Department of Psychology at Illinois State University

Department Civility Guidelines

Learning is a cooperative enterprise that is facilitated when people treat each other with civility and respect. As a student you are expected to contribute to a civil, respectful learning environment by observing the following guidelines. These guidelines can also be considered to be indicators of how you may be expected to behave as a professional in your future work setting:

Excerpts from the
ISU Code of Student Conduct

As ISU students, all students in Psychology classes are expected to abide by the ISU Code of Student Conduct. In particular, we remind you that the code states,

To be a student at Illinois State University, we expect you to recognize the strength of personal differences, while respecting institutional values. You are encouraged to think and act for yourself, as that is the purpose of higher education. However, we expect you to understand that the University has non-negotiable values in which it believes strongly. These values include character, conscience, civility, citizenship, appreciation of diversity, and individual and social responsibility.

Respect in the Context of Diversity

We all are unique individuals, with a myriad of experiences that influence how we view the world. Our heritage, history, culture, family, and many other aspects of our existence have shaped our attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, and values. It is likely that this diversity will surface at times. Experiencing disagreements and encountering different points of view is part of the learning process. Class discussions often provide valuable opportunities for participants to consider diverse views. Debates and dialogues about opposing viewpoints are most productive when participants speak to each other respectfully. When criticizing or questioning another person's idea, avoid personal attacks, disparaging remarks, and put-downs.

Forms of Address

To ensure that male and female faculty members are afforded the same level of respect, we feel it is important to comment on ways students address professors. It is important to note that all of your instructors have spent considerable time in preparation for their jobs and many have earned advanced degrees from years of work. Part of respecting this is acknowledging your instructors with appropriate forms of address. Unless you have been invited to address your instructor in some other way, the respectful way to address him or her is with the title "Dr."

Classroom Behavior

To contribute to a climate conducive to learning, you should use the following guidelines for classroom behavior:

  • Arrive to class on time
  • Give your instructor your full attention and contribute to classroom discussion in appropriate ways (talking and listening during appropriate discussion times)
  • Avoid wearing headphones, reading, sleeping, eating, or drinking during class
  • Remember to turn off your cell phone or switch to the vibrate mode during class
  • Wait until class ends and/or your instructor dismisses the class before you pack up
  • Honor your commitments for any scheduled appointment with faculty, graduate assistants, classmates, or involvement in a research study. If you cannot attend a meeting or a research study you are scheduled to attend, you should contact an appropriate person by phone or e-mail as soon as you realize you are unable to attend.