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March 23, 2020   |  Campus Communication

Common Academic Questions RE: Virtual Campus Period

 

As of today Monday, March 23, Benedictine University began hosting all face-to-face and blended format classes through remote instruction as a part of our Virtual Campus period. Despite being separate from one another, our faculty and staff are working as a united Benedictine community to continue to support each of our students in achieving their educational goal – be it a degree, certificate or additional coursework.

In the weeks ahead, students should work directly with their instructors to learn how their coursework will be completed virtually as each course and subject works a little differently. While there is a learning curve with every new challenge, we refuse to allow outside events to prevent Benedictine from providing students with a caring, supportive environment in which to learn.

Below you will find answers to some common questions as well as more information about educational resources available to all students throughout the Virtual Campus period. If you have any concerns about your experiences during the coming semester, as always feel free to reach out to your instructor, Department Chair or Dean for support.

Respectfully,

David Sonnenberger
Interim Provost

 

How will I find out more information about each of my courses during the Virtual Campus period?

As all face-to-face and blended format classes are moving to a virtual environment this week, students should go to their D2L class page and/or check their BenU or D2L email to read communication from their instructors regarding each class moving forward. Faculty have been asked to communicate important information to students via these platforms. If you have any questions, please contact your instructor.

I am not sure if I should remain in my class for this term. When is the last day to withdraw?

The normal withdrawal deadline has been extended to the Sunday before the final week of the class [excluding finals week] to ensure students have as much time as possible to adapt to the new instructional format and to the ever changing situation within our country. This is Sunday, April 26, for 15 week long semester classes and Sunday, May 24, for 10 week long quarter classes. This change allows students additional time to decide whether or not to withdraw. Students withdraw online through MyBenU.

I am worried about the impact virtual campus changes might have on my GPA. What other options are available for me to continue in the course?

To fully support students’ academic goals and provide flexibility for students who are adapting to unexpected changes to their course formats, students can choose to take courses Pass/Fail for credit for the Spring 2020 term. A form to request Pass/Fail grading will be available on the Registrar’s Office website soon. Students must submit the form by Friday, April 17.

This policy applies to both graduate and undergraduate students. For undergraduate students, the P grade equates to a D grade or better. A, B, C, and D grades will convert to a P grade in courses that a student has elected Pass/Fail grading. A P grade will not count in a student’s GPA calculation. F grades will be reflected on a student’s record as normal. The F grade will be calculated into a student’s GPA. For graduate students, the P grade equates to a C grade or better. A, B, and C grades will convert to a P grade in courses that a student has elected Pass/Fail grading. A P grade will not count in a student’s GPA calculation. D and F grades will be reflected on a student’s record as normal. The D and F grades will be calculated into a student’s GPA.

A P grade is considered passing and meets degree requirements for all courses earning a P grade in Spring 2020 term only.

  • There are exclusions that students cannot elect for Pass/Fail grading that include but are not limited to:
    • students repeating a course
    • courses that have already assigned grades or completed all coursework for Spring 2020 term before Monday, March 23.
    • visiting students who are taking classes under the Aurora University/Benedictine University/North Central College consortium agreement.
  • There are unique circumstances and courses that students should be cautious in electing for Pass/Fail grading that include but are not limited to:
    • students on Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • students on academic probation students trying to boost GPA for graduation purposes
    • students trying to boost GPA for honors or dean’s list purposes
    • student planning to attend medical or other health professional schools
    • undergraduate students taking courses that a student intends to apply towards a graduate program
    • students planning to transfer their Benedictine University coursework to another institution to fulfill specific requirements.


Why is Fall 2020 registration being pushed back a week?

Registration for Fall 2020 has been pushed back to the week of April 6, 2020, starting a week later than originally planned. Given the significant adaptations being made by students, faculty and advisors as we start the Virtual Campus period, this ensures everyone has additional time for advisement for Fall 2020 course selection. If students need additional time to make their fall class selections, they can always register at any point after their initial registration date.

What library services will be available during the Virtual Campus period?

The University Library is closed to walk-in service, but Library personnel are still available to provide service and support during this time. Librarians are virtually present during regular operating hours. You can contact them for support through email, chat or voice mail. Library resources are accessible electronically through the library website at ben.edu/library.

The Research Guide at https://researchguides.ben.edu/covid provides library links, research guides, and tips for students working from home.

For those who currently have books from our library or any I-Share library, please hold them until conditions change. Overdue fines and late fees will be waived. More detailed information about what services the Library offers are also posted online.

What tutoring services will be available during the Virtual Campus period?

The University is making every effort to ensure day-to-day operations continue to run as smoothly as possible throughout the Virtual Campus period and that includes offering the same tutoring and career services that are regularly available to students – only virtually. Learning specialists will be available during their regular hours for math, science and writing as well as career advisors. Peer tutors will be available during modified hours based on their virtual availability. Please check the Academic and Career Enrichment Center website for details starting Monday, March 23.

How are pre-clinicals, student teaching and internships being affected?

Since K-12 institutions are closed for in-person instruction, our pre-clinical and student teaching students should follow the leads of their school districts and cooperating teachers. Many school districts are moving to e-learning for the next several weeks, with decisions about the rest of the school year to be made at a later date. Students should stay as involved as possible in helping their cooperating teachers deliver course material to their students.

Any students interning at off-site locations should work with their internship sites to develop an individual plan for the rest of the semester, whether that include in-person or virtual internship work. We intend to help each internship site deliver a great internship experience to our students as long as it is safe to do so. Faculty and staff internship coordinators will be in touch with those partner sites in order to stay informed about their current status. Students should contact their Benedictine internship coordinator if their sponsor site notifies them that their internship needs to be suspended, any persons test positive for COVID-19 at their internship sites and/or if they feel unsafe or uneasy about continuing to go to their internship given the current state of the outbreak.