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College of Education

COVID-19 Administrative Protocol

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has many people confused. There are a lot of unknowns. There is a lot of speculation. But…

Here’s what we KNOW:

Washington state is slowly coming out of Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay Home Stay Safe order and has moved toward its phased reopening (“Safe Start”), effective May 31 (Governor website – May 31, 2020). A lot of state law will govern WSU policy.

Governor Jay Inslee has also implemented a statewide face covering, effective June 26, 2020, legally requiring individuals to wear a face covering when in a public space (indoors or outdoors).

  • All locations across the WSU system are planning to resume in-person operations in the fall semester (Kirk Schulz email – June 10).
  • Instruction is planned to include a HyFlex model, that combines in-person and distance education delivery.
    • Face-to-face classes should not be taught in courses that require seating for more than 50 students at a time.
    • Faculty should have the option to use the HyFlex approach, offer a course entirely online, or offer multiple in‑person sections of a course (e.g., one‑third taught on Monday, one‑third taught on Wednesday, one‑third taught on Friday) that requires seating more than 50 students at a time.
    • Many courses requiring a seating capacity of fewer than 50 students should be taught as a distance course if an instructor is in a high‑risk group.
    • All courses planned for face‑to‑face delivery should have a backup plan for online delivery in the event that conditions require such a move.
  • Some changes are still being considered to the 2020-2021 academic calendar to minimize breaks and to reduce travel, especially after Thanksgiving.
Campus modification
Cleveland Hall, Education Addition, PEB/Smith
  • For both synchronous, and asynchronous instruction, keep the times as previously scheduled for the semester, in order to eliminate unnecessary chaos, course conflict, and maintain some predictability for faculty and students (Mike Trevisan email – March 17).
  • If instruction cannot effectively be done in your office, you may use one of the Zoom classrooms, working with Stacy to schedule this, leaving the building promptly after you’re done, and not interacting with anyone (Mike Trevisan email – March 24).
  • Cleveland 30 is a university classroom, not a College of Education classroom. As a consequence, Stacy does not schedule this room (Mike Trevisan email – March 17).
Work arrangements
  • Effective June 29, 2020, employees reporting to a WSU work location for any reason and for any length of time will be required to complete COVID-19 symptom attestation.
  • In general, all campuses, colleges, and areas are instructed to 1) “liberally (allow) employees to telework from home or other remote locations”, 2) Postpone or reschedule any non-essential meetings or utilize Zoom…”, 3) “Modify any one-on-one in-person meetings to ensure social distancing”, 4) “Adapt recruitment processes to adhere to social distancing by using Zoom or teleconference interviews” (HR policy memo sent from Theresa Elliot-Cheslek – March 15).
  • In our college, the expectation to telework remains. Whenever possible, please work from home (Mike Trevisan email – March 24)
  • WSU employees can start to come back to in‑person work as permitted under phases 2, 3, and 4 of the state’s plan for reopening.
  • Human Resource Services writes: “Through Phases 2 and 3, teleworking or working at an alternative work location remains the preferred work option. WSU employees who can telework without hampering essential operations should continue to do so” (“Returning to a WSU Work Location” – HRS website).
  • Campus employment is important for many students. WSU Pullman is committed to providing opportunities for our student employees when available. This may include alternative work projects or working remotely while other positions may require them to be physically present. They are to contact their supervisor to learn of available options, including whether they need to be on campus to continue their employment (Student Affairs memo – March 19).
Research practices
  • Effective June 29, 2020, employees reporting to a WSU work location for any reason and for any length of time will be required to complete COVID-19 symptom attestation.
  • WSU is not suspending research practices (Bryan Slinker email – March 19).The following is all from a Bryan Slinker and Chris Keane memo – March 25.
  • All research currently being conducted via telework should continue.
  • WSU can begin staged return to activity:
  • There is a set of activities that are approved to continue on campus under the Governor’s directive, but unless these are met, all researchers should arrange to be off-site by Friday, March 27 at 5:00 p.m. PDT.
    • The set of activities below are approved to continue on campus under the Governor’s directive as long as they are conducted under mandated safety standards, including extreme social distancing and disinfecting.WSU approved research activities:
      • Research involving the coronavirus and efforts to mitigate COVID-19 disease and the current pandemic, including work that will support Washington state and national recovery after the pandemic eases. Any of our researchers and scholars who can pivot their work to more directly address COVID-19, pandemic responses and needs, and the aftermath should do so.
      • Research that is essential to support students planning to graduate this spring.
      • Laboratory or field research where immediate discontinuation would generate significant data and sample loss, or significant harm to the long-term WSU research enterprise. This includes work focused on preserving key plant, tissue, cell-line, environmental, or other samples.
      • Work that maintains critical infrastructure, facilities, and equipment in a safe and secure mode, ready to resume operations when the crisis has passed. This includes facilities and infrastructure required to support the other items in this list.
      • Work that maintains critical samples and animal populations, including the well-being of research animals, and distinguishing between novel animal populations and commercially-available animal populations.
  • Newest guidance on final exams from the office of the provost (April 16, 2020):
  • Master’s and doctoral final examinations and doctoral preliminary examinations will continue during the period in which classes have transitioned to online delivery (Lisa Gloss email – March 13).
  • The policy that “at least one committee member must be physically present in the room with the student” or that a proctor must attend the exam is suspended until Friday, May 8 (Grad School memo – March 18).
    • This policy means that exams can be conducted exclusively online or by remote, e.g., Zoom (Grad School memo – March 18).
    • The student and/or some or all committee members can still meet face-to-face if desired and appropriate social distancing can be achieved (Grad School memo – March 18).
  • The deadline for degree completion has been extended in some circumstances. Normally, Friday, April 24 would be the last day to complete a final exam and defend a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation for spring 2020 graduates. This deadline will be extended by two weeks, until Friday, May 8, the end of finals week. If a doctoral student wishes to be hooded at the spring commencement ceremony, the deadline for defending the dissertation will remain April 24 so that degree processing can be completed before the ceremony (Lisa Gloss memo – March 19).
  • Grad School has updated signature policies for ballots and cotton pages (Grad School memo – March 25)
  • The deadline for Honors College students to submit their honors thesis, and still be eligible for ‘Pass with Distinction’ is Monday, April 13 (Robin Bond email – March 21).
  • While there is no cost to students for using Proctorio, it costs the colleges quite a bit.

