Classes and Academics

How to prepare for classes

We learn and remember best when we can attach new information to something we already know. Consequently, the best way to prepare for your classes is to learn as much as you can about your subjects before classes start. Here are a few simple ways to do this: 

Order your textbooks early and get started on your reading. Don’t try to read too much—read slowly so that you can make sure you understand the key concepts. Want to see if you understand a key concept? See if you can explain it to a 9-year old. People who understand things can make them simple. 

Access your courses’ Canvas pages as soon as you can and get a head start on your first assignments. Remember, don’t try to do too much. Instead, work slowly to make sure you understand the key concepts. 

Remember what you already know about the subjects you are taking. Review your high school work in that area, read online introductions or take a crash course.

Establish a calendar and schedule-in your classes and study times. Successful students study like it’s their job on a daily schedule. They also find ways to study more-- often by forming study groups. They also vary their approaches to studying. The best way to do this is to blend reading, note-taking, and practices sets with quizzes--either by making your own, quizzing with a study group, or by putting a flashcard app on your phone.

All Winter Quarter classes to start remotely

All Winter Quarter 2021 classes will start remotely on Jan. 5, our originally scheduled start date.  Those select classes cleared to move forward under face-to-face or hybrid delivery will not meet in person until Jan. 19, after remote instruction for the first few days of the term.

Popular Questions

Registering for ISP courses

To register in an Independent Study (ISP) Course, please complete and submit the Directed Independent Study and Registration Authorization Form to the instructor of the course. The instructor will then approve or deny the form and send to the Registrar's Office. Once the ISP course is created, you will registered in the course and you will receive an automated email to your WWU email account.

Course Fees

Departments will be making adjustments to course fees according to what is being provided to students in the course. Some fees will not be charged at all, while the majority will either be charged as posted or reduced to a level commensurate with what is provided during remote delivery of the course. You can expect to learn about any course fee adjustments from your professors and on your student account.

What does it mean if a class is asynchronous?

An 'asynchronous' or fully online course is delivered such that students can complete the work at any time in a day (or sometimes a week). These courses do not require that faculty or students be at their computer during the scheduled class time. In a 'synchronous' or remote class students must be online during the regularly scheduled class time. This structure is most like a face-to-face class and can involve typical lectures delivered via Zoom or another tool.

Can I record my class session?

Class material falls under copyright law; recording and posting Zoom-type class sessions without the permission of the instructor is against university policy. If a student needs to record a session as part of an accommodation, the student should work with the instructor and the Disability Access Center to ensure that accommodation can be made.

Where can I print on campus?

Students can use the computers and printers in Haggard Hall 101 and 112 as well as the Viking Union's Multipurpose Room. Printers may be available at other locations as well. Students will need to wear face coverings, ensure they are symptom-free, and follow physical distancing and hand-washing and sanitizing guidelines when using computer labs on campus.

Fall Grading Policies

With input from the Faculty Senate and the Associated Students, and with the approval of the Provost, the University will – with the modifications described below – return for Fall Quarter 2020 to the standard and published grading policy posted below. This temporary policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U or on grading in the Fairhaven College, which has its own grading policy.

Requesting P/NP grades:

Students may designate a course as Pass/No Pass by submitting a request with the Registrar’s Office after registering for the course; they may change this designation by submitting the change to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the seventh week of a quarter (Nov. 10); for extension program courses, pass/no pass grading designation may be elected up to the end of the seventh week for regular quarter-long courses, or prior to the third class meeting for shorter courses. Students may be advised to stay with a letter grade if required for accreditation, veteran status and benefits, or other purposes.

P/NP grades:

Undergraduate students opting for P/NP (EP/NP*) grading in Fall Quarter 2020 will receive an EP for grades of D+ and above. A grade of D or D- will be recorded as a NP, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. A grade of F will be recorded as NP on the transcript, will not receive degree credit, and will not be reflected in the GPA. By choosing not to opt for EP/NP grading, a student may have a D or D- reported to their transcript, which will earn credits and be reflected in the GPA. Departments requesting a different minimum grade for credit may petition their Dean and will announce the course grade rubric before the start of classes. This policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U.

Credit:

A grade of EP* during Fall Quarter 2020 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements unless noted by a department and included in the respective syllabus.

Rationale:

In Spring Quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led the university to shift to remote learning, a modality that was new for many faculty and students. These uncharted teaching/learning conditions made it necessary to adopt a temporary grading policy that would accommodate student acclimation to the new learning environment and that would afford students a certain flexibility in how their work in courses would be formally registered. While the challenges brought on by the pandemic have by no means disappeared, the return to some face-to-face instruction, as well as more familiarity with remote and online teaching/learning, supports returning to the standard rank (letter grade) system. The later date by which students must opt for a P/NP grade (Week 7, as opposed to the standard Week 4 reporting deadline to the Registrar), recognizes a continued need for flexibility and the fact that the decision might be better informed after mid-term. As other universities make the same decision, it is also in the best interests of our students to revert to rank grading, retaining some aspects of the flexibility present in the temporary policy (more time to decide on requesting P/NP, etc.).

*EP (Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) is to be used as the P grade in grade submission. It is necessary in order to facilitate the appropriate qualification of the P grade in Banner and DegreeWorks during the period of the temporary grading policy.

