Getting Started: Your First Week
This page explains vital information concerning course information, signing your employment contract, emailing students, managing the first day of class, enrolling students in your class and communicating with your department.
Click each link below for more information on the tasks you should complete before you start your first class, and throughout your first week:
- Obtain Necessary Information: Employee Contract, Course Content and Materials
- Review the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Make Contact with Your Class: Send an Email Before Class Starts
- Visit Your Classroom
- Conduct a Successful First Day
- Manage Your First Day
- Admit Student(s) Not Listed on Class Roster
- Record Attendance Weekly on the CPCC Attendance System
- Communicate with Your Department Regularly
Your Division Office will provide your employment contract(s). It is imperative that you sign your contract prior to the first day of class.
- Your Discipline Chair or Division Office will provide course materials and reporting forms.Instructor materials may include: textbook(s), accompanying CD, assessments, instructor’s manual, transparencies, class roster, campus map, information about parking, and emergency evacuation information.
All employees must comply with FERPA, Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This federal legislation sets forth the requirements regarding the privacy of student records, known as education records. These regulations govern (1) release of education records and (2) access to them. At post-secondary institutions, anyone who is enrolled (regardless of age) and former students are protected by FERPA.
All students receive an official college email account using Gmail. Learn more about student email accounts. E-mail students 1 week before class starts. CPCC student email service provides automatic generation of class email lists. These lists are created from master registration lists, and are updated automatically. Student drop/adds and withdrawals are reflected in updates made to each list within 24 hours.
- Visit the IT website to obtain a class e-mail list. This site requires CPCC log-in.
When you are off-campus you will need to use your CPCC login ID with @cpcc.edu attached to the end of your login ID, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, then your normal password
- Copy & paste class “address” into a new e-mail.
- Introduce yourself in the e-mail and welcome students to your class.
- Attach a digital copy of your syllabus. Encourage students to bring this the first day of class
If you have any questions contact IT Support at 704.330.5000.
Visit your classroom before the first day. You will need to call or visit campus security and request to unlock the door. Check to ensure the room accommodates your teaching style and technology requirements. If you need to change rooms contact your department. If you need AV equipment contact the campus library or visit the library website and then complete a request form.
This resource emphasizes that the beginning of a course can be stressful for both students and instructors. Being well prepared will reduce anxiety and make the first day of class productive and successful. That first day sets the tone for the rest of the semester, so you'll want to introduce the course, outline your expectations, and review the syllabus in detail. View Getting Results to review some basic tools for effective classroom practice.
The first class meeting (as all class meetings) should be conducted for the full scheduled time. You should introduce the course in terms of specific objectives of that course. The content and learning activities as well as means for evaluation should be outlined at this time. Introduce yourself and allow students to introduce themselves.
Because of schedule conflicts or registration errors, a student may be absent the first class meeting; however, a student is responsible for the material missed and the absence should be treated as any other absence.
- Arrive about 20 minutes early, your classroom door maybe locked. Contact Security to unlock your door. It may take up to 30 minutes for security to arrive.
- Greet students with a smile!
- Take attendance
- Tell them about yourself - briefly
- Conduct an Ice Breaker Activity
- Review your syllabus in detail
- Optional - If you are using Blackboard or Moodle to support documents or grading, demonstrate how student will access and use the information
- Discuss any additional departmental material or policies
If you have a student who is not on your class roster and does not have a validated receipt, DO NOT allow the student to attend your class. Send the student to the division director's office or to registration for assistance. When the student returns, expect the student to show a validated receipt that the problem has been corrected and that the student is properly registered.
Attendance matters for State Reporting of FTEs. The college is funded by the number of full-time equivalent students it has. Students must report to the class by the 10% date in order to be counted for FTE.
Take an online Attendance System Training course:
- Go to LearnerWeb
- Search in the Keyword field for "Attendance System"
- Click Launch!
- It’s important to communicate regularly with your Discipline Chair, Director, or Supervisor. Read your CPCC e-mail often during the week
- Read the information that comes to you from your Division Office and from the Office of Community Relations
- Talk to your immediate supervisor if you are unclear about anything that affects your students, your classes, or your teaching duties.