Preparing to Teach


Scheduling Courses and Classrooms

The E&PS Front Office staff devises a course schedule three quarters before classes start. They will reach out to you prior to scheduling for teaching time and room preferences. Any requests for changes after the initial schedule has been published must be requested and approved first by the Department Chair. The Chair will try to accommodate changes. For more information on classroom scheduling policy, please visit: For the current course schedule, please see:

Canvas Learning Management System

Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS) that the UCSC uses as an integrative digital tool and resource for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting and delivery of educational courses and training programs. It is a cloud-based service where instructors and students interact, collaborate, teach, learn, and communicate through course sites developed by instructors. For more information, training and login please click here.

Ordering Textbooks

Faculty can submit their orders through the Course Materials Website,, using their CruzID, for a personalized experience. If there is an issue accessing your courses or submitting your textbook information, you can send an email to or call 831-459-1333, for assistance. For more detailed instructions on how to use the Adoption Portal, please visit the Faculty/Staff Resource page at

Reserve Books

McHenry Library and the Science Library will be happy to place books on reserve for your class.  Normally, information is due about two months before classes begin.  To reserve books from McHenry Library email, and for the Science Library email For more information, please visit

Other Course Readings

If you wish to provide other material (e.g. unpublished manuscripts, articles) you can arrange for the duplication of this material. The Front Office staff can assist with small copy jobs (see Copy Jobs below). For voluminous copy jobs, we typically use the UCSC Copy Center.  Having a course reader for students to purchase may be preferable to requiring students to read many library reserve materials. Please use this form to request a course copy job.

Copy Jobs

Front Office staff can assist with course-related copy jobs.  Please drop your request off at least 24 hours in advance.  Please make sure to fill out a pink copy job request slip and clip it to your original document to be copied before dropping it in the copy job basket.  If it is your first time requesting assistance with a copy job, please let one of the Front Office staff know so we can show you where the basket is and answer any questions you may have.

Equipment and Media Needs

Limited equipment for course support is available for your use.  The Front Office has overhead projectors, slide projectors, data projectors, and laser pointers that you may check out.  All of the E&PS classrooms/labs (E&MS D226, D236, D250 and D258) have dedicated data projectors in them, in locked drawers.   Many of the larger classrooms have this equipment built-in.  To access media equipment in your classroom, call Media Services at x9-2117 (x9-5858 in an emergency) for the combination to the classroom’s media cabinet.  As a general rule, Media Services requires two working days notice for media requests for primary courses and five working days for special events (seminars/talks).  For a full description of the services provided by Media Services, please visit

Office Hours

Faculty, lecturers, and TAs should hold office hours to answer students’ questions, at least 2 hours a week during the academic quarters they are teaching.  Notify the Front Office staff, as well as your students, of your office hours or of any anticipated changes.  A list of faculty office hours will be posted online and in the hall outside the front office.  If you cannot be present during office hours, it is advised that you place a note on your door and notify the Front Office.

Accessing Class Rosters

Class rosters can be accessed through Please see these step-by-step instructions.

Absence from Teaching

Faculty must inform the Department Chair of any absences from teaching.  Faculty members are responsible for arranging for a substitute instructor, and should also notify the Front Office so that they can answer any questions from students.

Permission Codes

Permission codes are released to all instructors and co-instructors by the Undergraduate Advisor for undergraduate courses and the Graduate Advisor for graduate courses prior to a quarter’s enrollment period.  The following information is provided to assist you in utilizing this tool. 
What is a permission code?
A permission code is a number issued by an instructor to a student who:
  • Does not meet published course restrictions (major, class level, college)
  • Does not meet course prerequisites (e.g. a student with transfer credit)
  • Is permitted to add a class after the 7th day of instruction    
  • Is permitted to add a class that is full (closed) provided the room has seating available.
Permission codes do not override a time conflict or the closed status of a mandatory discussion section. Permission codes are unique to a specific course section, may be used only once by a student, and may be used any time after the beginning of Open Enrollment.  Receiving a permission code guarantees that the student has a place in the class.
The Instructor will receive a permission code roster, if appropriate, for each course section that is taught.  If an instructor is teaching more than one section of the same course, it is critical that codes are issued from the correct roster.  To avoid issuing the same code to two students, it is advised that the instructors record each student’s name or ask each student to sign the roster.
Permission codes are required for Interview Only and Individual Studies courses since the call number for the course is not published.  Instructors need to obtain prior approval from the Department Chair or Manager if they wish to increase enrollment above the projected limit.

Evaluation of Courses

Instructor and TA evaluations are administered online using BLUE. They are distributed beginning the 8th week of class. Evaluations are used in all faculty merit review and promotion cases, and in reappointment of all lecturers. Your instructor evaluations can be viewed through the DivData Biobibnet portal, under the "Courses Taught" tab. For more information, please visit BLUE.

Taking a Leave of Absence

Faculty leaves can take many forms, and should always be discussed well in advance with the Department Chair.  Existing campus policy governs informal faculty leaves of absence during the academic year and especially while the quarter is in session.
If you are planning to be away from campus for any length of time during the academic year, please follow these guidelines:
For a period of absence of one to seven consecutive days, you must notify (via e-mail or in writing) the Department Chair in advance, who can then approve the leave.  Please include the following information: dates of proposed absence, reason for absence, and arrangements for covering your teaching duties during your absence (if you are teaching a course).
For a period of absence longer than seven days, you must formally request the Dean’s approval.  You should give the Department Chair a written request addressed to the Dean and containing the information indicated above.  The department will review and approve the request and forward it to the Dean.  Once that request is received and approved, a leave of absence form will be prepared for your signature.
It is helpful to notify the Chair at the beginning of each quarter about any anticipated absences, rather than waiting until a few days before you plan to leave.
The Campus Academic Personnel Manual, spells out the regulations on the various types of formal leaves available.

FERPA – Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

The disclosure of information from student records is governed by the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and, in part, by the State of California Education Code.  It is the purpose of these policies to provide reasonable interpretations of those laws and to protect students’ right of privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of California.  Where the law is silent, the campus shall be guided by two principles: (1) the privacy of an individual is of great weight; and (2) the information in a student’s file should be disclosed to the student upon request.

Homework, Exams, Papers: Returning Them to Students

The Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires that instructors return homework and exams in a manner that prevents public view of another person’s work and grades.  Placing papers in boxes outside office doors is clearly a violation of the spirit of FERPA.  Individual faculty, rather than the University, are open to litigation and fines for violating the FERPA should a student or students decide to take action.
Campus mailboxes are federally protected.  Removing anything from a mailbox constitutes a federal offense.  Faculty cannot put homework or exams in student mailboxes or in their own mailboxes in the Front Office and request that students go there to pick them up.
The safest policy is to have teaching assistants hand out work individually ten minutes before the class ends or after class ends.  If a class does not have a teaching assistant or reader, it is likely that there are few enough students that personally handing back the assignments during class time would not be an undue burden.  If students miss class, they may pick up their work from the instructor’s office during their designated office hours.  For assignments at the end of the quarter, the instructor may require that students provide stamped, self-addressed envelopes so that work can be returned to them if they wish to have it.
It is also important to stop the practice of posting grades, as this is another violation of FERPA.  Grades are available to students via AIS, so it is not necessary for faculty to post grades outside their office.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

You may be asked to make special accommodations for students with disabilities (including learning and psychological disabilities).  By state law, you are required to respond to these requests.  Please do not question the student in regard to the details of the disability.  If they do not already have an Authorization for Accommodation from the Disability Resource Center (DRC), please encourage them to contact the DRC at
If a student gives you an Academic Access Letter, you are responsible for providing the testing and classroom accommodations listed. If you have questions or concerns about a particular accommodation that has been authorized, contact the student’s DRC Coordinator whose name is printed on the AA letter.
Faculty are responsible for
  • Implementing and arranging exam accommodations for DRC students with the help of their department (ie. providing/reserving testing rooms).
  • Consulting with th DRC Service Coordinator if you feel the DRC accommodation fundamentally alters a course requirement
  • Making course materials accessible in partnership with the DRC.
The Disabilities Resource Centers assists faculty with making special arrangement. The types of accommodation that may be requested could include setting up separate exams for some students, giving them additional time for exams, providing large-type materials, allowing sign language interpreters, note-takers, or tape recorders in your classroom, or moving to an accessible classroom. For more information, please visit the Disability Resource Center Website.