On March 18, WVU President E. Gordon Gee announced the next steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19:
- For the remainder of the semester, all classes, except some clinical rotations and related programming for certain programs at the Health Sciences Center, will not be conducted in-class and will be delivered in an alternative format beginning March 30.
- Courses that were fully online at the beginning of the semester should continue to follow the original syllabus.
- Faculty and instructors will be in touch with further directions.
- You can learn more about the academic success measures that are in place. Check back frequently for updated and new information.
- Students worried about paying $20 a month for an Adobe Creative Cloud software license to complete their spring semester coursework can access this resource.
Health Sciences Campus Information
Information specific to each of the Health Sciences Schools can be found below:
Health Sciences Library
The Health Sciences Library will be closing its physical space, including swipe card access, after 5 p.m. on March 19. The Library will still be providing online reference service and filling ILL requests, and all electronic resources will remain available.
Grading, withdrawal and suspension policies adjusted
With the unexpected WVU campus closure and rapid shift of all face-to-face instruction to distance learning format, the Office of the Provost is working diligently to address areas of concern among our faculty and students and weighing myriad options to determine the best solutions for our campus community.
We know students are concerned about some of the current academic policies and how they will apply during this unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. A global pandemic certainly isn’t something any of us anticipated, but we are moving quickly to make the necessary adjustments to help our students be successful this semester and into the future.
Along those lines, WVU is implementing changes to some of our academic policies. Below are the highlights:
- The deadline to withdraw from a course with a “W” is now April 24.
- Beginning the week of March 30 through April 24, undergraduate students will be able to apply for HP/P/F grading. High Pass (A, B, or C) and Pass (D) grades do not affect the student’s grade point average (GPA). Students are strongly encouraged to read the complete details on HP/P/F grading before selecting this option. This revised policy applies to undergraduate students only.
- Rather than being suspended, undergraduate students who have below a 2.0 GPA at the end of the Spring 2020 semester will be placed on probation.
- Instructors and students may request relaxed criteria for issuing Incomplete grades.
- For PROMISE scholarship recipients, GPA will not be evaluated as criterion for Fall 2020 scholarship renewal, but 30 credit hours will still be required for renewal.
- For West Virginia Higher Education Grant recipients, GPA will not be evaluated as criterion for Fall 2020 scholarship renewal, but 24 credit hours will still be required for renewal.
- For WV Invests Grant recipients, GPA will not be evaluated as criterion for Fall 2020 scholarship renewal, and community service requirements will be waived for the Spring 2020 semester.
- Undergraduate students under the Academic Common Market or Ohio Reciprocity Agreements will be automatically renewed for Fall 2020.
Students are strongly encouraged to read the complete details about each of these policies online. They should direct their questions to their academic advisor.
The switch to online delivery WILL NOT affect your visa status. The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance allowing universities to accommodate the switch given the unprecedented circumstances.
This change will not have any impact on your academic progress as your courses will be taught to completion on-line through various remote deliver methods, as defined by your course instructor.
If you intend to depart the United States for the remainder of the semester, please keep in mind that your courses may choose to meet synchronously (at a specific time over the internet, live). Please keep in mind challenges that may arise from internet connectivity and time differences in making this decision.
- Please be sure and monitor the CDC Travel Health Notices page to understand the health risks around the world.
- Be sure to check with airlines frequently, as itineraries may change due to border closures and logistical limitations.
- Please let Global Affairs know if you intend to remain in the United States or depart by completing this form.
- Any move within the United States (even changing residence halls) requires you to update your address with our office. To do so, visit ISSS and select Change of Address.
- If you are staying in the United States and require accommodations, please visit Housing.
- Accommodations are extremely limited, and many on-campus services will no longer be available, such as libraries, rec center, and only limited dining.
- By choosing to remain on campus, you may be required to change residence halls.
The Office of Global Affairs will be teleworking for the foreseeable future, and not able hold in-person appointments. Our advising will be conducted via email and video conferencing, and letters will be sent via mail service.
If you’re leaving the country and need a travel signature, you will not be able to get one before you depart. Please complete the Replace an I-20 request if you require a new I-20 with travel signature mailed to your international address.
