Students & Faculty

Event Cancellations

Most public buildings on campus are closed by order of the Governor, including:

The AS Student Late Night Shuttle is canceled until further notice.

While the Governor’s “Stay Home/Stay Healthy” order is in place, there may be no public gatherings or events of any size. After the expiration of this order and until further notice, the campus will revert back to all non-essential gatherings (including groups as small as 10 – 50 people) at Western being canceled or postponed.

All on-campus visit programs, tours and information sessions are suspended.

Postponed events include:

  • Spring Career Fair - April 16
  • WWU Great Puzzle Hunt - April 17. Postponed to 2021
  • Employment Agency Expo - May 13
  • Womxn of Color Empowerment Dinner - May 16. Postponed to fall quarter

Frequently Asked Questions and Popular Topics

Classes and Academics

The coronavirus pandemic has led the university to shift to remote learning, a modality that is new for many faculty and students. In response to this shift, and the likelihood of disruptions as the pandemic continues, the University has moved to a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) quarter. A grade of P during spring 2020 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements for all students.

Your class performance may be recorded in Canvas or provided to you in another format by your instructor. Students who get an A — D+, upon course completion, will receive a P (pass). If D — F, a NP (no pass). If a student requests their letter grade by June 5, it will be entered in place of the P/NP grade.

Some departments may raise the minimum passing grade. If this is the case, you will be notified before classes start.

Student Requests for Letter Grades

Students have the option of requesting that letter grades be added to their transcript, rather than the P/NP grade - and have until 6/5/2020, Friday of Finals Preparation Week, to do so. Instructions for making this request will be provided by your instructor.

Pass Standards and D Grades

All grades of D+ and above will receive a P unless a student requests their letter grade or if the department has approved a different standard. A grade below the pass standard (typically, F, D or D-) will be recorded as a NP, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. A student may elect to have the letter grade of D or D- reported to their transcript, which will earn credits and 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.

Special Situations

Some students may be advised to request a letter grade if grades are required by an external accreditor or other purpose relevant to their program. Your professor or chair will inform you if letter grades are required or recommended by your program.

Some degree programs require a grade higher than a D+ for a course to count toward a major. Students in this situation will be informed of the higher pass standard by their faculty.

Teaching and Learning

Spring Quarter will be a different experience for all involved, instructors as well as students. We will get through the quarter together, and instructors are making every effort (and will continue to do so) to provide a quality course for you with specific and important learning objectives.

However, we want to acknowledge that the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order means Western needs to close the vast majority of spaces on campus to student use, even individual student use. This includes instructional labs, studios, and practice spaces. The order and Western’s actions taken to comply with it will mean a different educational experience for several groups of students. Western’s faculty understand this fact and are taking steps, as much as they can, to provide alternative experiences that are meaningful and advance your learning and career goals.

Technology Assistance

The Student Tech Center and ATUS Classroom Services/Equipment Loan have established extended laptop loan programs for students without access to a computer. Students who need a laptop should call or e-mail at the links above to inquire about availability and to arrange to safely pick up a laptop.

Students without Wi-Fi may access campus Wi-Fi at designated locations permitting strong bandwidth and proper social distancing. Look for an announcement regarding times, dates and locations for this access in your e-mail and on the Student section of the COVID-19 FAQs linked to the WWU homepage. Students are encouraged to prepare for their spring classes by reviewing the Keep Learning recommendations, which include strategies for becoming familiar with approaches, tools and operations likely to be used in your spring classes.

Accommodations

Students who need support or who have questions about learning accommodations in remote contexts should contact the Disability Access Center (DAC).

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.

With the shift to online instruction for spring quarter, we are actually increasing our investment in instructional costs, and so tuition for spring quarter is not changing.

We continue to pay faculty and staff for their work, work that for many has increased dramatically as we rapidly shift to a virtual environment. At the same time, we are making existing services available online and investing in new technological capabilities as we serve students remotely.

Whether instructors present their classes in-person or online, we are still delivering an excellent education and the degree or credential you earn will have the same value. The same professors scheduled to teach in-person classes this quarter will be teaching remotely, and they bring the same expertise, experience and knowledge to the remote courses as they have been to their in-person teaching.

