Senior Packet 2021: Preparing for Graduation

Greetings Class of 2021!

This post contains important information about the graduation process and Wesleyan’s graduation requirements. As you continue to choose courses and build a program of study for the rest of your senior year, it is essential that you know exactly where you stand in terms of fulfilling Wesleyan’s graduation requirements so that everything goes smoothly when degree certification takes place in the spring. Students completing their degrees this fall have already addressed or accessed much of the information provided here. Please review the contents carefully and contact Dean Leathers immediately (tleathers@wesleyan.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.

Graduation does not just happen; you must make it happen! It is important that you fully understand Wesleyan’s graduation requirements and that you are able to interpret your academic record in light of these requirements. Remember, you are responsible for your own graduation and must fulfill all graduation requirements by the end of the Spring 2021 semester in order to earn your diploma.

  • Preparing for Graduation: This explains Wesleyan’s graduation requirements, the Major Certification Form, the Credit Analysis Report, oversubscription, December Completion, and honors.  Read it!
  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Senior Year: Answers to common questions about graduation requirements and the graduation process.
  • Academic History: Can be found in your WesPortal in the “Student Toolbox–>Academics” bucket.
  • Major Certification Form: Used to identify and track the courses you have taken and will be taking to complete your major, must be approved by an authorized advisor in your major department. Can be found in WesPortal in the “Student Toolbox–>Academics” bucket.
  • Credit Analysis Report: Reviews your academic record in light of oversubscription and monitors your progress towards meeting graduation requirements. Can be found in WesPortal in the “Student Toolbox–>Academics” bucket.
  • General Education Report: Reviews the courses taken and applied towards General Education expectations. Can be found in WesPortal in the “Student Toolbox–>Academics” bucket.
  • Honors and Thesis Information: Deadlines and other important information for students undertaking honors theses.

-Dean Leathers

Notes from the Class Dean – 8/30

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope that all of you are well and settling into your plans for the fall semester. Classes begin tomorrow, Monday, August 31st, and I’m writing to follow up with some additional information/resources to help you start the semester well and successfully complete the drop/add period.

Digital Learning Tips for Classes and Drop/Add

Attached is a set of tips to help you navigate the remainder of the drop/add period, along with digital learning resources. You may also access this information through our class blog.

Refunds (RCF refunds and transitioning to remote study status)

Students have asked about RCF refunds with any transition to remote study moving forward. Remote study status entails pursuing courses entirely online from outside of campus, Middletown, CT (and the U.S. if a student is studying at Wesleyan on an F-1 visa).

Please see the note below from Student Accounts:

“[Student Accounts] will refund the RCF in full for any students who update their enrollment status to Remote (i.e. all online coursework, not living on campus or commuting to campus] during the drop/add period who have not moved into on-campus housing. Those who do move into on-campus housing and then decide to leave and finish the semester as a Remote student will be eligible for a prorated RCF adjustment based on their change of status date/date they leave housing and meal plan usage.”

COVID-19 Campus Protocol for Students on Remote Study Status & Leaves of Absence

Students on remote study status are not permitted to visit campus for any reason during the Fall 2020 semester. This includes attending in-person classes, events, meeting or visiting with students on campus, etc.

Students on medical, academic or non-academic leave must also adhere to the COVID-19 mitigation protocol to not visit campus for any reason during the Fall 2020 semester.

Additionally, the state of CT has a mandatory quarantine order in place for those traveling to any part of CT from other states on their list. You may access that information here: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel.

Honors Thesis Tutorial Registration

Some of you have asked how to submit your thesis tutorial form for registration. You may do this online through the end of the drop/add period. Instructions on how to submit the appropriate form online can be accessed on our class blog here.

Class Dean Office/Appointment Hours

I am working remotely until further notice, but I am still accessible through email, appointment hours, etc. I will continue to conduct appointments through Google Meeting and Zoom, and my calendar is available through the following link for the duration of the Fall 2020 semester: https://tinyurl.com/deanleathers. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Academic Programming/Support Suggestions

I plan to offer a brief survey for you to make recommendations for academic programming that will suit your needs this fall. Details are forthcoming!

