Academic Success

Support During COVID-19

The Center for Academic Success remains committed to supporting students through this uncertain and unprecedented situation.  We will be updating this website with necessary and pertinent information to help students navigate remote learning.

    • The Center for Academic Success has put together a list of recommendations to help students navigate this situation. The toolkit was developed to provide students resources and support as they continue learning. The tips, tools, and resources included in the toolkit are there to support students with the unexpected transition to remote learning and promote course completion. Southwestern aims to approach all aspects of academic continuity with flexibility, compassion, creativity, and positivity.

      To access the toolkit CLICK HERE.

    • Where can I get university updates?
      Stay up-to-date with official notifications related to COVID-19 through the Southwestern University homepage . You may also email success@southwestern.edu for any other issues you may have.

      What is Southwestern doing about classes?
      Spring Break for students has been extended an additional week (March 23-27). The Spring semester will resume on Monday, March 30. However, classes will be provided strictly in an online environment for the rest of the semester.

      Will the extended spring break and online instruction period impact my degree plan or my hours?
      At this time, the extended spring break and online instruction period will not have any impact on degree plans or credits earned.

      Has the final exam schedule been affected by the extension of Spring Break?
      At this time, there are no changes to the finals schedule. The last day of class for the spring semester is still Wednesday, April 29, with final exams scheduled from Monday, May 4 through Friday, May 8. Graduating seniors will not need to take their exams early.

      Where can I find the contact information of other campus offices?
      A list of campus offices can be found here.

       

    • The Southwestern University community always comes together to support one another, especially during times of need. Southwestern remains firmly committed to meeting the needs of our students in every way possible as we navigate through the COVID-19 crisis.

      Through the SU Emergency Fund, Southwestern students can obtain emergency help for unexpected expenses, such as:

      • Food
      • Housing
      • Medical care
      • Technology
      • Travel
      • Other unexpected or unforeseen needs
      Please go here for more information.

       

    • Is the Center for Academic Success (CAS) open during this time?
      We (Dave Seiler, Jennifer Smull, Renee Burrell and Tania Shebaro) in the Center for Academic Success are available via the CAS email (success@southwestern.edu) , individual emails, and the main phone number (512-863-1286). We will be checking and responding to individual emails, as well as checking our voicemails regularly.

      While we will be primarily working remotely, it will still be “business as usual” in responding to students and faculty inquiries.

      What do I do if I have problems?
      If you’re experiencing difficulty in one of your classes, please contact your instructor as soon as possible. You are also always welcome to contact the Center for Academic Success at success@southwestern.edu or 512-863-1286.

      We are experiencing an extraordinary event and adjustments will need to be made. While your instructors are working hard to make sure you can continue your education, it is important to acknowledge that there will be differences from your face-to-face class and flexibility will help reduce the stress for all of us. Please be assured that every effort is being made to make your experience as positive as possible. This is also a time to consider how you might be of the most assistance to others. It is in difficult times that we find our best selves.

    • Where do I access my course?
      All faculty will be putting basic information for their courses in Moodle, including revised syllabi, course schedules, and links to outside resources (if using resources outside of Moodle for course-related activities).

      Will I have class at my scheduled time?
      Some of your professors may be holding synchronous virtual class meetings. If this is the case, the session will be held at the regularly scheduled class time. Most faculty, however, will be shifting much or all of their instruction to asynchronous formats (meaning you will access the course content according to your own schedule but within set deadlines). Your faculty will be in touch with additional information.

      Is Southwestern making any changes to its grading system?
      COVID-19 has presented extraordinary challenges for faculty, staff, and students. In response to these many challenges, students will have the opportunity to elect to take their courses on a Credit/No Credit basis for the Spring 2020 semester by the last day of classes, Wednesday, April 29. Additional information, including about the drop and grade change process, will be made available in the coming days and weeks through the Center for Academic Success, the Registrar’s Office and the Office of Advising and Retention via emails and other communications.

      What if I am completing an internship for credit?

      1. Academic Internship completion options:
        a.Continue their internship as-is, if agreed upon by their employer site supervisor.
        b. Set up a remote working schedule with their employer site supervisor (must be approved and shared with CCPD and faculty supervisor).
        c. When neither a) nor b) are viable options, the student will work with their faculty supervisor to complete an Independent Project (pending faculty supervisor approval). Independent Project will be due on April 29.
      2. Weekly check-in scheduled with Faculty Supervisor and student.
      3. Student completes all faculty supervisor requirements as stated in their Learning Contract.
      4. Site Supervisor Final Evaluation will be sent to the Site Supervisor from CCPD on April 14, and is due on April 29. Shared with faculty and the student.
      5. Internship Evaluation: Student Feedback is due to CCPD on April 29.
      6. Student Internship Reflection Poster is due to CCPD April 29.

