What if ... ? (questions, absences, course drops, etc.)

Logistical Questions

Address questions about course logistics to the FCCWL staff, not to your mentor or conversation partner. FCCWL language courses each have a staff member assigned as the course organizer for the course. The course organizer for all Mentored language courses is Theo Hull. They are the person to contact about issues such as difficulties purchasing or accessing materials, scheduling problems, evaluation scheduling, and questions about meeting course requirements. They can be contacted at fcmlp2@umass.edu or 413-542-5264.

Scheduling and Attendance Policies

  • Absences: Students are graded on attendance. If you are ill, have a job or graduate school interview, or a religious holiday, you can be excused from the session so that you are not penalized for missing a session. Students who need excused absences should e-mail the FCCWL staff AND their mentor/ conversation partner. Students who miss a session will not get a makeup session and need to arrange to spend more time on the material on their own. Students missing tutorials should arrange to get their completed homework to the mentor for grading.
  • Extended absences due to health or personal emergencies: Students who experience serious health problems or other personal emergencies need to consult with the health services and/or appropriate deans on their home campus. If extended absences are necessary, the program director/associate director will work with the student and appropriate deans to determine the best course of action.
  • Schedule changes: If you develop a schedule conflict with your tutorial or conversation session times at any time during the semester, you will no longer be guaranteed a space in the course. If there are alternate spaces available, you may request a change, but changes are not guaranteed and the opportunites to change to a different time are extremely limited. Schedule change requests should go through the program director/associate director, not through your mentor. Mentors do not organize schedules.
  • Snow emergencies and snow days: Winter snow emergencies occasionally cause delays and cancellations of Five College bus service, early closings of campuses, or snow days being declared on one or more campuses. Because we do not want any students or mentors to get stranded away from their home campus, we will generally cancel tutorials and conversation sessions if 1) the National Weather Service has issued a warning for severe winter weather for the time period of the sessions; and 2) the students and or mentors affected would have to travel to other than their own campus. We will not cancel if the mentor and the students involved live on the same campus. If a snow day has been declared in the morning, tutorials and conversation sessions may still take place late in the late afternoon or evening if the weather has cleared and the buses are running. Cancellations due to weather will be sent by e-mail. If you have weather related questions, e-mail fclrc@hfa.umass.edu. If the office is open you may also call 542-5264. If the office is closed because of weather, use e-mail instead.
  • Final evaluation dates are on your syllabus: Do not make travel plans (such as buying a plane ticket) until you know the exact date and time of your final evaluation. Graduating seniors, please remind the office of your senior grade deadline!

Other Important Policies

  • Drop and course repetition policies: Drop policies differ by home campus. The drop policy for your campus will be stated on the course contract you will sign when you register for the course. A student who receives a grade below a B- for the course or who has repeated absences from conversation sessions will not be allowed to enroll in future FCCWL courses. FCCWL courses cannot be repeated to replace a failing grade or to improve a grade.
  • Accommodations: The University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Five College Center for World Languages are committed to providing an equal educational opportunity for all students. If you have a documented physical, psychological, or learning disability on file with Disability Services (DS) at UMass or on your home campus, you may be eligible for reasonable academic accommodations to help you succeed in your FCCWL course. If you have a documented disability that requires an accommodation, please notify the program director within the first three weeks of the semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made.