Resources for Faculty

Below is an assortment of resources for faculty.

Writing Support

Academic Support & Achievement Program

The Academic Support and Achievement Program (ASAP) has provided academic support tutorials and workshops for Cortland students since 1983. Our goal is to help your students understand how they learn most efficiently so they can do their best on your tests, papers and assignments. To that end, we diagnose and analyze student difficulties in reading, writing, math and study skills. Thereafter, we use the students’ courses as the context for their work with us, focusing such practice within course assignments is more meaningful for the students and provides tangible evidence of success.

Our services are open to all SUNY Cortland students and include Professional Tutoring support for academic writing, study skills, time management, college-level reading, and lower level math and math- related courses.  Peer tutors provide content tutoring for most general education freshmen/sophomore level courses.  These tutors work with students face-to-face and via real-time online tutoring.  We also provide Supplemental Instruction for traditionally challenging courses such as PSY 101, BIO 110/111, BIO 202, BIO 301/302, CHE 221/222, ECO 111 and others as the need arises and resources become available. Students may use these services through self -referral or faculty- referral means. Although 65 percent of our students come to the ASAP Office voluntarily, a faculty member can require a student’s attendance to address academic deficiencies by filing an “official” referral form for study skills, math or writing. These faculty requests are handled on a priority basis, and a tutorial report of the initial meeting will be forwarded to you. Please see your department secretary for the forms.

For faculty, we develop tailor-made classroom presentations. Such special presentations have included topics such as “Approaches to the Research Paper,” “test-taking skills,” “writing critiques or book reviews,” and course-specific study skills. Simply call Mariangela Chandler, director to make the necessary arrangements. Her number is ext. 4309. We also support faculty by providing Test Administration Services for your students with documented disabilities who cannot schedule suitable times to take their exams with you. Call Mariangela Chandler at ext. 4309 to find out how to access this service.

Certainly, most of our students are capable of meeting the challenges of your courses—once they make the adjustment from a sheltered environment to an independent learning environment. One of our most important challenges each year is to help new Cortland students (first-year and transfers) quickly adjust to the rigors of your academic standards. Please call us if we can help. Or, stop by. Our office is located in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-205.

Mariangela Chandler, Director
Teri Vigars, Assistant Director
Rickie McClure, Jeanine Rose, Esa Merson and Jen Drake, Professional tutors

A Successful Peer Tutoring Program

  • The administration of SUNY Cortland recognizes that the diverse population of students entering our college each year is experiencing a major change in life and the transition can be aided by a variety of student-supportive services.
  • Peer tutoring represents one type of supportive service for students.
  • Research has shown that trained peer tutors are much more effective than untrained peer tutors.
  • To find the best possible candidates for the peer tutor training class, we ask faculty to recommend students from their classes who have both received a B or better in the class and who have shown the ability to work well with their peers.
  • All students recommended by faculty receive a letter from the vice president for Student Affairs, inviting them to become peer tutors.
  • Students then attend a two-credit course, which includes approximately 22.5 hours of graded classroom instruction and 25 hours of tutoring after which they receive national certification from the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA). Grades for this class are based on the quality of the students’ written work as well as on the amount they contribute to class discussions related to the assigned readings. Once they are certified by CRLA, they are eligible to become paid peer tutors through the Student Government Association and the Equal Opportunity Program at SUNY Cortland. Additionally, many have gone on to tutor in other settings outside of the college.
  • Peer tutors are trained to help students become independent learners and find their own answers to problems-not provide answers. They help students learn how to ask the kinds of questions that will help them become good critical thinkers.
  • So, it all begins with excellent faculty recommendations, followed by a class that consistently receives high evaluations from the students and ends with a corps of peer tutors who will contribute to better retention of students and improved critical thinking skills.

