Syllabus – The Professor’s Annotated Cut (summer 2021)

Every professor, myself included, tells students to “Read the syllabus”.  Heck, even Snoop Dogg tells you to read the syllabus.

There’s good reason to read it. It tells you how the class will run, what you’ll study, and what your responsibilities are. It tells you what to expect and how to plan your time. Unfortunately most syllabi are grey, dull, boring, and approximately as interesting to read as the terms and conditions page on your cell phone service.  I want to make an effort to change that.

The thing is, few professors explain why the syllabus and the course is the way it is. Truth is, there’s often a reason why things are as they are. It’s really not all random and arbitrary, although I know it can often feel that way to a student.  I’m also aware that different professors do things differently and for different reasons. Learning to navigate the differences in courses and professors is part of your learning in higher education.


So with all that in mind, I’m offering this version of the syllabus. It’s what I call the “Professor’s Cut” version. It’s like the “Director’s Cut” version of a movie or a video game where the director explains why certain shots were done the way they were.  I believe if you understand where I’m coming from in the rules, etc, you’ll be able to learn better and use your time better.

What you’ll see here are direct quotes from the official syllabus in the LCC Concourse system. The entire official syllabus is quoted here in the parts that are indented and prefaced by the black side bar like this:

Principles of Economics-Macro ECON 202  

Spring 2021 Section 50815 and 50145
4 Credits

 Meeting Times

This section of ECON 2020 is an online class. There are no required specific meeting times or dates.

Then in the regular text, like this sentence, you’ll read my commentary on the official syllabus.  Why do it this way instead of just adding my commentary to the official syllabus?  Well, I’m not allowed.  The school requires the “Official syllabus” to be in a certain format on Concourse and I’m not allowed to call anything else like this page “the Official Syllabus”.  In addition, I’m not allowed to embed GIF’s and videos in the Concourse version of the official syllabus and what fun is that?  Let’s keep going.

Contact Information

Professor: Jim Luke

  • Email:
  • Office: GB 1126 Office Phone: 517-483-5384
  • Cell/texting: 313-550-8884
  • Department Phone Number: 517-483-1546
  • Website: (my blog) or @econproph on Twitter

Office Hours:


Other times may be available by request or appointment- ask me! I can talk via phone, video conference, or chat online. It is best to request an appointment.

I’m required to list an hour or two of official office hours. The reality is I’m very available and flexible -especially during this stay-at-home pandemic time. I mean, I’m an old guy with asthma, where else do you think I’m going to be during this pandemic. I’m most likely in my home office, doomscrolling on Twitter or the news while procrastinating the work I should do.  If you need help or if you’re just curious or if you just want to chat some econ or higher ed stuff, I’m available. But I teach all online. So call me. Text me (that’s often best). Email me. Heck, you can DM me on Twitter. Tell me you want to chat or ask a question or meet. Let’s find a time and do it.

If there are specific days-hours listed, they’re “tentative”.  I just picked it more or less at random. I have no idea if that’s when most students could meet.  If it changes, I’ll tell you.

My normal routine is to open this course first thing in the morning each week day and answer emails, questions in forums, do grading, and monitor what’s happening. If all’s going well and you don’t have a specific question, I’ll let you keep at it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  But please don’t think that any silence on my part means I’m absent. I’m not. I’m just letting you all do your thing and follow the process.


This course addresses the theory of national income, employment and the price level, and government fiscal and monetary policies designed to influence aggregate economic activity. It also addresses exchange rates, international financial relationships, and economic growth. (F,Sp,Su)


Prerequisite Course: ECON 201 or concurrently
Placement Scores: Reading Level 5 and Math Level 4

