Department Handbook

University Policies and the Student Code of Conduct

departmetn handbookAll students are expected to behave in a manner consistent with University policies and the CSU Student Code of Conduct, and to follow all local, state, and federal laws.  For information about CSU regulations, graduation requirements, academic programs, Satisfactory Academic Progress, financial aid guidelines, and more, please consult University catalogs and other documents for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the Judicial Affairs web page. 

Please Reference these links for general and other information:

Any policies or procedures in this department handbook that are in conflict with those of the University will be superseded by those of Chicago State University.  Course descriptions can be found here.


Students must meet with their appropriate academic advisor to discuss course selections prior to being given an Alternate PIN (Personal Identification Number) for registration.  Students ultimately are responsible for knowing their degree curriculum plan and meeting degree requirements for their majors on a timely basis.  A degree planning sheet will be used during advising sessions so that students can keep track of classes already taken and those that yet need to be taken.  Advisors cannot be held responsible when students enroll in classes that were not mutually agreed upon during advising, and they end up delaying their anticipated semester of graduation because of those alternative choices.

Student Meetings, Mixers, Events, and Organizations

The department periodically schedules meetings and social mixers to provide students with important information, and to allow them to interact informally with classmates and faculty members.  The department also will soon restart its Gwendolyn Brooks Literary Society.  The Foreign Languages Club sponsors a variety of special events throughout the year related, for instance, to the Day of the Dead and Cinco de Mayo.  Students with high GPAs are considered for membership in the Foreign Languages Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota.  In addition, the English Department collaborates with CSU’s Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing to sponsor a Black Writers’ Conference biannually.  Students are encouraged to participate in the planning and execution of the conference, and to present their own creative works on panels and in performances.  Nationally and internationally recognized personages in the fields of writing and publishing attend the conference, offering inspiring keynote addresses and career tips, and conducting writing workshops.  Student admission is usually free.  Check your CSU email frequently for announcements about events and consult with your academic advisor.

Internships and Student Teaching

Certain majors in the department require internships and/or student teaching.  Various prerequisite classes and/or consent of the department are required to participate.  Students can be placed on or off campus in appropriate settings.  Over the years, students have sharpened their skills and prepared for careers in their chosen fields through exciting experiences with at least the following kinds of entities in the area:  newspapers, television stations, media/PR/sports information departments, blogs, journals, publishing and literary organizations, schools, and foreign service agencies.  

Students are encouraged to work with their advisor to explore options.  Most of these are unpaid opportunities, but there are paid internships available.  Staff in CSU’s Career Development Office also can help with internship and job placement.  It is wise to seek a placement the semester before that in which the internship will occur.  Typically, the campus-based faculty internship supervisor will conduct at least one site visit during the internship or student teaching semester to assess the student’s progress in achieving learning goals set forth at the start of the experience.

Teacher preparation candidates must be admitted to the College of Education, have taken certain courses, and have passed certain standardized content area tests before participating in the required internship and student teaching.  Consult the catalog and meet with the appropriate teaching program advisor for more information.

Student Relations Process

In the event of grievances regarding grades or other academic matters related to this department, there is a multi-step process.  A student must meet with the relevant instructor first.  If the matter is not resolved, s/he must then meet with the instructor and the Department Chairperson in the Chairperson’s office.  If things are not resolved at that level, a departmental Student Relations Committee will be impaneled, which includes department faculty members and one student.  In the instance of a requested grade change, the student will be responsible for providing prior to this meeting copies and/or access to assignment instructions and graded assignments in order to demonstrate that the quality of the academic work merits a grade change.  If the matter is not settled at the department level, students can then pursue it with the College of Arts and Sciences Student Relations Committee.  The decision of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences will be final.