AE 868
Commercial Solar Electric Systems

AE 868 - Commercial Solar Electric Systems Syllabus

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AE 868: Commercial Solar Electric Systems

This syllabus is divided into several sections. You can read it sequentially by scrolling down the length of the document or by clicking on any of the links below to “jump” to specific sections.

It is essential that you read the entire document as well as material covered in the course Orientation. Together these serve as our course "contract."

Instructor

Mohamed Amer Chaaban

Mohamed Amer Chaaban
Instructor, Department of Architectural Engineering
College of Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University

  • Phone: 720-371-4177
  • E-mail: Rather than e-mailing questions directly to me, I encourage you post any question which you would raise your hand to ask in a traditional class to the applicable Canvas General Questions and Discussion Forum. Asking questions on our forum can benefit all students in that everyone will see the discussions and answers regarding class questions.

    For questions which are more personal in nature, please contact me through the course e-mail system in Canvas.

  • Office Hours: I can schedule Zoom sessions to discuss specific topics or questions each week. These sessions are optional in terms of participation and I will schedule them according to need. I will make an announcement with a time for the upcoming sessions. If you have a topic you would like to have included in a Zoom session, please propose it in the General Questions and Discussion Forum or send a message with enough time for me to prepare.

NOTE: I will read and respond to e-mail and discussion forums at least once per day during the work week (Monday through Friday). I am usually able to respond within 24 hours on the weekends, but it's not a guarantee. E-mail is the best form of communication. I will inform you if this policy changes.


Course Overview

Description: Theories and practices of solar electric systems including component selection, performance simulation, grid interconnection, codes, and design documentation.

AE 868 examines the theories and design practices of solar electric systems in the context of utility and commercial-scale applications. As AE 868 is intended for graduate students and professionals with interests in the procurement and delivery of commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems, an important goal of the course is to equip solar professionals with skills to follow the impact of hardware trends in industry on feasibility, design, and commissioning of such systems. This goal is reinforced with authentic assessments in the form of a sample of real problems that solar professionals solve in their line of work with examples of resources they access for this purpose and several case studies on design and construction of PV systems. Students will learn how to design solar electric systems as well as the processes required for permitting, construction, and commissioning of solar electric systems. Topics include market and feasibility of solar electric systems, conceptual design of solar electric systems, solar electric technologies, inverter and power management technologies, electrical and building codes, fire codes and arc-fault protection, interconnection requirements and methods, design theory and economic analysis tools, system design processes for grid-tied and off-grid systems, integration of energy storage and demand response systems, construction project management, permitting, safety and commissioning, system monitoring, and maintenance. Finally, the impact of PV integration on the utility grid and load profile.

Prerequisites and concurrent courses: There are no prerequisites for this course; however, students should possess a basic science or engineering background in electricity or electrical systems. If you are new to PV, you will be prompted to consult the "Review” pages sections of the course that link to relevant topics. Please keep in mind that if you are new to PV you will need to spend more (about 50% more) time than suggested as the average weekly workload (8-10 hours) for the first few weeks compared to students who are familiar with basic PV concepts, as you will probably need to consult the provided resources.

Students who do not possess a basic science or engineering background in electricity or electrical systems may be dis-enrolled during the first 10-day free add-drop period after being informed in writing by the instructor (see Senate policy 34-60, Prerequisites and Concurrent Courses). Students who do not possess a basic science or engineering background in electricity or electrical systems should promptly consult with the instructor if you have not done so already. Students who re-enroll after being dis-enrolled according to this policy are in violation of Item 15 on the Student Code of Conduct.

Expectations

On average, most students spend eight to ten hours per week working on course material and assignments. Your workload may be more or less depending on your study habits. If you are new to photovoltaic systems, expect to spend twice as much in for the first five lessons as you will need to consult the review material.

We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. The Internet may still be a novel learning environment for you, but in one sense this is no different from a traditional college class: how much and how well you learn is ultimately up to you. You will succeed if you are diligent about keeping up with the class schedule and if you take advantage of opportunities to communicate with me as well as with your fellow students. State of the art industry practices and tools will be covered in the class and real design experience derived directly from the best practices of major solar companies will be presented to you, so take advantage of all opportunities and express your point of view, and we will work with you to find answers to your questions.       

