Welcome to Penn State Law. We hope the following information is useful to you as you prepare to teach. If you have any questions after reading this information, please consult the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Penn State ID Number and Access Account
You will need a Penn State ID number (a 9-digit number used to identify you in various PSU systems in lieu of your Social Security Number) and Access Account for a variety of purposes, including accessing the PSU intranet and the course management system called ANGEL. The law school Human Resources Manager will create a PSU ID number for you and provide you with the application necessary to create your Access Account (which will also serve as your email address).
Most information that you will want to know about the academic affairs of the law school is available on our website. Information on the website includes the academic calendar, exam schedule, grading policy, and our policy for courses held in both locations. Please contact the Academic Affairs office with academic questions you may have.
Preparing Your Course
Final Assessments: Exam vs. Paper
You must decide on the method you will use to evaluate students in your course before the course opens for student registration. You can have students take a final exam during the scheduled exam period, or you can have students submit one or more written projects, interim quizzes, or other assignments. The Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs will request this information from you as the semester course schedule is prepared. We need to know your method of evaluation to provide students with this information in the registration materials and to plan the exam schedule before registration opens. If you choose to evaluate students on the basis of a final paper, you should plan to require students to produce 10 pages per credit (exclusive of endnotes). If you choose a final examination, you should plan for a two and a half or three hour exam period for a three credit course.
Most final exams are graded anonymously, however, you may take class participation into account in assigning the final grade for the course. Our law school Registrar will communicate the process for grading, including adding participation points. You should feel free to contact the Registrar at any time regarding the grading process. Papers are typically not graded anonymously.
Letter Grade vs. Pass/Fail
You may permit your students to elect to receive a pass/fail grade in your course. If you permit students to take your course on a pass/fail basis, you will not know which students have made this election. You would submit letter grades for all students to the law school Registrar at the end of the semester. For students who have elected to take your course pass/fail, the Registrar will record a grade of “pass” or “fail.” The Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs will request this information from you as the semester course schedule is prepared.
Choose Your Course Materials
Law publishers will provide complimentary copies of casebooks and other commercially available course materials for your review. Book publisher information is located here.
If you would like to compile a course packet for sale in the University bookstore please compile the material for inclusion in the course packet and forward it as a pdf document to the University's Copyright Clearance Office. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the phone number is (814) 865-0735. Staff in that office will obtain the copyright clearance for the material, compile it in a book, send you a copy and send the remaining copies to the bookstore for students to order.
When you decide on materials for the course, notify the University bookstore at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester to allow enough time for the processing of your book order. You can reach the bookstore at www.bookrequest.psu.edu, via e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at (814) 863-3277.
Suggestions for inclusion on your course syllabus:
- Course title, code, section, day/time and room
- Instructor name and contact information
- Instructor office hours
- Week-by-week course agenda, assignments, readings
- Grading information
- How the course will be evaluated, paper(s), final exam during exam period, project(s), take home exam etc.
- Faculty Statement of Learning Outcomes and Policy on Course Learning Objectives
- Course material (textbook(s), course packs etc.) requirements and recommendations
- Attendance policy and repercussions for failure to abide by the policy
- Class recording policy
- Reminder about Academic Integrity
- Statement about plagiarism
- University Statement on Students with Disabilities
Training or Questions on Use of Classroom Technology
For training or questions related to the use of classroom technology, please contact the law school's instructional technology staff at firstname.lastname@example.org. After you have obtained, and activated, your PSU Access Account please review the law school policy regarding class recordings. Prior to each semester, you will receive by e-mail a request to designate the manner in which students enrolled in your class may access class recordings. Contact email@example.com with questions related to the recording of class sessions.
To reserve materials in the library or access research databases, contact a member of the library staff.
Office Hours and Administrative Support
You may reserve an itinerant office in either location prior to visiting that location for the day by visiting our room schedule. Space is limited, so try to reserve the room early. If you need administrative support while you are in the law school building, contact one of our faculty assistants.
Faculty Class Absence Procedure
If you unexpectedly need to cancel a class, as soon as possible, notify faculty support staff and all students in the class. On the day of the canceled class, faculty support staff will post notice of the cancelation in the classroom(s).
To locate anyone in any department at the law school, visit our Department Directory.
If you wish to park in the law school parking lot at either campus, you will need a University issued parking permit. Parking permits may be purchased by contacting one of our Business Services Directors. If you purchase a parking permit in either location, you will be able to park at the law school parking lot in the remote location on days when you teach in the remote location.