  During all quarters in which P/NP interim grading policies are in effect at the undergraduate level, the following policy will apply to graduate level courses, beginning Summer 2020.

Policy Highlights
  • Graduate students may choose P/NP grading for courses that are normally A-F letter-graded, excluding thesis and research courses. Courses graded S/U cannot be changed to P/NP.
  • To elect P/NP grading, submit a request to the Registrar's Office by the end of the seventh week of the quarter. For short format courses, P/NP may be requested prior to the third class meeting.
  • To request P/NP for undergraduate courses, follow the undergraduate grading policy.
  • A minimum C- equivalent is required to receive a P grade. Programs may specify a higher passing grade, and must communicate that to students by the first day of the course.
  • Beginning Summer 2020, a maximum of 6 credits of P grades may be counted toward degree requirements. All spring 2020 P grades may apply to degree requirements, and do not count against the 6 maximum.

 

Graduate School Interim Grading Policy

Winter Grading Policies

With input from the Faculty Senate and the Associated Students Senate Pro Tempore, and with the approval of the Provost, the University will – with the modifications described below – continue for Winter Quarter 2021 with the standard and published undergraduate grading policy posted below. This temporary policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U or on grading in the Fairhaven College, which has its own grading policy.

Requesting P/NP grades:

Students may designate a course as Pass/No Pass by submitting the Grade Mode Change Form with the Registrar’s Office after registering for the course; they may change this designation by submitting the change to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the seventh week of the quarter (deadline February 22, 2021); for extension program courses, pass/no pass grading designation may be elected up to the end of the seventh week for regular quarter-long courses, or prior to the third class meeting for shorter courses. Students may be advised to stay with a letter grade if required for accreditation, veteran status and benefits, or other purposes.

P/NP grades:

Undergraduate students opting for P/NP (EP/NP*) grading in Winter Quarter 2021 will receive an EP for grades of D+ and above. A grade of D or D- will be recorded as a NP, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. A grade of F will be recorded as NP on the transcript, will not receive degree credit, and will not be reflected in the GPA. By choosing not to opt for EP/NP grading, a student may have a D or D- reported to their transcript, which will earn credits and be reflected in the GPA. Departments requesting a different minimum grade for credit may petition their Dean and will announce the course grade rubric before the start of classes. This policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U.

Credit:

A grade of EP* during Winter Quarter 2021 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements unless noted by a department and included in the respective syllabus.

Rationale:

In Spring Quarter of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic led the university to shift to remote learning, a modality that was new for many faculty and students. These uncharted teaching/learning conditions made it necessary to adopt a temporary grading policy that would accommodate student acclimation to the new learning environment and that would afford students a certain flexibility in how their work in courses would be formally registered. While the challenges brought on by the pandemic have by no means disappeared, the return to some face-to-face instruction, as well as more familiarity with remote and online teaching/learning, supports returning to the standard rank (letter grade) system. The later date by which students must opt for a P/NP grade (Week 7, as opposed to the standard Week 4 reporting deadline to the Registrar), recognizes a continued need for flexibility and the fact that the decision might be better informed after mid-term. As other universities make the same decision, it is also in the best interests of our students to revert to rank grading, retaining some aspects of the flexibility present in the temporary policy (more time to decide on requesting P/NP, etc.).

*EP

(Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) is to be used as the P grade in grade submission. It is necessary in order to facilitate the appropriate qualification of the P grade in Banner and DegreeWorks during the period of the temporary grading policy.

Version 4: In effect starting Winter 2021

This temporary policy has no bearing on 690 Thesis and 691 Field Project credits, courses graded S/U, noncredit bearing program-specific graduation requirements, or on grading in the Fairhaven College, which has its own grading policy. A summary of the grading policy is included here along with a more complete description of how other Graduate School policies are affected by this temporary policy and faculty control over curricular decisions while this policy is in place (Appendix).

Requesting P/NP grades for Graduate Courses:

Graduate students may designate a graduate course as Pass/No Pass by submitting the Grade Mode Change Form to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the seventh week of a quarter following registration. For winter quarter 2021, the deadline to submit the form is February 22, 2021. For short-format courses offered through Western’s Outreach and Continuing Education programs, graduate students may elect pass/no pass grading designation prior to the third class meeting. Students may be advised to elect letter grading if required for reasons such as veteran status or benefits, overall GPA, or program-specific accreditation or other requirements.

Requesting P/NP grades for Undergraduate Courses:

Graduate students will follow the temporary policy for undergraduates.

P/NP grades:

Graduate students opting for P/NP (EP/NP*) grading† in Winter Quarter 2021 will receive an EP for grades of C- and above. A grade of D+ or lower will be recorded as an NP*, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. By choosing not to opt for EP/NP grading, a student may have a D+, D or D- reported to their transcript, which will be reflected in the GPA. Programs requesting a different minimum grade for credit may petition their Dean and, if approved, will announce the course grade rubric before the start of classes.

Credit:

For graduate students a grade of EP will count towards continuation requirements, but the total number of EP credits received beginning summer 2020 and thereafter that will count toward the degree is limited to a maximum of 6. EP grades received during spring 2020 do not count toward the 6 credit limit. Under special circumstances, a student can petition the Graduate School to count additional EP graded credits towards the degree.

