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COVID-19 Recovery: Academics & Coursework

Are classes or classrooms being altered to accommodate social distancing?  (updated 7/17/20)

Students and faculty should follow mitigation guidelines, which require the wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance.

Academic units are preparing their instructional environments to meet instructional outcomes. In some cases, a class may be split with students attending face-to-face in one session and virtually the next. Another class may follow a blended instruction model that is already a common practice at Northwest. In some cases, classes will remain exactly the same with the expectation of mitigation efforts.

Northwest will not add costs to students for mitigation measures, except where personal protective gear may be required above and beyond what is provided.

Why is Northwest not offering in-person final exams before Thanksgiving?  (updated 6/23/20)

The revised schedule allows students to have a week of preparation to finish final projects and study for final exams. If finals exams occurred prior to Thanksgiving, the academic experience would be significantly impacted and Northwest would not meet the contact hours required by its accreditation standards for the classroom experience.

What happens if I have to miss classes?  (updated 6/23/20)

If you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, you have an obligation to stay away from others. It is important that you communicate with your instructors that you are not feeling well.

Call Wellness Services for screening and further guidance. Wellness Services may communicate to your instructors if you need to be excused from classes. Faculty will offer alternative learning opportunities if you have an approved absence from the Office of Student Affairs and Wellness Services.

When will fall classes begin?  (updated 6/19/20)

Northwest’s fall semester will start on Wednesday, Aug. 19, as previously scheduled.

What modifications are being made to the academic calendar?  (updated 6/19/20)

All face-to-face classes will begin meeting Wednesday, Aug. 19, and meet in in person for the last time on Tuesday, Nov. 24, before Northwest dismisses for Thanksgiving break. The week after the Thanksgiving break (Nov. 30 to Dec. 4) will be a preparation week for students.

All final exams will be online during the scheduled final exam week, Dec. 7-11. Exceptions to this schedule include evening classes and classes with resource-intensive instructional environments, which may use the preparation week for final assessment.

Northwest will have no classes, as previously planned, on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7) and Walkout Day (Friday, Oct. 9)

Northwest is not implementing changes to any courses already designated as online.

Why do finals have to be online?  (updated 6/19/20)

Northwest made the decision to move final exams online to maintain student learning while taking preventative measures to help protect the health and safety of our community in case of a virus outbreak.

Will there be a finals schedule?  (updated 6/19/20)

Final exams or summative experiences may be synchronous or asynchronous depending upon the most optimal practice for student assessment in a given course.

All synchronous online final exams and summative educational experiences will occur during the day and time for which they are scheduled per the final exam schedule. Asynchronous final exams and educational experiences must be due by the end of the scheduled final exam day or time.

For a student who may be quarantined, what things will Northwest do to help that student progress academically?  (updated 6/19/20)

Students who need to be quarantined for health reasons will be accommodated with course delivery.

How will class attendance be handled during the fall semester?  (updated 6/19/20)

Attendance policies are determined by individual academic units. Students who self-report being symptomatic will be accommodated as an excused illness with course delivery.

Will Northwest provide COVID-19 grades or similar accommodations for coursework?  (updated 6/19/20)

Northwest will not implement the COVID-19 grade structure during the fall semester. However, accommodations will be made to ensure students whose academic progress may be impacted due to health reasons can continue their studies.   

Is Northwest revising the academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester?  (updated 6/19/20)

Northwest anticipates starting its spring semester as scheduled on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, and an end date of Friday, May 7, 2021.

Will students be charged an extra fee for online classes?  (updated 6/19/20)

Students will not be charged additional fees for Northwest courses that move online as a result of COVID-19 measures.

Will all classes be offered on campus, or will some courses be moved online?  (updated 6/19/20)

At this time, Northwest has moved two core courses – General Psychology and Introduction to American Government and Politics – online due to the large capacity of those courses and to make the classroom space available for other courses.  

Northwest continues to evaluate the delivery of its face-to-face courses.