MFA Graduate Instructor Resources

MFA Graduate Instructor Resources

This page lists some of the resources our MFA graduate instructors might need as they teach their creative writing classes. Things usually go smoothly, but there are always some bumps in the road.

Ideally, we should try to address most class problems at the lowest level possible. This means between the instructor and the student(s)--assuming the instructor knows what to do and is comfortable doing so. But it doesn't mean you have to solve every class issue alone. You can--and should--seek advice from the program administration or your faculty advisor. You don't need to try parse through UVA policy and web pages in a vacuum.  We're here to back you up. And, a gentle remember that it's always a good idea to document what you have decided through emails to the student(s) and others.

Sometimes an instructor's first efforts do not resolve the issue, or the issue is more serious, or a seemingly small issue escalates. In those cases, we begin looping in other UVA entities like association deans and the Office of the Dean of Students. When to address things yourself and when to bring in others can be a difficult line to discern. There are a lot of if-thens depending on the situation. But again, remember that you have many willing program administrators and advisors ready to help you. If you are ever unsure, seek advice.

Calendars

Covid-Related

  • Student Health covid info sheet - Guidance on student quarantine, isolation, and class attendance after testing positive to covid or showing symptoms. If a student says they have a fever or some other covid symptom and don't know if they should come to class, start here. 

Undergraduate Academic Policies

ENCW Local Policies and Enrollment

  • Our program's undergraduate curriculum page is on this site at https://creativewriting.virginia.edu/ugrad. That page details how we set up our undergraduate courses and how we manage enrollment, as well as how undergrads can request permission to take our 3000+ courses.
  • Instructor/Faculty directions on how to manage waitlists, do ad hoc permission to add a student, etc. can be found on this UVA registrar page.

Learning Accommodations

The Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) - Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, students can request reasonable learning accommodations because of physical or learning disabilities. At UVA, students apply for these accommodations through the SDAC, which then notifies the instructors. A guide for instructors appears here.

The SDAC also maintains a faculty page at this location, where you can log in via Netbadge and see which students in your classes have accomodations on file and what those accomodations are.

Emergency Help

  • 911 - If it's an imminent crisis, just call 911. Really.
  • Dean on Call - Your Office of Dean of Students resource for students who may be thinking of harming themselves or others, or for problems that seem to go beyond academic issues. If you have a pressing need concerning a student that is not appropriate for 911, start here.

Reportable Incidents

  • Just Report It - One-stop site for reporting sexual misconduct, bias/discrimination, hazing, and more.
  • Title IX and Sexual Misconduct - Title IX and Sexual Misconduct policy and reporting obligations. Mandatory reporting usually occurs over incidents involving sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. Learning about potential incidents in an academic context is not usually a mandatory report, but learning about the same incident in a non-academic context almost always is. When in doubt, talk to the associate director or director of creative writing or your faculty advisor.
  • Confidential Resources - No one in the Creative Writing Program is a confidential resource. If your student would like to speak to someone confidentially, they should contact someone on this webpage.

Next-Level Help

(The people you go to when we can't solve a problem at the instructor or program level)

  • Athletic Resources for Instructors - Start here if you need help with a student-athlete. A list of all the Academic Coordinators listed with their assigned sports appears here.
  • Association Deans - Association deans help you address academic issues. You can identify a student's association dean by writing Jeb Livingood (434-924-6675), who can look them up in the advisor system, or by calling Monroe Hall at (434) 924-3351, or by writing askthecollege@virginia.edu. While you generally should not call an association dean the first time a problem arises, they do prefer to hear about issues sooner rather than later. Looping in an association dean at the end of the semester leaves them with fewer options. 
  • Dean on Call - Your Office of Dean of Students resource for students who may be thinking of harming themselves or others, or for problems that seem to go beyond academic issues. If you have a pressing need concerning a student that is not appropriate for 911, start here.
  • Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights - If you think you may have a student facing discrimination, including harassment, in violation of the University's non-discrimination and equal opportunity policy statement, you can consult with this office.

Plagiarism

UVA Honor Committee - One might think plagiarism would never happen in a creative writing class, but one might be surprised. The only approved resource for faculty and instructors to respond to cases of plagiarism or other academic fraud is the UVA Honor Committee. But if you think you might have an honor violation in your class, we strongly urge you to talk with the associate director of CW or your faculty advisor before taking any action. 

Field Trips

Recommendations on field trips appear here. You cannot require field trips outside of your normal class time, though optional trips can often enhance learning. Trips off grounds or involving transportation can expose you and the university to significant liability issues, so review the Risk Management site linked above.

Citation and Style

  • MLA Handbook - Go-to resource for college humanities paper format and citation. UVA network only.
  • Chicago Manual of Style - Go-to resource for the print industry. UVA network only.

Funding

  • GSAS Funding Page - Well, this isn't exactly a pedagogical resource, but funding is funding and useful to all.