By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer
All online spring schedule requests are required to be made by Oct. 30, Provost Nancy Brickhouse said in an email Oct. 8.
The email said if the student or someone the student lives with is in the at-risk category for COVID-19, they may request an all-online spring schedule. If the student is not at risk, they may still request an online schedule, but it is not guaranteed to be approved.
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dr. Wesley Null, said, “we will accommodate students who are immunocompromised or live with someone who is, but students must, however, complete the Spring 2021 Online Schedule Request Form by Oct. 30.”
“Students who are not immunocompromised can request an all-online schedule for the spring, but, whether or not those requests will be accepted will depend upon a number of factors,” Null said. “One factor is where the student is living. Students cannot be living in McLennan County and receive an all-online schedule if they are not immunocompromised. We want students who are living in McLennan County to take a mixture of face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses.”
Additionally, students may not be approved for an all-online schedule for the spring if they are completing a major that requires courses that must be taught face-to-face and need to be taken in the spring 2021 semester.
There will be some classes next semester not available online, Null said. Though, if there are multiple sections to a class, at least one of them will be in an online format.
“In addition, when students request and are approved for an all-online schedule, the needed classes will be identified, and the appropriate school or college will work with those students to create an online version or find an appropriate online substitution for the needed class,” Null said.
Tomball junior Carson Cabe requested an all online schedule for health reasons for the fall 2020 semester. She was denied at first, but worked one out after working with advisors to find alternatives. She said she was one of the fortunate ones.
“I have several friends who are immunocompromised who were not able to get a fully online schedule due to prerequisites and other Baylor requirements,” Cabe said. “I’m lucky to have been able to get a fully online schedule and have an advisor work hard with me to make that happen.”
On the request form, Null said students have to understand if they are approved all-online spring schedule status and switch back to in-person status or register for any in-person class, they may be dropped from any online class they are registered to make room for an all-online student.
Unlike when schedule changes were made in April and May, students aren’t yet registered for classes. Null said he doesn’t anticipate as much shuffling in preparation for the spring semester as there was leading up to this fall.
“This time around, no registration has taken place, so that helps us tremendously in planning,” Null said. “Our goal this term is for the spring schedule to be released with all of the course formats posted prior to registration. In addition, the deadline for requesting an all-online schedule will have passed prior to registration for the spring. Although we will continue to respond to any changes that may come along, the hope of everyone involved is that the already established course sections will not need revision after spring registration has concluded.”
Additional information regarding all-online spring schedules can be found on the FAQ page, which will be continually updated throughout the next couple weeks, Null said.