Have the deadlines for senior honors recommendations, thesis grads, and prize nominations changed?
Yes. The deadline for senior honors recommendations, thesis grades and prize nominations has been extended: all are due to the Registrar’s Office by May 15 (instead of May 5). Please note, however, that deadlines for student theses are set by the department. Thesis advisors should be in touch with their thesis students about departmental deadlines.
Has the academic calendar changed?
Yes, in some cases deadlines have changed. Please see below.
- Start and End Dates of Classes: On or before March 23, all faculty members will be in touch with their students about next steps for their classes. All classes should have their first remote meeting, in some form, between Monday, March 23, and Thursday, March 26. Regular classes will continue until May 1.
- New Dates for Advising Week (April 6–April 17): We will now have two weeks of “Advising week,” which will take place between April 6 and April 17.
- The first round of pre-registration for fall 2020 will take place April 20–April 24.
- Roster management week will take place April 27–May 1.
- The second round of pre-registration for fall 2020 will take place May 4–8.
- Schedule for the End of the Semester: During the week of May 4–8, on Monday and Tuesday (May 4–5), Thursday and Friday classes will be held to make up for classes that were cancelled in March.
- Reading period will be May 6–8.
- The schedule for exam week remains unchanged. The exam period will run from Monday, May 11, through Friday, May 15.
Has the due date for senior theses changed?
All honors recommendations for senior theses are due to the registrar’s office on May 5, but each department has its own deadline by which students must submit theses to the department. Students are asked to check with their thesis advisors about the departmental due date for theses.
What about thesis defenses?
Thesis defenses can be conducted remotely, using Zoom or other technology.
Given different time zones, how will class scheduling be done after spring break?
At this time, faculty members will determine whether they are able to hold synchronous classes. Please note that faculty have now been asked to work from home, and some may have poor Internet connections or childcare and other obligations. At the same time, the college realizes that following Eastern Standard Time may pose great difficulties for students on the West Coast and around the globe.
If faculty are able to hold synchronous classes, they will do so at their regularly scheduled time, since any time changes will have a cascading effect on students’ schedules. If faculty need to teach asynchronously, they have been asked to use those strategies that will best reach their students. These may include recorded sessions, additional discussion sections for students in a different time zone, writing assignments in lieu of class time, or collaborative work among students that takes place over an extended period of time.
Will grading policies change?
Amherst’s usual grading policies will remain in effect, but the college expects to announce greater flexibility around the Flexible Grading Option (FGO) and course-withdrawal options after remote learning begins.
What about students who need help with the logistics of remote learning? Will the College provide technological support?
The College is committed to providing robust support for this effort. A web page, Student Strategies for Learning Remotely During COVID-19, provides detailed information about the services available and the resources you can expect faculty to use while teaching remotely. This site will help you determine what technology you may need while you are away from campus, such as a computer, a webcam and an Internet connection. The page includes a link to AskIT where you can inform IT about your specific technology needs.
I’m taking courses, including science labs, art classes, and performance-based classes, that I can’t imagine working well under remote learning circumstances. What will happen?
Your professors are being very creative in identifying ways that you can continue your coursework. They will be in touch about next steps and plans for the successful completion of the semester.
While learning remotely, will students continue to have access to academic support from faculty members and the Writing Center and Moss Quantitative Center?
Absolutely. Faculty will be holding office hours using Zoom or other online tools. Both the Writing Center and the Moss Quantitative Center will continue to hold appointments remotely.
Can students still receive tutoring or work as tutors?
Yes, students who have been receiving tutoring or wish to have these services, will receive them, with adaptations for remote connection. If you have a job as a tutor or a teaching assistant, you will continue to do your job virtually, and you should continue to record your hours. You will be paid accordingly. Contact Academic Support Coordinator Chris Moulton (email@example.com) in the Office of Student Affairs about tutoring.
I am having difficulty with one or more of my courses. What should I do?
Please follow the procedures that are in place. Students should turn first to their professor(s) when having difficulty. Next, contact your academic advisor, and then your class dean. Your academic support system remains in place, albeit remotely.
Will accessibility services still be available?
Absolutely. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am taking a Five-College course. What should I do?
All of the Five-College schools will use remote learning after spring break. Your instructor will almost certainly be contacting you, but if you have not heard anything by the end of spring break, please contact your instructor directly.
I didn’t purchase any books or textbooks for my classes. How will I now access those materials?
The library is busy digitizing required materials for classes, and you will find digital versions of those materials on your course Moodle site. In the event that you do not see the course materials that you need, please contact your professor, who will then request that the materials be scanned.
Do students have to return all library books? What if they need them for coursework?
You can renew your library books for additional three-month loans and bring them back to campus with you. Don't hesitate to contact the library with any questions. Librarians are working with faculty to make sure reserve materials are accessible for their courses.
I am an academic intern and would like to continue working remotely. How will this be possible?
The college will ensure that all students who wish to continue to work will be able to do so, and will be paid for that work. Some work cannot be replicated off campus. If that is the case, please speak with your professor or supervisor and discuss how you can work remotely. In the event that this is not possible, please be in touch with Professor Austin Sarat (email@example.com). He will coordinate finding you suitable remote work so that you can continue to be paid.
Will the Loeb Center resources still be available to students to assist with the search for summer jobs/internships?
Yes, feel free to contact the Loeb Center at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Also see the message from Emily Griffen, director of the Loeb Center:
Are college offices still providing services while students are off campus?
College offices are continuing to provide services to students, albeit remotely. In many cases, individual appointments can be conducted by via phone, Zoom, or other technology
Related Link: COVID-19 Academic Matters FAQ for Faculty and Staff.