Rationale:

This policy is intended to assist graduate programs in determining how to meet existing Graduate School policies during the University’s COVID-19 response. The Coronavirus pandemic has led the university to shift to remote learning, a modality that is new for many faculty and students. These uncharted learning conditions, coupled with the current social and economic instability our students are currently experiencing, will create challenging quarters. Out of an abundance of care, a final recommendation from the Graduate Faculty Governance Council (GFGC) is for faculty to consider these exogenous factors when designing courses, assignments, and other methods of assessment to ameliorate student anxiety and encourage a focus on learning.

† EP

(Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) is to be used as the P grade in grade submission, and NP* is to be used as the NP grade. This is necessary to facilitate the appropriate qualification of the P grade in Banner and Degree Works during the period of the temporary grading policy

Appendix: COVID-19 Graduate Faculty Governance Council (GFGC)

Interim Graduate Grading Policy for Graduate Courses In effect starting Summer 2020

Scholarship Standards

Current Policy:

Pass/No Pass grades are not applicable toward a graduate degree.

Interim Policy:

Superseded by this Interim Policy.

Current Policy: To remain a candidate for the degree, a student must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in courses listed on the plan of study.

Interim Policy: No change to current policy. EP/NP* grades will not be calculated in the GPA.

Current Policy: A maximum of 10 credits of C grades (C+, C, C-) is allowed towards completion of a graduate program.

Interim Policy: No change to current policy; however, EP grades will not be calculated into the maximum number of C grades allowed in current policy.

Current Policy: Courses in which a D+ or lower is earned may not be applied towards completion of a graduate program.

Interim Policy: No change to current policy; however, credits from a course where an NP* grade was received will not be applied towards completion of a graduate program.

Current Policy: There are certain courses that must be passed with a grade of B or better; program descriptions note such requirements.

Interim Policy: No change to current policy; however, programs can decide to revise or waive this program-specific requirement while this policy is in effect and communicate this to students no later than one week before the start of the term.

Current Policy: An incomplete (K) grade may be assigned in accordance with the regulations outlined in the Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Interim Policy: No change to current policy.

Awarding of the Master’s Degree

Current Policy:

A student must be enrolled for at least two regular credits or GRAD 699 during the quarter in which the degree is awarded.

Interim Policy: No change to current policy.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

Current Policy: Graduate students must maintain continuous enrollment from their first quarter of registration until completion of all degree requirements. Continuous enrollment is defined as registering for at least one credit in all academic quarters (excluding summer) until the degree is attained or status as a degree-seeking graduate student is terminated.

  • Students who have not completed all degree requirements and are not currently registered for any credits will be required to register for GRAD 699, Continuous Enrollment, every quarter (excluding summers) until all degree requirements are completed. GRAD 699 is non-graded.
  • Students who maintain Continuous Enrollment will be allowed to complete their degree under the policies and requirements in place at their date of matriculation.
  • Registration for GRAD 699 maintains many privileges associated with full or part time university enrollment, such as access to Western Libraries, technology, and research facilities.
  • Registration for GRAD 699 does not meet minimum enrollment requirements for Financial Aid, student employment, or status as a Teaching Assistant.
  • Western Washington University employees receiving state waivers in pursuit of their graduate degree are exempt from the Continuous Enrollment requirement.

Interim Policy:

No change to current policy.

Learning from Home

Learning online will take more motivation and attention than in-person classes, with one of the biggest hurdles being the environment. Home, be it in Bellingham or elsewhere, is where we relax and unwind after a long day of work. But now it's where all the work will get done.

Here are some ways you can create a good learning environment at home:

Set up a “home office” that’s quiet and well lit, away from distractions. If you are not using your phone for class, consider leaving your phone in another room.

Be aware of your notifications. Push notifications on your phone or other device could cause distraction. Be aware of these and consider turning them off while you work/study.

Set up a routine and schedule that includes getting up at a regular time, getting ready (and out of those PJs) and getting to work. 

Manage your time. Time management is an essential skill to have as a student and even more important when you are learning remotely. Managing your time will keep you focused, on track and making progress in your studying and assignments.

Try the time blocking Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, to prevent burnout, work 25 minutes then take a 5-minute break. After four 25-minute segments, take a longer 15-minute break to stretch, step outside, etc.

Make time for lunch instead of snacking through lectures – crinkling can distract other students during a video call.

Don’t work in bed. Doing so can associate work/school stress with what’s supposed to be a relaxing environment – doing work in a different area helps with compartmentalization.

Move around. Getting up at least once an hour to stretch, walk around, etc. will boost concentration and give you a brief mental break. These are additional best practices for healthy distance learning.

Be open to learning new technology. There are many of resources available to help students learn in a remote way including Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Check them out and see how they might help you stay connected.

International Students FAQs

Yes, based on the U.S. government’s ​agreement to rescind the proposed July 6 SEVP guidance and the updated July 15 ​Frequently Asked Questions for Stakeholders​ as well as clarification ​broadcast message July 24,​ continuing students who were previously enrolled for spring quarter will be allowed to remain in the U.S. or return to the U.S. to take all of their courses online. Based on WWU’s fall quarter course options, most courses will be offered online with limited exceptions for some experiential courses that can be taught safely in-person, such as applied performance classes and some hands-on labs. Your SEVIS I-20 record will remain valid as long as you maintain your F-1 status and enroll full-time.