Contact Hours







Total Hrs


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Calculate, explain,  and evaluate measures of aggregate output, aggregate income, the price level, unemployment and the balance of payments.
  2. Describe the types of unemployment.
  3. Describe the components of aggregate demand, their relative size in the U.S. economy, and their historical volatility.
  4. Describe and explain the aggregate flows of an economy between households, firms, government, and rest-of-world sectors through product, resource, and financial markets.
  5. Describe and evaluate macroeconomic policy goals and trade-offs.
  6. Describe the federal budget process, surplus or deficit, and public debt, and their impact on the economy.
  7. Explain verbally and graphically and apply the aggregate demand and aggregate supply model.
  8. Explain and analyze the classical theory of macroeconomic equilibrium and the resulting implications for the role of government.
  9. Explain and analyze the Keynesian theory of macroeconomic equilibrium and expenditure multiplier effects and the resulting implications for the role of government.
  10. List and explain the tools of fiscal policy and describe and show graphically how those tools can be used to achieve macroeconomic goals.
  11. Define money, describe the banking system, and explain the process by which the banking system creates money.
  12. Describe and define the functions and policy tools of the Federal Reserve System and explain how actions of the Federal Reserve System affect money supply and interest rates.
  13. Describe and show graphically how actions by the Federal Reserve can be used to achieve macroeconomic goals.
  14. Explain and analyze the Monetarist view of policy, macroeconomic equilibrium and the resulting implications for the role of government.
  15. Explain and contrast the views of the effectiveness and desirability of using activist and discretionary policy to achieve macroeconomic goals.
  16. Describe the process by which exchange rates are determined and the macroeconomic impact of changes in exchange rates

Blah, blah, blah, blah. This is all required boilerplate text from the college. I don’t have any authority to change it or add to it. As one of the econ faculty I have some minor influence in changing some the wording here for all ECON 202 classes but that’s a bureaucratic process that often takes over a year. Most of this is here to communicate what the course was about to any school to whom you transfer your credits.  It won’t surprise me if many of the things listed here don’t mean much to you now at the start. I hope they do once you finish. You want to know what we’re going to study this semester? Browse the textbook or the site we’re going to use.

For the really good stuff about how to conquer this course (if not the world), keep reading.




Required Online Sites

We will use two websites for this course, three if you count the free online textbook.

All graded activity and such as quizzes, required discussion forums, and midterm tests are located in the LCC Desire2Learn website.  You must login to the D2L site using your LCC user id.

“Content”, readings, worksheet materials, and other study materials are located at (opens in new tab).  Links to your textbook readings online are available from, as well as other resources about economics. There is no need to login at the It is a permanent, public website maintained by me, your professor.

There are links from D2L to the respective readings and resources at, however, it is suggested that you bookmark the sute and navigate to it directly.  You’ll do most of your reading and work in the site and only really need to go to D2L for quizzes and forum postings.  I recommend just starting at the site, especially since it works very well on all devices including phones.

  • Availability: online the Web
  • Price: free

Principles of Economics 2e

  • Author: Steve Greenlaw, David Shapiro, and Timothy Taylor
  • Publisher: OpenStax
  • Edition: Publish Date Oct 11, 2017
  • ISBN: Print: ISBN-10: 1-947172-36-0 ISBN-13: 978-1-947172-36-4 Digital: ISBN-10: 1-947172-37-9 ISBN-13: 978-1-947172-37-1 iBooks: ISBN-10: 1-947172-48-4 ISBN-13: 978-1-947172-48-7
  • Availability:
  • Price: free for online or pdf; print available at $38 or less

Your textbook for this class is available for free online and links to the textbook readings are included in the course online readings/website ( 

If you prefer, you can also get a print version at a very low cost. Your book is available in web view and PDF for free. You can also purchase on iBooks for $4.99 or get a print version, if you prefer, via the campus bookstore or from seller OpenStax on

For-profit publisher economics textbooks are outrageously priced. For example, a new printed edition of the popular Krugman text is well over $250. We, the economics faculty at LCC, think that’s unjustified and it represents a monopolistic abuse of students. So we chose and use an Open Educational Resource (OER), an openly licensed (Creative Commons) textbook. I do happen to know the author, Steve Greenlaw, fairly well personally. My personal assessment is that nearly all economics principles texts are pretty crappy.  Maybe I’ll write a non-crappy one when I retire, we’ll see.  This one is less crappy than most. And it’s free (online or download). That’s why it’s assigned and I add a lot of my own stuff on this website.  For more details about how to use this public website I’ve created for this course, see the Unit 1 Jim’s GuideNow just in case you haven’t fully gotten this message yet, I’ll be real clear:  Not only is the textbook free, you don’t have to do anything to “get a copy”. I have put links to the online textbook chapters in my site. Just work through the units on my site and you’ll be given the links to the part of the textbook you need to read when you need to read it.  EZ-PEAZY. 