This year has challenged us all in myriad ways, but I’m heartened by the conversations I’ve had with so many of you and I’m hopeful for the days to come. I wish you a wonderful start to fall classes, and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns moving forward.

 

All my best,

Dean Leathers

Notes from the Class Dean – 8/24/20

Greetings!

I hope this message finds you doing well and getting ready for the start of a new academic year. So many emails are swirling around, and I hate to add to the wave of messages you’ve already received, but I have some reminders and updates that may be useful as you prepare to begin the Fall 2020 semester.

Requests for Remote Study and Leaves of Absence

I am still processing requests for remote study and leaves of absence. Please be mindful of prorated charges for room, board, and related fees if you spend any time on campus between August 24th and August 30th. You may incur additional prorated charges as outlined on the Student Accounts website if you request to pursue either of these options starting on August 31st. Please contact Student Accounts for more details.

Requests to Pursue Remote Study

You may email me directly if you want to pursue remote study (i.e. remote status) for the Fall 2020 semester. Note: remote study status is defined as attending courses entirely online from home or another location outside of the Wesleyan campus, Middletown, CT and the U.S. (if the student has been granted an F-1 visa to study at Wesleyan). Additionally, students who are placed on “remote status” will not be permitted to visit campus at any point during the Fall 2020 semester.

In light of this, remember to confirm where you plan to study remotely when you email me a request to pursue this option.

Leaves of Absence

You may access more information about taking a leave of absence here. You should speak with your faculty advisor(s), OISA if you’re an international student, and financial aid, if applicable. I’m also happy to speak with you about any plans you have to take leave; feel free to schedule an appointment.

Note that you need to submit an official request for leave through WesPortal before I can move forward with finalizing your plans to take time off this fall. Additionally, I can still process non-medical leave until September 11th (i.e. the end of the drop/add period), but you may still be responsible for prorated charges for tuition, room, and board.

Enrollment

Starting on Sunday, August 24, at 8:30 a.m. EDT you are required to enroll in the University. To enroll, login to WesPortal, click through the yellow alert banner at the top of the page, then click on the “Enroll Me” button. Please be aware that you will not be able to participate in drop/add until you have enrolled in the University. You must enroll in the University by Friday, September 11, at 5:00p.m. You must do this regardless of whether you will attend classes in-person or remotely this fall.

In addition to enrolling, you must resolve any holds in your list of Action Items. To access your list, go to:

WesPortal > Enrollment Checklist & Addresses > Hold/Enroll

Instruction on how to resolve each action item are provided on the page. Many action items can be resolved with a simple click of the mouse.

All action items must be resolved by Friday, September 4, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Please be aware that you will still be able to participate in drop/add even if you have unresolved action items (as long as you have already enrolled in the University using the “Enroll Me” button).

Academic Preparation

Please consult with your faculty advisors if you have any questions about requirements for your major/minors/certificate programs. You’re welcome to get on my schedule with any questions about general requirements for your degree and resources to help you successfully complete the fall semester. Remember, your Credit Analysis Report (CAR) and GenEd Report are also useful tools to help you plan for this academic year. You may access both reports through WesPortal.

Drop/Add

The drop/add period begins today, Monday, August 24th, and runs through Friday, September 11th. Classes begin next Monday, August 31st, so you have a full week to modify your schedule before you start attending your courses. Continue to submit your POI requests, and contact those instructors about getting access to the first session of any classes in which you are not currently enrolled.

Move-In and the Community Agreement

Please adhere to the guidelines communicated to you concerning move-in; the Community Agreement and coordinating Moodle;  and COVID-19 testing. Kieran Duffy of Residential Life sent an email on August 21st to help students prepare for moving in this week. I reposted it on our class blog for your convenience.  You may access it here.

Additionally, I just received the following update from Dean Whaley as it relates to the Community Agreement/Moodle:

“The Moodle has been reopened until classes begin so students can complete it at their convenience.  It will speed up the check-in process if they complete it and acknowledge the associated code of conduct prior to arrival.  If they do not have the chance to complete this prior to arrival, Res Life will have paper copies for them to review and sign when they pick up their keys.”

Honors/Thesis Information

Please see the email I sent earlier today with the attached letter containing critical deadlines and important information for students pursuing thesis work this academic year.