Continuing students who were previously enrolled for spring quarter but wish to remain outside of the U.S. for fall quarter may take online courses and keep your SEVIS record active as l​ong as you register full-time for fall quarter and continue to follow all F-1 regulations. SEVP has confirmed the university can keep your SEVIS record active and you will be eligible for future benefits such as CPT and OPT as long as you maintain your F-1 status.

Every student’s situation is different. WWU’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office encourages you to contact us to understand your options. If you have additional questions or wish to meet with an ISSS adviser, contact isss@wwu.edu or call 360-650-7971.

If you are an English language student, please contact iep@wwu.edu with your questions.

Classes and Academics FAQs

In this time of uncertainty, we are working to provide those in need with resources in the local community and on campus. Several offices from across campus are partnering to provide available resources for students, including the creation of a resources website that includes an intake form to assess student needs.

After a student submits the intake form, a staff member will contact them with personalized assistance. Examples of assistance might be a grocery gift card, swipes for meals in a dining commons, assistance with emergency housing, and/or laundry cards.  

This work is a collaboration with Western’s Office of Financial Aid, Western Hub of Living Essentials (WHOLE) Pantry, Associated Students, Off-Campus Living, the Western Foundation, Western Success Scholars program, Dining Services, Residence Life, Office of Sustainability, the Outback Farm and the Office of Student Life. We will continue to assess emerging needs to best match with resources and hope to continue to provide students with support in this trying times.   

Yes. WWU applied for federal CARES Act funding for students on April 21, and received $5.8 million to expend over the next year as grants for Western students who have incurred expenses from disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Find out more in this article.

To receive federal CARES Act funding, you must meet these criteria: 

  • Incurred expenses from disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19 

  • Filed a FAFSA in 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 and are eligible to receive Federal Title IV student aid 

  • Are currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program 

  • Aren’t currently in financial aid suspension 

Apply here: https://www.finaid.wwu.edu/.

To declare in a major, minor, or certificate, please submit the appropriate form from the list below to the department, following the routing instructions on the form:

Declare a Major: Major Declaration and Change Web Form

Declare a Minor: Minor Declaration and Change Web Form

Declare a Certificate: Certificate Declaration and Change Web Form

If you are approved into the program of your choice, the Registrar's Office will declare you into the program once the form is approved to our office. Once the major/minor/certificate is declared, you will receive an automated email to your WWU email account. 

All questions – including if you are denied acceptance into a program – should be directed to the academic department. 

To register in an Independent Study (ISP) Course, please complete and submit the Directed Independent Study and Registration Authorization Form to the instructor of the course. The instructor will then approve or deny the form and send to the Registrar's Office. Once the ISP course is created, you will registered in the course and you will receive an automated email to your WWU email account.

Students who are have not received responses to instructor emails and are unable to access their classes should reach out to their department chairs for further guidance. Contact information for chairs can be found in Western's Departmental Directory.

An 'asynchronous' or fully online course is delivered such that students can complete the work at any time in a day (or sometimes a week). These courses do not require that faculty or students be at their computer during the scheduled class time. In a 'synchronous' or remote class students must be online during the regularly scheduled class time. This structure is most like a face-to-face class and can involve typical lectures delivered via Zoom or another tool.

While seating and room size are typically part of our assessment of capacity, it is still the case that capacity issues matter in the remote learning environment that we will be operating in this spring.  Faculty and departments make decisions about the appropriate size of classes in order to provide an optimal learning experience, whether face-to-face or online.  In some cases, remote teaching can produce a heavier assessment and grading burden on faculty, as well.  Capacity is a function of many considerations.

Western Libraries buildings are currently closed but the Libraries remain open online. All current WWU students, faculty, and staff can place online requests for materials from Western Libraries, or for items from Summit libraries, and may choose either on-site pickup or mail delivery options. Western Libraries also offers 24/7 online access to online tutorials, e-books, articles and databases, and other video resources. All course reserve materials are electronic and available online. Course instructors, faculty members, or their representatives may submit course reserve requests for their classes, and students can access these resources via Canvas.

The Tutoring Center will provide tutoring support services online, including support for math and science GURs. During the Tutoring Center’s regular hours, students can connect with a peer advisor by clicking on the “Chat with the TC'' link, found on the left side of the Tutoring Center’s main page. Tutoring Center peer advisors are available to answer general questions, match students up with a tutor, or make referrals to other services. The Hacherl Research & Writing Studio offers students support in research, writing, and other related areas. Students can connect live to an online meeting, initiate a chat using “Ask us,” or submit a draft paper for email response. Chat is available in real-time online during open hours, and students can also text the Studio with questions to 360-797-5910. There are also many online guides and resources that cover all steps of the research & writing process. To learn more about accessing library services, materials, and programs online, please check out the Library Resources for Teaching and Learning webpage.  You can also take a virtual tour of the library. For additional questions, please email: LibraryCommunications@wwu.edu.

Many campus services are operating remotely, including: 

The Academic Technology and User Services (ATUS) Help Desk is available by phone and email from 8am to 5pm on weekdays. Helpful articles and service request forms are available at http://atus.wwu.edu. Walk-in tech support is not currently available in HH 123, but in-person support can be scheduled when necessary. Contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@wwu.edu, or at (360) 650-3333.

Students who lack computer access at home can request a laptop with a loan through the end of the term. 

