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COVID-19 ACADEMIC GUIDELINES FOR SPRING 2020

The following guidelines are enacted for the Spring 2020 semester in response to the unprecedented changes that have occurred in Nicholls State University’s delivery of academic courses and programs due to the COVID-19 virus. We realize that our students have experienced significant disruption in their learning, and the current learning environment may not be conducive to their optimal academic performance. Therefore, in conjunction with the University of Louisiana System, we have developed the following student-centered guidelines to help you make the best decisions regarding your academic performance in the Spring 2020 semester. 

1.     The withdrawal date (W date) has been extended to April 20, 2020. Students may withdraw from a course by emailing records@nicholls.edu from your Nicholls student email account with your name, N-number, and courses(s) you wish to drop prior to midnight on April 20th. You are highly encouraged to reach out to your Academic Advisor, Department Head, or College Dean for advice prior to dropping a course. Additionally, Nicholls State University has a policy in place allowing for a Retroactive Withdrawal after the W date. If you decide to withdraw from a course after April 20th, or if you do not perform at your expected level once final grades are posted, you may request a Retroactive Withdrawal by emailing your College Dean (please cite COVID-19 as the reason for requesting the Retroactive Withdrawal). For any student having questions about how withdrawing from course(s) will affect their financial aid, please email the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@nicholls.edu from your Nicholls student email account.

2.     A grade of I may be given for work which could not be completed because of circumstances beyond the student’s control but will not be given to a student doing unsatisfactory work. A grade of I is not counted in the grade-point average until it is resolved into a final grade. However, a grade of I must be resolved within one calendar year following the semester in which the I grade was received, or the I grade will automatically be changed to F (or Uwhere applicable). The University is committed to working with students to finalize Spring 2020 grades at the original end date of the Spring semester, or shortly thereafter. Students who cannot finish course work in this timeframe due to circumstances related to COVID-19 should speak with their faculty to request a grade of I for the semester. 

For some courses requiring clinical rotations, internships, or lab components that cannot be completed in the online environment, the faculty may record a grade of “X” on the transcript until the learning outcomes are met. For example, nursing courses with a clinical component will return to the clinical environment when it is safe to do so. Once the remaining clinical rotations are complete, and the student learning outcomes are met, the grade of “X” will be changed to the grade earned in the course. Course faculty, in consultation with their Department Head and Dean, will identify such courses. 

3.     The University Grading Procedures remain in place as described here:

Undergraduate Grading Procedure

The university uses a 4-point grading system.
Grades are assigned as follows: 
A – superior; 
B – above average; 
C – average; 
D – below average; 
F – failure; 
FNA – failure, never attended; 
I – incomplete; 
S – satisfactory; 
U – unsatisfactory; 
UNA – unsatisfactory, never attended.
The grade AU means the course has been audited. A Windicates withdrawal of the student from a course as indicated above
(# 1) with the extended date of April 20, 2020; or, through the Retroactive Withdrawal procedure. 

Grades of AU, I, S, U, UNA, and W are not used in the computation of a grade-point average because those grades do not carry quality points.

Graduate Studies Grading Procedures

A grade of A indicates superior work and has a value of four quality points per credit hour. A grade of B indicates satisfactory work and has a value of three quality points per credit hour. A grade of C indicates work of borderline quality and has a value of two quality points per credit hours. No more than six semester hours of C grades may be counted toward a degree. A grade of D indicates work below the minimum standard expected of a graduate student and has a value of one quality point per credit hour. Courses with D grades may not be counted toward a degree. A grade of F indicates unsatisfactory work and has neither quality point nor credit hour value.

Grades of S and U for graduate students are assigned only for designated courses for which this grading procedure is specified. 

Notice: Graduate students should consult with respective program coordinators for specific policies on progression.

4.     For students who were placed on Academic Probation at the end of the Fall 2019 semester, who do not earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 at the conclusion of the Spring 2020 semester, the Academic Suspension Procedures will be waived due to the impact of COVID-19. This applies to first time freshman students as well as continuing students at the sophomore, junior, or senior levels. Therefore, academic suspension appeals will not be necessary. However, Academic Suspension Procedures will be reinstated at the conclusion of the Fall 2020 semester. Please note that this applies only to Academic Suspensions. You may still have to file an appeal with the Office of Financial Aid if you receive notice of suspension of your financial aid. 

5.     Academic Advisors, as well as Financial Aid (finaid@nicholls.edu), Veterans Affairs (gilberto.burbante@nicholls.edu), and Athletic Advising (Alicia.jones@nicholls.edu) remain available to offer advice and guidance to you regarding your decision-making for the Spring 2020 semester. You are highly encouraged to reach out to your academic advisor to discuss decisions related to withdrawing from Spring 2020 coursework, as well as to discuss the creation of Summer and Fall 2020 course schedules. If you are a Freshman student with under 30 credit hours earned, you may contact your assigned professional advisor in the Academic Advising Center via email. If you are a Freshman and uncertain as to who your advisor is, you may either email advising@nicholls.edu from your Nicholls student email account, or call 985-448-4117 and you will be contacted with your advisor’s name and email address. 

For those students who are at the levels of Sophomore, Junior, or Senior, or for students in a Graduate Program, you may contact your assigned departmental advisor. If you are uncertain who your advisor is, please email your program department head from your Nicholls student email account and you will be guided to your assigned advisor. 

For all students seeking advising, please provide your full name, N-number, and a phone number in your email to your advisor from your Nicholls student email account. 

Sincerely,Sue Westbrook, DNS, RN
Provost & Vice-president for Academic & Student Affairs and
Dean, College of Nursing
Nicholls State University
P.O. Box 2002
Thibodaux, Louisiana 70310
Phone:  (985) 448-4011
Fax: (985) 448-4026

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