Appendix B

Alternatives    Establishing EMP    Passing Student Choice    Student Choice    Random Source Download the Report
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Guide to Passing a Student Choice Policy

1. Address current academic requirements and curricular issues. a. Supporting Documentation
Those proposing and considering a student choice policy at their college or university should adequately prepare by reviewing existing student choice policies at other universities175. Particularly important to many faculty and administration is providing supporting documentation from top-tier universities. Addressing issues of pedagogy is critical to a policy’s success.

b. Course Structure
Once the policy is adopted, many universities comprehensively allow students to utilize alternatives in all courses where there is animal use, but some universities develop a more limited policy. Due to logistical constraints, some universities offer “alternatives-only” courses in specific semesters, expecting students to structure their schedule by selecting the courses that only use alternatives, instead of expecting faculty to provide both options in every course.

c. Requirements
Policies have the most chance of success when adequate preparation is taken to understand and uncover requirements from accreditation bodies that may affect the departments covered by the policy. Some scientific fields have specific course requirements for students or accreditation, which may need to be considered.

2. Define the administrative scope of the policy and which units will be affected by the policy. a. Affected Units
It is important to decide whether the entire university, specific departments, or certain courses, including some electives, courses for science majors, courses for science non-majors, etc., will be affected.

b. Implementation
If a university-wide governing body passes a policy, the responsibility for implementing the policy will differ considerably from one that is overseen by a specific department. In some universities, departments retain autonomy regarding the use of alternatives, while most place the locus of control at a campus level.

3. Clarify students’ options for choice and clearly designate classes with animal use. It is critical to denote whether students who plan to pursue a life science or similar degree will be able to use alternatives, or if the policy will only apply to non-majors. Students should be aware of their options for choosing an alternative, whether alternatives are provided, and whether specific alternatives are proscribed, or if students are expected to access their own alternatives. Also, once passed, the policy should be publicized so that students are made aware of their opportunities to select an alternative. Notations should be made which indicate the procedures involved for students who select an alternative, for example, whether it occurs at the beginning of a course as listed on the syllabus, so they have adequate time to select an alternative or choose another course. A procedure for students designating their choice should become part of the policy.

4. Assign responsibility to identify and acquire effective alternatives for courses where needed. The process as well as the individuals responsible for selecting, identifying, and acquiring alternatives should be clarified. If the process is more centralized, these activities may be handled by the science department head. In other cases, it may be the responsibility of the student taking the course to acquire suitable alternatives.

5. Identify a supportive faculty member to spearhead policy efforts for initiation, implementation, and follow-up, also fostering a collegial environment. The faculty member could be a respected member from any discipline, and should be involved in the entire process to lend support and credibility.

174For example, a written description of Hofstra University’s student choice policy can be found at:, accessed 4 February 2009; and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana policy, infra note 175 of this appendix. Other examples highlighted infra pg. 36 of this report.
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