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Academic Affairs

COVID-19 Related Instructional Information

Dear CSU Faculty:

As you continue to prepare to engage with students this fall, the information and templates below may be useful when communicating with students regarding the changes that have occurred to remain physically distant and flexible while delivering instruction for the Fall 2020 semester:

Alternative Education Arrangements

Please see the relevant documents on this website which have important information regarding alternative educational arrangement accommodations related to COVID-19 and general student accommodations.

Attendance (Alternative Suggestions to Traditional Policies)

In lieu of traditional attendance policies, it is important to assess student learning through other means than physical class attendance. Consideration should be given for students who are not able to attend class due to illnesses. Alternative options for evidence of course engagement should be utilized to determine if course objectives are being met. In CougarView, evidence of course engagement can be found under the Class Progress tool, accessed under the Communications navigation tab. Selecting a student from the class list shown in this tool allows instructors to view CougarVIEW login history, course access, access to certain topic pages, attempts on a quiz, or discussion participation, among other tools.

Communication w/ Students (Protocol - prior to classes starting)

It is important for faculty to communicate with students before the first day of class (through CougarView, email, and EAB texts) and often early during the semester. The medium for which communication occurs may be determined by the faculty member. However, if you choose to communicate with your students through CougarView prior to the beginning of the semester, you must open your course(s) under the course admin tool. Otherwise, the courses are set to open on August 17th. Communication is imperative prior to the start of class in the event the class delivery has been altered or if it must change during the semester. Also, this helps to strengthen interaction and potential for students’ success in their courses.


All instructors should complete the following three steps in each section to make sure all students know what to do on the first day:

  1. Post a message in CougarView announcements with the heading Day One of class that lets students know who is expected to attend (etc.). This is necessary in the case that class attendance must be divided for social distancing purposes. All students must wear a mask when they are in a building or on the shuttle. Masks are strongly encouraged when walking across campus.
  2. Send a text by EAB to students who are enrolled in each section to inform/remind them to check CougarView for this information. [Log on to MyCSU > Access EAB Navigate on the left hand navigation bar (if faculty do not have access or need help, please contact Kelly Koch at > Select "Professor Home" (it may be the default for some) > In the "students in my classes" section of the "Professor Home" > Select all students and choose to send a message under actions. Create a SHORT text (160 characters max) directing students to access more detailed information via their CSU Email or CougarView]. (Sample message [could be edited based on need]: Please access your CSU Email/CougarView for specific information on attending class.)
  3. Send an email to the class with the same information (could be copied from CougarView, or could refer students to CougarView.)
  4. Class rosters and email addresses may also be obtained through following methods:
    1. Under MyCSU and the Email Classlist tool (Faculty/Staff, Email Class)
    2. Under MyCSU in Banner SIS (Faculty & Advisors, Faculty Info, Class Roster)

Emotional and Mental Health Statement for Syllabi

Your emotional and mental health is very important and can affect your ability to meet your academic responsibility. Part and full time students have free access to mental health counseling through the CSU Counseling Center. If you begin to experience any sort of emotional concerns such as anxiety, depression, or significant life events that are negatively impacting you, please seek help at the counseling center as quickly as possible. Please know that you will find a friendly "virtual" face for your appointments. Hours of operation are 8:00AM to 8:00PM Monday and Tuesday and 8:00AM to 5:00PM Wednesday through Friday. You can call to set up an appointment: 706-507-8740. If you are in crisis during non-business hours, please call the Georgia Crisis Line: 1-800-715-4225.

Extended Classrooms

Dear Students,

You are enrolled in [insert class prefix, the number, course name]. Although this section will be delivered in-person, adhering to physical distancing guidelines, physical seats in this class are limited. Therefore, this course will have an extended classroom, with virtual seats. The extended classroom model requires that some students join the class virtually, while other students are physically in the class. On the days in which you are not physically required to attend, you will be required to attend class virtually (through CougarView). As a student in this course, your virtual and in-person attendance will be rotated to provide equal access to the course. You will receive an email indicating which days you are expected to physically attend class.


Name of the Instructor

Physical Distancing Statement for Syllabi

Students and faculty are expected to remain physically distanced during the course of the pandemic. For courses that are designated for in-person or hybrid delivery, it is advised that information sharing should occur electronically. Unless it is otherwise necessary, syllabi and other educational materials should be provided via CougarView, email, or other remote medium. Remote activities are necessary, as it is possible that a move to fully online instruction may be required before this course is completed.

For safety, while physically present, all individuals should remain 6+ feet apart at all times. Face coverings and physical distancing will be required this fall for anyone on campus. The face covering requirement will be enforced according to our student code of conduct. Students unable to wear face coverings due to other health challenges may request accommodations through our Center for Accommodation and Access. The first step is completing the CAA COVID intake form at or emailing for guidance.

Physical Distancing Placards

All physical distancing placards have been placed throughout the instructional spaces. As previously mention, faculty may reduce the number of students in the classroom at one time by utilizing the extended classroom model. However, please do not remove/move social distancing placards that have been placed in the room(s). Should you have concerns, please contact me or Chip Reese. We will work with you and USS staff to address your concerns.

Technology Access

When possible, please utilize technology for all classroom activities (e.g. group work, submitting assignments, and engagement beyond physical attendance). Faculty will establish minimum technology needs for their courses (in an all-online format). The technology needed will be based upon instructional context/expectations. Students should ensure that these technology requirements can be met through personal means. Students, who do not have access to adequate technology, should check in with UITS at the library to access institutionally supported initiatives. If internet access is an issue, Eduroam is an option for connectivity to the internet.

This information and the templates/statements are to be used as guides, and you may alter the text to meet the specific needs of your course, with the exception of violating policies (e.g. face covering requirement). Also, this information has been added to the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President website. Please contact me if you have questions.

Best wishes for a great semester,


Dr. Ronald C. Williams
Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Academic Innovation
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President
Columbus State University


Center for Accommodation and Access Faculty Handout

Alternative Educational Arrangements for Students who are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness