Update from the Program in General Education
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Dear Gen Ed & Humanities TFs,

This email addresses the following top

  • Upcoming Events & Deadlines
    • Withdrawal Deadline (Mon., Mar. 6)
    • Housing Day (Thurs., Mar. 9)
    • Spring Break (Sat., Mar. 11 - Sun., Mar. 19)
  • Announcements
    • Spring 2017 Three-Hour Final Exam Schedule Now Available
    • Coop Bookstore Begins Returning Unsold Spring Term Books
  • Reminders
    • Midterm Course Evaluation/Early Feedback
    • Reporting Students' Midterm Progress
    • Students Encountering Difficulties

Please note that all Head TF emails throughout the term can be found on the Gen Ed website.

More information on the above topics can be found in Teaching in Gen Ed. If you have any questions as you prepare for the start of term, please don't hesitate to contact your course coordinator.

Laura E. Hess, Ph.D.  ▪  Associate Director
Program in General Education  ▪  Harvard College
Smith Campus Center 4th floor ▪  (617) 495-3002

Upcoming Events & Deadlines
Withdrawal Deadline
Monday, March 6th, is the last day that students may withdraw from a spring term course. After this date, students are responsible for all courses in which they are enrolled. If you encounter a student who is struggling, talk with your course head as soon as possible about how to report this concern to a Allston Burr Assistant Dean/Resident Dean of Freshmen.   
After the withdrawal deadline, it is a good idea to review your course enrollment one last time. You may wish to ask your teaching staff to make sure that those students who are attending section are all listed as enrollees on your class list. It is also a good idea to make sure you do not have anyone on your class list who has not sectioned or who is not attending section. 

Housing Day
Thursday, March 9th is Housing Day, which is when freshmen learn what House they will be living in next year and upper class students celebrate House pride by welcoming the freshmen. There are no expectations that courses will adjust their meeting times or assignment deadlines, but students may ask about this. If there is class, an assignment due or a midterm scheduled for Housing Day, you should ensure that the teaching staff is consistent in responding to student questions.

Spring Break
There will be no classes Monday, March 13th, through Friday, March 17th. Classes will resume on Monday, March 20th. The Gen Ed office will be open during Spring Break during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm).
Spring 2017 Three-Hour Final Exam Schedule Now Available
The Spring 2017 Three-Hour Final Exam Schedule is now available on the FAS Registrar’s website. This schedule includes only courses that have reported that they are holding a three-hour exam. If your course is missing from this list and is planning on holding a seated, three-hour exam during the Final Exam Period, please contact as soon as possible so that they can add it to the exam schedule. Please note that courses with alternate types of final assessment are expected to make their own arrangements. Information regarding FAS exam policy is available in Information for Faculty.

Coop Bookstore Begins Returning Unsold Spring Term Books
The Coop has begun to return spring term books, so please encourage any students who have put off buying books at the Coop to go purchase them asap.
Midterm Course Evaluation/Early Feedback
Midterm is a good time to get feedback from students about how things are going in the course so far. The Bok Center website has a variety of suggested midterm course evaluation forms and helpful tips. Additionally, the Bok Center provides helpful services such as video consultation and class observation, which Gen Ed Pedagogy Fellows Lulie El-Ashry, Billy French, and Andrew Yegian can conduct. The Fellows are also happy to help you review any midterm feedback you get.

Reporting Students' Midterm Progress
Instructors are asked to report students making unsatisfactory progress to the Allston Burr Assistant Dean/Resident Dean of Freshmen. This process can also be used to communicate special concerns about a student to the Assistant Dean or Resident Dean, even if satisfactory progress is being made. Your course head has recently received information from the Registrar’s Office about recording midterm progress in my.harvard. Once the midterm reporting tool opens, your course head can give you proxy access to enter midterm progress reports and you can continue to submit progress reports until the end of the term when final grading begins. These progress reports are used only for advising and counseling purposes, and will not be part of the student’s record. Reports are e-mailed directly to the student’s academic team, and also become an advising note, which will display to the student’s direct advisors via the advising journal. Learn more about reporting midterm progress.

Students Encountering Difficulties
If you have any students – particularly freshmen – encountering academic difficulties (e.g., section absences, changes in behavior or attitude, failure to submit course work), we encourage you to talk with your course head about when and why you might notify the student’s Allston Burr Assistant Dean/Resident Dean of Freshmen. You should also feel free to contact me (, 495-3002) with any questions or concerns. A student who is struggling in your class is likely to be struggling in other classes as well. Contacting an Assistant Dean or Resident Dean can be incredibly helpful for students who are struggling, and is in no way viewed as policing them.
Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center
1350 Massachusetts Avenue 
Cambridge, MA 02138

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