Standards & policies

General Assignment Policies & Procedures


Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all submitted work must be typed. Assignment instructions will specify whether an electronic or hard copy is required in each instance, as well as the factors taken into account in grading written assignments. Students should always adopt APA 6th edition style guidelines for citing and referencing sources in academic style work. Please consult the APA manual for details. (Note that this is NOT the same thing as AP writing style!)


Public relations is a heavily deadline-driven field. As a result, in this class no late work will be accepted beyond the stated due date, for any reason. Note that deadlines may change over the course of the semester to reflect the evolution of the projects, so you are responsible for keeping track of due dates for drafts and final reports, as well as any smaller assignments that may be given out during the course of the semester.

I strongly recommend that you use some sort of cloud storage for your work, such as DropBox, iCloud, SugarSync, or others, so that at least partial assignments can be submitted if you have an unexpected emergency that prevents you from attending class on time.  For group work, any of those services and/or Google Drive is a far superior solution to email, as it ensures that everyone on the team has access to the material at all times.


Grades will be calculated and assessed according to the criteria stated below. A “C” reflects adequate performance, meeting the minimum terms of the assignment but without exhibiting the degree of technical proficiency and/or critical thinking expected at this stage of your academic career. Good work that satisfies college-level expectations for an assignment earns in the “B” range. An “A” grade is reserved for obviously exceptional work. Your performance will determine your final grade in this course.

Grades are not rounded up beyond the nearest half point. Points that fall on the cusp between letters will only be rounded up if they are above the .5 mark. Thus a score of 94.6% will receive an A, but a score of 94.4% will receive an A-.


Percentage Score Description
A+ 99-100% Exemplary
A 95-98% Excellent
A- 90-94%
B+ 87-89% Very Good
B 84-86% Good
B- 80-83% Satisfactory
C+ 77-79%
C 73-76% Adequate
(Minimum required for credit toward major )
D 63-72% Minimal Pass
F 0-62% Fail


The best ways to contact me are via email, or to visit my office during office hours. You do not need an appointment to stop by during the posted hours. I will also make every effort to be available for meetings at other times if your schedule does not permit you to attend office hours. We can also meet virtually via Skype or Google+ hangout, either during my online office hours or by appointment.


Please include “JMC494” in the subject line of any emails. You will be expected to use your ASU email for correspondence. Please keep all communication professional.


This WordPress site ( hosts the primary location of the syllabus and classroom policies, which will be kept up to date electronically. In the event of a discrepancy between the online syllabus and any PDF or hard copy version, requirements stated in the online syllabus should be considered more correct and accurate. This site also contains all assignments, links to online readings, and other resources for the class. Announcements, changes and updates will be provided here and via announcements on Blackboard, which you should check frequently for updates. It is your responsibility to keep up with the class.


For this class, Blackboard is used primarily for grade tracking and submitting electronic assignments. Some materials may also be made available for download.


Twitter is an excellent platform for sharing links to resources, asking questions about class business, and carrying on brief conversations about the course material and projects. Links to additional resources will frequently be posted to my Twitter account ( Reading these items will allow you to participate more actively in class and enhance your understanding of the course material.

Classroom demeanor


Since this is a student-driven course, you are expected to attend and actively participate in every class meeting. Missing class, frequent late arrivals and leaving early will significantly lower your grade as  you will miss valuable content. Quizzes and in-class assignments may be given without prior notice and at any point in the class period. You will not be permitted to make up in-class work, regardless of the reason for your absence, unless you have a documented extreme emergency that requires you to miss multiple class sessions. Treat this class just as you would any important professional commitment.

There is no need to alert me if you are planning to be absent. Do not ask me what you will (or did) miss; see the course web site for any changes or new resources added and contact a classmate for notes on the material discussed in class. Your teammates are your best source of information on what is happening in class.

If you know in advance that you will be absent, you will still be expected to submit all assignments by the stated deadline. If you miss a deadline due to serious illness or other documented emergency, eligibility for an assignment extension will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Conferences or other planned absences will not be “excused”: you will still be expected to submit any assignments by the stated due date, and you will not be permitted to make up any in-class work that might be given during your absence.


  • Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally and courteously in class. This means, among other things, refraining from distracting and disruptive behaviors such as texting or talking (to each other or on the phone) during class discussions or presentations, eating, arriving late or leaving early. You may be asked to leave the class if you are being distracting or disruptive, and will not be permitted to make up any in-class assignments or quizzes you may miss as a result;
  • Your class notes, both on readings and on the content of in-class work, are vital to your success in the course. Make sure you understand the material, and write down terms, definitions, and relevant contextual information. Note taking is an essential professional skill for public relations practitioners (and anyone who will ever need to take notes at a meeting), so use this opportunity to hone your abilities in this area;
  • You do not need to make an appointment to come see me during office hours, although I will be speaking to students on a first come-first served basis, so on busy days you may have to wait. I welcome student visits: this is a great way to go over any points that are not clear, discuss assignments, etc. If your schedule does not permit you to come to my office during the posted hours, please don’t hesitate to ask or email me about setting an appointment to discuss your concerns.


If you are a student with special needs, such as those covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act, please contact me early in the semester, and get in touch with the Disability Resource Center immediately. They can establish your eligibility for special accommodations such as note-taking or alternative testing conditions. Contact them by calling (602) 496-4321 or visit

Cronkite School and ASU Policies


The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication practices inclusivity in student, staff and faculty populations in order to create an academic environment that embraces diversity of thought and acceptance of all people regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation or societal, political, cultural, economic, spiritual or physical differences.

To this end, the school directs efforts to the following four principles:

  • Actively seek out and encourage diverse populations to become productive members of the faculty, staff and the student body.
  • Create and maintain a work, learning and social environment that is cognizant and supportive of a diversity of human differences and beliefs.
  • Incorporate within the formal content of the curriculum and in each course an affirmation of the core journalistic values of accuracy, fairness, ethical behavior and sensitivity when reflecting an increasingly multicultural world.
  • Foster and support a climate in which events and activities of the school reflect diversity of awareness, sensitivity to and support for people of different origins, orientations and abilities.


Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The crux of our democracy is the ability of citizens to obtain honest, truthful and balanced information, and the credibility and integrity of the individual journalist and communications professional are crucial in that effort.

As the mission of the Cronkite School is to prepare students to become journalists and communication professionals, that credibility and integrity will be fostered within the educational environment of the school. To that end, a zero tolerance policytoward academic dishonesty will be enforced within every course and educational activity offered or sanctioned by the school.

Any allegations of academic dishonesty will automatically be referred to the Standards Committee of the school for review and recommendation to the dean of the school. If any student is found by the committee to have engaged in academic dishonesty in any form – including but not limited to cheating, plagiarizing and fabricating – that student shall receive a grade of XE for the class and will be dismissed from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reinstatement will not be considered. There will be no exceptions.

Please consult the Cronkite School’s definitions and policy of plagiarism, available online at Make sure you understand it, as you will be required to abide by its terms for your work in this class.

You will also be required to read and electronically sign the Cronkite School Academic Integrity pledge. This assignment will be posted to the class Blackboard site, and must be completed by the date indicated in the syllabus. Although it is worth zero points, you will not be permitted to continue in the course without signing this pledge, per Cronkite School rules.

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