Welcome back, and I will be in touch again soon!

 

Take gentle care,

Dean Leathers

Notes from the Class Dean – 7/22

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

I hope you are doing well as you consider your plans for the fall semester. I also want to take this time to draw your attention to information and resources that may be helpful.

WEBINARS

The university will host several webinars and town halls before the start of the fall semester. Several of you have asked me about testing, and a webinar is scheduled to address your questions and concerns on Thursday, July 23rd (see details below). A webinar for the arts at Wesleyan is scheduled for today, July 22nd at 2:00pm, EST.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Testing
2 p.m. ET
Webinar ID: 939 7310 4846
Password: 222623
Find your local number

You may find a complete list of the webinars on the Town Halls/Webinars page of the Reactivating Campus website.

COURSE ANNOUNCEMENT

Prof. Kolcio announced a new course that may be of interest as you contemplate modifications to your Fall 2020 schedule.

“CSPL/CGST480 ENGAGED PROJECTS is  a 1-credit course in which students design a semester-long project around a topic of their choice that engages the broader public. EPs respond to this critical moment in history by empowering students to connect their academic pursuits to what is happening in the world around them; they deepen student learning and self-reflection, ease the undeniable challenges of online and hybrid learning, and introduce students to their own agency and positionality in society.”

More background is here and here.

GRADING MODES FOR FALL 2020

Students have asked me about grading modes and whether the full range of grading options will be available for their courses this fall. Currently, grading modes for courses are not based upon the format(s) in which they are offered and they are up to the discretion of each instructor. Some courses are still letter graded only, credit/no credit only (CR/U), or students have the option to choose between the two by the posted deadline (i.e. student option). It’s my understanding that the deadline to choose a mode (with the student option) will not be the end of classes as it was for the spring, but the change of grading mode deadline, which is usually two weeks after the end of the drop/add period.

I do know there are ongoing conversations within our division of Academic Affairs about grading modes for the fall, but I have not been apprised of any modifications to the policy as of now. Additionally, changes will most likely still be up to the discretion of instructors, but there is a push to encourage them to offer letter grading and the CR/U option to students. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee that each instructor will adopt the full range of grading options for each course. More definitive details are forthcoming.

LEAVES OF ABSENCE VS. DEFERRALS

This is a quick reminder that returning students (i.e. sophomores, juniors, and seniors) are not eligible for deferrals as the university currently defines them. Incoming first-year students may request deferrals for their enrollment at Wesleyan. Returning students may request leaves of absence. This may seem like the university is splitting hairs, but clarifying the terminology will help minimize confusion, especially as it relates to how we process these requests.

Returning students may request to take a leave of absence (which effectively terminates course registration and housing assignments) by August 30th to avoid prorated charges for the Fall 2020 semester; these charges (i.e. tuition, room, board, fees) commence on August 31st. Requests to take a leave of absence are not official unless you submit them through the appropriate form in WesPortal. F-1 visa holders should also consult with my colleagues in the Office of International Student Affairs (OISA) if you plan to take a leave of absence to discuss the potential impact on your visa status, eligibility for CPT/OPT, etc.

Students may access more information about taking a leave of absence here.

BILLING QUESTIONS & FINANCIAL AID

Admissions, Financial Aid, and Student Accounts offered a joint webinar earlier this week to discuss questions that students and their families have about financial aid packages, costs for the Fall 2020 semester (and beyond), and financial aid. I’ve also fielded questions about billing, costs, and financial aid packages, and I will do my best to provide support where I can to help you address your concerns. However, I’m limited in how (and if) I can address specific questions about billing and financial aid packaging for any given semester. I don’t have access to information on each student’s account (e.g. balances, credits), and I can’t confirm whether a student will receive a material refund given their financial aid packaging for this academic year. The last thing I want to do is create or add to any confusion, and it’s important that I defer to my colleagues in the appropriate finance units to work with you to resolve issues/concerns in these areas.

Alyssa Corvi is the Financial Aid liaison for the Class of 2021 and can assist you in answering specific questions about your aid. However, I encourage you to allow at least a couple of business days for her to respond as the volume of inquiries has increased dramatically since the end of last semester.

