60.00 Course Policies, Procedures, and Resources

This section includes information on policies directly related to courses, such as recommendations for what should appear on the syllabus, guidelines for dealing with violations of academic integrity, and policies on absences for both faculty and students.  Other academic policies can be found in 50.00 and policies on promotion and tenure can be found in 80.00.

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60.01 Syllabi

Information to Give to Class at First Meeting

  1. Title, department and number of the course.
  2. Faculty name(s), work number and email, office location, and available office hours.
  3. Prerequisites to the course, if any. (Ask if students have completed prerequisites and if not, advise appropriately.)
  4. Course outline (see below).
  5. Availability of tutoring and other support services.
  6. An explanation of policy relative to class attendance and absences.
  7. Basis for grading in the course
  8. Notice of NO SMOKING regulation i.e., there is no smoking anywhere on campus except in designated areas. Note especially that smoking is not permitted in classrooms and hallways.

Course Outlines

Course objectives and summaries, outlines, syllabi, reading lists, and copies of examinations must be filed with the department chair. They are useful when evaluating or accrediting agencies visit the campus and when there is a change in instructor. Instructors should provide students with a syllabus at the first meeting of the class.

The syllabus should include:

  1. a week-by-week schedule of topics, reading assignments, examinations, and other assignments (such as reports, term papers field trips, etc.)
  2. a full bibliographical reference for required reading materials that should be purchased for or used in the course
  3. a clear description of any other materials or supplies that must be purchased
  4. a listing of supplementary reading materials that are required for optional reading (full bibliographical data for each item)
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60.02 Textbooks

Faculty members should request that students purchase their textbooks early. The Bookstore will begin making returns to publishers the fifth week of classes. If a faculty member is using several books (such as novels) and would like the Bookstore to hold any of them past this time, please send a memo to the Bookstore stating the date they will be needed--otherwise the books will be returned.

Deadlines in the textbook ordering cycle are very important.

The Bookstore endeavors to buy back as many books from students as possible. However, in order to do this, a signed book order from the faculty member is required. In an attempt to save students money, the Bookstore also buys used books from wholesalers. Also, please keep in mind that most college and university bookstores are ordering about the same time. Therefore, the later orders are received the more likely books will be unavailable and will leave the Bookstore with less time to correct shipping errors. As a general rule Spring book orders are due mid-October, Summer are due mid-March, and Fall are due mid-April. If a faculty member has any special requests, questions, or concerns, he or she should not hesitate to call the Bookstore at ext. 2971.

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60.03 Materials on Library Reserve

Faculty members should submit the Library Reserve List Form and the materials to be placed on reserve at least two weeks before the semester begins. Unless other arrangements are made, materials from Reserve will be returned to the faculty member at the end of each semester (fall, spring, and summer).

The American Library Association (ALA) recommends that only one copy of photocopied material be placed on reserve. Faculty members assume the responsibility for interpreting and conforming to copyright guidelines. Faculty members may choose one of the following reserve statuses for every piece they place on reserve:

  • Use in Library Only: Materials do not leave the Library.
  • 24-hour: Materials are due back to the Library 24 hours after they are signed out.
  • 3 Day: For example, materials borrowed on a Monday are due back the following Wednesday.
  • 8-Day: For example, materials borrowed on a Monday are due back the following Monday.

Please see the Circulation Supervisor for additional information.

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60.04 Code of Academic Responsibility

The following material is excerpted from the Arcadia University Student Handbook. Faculty members should not hesitate to cite it (or portions thereof) in their syllabi or otherwise introduce it into their students’ course of study.

The life of any academic community depends on the integrity and personal honesty of its members. An academic community must pay special attention to the values which define the nature of academic life. Historically, these have included the right to freedom of inquiry, a commitment to truth and respect for the freedom of inquiry of others.

A distinguished characteristic of an academic community is the way it combines competitive and cooperative values. On the one hand, education is a shared task and progress comes through cooperative efforts. Toward that end, Arcadia University encourages peer review – discussing ideas with peers, reading drafts of work, and so on.

On the other hand, new ideas are the currency of the community, and it is important to acknowledge the individual ownership of ideas. It is a serious violation of the norms of the academic community to appropriate the ideas of other people without credit or permission, and it is important to learn to discriminate between exploitation and the legitimate use of the ideas of others.

The most general rule is that any use of another person's ideas—whether the source is published or not—should be acknowledge fully and in detail. Since disciplines show some differences on how this should be done, instructors should be consulted as to the form and nature of the acknowledgements required by each field.

Code-related Procedures

Procedures for Taking Examinations, Tests and Quizzes:
  1. To eliminate suspicious behavior during any type of examination, all books, notes, note cards, papers materials, and instruments are to be left in a designated location away from the testing area, except for those materials previously specified by the faculty member.
  2. The faculty member may remain in the room. If the faculty member leaves the room after the initial questions have been asked, he/she must remain accessible and may return to answer questions that arise during the examination.
  3. Requests for clarification of questions must be directed only to the faculty member.
  4. Silence is to be maintained in the exam room.
  5. If possible, students should occupy every other seat.
  6. Students are not to leave the test area unless an emergency arises, or by grant of permission.  Faculty members' policies on leaving the testing area should be specified beforehand. If a student must leave the room, test papers must be left behind.
  7. In fairness to all students, the exam must be finished by the end of the examination period. The Instructor may request a student to discontinue writing at the end of the allotted time. The examination time can be lengthened only if granted at the beginning of the period and only if the extension applies to all students.
  8. Students in need of reasonable accommodations for learning disabilities must set this up in advance of the exam with the Disability Services Coordinator. Faculty members are not obligated to provide reasonable accommodations in the absences of information from this office.
Procedures for Papers, Reports, and Other Written Work:
  1. When preparing all written work, students should take great care to acknowledge fully the source or sources of all ideas, language, diagrams, charts, etc., which are not their own. If a student intentionally appropriates the ideas, concepts, or language of another person and presents them without attribution, he/she is guilty of plagiarism. For specific questions students should consult with the instructor, but the following rules must be observed:
    • Any sequence of words appearing in a student's essay which are not his/her own must be enclosed in quotation marks and the source identified in a manner designated by the instructor.
    • A paraphrase should not be enclosed in quotation marks, but should be footnoted and the source given.
    • An interpretation based on an identifiable source must be so attributed.
  2. If a student wishes to seek assistance from another student (i.e., proofreading for typographical errors), the instructor should be consulted to determine if such assistance is permissible. If permitted, such assistance should be acknowledged in the written work.
Procedures for Laboratory Work:

Unless otherwise directed, students are expected to make all necessary measurements, drawings, and calculations independently, based on their own work. Observations, including numerical data for working out results, are to be collected and used independently.

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60.05 Violations of the Code of Academic Responsibility

The following material is excerpted from the Arcadia University Student Handbook. Faculty members should not hesitate to cite it (or portions thereof) in their syllabi or otherwise introduce it into their students’ course of study. 

Each of the following constitutes a violation of the Code of Academic Responsibility: 

