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COVID-19: Academics FAQs

Will there be a Pass/Fail option for courses this semester?


Pass/Fail (S/NC) Grading Options for the Spring Semester of 2020 only.  The S mark replaces all grades from C- to A+ inclusive; the NC replaces all grades from D+ to F inclusive. Neither the S nor the NC mark has any impact on grade-point averages (semester or cumulative).


•            The Pass/Fail window will be open from April 13th to April 24th. 

•            Students may change up to two of their spring semester courses to Pass/Fail status within those two weeks.

•            Once a student submits a request to move a section to Pass/Fail status, they may not move the course back to graded status.

•            Students may elect to take major courses as Pass/Fail.

•            Courses will appear as either S (pass) or NC (fail/no-credit) on the official academic transcript.

•            Students that take a course Pass/Fail will not be eligible for the Dean's List.

•            This applies to the Spring 2020 semester only.


Please be sure to discuss any changes in grading options with the faculty member and your advisor.


Is there any change to the withdrawal policy?


For the 2020 Spring semester, the last day to withdraw from a course has been extended to Friday, May 1st.


Do faculty need to be on campus before April 6th?

Faculty do not necessarily need to be on campus, but the University is open for business, so they should let students know how best to reach them for office hours and/or other questions.

Standing committees should decide how they will continue their work moving forward in the semester.

Are faculty required to offer their courses online?

Faculty are required to offer students a reasonable and guided way to achieve the learning outcomes of their courses. Individual faculty members will have to identify those goals and how best to achieve them given our current physical limitations.

We would encourage faculty who want to deliver their courses online/via video conference during their regularly scheduled class periods to record those sessions as it is possible that some students may not be able to get access to live conferencing. Big Blue Button will record any live sessions that faculty offer through Moodle.

How will advising be handled this term?

Advising will proceed along our usual timeline. Students can plan out classes in Self-Service and advisors can log in and approve the course selections; advising appointments can then be held remotely (e.g., FaceTime, skype, zoom, telephone).

Remember that we do have advising resources online, and there are three videos from the Registrar posted. One is for advisors, and the other two are for students--one on planning classes and one on registering.

What can faculty do for students who do not have class materials and notes because they live too far from campus or do not have transportation to come pick them up?

  • Please decide and let students know whether you are okay with them sharing class notes.
  • If you use Power Point extensively in class, but do not currently make those available to students, you might consider doing so.
  • Scan as much of your materials as you can. (Note: the Library staff are looking into which textbook companies are providing free electronic access during the COVID-19 outbreak.)
  • The Library staff are working to provide as many resources as possible to students and faculty in this difficult time. We will add those to a Resource Repository we are creating and update them as needed.

What assistance is available to students who do not have access to smart devices beyond cell phones and/or internet services at home?

Student Development is creating a list of off-campus providers and suggestions for how to get access for those students who live out of the Springfield area. Students in Springfield can certainly come to campus and use resources here.

What implications will this disruption to our regular classes have on people who are preparing for tenure and/or promotion in the fall?

FEB will be working with FPB to answer this question. Stay tuned!

Tips for Accommodations While Teaching Remotely

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