Campus update 3/27/20

ric_adminAnnouncements, COVID-19, COVID-19: Employees, Roanoke Innovates

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Dear Virginia Western community,

As we wrap up the first fully online/remote
week of classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to update you on several
important issues related to this change. First, I want to thank all of our
outstanding faculty, staff and students for their flexibility and positivity as
we make the best-informed decisions we can. These variations to our normal
operations are going to have a positive impact upon our community’s health and
will likely save lives. Please continue to support one another, help those in
need and practice safe distancing routines.

Withdrawal Period: Given the unknown
negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, VCCS Chancellor DuBois has extended
the deadline to withdraw without a grade penalty for the spring semester. For Virginia
Western, that date is May 8, 2020. Effective
immediately, a student who withdraws or is withdrawn after the add/drop period
but before the last day of classes shall be assigned a grade of “W.” We will
send information on the process for a student to withdraw after the currently
published deadline in the near future.

Grading Policy: To ensure that students’
academic progress is not adversely impacted at this time, Chancellor DuBois is
instituting a Pass/Fail/Withdraw/Incomplete grading scale

for spring semester. Students will have the option to
request that their earned letter grades be recorded in lieu of the
pass/withdraw/incomplete option. This is compliant with federal and state
financial aid guidelines. Public four-year institutions in Virginia have agreed
to accept a Pass+ in transfer.

Under this policy, courses that have ended, such as 1st
8 week and 1st/2nd 4-week courses will follow the
existing grading scale.

Courses that have not reached the course end date as of
April 6, 2020 will use the following grading scale:

P+ Pass with a grade of “C” or
Applies to college
transfer and technical education. A grade of P+ will not impact a
student’s GPA.
P- Pass with a grade of “D” Applies to college transfer and
technical education. A grade of P- will not impact a student’s GPA.
W Withdraw A student may withdraw or be
withdrawn up until the last day of classes without penalty. See COVID-19
Guidance Message 11.
I Incomplete The faculty member and student may agree to
a plan to complete remaining course requirements in the following semester.
See VCCS Policy 5.6.0.

Virginia Western will develop a process to allow a student to request
his/her earned letter grade/s (A, B, C, D, F). Requests must be submitted by
not later than the last day of classes on May 8, 2020. A student may submit
only one grade request per course, and the request is not revocable. Specifics
on this process will be announced in the near future.

Campus Timeline: We have received multiple questions
following the announcement that we would remain in online/remote capacity until
further notice and not reopen campus on April 6, 2020, as originally planned. Our
goal from the beginning of this health crisis has been to return this semester
to a normal delivery of courses on campus. That said, we must acknowledge it is
increasingly unlikely to happen. With Governor Northam’s restrictions on
gatherings in place for at least 30 days (through April 24), faculty and students
should plan for those weeks to remain in online/remote instruction with the
likelihood we will have to remain online/remote for the rest of the semester.

I know this is challenging for everyone, as the
environment can shift during the course of a day. I appreciate everything that
you are doing to make this first week successful, and promise that we are
sifting through information and options as quickly as possible. We remain
mindful of the courses and students that are most impacted by a decision to remain
fully online/remote. We will provide additional guidance as soon as it becomes

Thank you again for your patience and support.


Dr. Robert H. Sandel


Virginia Western Community College

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