Academics, advising and support services
Q: Do you suggest parents stay informed about their kids grades and academic process given the uniqueness of this year? Will parents be contacted if a student is struggling academically?
A: VCU's Early Notification Programs (https://semss.vcu.edu/for-faculty-and-staff/early-notification-programs/) are designed to notify students (and their academic advisors) that additional effort is needed to be successful in a course.
Parents are encouraged to check in with their student several times during the semester:
1st check-in (during the first two weeks of a semester): Have they read their course syllabi, logged into Canvas, and do they understand and are they prepared to complete the course requirements in the modality offered?
2nd check-in (about 6 weeks into the semester): Have they received any Progress Reports, and if so, have they made an appointment with their advisor, tutor or coach in Navigate?
3rd check-in (about 8-10 weeks into the semester): What midterm grades have they received, and what steps should they take now to improve any grades prior to final exams?
Parents who wish to have direct access to view their student's educational records in eServices may ask their student to give them proxy access by following the instructions on the Records and Registration website (https://rar.vcu.edu/records/banner_proxy/).
Q: How does my student contact their academic advisor?
A: All undergraduate students can find and make appointments with their Success Team, which includes their academic advisor, financial counselor, and faculty in Navigate (vcu.navigate.eab.com). If you have questions about this process, please email email@example.com.
Q: What should a student do if their class schedule is not in their preferred modality? For example, if a student wants to attend all in-person classes, or prefers to take all online courses?
A: Courses may not be offered in a student's preferred modality, and faculty are expected to teach their courses in the modality listed on eServices. Faculty will not be able to offer a change in delivery modality, so students should work with their advisors to identify alternative classes. Students can contact and make appointments with their advisor via Navigate (vcu.navigate.eab.com).
Q: What is the difference in dropping a class and withdrawing from a class? And, what are the implications?
A: Students who drop a course in the first week of class will receive a full refund for the tuition and fees for that course. If a student withdraws from the course after the drop deadline, prorated tuition refunds then apply depending on the date of withdrawal (sfs.vcu.edu/billing-and-payments/refunds/). A dropped course will not appear on a student's transcript, but a withdrawal will appear with a W next to the class on the transcript. Because withdrawing from classes may have academic progression and financial implications, students are strongly encouraged to contact their academic advisors for assistance. Often, students can successfully complete courses they are considering withdrawing from if they utilize academic support services such as tutoring, Supplemental Instruction or coaching.
Q: If I have a medical/chronic health condition, can I stay home and take all of my classes online?
A: Not all classes are offered in an online format and many have specific requirements that may not be fulfilled through virtual attendance. Students who are unable to return to campus due to the impact of a medical or chronic health condition should contact their advisors as soon as possible to determine what virtual options may be available. Where possible, these existing options should be prioritized. If students have specific requirements towards graduation that do not have virtual options they should work with their academic department to discuss potential options.
Additionally, all students with medical or chronic health conditions who are seeking accommodations or alternative arrangements should contact the Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (Monroe Park Campus) and the Division for Academic Success (Health Sciences programs).
Q: Will tutoring sessions be in-person, online or both?
A: Tutoring will be provided in both modalities to ensure flexibility.
Q: Will preceptor sessions or SI sessions (extra help) occur for extra credit in person or at all this semester?
A: Supplemental Instruction will continue to be offered. Extra credit for attending Supplemental Instruction is at the discretion of the instructor, and would be included in their course syllabus. Please see the Campus Learning Center website for more information and the most up-to-date course offerings and schedule.
Q: How can a student obtain accommodations while isolating or in quarantine because of a potential exposure to COVID-19?
A: Students who need to isolate due to illness or quarantine because of a potential exposure to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact their faculty as soon as possible to discuss alternative ways of completing course work while they are unable to participate fully in class. Possible arrangements might include temporarily attending class virtually or alternative due dates, amongst others. Students who need help making these arrangements should contact the Dean of Students by completing this online form.
Q: Have there been any changes to the process for requesting or implementing disability-related accommodations?
A: The process for requesting accommodations has not changed. Students who are seeking specific support or reasonable accommodations due to the impact of a disability of medical/mental health concern should still contact the Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (Monroe Park Campus) and the Division for Academic Success (Health Sciences programs). Representatives from these offices will work with students on an individualized basis to determine what may be reasonable and appropriate based on an assessment of the specific impact of their disability, individual needs, and the environment/courses they are taking.
It is important to note that certain accommodations may be implemented differently, depending upon such factors as the delivery modality of a course (in-person vs. hybrid vs. virtual), how frequently it meets, specific requirements and learning objectives, etc. For any questions about how to appropriately implement accommodations and what may be considered reasonable students and instructors should discuss expectations to come to a mutual understanding. The Office of Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (Monroe Park Campus) and the Division for Academic Success (Health Sciences programs) can always be brought in to help facilitate these conversations.