Teaching Strategies

FAQ for New Faculty

Learning and Teaching

Where can I find support for my teaching?

The Center for Teaching Excellence is committed to supporting all Boston College teachers as they investigate and implement best teaching practices. Faculty can attend workshops on varied topics as well as the CTE’s day-long Excellence in Teaching Day, participate in a Faculty Cohort on Teaching, or seek out confidential one-on-one consultations on a range of teaching and technology questions. Graduate students are welcome to participate in the Apprenticeship in College Teaching Program, a series of workshops to prepare for teaching in the academy. Faculty and graduate students alike may benefit from the Guide to Syllabus and Course Design.

What is Canvas and how do I use it?

Canvas is Boston College’s learning management system (LMS). Most basically, faculty can post course syllabi, important documents, and announcements on Canvas. Additionally, Canvas has a chat function, discussion board, gradebook, and much more.

How can I receive technological support for my teaching?

The Center for Teaching Excellence can provide support for teaching technologies such as:

The Teaching with Technology page can provide support for in-classroom technologies. In addition to this classroom-specific support, Information Technology Services (ITS) can provide more comprehensive technology assistance.

What is Boston College’s policy on academic integrity?

Boston College has a university-wide statement on Academic Integrity. Additionally, all faculty are encouraged to consult their schools and departments for more specific policies and procedures.

Does Boston College have university-wide policies on grading and attendance?

Boston College’s Grading Procedures guide outlines when grades are due, how to input and change grades, and what grades are valid. Students are expected to attend class and submit work on time, but the university outlines additional Attendance Policies in case of prolonged absence or absence due to religious observation. Many additional University Policies and Procedures can be found on the Student Services website.

How can I request a classroom?

Classroom Requests can be made if you would like to hold class at a different time or location than regularly scheduled. Additionally, the Center for Teaching Excellence has facilities, such as a recording studio, innovation lab, and technology-enabled classrooms, available for reservation.

How do I submit book orders?

Course book orders can be submitted through the bookstore website.

Where can I find information about Boston College’s libraries?

Boston College has many libraries on campus, the locations and hours of which you can find on the Boston College Libraries website. O’Neill Library is the main library on campus, located on Middle Campus. Faculty members are encouraged to utilize the Course Reserves system. Additionally, the Subject Librarians are incredibly helpful and assist in finding, creating, and making available resources for both faculty research and course projects. You can find more information on the Boston College Libraries’ guide for new faculty.

Basic Information

What do I need to know about the privacy of student data?

It is important for new faculty to learn about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which covers the data privacy rights of university students.

What do I need to know about students’ right to a safe environment?

All faculty should review Boston College’s Title IX reporting policies and procedures, and familiarize themselves with their responsibilities.

What do I need to know about reporting incidents of bias?

Faculty can review Boston College’s process for reporting hate crimes and bias-motivated offenses.

How do I find information about my students?

Most information about your students can be found in Agora Portal. After logging in with your BC username and password, the “Academics and Courses” section of “My Services” includes links to class rosters, email distribution lists, and Canvas. The Teaching with Technology page provides more detailed instructions to identify the students that you teach and advise, as well as how to send emails to your classes.

When and where do my classes meet?

Faculty should reference the Academic Calendar to note when classes are in session and when the students have breaks. In addition to these details, the Faculty Calendar also includes information about the release of course evaluations and due dates for grades. Course locations can be found on Agora Portal through the “Course Information and Schedule” link; the BC Campus Map can then help you find these locations on campus.

How do I find out if the school is closed for inclement weather?

Beginning at 6:00 AM the day of the closure, information will be posted to the BC Emergency page. BC also provides a notification service via text message. You can opt into this alert system when setting up your contact information through the Agora Portal by providing a cell phone number.

Student Services

Where can I direct students with questions about university policies and procedures?

The Student Services website can help guide students through questions about registration, important policies and procedures, and other campus resources. Boston College also has an extensive advising program.

How can I best support my students?

What support is available for students with disabilities and/or those seeking accommodations?

Boston College has clear Disability Accommodation Policies. Students should be registered with the Connors Family Learning Center (CFLC) if they are seeking academic accommodations. Students with hearing, visual, mobility, medical, and psychiatric disabilities should consult the Disability Services Office.

What academic and counseling support is available on campus?

Informal tutoring is available to all students through the Connors Family Learning Center (CFLC) and writing help can be found through the Online Writing Lab (OWL). In addition, Boston College has a comprehensive Counseling Services office.

General Information and Campus Resources

Where can I read the faculty handbook?

The Provost’s Office produces and posts the Faculty Handbook each year.

How can I find contact information about members of the Boston College community?

Contact information for Boston College community members can be found on the Campus Directory page, where you can search by name or scan by department. Additionally, you can access a list of Quick Phone Numbers and Email Addresses. There is also a complete list of Deans and Department Chairs for all BC schools and departments.

What is the best way to get to and from campus?

Boston College’s Transportation and Parking website has a wealth of resources regarding parking on campus, for both daily use and on special event days. The website also has tips on commuting to campus, and information about the BC Shuttles–which run locally around Brighton and between Main Campus and the Newton Campus–and their schedules.

What other activities are important on Boston College’s campus?

As a Jesuit institution, Boston College has a robust Campus Ministry program that serves all members of the Boston College community. Boston College also prides itself on its strong athletic tradition. Faculty may be interested in attending varsity athletic events or joining campus recreation programs. Finally, Boston College provides a number of cultural offerings. Faculty might want to explore the McMullen Museum of Art or take in a student theater performance. The semesterly Arts Calendar is a centralized list of the various performances, lectures, and exhibits on display across campus.

Where can I eat on campus?

BC Dining Services have locations throughout Upper, Middle, and Lower Campus, as well the Newton and Brighton Campuses. Hours and menus vary by location.