Faculty Partnerships

The StAAR Center recognizes the importance of a strong relationship with faculty and staff. Through both the Accommodation and Academic Coaching process we are committed to a collaborative relationship with all Tufts faculty and staff. 

This resource page is designed to provide more information into some of our programs, as well as give faculty and staff access to stand-alone resource tools to use at their convenience. We also encourage you to get in touch with us at any time to refer a student, with questions or feedback.

Supporting Students with Disabilities: The Faculty's Role

The StAAR Center recognizes the pivotal role faculty play in supporting students with disabilities and we want to partner with you as we jointly support our students. Accommodations are designed to eliminate barriers that the students experience in the learning environment. Please reach out to StAAR at any time to discuss your students, specific accommodations, or clarification of your responsibilities. The best way to reach us is the office email at staarcenter@tufts.edu or by phone at 617-627-4539. 

The Accommodation Letter Process

Students will be emailed a copy of their semester accommodation letters when they request them. They are responsible for printing them and handing them to you. If you have not received an accommodation letter, than you should not be providing accommodations. Rather refer them to StAAR if they ask otherwise.

Accommodations for Distraction Reduced Testing Space

Students who need to take your exam in our testing space because they receive the Distraction Reduced Testing accommodation are required to meet with faculty within a reasonable time period prior to the exam. 

Students qualified for Distraction Reduced Testing Space can choose to take their exam at StAAR can now reserve a testing spot online, through our database Accommodate. All exams will begin at the top of the hour and faculty will need to log in to approve the exams. Exam materials must be emailed to the StAAR center at least 24 hours prior to the start of the exam.

Faculty Accommodate Login and Instructions



How to Support Students with Extended Time Accommodations

Typically professors permit the students to begin early or finish late in an office or alternative classroom. TAs in the class or office administrators have proctored exams on test day or alternative days as approved by the professor. If a professor is unable to proctor a specific extended time exam for a student, please contact our office at staarcenter@tufts.edu or by phone (617) 627-4539. 

We have a limited number of exam rooms (6) for all students approved for testing accommodations. The testing rooms are reserved for students approved for distraction-reduced testing accommodations and assistive technology that would be disruptive to others in the testing space. 

*Please note the Lincoln Filene Extended Time Testing Center will be closed for the Fall 2020 semester.

Extended Time in Canvas and ProctorU

If your course is online faculty will be responsible for providing extended time for approved students. Here are instructions on how to adjust the time on exams for students who receive extended time:

Canvas: please follow these instructions on adjusting extended time. 

ProctorU:  please follow these instructions on adjusting extended time. 

Creating an Accessible Syllabus

Creating an Accessible Syllabus will allow students to get the information they need for their class. Follow our Accessible Syllabus Template to make sure your students understand your course requirements.


Statements for Your Syllabus

We encourage professors to include a statement in their syllabus that includes information for students with or without disabilities. This provides students with the appropriate contact information for our office and allows us to best support you and the student during the process of implementing accommodations. Please copy and paste the following to your Canvas and Syllabus:

Academic Support at the StAAR Center:

The StAAR Center (formerly the Academic Resource Center and Student Accessibility Services) offers a variety of resources to all students (both undergraduate and graduate) in the Schools of Arts and Science, Engineering, the SMFA and Fletcher; services are free to all enrolled students. Students may make an appointment to work on any writing-related project or assignment, attend subject tutoring in a variety of disciplines, or meet with an academic coach to hone fundamental academic skills like time management or overcoming procrastination. Students can make an appointment for any of these services by visiting go.tufts.edu/TutorFinder, or by visiting our website: go.tufts.edu/StAARCenter

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Tufts University values the diversity of our students, staff, and faculty; recognizing the important contribution each student makes to our unique community. Tufts is committed to providing equal access and support to all qualified students through the provision of reasonable accommodations so that each student may fully participate in the Tufts experience. If you have a disability that requires reasonable accommodations, please contact the StAAR Center (formerly Student Accessibility Services) at StaarCenter@tufts.edu or 617-627-4539 to make an appointment with an accessibility representative to determine appropriate accommodations. Please be aware that accommodations cannot be enacted retroactively, making timeliness a critical aspect for their provision.


Designing an Accessibile Course for All Learners 

The StAAR Center is here to help when developing course materials for in online, hybrid and in-person courses. It is important to keep accessibility in mind when creating course material to ensure every student can obtain course materials. Please know that The StAAR Center is here for faculty, so please contact our office if you have any questions about making your materials. In addition, please check out the Covid-19 Resources for Faculty and Instructors.

Online Accessibility Guide

The StAAR Center has created a Online Accessibility Guide to help Faculty, Staff, at Tufts learn how to keep accessibility in mind when creating course content. 

Accessible Teaching during Covid-19

Student learning has been impacted due to the global pandemic Covid-19. Check out Mapping Access' Accessible Teaching during Covid-19 for tips on how to ensure equitable learning experiences. 

Creating Accessible Documents and PDFs

Learn how to use Headings/Styles, Alternative Texts, formatting, appropriate fonts and color contrasts when creating Word Documents and PDFs. Read our Creating Accessible Documents guidelines to make accessible documents natural habit.

