Policies & Procedures

Exempted Courses




Exempted Courses

Ratified in fall of 2012, Article 15.15 of the California Faculty Association Collective Bargaining Agreement

Written or electronic student questionnaire evaluations shall be required for all faculty unit employees who teach. All classes taught by each faculty unit employee shall have such student evaluations unless the President has approved a requirement to evaluate fewer classes after consideration of the recommendations of appropriate faculty committee(s).

All SF State credit bearing courses will be evaluated using the Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) system, unless a department chair makes an explicit request for a particular course or course series to be exempt from this requirement.Exceptions to 15.15 will most likely be limited to supervisory courses - - such as, independent study, thesis supervision, etc. - - where low enrollment challenges the confidentiality and validity of teaching evaluation. 

Any department wishing to request course exemptions from the Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness system must submit this request, along with a justification, to online@sfsu.edu prior to the 3rd week of instruction. This request is subject to approval from the appropriate faculty committee(s), following this process for consideration:

  • At the beginning of each semester, department chairs and directors of programs will designate the courses to be excluded from evaluation.  These designations will include a brief rationale.
  • These recommendations will be communicated to CRAC for the committee’s consideration.  
  • CRAC will forward its recommendations to the Office of the President for your approval.
  • Once a course has been exempted from evaluation and if there are no changes to that course, there is no need for further review and approval.  


California Faculty Association

Ratified in Fall of 2012, Article 15.15 of the CFA Collective Bargaining Agreementstates, “Written or electronic student questionnaire evaluations shall be required for all faculty unit employees who teach.” This article also states, “Results of evaluations may be stored in electronic format and incorporated by extension into the Personnel Action File provided that individuals involved in evaluations and personnel recommendations or decisions are provided secure access for these purposes.”

The CSU encouraged each campus to use its own internal governance structure to determine whether its campus would implement either online or paper-based evaluations, or a mix of both.

San Francisco State University Academic Senate

The Academic Senate revised the following policies during the 2012-2013 Academic Year, confirming that the campus would move to electronic (online) course evaluations, except in cases “when (a) the online system of TEEFs is not available or (b) a student requests paper TEEFs because of special needs.”

For more information on these policies, please contact the SF State Academic Senate.


Academic Senate Policy #S13-213, Administration and Processing of Electronic and Paper Teaching Effectiveness Evaluation Forms (TEEFs), outlines several requirements to ensure student anonymity and secure storage of sensitive personnel data.  For example:

  • Student evaluations of teaching effectiveness shall remain anonymous
  • Instructors shall not be provided access to evaluation data until after all final grades for the course have been submitted.
  • All aspects of the evaluation process, including collection and storage of data, shall be conducted with due regard for necessary privacy and security policies, guidelines, and practices
  • These are the steps that SF State’s Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness System takes to ensure an appropriate level of confidentiality and anonymity for students and faculty:

Students may ask:

How can I be sure that my response is anonymous if I access the link from my official SFSU email or when I log on to iLearn?

The link is in no way tied to your student account. It is a unique, one time use password to take the survey. There are no records as to which student received which password as it is all randomized when the survey emails are sent out. Also, all data are shown in aggregate form to the instructors, they cannot see individual student responses.

How can I be sure that my instructor has not seen my evaluation before grades are submitted?

Student course evaluation results are not released from the system until one week after the date grades are due, so instructors cannot access this information prior to calculating and submitting their grades. 

Instructors may ask:

Who is able to view my results?

Instructors and their respective department/college contacts (ex: department chair, AOC, dean, associate dean and others authorized by the department chair) are the only ones who will have access to reports of the student evaluations of teaching effectiveness. 

How secure are the data?

The Scantron ClassClimate system is maintained by university information technology administrators who, as part of standard university practice, receive training on and sign an agreement to uphold university privacy and security policies, guidelines, and practice. All data are backed up and stored in accordance with CSU and University business continuity requirements.

Can students complete more than one evaluation per teacher?

Each student can only complete one evaluation per instructor of record for evaluated courses. 

How can I be sure the students completing the evaluations are actually enrolled in the course?

The Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness system receives a current list of course enrollments from the university student information system prior to releasing the evaluations to the students, ensuring an up-to-date list of enrolled students.


SF State, along with the California State University system (CSU), is committed to creating a culture of access for an inclusive learning and working environment that ensures all campus information resources and technologies are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. 

A primary motivation for moving to an online course evaluation system is to provide our students and faculty with disabilities a more accessible way to provide and receive anonymous feedback on teaching effectiveness.

ClassClimate is rated WCAG 2.0 Level AA, the highest level of certification in terms of accessibility. For more information, please read the ClassClimate Accessibility Test Final Report (PDF) and ClassClimate VPAT form (DOCX).

Academic Technology, in collaboration with the Disability Programs and Resource Center, has determined that the online course evaluation tool meets SF State’s accessibility standards.