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Academic Expectations

Program advising

Advising plays a very important role in developing confidence and individual responsibility. Program advising helps students understand the various components of their programs, supports performance and improves the overall experience.

Students in the AdvantageVT, AdvantageVT-Master’s, and Conditional Admission programs are required to meet at least twice during each semester with their assigned program advisors, more often if their advisors determine the need. Students failing to meet with their advisors for these required meetings may be removed from their program.

Those students enrolled in credit bearing courses may also meet with Virginia Tech advisors. These advisors will give valuable advice about how to prepare for intended programs and how to meet the department’s expectations once students begin their studies.

Personal advising

Students in need of additional support in non-academic areas such as cultural adjustment, mental health, student services, or in need of referrals to student support services can request a meeting with the program director.

Tutoring

Tutoring is available upon request or upon recommendation of program instructors. Individual or small-group tutoring sessions address challenges in academic work and are intended to help students successfully manage their course work.

Academic guidelines

For program-specific academic guidelines please see the following links:

Academic integrity

All students in are expected to know, understand, and adhere to the Virginia Tech Honor Code. The Honor Pledge, which summarizes that code, states: “As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times. I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do.”

Cheating, plagiarism, falsification, fabrication, multiple submissions, and complicity are the violations of the Honor Code. These violations are defined in the honor code, available at the link above. 

The consequences for violations of the Honor Code are described in the section of “Academic Dishonesty Sanctions”; the decision about which consequences will apply to any particular violation are generally decided by the VT Undergraduate Honor Council, and may include expulsion from the university.

Students at the graduate level must adhere to and be responsible for knowing the Graduate Honor System. The process for the Graduate Honor system is found in the Graduate Honor System Constitution.

Classroom etiquette

Instructors expect students to speak during every class because conversation practice is a vitally important part of learning English and practicing vocabulary. Mistakes are part of the learning process. Careful listening and self-monitoring help to improve performance over time. 

Above all, students should listen carefully and politely to each other, and refrain from interrupting other speakers, breaking in before another student has finished thinking through a response, or taking advantage of other students' politeness to dominate a discussion.

Cultural sensitivity is important outside the classroom, as well. Instructors and students both support the "English Only" policy because students who use their home languages in the program cause their classmates from other language backgrounds to feel isolated and uncomfortable, and everyone loses valuable opportunities to practice English and academic collaboration. 

Students are expected to become familiar with and adhere to Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community. These principles serve to promote respect and good citizenship in all social circumstances as well as in the classroom. 

Students in the United States are expected to arrive on time to every class and are expected to turn in every assignment. Many classes at Virginia Tech promote both collaboration and individual achievement. In order to ensure that they are in compliance with the Honor Code, students should confirm with their instructors which assignments are agreeable for collaboration and which must be completed individually.

Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining a classroom environment in which students feel comfortable and free to concentrate on their studies. Students should tell one of our personnel whenever they feel uncomfortable in the classroom, whatever the reason. Those personnel include their instructor, program advisor, assistant director for student services, or program director. 

Studying in a multicultural classroom

One of the new experiences you will have at the LCI is learning about the different classroom behaviors that are expected around the world. Some cultures are uncomfortable with silence and long response times. In such classrooms, rapid responses are valued. In other cultures long, comfortable silences lead to carefully thought out responses. The typical classroom in the U.S. falls somewhere in the middle.

Your teachers at the LCI expect every student to speak during every class because they recognize that conversation practice is a vitally important part of learning. Mistakes are part of the learning process. On the other hand, careful listening and self-monitoring are also very important. We do not want students to repeat the same mistakes over and over. Above all, we want our students to listen carefully and politely to each other. We do not require students to wait until they are called on by the teacher, but we do expect that they will not interrupt a speaker, break in before another student has finished thinking through a response, or take advantage of other students' politeness to dominate a class period.

Cultural sensitivity is important outside the classroom. Instructors and students both support the "English Only" policy because students who use their home languages in the LCI make their classmates feel isolated and uncomfortable and lose valuable opportunities to practice English.

Students in the U.S. are expected to arrive on time to every class and are expected to turn in every assignment. In some cultures, students collaborate on all their work. U.S. academic culture rewards the most competitive individuals for their personal achievements.

Conversation and other learning opportunities

Your instructors recommend that you take advantage of other opportunities to help you improve your listening and speaking abilities. One example is a free conversation activity outside of class called "Conversation Partners." This program places interested students in contact with other Virginia Tech students and community members. More information on this program is available through the international student advisor.

Computer-based training is integrated throughout the LCI's programs to support classroom teaching, address students' individual needs and provide instruction in special interest areas. Your instructors will provide many web resources to support your learning needs.

Also, the program director maintains a library of resources for students. Students are encouraged to read outside of class to develop reading fluency and vocabulary.

Student-professor relations 

Professors in the U.S. are generally friendly, and communication with them is easy. Although U.S. faculty members may seem to be informal, their expectations are high. Professors expect students to engage fully with their studies and assume responsibility for their own learning.

  • Students should know each of their instructor's requirements and procedures. Most of these will be explained in the course syllabus.
  • Students must always go to class prepared. They should review their notes and complete their homework prior to class.
  • Frequent examinations and written assignments are normal. Students must be prepared to discuss or be given a quiz on their homework.
  • It is the responsibility of the students to keep track of their assignments; U.S. professors do not expect to have to remind students of assignments, due dates, or exams.
  • Students are expected to participate in class.
  • Students must always do their own work. Turning in someone else's work as their own is considered cheating and is punished severely.
  • Students must go to class on time. If they must go in late, they should sit quietly in a seat near the door.
  • Students should attend each of their classes. If they must miss a class, they should tell their instructor the reason why and arrange to find out what they missed.  They should turn in all assignments that were due during their absence.
  • Students are expected to take advantage of their instructors' office hours and/or communicate with the professors by email when they have questions.  Students should also make use of departmental help sessions and services.