Western is still assessing the fee structures in consultation with the Board of Trustees and our colleagues at other public, four-year institutions in Washington state. It is important to understand that these mandatory fees cannot be altered or redirected to other uses without prior review and approval by the Board of Trustees. We continue to review the impact of limited student services, and we will communicate any changes by Friday, April 10.

Students will be able to access online academic advising, online counseling and health and wellness services, library and cloud-based research resources, and online career services, among other services. As a result, the fees that support these programs must continue in order for those services to continue to be offered.

In addition, many of these fees support bonds that were used to construct student-mandated projects. The Multicultural Center and Student Recreation Center bonds were approved by a student vote, and must continue to be paid. The technology fee supports access to laptops, cloud computing and critical software that is especially important in this virtual environment. Fees also support student employment; we have many student employees working remotely whose wages are paid from student fee dollars.

One exception is the Alternative Transportation Fee. The spring quarter Alternative Transportation Fee will not be charged to students. This means that students will not automatically have a student Whatcom Transit Authority (WTA) bus pass. All WTA buses are temporarily fare free. When WTA does begin charging a fare again students’ Western ID cards will not work as bus passes. May 2020 is the earliest that WTA will begin charging a fare to ride the bus again. Students who want a bus pass at that time may purchase a student bus pass directly from WTA. Use the following online resources to learn more:

Single ride

Passes

Purchase a WTA bus pass online

How to pay your fare with WTA’s TouchPass system

Check the Sustainable Transportation website for transportation related updates.

 

The faculty at Western Washington University is dedicated to your learning and is working hard to develop remote delivery of course content.  Much of that content will still be designed around lectures and course activities that are tied to the day and time scheduled for each course.  There may be some courses where students will not be asked to perform any work or view any lectures or presentations during the assigned class time.  That is referred to as asynchronous course delivery.  You will be able to find information about which classes are being offered asynchronously on Classfinder next week.  You should expect that most classes will attach some obligations to the day and time scheduled for the class, so those conflicts should inform your choices.

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.

In light of the most recent recommendations from the CDC to limit the size of all social and public gatherings, along with the Governor’s March 23 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order for the State of Washington, Western Libraries will be closed to the public until further notice. 

We recognize the importance of library collections to Western’s teaching, learning, and research missions. However, at least for the duration of the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, it will not be possible to loan items from the Western Libraries’ circulating collection. Likewise, the Orbis Cascade Alliance has suspended Summit borrowing until further notice.  

Once it is again safe to do so, circulation of physical materials will resume, and Libraries will communicate new information as soon as it becomes available. Please also know that the due date for all materials checked out to patrons will be extended to June 15 (except for items already due after that date).  Recalls will not be possible during this period.

While the Libraries’ physical buildings and collections are not accessible at this time, the Libraries is committed to providing as much online access to collections, services, and support as possible. Please see the web pages: Library Services and Access to Materials FAQs and the Teaching and Learning FAQs for more information. 

Additionally, If you would like to request a title in electronic format, please submit a purchase request via ILLiad and specify e-book as the format. We are happy to purchase electronic copies of books if they are available, meet other standard purchase criteria, and are financially feasible. If you have a specific question, please contact Library.Collections@wwu.edu.

We want to stay connected to each other during these difficult times, and we encourage you to reach out to us and share any questions, concerns, and comments you may have, (or even if you just want to say hello!).  Please remember we are still here with you, even if we are not all in the same building. You can always email us at LibraryCommunications@wwu.edu, or check out our full staff directory for more customized contact information. 

Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined through an individualized process which takes place between the student and the Disability Access Center (DAC). Though students may already have accommodations in place, new or different accommodations may be appropriate for the online setting. If you have questions about the accessibility of your course or would like assistance and support implementing accommodations, please contact the DAC: DRSfrontdesk@wwu.edu or 360-650-3083.

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 now request a laptop with a loan extended to June 15. Adobe has provided temporary at-home access to Creative Cloud 2020 for installation on your personal computer. See the Keep Learning site for more details.

All classes and instruction will be offered remotely throughout spring quarter on our main campus, and at all centers, facilities and operations statewide. As announced previously, spring quarter classes are starting on Monday, April 6, and the quarter is expected to end as scheduled after final exams conclude on June 12, 2020.