Captioning Recorded Lectures or Video

Are you teaching a asynchronous, sharing previously recorded lectures or videos? Learn how to Caption a Recorded Class or Video through Zoom, WebEx, Canvas, and Youtube. 

Closed Captioning a Live Class

Are you teaching a live lecture online? Learn how to Closed Caption a Live Class so that everyone has the option to read the conversation.

Student Time Zone Survey

Creating a Time Zone Survey can assist in determining the best time for course components to be administered. Here is an example of a Time Zone Survey created by Ariel Goldberg, a Tufts Instructor and SAS Faculty Advisory Board Member. 

Please Note: do not direct students to complete this link directly, as this is not connected to a specific course and will not be forwarded to you. If you would like access to copy the surver in Qualtrics which can then be designed for your own course please contace Kimberly.Doan@tufts.edu and a link will be provided to you within 24 business hours. 

Accessibility Checklist

We have created a Best Practices Checklist to ensure your course is accessible in an online setting. 

Additional Supports for All Students

The StAAR Center offers a variety of support for students, ranging from academic skills coaching and writing consultantions, to subject tutoring and study groups, to academic skills and discipline specific workshops. As parners in our students' success, the StAAR center asks you to mention our support to all students, even if they don't appear to be struggling

Academic Coaching

Tufts's Academic Coaching Program is excited to help faculty and staff support student learning through Academic and Discipline-Based Workshops, Small Group Tutoring, and Academic Skills coaching. You can find out more about our Academic Coaching Program on our website

If you have questions about the Coaching Program, feel free to reach out to Associate Director of Academic Support, Katherine Swimm.


Writing Support for any Student

Collaboration is the key to improving as a writer, no matter what your level of experience or skill. Peer review is, of course, a fundamental part of academic publishing, and we can instill in students as early as their first year that responding to feedback on writing is a normal and even beneficial aspect of growing as a writer. Our approach is collaborative, student-centered, and process-oriented. We do not proofread or edit for students; instead, we engage them in deep conversation that allows them to re-envision their writing and make informed rhetorical choices. When sentence-level feedback is given, it is with an eye toward improving clarity and understanding grammatical concepts and stylistic choices. We work with both undergraduate and graduate students. 

As partners in our student success, the StAAR Center asks you to mention our support to all students, even if they don't appear to be struggling. If you know of a student who experiences writing anxiety, needs support through a long project, or just wants to improve their writing, please refer them to Kristina Aikens, Program Director for Writing Support.  

Writing Fellows Program

If you would like to partner with us on methods to teach students to plan, draft, and revise their writing before submitting it for a grade, consider applying to the Writing Fellows Program

The Writing Fellows Program is designed to provide students with additional support to attend more closely to their writing and to provide faculty with support around integrating more writing into their courses. The program provides students with one-on-one attention, encourages attentive review and revision of drafts, and creates a forum for faculty to share ideas on writing assignments that improve critical thinking.

Writing fellows receive extensive education and training in order to provide detailed, personalized feedback to help each student improve, no matter their skill level or experience.

Course Requirements for Writing Fellows Program

  • The course can be from any department in A&S or SOE, but it must be designed primarily for undergraduates, and it must be writing-intensive. A significant portion of students' grades will be calculated according to the quality of writing, knowledge, and critical thinking exhibited in at least two formal academic papers. (In some cases, one long formal paper suffices if the assignment is broken into steps—such as proposal, literature review, outline, and draft or multiple drafts.)
  • Faculty may be full-time, part-time, tenure-stream, or non-tenure stream. 

Expectations for Faculty

  • Require all undergraduate students taking your course to meet with writing fellows to discuss revision of at least two graded writing assignments. (The professor determines class policy for any graduate students in the course. Usually, seeing a writing fellow is optional for graduate students.)
  • Meet with your assigned writing fellows to discuss classroom policies, due dates, writing assignments, and your expectations of your students' work.
  • Set and announce firm due dates at the beginning of the semester for the drafts and the revisions of the papers to be assigned. Do not change due dates without consulting your writing fellows or the program director first.
  • Announce or introduce the writing fellows to your course by including a description of the program on your syllabus, adding your assigned writing fellows to Canvas, and inviting your assigned writing fellows to introduce themselves to your class.
  • Work with the writing fellows and the director of the program to develop effective writing assignments, manageable due dates, and classroom policies for late papers.

Preferences (not required)

  • A class size between 20 and 60 students 
  • Classes that primarily attract first-year and sophomore students, or upper-class students in a discipline that does not typically have a lot of assigned writing
  • Assignments that allow students to choose all or part of their topic, that all students to choose how to organize their essay, and/or that engage students in questions of genre or audience
  • Course schedules in which both required writing fellows meetings occur before the last two weeks of the semester (if the class requires a long research paper at the end of the semester, we request that the paper draft be due by the penultimate week of classes)

Faculty Rewards

Teaching supplemental for participating in the program generally and in the faculty training seminar and subsequent faculty meetings throughout the semester. The training seminar at the beginning of each semester is required for faculty teaching in the Writing Fellows Program for the first time.​

For more information or to apply to the program, contact the program director, Kristina Aikens.


Don't cancel that class! 

If you need to include a planned absence from class - don't cancel it!  The StAAR Center staff will be happy to collaborate on a workshop that would be beneficial to the students in your course. 

Workshop request form