  1. Plagiarism: If a student appropriates the ideas, concepts, or language of another person and present them without attribution, he or she is guilty of plagiarism. Great care should be taken in academic work to acknowledge fully the source of sources of all ideas, language, diagrams, charts, etc. For specific questions the faculty member should be consulted, but the following rules must be observed. 
    • Any sequence of words, which are taken verbatim from another source, must be enclosed in quotation marks and the source identified in the manner designated by the instructor. 
    • Paraphrases and interpretations from a source should have the source identified. 
    • Unless otherwise directed, when a student is doing laboratory work, he or she is expected to make all necessary measurements, drawings, and calculations independently, based on his or her own work. Observations, including numerical data, are to be collected independently. 
    • If instructors permit a student to seek the assistance of other students on academic work, the exact nature of the assistance must be acknowledged in detail. This refers not just to papers, but also to laboratory work and computer programs. 
    • Any use of a commercial writing service is forbidden. 
  2. Submitting the same work for credit in more than one course without permission of each instructor involved. 
  3. Attempting to give or to receive unauthorized assistance on academic work, and attempting to hinder others in their academic work. 
  4. Furnishing false information to University officials on matters relating to academic work. This is to include: 
    • False information provided for the purpose of obtaining special consideration (for example, postponement of examinations or of deadlines for written work). 
    • Fraudulent registration for classes. 
    • Signing the name of an absent person to an attendance sheet. 
    • Reporting the results of experiments or surveys not performed. 
  5. Attempting to gain unauthorized access or exams or tests. 
  6. Cheating during examinations, which includes: (a) attempting to look at another student's exam, (b) attempting to communicate concerning the content of the exam with another student,(c) attempting to use any materials (such as notebooks, notes, textbooks) not specifically authorized by the faculty member. 
  7. Failure to follow any of the procedures outlined above in regard to taking examinations, tests, and quizzes. 
  8. Failure to sign a book or periodical out of the library. 

Procedures for Reporting Violations 

  1. If a student has violated an academic regulation, he or she may report him/herself to the faculty member involved within 36 hours of the infraction. 
  2. If a student suspects that a violation has occurred, he or she may submit to the instructor of the course a written, dated, and signed report of the suspected violation within fourteen days of witnessing or discovering the violation. Persons who have knowledge of the violation may be summoned by the faculty member to be questioned, or may be called to give testimony before the Judicial Board. 
  3. Charges against students which cannot be resolved by the end of the semester may be continued to the next semester. 

Procedures for Determining Level of Responsibility for Violations and Penalties 

After a violation has been alleged, one of the two following procedures must be followed: 

  1. The student who is accused of the violation and the faculty member involved may choose to have the faculty member decide the case and assess the penalties as he or she determines. There will be no appeal process for cases decided in this fashion. 
    • A faculty member who suspects a student of violating academic regulations will notify the student of the allegation, within seven days of the discovery by the faculty member, of the grounds for suspicion. 
    • Within seven days of this notification, the student must sign a statement agreeing to abide by the decision of the faculty member. 
    • Should the faculty member find the student to be guilty, the faculty member must submit a letter to the administrative head of Student Affairs describing the violation and the penalties applied within one week of the resolution of the case. A copy of this letter must be sent to the student. The letter will be kept in the student's file in the Student Affairs Office for a period of five years. 
    • Should the administrative head of Student Affairs find upon receipt of this letter that the student has previous violations, the administrative head of Student Affairs shall promptly consult the Chair of the Judicial Board for purposes of convening a hearing before the Board to determine the sanctions to be imposed. The Board shall follow the procedures set down for pre-hearing notification of the accused student, for the conduct of the hearing to determine the sanctions, and for the post-hearing. 
    • If, within a reasonable period of time after a decision is rendered, new evidence becomes available or extraordinary circumstances are revealed, a student may request the Judicial Board to reconsider the case. Such a request must be made in a letter addressed to the administrative head of Student Affairs, who will then consult with the Chair of the Judicial Board as called for in the pre-hearing procedures to decide whether to grant the request. 
  2. The student accused of the violation, or the faculty member involved, may choose to have the case heard directly by the Judicial Board. 
    • In this instance, the party so choosing must present to the administrative head of Student Affairs a written, dated, and signed statement of the reasons for the hearing within fifteen days of discovery of the violation. 
    • The administrative head of Student Affairs, in consultation with the chair of the Judicial Board, will initiate the pre-hearing procedures followed by the Board, and, if warranted, the hearing, sanction, and post-hearing procedures. 
    • Should the administrative head of Student Affairs be aware of previous violations by the student, or be made so aware examining the student's file, such information must be withheld from every member of the Judicial Board until such time as the accused student may be found guilty of the charges under consideration. After such a determination of guilt, the Board will consult with the administrative head of Student Affairs to learn of any previous violations and will use such knowledge in determining the sanctions. 
    • The faculty member involved must await the results of the Board's procedures before assessing any penalties in the course. 
    • If the student is found guilty, the Board must submit a letter to the administrative head of Student Affairs describing the violation and the penalties applied. 
    • This letter will be kept in the student's file for five years. A copy must be sent to the student and to the faculty member involved. 
    • In every case concerning academic integrity, the faculty member has the final authority for determining penalties to be applied within the course. Sanctions as called for in the procedures of the Judicial Board involving course grades are only advisory to the faculty member involved. The Judicial Board has authority to determine administrative sanctions. 
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60.06 Ownership of Written Work

