Bagley College of Engineering COVID-19 Guidelines  DETAILS

Spring 2020 Student Information

If you are having trouble accessing Canvas, please review this set of instructions.

You should have received most of this information via a spring semester update, which you can review here.

We understand that many of you are anxious, stressed, and concerned about the remainder of the semester. Please know that we are all working to deliver quality courses to you in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. The University has established a web page with resources for you that can be found at https://www.msstate.edu/acstudents.

If you have not checked your final exam schedule, now is the time to do so. Under MSU Academic Operating Policy 12.04 Final Exams, you are not expected to take more than two exams in one day. However, it is your responsibility to bring this to the attention of your faculty and allow everyone to work on a resolution. This does not entitle you to choose which exam is moved, but for the faculty involved to work out what is the best option for all concerned.

Making arrangements takes time, especially in this time of everyone working from home, so start now. The policy requires two weeks’ notice so, if you wait until the last minute, arrangements will not be able to be made and you will have to take more than two exams in one day. Once again, it is your responsibility to bring these conflicts to the attention of your professors who are teaching the exams with conflicting exams.

The University is providing an option for students to select Pass/Fail Grading in the Spring 2020 Semester. Please review the university website for additional details including an FAQ: https://www.msstate.edu/passfail.

To help you better understand the so-called Pass/Fail grading system that will be used this semester we have prepared two flow charts.

Remember that grading options are a function of the level of the course and not your classification. In other words, if you are undergraduate but taking a course at the graduate level, your graduate course options follow the rules for graduate courses but your undergraduate courses will follow the undergraduate rules.

Note that under the revised system, some grades will automatically be changed in your favor: If you earned an A, it will remain A because keeping it cannot hurt your GPA; if you earned an F, it will automatically become a U so that it will not harm your GPA. Grades will initially be posted as letter grades and then you can determine if you want to change your grades of B, C, or D.

If you need to take a course in the future that requires a grade of C or better in a pre-requisite course, then a grade of S will meet the pre-requisite grade requirement. If you only need a passing grade in the pre-requisite course, then a grade of S or P will suffice.

Before making your final selection, you should consider how the various grades will affect your MSU and Overall GPAs. Should you choose a grade of S, P, or U for a course and later need your transcript to show the actual letter grade (for graduate or professional school applications, for example), there will be a petition process available to make that change. However, we do not anticipate a petition process to change a letter grade to S, P, or U after the deadline passes.

Dr. Steve Elder from the ABE department has also created a helpful spreadsheet for calculations. Undergraduate students who are not enrolled in any graduate courses may use this Excel spreadsheet to determine the impact of their grading scheme choice on their cumulative GPA (overall GPA). You will need to look at your transcript in Banner to find the GPA Hours and Quality points you’ve earned up to this point (through the end of the 2019 Fall semester). Then enter your classes, credit hours for each class, and your expected letter grades. For each course,  you can then enter Yes to accept the Pass/Fail option (S-P-U) or No to decline it and accept the letter grade (actually Y or N will work too). Once you’ve done this for all your courses, your cumulative GPA will be calculated in the yellow-highlighted cell. If you change the Yes or No answer for a class, then the GPA will automatically recalculate.

Students needing help locating internet access for their classes can refer to the following website with information: https://www.msstate.edu/newsroom/article/2020/03/students-limited-access-internet-services

It is very important that you continue to check your email regularly and encourage your friends and classmates to do the same. It will be how most information is pushed out to you over the next few days and weeks. Please make efforts to communicate whenever possible by email or telephone. Please also realize that responses may be delayed due to increased volume.

Information on some tutoring resources is available on the Bagley College website at https://www.bagley.msstate.edu/tutoring/.

We will complete the rest of the semester on-line. Faculty are working this week to make that happen. Please be patient and understanding. Each class may be handled a little differently and will not necessarily consist of a video of your professor giving a lecture. Faculty will communicate their plans to you as soon as possible.

Be prepared for minor changes in your course syllabi. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitates that reasonable changes to syllabi be made given the availability of resources and the limitation of gatherings. These changes will be for your benefit, but will allow us to satisfy the learning objectives in the course. We have asked the faculty to give thoughtful consideration to changes made and to be lenient and compassionate where possible. If you have concerns over any changes, such as not having access to the Internet, please communicate with your professor. Do not assume they will know.