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

Technology Assistance:

Everett-based students: Technology assistance will be limited to remote support due to Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. Support will be offered through the WSU Help Desk as of the spring quarter start on Monday, April 6th.  Remote support is available Monday-Thursday, 8 am-9 pm and Fridays, 8 am-5 pm.  To access this support, call the WSU IT Help Desk at 425-405-1555.

Bremerton/Poulsbo-based students: Computer labs are currently scheduled to be open Spring term, beginning April 6 at both OC Bremerton and OC Poulsbo. Hours are 8AM – 9PM. For technology support, contact the OC Help Desk at: 360-475-7600.

Port Angeles-based students: WWU is currently working with Peninsula College to address access issues. Contact your program coordinator if you have questions or need information at this time.

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

The Western A.S. Bookstore, your independent student store since 1910, is closed to in-store purchases. Store personnel are still working hard to fulfill course material orders to support students as they shift to online courses for Spring quarter.

Spring 2020 course materials are available online for purchase, with free shipping on course materials for orders placed by 4/6/2020. Spring 2020 course materials are available in eBook formats in addition to traditional books. Digital alternatives are listed alongside rental and purchase options wherever they are available.

As always, purchases can be made through credit/debit cards, bookstore gift cards, or charging student accounts.

Off-Campus student order fulfillment is through shipments only at this time. We are offering FREE SHIPPING on course material orders placed through 4/6/2020. We will process your orders as quickly as possible. Note, we have limited staffing onsite due to the shutdown and the safety of our team.

Only students residing on campus can pickup online orders in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room starting 3/30/2020 – entering via exterior doors. An email will generate when the order is ready for pickup.

We realize this is a shift in how students may normally purchase textbooks. Our efforts are to ensure we are following best practices as a response for Covid-19 social distancing for both students and for our staff. With this practice in place, we currently cannot accept in-person returns. Spring 2020 course materials are eligible for refund, in the same condition they were purchased, by the add/drop date of 4/12/2020. Contact asbookstore@wwu.edu for information on how to send in an item for refund.

If you have questions about your order for Spring 2020, please email us at asbookstore@wwu.edu. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your Western Associated Students Bookstore, an independent student store since 1910.

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

 

While we have determined that winter commencement will take place on June 13, 2020, the details about this ceremony will be communicated in the coming weeks. Please continue to check your student email (or the email you provide on the Winter Commencement Form) for more information - even after you graduate.

Visit the Registrar's list of FAQ's about the rescheduling of winter commencement to learn more details, including how to get a refund on your commencement reservation fee and arrange for delivery of your purchased Grad Pack and other items. 

In the meantime, we are exploring ways to acknowledge the important accomplishments of our graduating class of winter 2020. Please know how proud we are of your accomplishments.

The Haggard Hall computer labs (101, 112, 233) will open starting April 6, but only for students who lack technology to participate in online learning from home. Students must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and practice social distancing.

The large Fraser lecture hall (102) is unlocked and has wireless. Students must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and practice social distancing.

Students who do not see class information in Canvas or who have not heard from their instructors by Friday, April 3, at 5 p.m. should send a message of inquiry to their instructor through campus e-mail.

Please review the Keep Learning page. Visit your class Canvas page as soon as it is available and confirm class meeting times and technology needs. Download and install any necessary software, and test if possible. For example, a Zoom connectivity test can be run here.

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.

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. Please review the updated information about add/drop dates 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. 

Graduate Students

If you are serving as a Teaching Assistant Spring Quarter, please refer to the FAQ on this topic for TAs. For everyone else, the quarter is scheduled to begin with remotely delivered classes on April 6.

If you are able to work from home, current guidance recommends that you do so. If you work in a research laboratory, consult with your advisor on specific practices for your lab. A current list of building and program closures and suspensions is available on the coronavirus information page under cancellations and closures.

Thesis defenses will continue Spring Quarter. Specific arrangements may vary, but can include videoconferencing, and small group meetings (e.g. just you and your committee). If you plan to defend Spring Quarter, consult with your committee chair to develop a plan.