Arcadia University acknowledges that its students own the intellectual and creative contents of the work which they produce in their academic courses. Student essays, for example, are the property of the students who wrote them, and instructors at all levels should accordingly be prepared to return essays to their student owners after they have been evaluated. 

Arcadia University makes a distinction, however, between ownership of the intellectual contents of students' work and ownership of the actual physical object which contains those contents. Particularly in the case of examinations, instructors may choose to keep the completed exams in their own possession, since ownership of examination questions resides with the instructor, and not with the students who took the examination. Instructors have the right to retain in their possession both the questions and answers on objective exams, or on objective portions of exams. Students have the right, however, to be shown objective examination answers if they so request. Instructors should inform students of the period of time during which students will be able to see examination materials. 

Academic or creative work in which the substantive contents are inseparable from the physical object, as in the case of paintings, jewelry, musical performances which have been recorded and the like, constitute a separate category as regards the questions of ownership. In such cases, the student is deemed the essential owner of both the contents and the physical object in question, even though the instructor must have the discretionary right to use and even influence the creation of such objects for valid pedagogical reasons. 

Should a conflict arise over whether the student or the instructor owns a given piece of work, students and instructors alike will be entitled to refer the matter to the Provost for consideration.

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60.07 Guidelines for Undergraduate Independent Study

Definition of Independent Study 

Independent Study, as commonly used for many years in most Universities is subject to is interpretation. It is intended to mean individual study under a faculty supervisor. Independent Study is independent of the class room, but not totally without guidance, supervision, and periodic assessment throughout the semester by the faculty supervisor. 

As defined at Arcadia University, Independent Study is an individual project under the direct supervision of a faculty member in an area in which the student has had prior formal training or experience. 

Procedures 

  1. Each department is to send a written reminder to its majors by mid-semester of the deadline for application to the department to enroll for independent study. The deadline, to be set by the department, may be no later than one week after pre-registration materials are distributed each semester. 
  2. A student may register for independent study no later than the final day of preregistration. The registration card must be accompanied by a statement signed by the department chair which indicates 
    • a. that the department faculty fully approves the independent study, or 
    • b. that the department has received the application and it merits consideration and further refinement. In the latter case, the department must notify the Registrar's Office of final approval no later than the first day of classes in which the independent study is to be pursued. Unless such approval is received by the Registrar on the specified day, the student must register for a regular course in lieu of independent study. 
  3. At the beginning of the semester the supervisor and the student are to set up a schedule for conferences and submission of work during the semester. The schedule is to include a date by which sufficient work must be submitted to the instructor to permit mid-semester evaluation. If the work is not satisfactory, a mid-semester warning should be given as in other courses. 
  4. A committee is to be appointed by the department at the beginning of the semester. All members of the committee are to be involved as seems appropriate throughout the term and in the evaluation at the end of the study. In addition to the supervisor, the committee should include at least one other member of the department and one member from another department. 
  5. Students whose independent study is a non-verbal subject (i.e., in fine arts, theater, music) should be encouraged to submit a written critique of the project. 
  6. The final paper, project or product must be submitted to the supervisor no later than one week before the last day of classes in the semester; in the case of seniors, no later than two weeks before classes end. 
  7. Three copies of the final paper, or critique in the case of a non-verbal project, are to be submitted; one to be filed in the department, one in the Provost's office, and one in the Library where students and faculty may have access to it. Copies will be kept on file for five years. 
  8. At the completion of the project, the student shall file with the Registrar a brief title and an abstract in the case of a paper or a brief title and description of a non-verbal project. The title will appear on the student's transcript and the abstract or description will be kept in the student's permanent file. (For papers written in a foreign language, the title and abstract are to be in English.) 
  9. A student may not enroll for more than one independent study in one semester. 
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60.08 Undergraduate Examination Policies