Supplemental Instruction

      • Overall GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or above.
      • Grade of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) or above in the class for which the student is being recommended; prior enrollment with the professor who is to teach the selected course is preferred.
      • Demonstrated ability to empathize with struggling students.
      • Able to incorporate a variety of study strategies to accommodate students’ different learning styles.
      • Able to attend all classes of selected course.
      • Able to attend two-day SI Leader training session before semester begins.
      • Able to schedule three one-hour sessions per week during the semester at a variety of times to meet student needs.
      • Able to attend one monthly meeting with all other SI Leaders to exchange session ideas and experiences.
      • Able to attend one half-hour weekly meeting with SI Supervisor
      • (All of the above averages out to approximately 10 hours a week)

Supplemental Instruction is designed to assist students by providing group-based help sessions in a variety of classes that have been proven to be consistently difficult for students in the past. SI sessions are generally one-hour weekly sessions that are led by an SI leader- an individual who has taken the course during his/her academic career and has done extraordinarily well. Furthermore, the SI leader is trained to facilitate student-to-student dialogue and connect study skills appropriate to the targeted course material. These SI sessions allow students the opportunity to ask the SI leader questions, review class/lab notes, and prepare for exams in a relaxed environment. In the past, Supplemental Instruction has been proven to be most effective for those students who regularly attend SI sessions, prepared, and ready to discuss current material.

Most of the leaders we employ are hired based on professors’ recommendations.

We’re always looking for more recommendations so if you know of any students who meet the criteria below, please contact Jeanine Rose at or Esa Merson @ We’re located in the ASAP office in Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-205, or you can contact us by phone at 607-753-4309.

Minimum Qualifications:
In addition to the qualifications above a leader should be energetic, enthusiastic, personable, positive, patient, open-minded, flexible and able to think on his/her feet. Thank you for your recommendations. Your input is a vital part of Supplemental Instruction’s continued success. Supplemental Instruction is partially funded by SGA with Mandatory Student Activity Fees.

Instructor Referral Procedure

  1. Briefly discuss the paper and its deficiencies with the student in order to clarify the reasons the assignment did not meet your standards for college writing.
  2. Advise the student that a written referral has been sent to ASAP, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-205, (ext. 4309) and that he/she should make an appointment to begin rewriting the paper.
  3. Attach the faculty referral to the paper, checking areas of weakness, and forward to ASAP, Van Hoesen Hall, Room B-205, by campus mail.
  4. With the guidance of an ASAP staff member, the student will begin the revision process according to the instructor’s suggestions. Following the first or second meeting with the student, the tutor will forward a brief written report to the instructor. If after this initial report an instructor needs additional information about a referred student’s progress, effort or attitude, he should contact ASAP.
  5. When the student has developed an understanding for needed changes and completed the revision, the new draft will be submitted to the instructor.

The majority of students who come to SUNY Cortland ASAP for writing deficiencies do so voluntarily, although often at the suggestion of an instructor or advisor. For those faculty members who prefer a more direct approach, whereby student attendance at ASAP tutorials is mandatory and a written report is sent to the instructor, please follow this procedure:

Back to Top

CPN Referrals

At our May 2007 Composition meeting, it became apparent that many CPN 100/102 and 101/103 instructors were unfamiliar with the referral process already in place for instructors to refer students to the Academic Support and Achievement Program for help with writing concerns. In an ongoing effort to forge a stronger link between the CPN program and ASAP toward the mutual goal of improving student writing at Cortland, I have updated the Referral form, and created an informational Notice of Referral letter which can be given, in whole or in part, to referred students at your discretion.

Master copies of these forms are included in your new Cortland Composition Handbook for your convenience; the forms are also available here online through the adjacent links. You may photocopy or print the forms as needed and submit them through campus mail (make an extra copy to keep for your records), or you may fill them out and submit them electronically.

My hope is that the Referral form will help you to itemize efficiently the kind and severity of difficulties a referred student is having; feel free to provide as much or as little detail as you wish about the student’s situation. The tutor who meets with that student initially will see your referral form (although the student will not), and will begin by asking questions targeting the areas of concern that you have indicated. After this initial appointment, you will receive a report detailing the work done and indicating whether future appointments have been scheduled by the student.

Please note: If you are especially worried about a student’s likelihood of failure in CPN 100/101, indicate this in response to the bolded statement just beneath the heading on the Referral form. Such students may be offered extra support services comparable to those provided for former CPN 129 (Writing Lab) students, on a space-available basis.

If  you have any questions about the forms, the referral process, or the services provided by ASAP staff, please do not hesitate to call me at 607.753.2361, email, or stop by our new office on the top floor of Van Hoesen B, Rm. 205.

