Student Frequently Asked Questions for MU Distance Education

Updated Student FAQ March 30, 2020

Dear MU students,

I want to congratulate you and your faculty on, by all accounts, a successful first week of the transition to distance learning as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis. “Successful” does not mean perfect; I know there were upheavals and glitches along the way. I also know that because of the tireless dedication of your professors and because of your commitment to successfully completing the Spring 2020 semester, we are all navigating this situation to the best of our abilities. In these stressful and uncertain times, remember to be generous with yourselves and others, to ask questions when you have them, and to provide support to others when you can.

Today I want to share additional, important information about the rest of the Spring 2020 semester and about registration for summer and next fall.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Blum Malley, Ph.D.
Provost

Updated Student FAQ March 30, 2020

What are grading options for my Spring 2020 classes?

We understand that focusing on your classes for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester is more challenging than ever. In addition to getting used to completing your classes in distance learning formats, you are dealing with other disruptions to your planned semester because of the COVID-19 crisis. Your success is our priority and we are making every effort to support your learning and your well-being during this unprecedented time.

Expanded Pass/Fail Grade Option:

For the spring 2020 semester only (day and evening/online session II), undergraduate students will be permitted to choose the pass/fail grading option for any Spring 2020 courses in which they are registered. The deadline to choose Pass/Fail is May 6, 2020.

All Methodist University policies requiring a specific grade in courses for the major will be waived for the Spring 2020 semester. If you choose a pass/fail grade, the course will count for continuation in the major and for degree completion as long as you pass the course.

At the end of the semester, all faculty will submit final letter grades. Any time from now until May 6, 2020, students can opt to change the grading option to Pass/Fail in any of their courses by submitting this form to the Office of the Registrar.

In some circumstances, selecting Pass/Fail grading may have implications you may not be aware of. Specifically, the following programs may be affected:

  • Pre-professional programs: Many pre-professional programs (e.g. nursing) discourage students from taking certain key courses on a pass/fail basis. This is especially true for pre-health majors interested in graduate school in the health professions. If your program of study is leading to a career in the health professions, speak to your advisor before choosing Pass/Fail grading.
  • Majors, such as Education, leading to licensure or other certification: Some licensing agencies require that students report letter grades from core courses in order to obtain professional licenses or certifications. If your program of study is Education or other area leading to a career that involves certification or licensure, speak to your advisor before choosing Pass/Fail grading.
  • Veterans Affairs Funding: The VA requires that all courses count toward your degree and GPA. Randy Smith, Director of Veteran Services, is closely following the VA response to how institutions are adapting grading during the COVID-19 crisis. If you are receiving VA funding, you must talk to Randy Smith before making a decision about pass/fail grading.

Incomplete/Withdrawal:
In the first Student FAQ message, I explained that we have extended the deadline for students to take an incomplete (I) or to withdraw (WD) to May 1, 2020.

To withdraw from a course, submit this form before May 1.

To request an incomplete, you must contact your instructor and discuss terms of the incomplete. The instructor must send an email by May 1 to the Registrar, with a copy to the student, including:

  • the student’s name,
  • course prefix, number, section, title,
  • a brief description of the remaining course work.

All incomplete grades from Spring 2020 must be resolved by the end of the Fall 2020 semester.

If I’m not on campus, what can I do about registration holds for Summer and Fall 2020?

In an effort to best support students during the registration process, Methodist University is suspending many of the registration holds that we have in place.  These registration holds include the Library Competency hold, the Computer Competency hold, and holds from the Office of Admissions and MU@Night. The removal of these holds is temporary and only for the early registration period for Summer and Fall 2020 courses.

Can I continue to use the Library and computer labs under the stay-at-home order?

As announced by President Wearden this afternoon, in response to Governor Cooper’s stay-at-home order, most university offices and buildings are physically closed, with staff working remotely. Residence halls, where students continue to live, Berns Student Center, and the Library remain open, but with reduced hours of operations and limited services (e.g. dining is take out only for residential students).

Computer labs in academic buildings across campus are closed, but students can continue to access computers at stations in the library, taking all social/physical distancing and hygiene precautions for reducing spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Only students currently residing on campus have access to the Library without further permission. Commuter students must contact Provost Suzanne Blum Malley (smalley@methodist.edu) to be added to the student access list at the Welcome Center. All students will be asked to show their student IDs as they enter campus.