    • Faculty are encouraged to explore alternative ways of assessing their students’ knowledge, either through take-home exams or the use of an honor statement, such as: I pledge on my honor as a student that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination (Phyllis Erdman Proctorio email – March 31).
    • If you do choose to use Proctorio, you need to send a request to Phyllis Erdman by April 1.

These rules are for undergraduates only, for Spring 2020 only, and all come from Mary Wack’s memo – March 27 unless otherwise specified.

  • Instructors should use the “Z” grade (Register office email – May 8)
    • For students who earned an “F” grade because they never attended or stopped attending class, instructors should:
      • Assign these students a “Z” grade and enter the last day of attendance on the grade roster.
      • If a student has never attended then enter the first day of the term as the last day of attendance.
      • “Z” grade may be uploaded on a CSV file but once uploaded the instructor must enter the last date of attendance for each “Z” grade on the roster in order to save the grade roster.
      • If the last date of attendance is not entered when you save the grade roster an error message stating “Last Date of Attendance is required” will display and the fields requiring completion turn red and are highlighted. Enter the last day of attendance and save the grade roster.
      • The “Z” grade will display on the student’s transcript as an “F” grade.
      • A student is more likely to take action with an “F” grade than with a blank grade.
      • Use of the “Z” grade is essential for accurate federal reporting requirements related to student financial aid and Veterans benefits.
  • P/F grading option can be requested on a course-by-course basis until June 1. Students can also reverse a request for any course.
    • P=A, B, C. F=F.
    • A new grade, PP=C-, D+, D, will be used.
    • P will satisfy prerequisites requiring C or above when PERC runs.
    • PP gives passing credit.
    • PP may not satisfy some prerequisites.
    • The advantage of the P, PP grade option is it has no negative impact on the student’s GPA whereas a letter grade, in particular C-, D+, D, could have a negative impact. It also allows P = C and above to satisfy prerequisites and requirements in many majors.
    • Departments should be extremely generous in accepting P and PP grades for their requirements. In particular, students with the fewest resources to transition online are the ones who will need P/F flexibility the most. From an equity standpoint we need to open this window wide. (This bolded emphasis was given in the memo.)
  • P/F option can be used for UCORE and Honors courses.
  • P/F should NOT be requested for undergraduates in graduate courses (Phyllis Erdman email – April 10).
  • For graduate students in undergraduate courses (Phyllis Erdman email – April 10):
    • This grading scheme change should only be done if approved by program and not counting on the graded credits for the program of study.
    • Rather than use the online Registrar’s Office form for undergraduates, graduate students should use the Graduate Student Petition Form on the GS website (which will allow the proper considerations and approvals and ensure the change is in their best interest).
    • The Registrar’s Office added career to the inquiry so we can periodically check on any electronically submitted forms.
  • P grades may satisfy major requirements in many departments — check with the department (WSU COVID-19 site).
  • There will be a form online through the Registrar’s Office to request this option.
  • Advisor approval is not required (no easy way to gather signatures), but the form will strongly recommend students contact advisors, as well as consider financial aid impacts.
  • Decision to not pursue the XC grade (Phyllis Erdman email – April 10):
    • Rather, we should use the existing X and I grades as needed to allow more time for either the students or the instructor as needed.
    • Faculty should use the Incomplete grade agreement form on the GS website to make clear expectations of work and completion timeline.
  • The limit for W (course withdrawal) is raised from 4 to 6 and extended to May 1.

