It has been quite a couple of weeks. We are facing an unprecedented time, and we greatly appreciate your understanding and flexibility.
We recognize that many of you are dealing with the stress associated with an unplanned move back home or housing changes, health care considerations, and the care and concern for your loved ones.
We want to take a moment to make sure that, in this extraordinarily stressful time, you are taking care of yourself. It can be overwhelming to tend to the needs of others while managing the almost-daily communication from the University and others relating to COVID-19. To help our community handle this uneasiness, UNO has developed a variety of mental health and self-care resources that are available here.
Please know that faculty and staff in the college are receiving support and guidance to help you complete the semester from remote locations. If you have specific questions about completing your coursework, please begin with your instructors.
While spring semester courses are moving to a remote learning platform, UNO and IS&T will remain open, albeit with almost all staff members working off-site, and with many resources offered remotely. We are also making available an expanded summer course schedule that is mostly online, with the few sections scheduled for in-class delivery ready to move to remote delivery as well. We encourage you to register early for these summer classes so we can gauge interest and evaluate the possibility of expanding the offerings further.
We send our very best wishes to all of you for what is a markedly different academic experience and an end-of-semester scenario that none of us anticipated few weeks ago. This is an extraordinary moment, and it calls on all of us to support each other with great care and compassion.
We have summarized a number of these resources and answers to frequently asked questions on our IS&T Remote Learning web page.
As has been shared by senior leaders, the University will reassess the situation on a daily basis and keep you updated of any substantive changes that may affect you as a student.
Be cautious and stay safe.
Dean, College of Information Science & Technology
REMINDERS: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CHANGES
Laptops Available for Loan
We know that not all students have access to a computer, and we want to get all available laptops checked out to as many students as possible. ITS has a small number of laptops still available for student check out, and encourages students to apply if they are in need of a loaner to complete coursework.
Additionally, we know not all students will have reliable internet connectivity in your homes, so the campus remains open for student usage. Wireless connectivity does exist in some outdoor spaces on campus, should you want to use that option to access course materials or digital resources. For connectivity off-campus, students are encouraged to check with local internet providers, many of whom are offering significantly discounted internet access packages for students at this time. In addition, the campus will be making a limited number of mobile hotspots available for student check out beginning in early April.
eTexbooks Available for Free
Our campus bookstore’s eTextbook provider – VitalSource – is now offering free access to ebooks for students who may have lost access to course materials as we transition to remote teaching and learning. If you previously accessed textbooks via the library, shared a book with a classmate, or accidentally left your books on campus, visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com to access free books through May 25. You will need to create an account using your unomaha.edu credentials, and we encourage you to check out this student FAQ.
Revised CR/NC Policy
At all times, undergraduate students at UNO may request, instead of a letter grade (A,B,C,D,F) for a class to instead receive a grade of “Credit” (CR) or “No Credit” (NC). This is essentially “pass” vs “fail,” since to receive a grade of CR one has to earn a C-. The grade of CR means you have passed the course, earned credit so the course will be on your transcript, and can go on to take other courses that list your course as a pre-requisite requirement. Ordinarily, students may request up to 24 hours in his/her degree plan to be CR/NC and the deadline to request it is generally at the time in the semester when the 50% refund is given. This can be a helpful tool if students are confident about passing a course but concerned about a course contributing to one’s GPA. For Spring 2020 semester only, any undergraduate student may request one (1) additional class be graded on a CR/NC basis, irrespective of major, minor, or other requirements, and this course will not count toward the 24 hour limit. Students interested in this option should consult his/her advisor and complete the form by April 10th. Each college may, at the discretion of the academic dean, utilize the grades Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) in lieu of CR/NC. We hope this additional flexibility will allow students to complete the semester in confidence.
Concerns about a Course?
As your dean, I want to hear about any concerns about your courses. I’ve been working with faculty throughout the College these past few weeks, and all are committed to your success and learning as we resume (remote) instruction March 30. That said, if you are encountering difficulties or have a concern, you may tell me about it confidentially by visiting the Keep Learning tab within Canvas (or at keeplearning.unomaha.edu) and clicking on Student Assistance -> Course. This form will route your concern directly to me so that I can look into the situation further.
We understand you may be unsure of how the transition to distance learning will go this semester. Stay the course! UNO Faculty and staff are here to guide you. Make sure to visit the Keep Learning website for support and tips on this transition (including how to access the same robust support services you’re accustomed to as a Maverick, in addition to tips on using the technology your instructors will be utilizing in remote teaching and learning mode). You can visit your academic advisor (over Zoom) to talk through challenges you are experiencing. Additionally, the Accessibility Services Center (ASC) staff is fully mobilized to problem solve concerns and needs from registered ASC students regarding their accommodations. Please note, requests for Academic Withdrawal or Course Drop are strongly discouraged and will only be considered on a limited basis for extenuating circumstances. Finally, we care about your overall wellbeing — Counseling and Psychological Services continues to offer online and phone appointments. Help is available by calling 402.554.2409.