Library hours are:

  • Monday – Friday, 2pm – 7pm
  • Sunday, 2pm – 5pm

How will I get my diploma if I’m a graduating senior?

Diplomas for graduating seniors will be mailed directly to the student’s legal home address on file. Students who wish to change their address should:

  • login to their MyMU Portal > my profile & settings (upper-right hand corner of the page) > contact information > addresses.
  • Please complete any address changes no later than May 1, 2020.

Can I buy my cap and gown now even though we are not having a commencement ceremony in May?

As noted in the first Student FAQ message, the graduation fee will be removed from the bills of graduating seniors. Students who would like to purchase their own caps and gowns now, may do so through the Methodist University bookstore. The online link for graduation regalia will be posted soon at: https://www.bkstr.com/methodiststore


March 20, 2020

Dear MU Students,

We are aware that this is a challenging time for our community, and especially for our students. Thank you for your patience as we work through the issues that the sudden change from in-person to distance education presents. We are committed to ensuring your long-term success and your timely graduation.

With this message, we want to make you aware of the resources that are available to you and provide answers to some of your frequently asked questions. This information is also posted on our Student COVID-19 Response FAQ web page. We will keep that page updated on a regular basis in response to your questions.

We also want to reiterate that you will be able to complete all of your coursework and course requirements via distance learning through the end of the semester.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Blum Malley, Ph.D.
Provost

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Methodist University Response to COVID-19

What is going to happen with my classes?

As you know, all instruction is moving to distance learning, beginning Monday, March 23. We are not returning to in-person instruction this semester. Your professors will be in contact with you about how each of your courses will be adapted for distance learning, including whether they plan for the course to take place online with your classmates at your regularly scheduled class time (synchronously) or plan for the course to be completed through separate individual participation (asynchronously). If you have a question about a specific course, email your professor. Remember to check your MU email regularly (perhaps more frequently than you ordinarily would).

My class is now in Blackboard. How do I find it?

You can access Blackboard from the Quicklinks on the MU website home page, in the MyMU portal from the left column navigator, or at the following link: https://muonline.methodist.edu/. Once at the Blackboard Learn login page, enter your username and password. The student’s Blackboard username consists of everything to the left of the “@” symbol in their MU email address. The default password consists of “Mu!” (case sensitive) followed immediately by the first six digits of their ID number. For five-digit ID numbers, add a “0” between “Mu!” and the five-digit ID number. See below example.

Username – csmith
Password – Mu!012345

Once you have logged into Blackboard, look to the far right of the page at My Courses to find your Blackboard courses. You should also see a Blackboard Student Orientation course which can help you learn how to navigate courses in Blackboard.

Please note that not all professors will be using Blackboard, if one or more of your courses are not listed under My Courses, please contact those professors by email.

How can I get help with Blackboard if I need it?

You can find additional online learning resources such as Blackboard Help under Tools in the left column navigator within the course. If you have a question or need assistance, do not delay. Ask your instructor.

If you are new to using Blackboard Collaborate, Dr. Scott Fisher prepared this video guide for students.

If you have a technical question or need assistance logging into Blackboard, please contact Michael Molter at mcmolter@methodist.edu.

Can I still go the Tutoring Center and Writing Center?

The Monarch Tutoring and Testing Center appointments will all take place online. Please schedule an appointment at least 48 hours in advance by contacting Quincy Malloy at qmalloy@methodist.edu or (910) 630-7151. Once you have scheduled your appointment, the tutor for that subject will contact you within 24 hours to schedule and provide access to the Zoom online platform to use for the tutoring session.

The Writing Center sessions are also all online. Please go to www.methodist.mywconline.com to book an Online (live video chat) or eTutoring (document upload for written feedback) session. Please call the Writing Center at (910) 630-7264 or email Professor Greene at rgreene@methodist.edu or Rebecca King at reking@methodist.edu if you have any questions.

Video-enabled laptops are available at the library’s circulation desk for Tutoring and Writing Center sessions, and there are two private study rooms designated for real time, online consultations.

How do I access library databases and streaming audio, video, etc. from off campus?

You can access the many guides offered by the Library from on or off campus.

To access databases and resources from off campus, go to http://libguides.methodist.edu/az.php

  1. Click on the name of the database you wish to use.
  2. A login screen will appear requesting your MU email user name (everything before the @ symbol) and your MU email password.
  3. Fill in the information and click “Submit query.”