Specific learning objectives for each lesson and project are detailed within each lesson. The class schedule is published under the Calendar tab in Canvas.


Course Goals and Outcomes

When you successfully complete this course, you will be prepared to:

  • Recognize solar electric conversion technologies in the global market and main factors driving the PV industry segments.
  • Explain main functions and factors influencing the design and performance of PV system components including PV modules, Power Conditioning Units, Batteries, and Balance of System to maximize the solar utility at a given locale.
  • Illustrate the role of safety, fire, building, and electrical codes to insure safe design and installations.
  • Identify steps to designing Grid-connected and Off-grid PV systems and the required permitting and construction documents before commissioning PV systems.
  • Describe system monitoring issues, operating and maintenance, and PV impact on the electric grid and load profile.

Specific learning objectives for each lesson and project are detailed within each lesson.


Required Course Materials

Required textbook

Photovoltaic Systems by James P. Dunlop. Published by Amer Technical Pub 3rd (third) edition (2012) ISBN-10 1935941054

Online Lesson Content

Additional required readings will be provided on the course website and in Canvas. In order to access all materials, you need to have an active Penn State Access Account user ID and password (used to access the online course resources). If you have any questions about obtaining or activating your Penn State Access Account, please contact the Helpdesk.

Additional Software Required

  • Microsoft Office (2010 or later)

Reserve materials

This course uses library Electronic Reserves (E-Reserves). More information about how to access this content is available in the course orientation.


Assignments and Grading

This course will rely on a variety of methods to assess and evaluate student learning, including:

  • Final Project: The final project will simulate a real-life PV designer experience with tasks that will cover most of the topics taught in class. It will require students to make decisions to meet requirements provided by a client.
  • Lesson Activities (5): The Lesson Activities are a form of authentic assessment, as you will be required to complete some of real-life tasks that solar professionals complete in their line of work. You'll need to consult a number of resources (provided to you or available online) to complete each activity. You will be put in situations where you have to make decisions and support your work with references and data. In addition, you will build your own calculation tools for solar applications as a part of the lesson activities. Successful completion of these activities will demonstrate that you have attained the higher level learning objectives of the course.
  • Lesson Discussions (5): The online discussions are located within Canvas and will include topics of relevance to the course.
  • Quizzes (12): The quizzes are to assess your retention of key concepts relevant to the learning objectives of each lesson. You will have twelve quizzes in total. However, only the highest ten quizzes will be counted towards the final grade with no exceptions. 
  • Procurement Report/Peer Review: You will have the opportunity to prepare a report on the available PV components in the market. A peer review process will take place to provide feedback on a classmate's work. 
  • PV System Electrical Design Project: You will work on a project that simulates the real world electrical design experience for a solar PV system. Given system requirements, you will be asked to work on the electrical sizing and calculations for main PV system components to comply with the National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements. Individual submission of a report including the electrical wiring diagram and calculations is expected by the due date of the project. You are encouraged to use knowledge learned in previous lessons for best possible design.

I will use Canvas Grades to keep track of your grades. You can see your grades by clicking on the Grades link in Canvas. Letter grades will be based on the following percentages (percentages refer to the proportion of all possible points earned by the student):

Breakdown of each assignment's value as a percentage of total course grade.
Assignment Percent of Grade

Final Project

30%
Lesson Activities (5)
25%
Lesson Discussions (5)
15%
Quizzes (12)
10%
Procurement Report/Peer Review
10%
PV System Electrical Design Project
10%

It is important that your work is submitted in the proper format to the appropriate Canvas forum or assignment by the designated due date. I strongly advise that you not wait until the last minute to complete these assignments - give yourself time to ask questions, think things over, and chat with others.

Due dates for all assignments are posted on the course calendar in Canvas.

Citation and Reference Style

It is recommended that you use the IEEE citation style when you are citing external references in your deliverables. A quick guide to IEEE citation style can be found at the IEEE Citation Style Guide web page.

