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SPCS-Specific Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Last updated: June 15, 2020

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies remains open for business, although our staff and faculty are working remotely. The University of Richmond remains in modified operating status, with employees working remotely to the fullest extent possible. Review the content on this page, and if your question isn’t answered here, contact us at (804) 289-8133 or for assistance. 

SPCS will follow the University’s lead and public health guidance to reassess conditions during this period to determine opportunities to ensure continuity of instruction. The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our priority throughout this pandemic.

Fall 2020 degree program classes will open for registration on July 15. Fall classes will be offered fully online or as in-class/online hybrids to enable limited face-to-face classroom interaction while ensuring the health and well-being of the campus community. Details are available in a June 15 announcement.

The resources below apply to SPCS audiences. They link to and supplement the University’s official COVID-19 response page.


Campus-Wide Updates
Planning for Fall

COO David Hale and Provost Jeffery Legro sent a message on June 5 introducing a Physical Distancing Framework for the University that will be used to guide its approach to gradually resuming operations on campus. Access to the framework and its summary requires UR netID and password. Parts of the framework primarily apply to residential campus life, but many aspects govern classroom use and in-person gatherings like classes, meetings and events.

President Crutcher sent a message on April 29 that confirms the university’s intent to return to on-campus instruction starting in the fall. The goals are summarized as follows:

  • UR intends to complete a full academic year of on-campus instruction beginning in fall 2020. This may require adjustments to our operations and academic calendar.
  • To ensure safety and continuity, we are developing a multi-pronged approach to enhance our community’s capacity and resilience to manage COVID-19 challenges.
  • In order to align with government and public health guidance and/or mandates, we are working through scenarios that allow for flexibility and adjustments to teaching and campus life as needed.
  • Only if necessary will we consider remote learning. If we must pivot to this scenario, we will provide high-quality remote learning and the developmental, social, and career supports that help our students to grow and thrive at UR and beyond.
Operational updates and interim policies

The University has announced a number of interim policies and operational changes in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Additionally, the University has developed general FAQs along with topic-specific FAQs for faculty and staff, events and travel, and mail operations that apply to SPCS audiences.

Effective May 27, the University has made the following decisions about fall 2020 events:

  • With severely limited exceptions, the University will not host any third-party events on campus.
  • All Modlin Center Presents events for the fall of 2020 have been canceled.
  • Requests for internal meetings and events will be approved only if they can be arranged in a manner that meets the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols.
  • The University is consulting with the NCAA and its athletic conferences regarding the status of intercollegiate athletic events during the fall.
Classes shifted online, employees to work remotely

The University made the decision to move to remote learning for the entire summer term and to shift to remote work for employees to the greatest extent possible.

SPCS-Wide Updates
Information sessions transitioned to live information webinars

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and Virginia’s temporary stay at home order, we have transitioned our degree-program information sessions to program-specific Live Information Webinars.

All SPCS staff & faculty working remotely

All members of the SPCS staff and faculty are working their normal schedule remotely. Although phone calls to individuals may be forwarded to accessible phones, email contact is generally more reliable.

If you need immediate assistance, you may contact our main number during normal business hours (8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday-Friday) at 804-289-8133 or contact the school by email at

If you are looking for assistance or information about UR Summer School, managed through SPCS, please send an email to

Getting Online
Access to free WiFi from Xfinity and Spectrum

Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are also open free to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity subscribers. Spectrum WiFi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.

Comcast Internet Essentials for eligible low-income households

Comcast offers Internet Essentials by Comcast to eligible low-income households. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, new customers will receive two months of free service. An application is required. You may qualify if you are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others. Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are also open free to anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity subscribers.

Charter Spectrum internet for households with K-12 & college students

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, households with students K–12 or university students can sign up for a new Charter Spectrum internet account to get the first two months of internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps for free. Installation fees will be waived for those who qualify for the offer. Call 844-488-8395 to enroll. Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.

Cox Connect2Compete for low-income households

For a limited time, Cox is offering the first month of its low-income internet program, Connect2Compete, for free. The internet service is also providing free phone and remote desktop support for technical support during that time.