Back to Top


Preventing and Detecting Plagiarism

SUNY Cortland Academic Integrity Policy

The policy, including disciplinary action, is outlined in Chapter 340 of official SUNY Cortland College Handbook. Here is the excerpt from the handbook.

Preventing Plagiarism: Tips for Faculty

      • Be sure your expectations are clear.
      • Contextualize the assignments. Specify topic, purpose, audience, and genre. Everyone does not have to do the same assignment. Give a list of prompts. Use topics that are innovative, unique, current, and local, or have students reply to a thesis statement or quotation.
      • Distribute a handout with clear instructions. Include a guide for documenting sources in your discipline. Two excellent sites are the University of Wisconsin library and the Purdue University online writing lab.
      • Require, at an early stage, an annotated bibliography, with call numbers and complete URLs (title, author, organization, title of broader work, date created or modified, date of student access, full URL).
      • Require students to submit photocopies of the sources or the page from which the material was taken.
      • Specify the types of sources students may include:
            - use only material published in the last 5 years

            - use only material placed on reserve in the library

            - use only certain types, e.g., “at least 2 books, 3 articles, 1 Internet site.”

            - include one or more readings that have been assigned in the course

          - include data from interviews
      • Monitor work in progress. Make sure work is handed in before the end of the semester.
      • adopt a Process Writing approach and have students follow a sequence of prewriting, drafting, revising and editing,
      • require students to submit papers in stages: prospectus/outline, annotated bibliography, summaries of select sources,
      • Do not allow last minute changes of topic, and do not accept one-shot final draft copies.
      • Do not repeat assignments.
      • Create a database of student writing
      • Require them to send you electronic versions of their papers so that you can create your own searchable file

What is the first thing you should do?
Put your expectations on your syllabus.

Is that enough?
No. At the beginning of the semester, discuss academic honesty in class. Make students aware of the nature of academic writing, i.e., the fact that it engages other writers’ ideas and follows certain conventions and customs. Point out that knowledge of these conventions (paraphrase, quotation, summary, documentation of sources, etc.) is not tacit. The conventions have to be learned. Explain the concepts of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use. Point out that plagiarism is a legal issue as well as an ethical and moral one. Give students a list of examples of different types of plagiarism. Tell them about penalties and discuss some past cases.

Can you assume that students have learned the conventions of academic writing?
If students took CPN 100 Writing Studies I and CPN 101 Writing Studies II at Cortland, they were taught the features and rules of academic writing. Their knowledge and skill may have atrophied if they have not had much writing practice outside of or since the composition course.

How can you design assignments that will reduce the likelihood of plagiarism?

Distribute a handout with clear instructions. Include a guide for documenting sources in your discipline. An excellent site is the Purdue University online writing lab.

Is there anything else you can do?

Detecting Plagiarism

  •   Here are some resources to help you combat plagiarism
    • lists detailed information on the technologies behind, facts about Internet plagiarism, and a report on the growth of "cheatsites" Online.
    • Council of Writing Program Administrators. Click on Position Statements for an excellent resource, Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices.
    • Virtual Salt is maintained by Robert Harris, who has written an excellent book on the subject of plagiarism, The Plagiarism Handbook. The site is an excellent resource for teachers that helps them educate students on the subject, detect plagiarism, prevent it, and even discuss the subject with students who may or may not be guilty of academic dishonesty.
    • University of Alberta provides a comprehensive site for detecting plagiarism.

Design assignments that will reduce the likelihood of plagiarism.

Distribute a handout with clear instructions. Include a guide for documenting sources in your discipline. An excellent site is the Purdue University online writing lab.

Faculty Writing Group

      The Faculty Writing Group serves as an audience for writers who are thinking through writing problems such as where to send a manuscript for publication, how to organize a complex chapter, how to establish a realistic writing schedule, how to start a new project or end an old one, and the like. Generally the focus is on academic writing, but the group has discussed memoir, travel writing, and poetry in the past, too. The purpose is to provide writers with a way to reflect on, plan, and sustain their writing. The Faculty Writing Group is open to administrators and teaching faculty at any level. The meetings are informal, but productive.