This series of questions and answers is meant to address the most pressing concerns that students may have about this unprecedented quarter. The answers to these questions were compiled from the different newsletters, announcements university and state regulations and orders, as well as official frequently-asked-questions lists.
How does shifting spring quarter to online impact faculty, staff, students, student workers and RSO’s? What does this mean for them?
Faculty and Staff:
Teleworking had been strongly encouraged prior to Gov. Jay Inslee’s order; now it is mandatory for all employees who can, given that their doing so would not interfere with critical operations. This includes some preparations for the remote learning taking place during the spring quarter which would require faculty to access on-campus technologies.
With an all-remote quarter starting in spring adjustments are still being made to the way that classes will be held. There is no universal solution and professors should be reaching out with details on how their classes will be held, how assignments will be turned in and their expectations from an online class. With an understanding of the difficulty of this shift on students no work will be graded until the second week of classes. Some classes are being canceled or rescheduled for future quarters as they are not compatible with an online format. Right now the goal is to increase the offerings of these classes for summer and autumn quarters. Where possible there will also be flexibility in certain requirements for those nearing graduation. The policies which affect classroom instruction do not apply to labs, as such some labs are still taking place during the quarter with a reduced number of students in each lab. All library buildings are closed, however, library staff are available to help provide remote learning services. Students who live on campus are allowed to stay during the quarter.
For those that are able to shift to remote work, those adjustments are already in progress. For those that are not able to work remotely, or are unable to get the same number of hours remotely other solutions are currently being worked out.
The university’s Center for Student Involvement wants to continue to encourage the organizing and involvement of students in RSO activities. As such they are offering training and suggestions to RSO leaders on ways to stay connected virtually. Further, the Spring Quarter Involvement Fair is currently being reimagined into a virtual format to further promote the involvement of students in RSOs.
What will classes look like this quarter? How will we receive our materials? Will the class expectations and content be the same? When/how will the material be delivered?
Each professor is in charge of crafting their class to fit this new mode of delivery. As such each class will look different, some will be delivered over Zoom in order to provide lectures, while others will create online assignments to be turned in. Professors should be contacting students via email to provide details.
What new responsibilities are there for students given the new form of education and what resources will be offered to us to offset any costs students may incur?
More than ever, reliable access to the internet and technology are key to students’ success. If students do not have access to these then they should get in touch with the Student Technology program, which is currently working hard to provide sanitized laptops for takeout or delivery for students that need them.
Beyond this, students must take it upon themselves to create a successful learning environment for themselves wherever they are during this quarter. This means setting up a distraction-free workspace where they are able to engage in their classes. Ensuring that they check both their email and their canvas regularly.
Resources for technology are offered through the school, as mentioned above both the library’s website and the Student Technology program are offered free of charge to students. The TLC is also offering online tutoring services available to all students. Counseling and Psychological Services is offering teletherapy services via Zoom for this upcoming quarter.
How are disability accommodations being considered?
Disability Resources for students and staff will be available during their normal business hours to answer any questions about accommodations, but their offices are closed for the time being.
Will there be any reductions in tuition costs considering the new mode of delivery of education that we are receiving and the loss of access to certain services we would otherwise have?
There will be no reduction in tuition costs for the remote spring quarter. Including fees such as the Services & Activities fee and others like it. However, the UPASS fee is currently being assessed by the main UW campus, as local transit options have been reduced in routes, as well as offering free fares to all riders. According to Vinny Da, the ASUWT President a proposition is being sent forward from UWT members to the UW Board of Regents to refund the $45 UPASS to students who wish to opt-out of the pass for the quarter.
What will happen to all of the events that are typically held on campus during Spring Quarter?
All events that are typically held in person are being reimagined as online events, an example of this being the Spring Quarter Involvement fair for RSOs.
What will happen with commencement?
A decision has not yet been reached about this specific event.
How can we pay tuition now that the campus is closed?
Fees for online payments have been waived for this quarter. If you cannot pay online and need to mail in your tuition payment, then checks can still be mailed.
Will the campus open early if health recommendations change before the quarter ends?In order to minimize uncertainty, it has already been decided that the entire quarter will be held remotely.
What is happening with Study Abroad Programs for the summer?
All summer 2020 study abroad has been canceled in light of the situation. According to an email sent out by the Study Abroad office, students will not be charged with any study abroad program fees or administrative fees under the control of their office. Discussions are underway with the professors leading these trips about ways to provide the same content in a different, on-campus format. An update on this will be coming in the next few weeks.