I’m a huge advocate of openness in education. I spend a lot of time researching it, presenting at national and international conferences about it, and writing about it on my blog (and hopefully a book).  This site is open to all and stays open because I think I better walk my own talk.


The following evaluation methods are used in this class

Type of Graded Assignment Points
% of Final
Course Grade
Quizzes (online) 140 points 35.0 %
Worksheets (online)   70 points 17.5 %
Midterm tests (online)   40 points 10.0 %
Required Unit 1 Forum   5 points   1.25%
7 postings during semester to  “My Connection With Macro” Journal (forum) 35 points 8.75%
Review Exercise   10 points   2.5 %
Final Exam – online Multiple Choice portion 50 points 12.5%
Final Exam – essay 50 points 12.5%
Total for Course 400 points 100 %

Quizzes – 140 points

Quizzes are multiple-choice and true-false question tests with only one best answer for each question. Some graphs and minor calculations may be involved. After completing each of the first 14 units, students will complete a short quiz of approximately 10 questions. The last unit, unit 15, doesn’t have a quiz. Quizzes are administered online through Desire2Learn. Students will be shown their score (# correct) immediately and which questions they missed, but not correct answers.  Quizzes do not have time limits. Any quiz may be re-taken, but each quiz may only be taken a maximum of two times. The highest of the two quiz submissions will be counted.

Worksheets – 70 points

There will be 7 worksheet assignments. These worksheets are assigned in various Units, but not all units will have a worksheet assignment. A worksheet consists of a table of data and/or graph about an economic situation or problem. Some initial data is provided and students are expected to calculate the remaining data. After completing the blank parts of the worksheet, you will answer a short series of questions online. The data you calculate will be needed to answer the questions. Worksheet answers may submitted as many times as the student chooses. The last submission counts. In addition, students are encouraged to collaborate and discuss the worksheet problems on the discussion forums.

Worksheets involve both the use of the open course website and the D2L site.  The data, problem description, preview of the questions, and tips are on a  page on the site.  Once you solve that worksheet there, you submit your answers to be graded/recorded on D2L.

Midterm Tests – 40 points

A short test of 20 questions is taken at the conclusion of Units 6 and  13.  These tests may only be attempted once. There is a time limit of 40 minutes for completing the test. Once a test is opened, it must be completed – it cannot be saved, closed, and re-opened later. When you open a test, be sure you have time to complete it. Some graphs and calculations may be involved – you may want to have a simple calculator and/or scratch paper available when you take the test.

Required  Unit one Forum post – 5 points

In Unit one (on D2L), there is a “Who are you?” forum. You get 5 points posting and introducing yourself to the class and sharing whatever you feel comfortable with.

Required Postings to “My Connection with Macro” Journal – 35 points

There is a “forum” in D2L called the “Journal” or “Connecting to Macro”.  You will need to create an initial post/thread in Unit 1. Then at 6 other different times during the course – roughly every other unit or so (more often if you wish) – you will be asked to post a reply to your original post. You get 5 points for each post. With a minimum of 7 required posts (more are welcome), there are 35 points available.

There are numerous “HELP” forums available for online help. These are entirely optional and do not count towards course grade. The HELP forums are for you to help each other or ask me for help with problems, issues, or to clarify course problems. HELP forums are very useful if you struggle with a particular worksheet.

Review Exercise – 10 points

An online exercise to help review and prepare for the final exam will be available in the last two weeks of the course. It is worth 10 points. Answers are not graded but students will receive 10 points credit for completing the exercise.

