Virtual Town Hall
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Virtual Town Hall



 


Virtual Town Hall Questions & Answers


COMMENCEMENT

Q: Will there be a summer commencement?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. A decision has not been made about summer commencement.

Q: What are the tentative new dates for Spring 2020 commencement?

A: Due to COVID-19, FAMU will not have a traditional in-person ceremony at this time. We are still deciding about having an in-person ceremony for spring graduates in the future. To celebrate this milestone in graduates’ lives now, we will be hosting a virtual ceremony on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m.

Q: How will the S/U grading policy affect graduating seniors?

A: The S/U grading policy will not affect graduating seniors. Students have the option to earn the regular letter grade or change to S/U. The S will be treated as an A-C grade and the students will earn credit towards the requirement for graduation. If the student earns a U then the student will not have satisfied the requirement needed for graduation and will need to reapply for another semester.

Q: What should graduating seniors do to ensure all paperwork is completed and are still on track to graduate?

A: If a graduating senior wishes to change their grading basis to an S/U option, they would do the following:
Login to their iRattler account.
Click Student Center.
Click Change Grading Basis link.
Make the switch by checking the box next to each course the student wishes to change.

Graduating seniors should also communicate with their academic advisors to ensure that the department has submitted any course exceptions (if applicable) to registrardocs@famu.edu.

Q: Will graduate application fees be waived?

A: There are no application fees associated with graduation applications. 


ONLINE CLASSES

Q: How does this shape the way classes are taught going forward?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. FAMU is currently open for business and will follow the guidelines provided by the CDC and U.S. government.  

Q: Will fall semester be online as well and what if students don’t have computers or internet access?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. A decision has not been made about transitioning fall classes online. Companies like Comcast and Charter Spectrum are offering complimentary WiFi for students. Mobile devices, such as cell phones and tablets, may also be used for remote learning and courses.

Q: I'm extremely concerned about taking a math course online this summer, what resources will be available to ensure success in this class?

A: This concern was also important to FAMU leadership, faculty and staff and they worked together to set students up for success during this time. To ensure success, students will have access to their Academic Coach, tutoring services and peer mentors.

Q: Is Florida Shines still an option if classes are unavailable? I am a graduating senior with three remaining credits.

A: Yes, Florida Shines is still available. However, if you are a graduating senior please check with your Dean as each college and school has different rules about completing your last few credit hours.

Q: Do the Chairs and Deans follow up with professors doing Zoom and how often they are doing online sessions with students?

A: Yes, department chairs, division directors, and deans are engaging with faculty on a regular basis throughout this semester to evaluate remote instruction. Students are encouraged to contact these individuals directly if they have questions are concerns about remote instruction.

Q: Will our GPA be affected due to the technical difficulties we’ve been facing during these troubled times?

A: The S/U grading option was established to acknowledge the difficulties students are encountering in spring 2020. S/U grades will not factor into GPA calculations.

Q: For this summer I see that there are a lot of limitations with instruction, how will this be handled?

A: We are offering a full slate of courses for summer 2020. Please consult with your academic advisor and/or department chair on availability of courses.

Q: What happens if I get sick/ill during the online instruction period, who should I call/what is the process? 

A: You can begin by notifying your instructor to request assistance with completing required coursework. You may also contact your dean’s office to request an official excuse, if needed.

Q: How do I change my major during the online instructional period?

A: You should initiate the process by contacting your current academic advisor, who will assist in navigating you through the process.

Q: What will online instruction look like after the Coronavirus ends?

A: The University will continue to offer online instruction and expand capacity to address student needs. 

Q: How is faculty going to monitor online instruction/tests/quizzes?

A: Faculty are using a variety of strategies, which include software solutions that allow for remote monitoring while students are completing exams and quizzes.


REFUNDS

Q: When can students expect the Housing and/or Meal Plan refunds to be processed?

A: Students can expect Housing and/or Meal Plan refunds to be processed by Monday, April 20.

Q: How will refunds be sent to students?

A: Refunds will appear on a student’s iRattler account.


GRADING POLICY

Q: Will you be penalized for taking S/U? Will this affect your GPA due to technical issues?

A: We strongly recommend that you discuss selecting the S/U option with your academic advisor or your department representative before making your choice because your decision may affect your program of study due to accreditation, licensure, or other requirements. S/U grades will not affect your GPA.

Q: Will ending your course with a D be eligible for the S/U grading system in certain courses? Or in all courses?

A: In some instances, a “D” grade is considered passing for certain programs. If you need that particular course for your program, it may be best to keep the “D” grade. However, deciding to keep the “D” grade will affect your GPA. Please speak to your academic advisor for further information about the best option.

For Undergraduate Courses, “U” grades will be given for “D” and “F” grades. In limited cases, an academic program may determine that assigning an “S” grade for an earned grade of “D” is acceptable for specific courses.

For Graduate Courses, “U” grades will be given for “C”, “D” and “F” grades.

Q: How does S/U affect a student’s GPA calculation?

A: S/U grades will not affect a student’s GPA.

Q: What happens to the students with disabilities who don't do well with online courses whose professors say they are not giving S/U grades?