If you are a teaching assistant, please refer to the FAQ for TAs. For all other graduate students, please see the Student Health Center insurance plan website. Several coverage options are available for both the academic year and summer. In addition to the policy offered by Western’s private insurance partner, you may also qualify for one or more options under Washington Apple coverage.

On the recommendation of the Graduate Faculty Governance Council, the Academic Coordinating Commission Executive Council, and the Faculty Senate Executive Council and with the approval of the Provost, the University will adopt the following Interim Graduate Grading Policy for Graduate Courses.

COVID-19 Graduate Faculty Governance Council (GFGC) Interim Graduate Grading Policy for Graduate Courses

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 a challenging quarter. 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.

This interim policy does not apply to 690 Thesis and 691 Field Project credits and these courses will remain A-F graded. This interim policy does not apply to S/U courses and they will remain S/U graded. This interim policy does not apply to noncredit bearing program-specific graduation requirements.

To best guide graduate programs, the existing Graduate School policies are identified, and interim policies are described if relevant. This Interim Policy was unanimously approved by the GFCC on 3/30/2020.

Scholarship Standards

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

Interim Policy: This policy is waived if all other relevant policies in this document are met.

Faculty will maintain rank grading (A-F) records during the quarter, with the default reporting of grades to continue as A-F for graded courses. Students have the right to convert to a P/NP grade, rather than their letter grade, in any graduate course except those specifically excluded in this interim policy. To receive a P/NP, a student must initiate this grade change prior to the last 2 weeks of the quarter (5/22/2020). The procedure to convert to P/NP grading needs to be included in either the syllabus or within the Canvas site. Students may be advised against requesting P/NP for reasons such as program-specific requirements or if they need to increase their GPA to 3.0 for graduation in Spring 2020. Consultation with an advisor is recommended.

For the spring 2020 quarter, all grades of C- and above will receive a P if the student selects the P/NP option. If the student selects the P/NP option, a grade below C- will be recorded as an NP, which will not earn credits or be reflected in the GPA. Programs can use their discretion and choose a minimum grade higher than a C- for a P if this is communicated to students no later than 4/10/2020.

A grade of P during spring 2020 will carry credit towards curricular, major, continuation, and graduation requirements. However, students who are graduating Spring 2020 will be held to the 3.0 GPA requirement for graduation with the GPA calculated based on grades assigned prior to Spring 2020 in conjunction with any letter graded courses from Spring 2020.

Faculty have control over their curricular decisions and may elect to have different assignments required for P/NP or A-F grading, but the distinction must be made clear to students during the first week of the quarter and must allow for students to make the choice of grading options prior to the last 2 weeks of the quarter (5/22/2020).

 

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. P 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, P 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 for Spring 2020 and communicate this to students no later than 4/10/2020.

 

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

Interim Policy: No change to current policy.

 

Terms of this Interim Policy

This interim policy is in effect for the entirety of Spring quarter 2020 and will be extended while a WWU P/NP Interim Grading Policy is in effect. Dates in this interim policy will be updated after the spring 2020 quarter by the GFGC Executive Committee as needed.

Teaching Assistant Appointments

Please contact your supervisor for program-specific guidance. Online instruction Spring quarter is scheduled to begin April 6, but it is likely that you will have some work to do prior to then in order to prepare. Note that, under ordinary circumstances, your teaching duties would begin on March 31, and you will be in pay status from March 16.

Yes, you will receive both your stipend and tuition waiver. Western is committed to offering a full set of courses Spring Quarter as scheduled. All courses will be delivered online spring quarter. Your duties may change depending on the status of the course/lab assigned to you, but your stipend and waiver will not change.

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.

The start of instruction for Spring Quarter has been delayed by one week in order to provide TAs and other instructors time to prepare and implement necessary changes. Note that, under ordinary circumstances, your teaching duties would begin on March 31, and you will be in pay status from March 16.

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, graduate, teaching and research assistant positions are not included in the hiring suspension at this time. 

Travel and Study Abroad

No. 

Western Washington University is suspending all non-essential, out-of-state University travel effective immediately through May 31, 2020. This includes, but is 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 vice president or the Provost.

Travelers should work with airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and conference sponsors to request refunds and/or credits for any travel through May 31, 2020.

The restrictions on official WWU travel do not apply to personal travel, though we strongly recommend reviewing travel warnings from the CDC and U.S. Department of State. 

Essential Travel Definition: Travel that is absolutely necessary and required.

For university staff, faculty, researchers, scholars, undergraduate and graduate students:

  • For Undergraduate Students: Undergraduate student, including athletics, travel is considered non-essential.
  • For Staff: Staff travel is considered non-essential except when accompanying students on approved essential travel or when not traveling will cause harm to the operations of the university.
  • For Faculty, Researchers, Graduate Students: Essential travel is defined as travel that is required to:
    • Preserve the safety of a research subject and cannot be postponed; or
    • Preserve the results of a research activity and cannot be postponed.

Yes, the spread of COVID-19 is affecting our communities both at home in Washington and abroad. In relation to COVID-19, the CDC issued on its Travel Health Notices page an Alert Level 2 (Practice Enhanced Precautions) for the entire world and a Warning Level 3 (Avoid Non-Essential Travel) for Europe and some select countries. Likewise, the State Department issued a Global Health Advisory Level 3 (Reconsider Travel).

In deference to CDC and State Department recommendations, Western has encouraged all students abroad to return home, and it has canceled all study abroad through the end of spring quarter 2020. Decisions for summer study abroad are still to be determined. As per Western's long-existing policy for studying abroad in countries with CDC and State Department Level 3 advisories, students who were already abroad were given the option to petition to stay, as a number of countries around the world currently have lower incidence of COVID-19 than Washington state. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for persons arriving in the United States from China:

  1. Foreign nationals who have visited China in the past 14 days may not enter the United States.
  2. American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their families who have been in China in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States, but will be redirected to one of 11 airports, including Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, to undergo health screening. Depending on their health and travel history, they will have some level of restrictions on their movements for 14 days from the time they left China.

Based on this and additional guidance issued by the CDC, WWU is asking community members to follow the following instructions:

Students

Any student who arrived in the U.S. on or after Feb. 3, 2020 AND visited mainland China in the previous 14 days should stay at home and not attend class or other WWU-related activities until a full 14 days have passed since their last day in mainland China. Any student who meets these criteria — or is unsure whether they do — should contact the Student Health Center at 360-650-3400. This will assist in ensuring the safety and care of those in need as well as the rest of the Western community.

Faculty, other academic personnel and staff

All WWU faculty, other academic personnel or staff who have arrived in the U.S. on or after Feb. 3 AND visited mainland China in the previous 14 days are asked to

  • Stay at home and monitor their health until a full 14 days have passed since their last day in mainland China, and
  • Contact the Student Health Center for further information, support and coordination.

Western will work with affected individuals on workplace, academic and other necessary support. Personal health information will remain confidential (or protected) in accordance with University policy.

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. Currently, a ban on out-of-state travel is in effect until October 16, 2020. 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 May 31. Please note that date is subject to change, and you will be notified by ICS Commander Melynda Huskey if the ban on in-state travel is modified. 

All university-related travel, both in-state and out-of-state, is restricted to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Currently, a ban on out-of-state travel is in effect until October 16, 2020. 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 May 31. Please note that date is subject to change, and you will be notified by ICS Commander Melynda Huskey if the ban on in-state travel is modified. 

Student and Scholar Visas

The good news is that we have received guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security allowing international students to take online courses without risking their visa status.  Please note this is a temporary accommodation by the U.S. government until this health crisis passes. We will continue to update you about any further guidance in this regard. Contact WWU’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office if you have further questions about this.

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.

Every student’s situation is different. Contact WWU’s International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office to learn more. Options may include:

  • Continue to monitor the situation until we are closer to spring quarter. Western is waiting for updates from the U.S. government to see if there will be exceptions or accommodations for students needing to return for studies.
  • Leave of Absence
  • Vacation Quarter (if eligible)
  • Medical Reduced Course Load (if applicable)
  • Study Abroad credits/Independent Study/online courses

Contact your host department and the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office. The host department may be able to request a J-1 visa extension. If you are not eligible for an extension, but want to learn about other options for remaining in the U.S. legally, please consider consulting a private immigration attorney. Resources, including low-cost and pro bono attorney options, are available.

Contact your host department and the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office. Additionally, we recommend monitoring the news, airline travel information, and Western’s homepage for updates.