Final Examination – 100 points

The final exam will be comprehensive and will have two parts.
Part one is a multiple-choice test online in D2L during the last week. It will have 25 questions and each question counts for 2.0 points. It is not proctored.

The second part is an essay you will write and submit during the final week.  The essay is worth 50 points.  The “writing prompt” or question you’ll be asked to write on will be announced sometime 2-3 weeks before the essay is due.

Breakdown (Grading Scale)

Course Grade % of 
Points Earned
4.0 Excellent 92% 368
3.5 86% 344
3.0 Good 81% 324
2.5 76% 304
2.0 Satisfactory 71% 284
1.5 66% 264
1.0 Poor 60% 240
0.0 No Credit 0-59% 0

Student Electronic Access to Grades

D2L is the College’s Course Management System which includes a gradebook function allowing students access to their grades in order to receive timely and meaningful feedback on their progress in the course at any time. These grades will align with the Evaluation Criteria listed in this syllabus. D2L is accessed through the MyLCC page.

Whenever practicable, results for graded items should be posted electronically within 48 hours after the instructor has completed the grading process for the items, and final grades for the course should be entered no later than the specified grading day.


Most of the above, at least the details, are self-explanatory, I hope. (if not, PLEASE ASK!).  What’s not obvious is why I do it this way.  Put simply, I do not believe in grades. To be more specific, I think grades and grading get in the way of people learning.  Students get focused on short-term regurgitation of details for some test. Students get anxious.

I want you learn about economics because the more you know, the better you can navigate your life – regardless of your chosen profession.  It can be interesting, but grades just get in the way.  More importantly, my research on learning and pedagogy tells me that we can’t quantify and reliably measure learning. I am firmly convinced that learning, real learning – the kind of learning where you feel the lightbulb go on and go AH-HA!- cannot be quantitatively and objectively measured (there’s a very similar problem in economics: how to measure ‘value’).

If I had my way, I wouldn’t have grades.  But I can’t do that. The school requires that I do grades. The schools you transfer to expect that LCC professors are assigning grades.  So here’s my solution. It’s a modified version of a practice called “contract grading”.

I can’t measure directly what you’ve learned.  I can’t identify or measure the AH-HA! moment you’ll have.  What I can do, is lay out a process – a sequence of steps and activities – that I know with high degree of confidence will lead to learning about economics.  (for you budding business majors, this concept is actually the core concept behind continuous quality improvement processes and statistical process quality control). That process is largely readings and doing the worksheets in a particular order. Some concepts in economics aren’t well grasped just by reading. You actually need to try to use them to analyze something. That’s why the worksheets. That’s also why the worksheets can be repeated as many times as you wish. Do it till you get it or until you’ve given up and decided the opportunity cost of seeking those last 2 points isn’t worth it.

But what about the quizzes? Isn’t that an attempt to “measure what you’ve learned”?  Not really.  I hope you learn a lot of things that aren’t on the quizzes. I can’t write questions for everything I hope you learn. What I’m doing with the quizzes is basically doing a sampling to see if you did the readings and thought about them.  They’re also as much feedback to you as to me – and that’s why you can repeat them.  The quizzes are an imperfect indicator to me (and you) of whether and how seriously you did the readings. That’s their purpose. I also provide practice quizzes that don’t count. Once you get into the course, you’ll see that practice quiz questions are similar to graded quiz questions. If you can do well on the practice quizzes, you’ll do well on the graded unit quizzes. And if you actually remember longer term what you did on the graded quizzes, you’ll do well on the exams.

The final exam is  a bit of an experiment. We used to have a mandatory, departmental final that was proctored and no-notes. It was all multiple choice in my class.  However, with the Covid pandemic we haven’t been able to proctor exams. So each instructor is on their own. I’ve opted for a split 25 question online MC test and an essay you’ll write.  You’ll have plenty of advance notice of the essay topic.