For more information about building closures and guidelines at your campus location, go to: 

Technology Assistance:

 

The computer labs will be open on all OC campuses (Bremerton, Poulsbo, Shelton) starting July 6th through Fall quarter and are anticipated to be open until 9 p.m. on weeknights. 

Counseling Services: If you are feeling anxious or need someone to talk to:

Everett-based students: Chett Hill, WWU Everett’s Mental Health Counselor, will be available for virtual appointments. Please contact him directly at chett.hill@comcast.net  to schedule an appointment. All WWU Everett students receive three free sessions with Chett. Please let him know you are a WWU Everett student when you schedule your appointment.

Bremerton/Poulsbo-based students: Students in Bremerton and Poulsbo can access up to three counseling sessions through Olympic College each academic year. Students may reach out to Trish Christean with Olympic College: 360-475-7233 or tchristean@olympic.edu. Please let her know you are a WWU student when you make your appointment.

Port Angeles-based students: Peninsula Behavioral Health (PBH) Counselors will be available to assist students.  Students should call 360-457-0431 and ask to speak to the Access Department. Students should identify themselves as WWU students so they can bypass the normal lengthy intake process. All WWU Port Angeles students receive three free sessions with PBH.

Library/Writing Support: Western offers a wide variety of library services remotely, including support in research and writing - essay drafts, project components, scholarship applications, resumes -- they will be available to assist you online.

All Western students and employees are expected to follow the University’s Reporting Communicable Diseases Policy (POL-U1000.12) if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. They should complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting Form, which notifies Western’s Student Health Center and is used to determine appropriate follow-up for addressing the needs of the campus community. 

Healthcare options for site-based students outside of Bellingham include:

1)      Contacting their primary healthcare provider

2)      Calling the Washington State Department of Health at 800-525-0127

3)      Accessing free e-visits by MultiCare Virtual Care to anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath).


Health officials will guide students on next steps. All Western students are also encouraged to visit Western’s coronavirus website and the state and regional health departments in their area for the latest information and announcements:

Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus Information
Snohomish County Health Department
King County Health Department
Kitsap County Health Department
Clallam County Health & Human Services

Generally, if a host site is still accepting our students, then internships, student teaching and other experiential learning that is currently in place may continue as planned.

Faculty or staff advisors commonly evaluate the acceptability of a host site for meeting the objectives of their department’s experiential learning program and a formal relationship with that host site is established. As a precaution, and if practical, advisors may wish to ask their host site liaison what they are doing to protect their employees, clients and interns from transmitting and contracting COVID-19. That information should be passed along to our students.

Students who are responsible for evaluating and selecting their own host site for their experiential learning activities may wish to ask their host site representative about COVID-19 protection measures as well. Students should be instructed to weigh the risks and benefits and then make the best choice for the own health, safety and well-being.

Students should be instructed to closely follow the policies and procedures of their host sites, including required prevention measures, screening for symptoms, personal protective equipment (e.g. face mask, gloves and gowns), social distancing and reporting when they feel sick or suspect they may have COVID-19 symptoms.

Also, a student’s professional credentialing organization may be relaxing the field experience and clinical practice requirements in light of COVID-19. For example, the Washington State Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) has done this for student educators.

Notwithstanding the above, host sites that are experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak should be avoided. Requests for exceptions should be directed to Paul Mueller, Director of Risk, Compliance and Policy Services at x3065.

Faculty, staff or students who know or suspect they have COVID-19 should follow applicable guidance posted in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional Resources

University Policy POL-U2100.03-Managing the Risk of Off Campus Experiential Learning Programs

University’s Experiential Learning Online Risk Management Toolkit

Gov. Inslee announces new rules to protect older adults in nursing homes, assisted living facilities

 

Students can use the computers and printers in Haggard Hall 101, Haggard Hall 112, and Fine Arts 101 (Mac). Students must wear a face covering, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, practice social distancing and follow hand-washing and sanitizing guidelines.

Yes, you can access computer labs remotely. Many labs are open to all students and some are department-specific.

Wireless access is available in the Haggard Hall computer labs (101 and 112) and the first floor Haggard Hall classroom (153). Students must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and practice social distancing.

Red Square also has excellent outdoor wireless signal.

The first day of class, please contact your professor, via Canvas or e-mail, about your intent to remain in the class. If your instructor can’t help you, they will forward your message to ATUS for additional assistance.

No. Field courses are subject to the same limitations as other face-to-face classes.  Faculty will need to explore other arrangements for delivering their course materials.

Generally, field courses are curriculum-required courses where learning or research takes place in a natural environment with a small cohort of students under the supervision of a field course leader. Students are provided a supervised, practical experience that applies classroom knowledge, theory, and skills of their discipline in the field.

Because of the shift to remote delivery of courses, you will need to get access to the online resources for the course. In order to get that access, you will need to register for the course. If there is available seating in the course, you can register now through Web4U. Otherwise, be sure to get on the waiting list for the course. Please review the important dates and deadlines on the Registrar’s Office website.

Yes, you will be cleared to register for the fall term if you were eligible to enroll this spring term but chose to sit out. Western will be waiving the application and the fee for those returning students.

Academic Year Self-Sustaining courses do not receive state support and are funded completely by Western, which means they cost more in tuition. AYSS courses are noted as such in both Classfinder and Web4U Registration and the per credit tuition rate is posted as $265/credit.