Information about undergraduate examination policies is found on the Undergraduate Academic Policies webpage.

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60.09 Undergraduate Grading Policies

Information on undergraduate grading policies is found on the Undergraduate Academic Policies webpage.

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60.10 Graduate Grading Policies

Information on graduate grading policies is found on the Graduate Academic Policies webpage.

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60.11 Class Attendance

Information on Class Attendance is found on the Undergraduate Academic Policies webpage.

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60.13 Faculty Absences

Faculty members are responsible for meeting all scheduled classes. If a faculty member must be absent due to illness or other reasonable cause, he or she should notify the department chair; if the chair is not available, notify the office of the appropriate dean who will contact the department chair. 

Meaningful alternative assignments or make-up classes should be scheduled to compensate for any classes missed. Faculty members should notify the department chair of all scheduled classes that do not meet. If a faculty member seems to be absent too often, the department chair should discuss this with him or her and, if necessary, with the appropriate Dean. In those cases where absence can be anticipated, the faculty member has the responsibility to inform students far enough in advance to prevent needless travel. Because Arcadia has a fairly large commuter population, instructors should develop a communication chain, e.g., phone, e-mail addresses, posting on Blackboard to notify students of emergency cancellations due to faculty absence or due to inclement weather when the University officially closes or opens late. 

If a person has a unique professional opportunity that requires absence from the campus for more than one week, he or she must get prior approval from the department chair and from the appropriate Dean. The faculty member is responsible for making arrangements to cover his or her classes and other on-campus obligations and the department chair and the appropriate Dean must also approve these arrangements. Permission will be given only in exceptional cases, i.e., where the activity cannot be done during a sabbatical, during the summer, or any other time of the year, and is a significant professional activity. Final authority will rest with the appropriate Dean.

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60.14 Enrollment of Family Members in Faculty Classes

Objectivity in grading is a fundamental tenet of academic responsibility. No policy or practice should be permitted that allows colleagues or students to doubt that objectivity is thorough and complete.

In the matter of faculty personnel policies, faculty are restricted in their involvement in decisions regarding family members and others because they present "a clear conflict of interest in the exercise of independent and objective judgment."

By analogy, students will not be permitted to enroll in credit‐bearing courses taught by family members (defined here as spouse and parents).

Under some circumstances, this prohibition may have the effect of restricting the curricular options of the children or spouses of faculty who elect certain majors when studying at Arcadia. If, in the opinion of the appropriate Dean, such restrictions diminish the quality of the educational experience offered to faculty children, tuition will be paid at another institution up to the limit of tuition benefit for which that faculty member is normally eligible (e.g., post‐1985 appointees, 25% of Arcadia tuition; 1973‐1985 appointees, 50% of Arcadia tuition; pre‐1973 appointees, 100% of Arcadia tuition). In the case of spouses, no other support can be provided.

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60.15 Policy on Staff Teaching Courses

Full‐time staff will be permitted to teach one course a semester upon the approval of their supervisor, normally not during working hours; exceptions will be possible only with the approval of the immediate supervisor and the unit’s senior administrator.