That leaves us with the forums and review exercises.  Writing is a way to help us think. I am not judging or grading what you write in the forums at all. I’m interested in what you’re thinking.  I have tried to create forums and prompts that will help nudge your thinking while you’re doing the course.  Please don’t treat this as “I just gotta say some b.s. with some buzzwords” type things. That doesn’t help you and it wastes my time reading it. Again, I’m not trying to measure what you’ve learned. I’m trying to see if you complete the process. I’m curious what you think. So write your posts and replies. You get the full points for writing – whatever you write.  In forums, I’m not looking for finished product. I’m not looking for you to write the next great economics research paper. I’m looking for you to “think out loud”. The only way to “fail” the unit one forum or the journaling forum is to not write it. Period.

Regarding your overall grade, I can assure you this. I’ve been doing this a long time. Trust me. If you simply follow the process, do the work, and don’t procrastinate, you will succeed in this class.  I cannot remember a student who failed or didn’t succeed “because they just couldn’t get it” or “because they’re not good at math” or “because they were stupid”.  The only students who don’t succeed are the ones who don’t follow the process or don’t do the work , procrastinate, and try to do the whole course in 3 days.  And there are very, very few of those students.  I want you to succeed and I want you learn econ.  Work with me and I’ll help you all I can.


Course Policies

Class Attendance/Participation

Students are expected to be active online every week. 

Students who do not complete Unit 1 assignments (quiz and forum) by the required Unit 1 deadline will be reported as not having attended and will be dropped. 

Scheduling and Due Dates: Flexible Schedule

The requirement that students plan and schedule their own work is an integral to learning economics. In particular it helps the student to experience concepts of scarcity, opportunity costs, production possibilities, and other economic principles.  Therefore, this course is designed to provide a significant amount of flexibility to students in scheduling their own work.

There are four “hard deadlines“, as listed below. The “hard deadlines” or “mandatory deadlines” are the only deadlines where there are required negative consequences if you don’t meet them.  Typically, if you miss a “hard deadline” you either get dropped or you have missed any opportunity to complete certain assignments (Unit 1 or midterms),  or both.  Either way you risk not finishing the course or at least making your grade lower.

Mandatory “Hard” Deadlines:

  • Last day to complete Quiz 1 & Post to Unit 1 Who Are You forum and initial post to the “Connect with Macro” Journal forum. June 12 end of day (but recommended earlier)
  • Last day to complete first midterm test-  July 4 end of day  (but recommended earlier)
  • Last day to complete second midterm test and Units 1-13 quizzes: July 25 end of day
  • Last day to complete everything and final exam: August 2 end of day.

Organization of Course and Suggested Work Schedule

The course is divided into 15 Units organized into 4 Parts according to topics. The Units of the course does not exactly follow or map to the chapters in the textbook and not in the same sequence. For more information and details see the Lessons tab of the course and the “Jim’s Guide” for each unit on the Desire2Learn course website or at the website. Unit numbers in the course do NOT correspond directly to chapter numbers in the book.

In addition to the required “hard” deadlines listed above, a schedule of suggested completion dates for each of the 15 units plus midterms and final is provided via the link below. This suggested schedule is also available in D2L and can be bookmarked for your convenience. Suggested dates are provided as a  convenience to you so you can plan and monitor your progress.  If you don’t meet certain suggested dates, the only consequence is that you fall a little bit behind and will need to “pick up the pace” as you move forward.  It’s important to not fall seriously behind. In my experience the single greatest cause of poor grades in this course is procrastination. On the upside, if you can discipline yourself to work regularly at a nice pace and not fall seriously behind, experience indicates you are virtually guaranteed to succeed in this course.  More information about scheduling and deadlines is in Unit 1 of the course, and by checking the Suggested Schedule.  Plan your own pace and schedule accordingly. To help you plan your scheduling, look at the Suggested Schedule of Work Assignments  (click on this link to view Schedule as a web page in a new tab or window ).

Extra Credit

Extra credit is not available in this course. Students’ time is better spent reworking worksheets and quizzes. It produces more points for your time investment.