For additional help, view this Pass/Fail flyer put together by the College of Education’s academic advising team.

Course evaluations

From Laura Griner Hill’s April 23, 2020 email:

“Many faculty have expressed concerns how the sudden transition to online teaching will affect their performance reviews, including both annual reviews and progress toward promotion and/or tenure.  We want to assure faculty that college administration is keenly aware of the numerous factors that made teaching more difficult, both in the transition to online and through the rest of the semester.  Even in the best of circumstances, student evaluations often take a dip when faculty try new approaches to teaching.  Those dips are likely to be magnified this semester.  We recognize that and want to support faculty, who have struggled to provide a high-quality education to students in this new environment.

“Blue course evaluations will be administered as usual this semester.  There will be no change to their form, content, or report distribution.  However, they are not intended to be used for annual review in 2020 or for evaluation of promotion and tenure materials.  Deans and chairs may review them for formative purposes having to do with pedagogical standards or curricular excellence and to identify any significant problems that might need to be addressed.

“Faculty will have the opportunity in Activity Insight to describe COVID-related changes, additional work, difficulties, and successes in course preparation and delivery.  Faculty may also opt to include course evaluation data from this semester if they wish to, in their annual review or in tenure/promotion documents.

“In addition, two separate surveys will go out at the end of the semester, one to faculty and one to students, about their experience of the sudden transition to online teaching and learning.  The purpose of the faculty survey is to provide information to AOI, the provost’s office, deans, and elsewhere for organizational development—refining and/or expanding capacity to support faculty teaching in this mode.

“The purpose of the student survey is to provide actionable information to faculty, outside the context of course evaluations, about the transition to the second half of the semester—what worked, what didn’t—so they can refine summer and perhaps fall courses, or incorporate new methods into face-to-face teaching.  A secondary goal is as above for the faculty survey—to help administrative units plan for support and capacity.”

Graduate forms
Student teaching

The guidance that has been put out to us by the Professional Educator Standards Board.  In summary, it is:

    • Emergency Teacher Certificate that allows a candidate with one or more incomplete assessments at student teaching to still be able to be certified and be hired, finishing the rest later.
    • Extension of the registration for any of the required tests from 6 months to 18 months owing to the closing of testing centers.
    • Waiver of the required number of hours for student teaching if the institution thinks the student has met the standards and is ready for teaching.
    • Extension of expiring certificates for an additional year (not for student teachers).
  • The overriding principle for internships and practicums is to practice extreme social distancing. If extreme social distancing cannot be obtained, students are to stop the internship or practicum experience.

  • ALL trainees (graduate students as well as undergraduate students and post-docs) should be encouraged to telework to the fullest extent possible in order to maximize social distancing (Graduate School memo – March 20).
  • The decision of whether a graduate student must report to campus in general, and to a research or teaching setting in particular, should begin with the student, not with the research advisor or teaching supervisor (Graduate School memo – March 20).
  • If research for students is part of the internship/practicum, they can continue as long as extreme social distancing can be implemented. In the case of human subjects research, this research must be stopped, unless the PI can obtain approval for a revised IRB protocol that mitigates close contact with people.
  • If internships and practicums cannot be completed, supervisors will follow guidelines from regulatory or accreditation boards or agencies, or work with students to determine the best course of action given their specific situation.

  • We are currently seeking clarification from the Office of the Provost on what to do for students who will be unable to complete their internships or practicums despite possible accommodations.

  • The tenure clock is extended by one year for all pre-tenure faculty, including those faculty who would have been submitting their materials this spring for review in academic year 2020-2021 (Tenure email – March 22).
Incurred costs
  • If you have expenses related to the COVID-19 outbreak (i.e., conference hotel or flight canceled), submit your request directly to your department chair, and these will be charged to the Dean’s Area Summer Session funds (Mike Trevisan email – March 18).
Washington State University