A primer on terminology and systems
UNI – A unique Columbia-wide ID that is based on your initials and random numbers and used to access Courseworks, salary payment, ID card, swipe access, etc.
Courseworks (also called Canvas) – Columbia University’s online course system for managing course materials, class meetings, assignments, and student collaborations. This single website, which you access with your UNI, is accessible to both faculty and students.
Computing Research Facilities (CRF) – The computer operations staff for the CS Department. From the CRF site, you can obtain VPN access, get swipe access into CS offices and rooms, and request help with software and hardware issues.
MICE – The CS Department’s internal system for sharing information and record keeping. Accessing MICE from a non-Columbia network requires VPN access.
Student Services Online (SSOL) – A web-based, multi-purpose tool used mostly by students to register for classes, view bills, and update address. Adjuncts use SSOL to check who is registered in their classes and currently on a wait list and also use it to post grades at the end of the class.
Those looking to teach as an adjunct professor within Columbia’s Computer Science Department must first be recommended to the Department Chair by a faculty member who will serve as a sponsor.
Adjuncts who have been notified by the department chair or a sponsor to apply must follow the steps outlined below. Allow at least one month for the employment process; if you require a J1 Visa, allow at least three months.
Send your CV to Maria Joanta. After reviewing it, she will direct you to complete the Instructor Online Form, which prompts you for the name of your sponsor, the name of the class, the class size, and other information. Upon completion of the form, she will contact you for your date of birth and use this information to assign you a UNI.
Once your UNI has been assigned, activate it from the UNI activation screen. This sets up your Columbia email, which follows the form <your-uni>.columbia@edu. Email aliases can be obtained to make your email more user-friendly.
At this point, you can schedule your class and get it posted. This is done in two parts. First call Justin Merced at the Registration Office (1 212 854 3238) to request a day and time for your class and get it entered into the SSOL class scheduling system (you will again be asked for date of birth). Then contact Stephen Edwards who will post your course to MICE and send the class scheduling information to the Registration Office.
The class, once registered, will be listed in SSOL, which you can access using your UNI. Note that classes are also listed, with some delay possible, in Courseworks.
Once the class is registered and posted, Maria Joanta will incorporate the class title, the start and end times, and the class caps into the formal offer letter. The offer letter will be sent out by Maria Joanta or Teresa Wells along with other hiring documents. Sign and return as promptly as you can.
Meanwhile, obtain the necessary access and accounts and post textbook information as follows:
Get a Columbia ID card at 210 Kent. You will need to bring a photo ID with you.
Enter information as prompted, and fill in the following as shown here:
Account type: Adjuncts
Sponsor: Choose the appropriate faculty member from the dropdown list
user-ID: [make up your own unique user-ID] password: [read section below] Payment: others (NO PAYMENT). Please do not pay for your account.
Important. Choose a password that is longer than 10 chars with a combination of upper-case, lower-case, numbers, and special chars. Do not include dictionary worsd. Columbia does not have a firewall making your password the only protection on your account. Better yet, use public/private key instead of password.
When your CS account is created, a MICE account is also created for you (the password will be the same as the CS account password).
You will also be given swipe access to all entrance doors of the CS Department (CSB and CEPSR). If you have problems with access to these sites, contact Public Safety. Separately you will need to apply for swipe access to individual classrooms, labs, and the Adjunct Office (CBS 457) as described in the next step.
Apply for VPN remote access (optional). From the CS website, open the General menu and select Computing. The option for VPN is listed under General Information.
Post textbook information online, allowing enough time so students can get the textbooks needed for the course. To do so, log into Courseworks, which provides a tool for this purpose.
Note that Federal law requires that the university provide students with information on the textbooks their instructors expect or recommend that they purchase.
Apply for teaching (or course) assistants for your class. Log into MICE, and from the Students menu, select IA requests to see students applying to be TAs. Select the student you want. If you need help, contact the TA coordinator (Tal Malkin). Classes with at least 25 students will be assigned a teaching assistant; smaller classes can share an assistant.
All about grades
Final grades are uploaded to SSOL. All grades must be official (no interim grades, for example) and must conform to the grading schema of the student’s school, which can differ slightly. SEAS for example allows Pass/D/Fail or P/F while other undergraduate schools do not. For more on grading, see the Web Grading Guide or refer to the legend on the SSOL Web Grading page.
Note that once grades are formally submitted, it is not easy to change them.
You can enter grades directly into SSOL, or you can upload them in one of two ways.
Directly from the grade sheet maintained in Courseworks
Uploading grades directly from within Courseworks/Canvas assigns equal weight to all exams and homework assignments. To assign varying weights, you must explicitly set the number of points in each case.
