Academic Policy Updates

This Page is currently being updated with Academic Policies for Fall 2020.  Check back again soon…


When a student is not engaged in any classes….

Effective April 1, 2020: If through any reports, it becomes apparent that a student is not accessing any resources, or engaged in any classes, the Committee on Academic Standards, in collaboration with the Care Team, approved the following protocol:

  • Student will be contacted via e-mail by a support office (Learning Center, Dean of Students Office, or DCAE)
  • If no response within 48 hours, second e-mail
  • If no response within an additional 24 hours, phone call or text
  • If no response within 24 hours, CAS letter regarding lack of engagement (sent via e-mail, notified via text, and sent in snail mail).

Application of existing policy on recording/filming of conversations

With class communication moving to more online formats for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, it is important to reiterate a policy in the Scot’s Key as it applies to classes. It is necessary for all of us to think responsibly about each other’s well-being and to respect each other’s privacy.

The current policy in the Scot’s Key (p. 45) reads:

Recording and Filming

Recording or filming in any space in which a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy (e.g., residence hall room, locker room, office, toilet, or shower) is prohibited unless consent is obtained by the individuals who are being recorded or filmed. Live tweeting, streaming, or other use of Social Media as a form of recording actions or conversations where one has a reasonable expectation of privacy are considered under this policy.

With the move to virtual spaces for learning in Spring 2020, we recognize that recording, screenshots, streaming, and other methods of replicating online class-based activity are easier and social media norms differ from classroom expectations. To maintain a learning environment that is respectful of all participants and open to free inquiry, please observe the following practices, in alignment with Policies written in the Scot’s Key:

    • No student may record, screenshot, stream, or otherwise replicate any online course content without the express written consent of the faculty member. If a student requires accommodations, please contact the Learning Center for assistance:
    • In many cases, faculty will plan to record class discussions so that students in other time zones or other responsibilities can access them at a later time. These should be posted only on password-protected websites (such as Moodle, Teams or Stream) that are only available to course participants. If students are uncomfortable with their video or audio being recorded and shared with the rest of the class, please let your professor know and you can work out alternative options for participation (which could include muting video and audio, but being active in a Teams chat).
    • No one should distribute recordings of class material beyond class without the express permission of all involved in the recording.

Information from Amber Larson, Director of the Learning Center

Potential Syllabus, Moodle, and/or E-mail Statement

    • With the abrupt transition to the online format, I have made every effort to make this course accessible to all students, including students with disabilities. If you encounter a problem accessing anything in this course, please contact me immediately by email so that I can support you. You may also contact the Learning Center Director, Amber Larson at
ADA Accommodations and Potential Needs
    1. If students need new accommodations, we are going to try to be as flexible and supportive as we can be while still looking at what is reasonable and appropriate for individual classes. If you have a concern about a potential new accommodation or are asked to provide an accommodation, please refer that student to the Learning Center.
    2. Testing: The Learning Center will not be proctoring exams during this period of distance learning. When possible, give untimed exams on Microsoft Word or Microsoft forms. If timed exams are required for a course, students are being asked to contact faculty directly to arrange extended time and other test-related accommodations. You can individually add extended time in Moodle. Offer papers, outlines, blog assignments, etc. instead of tests whenever possible


Spring Semester 2020 Policies 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College of Wooster is building flexibility into academic policies so that students have more options than they typically do regarding course enrollments and grading practices, etc.. Specifically, 