Travel signatures are valid for one year – if you have a valid travel signature at the time of your return, please email email@example.com to check your status in SEVIS status prior to your return to the United States.
- If you’re departing the United States, the Mountainline runs a shuttle to Pittsburgh International Airport, and the Megabus is still offering routes to Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.
Online Classes and Disability Accommodations
As classes move online, faculty will rely more on written content, online examinations, web meetings, recorded lectures and other media content. For students with disabilities, this presents unique challenges. Therefore, it is important that instructors work with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to ensure that those students receive equal access to course instruction.
Additional information about testing and additional accommodations can be found on the OAS website. For questions about utilizing academic accommodations in the online classroom, or if you need assistance, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 304-293-6700.
There will be no tuition refunds. While the modes of delivery have changed, instruction is still being delivered and credit is still being earned.
In response to the devastating effects the novel coronavirus COVID-19 is having on our nation, Congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus package on Friday, March 27. Included in the package were resources to assist higher education institutions and their students. West Virginia University is expecting further guidance from the Department of Education on how those dollars can be used to provide assistance to our students. We anticipate being able to announce a plan by Friday, April 3. We know this is a stressful and frustrating time for all; we appreciate your patience as we continue to work through this together.
Thesis, Dissertation Defenses, Small Group Meetings Related to Student Progress
These meetings may take place, but only through remote access to avoid person-to-person contact. The Graduate/Professional Catalog allows remote participation in defenses with Dean’s Office approval. The chair of a thesis or dissertation committee planning a defense with remote participation should email the appropriate Dean’s Office administrator to describe the plan for the defense and to request approval. Dissertation defenses should continue to be posted to the University calendar, with an added comment that community members who wish to observe the defense should contact the committee chair to arrange remote access (which can be provided through live streaming, a conference call, or other strategies). Note that faculty and graduate students have access to both Zoom and Microsoft Teams to facilitate meetings with remote participation. Note that ETDs (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) will still be due on May 1 for May graduates.
The Robert E. Stitzel Emergency Fund for graduate and professional students assist those who experience an unexpected and documented financial hardship that negatively impacts their academic life and progress.
Contact the Office of Graduate Education and Life (GradEd@mail.wvu.edu, 304-293-7173) with questions or requests for assistance specific to graduate education.
Access to Labs and Offices
In light of the continued concerns around the coronavirus COVID-19 and minimizing community spread, the University is asking everyone to drive down their lab work to absolute minimal presence by close of business on Thursday, March 19, only to allow for instrumentation maintenance, cell/animal lines.
Fred L. King, Vice President for Research, has provided additional guidance.
- Graduate students may briefly visit their offices or other locations to pick up needed materials for working and studying from home.
- Computer labs, libraries (except HSC, for HSC students only), and other campus areas will not be available for graduate student use.
- Graduate students should not plan to work or study on campus.
Lack of Broadband Access
The Provost’s Office has asked professors to consider a variety of methods to deliver instruction, some of which do not necessarily involve the internet.
Some other options include:
- Sometimes you can use your cell phone as a WIFI hotspot.
- There are some options for people for whom cost has been an obstacle to having internet service. Here are a few:
- There is a federal government program to provide a discount on the cost of basic internet connectivity, subject to financial need qualification. Details are available at this link.
- Comcast offers an introductory offer of two months free service that the company serves. Check this link for information.
- Altice, parent of Suddenlink, is also offering a free 60-day service to its service area. Follow this link for more information.
- Charter also has a offer off two free months: Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
- AT&T offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers and $10/month plans to low income families: AT&T COVID-19 response.
- Several carriers are following an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots. Those include Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Each has slight differences.
- Xfinity WiFi hotspots in out-of-home locations will be available for free to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity Internet customers.
- Check with other internet service providers in your area for similar programs.
Adjustments to Merit-Based Scholarships for Returning Students
The University has taken steps to continue making higher education affordable.
WVU will reduce the minimum grade point average to 2.75 for all merit-based scholarships, making it easier for students, parents, faculty and staff to know the renewal requirements. However, students will still need to earn 30 hours per academic year.