       

      • What if I do not have access to the Internet?
        If you do not have access to the Internet, please consider the options below for free Internet.

        • Comcast - Comcast is offering an internet essentials package for free. To sign up for a free internet essentials package for 60 days, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
        • Spectrum - Spectrum is offering free internet access for students. Beginning March 16, Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
        • Charter - Charter is offering free internet for 2 months.
        • AT&T - AT&T COVID-19 response. AT&T will offer open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families.
        • Verizon - Verizon does have special offers, but is following the FCC agreement.
        • Sprint - Sprint is following the FCC agreement, providing unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
        • T-Mobile - T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
        The Federal Communications Commission has released an agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.

        How do I get help with Moodle, Google Hangouts Meet, or other frequently used educational technology tools for my classes?
        These tools are all fairly simple to use, but we have provided some tutorials and helpful information in this guide, “Technology for Remote Courses: Information for Southwestern Students.”

         

      • Will I still receive my accommodations in an online class?
        Yes. As a general rule, accommodations that have already been approved for the Spring 2020 semester will continue to be honored. Some accommodations, however, will likely become irrelevant in an online environment (such as preferential seating and permission to use a laptop in class). Others will depend on the format of each class (synchronous vs. asynchronous, for example). You may find that you need different/new accommodations, so please be sure to communicate your needs with your instructors and Jen Smull as soon as possible.

        I normally take my tests in the Center for Academic Success. What do I do now?
        Any timed tests that occur during this period of remote learning will be online (most likely on Moodle), and your instructors will extend your individual testing times based on what you have been approved for (1.5X or 2X, in most cases). You will not need to schedule your exams through the SSD Online Services portal.

        I have note takers as an accommodation. Will they still be posting notes online?
        Yes, the peer note takers have been instructed to continue posting notes whenever they are taking them. It is possible that some class formats will change in such a way that lecture notes won’t be necessary. If notes are not being posted and you feel like you need them, please email sunotetaking@southwestern.edu . Regardless, take whatever notes you can on your own — this will help you stay engaged and retain the information.

        I am approved for flexibility with attendance and/or deadlines. How does this change impact the agreements I have in place with my professors?
        Current flexibility agreements may need to be adjusted. Depending on the format (synchronous vs. asynchronous) and adapted course policies, these accommodations may no longer be necessary. Please contact Jen Smull to discuss how these particular accommodations — or any others — might apply in your “new” courses.

      • Where and how can I get Academic Advising?
        In line with the University’s response to COVID-19 to suspend face-to-face contact, there will be no in-person advising appointments. Please continue to closely monitor your email to know how your advisor will be conducting advising appointments. Your advisor may offer a variety of options for completing your advising meeting. These may include: online chat (using Gchat, for example), email, phone call, or video-conferencing (Google Hangout, for example). Your advisor will work with you to determine the best method to provide you with effective and timely advising.

        Please visit the Advising webpage for helpful resources, including information on how to prepare for advising appointments, pre-professional/pre-med advising resources, and much more! Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention, is available to provide assistance and support. You can call her at 512-863-1886 or email her at leachj@southwestern.edu.

        Are there any updates to registration or the drop/withdrawal deadlines?
        In order to provide more time for students to make informed decisions regarding grades, the University has extended the deadline to drop with record or withdraw to Wednesday, April 29. The Office of the Registrar is currently exploring methods for dropping online, but that process has not been finalized. Students, faculty, and academic advisors will be notified of the process when that information becomes available. Drops will not be processed until that time.

        For students enrolled in a second half minimester course, the deadline to drop without record has been extended to Wednesday, April 29. For full-semester courses the deadline to drop with record will also be Wednesday, April 29.

        When will registration occur?
        Registration dates have been delayed, which will allow more time for the academic advising process. The updated registration dates are listed below. More information on academic advising and registration has been sent via email from Sean Smith, Registrar, and Jennifer Leach, Director of Advising and Retention.

        Apr. 6: Academic Advising period begins
        Apr. 20-21: Registration for Seniors (90+ completed credits)
        Apr. 21-22: Priority Registration for Juniors
        Apr. 22-23: Registration for Juniors (60-89 completed credits)
        Apr. 23-24: Priority Registration for Sophomores
        Apr. 24-27: Registration for Sophomores (30-59 completed credits)
        Apr. 27-28: Priority Registration for First-Years
        Apr. 28-29: Registration for First-Years and students with fewer than 30 credits
        Apr. 30: Open Registration