UMTYMP Handbook: Coursework & Grades

Homework Policy

Homework is a major component of a student’s work in UMTYMP, and successful completion of all assigned homework is vital to maintaining a good grade in UMTYMP.  Students are encouraged to work with each other on homework, but should be sure that they can complete the problems on their own and are not overly reliant on help from others.  Understanding how to do the homework problems is the best way to prepare for exams.

Students receive a class syllabus at the beginning of each class with the assigned homework for the entire semester.  Any changes to the syllabus will be announced in class and posted to the course Moodle website.

Due Dates and Late Homework.  All assigned homework is due at the beginning of class on its due date.  Homework handed in after class has begun will be considered late, except in documented cases of illness.  If students know they will miss a class, for any reason, they must plan ahead and turn their homework in on time.  See "Submitting Homework Outside of Class" below.  Exceptions for late homework can be made when there is a family emergency or a student illness accompanied by a doctor’s note.  Please contact the UMTYMP office directly if this situation occurs.  (mathcep@umn.edu, 612-625-2861).

UMTYMP students have a lot to keep track of, and we know life happens; occasionally students forget an assignment at home, or leave it in their locker at school.  For those situations, students are allowed one "free" late homework assignment per semester, with no penalty.  To get an extension on the online portion of a homework assignment, contact the office (612-625-2861, mathcep@umn.edu).  For the written portion of an assignment, the homework must be turned in the next week, at the beginning of class:

  • High School Level Courses:  The assignment should be stapled together and given directly to the teaching assistent.
  • Calculus Level Courses:  The assignment should be stapled together and placed in the Late / Alternate Day folder on the table where homework is handed in.

This policy can be used for both the written and online homework, but only during the same week.  For example, if a student uses their free late assignment for the Class 3 homework, both the online and written portions for that week can be turned in late.  If a student completes the online portion and uses the free late assignment for the written portion, they cannot get a free extension on a later online assignment.

After one week, or if the free late assignment has already been used, late homework will be accepted but at a reduced score:

  • High School Level Courses:  Scores on late homework will be reduced by 5 points.  This applies to both written and online homework, so if both are late, the total reduction is 10 points.
  • Calculus Level Courses:  Scores on late written or online homework assignments will be reduced by 25%.  

Alternate Days: If a student in Calculus I-III has a conflict on their regular class day, it may be possible for them to switch days on a one-time basis; see our Attendance Policy for details.  In this situation, the student may hand in homework on that alternate day.  For example, if a Wednesday Calculus I student has a band concert during their regularly scheduled UMTYMP class, they can arrange with the office to attend Calculus I on Thursday that week.  They should write Attending Alternate Day on the top each page, and then hand the assignment in normally.

Submitting work Outside of Class:  If a student cannot hand homework in at the beginning of class, it should be submitted in one of the following ways.

  1. Send it to class on the due date with a classmate who can turn it in on your behalf.
     
  2. Hand it in a week early.  Write Handed in Early on the top of your assignment and staple all the sheets together.  Give your assignment directly to the Teaching Assistant (in Algebra, Geometry or Math Analysis) or place it in the Late / Alternate Day folder on the table where homework is handed in (in Calculus I-III).  Do NOT hand homework to workshop leaders or other teachers.
     
  3. Mail it to the UMTYMP office.  It will be considered on time as long as the postmarked  by the day after its due date.  It should be mailed to:

    MathCEP – UMTYMP
    (Class level – Name of teacher)
    4 Vincent Hall
    206 Church St SE
    Minneapolis, MN  55455

    Please note: often mail reaches our office within two business days, but occasionally homework arrives a full week or more after the postmark.  Hence there may be a long delay in grading and returning homework which is mailed in.

  4. You may scan & email your homework to the UMTYMP office at umtymphomework@umn.edu. (Do NOT email homework to your instructors.)  Your email should include your name, UMTYMP class, and instructor. Be sure you to include section numbers and problem numbers with your work. It is your responsibility to make sure the resulting scan has a reasonable file size and is legible. If instructors have difficulty reading the work they will not grant credit for the assignment.  In general:
    • Scanners produce documents which can be read and graded, but you should still check the file before emailing it.  Make sure you send the final scan, not the low-quality preview scan.
    • Photographs of homework assignments (with cell phones or cameras) are NOT acceptable.
    • Homework which has been typewritten with proper mathematical formatting may be submitted in PDF form.  Microsoft Word documents are not acceptable.  (Typed homework is not common in UMTYMP, but some students in the Calculus component choose to learn a mathematical typesetting software package such as LaTeX.)
    Please do not "share" documents from Google Docs, Microsoft OneDrive, or other cloud services; this generates a link which may or may not function with our systems. Instead, make sure you have downloaded a PDF version of your document, and attach it to your email.

Please do NOT duplicate your homework or send it in multiple ways.  Having several copies of a student’s homework can lead to confusion and mis-grading. 

