Important update from CVCC President Dr. John Capps.

´╗┐March 31, 2020

I write to provide you with a number of updates about our status today.
 
Grading Scale
As you know from my correspondence last week, the VCCS has adopted a default pass/no-pass grading scale for spring 2020 only. This new scale will still allow students to opt for a traditional letter grade of A – F. You can find details about the revised policy at https://centralvirginia.edu/COVID-19/Student-Updates/Grading-Policy-Update-From-Dean-of-Enrollment. We have communicated the new grading policy to all students via email. In addition, we are currently developing an automated process that will allow students to indicate their preference for a traditional grade and assist faculty in managing the process. I hope this revised grading scale will meet all students’ needs and wants, as well as satisfy those faculty who wanted their students to be able to retain their earned grades. Several of you have asked why the P/NP designation is the default grade. We made that decision to benefit the most vulnerable students—students who may be unable to complete their coursework or represent their abilities fairly because of the crisis. They may be students who lack technology, who cannot adjust to remote instruction, who are contending with life issues, or who may not even engage with us again. By default, those students will be held harmless, receiving the greatest possible latitude, while other students who prefer earned grades will be able to request them.

Budget
Governor Northam held a conference call last Friday with the presidents of all state-supported colleges and universities. Amid the economic downturn, the governor indicated there will be no funding for any new initiatives. In practical terms, that means that funding for G3 may be in jeopardy. The governor will present his amended budget on April 11, and the General Assembly reconvenes on April 22, so we will know more then.

Summer School
Assuming there will be no abatement in the pandemic, we are planning to offer all summer-session classes online. Muriel and her team are working to effect that transition. We also anticipate there may be great demand for online coursework as students from four-year institutions come to us to make up credits or to complete credits at a reduced tuition rate. The VCCS will launch a state-wide marketing campaign to promote online offerings this summer. Hopefully, that strategy will bring additional enrollment—and, with it, additional revenue.

Registration for Fall Semester
We have decided to delay the start date for fall registration until May 4—a date that will still provide students with adequate time to select and enroll in classes. Right now, we are hoping for a return to a regular class schedule, though that plan is, of course, subject to change.

Website
The current environment is likely to be our working environment for some time to come. Therefore, we are continuing to revise the website to strengthen our online presence and to better support our students. The first phase of that work, prompted by the emergency, provided students with the fundamental information they needed as they transitioned from face-to-face to remote instruction and student services. Now that we are confronted with a “new normal,” we will proceed on the premise that all our students will be online learners for the foreseeable future. As a result, we will be rewriting narrative, adding resources, and providing more assistance to help students navigate their way through a digital domain. The colleges that thrive in the near term are those that best adapt to this new medium. We want to be one of those colleges. If you have any suggestions for enhancing the website, please share your ideas with Chris Bryant or David Lightfoot.

SACSCOC
The business of the institution carries on even amid major disruptions, so I am pleased to report that Kris Ogden has sent the Referral Report for our Fifth-Year Interim Report to SACSCOC. Kudos to Kris—and everyone else who contributed—for completing this project by the deadline. I have every expectation that the Commission will accept the responses to our two citations and reaffirm our accreditation at its summer meeting, which has now been delayed until August 31. Good news at last! 

We continue to operate in a rapidly changing landscape, so I will continue to provide you with updates and clarifications. In the meantime, thank you for everything you have done—and are doing—to help us through this trying time. I am deeply indebted to you, the college is open only because of you, and our students would be absolutely lost without you.

 
Dr. John Capps
CVCC President