A: If a student is having difficulties with transitioning to the online format they should contact CeDAR so that they can discuss the barriers to their academic success and ways to minimize those barriers as much as possible. Students can call (850) 599-3180 or email cedar@famu.edu. They can also email the Director at deborah.sullivan@famu.edu, or the Assistant Directors at gwendolyn.johnson@famu.edu and alejandro.pulido@famu.edu

The decision to provide alternative grading for a course is determined by the Office of Academic Affairs.

Q: What will happen to those students currently on SAP who don't make the grades to progress of SAP due COVID-19 and the new grading policy?   

A: The S/U grades can be excluded from the quantitative calculation for the purpose of determining Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). Students who are not meeting the minimum standards of SAP after the Spring 2020 semester will be able to submit a SAP appeal with all supporting documentation.

According to guidance from the Department of Education, circumstances related to an outbreak of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the illness of a student or family member, compliance with a quarantine period, or the general disruption resulting from such an outbreak may form the basis of a student’s SAP appeal.

Q: For students who are taking course recovery courses this semester, how does the new grading policy impact their previously failed grades? Can an S grade replace a previously failed course grade?

A: If you have applied for forgiveness, the “S” can be accepted because it is a “C” or better. Your GPA may improve depending on what it was before spring 2020.

Q: Are there any social sciences classes that are exempt from the S/U grading policy?

A: No. All social sciences classes are eligible for the S/U grading option.

Q: If you are planning to attend grad school, is getting an S/U option a good choice because it will appear on your transcript?

A: Many colleges and universities across the country have implemented similar grading options for spring 2020. Thus, the appearance of “S” grades on student transcripts will not be uncommon. Most graduate schools will base admissions decisions on the full scope of your academic performance and other relevant experiences.

Q: With the new grading system, will students be able to select one course to get an S and in another course a letter grade? Or is it one or the other?

A: Students can select the S/U option for individual courses. Thus, you may have a combination of S/U and letter grades on your transcript for spring 2020 if desired. 


OTHER

Housing

Q: Do they have an idea when students will be allowed back on campus to retrieve their items?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. FAMU is currently following the guidelines provided by the CDC and U.S. government and students are not allowed back on campus at this time.

Q: With the statewide stay at home order, when will students be able to move their materials out of the residence halls and will there be any financial penalties?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. FAMU is currently following the guidelines provided by the CDC and U.S. government and students are not allowed back on campus at this time. There will be no financial penalties at this time.

Q: How does the statewide stay at home order impact students who planned on moving out during the 30-day period?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. FAMU is currently following the guidelines provided by the CDC and U.S. government and students are not allowed back on campus at this time.


Summer

Q: When do dates begin for summer enrollment?

A: Registration for summer classes began on March 30. Classes for Summer A&C terms begin on Monday, May 11. Classes for the Summer B term begins on Monday, June 22.

Q: Will I be able to move on campus for the summer semester? 

A: Due to the COVID-19 epidemic courses will be remote or online for the summer semester. Campus housing will not be available for the summer. 

Q: Will there be an on-campus summer orientation? 

A: Due to COVID-19 epidemic New Student Orientation will be available online and remote. Students will receive information via email detailing how to sign up for New Student Orientation.

Q: Can high schools/seniors plan to tour the campus this summer? 

A: Due to COVID-19 epidemic campus tours will be held virtually.

Q: What's the update on summer programs on campus such as summer bridge and the CeDAR program? 

A: The CeDAR College Skills Study Institute (CSSI) will be virtual this summer during the Summer B session. Although students will not be living on campus for six weeks, all other critical aspects of the program will still be offered such as taking courses, mentoring and tutoring so that the students participating in the program will be provided the opportunities to successfully complete the program.

Q: Will more classes become available for this summer or is everything set in stone?

A: The schedule for summer 2020 has been finalized. There is a possibility that minor modifications will be made, but it is not likely.

Q: Will there be any OPS positions available for students during the summer months since the university has extended the remote instruction throughout the summer?

A: Yes, there will be a limited number of OPS employment opportunities available for students during the summer. Students should consult the FAMU Career & Professional Development Center for additional information on employment opportunities.

Q: Is anyone available to discuss incoming freshmen who were scheduled to start this summer?

A: Yes, Please call the Office of Admissions and they will be happy to discuss your questions with you.

Q: What do you see happening with summer internships in lieu of online interactions?

A: A number of companies and organizations are offering remote internship opportunities this summer. In addition, many of FAMU’s academic programs are offering remote research and internship opportunities. Students should consult the FAMU Career & Professional Development Center for additional information.


Fall

Q: Will FAMU be open in the fall?

A: Yes, FAMU is open for business until further notice.

Q: Do you think we will be only having online classes for the fall semester?

A: We are currently monitoring the progression of COVID-19. A decision has not been made about transitioning fall classes online.


Misc.

Q: How will this affect graduate school application/enrollment?

A: Many colleges and universities across the country have implemented similar grading options for spring 2020. Thus, the appearance of “S” grades on student transcripts will not be uncommon. Most graduate schools will base admissions decisions on the full scope of your academic performance and other relevant experiences.