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Applied Learning Experiences During COVID-19

(Archived Message) Applied Learning Experiences During COVID-19 – March 31, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community remains the highest priority. In light of Governor Hogan’s Executive Orders and under the leadership and guidance of the University System of Maryland (USM), and infectious disease and public health experts located at various USM institutions, including the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Public Health, UMBC is taking action to further mitigate the outbreak and protect the members of the campus community and the public.

Nearly all UMBC students involved in Applied Learning Experiences, which includes Internships, Cooperative Education, Research Experiences, Field Placement, and Service-Learning & Community Engagement activities, have been recalled from their host sites and most are continuing their work remotely. However, for those remaining in the field, in light of health risks and Executive Orders in response to COVID-19, effective immediately, all students involved in University recognized Internships, Cooperative Education, Research Experiences, Field Placement, and Service-Learning & Community Engagement activities (credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing) must transition to a fully online/remote or alternative learning environment with their host site/organization. Participation in such experiences in a face-to-face capacity is prohibited unless an exception is requested and granted by UMBC. We understand the challenges that this directive may pose and recognize that not all activities will lend themselves to this change, but the University’s decision to prioritize health and safety is paramount.

To offer students maximum support and flexibility, if unable to transition to a fully online/remote or alternative learning environment with their host site/organization, exceptions may be requested in cases where all of the following apply:

  • continued activity in a face-to-face capacity is deemed essential and online/remote participation is not feasible;
  • activity in the face-to-face capacity is essential to the fight against COVID-19 and the safeguarding of our community;
  • sufficient safeguards are in place for the health and safety of the student and any involved community members; and
  • the student voluntarily elects to continue in a face-to-face capacity knowing and assuming the risks inherent in that decision.

Requests for exceptions must be submitted by the student to the Applied Learning Experience Emergency Team (ALEET) using UMBC’s ALEET Exception Request Form which mandates signature support by the host site/organization as well as the student’s UMBC Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor (this may be the students’ professor or Academic Department overseeing their experience, the Career Center, the Shriver Center, or another similar UMBC entity). UMBC will review the exception request and notify the student, host site/organization, and Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor promptly.

Faculty and staff members, who are acting as a student’s Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor, are encouraged to make every effort to seek alternate ways to cover the content (complete the learning outcomes associated with the experience), but in rare cases where this is not feasible the following options may be considered:

  • If the majority of the Applied Learning experience has been completed, the Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor may grade based on the content already covered. The faculty and department must determine the appropriate completion threshold for this option paying particular attention to any accreditation/licensure standards.
  • If the majority of the Applied Learning experience has been completed at a satisfactory level but the student is unable to complete the remaining learning outcomes for reasons beyond their control, the student may request to be granted an Incomplete “I” grade to complete the experience at a later time.  A grade of “I” may be assigned at the discretion of the Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor. Students should have a written agreement with the Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor that specifies the work remaining to complete the experience and timeline for completion. More information regarding the Incomplete grade option is available here for undergraduates or here for graduate students.
  • In exceptional cases, the Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor may waive the requirement (or offer a course substitute) for students who cannot finish, paying particular attention to any accreditation/licensure standards. Any UMBC approved exceptions must be communicated to the Registrar’s Office so that the degree audit can be updated accordingly.
  • If all options are exhausted and the student is unable to complete the experience in an online/remote learning environment, the Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor may submit a request for a drop without a “W” to the Registrar’s Office with the students consent. This option also applies to situations where a student enrolled in a course/experience but was never able to begin the experience and/or did not participate in any capacity.
  • In cases where a student needs additional credit(s) due to an unexpected deficiency in credit hours, a late-add of academic credit-bearing courses will be considered for purposes of full-time status, graduation requirements, etc. Students must coordinate with their academic advisor to identify an appropriate academic credit-bearing course(s) to fill the credit hour deficiency. Once a course is identified, undergraduate students must submit a request for a late-add to the Academic Success Center. Graduate students must submit a request for a late-add to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School.

Each of us plays an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Your support and understanding during this extraordinarily challenging time is greatly appreciated. We will continue to share information and updates as the situation unfolds.

 

Regards,

Philip Rous, Provost

 

 

 

(Archived Message) Applied Learning Experiences During COVID-19 – May 21, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The response of state and local governments to the COVID-19 pandemic, including mitigation efforts and plans for phased reopening of economic, social, and educational activity, evolves according to changing public health indicators (You may read my March 31, 2020 directive on Applied Learning Experiences During COVID-19 here). As we contemplate the placement of students in applied learning activities off-campus, UMBC will follow public health advice, along with local jurisdiction mandates. In alignment with the University’s decision to offer classes only online for summer session, it is expected that off-campus educational activities will also be conducted remotely.

At this point, most UMBC students involved in Summer Applied Learning Experiences should be planning to work remotely. However, any students involved in University-recognized Applied Learning Experiences, including Internships, Cooperative Education, Research Experiences, Field Placement, and Service-Learning & Community Engagement activities (credit-bearing and non-credit-bearing) who need to be physically in the field (or who begin remotely and want to move to face-to-face over the course of the summer), must request an exception through University review in order to participate in those activities face-to-face. We understand the challenges that this directive may pose and recognize that not all activities will lend themselves to this modality, but the University’s decision to prioritize health and safety is paramount.

To offer our students maximum support and flexibility, if unable to participate in a fully online/remote or alternative learning environment with their host site/organization, exceptions may be requested in cases where all of the following apply:

  • the Applied Learning activity, in a face-to-face capacity, is lawful in the local jurisdiction and online/remote participation is not feasible; and
  • sufficient safeguards are in place for the health and safety of the student and any involved community members; and
  • the student voluntarily elects to participate in a face-to-face capacity knowing and assuming the risks inherent in that decision.

Requests for exceptions must be submitted by the student to the Applied Learning Experience Emergency Team (ALEET) using UMBC’s ALEET Exception Request Form which requires a description of safety practices/protocols that will be put in place by  the host site/organization and authorization by the student’s UMBC Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor (this may be the students’ professor or Academic Department overseeing their experience, the Career Center, the Shriver Center, or another similar UMBC entity). UMBC will review the exception request and notify the student, host site/organization, and Applied Learning Advisor/Mentor promptly.

Each of us plays an important role in mitigating the spread of COVID-19. Your support and understanding during this extraordinarily challenging time is greatly appreciated. We will continue to share information and updates as the situation unfolds.

Regards,

 

Philip Rous, Provost