Drops and Withdrawals

Students are advised to familiarize themselves with the LCC Withdrawal Policy.  Under this policy, students may withdraw themselves from the course until the end of the 14th week (7th in summer).  There can be NO WITHDRAWALS after the 14th week (7th in summer). All students remaining enrolled in the class after the 14th week (7th in summer) must receive a final course grade. .

Discussion and Collaboration

Students are encouraged to assist each other in learning and mastering the material, particularly when dealing with the problem worksheets. A discussion forum will be provided for this use. Collaboration, however, is only for students to help each other understand the material. Trading, sharing, or publishing of specific answers to specific quiz or exam questions is prohibited and will be considered a violation of academic integrity

I encourage discussion between students and the sharing of ideas and information. One of the best methods for learning and truly grasping economic concepts is to explain them to others. Students are welcome to assist each other in learning. However, the direct exchange of answers to questions without discussion, argument, or reasoned explanation is viewed as academic dishonesty. I reserve the right to reject the score of any assessment that I suspect may have been obtained dishonestly and not through student learning, even without proof of any dishonest actions by the student.

These are all my personal policies for the class. I think they’re largely self-explanatory, but if not, please ask.  My reasoning for the flexibility in dates is simple. There’s a trade-off from my perspective. Putting all this flexibility in regarding dates for completing units puts students who aren’t disciplined in time management or their scheduling at risk. I know that. I try to nudge those students to learn to manage better. But I also know that setting what I consider “artificial” deadlines – things like “do unit 2 by x date or it won’t be accepted” poses a real problem for many students.  You all have complicated real lives. There’s a life outside this econ class. You have families, friends, jobs, activities, and on and on. It’s tough to manage. You also have other courses that don’t have time flexibility in deadlines. Often those other courses have deadlines for good reasons: the activities in the class require all students to be reading the same thing at the same time. This course material doesn’t really demand that. So I try to provide as much flexibility as I can.   I trust you.


Brown M&M Clause

It is not advised to provide me, Jim, your professor, with brown M&M’s.  If you view this YouTube video you will get an idea as to why this clause is here.

This is my clause. Of course it’s silly. Just like it was silly of the band Van Halen to make a similar demand of their concert venues. But if you listen/watch the video, you’ll understand.  It’s kind of like the reasoning behind my quiz questions. It’s not so much the question per se, just like it’s not so much about brown M&M’s, as it’s a short-cut way to see if the reading was done.  It’s also an example of more sophisticated concept from game theory economics called “signaling”. BTW, here’s the video:

 Institutional Policies

Transfer Potential

For transfer information, please consult the Transfer webpage.

The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) simplifies the transfer of students from one Michigan institution to another. For the most current information, see the LCC MTA webpage.

For additional transfer information contact the Academic Advising Center in the Gannon Building – Star Zone, (517) 483-1904.

Disability Statement

Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Center for Student Access, Gannon Building, Star Zone – Campus Resources, via the Center for Student Access website, or by calling (517) 483-1924 [TTY (517) 483-1207] as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines

LCC supports a positive educational environment that will benefit student success. In order to ensure this vision, the College has established the LCC Student Code of Conduct and the Student General Rules and Guidelines to ensure the protection of student rights and the health and safety of the College community, as well as to support the efficient operation of College programs. In addition, the College has established guidelines for the redress of grievances by individuals accused in such proceedings.

It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with, and abide by, the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the General Rules and Guidelines. Furthermore, the instructor may establish reasonable guidelines within the classroom environment. Violations of the Student Code may be reported to the Office of Student Compliance.

Enrollment Verification

Class attendance and participation are essential to student success. Instructors will update class rosters by the 8th day after the start date of sections less than 8 weeks long, and by the 15th day after the start date of sections 8 weeks or longer to accurately reflect student enrollment in each course. Students who have not attended by these dates may be administratively dropped and responsible for any required tuition and fee charges.

