ Excellent 4.33
A 4.0
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B Good 3.0
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C Satisfactory 2.0
C- 1.67
D+ 1.33
D 1.0
D- 0.67
F Failure 0

 

The points are used to calculate your Grade Point Average or GPA. It is determined by dividing the total quantity of points by the number of credit hours taken.

Other Grade Symbols may appear on your transcript; the following is a list of those other marks and what they mean:

Grade Symbol Meaning Points per Credit
AU Audit Not counted
I Incomplete 0
N No Grade Reported Not counted
NC No Credit Not counted
P Passing Not counted
IP In Progression Not counted
W Withdrew after Add/Drop period Not counted

 

Academic Help

The University of Alabama provides resources for students to get assistance academically. Many students benefit from these services. In addition, if you need specific assistance in a course, it is always a good idea to meet with your course instructor during his or her office hours and ask for help.

The Writing Center – http://writingcenter.ua.edu/
Location: 322 Lloyd Hall
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9 am – 6 pm; Friday 9 am – 3 pm; Sunday 1 – 5 pm

The Writing Center provides writing consultations to all UA students, graduate and undergraduate and can help you with both general writing skills and more discipline-specific forms of writing at any stage of the writing process. The Writing Center also maintains a collection of writing sources in print and electronic form for your use.

During the academic semesters (fall and spring), evening hours are kept on some days of the week at Java City in the Gorgas Library and at the Ferg Center Starbucks.

• Writing Center Resources: http://writingcenter.ua.edu/resources/
• Writing Center Info For Graduate Students: http://writingcenter.ua.edu/graduate/

Center for Academic Success – http://www.ctl.ua.edu/default.asp
Location: Osband Hall
Phone: 205-348-6010

The primary mission of the Center for Academic Success (CAS) is the delivery of high quality academic support services to UA undergraduate students as a part of the University’s plan for academic excellence.

CAS offers regularly scheduled study skills and reading proficiency workshops, supplemental instruction sessions for many quantitative UA courses, and an appointment-based individual tutorial service.

Mathematics Technology Learning Center – http://mtlc.ua.edu/
Location: Room B-1 Tutwiler Hall
Phone: (205) 348-2592

The Mathematics Technology Learning Center (MTLC) at The University of Alabama is a state of the art program that assists students in the active learning of mathematics. This is accomplished through a computer lab/tutoring center open over 60 hours per week for one-on-one tutoring and using technology to allow students to work at their own pace, receive instant feedback as they learn mathematics by doing mathematics, learn from a variety of formats, and receive encouragement from their instructors regarding course progress.