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Local

DMACC students to finish spring semester online

Administrators also allow educators to implement a temp pass/fail grading option

DMACC announced all spring 2020 term classes in its campuses will be finished online. As of now the more hands-on, lab-based classes are still scheduled to resume the week of April 13. There will be no spring commencement ceremony at DMACC this year.
DMACC announced all spring 2020 term classes in its campuses will be finished online. As of now the more hands-on, lab-based classes are still scheduled to resume the week of April 13. There will be no spring commencement ceremony at DMACC this year.

The remainder of spring 2020 semester’s face-to-face and web-blended classes at Des Moines Area Community College campuses will be held online, administrators announced Friday.

Educators will also implement a temporary pass/fail grading option during this time. Both of these decisions are part of DMACC’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MD Isley, vice president of academic affairs at DMACC, said the impact of COVID-19 has created challenges for students this semester. The DMACC Leadership Council thought implementing a pass/fail option would receive some of the pressures students may feel to maintain a certain grade point average.

All student transcripts will include a designation indicating the “extraordinary circumstances encountered during the spring 2020 term,” DMACC stated in a release. Students will have the option to accept an assigned letter grade or submit a request for pass/fail for all classes in session after March 13.

Students need to make this decisions to the DMACC Registrar between May 14 and May 20.

DMACC announced its shift to predominantly online courses earlier this month when several of the state’s colleges and universities closed its doors to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. Shortly after, several of Iowa’s primary and secondary schools canceled classes.

Still, hands-on, lab-based classes are currently scheduled to resume the week of April 13, the date most schools are to re-open for learning.

“Our first priority continues to be protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff members,” Isley said. “While we greatly miss seeing everyone on campus, we believe continuing online instruction for the final weeks of the spring semester is the right decision.”

Drop-date deadlines at DMACC have also been extended to April 15 for all standard, 16-week courses scheduled to meet from January to May. Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor, navigator or program chair about grading choices or the drop-date deadline.

Previously, DMACC announced it made “the difficult decision” to cancel its college-wide spring semester commencement ceremonies. College officials say this is “to protect the health of students, faculty and staff, and the thousands of family and guests who attend.”

Rob Denson, president of DMACC, pledged to use funds that would have paid for the graduation ceremonies to provide direct service students impacted by COVID-19. All graduating students who meet requirements will receive their diploma or degree by mail in the weeks following the end of the term.

“We are hoping we can eventually reschedule these events so our students and their families can celebrate this significant accomplishment,” Denson said. “We are also exploring options for a virtual or livestreamed graduation address.”

Regardless of what is determined, Denson said any student who cannot attend a rescheduled or virtual graduation ceremony will be able to participate in an upcoming ceremony within a year of their official graduation date.

This spring 2020 term will end May 4, as planned.

The college is still working out what to do for its summer 2020 classes. Many are delivered online, but a number of on-campus classes are typically offered as well. DMACC plans to announce more direction regarding the summer term in April, the release said.

For more DMACC updates visit www.dmacc.edu/coronavirus.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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