Update on Summer Schedule, Commencement and More

Friday, March 27, 2020, 12:45 p.m.

A Message from Isis Artze-Vega, Vice President, Academic Affairs; Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses; Kathleen Plinske, Executive Vice President and Provost, and President, Osceola, Lake Nona, and Poinciana Campuses; and Falecia Williams, President, West and Downtown Campuses

Thank you so much for your continued efforts to support our students and their learning during this challenging time. As we know you continue to be inundated with emails, please allow us to share just a brief summary of a few key decisions that we believe are most relevant to you:

Summer Course Schedule
Although decisions for when our campuses will reopen have not yet been made, we are planning to deliver our summer course schedule in an (almost) entirely online modality. Deans and faculty leaders will be working over the next week to explore a number of different options for our courses that are currently on the schedule in a face-to-face or mixed-mode modality, much like we have done this term. In order to allow sufficient time for students to register for the summer, we are aiming to complete the process of rebuilding our summer schedule by Friday, April 3, 2020. If the circumstances surrounding the pandemic change dramatically for the better between now and Monday, June 1, 2020, we may be able to consider offering a very limited number of courses in a modified face-to-face modality; however, this seems to be an unlikely scenario at this time. Therefore, we expect almost all summer offerings to be online.

Commencement

While each of us looks forward to celebrating our graduates’ accomplishments during our annual Commencement ceremony, unfortunately, we will be unable to hold a ceremony in a traditional face-to-face format this spring. However, we are working to host a virtual celebration that will provide the recognition that our graduates deserve.

This year, we will host Commencement via an online platform that will showcase our graduates and house videos from Valencia College President Sandy Shugart, along with special messages from our Distinguished Grad and others. The Commencement site will be live beginning Sunday, May 3, 2020. Stay tuned for more details and information about how you can participate in recognizing our graduates’ important achievement.

Spring SFI Administration
Based on feedback provided by deans and faculty leaders, we have decided not to proceed with our standard Student Feedback on Instruction (SFI) process this spring. We will provide updates on other ways we will gather student feedback as they become available. We are also pushing back deadlines related to faculty evaluations and the Teaching/Learning Academy (TLA). Faculty evaluations will not be due until Thursday, October 15, 2020; more details about adjusted TLA timelines are forthcoming.

Remote Test Proctoring
Remote test proctoring is dependent on webcams. We have learned that a significant portion of our students do not have access to webcams, and webcams are not widely available for purchase at this point. We are therefore not able to provide collegewide online proctoring this spring (with the exception of courses that require remote test proctoring to meet accreditation standards). Instead, we are shifting our attention to proctoring solutions for the summer, moving forward to establish a contract with a vendor, and considering how to ensure all students enrolled in summer courses have access to webcams. With respect to proctoring needs this spring, we would direct you to the alternatives to online proctoring shared in the Teaching through the Coronavirus, Together update, and our teaching and learning leaders will be meeting with key discipline groups to discuss needs and alternatives.

R20 Grade and Withdrawals
Students have the option to unenroll from any of their courses this spring and elect to retake the course at a later date. Students who elect this option will have a grade on their transcript of R20 (more details about the grade can be found online here). Students who register for the same course(s) in summer 2020 will automatically have tuition and fees for those courses waived. The R20 grade does not affect a student’s GPA nor does it count as a course attempt. To elect this option, students should contact advising@valenciacollege.edu by Friday, April 17, 2020.

Faculty-initiated withdrawals have been suspended for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term. If a faculty member wishes to issue a “W” grade to a student for violating the course attendance policy prior to Spring Break, please send an email to atlashelp@valenciacollege.edu with the student’s name and VID, the CRN, and the student’s last date of attendance.

We are also exploring the possibility of a pass/fail grade option for students, but have been waiting for confirmation from our university partners that this option would not negatively affect our students upon transfer. We expect to have more details to share next week.

Lab Fees
Many of you may be receiving questions from students about refunds for lab fees. Valencia will not make adjustments to fees for the Spring term, including not charging a distance learning fee for courses that have moved online. Due to the fact that the College invests considerable funds into making lab experiences possible for students, and given that lab fees only account for a fraction of the costs associated with labs, unfortunately, we are unable to issue refunds for lab fees. Moreover, many staff members who are funded by lab fees are now supporting students in new ways. For example, many courses now have virtual lab experiences available for students to complete core learning outcomes this spring.

Zoom Update
Zoom accounts are now available for every employee at http://valenciacollege.zoom.us, which allows us to host video conferencing meetings. Moreover, the option to record from within Zoom is now available. Only recordings to the cloud are allowed in an effort to prevent the download of recordings to individual devices or distribution outside of the College.

Please note that when a Zoom meeting is being recorded, participants must agree to be recorded. If participants do not consent to be recorded, they will not be permitted to join the meeting room.

Please reach out to the OIT Service Desk if you encounter any issues at oitservicedesk@valenciacollege.edu.

Once again, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any additional questions or concerns.

2 Comments

  • Karen Cowden said:

    Thank you to the entire leadership team who have been tirelessly supporting us all through these choppy waters. We appreciate you!

    PMTue, 31 Mar 2020 21:31:29 +0000Tue, 31 Mar 2020 21:31:29 +0000pm20,9:31 pm

  • Rachel Mack said:

    Thank you for all the wonderful information. This is helpful to those of us on the calling campaign. Many students are asking about summer etc. Thank you and a shout out to OIT for all the incredible work they are doing!

    AMWed, 01 Apr 2020 07:18:39 +0000Wed, 01 Apr 2020 07:18:39 +0000am20,7:18 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

    Sunsetting Our COVID-19 Protocols

    Wednesday, March 30, 2022 A Message from Amy Bosley, Vice President, Institutional Planning and Development, and Chief of Staff   After more than two long years of living through the coronavirus pandemic, we have learned so much about our ability to innovate while working through change and uncertainty. Our resilience and commitment to learning, as we […]

    University of Central Florida to Present Panel about...

    Tuesday, March 1, 2022 Date: Friday, March 18, 2022 Time: 1 p.m. Location: Virtual and UCF Main Campus, John C. Hitt Library, Room 402 (12701 Pegasus Dr. Orlando, FL 32816) Valencia College is supporting a University of Central Florida (UCF) panel, sponsored by the Florida Humanities Council, called “The Global Pandemic of 2020-22: Historical Context […]