Resource Guide for Faculty and Advisors for COVID-19 Changes to the Academic Plan

Table of Contents

Wellness Communication with Students and Colleagues

In an effort to continue appropriate communication with our students, we also offer a Student Resource Guide. Please assist this communication by making suggestions! (Go here if you’re looking for ways to help others in our SSU community or have ideas.) 

Sonoma State’s IT helpdesk is available to assist with teaching and learning during this time in addition to providing technical support. The helpdesk can be reached by phone 707.664.4357 or by email helpdesk@sonoma.edu(link sends e-mail). The Faculty Center is also available to assist faculty in adjusting to online modes and Teaching Through Disruptions.

Safety

Sonoma State will be using NomaCares as a central website for campus community members who are impacted and need assistance. NomaCares email: nomacares@sonoma.edu.

As you communicate with colleagues or students, please first inquire about their health and wellbeing. People are experiencing this pandemic in very different ways. Please be sensitive to these feelings and encourage those in need to contact NomaCares, even if they are not sure their situation merits it. Let them know that all NomaCares requests are treated sensitively and confidentially. We can provide some reassurance and some help.

  • Student Affairs staff will work with Academic Affairs staff to manage student issues.
  • Faculty questions will be referred to Faculty Affairs.
  • Staff questions will be referred to Human Resources.

General Information on Coronavirus

Center for Disease Control-Coronavirus COVID-19

World Health Organization-Q & A on Coronavirus COVID-19

Sonoma County Emergency Information-Novel Coronavirus

CDC-Taking Care of Your Emotional Health 

Physical or Mental Concerns

Watch for signs that people are experiencing physical or mental health concerns as a result of the changes to the campus and coursework caused by the pandemic.

If you or your colleagues need help, please contact Human Resources for our Employee Assistance Program.

Students should be referred to the Student Health Center or to Counseling and Psychological Services.

You may also contact NomaCares at nomacares@sonoma.edu to let us know about students who need assistance.

Leave Requests - Faculty needing a reduction in workload should contact their Chair and follow the Faculty Leave processes available on the Faculty Affairs website.

Suggestions for Remote Teaching During the Covid-19 Pandemic Developed by SSU’s Faculty Center.

Faculty have the freedom to make any adjustments they believe are necessary and appropriate to course schedules, assignments, deadlines, and test dates. It’s important to make sure the learning outcomes for the course are met in some fashion as you contemplate the time remaining in the course. 

Low-cost Internet: Because the campus remains open, on-campus internet is available. Additionally, several cable companies are offering free internet during this time. Here are their Covid-related web pages: include Cox, Charter, Comcast, Xfinity, and AT&T

The Faculty Center offers training to assist faculty in adjusting to online modes and Teaching Through Disruptions Some courses such as science labs and performing arts studios may be particularly challenged as they move to remote access. Faculty may find these ideas helpful: Suggestions for Remote Labs and Performing Arts Studios.

Be aware that students are not equally equipped to perform successfully in online courses. Many students can only access online courses via smartphone. This will not be sufficient for using software programs such as SPSS and Stata. Faculty should consider alternative ways for students to learn material based in such software programs. 

The stress of “making up for lost time” is a big one for faculty, but please take a compassionate and sensitive stance. Consider adjusting your syllabus, extending deadlines, cancelling or modifying  some assignments or readings, and adjusting grading criteria. It will be difficult to squeeze in everything that was in the original syllabus and course schedule, and  we ask that you not try to fit in extra class periods that only some students will be able to attend. Please be very clear about your expectations and explain to students how the syllabus or course schedule for your course has changed as a  result of the class periods missed.  Here is some suggested Syllabus language.

If you have questions about how to adjust your syllabus, assignments, or deadlines, contact your Department Chair, Associate Dean, Dean, the Faculty Center, or the Office of Academic Programs. All of these individuals can help with the adjustment process.

Please encourage students to take course materials with them if they leave campus during class cancellations. Courses may be required to resume remotely after the cancellations.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Faculty should continue to accommodate students who have disabilities documented through DSS. Here are directions for accommodating individual students with extended test time on a Canvas quiz.

If you need assistance with accommodating students you may reach out to Disability Student Services at (707)664-2677 to arrange a Zoom appointment. DSS has also produced this Continuity Plan, which offers many quick tips on accommodations.

Internships

If you are supervising an internship that can be done remotely, your student can continue as planned. If the internship cannot be done remotely, here are some helpful Remote Internship Guidelines.

Academic Deadlines and Processes

Forms

Many forms on campus have been available in hardcopy only. These are now being transferred into Adobe Sign. Please do not deviate from Adobe Sign as you transfer departmental forms to be available virtually. SSU’s IT department has vetted Adobe Sign for security and accessibility. Students and faculty can sign forms using mobile devices, Chromebooks, and computers. 

Academic Calendar

Incompletes

An incomplete is appropriate under the following circumstances:

  • When a student has completed a substantial amount of the work for a course (usually 50%) but is unable to complete the course requirements within the academic term.
  • When the remaining work can be completed by the student outside of class.

An Incomplete is not appropriate when it is necessary for a student to attend a major portion of the class when it is next offered.

Leave of Absence Requests

If students indicate they need take a Leaves of Absence, please encourage them to talk with their academic advisor in their major or in Advising Central (the Advising Center), the Financial Aid Office, and REACH (Housing), if they are residential. It is important that they get advice. There may be ways of helping a student to stay in school or re-enter more easily.

Probation and Disqualification

Probation and disqualification processes and criteria will not change, but  individual student situations, for those students directly impacted by the pandemic, will be reviewed by the University Standards Committee.

Testing

WEPT: Please see the WEPT website for more information or email wept@sonoma.edu(link sends e-mail) with any questions.

Prometrics Tests: If you have students who have signed up for GRE Subject  Tests, the LSAT, or the MPRE, they should contact Testing and Proctoring Services to check on when exams will be scheduled or rescheduled.