For students who are enrolled in fewer than ten credits, the AYSS courses offer an option with little cost difference, but students who enroll in 10-18 credits may be best served by finding similar state-supported class sections.

While the state does not provide funding for AYSS courses, Western is committed to serving students across Washington, and chooses to provide access to a wider depth and breadth of courses than students would otherwise have access to. 

WTA is limiting the number of people that can ride on its fixed route buses to no more than 12 passengers. Up to 15 will be allowed if those riding together are couples or parents with children.

If it appears there are already 12 people on board, the driver will ask anyone waiting at a stop to wait for the next bus.

When possible, WTA is running “trailers,” or extra buses on routes that have been attracting higher ridership. While fixed route ridership is down nearly 80 percent, there are some routes where the number of riders is limiting people’s ability to maintain a safe distance.

WTA continues to urge people to ride the bus for essential trips only, such as trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, or to keep medical appointments. Riders should plan extra time in case the bus they are waiting for has reached its maximum capacity.

Buses on routes around the university are likely to meet the maximum capacity. In addition to making essential trips only, WTA urges students to walk or bike as much as possible, or to drive alone if that is the only alternative.

Fares continue to be free until further notice. All riders enter and exit the bus using the rear door, unless they need they need to use the ramp. 

Until further notice WTA is providing Saturday levels of service five days a week (Monday through Friday), and a Sunday level of service on Saturdays and Sundays.

For questions, please call (360) 676-7433.

Class material falls under copyright law; recording and posting Zoom-type class sessions without the permission of the instructor is against university policy. If a student needs to record a session as part of an accommodation, the student should work with the instructor and the Disability Access Center to ensure that accommodation can be made.

The steps we are taking to ensure safe social distancing in classrooms will be augmented by a host of other changes that may include an indefinite prohibition on gatherings above a specified size, continued limitations on visitors to campus and travel away from campus, use of face coverings and other protective equipment, and frequent deep cleaning of facilities.  As planning groups develop recommendations, we expect to issue more detailed guidance. 

Paramount in all of our considerations is to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, and that means providing flexibility and support for those who may need to continue to work and study remotely.  Students will have online access to all in-person classes, and all faculty members will have the option to teach fully online.  Importantly, these contingency plans will also allow us to pivot to fully online should infection and hospitalization rates spike again in the fall.  

Western recognizes the importance of health and safety as we return to campus.  Following the Governor’s phased approach to reopening, Western’s Incident Command team is working on general guidelines to support the gradual return of employees to campus.  Further communication will be provided as guidance is developed. 

WWU will be regularly testing any student who has an on-campus presence anytime during the Fall Quarter 2020. This includes students living in on-campus housing, participating in in-person classes or research groups.   

Surveillance testing using pooled samples will continue, every two weeks, through the remainder of the quarter, targeting specific on campus “household” groups or “social bubbles” as defined by class-involvement or housing floor assignments.  It is important to note that the frequency or targeting of testing may change according to updates in community spread. WWU will incur the costs of all testing related to the surveillance program. Participation in the testing program is mandatory for students with an on-campus presence. 

Western faculty, staff and students are also required to complete an attestation daily prior to visiting a physical Western location. Self-attestation is just one component of the larger effort to minimize COVID-19 disease spread. Individuals must also wear a facial covering, wash hands frequently and practice physical distancing.

Yes. With input from the Faculty Senate and the Associated Students, and with the approval of the Provost, the University will – with the modifications described in the link below – return for Fall Quarter 2020 to the standard and published grading policy. This temporary policy has no bearing on courses graded S/U or on grading in the Fairhaven College, which has its own grading policy. 

Find out more here: https://westerntoday.wwu.edu/news/campus-returning-to-standard-grading-policy-in-fall.

 

Faculty

The Disability Access Center (DAC) wants to support access to online course content, whenever possible.  To this end, the DAC is offering a FREE Closed Caption Pilot for Fall Quarter 2020.  If you’re developing content that you would like to have captioned proactively, please complete this survey.  The DAC Team will provide closed captions for a limited number of courses.  Priority will be given to General University Requirement coursework and content likely to be used again in future quarters.

Looking for more tips on creating accessible course material? Please visit the Accessible Online Course Design Webpage

Haggard Hall has two computer labs open (HH101 and HH112) M-F from 8-5. Additionally, students can access computer lab workstations remotely. Many labs are open to all students and some are department-specific.

We ask that you include the following language in your syllabus:

Disability, equitable access, and accommodations

This course is intended for all WWU students, including those with visible or invisible disabilities. Students with disabilities will be provided equitable access to educational experiences and opportunities. If, at any point in the quarter, you find yourself not able to fully access the space, content, and experience of this course, please first contact the Disability Access Center (DAC) to discuss potential accommodations. Faculty and staff partner with the DAC in the implementation of accommodations.

If you already have accommodations set up through the DAC, please be sure to send your Faculty Notification Letter to me, through the myDAC portal, and reach out so we can discuss how your approved accommodations apply to this course.

If you are unsure if accommodations are appropriate for you, contact the DAC for more information, temporary assistance, or connections to other resources: Disability.wwu.edu or 360-650-3083.