1. Log into SSOL with your UNI and select Web Grading (under Faculty Services) near the bottom of the option list.
2. Click “Upload File.”
3. Click “Import Grades from CourseWorks” for the course you are grading.
Be sure the numerical grades in Courseworks are translated to letter grades as intended. It is very difficult to change a grade once it is submitted.
Upload your own file
1. Log into SSOL with your UNI and select Web Grading (under Faculty Services) near the bottom of the option list.
2. Click “Upload File” and follow the instructions provided.
Frequently asked questions
Where is my office?
Adjunct professors have an Adjunct Office (CBS 457). Log into MICE and under Facilities, select the option for Card Access –> Request. If you have any problems, contact Elias Tesfaye.
Is parking available on the days I teach?
Yes. Contact Maria Joanta or Theresa Wells.
How do I find out where finals for my class will be held?
Depending on scheduling, finals are sometimes held in classrooms other than the ones the class is being held. Classroom assignments are listed in SSOL. Log in with your UNI and locate your class by name (use the alphabetical letters at the top of the screen to list classes).
When, how, and how much will I be paid?
Salary is payable at the end of month and is divided up into equal monthly installments; it is either directly transmitted to the bank via the direct deposit form or via a check delivered to the Department. The amount is dependent on many factors, including the size of the class. Contact Maria Joanta for more information.
How do I set up Direct Deposit?
Access the my.columbia.edu account with your UNI and UNI password to set up the direct deposit through that site. Contact Maria Joanta if you have questions. Direct deposit is highly recommended as check pickup is available only on Wednesdays (10am – 4pm) and Fridays (1pm – 4pm).
Who do I contact for administrative/payroll questions not covered here?
How do I cancel a classes in case of an emergency or inclement weather?
Send email to students that class will be rescheduled for another time or made up by extending regular class by 15 minutes.
What if I have questions about computing services?
How do I see who is registered for my class?
Log into either SSOL or Courseworks with your UNI. Note that SSOL updates more quickly than Courseworks.
I need an assistant or to change one I have. Who should I contact?
Classes with at least 25 students will be assigned a teaching assistant. Smaller classes may share a teaching assistant with another class. The TA coordinator coordinates TA assignments based on current enrollment information and history.
What is the Change of Program Period?
It is the first two weeks of the semester during which students can add/drop courses without financial penalty. Expect to see more students attending your class than what the roster says.
I have a waiting list for my course in SSOL, but a student asked me to sign an add/drop form. Should I sign?
If your class has a waiting list in SSOL, do NOT sign the add/drop form without discussing it with Jessica Rosa. By signing the add/drop form, you are allowing the student to bypass the waiting period.
Note that the wait list operates in two modes: by default automatic, where people from the wait list get automatically added to the class as others drop, and in manual mode, where you manuall promote people from the wait list. The manual mode is often used to give priority to people about to graduate.
The last day to drop classes is listed under Upcoming Events on the CS website.
Students say they cannot register for the course as the course is restricted/blocked. What does this mean?
Some courses are reserved for CS students only, and that is the most likely reason those students cannot register for the course. Contact Jessica Rosa for more info.
I have serious issues with the assigned classroom. What can I do?
Contact Jessica Rosa.
A student is requesting to drop a class after the drop date.
Registration issues such as this (or whether to allow an incomplete) are under the control of the dean of the individual school. Contact the relevant individual.
Should I allow students to audit the class?
It is up to you. To discuss the implications, contact Jessica Rosa.
Who do I contact with questions about different grading options (e.g., difference between CP/IN)?
I have general questions about academic policy. Who should I contact?
We highly recommend you to discuss general and your own additional academic integrity policy in the first class. This will provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and clarify your expectations. If you have any questions, contact the Associate Director of Academic Administration and Student Services or your faculty sponsor.
Historically the deans handle disciplinary penalties, and instructors handle academic penalties. This separation is consistent with current published policy.
There may be a reluctance to report violators but you are urged to do so. By providing the names of violators along with a short explanation of the violation to the computer science Academic Committee and to the relevant university office a record may be kept by both the department and the school. Patterns of abuse are only detectable if individual offenses are reported. Deans are much more likely to apply appropriate disciplinary measures when there is thorough documentation supporting their case. You are welcome to discuss any potential violation and how best to respond to it with the chair of the CS Academic Committee, Adam Cannon.
When you suspect an academic honesty policy violation:
1. Discuss the situation with the student, preferably in person. You may wish to have a TA/CA present as a witness for this discussion. With or without a confession, it is entirely at your discretion how you handle the penalty academically.
2. Report the offense to the CS Academic Committee and to the appropriate school level office:
For undergraduates (SEAS, CC, GS):
Associate Vice President for Student Conduct and Community Standards
Student Conduct and Community Standards
For graduate students:
Assistant Dean of Graduate Student Services and Postdoctoral Affairs
Office of Graduate Student Affairs, SEAS
For Barnard students: