Spring Guide for Students

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

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.

Like the coronavirus site, these pages are living documents that we will continue to add to through the quarter. It is designed to be a place where you can find help for how to get connected and have a positive learning experience. There is a similar set of pages for Western's faculty members, to assist them as well. Do you have questions that aren't answered here, or ideas for support that can be addressed for the rest of campus? Email them to news@wwu.edu.

Pass/No Pass (EP/NP) Grading

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 (EP/NP) grading policy. A grade of EP (Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) during spring and summer 2020 will count towards curricular, major, continuation, and degree 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 EP (pass). If D — F, a NP (no pass). If a student requests their letter grade by June 5 (Spring) or July 24 (Summer), 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 EP/NP grade - and have until June 5, 2020, Friday of Finals Preparation Week, to do so for Spring Quarter, and July 24 for Summer. Instructions for making this request will be provided by your instructor.

Pass Standards and D Grades

All grades of D+ and above will receive an EP 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.

Pass/No Pass (EP/NP) Grading
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 (EP/NP) grading policy. A grade of EP (Pass – Exceptional Circumstance) during spring and summer 2020 will count towards degree requirements for all graduate students.
Your class performance may be recorded in Canvas or provided to you in another format by your instructor. Graduate level courses will be letter graded unless a student requests the EP/NP option. A letter grade equivalent of C- or higher is required to receive the EP grade; D+ and below will be graded NP. If a student requests a EP/NP grade by May 22 for spring quarter, it will be entered in place of the letter grade.

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

Graduate School Spring Grading Policy

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.

Student FAQs

While there is still much contingency planning underway, our current expectation is that fall quarter will start in person as scheduled on September 23 with a hybrid approach that allows for a mix of online and in-person classes.  This approach may include moving large lecture sections online together with smaller in-person seminars; moving small and medium-sized classes to larger lecture halls to ensure safe social distancing; and spreading classes across days and times with staggered end times to reduce class size and ensure safe social distancing.  All students will have the option of taking any class online instead of in person if they choose.

An academic planning committee is at work on recommendations, and we expect to issue more detailed guidance as soon as possible. 

Our fall plans will comply with Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Washington phased approach for reopening businesses, and it will be informed by guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and the Whatcom County Health Department.  

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.  

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.   

Western’s academic standing policy will be modified for spring quarter in the same way that it was for winter quarter. No students will be academically dismissed at the end of spring quarter.

We have determined that the winter and spring 2020 commencement ceremonies will move to a virtual format. We are planning a virtual event with the promise of bagpipes, cap throwing, speakers, personal recognition, and the opportunity to share your accomplishment with family and friends, through a broadcast on Saturday, June 13. Please continue to check your student email (winter graduates can also check external emails provided on degree applications) in the coming weeks, for more detailed information.

Visit the Registrar's list of FAQ's on the commencement website to learn more details, including what to expect and information about regalia and reservations.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

The WWU Board of Trustees, in a unanimous vote at a special meeting held Tuesday, April 7, approved a set of reductions in mandatory student fees amounting to a total decrease of $171.47, or 28.6%, per full-time student over fee rates from those previously set by the Board for spring quarter 2020. Here is a  breakdown of those fee reductions. 

  • The Student Recreation Fee was cut from $109.46 to $75.47. 
  • As was already announced, the Alternative Transportation fee of $27.50 was removed entirely, as was the $1 Legislative Action Fee.
  • The Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund Fee was reduced from $9 to $7. 
  • The Services & Activities Fee was reduced from $223.98 to $117, thanks to Associated Students Executive Board, the AS Finance Council and Student Senate for its recommendation of an 85% reduction in the Services & Activities (S&A) fee allocated to the AS. 

Read Western Today for the full message about changes in fees from WWU President Sabah Randhawa.

 

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.

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.

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 6. Remote support is available Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m -8 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. To access support:

Call: WSU IT Help Desk at 425-405-1555.

Email: everett.it@wsu.edu

Virtual via Zoom: https://wsu.zoom.us/my/everett.it or Zoom meeting ID: 425-405-1555

Bremerton/Poulsbo/Port Angeles-based students:  Currently, all computer labs are closed. If you are having trouble connecting, please contact your program coordinator to discuss options. 