If you need help with your MU email user name and password, call (910) 630-7300 Monday-Friday during the hours of 8 pm – 5 pm. You may also send an email to help@methodist.edu. Please include your MU student ID number in your email message. For assistance using any of the databases provided call the Reference Desk at (910) 630-7123 or email a librarian.

What if I need an Incomplete (I) or Withdrawal (WD)?

We are extending the deadline for students to request a withdrawal (WD) or an incomplete grade (I) to Friday, May 1, at 5 pm. In the next week, we will send additional information to all students and faculty about the process for requesting a WD or I from a distance.

What if I have limited internet access off campus?

Both Comcast and Spectrum  are providing free access to their Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. Both providers are also offering home internet access at free or reduced prices:

  • Spectrum is offering free Wi-Fi and broadband access up to 100 MBPS to any household with K-12 and/or college students that doesn’t already have Spectrum. Installation fees will be waived for these households, and anyone wishing to enroll will need to call (844) 488-8395.
  • Comcast is expanding a service they already offer for low-income families called Internet Essentials. The service, which is normally $9.95 a month, will be free for new customers for 60 days and is 25 MBPS. People hoping to sign up for the services can call (855) 846-8376 for English and (855) 765-6995 for Spanish.

Can I use campus labs and the library?

Commuter students may continue to use the library, labs, and academic spaces. We ask students to exercise careful judgement before returning to campus and to practice social distancing and COVID-19 preventative measures.

I am a PA, PT, or OT student. What is happening with my clinical placements?

After reviewing guidance from the CDC, the Accreditation Councils for our DPT, PA, and OTD programs, and advice from local health facilities, and the MU Emergency Response Team, the directors of the health professions programs have decided to remove all students from clinical placements at this time, effective at the end of the day on Friday, March 20. This decision was made to protect the health and well-being of the students, to allow the conservation of personal protective equipment in medical facilities, and to protect the greater public from the spread of this disease through greater social distancing by allowing the students to shelter at home.

Faculty from the health professions programs will be in contact with students regarding the completion of requirements for the current placements, as well as expectations regarding future clinical placements.

Can I continue in my current internship this semester?

Students currently enrolled in internship courses for the Spring 2020 semester are able to receive an exemption from completing the minimum required hours in their internships if a) their internship worksite closes or b) they do not feel comfortable or safe in their work environment.  At this time, students who are comfortable continuing in their internships are welcome to do so.

The course grade for internship classes will not be negatively impacted if students do not complete the required hours for the internship as stated in the course syllabus. Students are, however, expected to complete all of the remaining requirements and assignments for their internship classes. Please contact your Internship Course Instructor for my information.

I am a graduating senior or graduate student and the commencement ceremony is canceled. Do I still have to pay a graduation fee?

No. We will remove the graduation fee from student bills and refund the fee to students who have already paid it.

I’m feeling really stressed about all of this. Where can I go for help?

Methodist University offers a number of resources to students, faculty, and staff that could be beneficial as the Epidemic Response Team monitors the spread of COVID-19. These include:

The University Chaplain and Department of Religious Life are also available to students for spiritual support and conversation.

  • Matthews Ministry Center Student Lounge open 7 am – 12 Midnight for no more than 10 students with appropriate social distancing.
  • Chaplain is available for Zoom, Facetime, or phone appointments. Email request for meeting to ktaylor@methodist.eduor call (910) 630-7515.
  • Chapel/Devotion hosted at 11 AM on Wednesdays on Facebook Page (Methodist University Religious Life)
  • Student Religious Life groups are meeting periodically through zoom rooms. Please check social media and MU email for dates, times and access information.
  • Spiritual Tips and Tools for finding hope in a time of crisis can be accessed here.

I’m a student athlete. What do the changes this semester mean for me as an athlete?

All athletic activities, both competitions and practices, have been canceled for the remainder of the spring season in both traditional and non-traditional seasons. The NCAA has canceled all spring championships and the USA-South Conference has canceled athletic events for all member schools. The NCAA approved a blanket waiver for all student-athletes participating in spring sports as follows:

  1. Waive the use of a season of participation for all student-athletes in spring sports, and
  2. Waive the use of the spring semester towards their limit of 10 semesters/15 quarters, regardless of whether they used a season.

We encourage all student-athletes to communicate with their coaches daily throughout the remainder of the semester as we are here to help and support you!

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