University Help Desk support

The Information Services Help Desk (contact at or 804-287-6400) can provide self-help assistance via SpiderTechNet with technical and network issues.

  • Remote support available Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
  • On-call support available Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Limited walk-up assistance by appointment only
Staff & Faculty Resources
'Top 5 Tips for Transitioning to Remote Learning' by UR math professor Heather Russell

Read Dr. Heather Russell’s March 26 article from Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Uncharted Waters: The Top 5 Tips for Transitioning to Remote Learning. Russell is a professor of mathematics at UR. Here’s a list of the 5 tips:

  1. Communicate with your students early and often
  2. Consider asynchronous instruction where possible
  3. Find ways to help students stay on task
  4. Go with your strengths
  5. Have compassion and kindness for yourself and your students

Read the full article for details and specific strategies.

Online teaching resources from UR

These resources are developed for the entire University of Richmond faculty and require netID and password to access.

The University of Richmond Faculty Hub provides instructional support to faculty in all schools of the university.

Available Hub & Information Systems (IS) Resources

Resources for SPCS faculty & instructors

SPCS full-time and adjunct faculty who teach in college credit-earning classes (course numbers with a “U” suffix) have access to resources developed by and for SPCS faculty.

  • SPCS Online Teaching Blackboard community (TR176 SPCS Faculty Online Training)
    • Active SPCS faculty have been added; request access from Daniel Hocutt
    • SPCS Online Teaching - Crash Course (recorded)
    • SPCS Online Teaching - Deep Dive (recorded)
  • 1:1 assistance by appointment with experienced online teachers
Resources for SPCS professional education instructors

Professional education and community engagement instructors teach in classes and programs that provide continuing education units (CEU) or contact hours, but not college credit. SPCS programs include the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate, GIS, UR Au Pair, and more.

Program managers will contact instructors with guidelines for online instruction. Available resources:

Two primary tools for online instruction will be available to instructors

  1. Blackboard with Panopto (asynchronous)
  2. Zoom video classroom (synchronous)

Instructors should use UR login to access Blackboard and to set up a Zoom account.

Additionally, our online partner LERN offers live and recorded free online teaching webinars, among them the following:

  • Teaching Online: The Ten Step Model
  • Continual Engagement: Fostering Online Discussion
  • Designing Visuals for Deeper Learning
Library resources for faculty, staff & students

Although closed to the public, the Library remains committed to serving the campus community. The following information may be helpful: resources listed may require netID and password.

General resources for faculty & staff

The majority of resources for faculty and staff can be found on the University of Richmond COVID-19 response page. However, the following links from among those resources may prove convenient. 

Degree Program Updates
Class Formats

All SPCS summer classes will be offered online or remotely for the entire summer term.


Fall SPCS classes will be offered fully online or as in-class/online hybrids with limited in-class meetings. The class schedule will be available on July 1, and registration will open on July 15. Review details in the June 15 announcement.

Access to online resources for degree-seeking students

SPCS students with a University of Richmond email address — generally in the form of — have access to university online resources using their UR netID (usually 6 characters) and password. Read the Learn Remotely Checklist for basic requirements to access online instruction. Included on this page are a growing list of specialty software for use on student computers.

Getting help with technology and remote learning

Students in college-credit earning classes (course numbers ending with “U”) may contact the Information Systems Help Desk for assistance with access to online tools.

Other resources that require UR network credentials (netID and password):

Additional resources available to all SPCS students include the following:

Application fee waived for Fall 2020 applications

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the economic uncertainty it has caused, SPCS has waived application fees for all degree programs for the Fall 2020 academic term.

SPCS will issue refunds to applicants who have already paid fees, applying the refund to the original method of payment. Fees will not be required for those terms when submitting an application.

Questions about application fee refunds for degree programs may be directed to us at

Professional Education & Think Again Updates
Online resources for professional education students

SPCS students who do not have a University of Richmond email address may be provided access to Blackboard (you would receive a message from your program manager or instructor) along with links to live Zoom video conferences. 

If you received Blackboard login credentials from a member of SPCS staff, please edit your profile after login to include an email address where you will receive messages. Otherwise you won’t receive important messages from the instructor.

Zoom links to classes can be accessed without having a University account.

Additional resources available to all SPCS students include the following:

Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program updates

Brewing Professional program classes in Richmond and Roanoke will be offered online via Zoom for the foreseeable future.

  • Zoom links will be provided prior to each class session.
  • If you have questions, contact Bobby Faithful at
  • The Spring 2020 Richmond cohort has a delayed start date of August 3.
  • Richmond Fall 2020, NoVA 2020 and Roanoke 2021 cohorts will launch as scheduled.
Boot Camps powered by Trilogy program updates

All Boot Camps powered by Trilogy have moved entirely online and continue as scheduled.

  • Includes Coding, Cybersecurity and Data Analytics Boot Camps.
  • Specific details will be provided by the student success manager.
  • Effective starting in May, Boot Camp programs will be offered entirely online. 
Cultural Perspectives program for au pairs updates

The Cultural Perspectives program for Au Pairs designed for international au pairs and students has been converted to a fully online program.

  • Registrants will receive additional information from program managers and/or instructors.
  • If you have questions, contact Mary Catherine Raymond at
Estate Planning Seminar postponed, future date TBA

The Estate Planning Seminar has been postponed with plans to reschedule later in the year.

  • Plans moving forward will be determined and communicated by program manager.
  • If you have questions, contact Garrett Stern at
GIS Professional Certificate program updates

The GIS Professional Certificate Program will be offered online for the summer.

  • Classes will be offered online via Zoom during the scheduled time frame.
  • Zoom links will be provided prior to each class session.
  • If you have questions, contact Garrett Stern at
Institute on Philanthropy (IOP) program updates

The Institute on Philanthropy is shifting its offerings online for the summer and possibly early fall 2020.

  • Plans moving forward will be determined and communicated by program managers.
  • If you have questions, contact Mary Catherine Raymond at
Interior Decorating Professional Certificate program updates

The Interior Decorating Professional Certificate program will be offered online for the remainder of the term.

  • Classes will be offered online via Zoom during the scheduled time frame.
  • Zoom links will be provided prior to each class session.
  • If you have questions, contact Garrett Stern at
Partners in the Arts update

Partners in the Arts has rescheduled and updated upcoming programming for Arts Integrated Learning Certificate (AILC) cohorts.

  • Members of AILC cohorts have received revised schedules from the program directors.
  • If you have questions, contact Stacy Hull at

The Joan Oates Institute for Partners in the Arts has been shifted entirely online for 2020, running July 1-31. Visit the Foundations of Arts Integration program page for details.

Think Again Classes

All Think Again classes scheduled for summer are being offered online. Not all programs are able to shift to remote learning. Review the schedule of classes and our Areas of Study for an updated list of online professional education and enrichment opportunities.

Osher Institute Updates
Online resources for Osher members

Osher Institute staff have curated a wide range of online resources that are available to Osher members. These include UR Osher recorded lectures, University of Richmond lectures and performances, OLLI National Resource Center contributions, and many more.

  • Members may recommend additional resources by contacting
  • Osher staff will curate additions to the collection.
Updates to Osher travel programs

The following Osher travel opportunities have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

  • March 24-29, Cuba Discovery: Delayed until October (date TBA)
  • April 10-21, Holland & Belgium in Springtime Cruise: Canceled
  • June 19-25, Yellowstone & The Wild West: Canceled
UR Summer School Updates
Registration is now open for UR Summer School

Registration for UR Summer School for students in the schools of Arts & Sciences, Business and Leadership Studies is now open in BannerWeb.

  • All classes in all summer terms (starting May 11, May 18 or June 22) are now offered online.
  • Additional classes may be added to the schedule throughout the registration period. Visit the UR Summer School schedule to view newly added and updated classes.
  • If you have questions, contact Cheryl Genovese at

Brief Update Log

6/5: Fall planning update
5/27: Fall event update

4/2: Summer class update

Degree students
4/7: Summer classes online
4/3: Application fees waived

UR Summer School
5/27: Summer II classes online

Contact Us

Special Programs Building
490 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173
Phone: (804) 289-8133
Fax: (804) 289-8138

Monday-Friday: 8:30am–5pm
Closed for University holidays