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. 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.

Order fulfillment is through shipments only at this time. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

We have heard students are receiving notices from Amazon that their materials will be shipped at the end of April, and students are now reaching out to the store for fulfillment. Our current processing time (from order placement to complete and ready to ship) is 2-3 days.

Students can purchase eBooks through our site for approximately 40% of the titles adopted. These are available immediately after purchase as they will receive an access code via email to redeem through RedShelf.

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

 

The Haggard Hall computer labs (101 and 112) will open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 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.

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

Haggard Hall 153 is unlocked and has wireless. Students must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and practice social distancing.

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.

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. 

Beginning Tuesday, April 7, WTA will limit 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.

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. More information is available from The Office of Student Life.

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.

To continue operating in a way that best supports public health, Western has decided that summer session classes will be offered online only. Details and ongoing updates on Western’s Online Summer Session can be found here: https://oce.wwu.edu/summer-session.

Western will not be offering conferences or camps this summer, following the Whatcom Unified Command recommendation to cancel summer activities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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 here.

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/.

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. 

We are encouraged that the Whatcom County Health Department believes there will be sufficient capacity to test students before the start of classes in September, as well as capacity to conduct testing throughout the academic year.   

The university’s medical team is working with public health officials on an overall COVID-19 healthcare plan for the region that takes into account the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County and the WWU campus community.  Among the pending planning decisions are the frequency of testing required, testing for asymptomatic individuals, contact tracing and isolation models.   

At this time, we do not anticipate requiring a COVID-19 test for students, faculty and staff unless we are directed to do so by state health officials, however, all members of the University community are encouraged to stay home if you are not feeling well, and to familiarize yourself with common COVID-19 symptoms via this self-assessment tool based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.  Further updates will be shared by email and posted on the Student Health Center website as soon as possible. 

It will take some time to restructure the fall schedule around the parameters outlined by the academic planning committee.  The Registrar’s Office will post updates on fall registration to its website and send email notices to students about registration in June as soon as possible. 

Graduate Student FAQs

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.

Student Services

Online Support

As students go online, so have efforts to support student success, including:  

Academic Advising

The Academic Advising Center is available remotely during spring quarter, offering phone and virtual advising appointments via Zoom. To schedule, please call 360-650-3850. Online resources are available on the Academic Advising Center's Website and you can also email advising@wwu.edu

General Advising Tips

Seek advising quarterly: All students are encouraged to seek advising at least once a quarter. Students declared in a major or minor should contact their academic department and assigned adviser to track progress. The Academic Advising Center and Student Outreach Services are also resources to support academic planning and navigation of campus resources. 

  • Degree Works: Track your progress toward degree completion. Advisors can assist with understanding your unofficial degree evaluation. 
  • University Catalog: Western’s official source for majors, courses, academic policies and more.   
  • Advising Tools & Resources: Includes links to important online resources, including a GPA Calculator. 

Registrar’s Office

The Registrar’s Office staff continue to provide essential services by email and phone. Please email us at Registrar.Office@wwu.edu or call during business hours, Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm, 360-650-3432.

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

Register for an ISP Course: Directed Independent Study and Registration Authorization Form

Visit our important dates and deadlines calendar!

Healthcare Options

Healthcare

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not visit a healthcare provider without calling first. Health officials will guide students on next steps.

Counseling Services

The Counseling Center is offering tele-mental health services during spring quarter. Contact the Counseling Center to learn more.  

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.

Technology Assistance

ATUS Classroom Services/Equipment Loan have established extended laptop loan programs for students without access to a computer. Students who need a laptop should complete a request to arrange to safely pick up a laptop.

Students without wi-fi may access campus wi-fi in the large Fraser lecture hall (102). Students must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and practice social distancing.

Students can access computer lab workstations remotely. Many labs are open to all students and some are department-specific

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.

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 6. Remote support is available Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m -8 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. To access support:

Call: WSU IT Help Desk at 425-405-1555.

Email: everett.it@wsu.edu

Virtual via Zoom: https://wsu.zoom.us/my/everett.it or Zoom meeting ID: 425-405-1555

Bremerton/Poulsbo-based students

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.

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.

Accommodations

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.