Homework Labeling and Presentation: Particularly in the Calculus levels, grading, sorting and collating homework is a large operation.  Between instructors, office staff and student workers, there may be 5-10 people involved with homework throughout the week, not all of whom will be familiar with a student's handwriting, course, or section.  Please be considerate of everybody who is involved in the process by writing your name and other information in a consistent way and removing any "frizzies" on the edge of your paper; otherwise our staff will deduct 1 point from your homework when recording scores.

Your name should appear in the upper right hand corner of each page.  In the high school level courses, write your instructor's name.  In the calculus courses, write your workshop leader's name, not the lecturer. For example:

High School Level Calculus Level

First Last
Algebra
Teacher's Name
Section 6.3

First Last
Calculus II
Workshop Leader's Name
Section 3.4

(Homework policies last updated 5/17/18.)

Exams

Students are expected to take their exams on their scheduled days.  Students will receive a class calendar at the beginning of the year; schedules are also posted at www.mathcep.umn.edu.

Students who will miss an exam due to a conflict MUST take it ahead of time.  This is university policy.  Contact the UMTYMP office at least two weeks in advance to schedule your alternate exam time.  (mathcep@umn.edu, 612-625-2861)

Exceptions can be made for documented family emergencies or student illness.  A student who misses an exam for illness will be required to provide a doctor’s note.  Please contact the UMTYMP office directly if this situation occurs.

Course Grades

UMTYMP grades are determined by performance on both written and online homework, exams and class participation.  By default, each component is weighted as follows, although the percentages may be adjusted in some classes:

  • 45% Exams
  • 45% Homework (30% written and 15% online)
  • 10% Class participation

Students are expected to earn a “B” or better, in order to progress to the next level of UMTYMP courses.  If students fall below this level, they are subject to the following policies:

  • For Algebra I/II and Geometry/Math Analysis:

Students who end the semester with a "B‑" may be allowed to continue under academic probation, with an approved learning agreement.  Any students below this level will receive a grade of “W” (withdrawn) and receive no credit for that semester.  Students who receive a “W” have the option of repeating their UMTYMP course the following year or returning to their home school to take the class.

  • For all Calculus courses:

Students with a final college grade of “B-” or below will not be allowed to progress to the next UMTYMP Calculus course.  These students may request a “W” (withdrawn) on their transcript in place of a letter grade. Taking a “B-” will affect a student’s college GPA, but the student will receive credits towards graduation.  A “W” grade will not lower a student’s college GPA, but the student receives no credit towards graduation.

Reporting Grades to a Student's School

Students receive a grade report at the end of each completed UMTYMP semester. Grade reports are also submitted to the student's home school at the beginning of January and the end of May.

  • Algebra I/II and Geometry/Math Analysis grades are reported to a student’s home school as is.  For example, if a student receives a “B+”, that is the grade we report.
  • A student in the Calculus component receives a grade which is recorded on their University of Minnesota transcript.  We also report a “high school grade” to the student’s home school.   The high school grade is one full letter grade higher than the official college grade recorded.  For example, if you get a grade of “B” in UMTYMP Calculus, your University transcript will say “B”, but a grade of “A” is reported to your school.  Any college grade of “B+” or higher is reported as an “A+” to schools. 

As noted in the next section, we have no control over how a school chooses to weight UMTYMP Calculus grades.  At many schools it would be advantageous to report the University grade, which would be weighted more than the high school grade.  We are discussing this policy and will communicate any changes to students and parents.

Credit at a Student's School

Per Minnesota State Statute 120B.14, mathematics credit must be granted to UMTYMP students enrolled in public school, regardless of student grade-level or age, provided that the overall test scores on the standardized final examinations are sufficiently high (at least the 87th percentile) and the final course grade is a "B‑" or higher.  Most private schools will also grant credit, but you should discuss the program with your institution in order to see how they treat the granting of credit.  

Please Note: The state law affects only the granting of credit to UMTYMP students.  Neither UMTYMP nor the state statute control the local school's grading or GPA policies.  It is each individual school’s responsibility to determine how it uses UMTYMP grades in calculating a student's GPA.  If parents have questions regarding the school's grading policy or how items will be recorded on the middle/high school transcript, please contact your home school directly.

Academic Dishonesty

We encourage students to collaborate on assignments; however, homework should reflect a student’s own thoughts and ideas and be in his/her own words.  Cheating, or misrepresentation of student work, violates the University of Minnesota’s Academic Code of Conduct. This includes submitting an examination or assignment that is not a student’s own work.  Any act of scholastic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense and can result in consequences up to and including expulsion from UMTYMP. 

Anecdotal evidence suggests that our standards in this regard are higher than the students experience in their regular courses.  To help students with the transition we describe to them what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the student to act in an ethical manner.

Each student will receive a handout describing this policy at the beginning of the fall semester, which must be signed and returned to the MathCEP office.  Depending on the course, this may be done on paper or as an online form.

Academic Probation

UMTYMP may place a student on probation due to lack of attendance, low homework scores, low test/exam scores, or other issues.  Probation requires a learning agreement, which may include required attendance at study sessions, or other measures designed to increase the student’s chance for success.  If a student on probation does not improve, UMTYMP may require the student to withdraw from the program.