We recommend that, where possible, faculty relax attendance policies or otherwise create procedures for students to make up for absences or missed work, given the likelihood that students--or someone in their family--may fall ill or face other disruptions this term. 

The Registrar’s calendar of important dates for Fall has been revised.

A student who is unable to complete a course due to hardship may petition for a late course withdrawal after the stated deadline. Hardship is considered to be an incapacitating injury or illness requiring extensive recuperation or a significant personal emergency such as the death of an immediate family member. Instruction and more information are available from The Office of Student Life.

We anticipate that some students will have access issues the first day of class and might not be able to be in “attendance.” Students have been asked to contact their instructor, via Canvas or e-mail, if this happens to them. In case students do not get this instruction, we are also asking faculty to contact students that who do not participate when classes begin. In that message, please ask if there are specific problems preventing their involvement with the class or if they intend to drop. For questions or problems that you cannot address, please advise students to first visit the Keep Learning page. We want to extend every opportunity to students to keep enrolled and engaged.

While the library is closed to visitors, several resources and services are available online. 

Read more about Western Libraries Remote Services and Contingency Plans for Users

Guidance on teaching remotely can be found at ATUS's Checklist for Temporary Remote Teaching. In addition, resources for a successful remote-learning experience are available at the Keep Learning website. Find the schedule for live webinars on using Zoom, Canvas and other technologies. New services for fall quarter are being offered such as at-home licensing for the Adobe Creative Cloud as well as extended laptop checkout for students who lack computer access at home.

The processing of requests for exceptions to the prohibition of on-campus research has been paused. Please be patient as we work through multiple interpretations of the Governor’s order and our own processes. We will communicate further when the processing resumes.

Yes. Review these new FAQs on the Research Compliance page of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, here.

The Disability Access Center (DAC) wants to support access to online course content, whenever possible.  To this end, the DAC is offering a FREE Closed Caption Pilot for Fa Quarter 2020.  If you’re developing content that you would like to have captioned proactively, please complete this survey.  The DAC Team will provide closed captions for a limited number of courses.  Priority will be given to General University Requirement coursework and content likely to be used again in future quarters. Looking for more tips on creating accessible course material? Please visit the Accessible Online Course Design Webpage.

With much of our work being done remotely, the Registrar’s Office has developed a new e-form for authorizations of independent study courses. It can be found here: Directed Independent Study and Registration Authorization Web Form.

Here is, for ease of reference, the University guidance for faculty and students on recording of Zoom-type class sessions.

 

 For students who are thinking of recording a class session:

Class material falls under copyright law; recording and posting Zoom-type class sessions without the permission of the instructor is against university policy. If a student needs to record a session as part of an accommodation, the student should work with the instructor and the Disability Access Center to ensure that accommodation can be made.

 

For faculty in making decisions concerning recording of class sessions:

Is a consent form needed?

 

o    Check your settingsSettings to Keep Your Zoom Session Secure

o    Limit personally identifiable informationHow to Participate in Zoom Privately

If you are teaching synchronously, you must schedule meeting times as scheduled by the Registrar.  Please do not set times outside of the registrar’s schedule, as it will cause conflicts for students taking other classes that are also meeting synchronously.

The folks at WesternOnline have created a set of tips for teaching a synchronous course online; the general site, https://wp.wwu.edu/westernonlineresources/, has many other resources for faculty.

Final exams should be scheduled during the time assigned by the Registrar. If you plan to allow students access to the exam over one or more days, please include the normally scheduled time within that range

This is a reminder that any inquiries for resources from Whatcom Unified Command should be forwarded to covid19planning@wwu.edu. Also, please remember the FAQs on faculty service that can be found at https://provost.wwu.edu/covid-19.

We recommend that departments engage in contingency planning concerning faculty illnesses. This would likely need to be handled differently in each department, but at a minimum, chairs should have copies of all syllabi. Faculty might be encouraged to identify a colleague to substitute for them should an illness or other disruption occur. 

In ordinary operations, offices are vacuumed on a weekly basis. Since we began responding to COVID-19, we have added the disinfection of the exterior door handles and the push surfaces of the doors daily. We have also disinfected the interior door handle at least once during the lockdown. If you are a critical on-site employee and are using your office regularly, please clean and disinfect your space as necessary.

If you would like to discontinue the weekly vacuuming of your office, please go to the Ready website and fill out a custodial services request.

While most of us are working from home, critical on-site personnel continue their vital work on campus, maintaining life safety and security. This small group of employees can only complete their work while on campus. They have been formally notified of their status. 

If you have not been notified by your supervisor that you are critical on-site personnel, you are not approved to work from campus, and you should stay home. If you believe that you should be on the approved list of critical on-site personnel, please discuss your request with your supervisor. Human Resources will work with ICS to approve any employees who need to work on campus.  

Non-critical staff may need to make rare, brief visits to campus for supplies or equipment for their work. For each visit, employees must contact their supervisor or dean, and complete the On-Campus Visit Reporting form.  

If you are not in one of these categories, you should not be in a campus facility for any reason.  

See more here.

Most standards for online education have been temporarily relaxed or suspended. However, the Dept of Education is requiring the following standard:

  • Instructors must initiate substantive communication with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis.
  • Any synchronous class in which the instructor uses Zoom to conduct a class and interact with students meets this standard.
  • Faculty teaching asynchronous classes could meet the standard by using Canvas discussion boards to communicate with students, setting up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engaging in email exchanges with their students, or by interacting with all students in the evaluation of their course work.

