Forensics & Mystery Writing

Program Covenant

The following statements describe the procedures to be employed in the interactions between faculty and students, and to outline the faculty expectations of students in the Forensics & Mystery Writing program.

Our learning objectives are as follows:

• to understand the fundamentals of forensic science including scientific methodology and the role of technology.

• to understand the broad aspects of forensic science and its interdisciplinary components (i.e. chemistry, biology, medicine, anthropology, psychology, etc.)

• to become comfortable in a laboratory setting, and to work with science in a hands-on environment.

• to develop skills to transform a non-fiction science occurrence into a fictional literary work.

• to apply fiction writing techniques— including story development, character, tension, point of view, and language— to the writing of mysteries.

• to write clear, concise, and cogent sentences and paragraphs.

• to strengthen skills in quantitative and symbolic reasoning as well as critical and analytical thinking.

• to constructively workshop a peers' writing.

• to develop interpersonal skills necessary for productive group work.

General Expectations: All students are expected to take personal responsibility for and be actively involved in their own intellectual development. Communication is also extremely important. If you must miss class, let a faculty member know, in advance if possible. Email or phone messages are both appropriate.

All participants in this program should be socially responsible and enter the program in a spirit of good will. This means, among other things, that they will be on time and come prepared for all their classes (lectures, workshops, etc.). Well-prepared means having completed the assigned reading and homework, and that they will use appropriate program resources if they are having difficulty (these include other students, program tutors, the learning resource center, and the faculty).

They will consider the effects of their actions on others as well as themselves (for example, failure to participate actively in program meetings, workshops, and seminars seriously undermines the effectiveness and morale of other students). Students are expected to work co-operatively in program activities except when otherwise directed. Should any problems arise, we expect individuals will deal directly with the parties involved rather than simply complain to others. However, we also want our program to be a physically and psychologically safe place for students. If any behaviour by anyone in the program is felt to be threatening, students should contact an appropriate campus resource. All students should consult the TESC Social Contract.

Evaluation and Credit: Students will be evaluated on their contribution to group and workshop discussions, on their performance on the quizzes and exams given during and at the end of each quarter, on their performance on the homework exercises, on their performance in laboratory, and on the quality of their laboratory notebooks, journals submitted during each quarter.

Each student is required to complete a final self-evaluation for his or her participation in the program at the time they leave the program. This evaluation must be submitted to the faculty member in the evaluation conference, but it is the student's decision to submit it to the registrar. An informal self-evaluation will be required at the end of each quarter and for a fall 6 th week conference.

The following establishes a minimum basis for the award of credit:

•  Attend lecture and other activities, and be on time. Persistent absence or tardiness will be noted in your evaluation, and starting at three absences, you may begin losing credits. Absences in seminar, laboratory, and workshop are particularly serious. Three tardies (i.e. being over five minutes late) equate to one absence.

•  Complete all assignments and presentations on time. The faculty member should not be expected to read, comment, or even accept late work. If lateness is a continual problem, it will be noted in your evaluation.

•  To receive full credit, bring a completed self-evaluation to the evaluation conference. End-of-quarter conferences are required and students should not plan on leaving before the end of evaluation week.

•  Complete a faculty evaluation. This evaluation may submitted to the faculty member or the program secretary.

•  Demonstrate minimal comprehension of the subject areas covered. This is a judgement based on the faculty responsible for each program element, but the criteria will be discussed by the faculty team.

•  At the end of the each quarter, credit will be awarded on an all-or-nothing basis in each program component. Any loss of credit will be determined by the faculty team.

Incompletes: Incompletes will be granted only under extreme circumstances. Any incomplete must be resolved within two weeks after the completion of the summer session.

Evaluation Procedure: Students will be evaluated in writing at the end of the each quarter by the faculty. The evaluation will be completed by the student's seminar faculty with input and contributions from the co-faculty. The faculty member agrees to submit student evaluations to the program secretary in a timely fashion.

Personal Behavior:

•  Students are expected to maintain a safe, respectful, and collaborative environment at all times. Behavior that disrupts this environment may be cause for dismissal, resulting in loss of credit.

•  Students are expected to honestly represent their own work and properly attribute the work of others. Cheating and/or plagiarism are grounds for dismissal, resulting in loss of credit. (Plagiarism means submitting the work of another person and representing it as one's own, for instance copying a paper written by someone else or creating a paper by extracting wholesale passages of a book). If in doubt, check with the faculty or the Writing Center.

•  A student may forfeit the right to credit if s/he fails to submit assigned material on or before the due date. Exceptions require pre-arrangement with the faculty team.

•  Students have the right to appeal a dismissal to the Dean using the normal college appeal process. The Academic Dean for this program is Bill Bruner.

•  Any conflicts that cannot be resolved in the regular process of the program will be continued with the faculty outside of class. If the situation fails to come to amicable resolution, the regular grievance process of the college is, of course, open to any member of the college community.


I have read and understood the articles in the Forensics & Mystery Writing Covenant and agree to abide by them.

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Created by Rebecca Sunderman ( .....Last Updated on 9-20-04

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