Academic Success Coaches

At Lansing Community College, student success is our top priority.  Our Academic Success Coaches mentor students to help them meet their educational, personal and career goals.  LCC faculty or staff may refer you to an Academic Success Coach if they recognize that mentoring or assistance may be helpful to you. Please monitor your LCC email for referral notifications.  Your participation in academic success coaching is voluntary.

In addition, we encourage you to contact an Academic Success Coach on your own if you need help, guidance or assistance to reach your goals.  To contact an Academic Success Coach, call (517) 483-1422 or visit the Academic Success Coaching Team website for more information.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Lansing Community College is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and equal education for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, creed, ancestry, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, familial status, marital status, military status, veteran’s status, or other status as protected by law, or genetic information that is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position or that is unrelated to the person’s ability to participate in educational programs, courses services or activities offered by the college.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Equal Opportunity Officer, Washington Court Place, 309 N. Washington Square Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1730; Employee Coordinator 504/ADA, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1875; Student Coordinator 504/ADA, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1885; Lori Willett, Human Resource Manager/Title IX Coordinator, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1870; Christine Thompson, Student Title IX Coordinator, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1261.

I have zero input on the above policies or section of the syllabus. I have to put this stuff here. School requires it.

What I will say, is that I’m here to help. Not only do they pay me to do that, but I want to. I care about you succeeding. I also know very well just how hard it can be. Attending college is never simple or easy.  Students in community colleges often have struggles that amaze me. I went to undergraduate at a commuter-based state university. I worked full-time or nearly full-time while I was there. I know how hard that was for me. And what I dealt with back in the 70’s is nothing compared to what most of you are dealing with today. Helping you is why I teach here. If there is anything that is getting in your way – food insecurity, family/illness/work issues, disability issues (I’m fortunate, I’m only a part-time blind guy myself, but I understand).  Talk to me. Email me. I can’t promise I can fix everything. But if it’s a course-related problem, I will make it work. If it’s something else, I can listen and I’m likely able to point you to people who can help.

Additional Items


The course is divided into 15 Units organized into 4 Parts according to topics. The Units of the course do not exactly follow or map to the chapters in the textbook and not in the same sequence. For more information and details see the Lessons tab of the course and the “Jim’s Guide” for each unit on the Desire2Learn course website or at the webite. Unit numbers in the course do NOT correspond directly to chapter numbers in the book.

Here are suggested completion dates for each of the 15 units plus midterms and final. Suggested dates are provided as a  convenience to you so you can plan and monitor your progress.  If you don’t meet certain suggested dates, the only consequence is that you fall a little bit behind and will need to “pick up the pace” as you move forward.  It’s important to not fall seriously behind. In my experience the single greatest cause of poor grades in this course is procrastination. On the upside, if can discipline yourself to work regularly at a nice pace and not fall seriously behind, experience indicates you are virtually guaranteed to succeed in this course.  More information about scheduling and deadlines is in Unit 1 of the course, and by checking the Suggested Schedule.  Plan your own pace and schedule accordingly. To help you plan your work, once again, here are links to the Suggested Schedule of Work Assignments  (click on this link to view Schedule as a web page in a new tab or window for week class).

If I had my way, this section would be much further up instead of being the last section of syllabus. Again, not my decision.  I’ve explained earlier here, but my reasoning for the flexibility of scheduling is to provide you the flexibility to deal with other courses and with life issues.  I trust you to make good decisions. All I can say, or plead really, is don’t procrastinate. Structure, schedule, and manage your time.  If something comes up that is going to disrupt your schedule – you get sick, you decide in week 7 to run off and elope with your best friend in week 8, or God-forbid a close relative gets hospitalized, or whatever – talk to me.  Let me know. We can work things out.

And that’s it. That’s the Professor’s cut of syllabus!

If you have a question or just want to comment, you can do that here on this site.  You’ll have to give your student email address but it will not be posted publicly. It’s only required to help discourage spam comments from bots. Also, to prevent spam comments, your first comment on this site won’t immediately display. It will be moderated. Once approved (I’m checking to see if it’s from a student and not some web bot determined to push political destruction or not-suitable-for-work links), your future comments will display right away.

Author: jim

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