March 27, 2020
Dear Spring Hill College family,
With just a few days before students begin their online learning, it's become apparent that we need to extend this format. Therefore Spring Hill College's remote learning will start on Monday, March 30 and continue through the end of classes in May.
This decision was made after continuous discussions with College administration as well as with health experts in Alabama and along the Gulf Coast. It's not the outcome any of us wanted, but given that the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it's a decision that was made with everyone's welfare at heart. Also in consideration is the best timeframe to possibly suspend our work-from-home situation for faculty and staff.
This announcement comes with other changes. They include:
- Revised Academic Calendar: The Task Force for Instructional Learning is providing all students with new recommendations to accommodate online learning needs. An updated academic calendar will also be shared, which includes a later deadline to withdraw from a course with no penalty and an option to convert grades to pass/fail that extends beyond general electives to include the core. Details and explanations on these calendar and policy revisions will follow today from the Office of Academic Affairs.
- Housing Move-Out: Student Affairs is reviewing the best possible planning for student move-out and will include options for dates and times. You will get complete details today from your Residence Assistant and Residence Life.
- Room and Board: We are working on a fair and equitable plan for room and board fees.
- Summer and Fall Registration: Summer Courses, which are entirely online, and traditional Fall 2020 registrations are both now open.
- Commencement: The ceremony will take place, but not on May 9. We are gathering ideas on the best timing for a new date, keeping in mind the determination to have our Seniors walk down the Avenue of the Oaks. Diplomas will be sent out in mid-July.
- Honors Convocation and other Commencement events: We still plan to honor our student and departmental achievements as well as find a way to include other traditional Commencement events. Details to come.
- FAQs: Academic Affairs, Residence Life and the Finance office are developing Frequently Asked Questions for their specific functions and will share.
I understand this is a great deal to absorb. Reach out with your ideas and questions. As the Spring Hill family, we continue to work stronger together. Please keep all Badgers, near and far, in your prayers. You are always in mine.
Important FAQs related to Academics and COVID-19
How has the Academic Year 2019-2020 calendar changed?
A revised 2019-20 Academic Calendar (link below) has been posted on the Registrar’s tab of BadgerWeb. You will note that the face-to-face ceremonies for Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Mass, and Commencement no longer appear on the Academic Year 2019-2020 calendar. Otherwise, the last day of classes (April 29), Academic Preparation Day (April 30), the exam period (May 1-6) and the day that final grades are due from instructors (May 12) remain unchanged.
What academic policies have changed to support student success during this time of distance education?
Two changes to academic policy have occurred to support students: the Last Day to Withdraw from a Course with Non-Penalty W and the Last Day to Request a Pass/Fail Option. Deadlines for both of these policies have been extended to April 29, the last day of instruction, and are noted on the academic calendar.
· Course Withdrawal: Course Schedule Change forms (link below) are obtained from the Registrar’s tab of BadgerWeb and must be signed via scanning or electronic methods by the student’s academic advisor only. If withdrawal from a course results in a program of fewer than twelve semester hours, a student on financial aid must notify Student Financial Services regarding this change in enrollment status.
· Pass-Fail Option: The pass/fail option has been broadened to allow Pass/Fail grading for Core courses, excluding NC courses. Core NC courses include the following: ENG 105, 121, 123 and 190; MTH 010 and MTH 111; PHL 101; FRE/ITA/SPA 101 & 102. In these NC courses, a C- or above is required to pass an NC Core course; otherwise, an NC (no credit) is assigned and students must retake the class and receive a letter grade (A-F). This policy does not include courses in the major/minor, online consortium classes, or cross registration classes.
Pass/Fail grading will remain a student-initiated process, and following the current policy, faculty/advisor approval will NOT be required; nonetheless, you are strongly encouraged to discuss this decision with your advisor. This temporary revision to our policy does not affect how faculty assign final grades, nor does it change our institution’s grade policy or standards and requirements for academic progression. Once you choose the pass/fail option for a course and submit the paperwork to the Registrar’s Office, it is irreversible. The Pass/Fail request form (link below) can be accessed on the Registrar’s page of BadgerWeb
Please note: Due to certification requirements related to GPA calculations, all Nursing and Education courses are excluded from this change.
Even though a face-to-face Honors Convocation will not occur this spring semester, will students still receive academic awards for this year?
Students will receive award certificates in the mail by the end of the spring semester, congratulating and notifying them of the award they received during the 2019-2020 academic year. In addition, the names of students earning selected top SHC awards will be listed in the Commencement program, , in keeping with the college’s regular traditions.
With Commencement postponed until further notice, when can seniors expect to receive diplomas?
We realize that the final conferring of a degree/diploma is an important milestone. As in the past, regardless of Commencement format or date, diplomas will be mailed to students’ home addresses that are in the student system by mid-July. Please verify and correct your contact information and permanent address.
How can I stay engaged with Spring Hill College instruction to catch up or get ahead in my degree program?
Don’t forget to register for Summer 2020 courses, which are already fully online. As an SHC student, you can simply register for these courses during the current academic registration period. The summer course listing is available on the Registrar’s tab of BadgerWeb (link below), and courses are offered at a competitive tuition of $399 per credit hour.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and compassion during these challenging times. Please stay safe and healthy.
Any questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.