I’ve also received specific questions about billing and the Residential Comprehensive Fee (RCF), and the information provided by my colleague in Student Accounts may offer more clarity:

Residential Comprehensive Fee

  • On-Campus (…the full RCF will be charged whether your courses are in-person, online or a hybrid.)
  • Off campus/Commuter (…if approved [by Res Life] to be off-campus, a 60% credit will be applied to your student account for the housing portion of the RCF. A request for a meal plan exemption must be submitted to Michelle Myers-Brown in dining services.
  • Remote (…fully remote, from home, no on-campus services utilized, no RCF charges)

Questions about your bill can be addressed to Student Accounts, but I encourage you to check your student account online for updates before any outreach. As Student Accounts and Financial Aid learn of official changes in the statuses of student plans (e.g. transitions to remote learning or off-campus status; leaves of absence), accounts will be adjusted accordingly. It could take 3-5 business days from the time a student submits a request to change their status for their account/financial aid package to reflect the change. I know this entire process can be stressful and frustrating, but I encourage you to be patient and to keep checking your student account online for updates.

My apologies for the length of this email, but hopefully, the information provided above is helpful. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Wishing you and your families good health,

Dean Leathers

Notes from Your Class Dean: Working Together for the Remainder of Spring 2020

Greetings!

I hope this message finds you well as I know we are all living in strange and challenging times. Even so, I am hopeful that we will get through this together. In the spirit of hope and action, I have outlined my plans to support you in the days and weeks ahead.

Emails & Other Communication

You’re probably inundated with emails right now, and I promise that I will try my best only to send emails that apply to the majority of students in the Class of 2021. Additionally, I encourage you to check the Class of 2021 blog for other useful updates and information from different campus units. My hope is that the junior class blog will be a hub for information and resources that support you for the immediate future and beyond.

Email is the quickest way for me to get in touch with all of you, and for you to get in touch with me, but I’m open to other platforms that will help me to communicate effectively and efficiently as well (e.g. Moodle, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok). Don’t hesitate to forward along any suggestions you have! Sadly, I can’t promise I will pursue every recommendation, but any suggestion you send me will get a fair and thoughtful review.

Office Hours & One-on-One Meetings

Given that Wesleyan is implementing a distance learning model for the remainder the semester and in an effort to improve and maintain my own health, I am no longer hosting in-person drop-in hours or appointments for this academic year. However, I’m still working and accessible.

Moving forward, I will host 30-minute, virtual meetings by appointment, and I will resume my drop-in hours on a virtual platform starting March 23rd continuing through the end of the semester. Please bear with me as I pursue virtual options to meet the needs of students in the junior class.

You may schedule appointments and drop-ins through my Google calendar: https://tinyurl.com/deanleathers

All of my drop-ins and appointments will provide captions to make them more accessible and they will be hosted through Google Hangouts Meet until further notice. Additionally, all times listed are based on Eastern Standard Time (EST).

There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll hit some bumps in the road (slow internet connectivity; delayed appointments for one reason or another; beloved siblings/children, pets or other sounds of life distracting us in the background, etc.), but I am dedicated to working through the challenges ahead to assist you as best as I can. Given that, I ask for a little grace during this season and I will be sure to extend it to you in kind.

Info Sessions & Workshops

My colleagues and I are putting our heads and resources together to offer virtual content we either initially planned to offer in person sometime this semester or have identified as a useful resource given our new normal.

On tap is a collaborative session on preparing for a thesis and the honors process, and I’ve started talks with a colleague about offering a session to give students a more robust introduction to the Zoom app/platform. Details on both are forthcoming!

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I will continue doing my best to provide you all with guidance and support as long as I serve as your class dean.

Please be safe, and do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns moving forward.

Take gentle care,

Dean Leathers

Services for New Week and Beyond 3/20

Dear Students,

As we all struggle to get used to Wesleyan in a distance-learning mode, we in Student Affairs wanted to provide you with an online resource guide detailing services and supports that will still be available regardless of whether you are near or far in the coming weeks.

Wishing you safe travels, good health and successful transitions.  As always, let us know how we can help.  Go Wes!

Warmly,

Dean Mike