Bagley College of Engineering COVID-19 Guidelines  DETAILS

Spring Semester Update for BCoE Students

March 18, 2020

Dear Engineering Students,

Thank you for reading this. 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.

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 for the remainder of the semester. The University has established a web page with resources for you that can be found at https://www.msstate.edu/acstudents. The Bagley College also a page of information that can be found at https://www.bagley.msstate.edu/covid-19-guidelines/.

As you may know, 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 they will not necessarily consist of a video of your professor giving a lecture. Once faculty finalize their plans, they will be communicated to you as soon as possible.

Although campus is open, we are not allowing students to congregate in classrooms or other spaces. This will eliminate all in-person group work since you have been asked to stay or return home if possible. The Mitchell Memorial Library and other computer labs are open if you need them. 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.

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.

As of now, the university does not plan to extend the semester so there will be some additional work that needs to be done and 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.

Laboratories present a special challenge. We are working on ways to provide meaningful laboratory experiences. Most likely 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.

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.

I know graduating students are concerned about the commencement ceremony. As of a few minutes ago, the President 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). I am fairly confident that you will be invited to attend the next scheduled ceremony.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your department head, me at green@bagley.msstate.edu, Dr. Babski-Reeves at kari@bagley.msstate.edu, or Dr. Keith at keith@bagley.msstate.edu. Please know the faculty are hard at work preparing for the rest of the semester. Please be patient while they finalize their plans and they will be communicated to you just as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Robert Green
Assistant Dean