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60.16 Credit Hour Policy

Background

The U.S. Department of Education uses the “credit hour” as a measure of ensuring consistency both within and between institutions of higher education. This is necessary for ensuring the transferability of a “credit hour” and demonstrating that a course maintains sufficient academic rigor, content, and depth. 

Each institution is required to establish and enforce a definition of “credit hour” as a requirement for eligibility for federal funding. The current “Credit Hour Policy” recognizes the inherent differences of teaching and learning formats and/or delivery modality. 

Definition

The U.S. Department of Education defines “credit hour” as: 

“…An amount of work representing in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than: 

(1) One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or, 

(2) At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.” 

Policy

Arcadia University has adopted a variant of the traditional “Carnegie Unit” as a measure of the academic experience associated with a “credit hour.” The Registrar’s Office utilizes this policy in the scheduling of courses each semester. 

1. Traditional face-to-face lecture sessions
  • A credit hour is associated with a minimum of 50 minutes per credit hour each week over a 14-week semester, plus a 15th week consisting of a final examination or project presentation. 
  • This is applied in the scheduling of courses such that: A 3-credit course should meet no less than 2100 minutes during the course of the semester, and a 4-credit course should meet no less than 2800 minutes during the course of the semester. In addition, it's assumed there's 2 minutes of work performed in preparation of, or as the direct result of, each minute in the class. In a broader context, for every hour in the class, there's two hours of outside student work associated with it. Outside work is typically categorized as reading, studying, problem solving, writing, or preparation. 
2. Supervised group activities (such as laboratory, studio) 

Laboratory or studio are associated with a minimum seat time of 100 minutes per credit or imputed credit (since laboratory and studio sessions generally carry no direct credit) each week over a 14 week semester. In addition, it's assumed that for every 2 hours of directed instruction in the laboratory or studio, the students perform an additional 1 hour of outside work on their own. 

3. Supervised individual activities
  • Practicum, clinical internships, and student teaching represent a minimum of 30 contact hours for each credit hour. 
  • Thesis/Dissertation and Independent study represents a minimum of three hours of student work per week over the semester per credit hour. 
4. Variations

Courses that utilize different pedagogical approaches may seek variations from the standard credit hour definitions. The expectation is that quality, quantity, and rigor of learning and academic work associated with a “credit hour” will be consistent regardless of location, teaching mode, or class duration. Variations to the standard credit hour policy are considered by approved the Undergraduate Academic Programs Committee or the Graduate Academic Programs Committee. 

  • Web-facilitated face-to-face courses: Web-facilitated face-to-face courses use online content delivery for less than 30% of the course and blended courses use online content delivery for 30 – 79% of content delivery. These courses may have a proportional decrease in scheduled “seat time” associated with a credit hour with the expectation that the additional activities correspond directly to the reduced seat time. 
  • Online courses: Courses that use online content delivery for greater than 80% of the course may meet infrequently or not at all in a face-to-face session during a semester. 
  • Upper-level courses: Some 300-level and 400-level courses are scheduled for less than the 2800 minutes of seat time because of an expectation of more than 2 hours of “outside time” for every 1 hour in class. 
  • Non-standard course duration: Credit hours awarded for learning and academic work completed in short sessions (summer session, half-semester courses, etc.) will be comparable to the standard 14+1 week semester but distributed over a shorter period of time.
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60.17 Learning Resource Network

Information about the Learning Resource Network is found on the Learning Resource Network website.

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60.18 Tutoring Services for Students

Information about tutoring services for students is found on the Learning Resource Network website.

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60.19 Disabled Students: Statutory Obligations

Information about disabled students statutory obligations is found on the Disability Support Services website.

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60.20 Students with Disabilities at Arcadia University

Information about students with disabilities is found on the Disability Support Services website.

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60.21 Support Services Available for Students with Disabilities

Information about support services for students with disabilities is found on the Disability Support Services website.

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60.22 Specific Instructional Strategies for Assisting Students with Disabilities

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60.23 Classroom Evacuation Planning for Students with Disabilities

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