    • IS Submission: 1 week grace period
      • The current IS deadline is Wednesday, March 25. The Registrar’s Office has made alternative/electronic submission possible (with an electronic, individualized IS completion pin for students!)
      • This Deadline Remains. However, the standard policy/procedures of a required petition for any late submissions is delayed until Thursday, April 2. In other words, there is a 1 week grace period where ISes may be submitted without a petition. After 11:59PM on Wednesday, April 1, students must petition the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement to develop a plan for completing and submitting their IS. The following information was shared with students, and these policies/procedures apply, effective April 1, 2020:
        • What happens if I miss the deadline? “Any delay in turning in a thesis (project) beyond the deadlines specified above automatically establishes the grade of ‘I’ for the thesis. The conditions for changing the ‘I’ to a passing grade will be established by the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement after consultation with the student’s adviser. The ‘I’ automatically becomes ‘NC’ two weeks after the deadline for the submission of the thesis . . .” (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.3.)
        • How do I convert an Incomplete into a passing grade?
          • The student must write a petition to his or her Independent Study adviser and the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement indicating the reasons why the thesis/project was submitted late.
          • The Independent Study adviser must indicate in writing his or her support for the student’s petition and submit this statement to the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.
          • Upon review of the petition and statement of support, and if circumstances warrant, the Dean may approve the removal of the grade of ‘I’ and will indicate this to the Registrar, student, and adviser. (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.4.)
        • If I am granted an extension will it impact my grade?
          • “As appropriate, the adviser may take the late submission into consideration in assigning a final grade to the Independent Study Thesis/Project.” (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.4.)
          • “No thesis turned in after the deadline will receive a grade of Honors without the unanimous vote of the department and the approval of the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement.” (Faculty Handbook: Section 3.E.3.)
    • Streamlined petition process
      • The petition process will be more streamlined than usual. For most petitions or actions, there will be no required advisor or course instructor signatures. The Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement will work with the Registrar’s office to make decisions about each petition. In cases when an action may disrupt a student’s path to graduation, we may seek additional consultation. We normally process petitions within 24-72 hours, and we will try to keep this pace. Students will receive e-mail communication when a decision about any petition is made. 
        • Although no advisor signature is required, the Dean for Curriculum and Academic Engagement encourages all students to consult with their advisors before taking any actionsIn light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended that students e-mail their advisors to request consultation. 
    • Pass-Fail policy:
      • The College is temporarily broadening the policies on electing a pass-fail grading structure (for courses other than Independent Study). For Spring Semester 2020: 
      • Students may elect a Pass-Fail grading option for any course (including those in a major/minor) 
        • Special note (wording TBD) on transcript noting unique policy changes specific to Spring Semester 2020 regarding pass-fail counting toward the major.
      • Students may elect as many courses as they wish on a Pass-Fail grading structure. Courses elected as Pass-Fail for Spring Semester 2020 will not count toward the maximum number of Pass-Fail courses that a student may take at Wooster. 
      • The deadline for electing a Pass-Fail grading option is Friday, May 1 @ 4:00PM. 
      • Independent Study (-45100, -45200) will remain in the standard IS grading system.
    • Course drop policy:
      • The College is temporarily extending the deadline for dropping a course. For Spring Semester 2020: Students may drop any course by Friday, May 1 @ 4:00PM. 
      • The minimum enrollment of 3.0 credits remains in effect. Requests to drop enrollment below 3.0 credits will require additional documentation via “Other academic petitions.” 

NOTE: The DCAE’s & Registrar’s Offices will try to keep instructors informed as students make changes to their schedules. Faculty may also contact the Registrar’s Office before grades are due to request a report on what grading system to use for each student in any one class.


Timeline & Consultations Regarding Academic Policy Changes during COVID-19 Pandemic  

Updated March 24, 6:45AM: Updated information about faculty communication re: S/NC for students

Updated March 24, 6:00AM: Updated language on application of filming/recording conversations (such as classes)

Updated March 23, 9:50PM: (No new policies…but statements to support faculty as they consider ADA and other needs in the classroom)

Updated March 20, 1:00PM: Proposed policies have now become new, temporary (Spring 2020 only) policies; some specific information on consultations removed as this website is public.

Updated March 18, 4:00PM: Policy on IS turn-in added to list, as well as more context for an alternative Pass/Fail proposal

Updated March 18, 10:33AM: Special note on transcript for pass-fail documentation on transcript.

Updated March 17, 12:45 PM: Current policies under consideration. Posted by Bryan Karazsia (DCAE), who is consulting across offices. Feedback from faculty is invited…please contact Bryan Karazsia ( if you have any suggestions, thoughts, etc. on the following policies.

NOTE: Biggest impact on departments is the proposal that S/NC grading scheme count toward a major.


    • Wooster academic leaders (Chairs of Departments and Big 5 committees; via initial virtual meeting and via survey – quantitative & qualitative) 
    • Policies made by other institutions 
    • CIC Deans’ Listserv (for some policies – responses are available from Bryan Karazsia upon request) 
    • Other campus administrators (current and former; at Wooster and other institutions) 
    • Registrar’s Office
    • President’s Cabinet
This website is maintained by the Dean for Faculty Development at the College of Wooster. Contact me if you have questions or suggestions. Dr. Christa Craven: