Student Academic Policies for Fall 2020

Temporary Academic Policies for Fall 2020

AUBG is committed to protecting its students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are implementing the following policies to minimize the risk of students transmitting the virus. This section’s policies override the Academic Catalog’s other policies. The AUBG President can extend these policies to Spring 2021.

Our Lexicon

AUBG uses the following terms to classify courses and class attendance:

1. Online course. A course that only meets online.

2. Online student. A student who only attends classes online.

3. Hybrid course. A course in which students alternate between on-ground and online classes.

4. On-ground course. A course in which most students physically attend classes in the MB, BAC, or ABF classrooms.

AUBG defines “social distancing” as keeping at least two meters distance from others.

Minimizing Risk in the Classroom

1. AUBG recommends that students have themselves tested for COVID-19 before they attend the first class of the semester. Students present the results of the test to the Health Center.

2. Students are required to check their temperature when they enter the MB and BAC. Students with an elevated temperature must report to the Health Center and are not permitted to attend on-ground classes until the Health Center has cleared them.

3. Students are required to sanitize their hands after checking their temperature at the MB and BAC entrance.

4. Students must be able to cover their nose and mouth in class. Face masks, face shields, and scarfs are appropriate, providing that students can cover their nose and mouth if needed.

Students who fail to follow these instructions are at higher risk of being infected by the virus and transmitting the virus to others. Consequently, these students are subject to the following penalties: (a) During the first two weeks of the semester, students who violate these policies are required to attend classes online for the rest of the week; (b) From the third week of classes, students who violate these policies are required to attend classes online for the rest of the semester.

Class Attendance

AUBG expects students to regularly attend classes whether they attend classes on the ground or online. Instructors may request extra work from students attending classes online to demonstrate that the student is intellectually present during the class.

Students are permitted to miss three classes without penalty. Instructors can drop a student from a course for missing more than three classes without excuse. This policy applies to students who are attending classes on the ground and online.

Students who cannot join an online or hybrid class because of technical issues must inform the instructor within twenty-four hours. Instructors do not excuse absences on technical grounds after this time. AUBG recommends that students who experience technical issues phone into the class using a local Zoom dial-in number.

AUBG expects all students to return to campus in time to attend their first class of the semester unless the Health Center has permitted them to attend classes online or the International Student Services confirms that visa issues or border restrictions prevent them from returning to campus.

Students must attend all course sessions during the first week of classes, whether they attend the class on the ground or online. Instructors can drop a student for missing one class meeting online or on the ground during the first week of classes.

Hybrid Courses

1. All courses with eleven or more students are required to be hybrid or online. A course is a hybrid when the instructor teaches the course on the ground, and students alternate between attending the course on the ground and online.

2. Hybrid courses are divided into “lions” and “eagles” teams. In the first class of the week, the “lions” team attends the class on the ground, and the “eagles” team attends the class online. In the second class of the week, the “eagles” team attends the class on the ground, and the “lions” team attends the class online. The teams alternate throughout the rest of the semester.

3. Instructors can adopt alternative ways of dividing the “lions” and “eagles” classes to meet their pedagogical goals.

4. An instructor can hold some class sessions with all students online. An instructor can elect to hold class sessions with all students on the ground for special events, such as exams, providing that the event can meet the social distancing requirements.

5. Students at elevated risk from COVID-19 can apply to the Health Center before July 6 to attend all classes online. Students with health issues should consult with their physician or the Health Center to determine whether they are at elevated risk. Students who cannot enter Bulgaria because of visa issues or border restrictions can apply to International Student Services to attend all classes online until they can return to campus.

System Requirements

Students must have Zoom installed on their computer or tablet to join classes online. Students join Zoom classes through the Canvas course portal.

Zoom has the following system requirements:

1. Hardware: Speakers and a microphone.

2. Supported operating systems: macOS X with macOS 10.9 or later; Windows 10; Windows 8 or 8.1; Windows 7; Windows Vista with SP1 or later; Windows XP with SP3 or later. (Devices running Windows 10 must run Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise. S Mode is not supported.)

3. Supported tablet and mobile devices: Surface PRO 2 or higher running Win 8.1 or higher, iOS and Android devices, and Blackberry devices. (Tablets running Windows 10 must run Windows 10 Home, Pro, or Enterprise. S Mode is not supported.)

4. Supported browsers: Windows: IE 11+, Edge 12+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+; Mac: Safari 7+, Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+; Linux: Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+; Linux: Firefox 27+, Chrome 30+.

5. Bandwidth: 800kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high quality video.

Students who do not have access to technology that meets these requirements must inform the Registrar’s Office before the start of the semester.

AUBG does not recommend the use of phones to join classes except when students experience technical problems with their computer or tablet.

Instructors expect students to have their camera on during classes. Students can use Zoom virtual backgrounds to hide their backgrounds.

Zoom Dial-in Numbers

Students who experience technical issues can phone into a class using one of the following dial-in numbers:

Bulgaria +359 3 257 1633
+359 2 492 5688
Georgia +995 7067 77954
+995 3224 73988
Greece +30 231 118 0599
+30 211 198 4488
Russian Federation +7 812 426 8988
+7 495 283 9788
USA +1 669 900 9128
+1 253 215 8782
+1 301 715 8592
+1 312 626 6799
+1 346 248 7799
+1 646 558 8656

On-Ground Courses

1. Courses with ten or fewer students can be held entirely on the ground.

2. Instructors can still elect to follow a hybrid model in which they hold some classes online.

3. Students at elevated risk from COVID-19 can apply to the Health Center before July 6 to attend all classes online. Students with health issues should consult with their physician or the Health Center to determine whether they are at elevated risk. Students who cannot enter Bulgaria because of visa issues or border restrictions can apply to International Student Services to attend all classes online until they can return to campus.

Online Courses

Instructors at elevated risk from COVID-19 can apply to the Health Center before July 15 to hold all of their classes online. Instructors with health issues should consult with their physician or the Health Center to determine whether they are at elevated risk. Instructors who cannot enter Bulgaria because of visa issues or border restrictions can apply to the Dean of Faculty to hold all of their classes online until they can return to campus. Students attend these classes online.

Online Students

1. Students at elevated risk from COVID-19 can apply to the Health Center before July 6 for permission to attend all classes online. Students with health issues should consult with their physician or the Health Center to determine whether they are at elevated risk. Students who cannot enter Bulgaria because of visa issues or border restrictions can apply to International Student Services to attend classes online until they can return to campus.

2. Students whose health status changes during the semester should inform the Health Center immediately and can apply for permission to attend the rest of the semester online. The Health Center notifies Residence Life and Housing that it has granted students permission.

Permission for Full Courses

AUBG requires students who receive permission to enroll in a full course to attend the course online. This policy ensures social distancing in the classroom. Instructors do not permit more than five students to enroll in a course over the cap. Instructors usually only grant permission when a student needs to take the course this semester to graduate on time.

Returning to Campus

Students returning to campus from other countries may be required by law to quarantine themselves for fourteen days after returning to Bulgaria. Students are advised to check the current law before traveling. Students are quarantined at their place of residence. Quarantined students attend classes online while under quarantine. AUBG does not quarantine returning students unless there is a legal requirement to do so. AUBG advises affected students to return to campus two weeks before the start of the semester.

Class Recordings

Students consent to AUBG recording their image and voice during classes. AUBG will not use class recordings outside of Canvas or Zoom without the permission of the attendees.

Intellectual Property

1. Class recordings and other intellectual material posted on Canvas or Zoom are the instructor’s property unless indicated otherwise.

2. The Academic Integrity and Appeals Council can suspend or dismiss students who make class recordings or other intellectual property available outside of Canvas or Zoom.

COVID-19 on Campus

If AUBG identifies a case of COVID-19 on campus, those students who had close contact with the infected person are required to take all classes online for the next fourteen days. AUBG recommends that these students have themselves tested for COVID-19 after the fourteen-day self-isolation period before they return to on-ground classes. Students present the results of the test to the Health Center.

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