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First-Year Experience Program
Sample Syllabus DS 104

DS 104 - Seminar For International Students

Course Description:

Orientation course for international students. Includes study skills, academic regulations, the American educational system, individual educational and vocational goals, communication skills, and American customs. Especially intended for students during their initial semester of enrollment in conjunction with American language development course offerings. Two hours lecture/discussion each week. 2 semester hours

Course Text & Required Materials:

Required Text: International Student Seminar Manual, Second Edition
Goals & Objectives (Student Outcomes)

Students will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the educational system and regulations of Montgomery College.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the American educational system by country comparisons, textbook readings, and in-class lectures and discussions.
  • analyze their study habits for success in college, and be able to develop goals/plans for continued academic improvement.
  • develop an understanding of educational and vocational planning through class discussions, small group work, textbook assignments educational and career research or other appropriate means.
  • create an atmosphere where they will have the opportunity to practice and continue their development of basic communication skills in English through active class involvement, oral presentations and class discussions.
  • compare and contrast students' native culture with that of the United States and other countries, and to be able to better understand cultural similarities and differences, and the realities of culture shock.


Instructional Methods:  Lectures, small group activities, self-assessment, practice exercises, and class discussion.
Grading and course requirements:  

ALL ASSIGNED WORK SHOULD BE COMPLETED ON TIME. Credit will not be given for work handed in late unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. Additional assignments will be made in class and will be due as announced.

ATTENDANCE IS ESSENTIAL. If you miss a class, you are responsible for work done or assigned during your absence, and you will not receive assigned attendance points. Students present when the roll is called will receive two (2) points per class. Students late to class must inform the instructor at the end of class to receive one (1) point for attendance. In case of emergencies, get in touch with the instructor as soon as possible. THREE unexcused absences may result in you being dropped from the class with a failing grade.

Active Class Participation Is Expected. Students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss assignments and readings, as well as to engage in other class discussions.

Tests And Quizzes Must Be Taken In Class As Scheduled Or Announced. Make up tests are unavailable unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. 

Individual Appointments: All students enrolled in this course MUST schedule an appointment to meet individually with the instructor. Appointment days and times will be discussed later.

Plagiarism: All work you turn in for this class, or any other class, should be your own work and not come from another person, book, or the Internet. Use your own words to answer exercises and complete worksheets. Copying the words of another person is called plagiarism. This kind of cheating is a very serious offense. Students who cheat can be dismissed from the college. This includes tests, homework, and other assignments (such as Country Reports). If you must copy information from a book or another source, be sure to put quotation marks around the words and write down the information about the source: where the words were written, the page number (if it is from a book or magazine), and the name of the writer. If you need more information about quoting sources, please see your professor.  

Your reports should be typed. If you don't have a computer at home, please check with the staff of the Library or the Computer Lab.

Statement with Disabilities:

If you have a disability that will require accommodation, please make your request known. I am reasonably sure we can work out whatever arrangements are necessary, be it special seating, testing, or other accommodations. If you have not already contacted the Disability Support Services Office, please do so to obtain a letter authorizing your accommodations.

Policies and Procedures:

Course Expectations:

  • Students are encouraged and expected to attend each scheduled class meeting and participate actively in class activities and discussions. In the event that a student is unable to attend a class meeting, within good reason (e.g., emergencies, illness, religious observances, etc.), appropriate notice should be given to the instructor via email, phone, and/or in person. The student is responsible for making up the work that was missed or due on that day. Please note that in accordance with Montgomery College Policy, a one-credit course allows for only one unexcused absence. More than one unexcused absence may result in a lower grade. Three unexcused absences may result in the student being dropped from the class with a failing grade.
  • Students are expected to complete and turn in all assignments on time, unless previous arrangements have been made with the instructor. Late submission of an assignment, regardless of the reason, could result in a lower grade or no grade all.
  • Students are expected to be respectful of themselves, their peers, classroom guests, and the instructor. Moreover, confidentiality is essential; some personal information may be discussed or shared in this classroom and should stay in this classroom. Therefore, nothing should be discussed with anyone outside of this classroom.
  • Students are expected to turn cell phones and similar electronic devices off or to the vibrate function during class. If a student is expecting an emergency phone call, please inform the instructor at the beginning of class.
  • Students are expected to abide by the policies and procedures set forth in the Montgomery College Student Code of Conduct document: http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/academicevp/Student_PandP.htm

Audit: Students auditing this class are required to complete all assignments, attend class regularly, and take all exams. While no grade will be recorded, the student is expected to participate in class activities as if he/she was being graded.

Attendance and Participation: You are expected to attend all class sessions. It is your responsibility to confer with your instructor in the event of a necessary absence. Going to each and every class prepared to learn is one of the keystones of success in a college class.

Classroom Conduct: The College seeks to provide an environment where discussion and expression of all views relevant to the subject matter of the class are recognized as necessary to the educational process. However, students do not have the right to interfere with the freedom of the faculty to teach or the rights of other students to learn. All students are expected to comply with the Code of Conduct as it appears in the MC Student Handbook on the web at:www.montgomerycollege.edu/departments/academicevp/Student_PandP.htm

Emergency Class Cancellation Policy: If inclement weather or other emergencies forces the College or any campus or College facility to suspend classes or close, public service announcements will be provided to local radio and television stations as early as possible. If you have checked several stations and have not heard an announcement, you may call the numbers listed below or go to our Web site for closing information:

  • Montgomery County Emergency Information Line ...........................301-217-8800
  • Montgomery College's Institutional Advancement Office .................240-567-5310
  • Montgomery College Web Site ................................www.montgomerycollege.edu


Religious Observances : In the event that a student needs to miss class and as a result an assignment for religious reasons, please give the instructor reasonable notice (i.e., a week or more) and the appropriate accommodations can be made. However, it is the student’s responsibility to make up for the work she or he missed.  

Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism : When completing assignments, students are expected to create original pieces of work, without the help of others unless they are otherwise notified, and cite the literature they used themes, ideas, concepts, etc. from. For more information on academic dishonesty and plagiarism please consult the Montgomery College Policy on Academic Integrity:


Also, read about Academic Integrity and How to Avoid Plagiarism at:

Syllabus Amendments : The instructor reserves the right to make any necessary changes, whether they are additions or submissions of assignments, as he sees fit. However, students will be notified of any changes that make occur in a reasonable amount of time. 





  Content Manager: Christy.Partlow@montgomerycollege.edu
Last Updated: March 16, 2009