Virginia Western FAQs for COVID-19

ric_adminAnnouncements, COVID-19, Roanoke Innovates

This post was originally published on this site.

Updated 3/18/20

Is Virginia Western
open?

Virginia Western is currently closed for Spring Break. All areas of campus are closed to students and non-employees.

As advised by the Virginia Department of Health and Governor Ralph Northam, Virginia Western is taking steps to limit public gatherings and large groups to lessen the spread of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). We will transition the majority of our classes to remote and online delivery beginning on March 23, 2020, following Spring Break.

We anticipate remaining in a majority remote and online
delivery phase through at least April 5, 2020. As this date may change as it is
a fluid public health situation.

Our goal is for every student currently enrolled at Virginia
Western to have the ability to complete their academic semester in a timely
fashion while practicing good public health practices such as social
distancing.

Please practice social distancing and other measures to
reduce the chance of spread of COVID-19. Avoid gathering in large groups and
travel unless necessary. Practice every day prevention methods like frequent
hand washing, staying at home when sick and covering coughs and sneezes. For
more details, visit the CDC’s special web page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html.

Preventative measures across campus have included signage in
the restrooms to remind people to wash their hands properly. More than 200
containers of disinfecting wipes have been distributed to offices throughout
campus to clean areas. Hand sanitizer has been distributed across campus as
well. Meanwhile, our cleaning service has regularly been wiping door handles, handrails
with disinfectant as they clean.

How will I be
notified of changes?

When Virginia Western changes the status of campus and
classes, students will be informed by their college email account, VW Alerts,
the Virginia Western website, as well as social media. Be sure to sign up for
VW Alert text messages at: https://virginiawestern.edu/alert/index.php.

When is Spring Break?

Spring Break is March 15-March 22, 2020.

Will classes be held
online?

Virginia Western will transition the majority of our classes
to remote and online delivery beginning on March 23, 2020, following Spring
Break. We anticipate remaining in a majority remote and online delivery phase
through at least April 5, 2020. As this date may change as it is a fluid public
health situation.

Many classes will have a quick and simple transition to
Canvas and Zoom meetings, online tools the college already uses. If your class
goes to an alternate format, such as online, you will be contacted via your
school email.

Regularly check your MyVWCC email for updates. Ensure that you have the ability to connect to an online class by computer or other technology. If you have concerns that you do not have the capability to take a class online, contact your specific faculty member and/or your school’s dean.

Can I access Virginia
Western’s internet Wi-Fi if campus is closed to students?

If campus buildings are closed to students, Virginia Western students will be allowed to access the college’s Wi-Fi from their vehicles in the parking lot.

Are there any other resources for free or low-cost Internet?

Comcast in Salem is offering a special offer on Internet Essentials to provide support in the pandemic: https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/internet-essentials-low-income-broadband-coronavirus-pandemic.

There are also numerous Xfinity Wifi hotspots available for free in the Salem area: https://wifi.xfinity.com/.

Cox is also offering coronavirus relief offerings to residential customers: https://newsroom.cox.com/Cox_expands_coronavirus_relief_for_remote_workers_and_students?_ga=2.163327348.974909915.1584557256-641413936.1584557256.

Will Virginia Western
continue to host events?

Virginia Western is proactively taking steps to protect the
health and well-being of our students, employees and members of the community
in light of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). As advised by the Virginia Department
of Health and Governor Ralph Northam, the college is limiting public gatherings
and large events.

Virginia Western is canceling all campus events until at
least April 5. The Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s Scholarship Awards
Ceremony scheduled for March 25 is cancelled, along with Free Movie Friday
Events, intramurals and recreation activities and guest speakers.  

The college will provide updates on its website, social
media and through the media when public events are allowed on campus again.

Travel

All Virginia Western-sponsored travel, such as class trips,
student activity trips as well as work-related travel is cancelled until April 5.
The college will provide updates on its website, social media and through direct
email when travel is permitted again. As this is subject to change, the college
will provide updates.

Can I speak to an
advisor?

Yes, you are able to contact your student advisor and
schedule an appointment through Navigate for a Zoom virtual meeting. For
details, visit https://www.virginiawestern.edu/advising/schedule_an_appointment.php,
call (855) 874-6690 or email enroll@virginiawestern.edu.

Is Summer
registration still open?

Yes, you can still register for summer classes, which are
scheduled to begin on May 26, 2020. Register online today at www.virginiawestern.edu.

Will graduation be
held as scheduled?

Dr. Glenn DuBois, Chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced that all 23 community college’s May commencement ceremonies will be cancelled in accordance with CDC and VDH guidelines. This includes pinning ceremonies.

Our commencement ceremony is the culmination of our academic year at Virginia Western and it gives us a chance to celebrate all the hard work and dedication our students have exhibited to reach their goals. With the evolving nature of this public health crisis, we have not yet determined the best way to reschedule our ceremony. We are, however, committed to honoring the Class of 2020.

Where can I find more
health information and best practices?

Surely no one is evil
enough to scam people during this health crisis, right?

Wrong! Avoid becoming a victim of online scams: https://virginiawestern.edu/iet-services/disaster-related-scams/.

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