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For Professors: About CSA

Most professors want to see students succeed, while also having a pleasant time teaching and making efficient use of time too. 


Many education-improvement efforts strive to increase student success, often addressing professors' methods or course design: active classrooms, scaffolded/formative content, transparent course design, supportive class culture, etc.


But one aspect has been long overlooked -- unfair academic treatment of students. This is an unspoken reality of current university operations -- some professors do things that aren't OK, and the resulting issues can have hugely negative consequences on students, especially the most vulnerable students like first-generation or low-income students. 


We are NOT talking about things that fall within academic freedom, which is essential to the university's mission. And we're not talking about letting students be irresponsible, be "snowflakes", or demand unreasonable things (and we know all those things are on the rise). What we ARE talking about is extreme academic mistreatment, often departing from a university's own policies -- things most of us profs would agree "That's not OK". Like not showing up to more than half of lectures with no accommodation either and then failing half the class, having vindictive policies like "If you ask for a regrade you lose your 'no whining' points which is 30% of the course", like putting exam tear-outs in a professor's self-published book and not accepting copies to ensure students pay full price for new books every term, and more. All those are real cases -- and all at one school. 


Such mistreatment happens in part because students don't know what's OK and not OK, or don't know how to address issues, or are afraid of retribution if they do.


Hence, the need for an organization to help ensure fair academic treatment of students. It's important such an organization be professor-formed, so that it has a deep respect and appreciation of a professor's job, and it ONLY addresses egregious cases, without burdensome intrusion into a professor's tough job. So that it can, when appropriate, educate students as to the reality of learning and real life -- students must be responsible, must work hard, must learn to deal with what they may view as harsh treatment or strict rules, and must accept that things are imperfect and won't always go their way. And, so that it can work WITH professors to help reduce such issues, educating professors on techniques and policies that can lead to a more pleasant and efficient teaching experience while improving student success too. CSA's board is primarily made up of professors. 


We hope professors will embrace and support CSA's mission to improve the academic experience for students and help them gain more success!

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