Contact your host department and the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office about revising your program dates. We also recommend monitoring the news, airline travel information, and Western’s homepage for updates. The Department of State has recommended that program start dates for exchange visitors coming from China be shifted to at least April 1, 2020. Please note that due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus outbreak and associated travel limitations, there is no certainty as to when travel restrictions will be lifted.

Faculty

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 spring 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 Western A.S. Bookstore, your independent student store since 1910, is closed to in-store purchases. Store personnel are still working hard to fulfill course material orders to support students as they shift to online courses for Spring quarter.

Spring 2020 course materials are available online for purchase, with free shipping on course materials for orders placed by 4/6/2020. Spring 2020 course materials are available in eBook formats in addition to traditional books. Digital alternatives are listed alongside rental and purchase options wherever they are available.

40% of the titles adopted by faculty for Spring Quarter now available in eBook formats in addition to traditional books. Digital alternatives will be listed alongside rental and purchase options wherever they are available.

As always, purchases can be made through credit/debit cards, bookstore gift cards, or charging student accounts. Many students count on the ability to charge their purchases to their student account when they purchase through Western’s Bookstore.

Off-Campus student order fulfillment is through shipments only at this time. We are offering FREE SHIPPING on course material orders placed through 4/6/2020. We will process your orders as quickly as possible. Note, we have limited staffing onsite due to the shutdown and the safety of our team.

Only students residing on campus can pickup online orders in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room starting 3/30/2020 – entering via exterior doors. An email will generate when the order is ready for pickup.

We realize this is a shift in how students may normally purchase textbooks. Our efforts are to ensure we are following best practices as a response for Covid-19 social distancing for both students and for our staff. Spring 2020 course materials are eligible for refund, in the same condition they were purchased, by the add/drop date of 4/12/2020.

We will be communicating this change through various channels and appreciate your support in assisting us in sharing this information with your students.

If you have questions about your adoption for Spring 2020, please email us at textdept@wwu.edu. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

The AS Bookstore has received questions on returns of materials. Materials for return for Spring 2020 are to be mailed into the bookstore with a ship date on/before April 12, 2020.  This is the consistent policy we have as we need the materials back to ship out to vendors and process refunds.  Our system has a limited timeline on processing intelligent refunds, which means refunding to the original form of payment.  Once this time is expired, we have to have the person in store with the card or issue the refund to a bookstore gift card.  (This is not usually a desired form of tender for a refund.)  Each quarter we have students with unique circumstances that the Bookstore reviews to determine if we can make an exception, with a focus on ensuring fairness and equity for all.

Yes, faculty can contribute to the COVID-19 response effort outside of their primary roles at Western as teachers and scholars.

Western faculty, because of their expertise, may be asked to participate in the COVID-19 response effort in Whatcom County or beyond. Faculty also may have a desire to volunteer to support the response effort.

Learn more here about Faculty Service during COVID-19

 

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.

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 Spring 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.

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 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 and/or the student FAQ page. We want to extend every opportunity to students to keep enrolled and engaged.

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. 

With 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:

Recording and posting of online class activities must comply with FERPA, which mandates that individual students must give permission if the recording is to be posted on a course website or other public forum. Keeping in mind student rights under FERPA, Canvas may be used for the posting of recordings as it is secure, password protected, and not open to the public.    

Copyright and university policy require faculty permission for students to record class sessions. However, notwithstanding that, students may need to record sessions as part of an ADA accommodation. It is expected that the instructor will work with the student and the Disability Access Center to ensure that accommodation can be made.

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 good people 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

If You Feel Sick

The Student Health Center is closed for intersession. 

All Student Health Center services will be closed during the intersession, March 23-April 5 and will reopen Monday April 6.

For information about medical services during our closure, visit the After Hours Care page.

For employees with specific health concerns, please contact your primary care provider. Additional information is also available on the Whatcom County Health Department website.

Employees who are sick are encouraged to stay at home.

Information Lines

Washington State Department of Health

Available 24/7

(800) 525-0127

WWU Student Health Center

For specific health concerns

(360) 650-3400

WWU Coronavirus Information Line

8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday

(844) 840-0040

Contact Form

Resources

Teaching and Learning