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Section Override Roles (System Admins)

Schoology is a role-based platform. At the organization level, each user account is associated with a role. A user can only have one role at this level. For some Enterprise organizations, these roles are determined by an import from your student information system (SIS). However, this can prove difficult for users who wear multiple hats within their school or organization and need different permissions and abilities for different courses in which they are enrolled.

Section override roles allow a system or course administrators to grant section-specific permissions to a course admin enrolled in a course. These permissions may enable or disable permissions for the member in the course that is different than the permissions they have within their organization-level role.

Users still only have one organization-level role, but when users have a section override role, the permissions for the overriding role take precedent while the user works in that section.

Enabling Section Override Roles for your Enterprise Organization

To enable Section override roles for your organization:

  1. As a System Admin, click Tools in the top navigation.
  2. Select School Management from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Feature Options in the left menu.
  4. Check the box to Enable section override roles.
  5. Click Save Changes.

When enabled, section override roles give course administrators flexibility in delegating section-specific rights to particular enrolled admin members of their sections. Six pre-determined categories cover many likely role scenarios:

Role Name

May be great for...

Edit Grades / Edit Materials

  • Co-Teacher
  • Special Education Co-administrator
  • Substitute Teacher (Long Term)

Edit Grades / View Materials

  • Teaching Assistant

View Grades / Edit Materials

  • Teacher Advisor
  • Grade-Level Lead

View Grades / View Materials

  • Principal
  • Mentor teacher
  • Student Teacher

No Grades / Edit Materials

  • Curriculum team
  • Office Managers

No Grades / View Materials

  • Paraprofessionals
  • Substitute Teacher (Short-term)
  • Tutor or Advisor
  • Visiting Teacher

It’s important to remember that section override roles can both enable and disable permissions for users in specific sections.

  • For example, if a user has organization-level role permissions which allow them to Manage materials, but he or she is enrolled in a section with a section override role permission that does not allow them to Manage materials, then he or she will be losing permission to edit materials within that section.
  • Likewise, if a user has organization-level role permissions that do not allow them to Manage materials and is enrolled in a section with a section override role permission that enables them to Manage materials, then he or she will be gaining permission to edit materials within that section.

Additionally, the View Courses permission overrides any section override role. For example, a System Administrator with the View Courses permission enabled at the system level and enrolled in a course as an admin with the section override role No Grades / View Materials will still be able to view grades.

Case Study Example

Dr. McCormick is a Humanities professor at Collins College. She teaches the following courses:

Course Name

Course Code

Section Code


Intro to Literature




Intro to Literature




Composition I




Composition I




Composition II




In most of Dr. McCormick’s courses, she has a Teaching Assistant (TA) to help her with things like grading, moderating discussions, creating test review materials, taking attendance, and more. Even though all the TAs have the same title, they have different responsibilities depending on which course and section they help manage.

For example, in ENG101-01, the TA is Lauren. Lauren’s organization-level role in Schoology is Student. Some of the permissions that the Student role has disabled are as follows:

  • As a course admin, this role can… > Manage materials
  • As a course admin, this role can… > Manage attendance
  • As a course admin, this role can… > Manage gradebook

This presents a problem since Dr. McCormick relies on Lauren to help take attendance, administer discussions, create new test review materials, and grade journal entry assignments.

In this case, as a TA in Dr. McCormick’s class, Lauren would be given the Edit Grades/Edit Materials section override role. This will enable her to take attendance, administer discussions, create new test review materials, and grade journal entry assignments just within her section of Dr. McCormick's class.

Enable the Ability to set Section Override Roles

System Administrators have two options for enabling section override roles in their organization:

  1. Set the permission to allow course administrators to set overrides roles in their administered sections.
  2. Set section override roles for individual members via manual or auto-import of course enrollments.

Set Permission to Allow Course Administrators to Manage Section Overrides

For course administrators to be able to use section override roles, an organization’s System Administrator must first enable both the Manage roster and As a course admin, this role can… Assign section-level roles permissions, located in the Courses permission area:

The list of permissions associated with each of the named section override roles can be viewed by System Administrators in Manage Users > Permissions > Section Roles. This view is read-only:

Section Roles permission settings.

Assigning Roles Through Auto-Import and Manual Import

To assign section override roles through manual or auto-import, system admins will need to add a new column to their import file.

In both the manual Course Enrollments and Auto-Import tabs, there is a Course Enrollments section. System Administrators should list the CSV values that the six-section override roles have in their import file. For example, if the role Edit Grades/Edit Materials is represented as 1 in the import file, then the System Admin needs to enter 1 as the CSV value in the import settings:

Override Roles setting examples.

System Admins will also need to ensure the Override Roles field in Schoology is mapped to the correct column in the import file.

Section override roles are only applicable to users who are course admins. This means that if a user isn’t listed as a course admin in the import file, then they cannot have a section override role assigned to them.

Troubleshooting Section Override Roles Assigned via Import

There are a couple of Status Log errors specific to assigning section override roles via import:

Error message text

Error condition


Could not accurately map the specified override role when updating users.

The Section Override Role on the record does not exist in Schoology for this organization.

The file lists "School Support" as the name of a section override role, but that value isn't mapped to an existing school override role in Schoology.

Could not associate section override role with the specified user. Section override roles can only be associated with course admins.

The user on record is listed as a course member instead of a course administrator.

The file lists "School Support" as the name of a section override role for Amy, but Amy's enrollment Enrollment Type is Member instead of Course Administrator.


In Schoology, the shield icon is used to indicate admin status in a course or group. However, if your Enterprise organization has enabled the Section Override Roles feature, you may see different icons:

  • Shield with a star icon example.
    The shield-with-star icon indicates that a user is a
    course admin and their organization-level role permissions apply within that section. This icon also applies to group admins.
  • Blank shield icon example
    The blank shield icon indicates that a user is a
    course admin with a section override role assigned in that section.

For example, in the screenshot below, the user is a course admin with an organization-level role and permissions in Math 5: Section 2. In Math 5: Section 3, a blank shield icon indicates that a section override role is in place that overrides the user's organization-level role and permissions.

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