I will use Canvas Grades to keep track of your grades. You can see your grades by clicking on the Grades link in Canvas. Letter grades will be based on the following percentages (percentages refer to the proportion of all possible points earned by the student):

Grading scale
Grade Percent
A
93–100%
A-
90–92.9%
B+
87–89.9%
B
83 - 86.9%
B-
80 - 82.9%
C+
77 - 79.9%
C
70 - 76.9%
D
60 - 69.9%
F
<60%

Late Policy

Assignments submitted at any point after the deadline are considered late and will be subject to lost points equivalent to 10% of the assignment's total value for each 24 hour period it is late. In extenuating circumstances communicated to the instructor prior to the deadline, arrangements can be made for submitting late work with no penalty.

AE 868 Course Schedule

printer graphicPrintable Schedule

There are two places for you to access our course schedule for this semester.

  1. On this page. The schedule below gives you a general week-by-week schedule.
  2. Via the Calendar in Canvas. The Calendar in Canvas will have specific lesson time frames and assignment due dates.

If you notice any inconsistencies or conflicting information, let me know and I'll clarify.

Lessons will open on Mondays. All Lesson Assignments will be due on Sundays by midnight.

Course Orientation
Topics:
  • An overview of the course website
  • An overview of Canvas, our course management system
  • How to succeed in this course
  • Where to get assistance if you need it
Assignments:
  • Perform tasks outlined in course orientation to become familiar with the course and the course environment
  • Post a self-introduction to the course Discussion Forum
  • Watch the Electricity Basics VoiceThread
  • Take the Course Information Quiz
Lesson 1: Solar Electricity Generation in the US and Global Market
Objectives:
  • Recognize main types of SECS and their applications for electricity generation including PV, CPV and STE/CSP.
  • Identify PV market indicators and main factors driving the development of the PV technology. 
  • Categorize solar PV system as residential, non-residential and utility scale grid-tied PV systems and their share in the PV market.
  • Discuss PV system configurations (grid-connected, stand-alone, bimodal, and hybrid) and their components and various types of energy sources that can be coupled with PV systems.
  • Explain the roles of various segments of the PV industry and how they interact with one another.
Assignments:
  • Simulation Exercise
  • Discussion
  • Quiz
Lesson 2: PV System Components (PV Module)
Objectives:
  • Identify PV terminology and key electrical characteristics of PV modules at various operating conditions.
  • Interpret a PV module manufacturer's data specification sheet and key parameters for various test standards.
  • Discuss factors affecting performance of PV devices and the impact of changing irradiance and temperature.
  • Apply strategies to optimize production of PV systems using industrial tools such as Solar Advisor Model (SAM) and PVwatt software to simulate PV output.
  • Identify shading effects on PV array and series and parallel connection of modules.
Assignments:
  • Lesson Activity
  • Procurement Report: Part A (no submittal until Lesson 4)
  • Quiz
Lesson 3: PV System Components (PV Storage)
Objectives:
  • Identify types of electrical energy storage technologies and how they relate to (Energy or Power) responses.
  • Identify battery parameters and specifications including capacity, efficiency, discharge rate, state of charge and depth of discharge.
  • Interpret battery manufacturer datasheets to match PV system requirements.
  • Describe factors that influence the lifetime of a battery, such as temperature and charge and discharge control.
Assignments:
  • Procurement Report: Part B (no submittal until Lesson 4)
  • Quiz
Lesson 4: PV System Components (Power Conditioning Units)
Objectives:
  • Identify common types and functions of inverters, converters, and power management technologies and selection methods to align with PV systems.
  • Interpret inverter specification sheets and parameters to match PV and grid requirements.
  • Discuss features of inverters, including the Maximum Power Point Tracker, anti-islanding detection.
  • Describe factors influencing the lifetime of an inverter such as temperature and environment.
  • Identify an inverter’s voltage operating ranges and capacity factor and how to match them with PV module and string ranges.
Assignments:
  • Lesson Activity
  • Procurement Report: Part C (Parts A-C Due)
  • Quiz
Lesson 5: Electrical and Mechanical Balance of System (BOS)
Objectives:
  • Identify main electrical and mechanical BOS.
  • Identify main type of racking systems including rooftop, ground mount, and pole mount PV systems.
  • Indicate factors that affect the decision to choose types of mounting systems and their requirements.
  • Differentiate between various types of attachment methods.
Assignments:
  • Lesson Activity
  • Procurement Report/Peer Review (Peer Review Due)
  • Quiz