Faculty are working to make software available to you at home as possible but it is not possible with all software. If the current syllabus requires you to use software that is only available on campus, the syllabus will be modified to adjust that requirement.

The university does not plan to lengthen the semester so our extended Spring Break will result in some dates changing in your syllabus. What those changes are will depend on the specific course and will be communicated to you by your professor. Exams will need to be completed on-line. Remember that the Honor Code applies whether you are taking an exam at home or on campus. Those suspected of cheating will be reported to the Honor Council. We trust that students will abide by the Honor Code as we all face this unprecedented time together.

Advising will be conducted on-line. If you have not been contacted by your advisor, you can find them listed in Banner on your MyState page. Please reach out to them. But also, be patient. Most will reply within 24 hours but it may take a little longer given the circumstances.

To facilitate advising, it is important that you prepare ahead of time. Draft a list of courses of you plan to take using the Banner 9 Plan Ahead Option in MyState if possible, or via email if you have limited internet access. There is no need to worry about times and days, just a list of courses will help. If you are not doing well in one or more classes and think those grades may affect what you take next term, prepare two or more schedules based on the possible outcomes of this semester. Communicate these to your advisor via email or on any form they may provide. Compose your email from the point of view of the reader. Make it easy for your advisor to see and understand what you plan to do. Your advisor can then discuss them all with you at once and you can make schedule changes as needed at the end of the semester once you have your final grades. Also note that you can prepare multiple draft schedules in Banner 9 and then when your registration slot opens, you can submit your entire draft schedule all at once.

It is also very important that if you have a phone call, or on-line advising session scheduled, you keep that appointment. If you miss your appointment your advisor may not be able to work you back into the schedule for a while.

Laboratories present a special challenge. We are working on ways to provide meaningful laboratory experiences. In most case, videos of demonstrations will be shown and you may be given sets of data for analysis. You will not be expected to attend physical lab facilities. Additional information on laboratories will be communicated to you by the lab instructors as soon it is ready.

All university-sponsored events with dates on or before May 10 have been cancelled.

Thesis and dissertation defenses can proceed as scheduled, unless you cannot hold them remotely. You can use WebEx or other remote conferencing platforms for these events.

The deadline for thesis/dissertation defenses is March 27.
The deadline for initial submission to the Library is April 3.
The deadline for final submission to the Library remains April 24.
The deadline for non-thesis comprehensive exams remains April 29.

Remember also that all forms take digital signatures.

We know graduating students are concerned about the commencement ceremony. The President has announced that spring commencement has been postponed indefinitely to comply with the CDC recommendations of avoiding large public gatherings. You will still graduate at the end of this semester (assuming you meet all requirements) and will receive your diploma in the mail (as is always the case). We will update you on any new plans as those are available.

The Registrar does not plan to assess a late fee if you apply for graduation after the first deadline. However, if you do plan to graduate at the end of this semester, please apply as soon as you can. It will provide your advisor and others much needed time to review your record while are working from home and with minimal staff support.

If you have applied for graduation and wish to cancel that application, you may receive a refund if you cancel before April 10. If you cancel your graduation, you will not be awarded a degree this term. To cancel your application, please email ymacon@registrar.msstate.edu.

Work continues on academic regalia issues. Please be patient and know the university is working on it. For now, some information can be found at www.gradsupply.com/msu/.

Graduate students and undergraduate student workers should not report to work at least until April 23, unless directed by their supervisor. Please check with your supervisor or advisor before attempting to return to work.

Presently, all international travel has been canceled. If you have a domestic trip planned and do not feel comfortable taking it, please work on cancelling as soon as possible. Do not register for any additional trips for the future without discussing with your advisor or supervisor.

Please reference this site for the most up to date information including library hours: https://guides.library.msstate.edu/coronavirus/

Once students have accepted a formal offer of co-op or internship employment, they should make a counseling appointment with a placement coordinator by calling 662-325-3823 or by using the appointment booking system in their Career Center “Connections” account. To use the online appointment booking system, students should visit www.career.msstate.edu, click on “Go to Connections”, log in, and find the Counseling Appointment tab on the left margin. Students should then follow the instructions provided to request an available appointment time. A legend with coordinator names and the majors they serve are provided in the instructions.