Yes, there are, from canvas courses to web content to telehealth and tele-mental health. Find out more at https://www.wwu.edu/chw.

TA Appointments

Western is committed to ensuring you have a safe work environment. Please contact your supervisor as soon as possible to discuss options with them.

Your TA supervisor is your primary contact. In most cases, this is a staff member or instructor in your department. If you are not sure who your supervisor is, contact the chair of the department that offers the class you are scheduled to teach.

In the event that your course is cancelled, your program will assign you to other duties.

Departments are developing plans now and will share that information with you as soon as possible. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated as we work through the numerous logistical and instructional challenges posed by this developing situation.

Yes. As you normally would, please contact your supervisor as soon as possible so they can work with you to find a substitute while you’re away.

Yes, during the academic year TAs are eligible to receive health insurance with the premium covered by Western. However, you must sign up. If you do not sign up you will not be covered. You should have received an email with instructions about this on March 6. The deadline for registering for health insurance for Spring Quarter is May 1. If you are a TA (full-time or half-time) Western will cover the full cost of your Spring Quarter insurance premium, but only if you sign up. For more information, please go the Graduate School health insurance information page. You may also sign up for health insurance coverage during the summer. For details, please refer to the Graduate School health insurance information page. Your spouse and children can be added to your plan, but you need to have your coverage in place first. Once you do, contact the insurance provider to add dependents and pay the additional premium.

No, student positions are not included in the hiring suspension at this time. 

Travel and Study Abroad

The restrictions include, but are not limited to, conferences and/or professional development opportunities. Undergraduate student travel for University-related purposes, including athletics, is considered non-essential.

Essential travel is travel deemed necessary to the operations of the University. All exceptions to the travel restriction require prior approval by your Dean or VP Delegate.

Essential travel would be in those rare cases where an employee needs to travel to ensure the campus's effective operations; whereas if the travel didn’t occur, it would negatively impact campus operations, students, or employees.

University policy U1000.12 outlines the following guidance for employees and students.

Individuals To Inform a University Administrator of a Known or Suspected Communicable Disease

Persons who know or who have reason to believe that they are infected with a communicable disease have an ethical and legal obligation to conduct themselves in ways that minimize exposure in order to protect themselves and others.

Students and employees who know, or have reason to believe, that they have a communicable disease will inform the appropriate university administrator.  Students should contact the Student Health Center or the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services.  Administrators, faculty or staff members who become aware of a potential or known condition involving a student should contact the Associate Medical Director.  

Employees unable to attend work due to a known or suspected communicable disease should contact both their health care provider and report their absence to their supervisor.  Employees are encouraged to also contact Human Resources for guidance regarding disclosure of a communicable disease and for assistance working with their department with any necessary leave or restrictions. Human Resources will notify the Medical Director of any suspected or known communicable diseases.

Individuals Arriving from a Travel Health Warning Area or a Pandemic Influenza Affected Area Must Contact the Associate Medical Director

Individuals traveling for official university business will comply with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)Travel Health Warnings that have been issued on their website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices for each country outside the U.S. they plan to visit.

It is the responsibility of the employee to review POL-U2105.01(Traveling Outside the United States) prior to travel. Any employee, student, prospective student, volunteer or visitor who knowingly arrives from a Travel Health Warning area or a Pandemic Influenza Affected Area must contact the Associate Medical Director for medical clearance before being allowed on campus to attend classes, work or other activities.

All university-related travel, both in-state and out-of-state, is restricted to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A ban on out-of-state travel is currently in effect and is anticipated to stay in place through the end of the year. The ban on in-state travel is based on Governor Inslee’s Stay Home – Stay Healthy order and is currently expected to stay in place through at least Dec. 3, 2020. Please note that date is subject to change, and the ICS will notify you if the ban on in-state travel is modified. 

Yes, this travel falls within the campus restrictions and the governors stay healthy orders; however, there may be exceptions. There are certain situations where exceptions can be made, i.e. to support research activities, essential travel. Exceptions must be approved by a VP or Provost (or their delegates). Travel Authorizations/Requests will be routed to the appropriate Dean or VP or their delegates for exception approval.

Yes. There are certain situations where exceptions may be made, i.e., supporting research activities and essential travel. Exceptions must be approved by a VP or Provost (or their delegates).

Currently travel will not be approved because of concerns for traveler safety. If travel guidance allows for travel (meaning that health and safety restrictions have been lifted), and the conference runs in person as scheduled, then development travel can be approved. Professional development/travel funding is stipulated in the WWU/UFWW Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), so applying financial mitigation measures to that funding would not realize savings given current agreements and commitments. Also, it is incumbent upon us to try to avoid any differential impact on faculty development (faculty whose conferences are in the summer as opposed to the winter, for example).

Yes. As in the above case, funding for this purpose is stipulated in the CBA, so freezing this spending would not realize savings.

All non-essential travel is currently suspended as described in other FAQs on this site.  To request an exception for essential research-related travel, the traveler should include on their TA form a description of the travel, health and safety precautions to be taken, and the rationale for why it may be essential.  The request should be routed according to instructions on the form which require approval from the Department Chair, Research and Sponsored Programs Office, and College Dean.