Lesson 6: System Design Processes for Grid-connected and Stand-alone Systems
Objectives:
  • Compare sizing strategies and methodologies for different PV system types.
  • List factors that affect sizing PV system.
  • Calculate load requirements for different PV system types.
  • Apply tools for sizing grid-connected and stand-alone PV system.
Assignments:
  • Lesson Activity
  • Discussion
  • Quiz
Lesson 7: PV Related Codes and Standards
Objectives:
  • Identify relevant electrical and building codes that govern PV systems at various locations.
  • Discuss standards and design qualification testing that help ensure the safety and reliability of PV system components such as UL, local, and national electrical code NEC articles.
  • Identify important warning signs and equipment labeling, notes, and other safety requirements associated with PV systems.
  • List design guidelines, drawing, and documentation requirements and methods
Assignments:
  • Discussion
  • Quiz
Lesson 8: Applicable NEC Articles for Sizing Electrical Components of PV System and Grounding Requirements
Objectives:
  • Identify applicable fire and safety regulations affecting PV design and installation.
  • Compare theories and practices for overcurrent protection and arc-fault protection.
  • Calculate the voltage and current limits for various circuits of PV system.
  • Determine appropriate conductor ampacities and overcurrent protection ratings and types of conductors used for PV applications.
  • Identify grounding requirements and electrical grounding methods.
Assignments:
  • Quiz
  • PV System Electrical Design Project (no submital until Lesson 9)
Lesson 9: Interconnection Requirements and Methods
Objectives:
  • Identify grid interconnection codes and standards.
  • Identify and compare types of grid interconnection methods according to NEC article 690.
  • Compare utility requirements for PV System interconnection at different locations in the US and how they affect PV design and installation.
Assignments:
  • Discussion
  • Quiz
  • PV System Electrical Design Project Due
Lesson 10: Construction Project Management, Permitting, Inspection, and Safety
Objectives:
  • Identify procurement and contracting strategies for project teams.
  • List design guidelines, drawing, and documentation requirements and methods.
  • Identify electrical safety hazards associated with operating and non-operating to PV systems and components.
  • List types of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and how they relate to PV installations and maintenance.
  • Demonstrate how to apply OSHA regulations as they relate to specific safety hazards.
Assignments:
  • Lesson Activity
  • Quiz
Lesson 11: Commissioning, System Monitoring, and Operation & Maintenance
Objectives:
  • Describe steps to commissioning a PV system.
  • Identify operation and maintenance tasks involved to maximize PV system output and operation.
  • Illustrate statistics related to PV O&M and the components causing issues and percentage of failures, repair time, and downtime.
  • Identify monitoring strategies of array, components, and warranty coverage.
Assignments:
  • Discussion
  • Quiz
  • Final Project Assigned (no submittal until Lesson 12)
Lesson 12: Impact of PV into the Utility Grid
Objectives:
  • Describe the impact of PV interconnection on the load profile.
  • Identify base power and duck curve.
  • Discuss challenges of excessive PV interconnection on the utility grid.
Assignments:
  • Quiz
  • Final Project Due

Course Policies

Mental Health Services

Mental health services are available to help you maintain your academic success. Visit the student website today to learn more or to speak with a mental health advocate who can help you address concerns including anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, and stress. If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis situation, please call your local emergency service.

Technical Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on the World Campus Technical Requirements page, including the requirements listed for same-time, synchronous communications. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Internet Connection

Access to a reliable Internet connection is required for this course. A problem with your Internet access may not be used as an excuse for late, missing, or incomplete coursework. If you experience problems with your Internet connection while working on this course, it is your responsibility to find an alternative Internet access point, such as a public library or Wi-Fi ® hotspot.

Mixed Content

This site is considered a secure web site which means that your connection is encrypted.  We do however link to content that isn't necessarily encrypted.  This is called mixed content.  By default, mixed content is blocked in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome.  This may result in a blank page or a message saying that only secure content is displayed.  Follow the directions on our Technical Requirements page to view the mixed content.

Equations

This course must be viewed using one of the following browsers: Firefox (any version), Safari (versions 5.1 or 6.0), Chrome (0.3 or later), or Internet Explorer with the MathPlayer PlugIn. If you use any other browser, there will be pages containing equations that do not render properly. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Penn State E-mail Accounts

All official communications from the Penn State World Campus are sent to students' Penn State e-mail accounts. Be sure to check your Penn State account regularly, or forward your Penn State e-mail to your preferred e-mail account, so you don't miss any important information.

Academic Integrity

This course follows Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Academic Integrity Guidelines for undergraduate students and Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Academic Integrity Guidelines for graduate students. Penn State defines academic integrity as "the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner." Academic integrity includes "a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception." In particular, the University defines plagiarism as "the fabrication of information and citations; submitting others' work from professional journals, books, articles, and papers; submission of other students' papers, lab results or project reports and representing the work as one's own." Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include course failure. To learn more, see Penn State's Academic Integrity Training

Course Copyright

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

For example, uploading completed labs, homework, or other assignments to any study site constitutes a violation of this policy.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Office for Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for Campus Disability Coordinators at every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Office for Student Disability Resources website

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled. You will participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. See documentation guidelines at Applying for Services from Student Disability Resources. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Inclement Weather

In case of weather-related delays at the University, this online course will proceed as planned. Your instructor will inform you if there are any extenuating circumstances regarding content or activity due dates in the course due to weather delays. If you are affected by a weather-related emergency, please contact your instructor at the earliest possible time to make special arrangements.

Reporting Bias-Motivated Incidents

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated (Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance) and can be reported through Educational Equity via Report Bias.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional wellbeing.  The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings.  These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  Services include the following:

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park  (CAPS): 814-863-0395
Counseling Services at Commonwealth Campuses
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741

Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Connect Online with Caution

Penn State is committed to educational access for all. Our students come from all walks of life and have diverse life experiences. As with any other online community, the lack of physical interaction in an online classroom can create a false sense of anonymity and security. While one can make new friends online, digital relationships can also be misleading. Good judgment and decision making are critical when choosing to disclose personal information to others whom you do not know.

Deferred Grades

If you are prevented from completing this course within the prescribed amount of time for reasons that are beyond your control, it is possible to have the grade deferred with the concurrence of the instructor, following Penn State Deferred Grade Policy 48-40. To seek a deferred grade, you must submit a written request (by e-mail or U.S. post) to the instructor describing the reason(s) for the request. Non-emergency permission for filing a deferred grade must be requested before the beginning of the final examination period.  It is up to the instructor to determine whether or not you will be permitted to receive a deferred grade. If permission is granted, you will work with the instructor to establish a communication plan and a clear schedule for completion within policy.  If for any reason, the coursework for the deferred grade is not complete by the assigned time, a grade of "F" will be automatically entered on your transcript.

Attendance

This course will be conducted entirely online. There will be no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments with specific due dates. Many of the assignments are open for multiple days, so it is your responsibility to complete the work early if you plan to travel or participate in national holidays, religious observances or University approved activities.

If you need to request an exception due to a personal or medical emergency, contact the instructor directly as soon as you are able. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Disclaimer

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus can be changed at any time, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. All changes will be communicated with you via e-mail, course announcement and/or course discussion forum.


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Technical Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on the World Campus Technical Requirements page, including the requirements listed for same-time, synchronous communications. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Internet Connection

Access to a reliable Internet connection is required for this course. A problem with your Internet access may not be used as an excuse for late, missing, or incomplete coursework. If you experience problems with your Internet connection while working on this course, it is your responsibility to find an alternative Internet access point, such as a public library or Wi-Fi ® hotspot.

Mixed Content

This site is considered a secure web site which means that your connection is encrypted. We do however link to content that isn't necessarily encrypted. This is called mixed content. By default, mixed content is blocked in Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. This may result in a blank page or a message saying that only secure content is displayed. Follow the directions on our Technical Requirements page to view the mixed content.

Equations

This course must be viewed using the latest version of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, or Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported. If you use any other browser, or if you are not using the latest version of your browser, some pages containing equations will not render properly. In addition, javascript must be enabled for equations to render properly. If you have any issues with equations not rendering properly, please update your browser to the latest version or try using a different browser. If you need additional technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the HelpDesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Penn State E-mail Accounts

All official communications from Penn State are sent to students' Penn State e-mail accounts. Be sure to check your Penn State account regularly, or forward your Penn State e-mail to your preferred e-mail account, so you don't miss any important information.

Academic Integrity

This course follows the procedures for academic integrity of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Penn State defines academic integrity as "the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner." Academic integrity includes "a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception." In particular, the University defines plagiarism as "the fabrication of information and citations; submitting others' work from professional journals, books, articles, and papers; submission of other students' papers, lab results or project reports and representing the work as one's own." Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include course failure. To learn more, see Penn State's Academic Integrity Training for Students

Course Copyright

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

For example, uploading completed labs, homework, or other assignments to any study site constitutes a violation of this policy.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Office for Student Disability Resources website provides contact information for Campus Disability Coordinators at every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit the Office for Student Disability Resources website

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled. You will participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. See documentation guidelines at Applying for Services from Student Disability Resources. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Change in Normal Campus Operations

In case of weather-related delays or other emergency camps disruptions or closures at the University, this online course will proceed as planned. Your instructor will inform you if there are any extenuating circumstances regarding content or activity due dates in the course due to these delays or closures. If you are affected by a weather-related emergency, please contact your instructor at the earliest possible time to make special arrangements.

Reporting Educational Equity Concerns

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated (Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance) and can be reported through Educational Equity via Report Bias.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional wellbeing.  The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings.  These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation.  Services include the following:

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park  (CAPS): 814-863-0395
Counseling Services at Commonwealth Campuses
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741

Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Connect Online with Caution

Penn State is committed to educational access for all. Our students come from all walks of life and have diverse life experiences. As with any other online community, the lack of physical interaction in an online classroom can create a false sense of anonymity and security. While one can make new friends online, digital relationships can also be misleading. Good judgment and decision-making are critical when choosing to disclose personal information to others whom you do not know.

Deferred Grades

If you are prevented from completing this course within the prescribed amount of time for reasons that are beyond your control, it is possible to have the grade deferred with the concurrence of the instructor, following Penn State Deferred Grade Policy 48-40. To seek a deferred grade, you must submit a written request (by e-mail or U.S. post) to the instructor describing the reason(s) for the request. Non-emergency permission for filing a deferred grade must be requested before the beginning of the final examination period.  It is up to the instructor to determine whether or not you will be permitted to receive a deferred grade. If permission is granted, you will work with the instructor to establish a communication plan and a clear schedule for completion within policy.  If for any reason, the coursework for the deferred grade is not complete by the assigned time, a grade of "F" will be automatically entered on your transcript.

Attendance

This course will be conducted entirely online. There will be no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments with specific due dates. Many of the assignments are open for multiple days, so it is your responsibility to complete the work early if you plan to travel or participate in national holidays, religious observances or University approved activities.

If you need to request an exception due to a personal or medical emergency, contact the instructor directly as soon as you are able. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Respect

Penn State is “committed to creating an educational environment which is free from intolerance directed toward individuals or groups and strives to create and maintain an environment that fosters respect for others” as stated in Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance. All members of this class are expected to contribute to a respectful, welcoming, and inclusive environment and to interact with civility.

For additional information, see:

Mandated Reporting Statement

Penn State’s policies require me, as a faculty member, to share information about incidents of sex-based discrimination and harassment (discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation) with Penn State’s Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinators, regardless of whether the incidents are stated to me in person or shared by students as part of their coursework. For more information regarding the University's policies and procedures for responding to reports of sexual or gender-based harassment or misconduct, please visit Penn State's Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response website.

Additionally, I am required to make a report on any reasonable suspicion of child abuse in accordance with the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services Law.


Disclaimer

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus can be changed at any time, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. All changes will be communicated with you via e-mail, course announcement and/or course discussion forum.