Campus News

SMCC Grading/Course Practice and Guidance

Released March 29, 2020, from the office of the President

Can I get a tuition refund because my class is now being delivered remotely?
Because courses have not been cancelled, and students will be able to complete their curriculum and earn the credits for which they enrolled, refunds for courses that began in January and are being offered remotely are not available.

Although course refunds are not available, the college has emergency financial assistance available to help students remain in college and complete their courses during this difficult time. We expect that the federal government will also make new financial assistance available to students in the coming days. If you are facing a significant financial challenge you can apply for help from the President’s Fund. You must be logged into the portal to use the link.

We are here to help you reach your educational goals.

Note: If you have enrolled in a course that is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, you may withdraw from the class and get a full refund if you notify the Registrar (registrar@smccme.edu) within 6 business days of the 1 st day of class.

If it is impossible for you to continue your class this semester, you can petition for an appeal. You will remain enrolled in the course, and you are expected to continue completing coursework, while your application for appeal is processed. Click the following link to submit an appeal: Appeal Form

IMPORTANT: Just because a class has moved online does not make it grounds for a successful appeal.

Will I receive a refund for room and board now that I have had to move out of campus housing?

Yes. Refunds for room and/or board charges are being pro-rated based on the number of days you were in residence during the semester.

When and how will I get the refund?

Refunds for campus housing have already been mailed to students.
I’m worried I won’t be successful in a class that is now being delivered remotely. I’m afraid it willhave an impact on my Grade Point Average (GPA) or that I won’t perform as well.

We recognize that students may face unexpected personal and academic challenges this semester.
For that reason, students in most courses will be allowed the option of converting a letter grade to a Pass/Fail option once grades have been assigned at the end of the semester.
Students who choose the Pass/Fail option will have one of three grades recorded on their transcript:
 A “Pass” (P) grade will be awarded for a letter grade of C or better.
 A “Low Pass” (LP) grade will be assigned for a grade of D+ through D-.
 A “No Pass” (NP) grade will substitute for a grade below D-.

Students may want to consider choosing the Pass/Fail option for 2020 spring semester courses for the following reasons:
 “Pass” and “Low Pass” grades earned in the 2020 spring semester will be counted toward degree credit.
 “Pass” and “Low Pass” grades earned in the 2020 spring semester will not be used in
computing a student’s cumulative grade point averages (GPA).
 For this semester only, a grade below D (NP) will not impact the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA).
 A grade of Pass for the spring 2020 semester will count for prerequisites that require a C or above grade. (This is not true for a Low Pass grade.)
 Although the college typically limits the total number of courses a student may take Pass/Fail,
that limit does not apply for the 2020 spring semester, and a course taken Pass/Fail this
semester will not count against the total number of Pass/Fail courses the college typically
allows.
Students may want or need to record their regular grade, rather than opt for Pass/Fail, for the
following reasons:
 Students in certain courses—many of them in the health care field—require a letter grade. All students should consult with their department chair before opting to switch their grade to Pass/Fail.
 If a student is planning to transfer to another college or university, it is possible that the institution may not accept a P grade for credit in certain programs.
 Once a student has chosen a pass/fail option, the grade cannot be converted to a letter grade at a later date.

To select the Pass/No Pass option, students are instructed to do the following:
 Consult with your department chair before submitting your request.
 Requests for Pass/No Pass are due before August 17, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I need to drop a course or withdraw from the college because of the move to remote instruction?
 Although the deadline to withdraw from a course that began at the beginning of the semester
has been extended, withdrawals will not be eligible for tuition/financial aid refund.

 Dropping a course or withdrawing from all your courses may have a significant impact on the
progress you have made towards your degree.

 You should also be aware that the college and the federal government are continuing to pay students whose wages are paid by federal or college work/study funds for the hours they normally work. If you withdraw from the college, the college will no longer be able to pay you those wages.
What if my course is cancelled? How will I know and what are my options?
 No SMCC courses have been cancelled. Those not offered online will be completed when the college reopens.

How am I going to complete courses that require internships, practicum, clinicals, certification hours, co-ops, etc.?
Each program has developed plans for course completion, among them:
 Some programs have been able to accelerate hours at sites in order to meet requirements.
 Others are substituting hours in simulation labs or with online instructional technology.
 Where necessary, make-up hours will be scheduled once the colleges and/or sites re-open.
 If you have additional questions, please contact your instructor for the most up-to-date
information.

What about hands-on courses like culinary, plumbing, and science labs?
Plans are in place for all lab, trade, and technology courses to continue using a combination of virtual tools that include live, online demonstrations, recorded labs and lectures, and online simulation. Some live classes will be completed when the college is permitted to fully reopen.

If you have questions about a specific course, please contact your instructor for the most up-to-date information.

I still want to withdraw. What do I do?
 Email registration@smccme.edu from your SMCC email account to indicate the classes you’d like to be withdrawn from
 Deadline to withdraw has been extended: May 1, 2020
I don’t have access to reliable wifi or a computer? What am I supposed to do?
The college may be able to help.
 Consult this map to find free wifi near you: #studyfromcar
 Use the new wifi hotspot on Slocum Drive (between Ross Tech & Health Sciences) on SMCC’s South Portland Campus
 Contact Dr. Paul Charpentier, Vice President/Academic Dean (pcharpentier@smccme.edu)

Can I still receive tutoring or disability services?Yes.
 Online Learning Commons
 Online Library
 Online Tutoring
 Online Writing Center
 Contact disability services: slynham@smccME.edu

What if I am sick or caring for others and can’t complete my coursework?

Contact your instructor. They will work with you to extend deadlines and modify assignments if necessary to address your specific needs. You can also discuss with them the option of taking an incomplete and developing a plan for finishing the course at a later date.

Am I going to be able to graduate?
Yes. If you remain enrolled in your classes, you will graduate on schedule as long as you pass your courses this semester and are on track to graduate.

Will there be a commencement?
We know that everyone is eager for word about commencement. We are, too!
Each of Maine’s community colleges is in the process of asking the many people who are involved in planning commencement to weigh in with their ideas and are exploring different options. No matter what happens, we plan to celebrate our remarkable graduates and all they’ve accomplished. Some of these decisions will be dictated by the latest information from public health officials and rules round gatherings. But as you know, those regulations are being updated regularly.

As soon as each college has a clearer sense of what is possible (and when), they will share that information.

Categories: Campus News, Cover Stories

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