SPCS Coronavirus Response & Updates

Last updated: June 14, 2021

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies remains open for business with some staff and faculty working remotely. The University of Richmond remains in modified operating status and is operating in the Lime stage of our Physical Distancing Framework. Review the content on this page, and if your question isn’t answered here, contact us at (804) 289-8133 or spcs@richmond.edu for assistance.

Consistent with the new guidance from the CDC and the Governor’s Executive Order and communicated in a message to the University community, the University will no longer require students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated to wear a mask, except in limited circumstances.

SPCS follows the University’s lead and public health guidance to monitor conditions to ensure continuity of instruction. The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff are our priority throughout the pandemic. We’re following the University’s lead in implementing the Summer 2021 semester.

  • SPCS Summer 2021 classes are being held entirely remotely, with live, online instruction via Zoom and/or online, self-paced instruction.
  • UR Summer School 2021 classes are mostly offered remotely. In-person options can be viewed by selecting the “In-Person” tag on the schedule.

The resources below apply to SPCS audiences. They link to and supplement the University’s official COVID-19 response page including the COVID-19 DashboardSummer 2021 Opportunities, Fall 2021 Planning and the Return to Work Guide.

To report a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your healthcare provider and notify Associate Dean Tom Shields in the SPCS dean’s office at tshields@richmond.edu or spcs@richmond.edu or (804) 289-8133.

Summer 2021 Updates

  • Lime Stage

    The University of Richmond is currently operating in the Lime Stage of our Physical Distancing Framework.

    The University has initiated the Lime Stage of our Physical Distancing Framework. Based on current public health guidance and CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated people, this new Lime Stage maintains health and safety protocols, but modifies a number of them, especially for fully vaccinated individuals.

    Consistent with the new guidance from the CDC and the Governor’s Executive Order, as of May 28, the University will no longer require students, faculty, and staff who are fully vaccinated to wear a mask, except in limited circumstances. People who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to continue to wear a mask in indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    Among the changes in the Lime Stage are the following:

    • Physical distancing is no longer required for fully vaccinated people, but 3 feet of distancing both inside and outdoors is required for those who are not yet fully vaccinated;
    • The limit on indoor gatherings is increased to 100 people;
    • There are no limits on University-sponsored or approved outdoor gatherings;
    • Fully vaccinated people can ride in work vehicles together without restrictions; and
    • There are no restrictions on University-sponsored travel, but travelers should follow CDC guidelines.
  • Report Your Vaccine Status

    Knowing how many members of our campus community are fully vaccinated is critical to our decision-making for the fall semester. We are very grateful to those students, faculty, and staff, who have already reported their vaccine status. Given the importance of this information, we ask all students, faculty, and staff to report their vaccine status as follows:

    • SPCS students should report their vaccine status by completing this form.
    • SPCS faculty and staff should report their vaccine status by completing this form.

    We will treat information about vaccine status confidentially, consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

  • COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

    The University has answered a number of questions related to COVID-19 vaccines. Please review the COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs to learn more about vaccinations, vaccination status and plans to release information about the fall semester.

  • Academic Class Format

    Summer SPCS degree-program classes are offered fully online or as in-class/online hybrids with limited in-class meetings. The semester’s academic calendar for summer is available. Terms begins on May 10, May 17, and June 21.

  • New Student Onboarding

    Instead of a New Student Orientation for newly admitted degree-seeking students, SPCS is providing a New Student Onboarding experience in Blackboard as part of the existing SPCS Student Online Support Community. All newly admitted students are added automatically to the support community, and the New Student Onboarding module is available. All degree-seeking students are invited to review these resources.

Fall 2021 Planning

  • Vaccinations Encouraged, Required upon FDA Approval

    After careful consideration, the University will require all students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This requirement will go into effect as soon as one of the vaccines receives full approval by the FDA and will be subject to the exemptions described below. To meet this requirement, students, faculty, and staff may choose any vaccine fully approved by the FDA or any vaccine subject to an FDA Emergency Use Authorization, which currently includes the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

    While we believe it is appropriate to wait until at least one vaccine is granted full FDA approval before requiring a vaccine, we strongly encourage all faculty, staff, and students to be fully vaccinated before the beginning of the fall semester.

    As is our current practice for other required vaccines, faculty, staff, and students may seek medical or religious exemptions from the vaccine requirement. Faculty, staff, and students may also seek an exemption from the requirement to have a COVID-19 vaccine based on strong personal convictions. Information on how to seek an exemption will be provided in the near future.

  • Report Your Vaccination Status

    Knowing how many members of our campus community are fully vaccinated is critical to our decision-making for the fall semester. We are very grateful to those students, faculty, and staff, who have already reported their vaccine status. Given the importance of this information, we ask all students, faculty, and staff to report their vaccine status as follows:

    • SPCS students should report their vaccine status by completing this form.
    • SPCS faculty and staff should report their vaccine status by completing this form.

    We will treat information about vaccine status confidentially, consistent with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Testing Unvaccinated Students

    Pre-semester and prevalence testing (to the extent conditions warrant such testing) will be required for all SPCS students who:

    • are not fully vaccinated; or
    • have not reported their vaccine status; and
    • need access to campus to attend class or utilize resources

    Students who are fully vaccinated and have reported their vaccine status are exempt from pre-semester and prevalence testing. Detailed information on pre-semester testing will be provided in July.

  • Fall Schedule of Classes

    The semester will begin as scheduled August 23, end December 17 and will include the traditional fall and Thanksgiving breaks. Registration will begin Wednesday, July 14. Additional information and key dates are available in the fall academic calendar.

    For the Fall 2021 semester, we are currently planning to offer a mix of fully in-person, fully online, and hybrid courses. This means we will offer these formats:

    • In-person classes: Taught on the UR campus, on weekday evenings
    • Synchronous online classes: Taught through live remote class sessions via Zoom, following a set schedule
    • Asynchronous online classes: A fully remote and online experience, with no scheduled class sessions
    • Hybrid classes: Includes both scheduled in-person class sessions and online classwork
  • Masks on Campus

    The University’s policy on masks will be consistent with prevailing public health guidance and will be updated as such guidance may change. The current policy is available on the University’s COVID-19 response page. Currently, and in accordance with CDC guidelines and Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Orders, people who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask in indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    We recognize that even those who are fully vaccinated may wish to continue wearing a mask while on campus, and we support your decision to do so. Additionally, during the fall semester, faculty have the discretion to require all students to wear a mask in their classroom or lab.

Campus-Wide Updates

  • Healthy Web Compact & Shared Responsibility

    As we continue to live into the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of the campus community is of paramount importance. Ensuring the health of the campus community is our shared responsibility, and it will require a sustained commitment from all of us as we modify the way we live, learn, and work together. We have made necessary adjustments to conform to public health guidance to promote health and safety.

    To ensure we follow and enforce our safety policies and protocols, all students studying on campus, as well as faculty and staff, have been asked to sign the spring 2021 updated Healthy Web Community Compact for students and faculty & staff.

  • COVID-19 Dashboard

    The University of Richmond has created a COVID-19 dashboard that provides updates on COVID-19 data specifically related to the campus community.

    The dashboard will be updated weekly and pulls data from multiple sources to illustrate and track various metrics, which will help inform continued decision-making related to campus operations. Weekly updates allow the University to protect the privacy of student and employee information while enabling us to observe and share campus health trends.

  • Virginia COVIDWISE App

    The Commonwealth of Virginia has developed a new tool to notify people if they are potentially a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19. C OVIDWISE is Virginia’s COVID-19 exposure notification app. The COVIDWISE app is tool that may serve to augment our campus community’s extensive prevention strategies. The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to quickly notify users who have been within six feet of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes and, as a result, may have been exposed to COVID-19. If the app notifies you that you may have been exposed, it will provide further instructions from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on how to keep you and the people around you safe. VDH notes that the app does not track your location or identity, and it does not store location data. The University asks you to consider downloading the COVIDWISE app on your personal device to contribute to Virginia’s efforts to fight COVID-19.

  • Daily Health Screening

    Degree-seeking students taking classes with on-campus sessions, along with all faculty and staff, are required to complete a daily health screening. The brief, two-question health survey is sent by email each morning and must be completed daily, whether or not you plan to be on campus that day.

    Remote study students (those who’ve opted for remote only instruction in hybrid classes) and students enrolled only in online classes will not be required to complete a daily health screening.

  • Face Coverings

    The University’s policy on masks will be consistent with prevailing public health guidance and will be updated as such guidance may change. The current policy is available here. Currently, and in accordance with CDC guidelines and Commonwealth of Virginia Executive Orders, people who are not yet fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask in indoor settings and in outdoor settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

    We recognize that even those who are fully vaccinated may wish to continue wearing a mask while on campus, and we support your decision to do so. Additionally, during the fall semester, faculty have the discretion to require all students to wear a mask in their classroom or lab.

  • Operational Updates & 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.

SPCS Updates

  • Working Remotely

    Most 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 spcs@richmond.edu.

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

  • Information for SPCS Faculty, Staff & Instructors

    Support & Resources for Childcare

    In order to address the challenges that parents and caregivers are facing, the University will contribute $1,200 to a tax-free spending account for all regular full-time employees with children 12 years old and younger. These monies may be used to help offset child care expenses incurred during the pandemic.

    The University will also provide for all regular full-time employees access to Care.com, a national network of child, elder, pet, home, and other care providers, which has an extensive network of providers in the Richmond region. Care.com will help regular full-time employees of the University identify vetted day-care providers.

    Guidelines for Faculty Teaching In-Person Sections

    University Faculty Guidelines for AY 2020-2021 may be found on the Provost Office Resources page. The following guidelines apply to campus-based courses:

    Attendance

    • Either assign seating for the semester or keep a daily record of student placement in their classrooms
    • Take attendance each day of in-class instruction
    • File a student concern report or contact a Dean regarding any students who are absent from classes with no response or communication.

    Classroom Hygiene

    In addition to reviewing the physical distancing framework, faculty and students should disinfect frequently touched surfaces within classrooms at the beginning and end of each class.

    • Ask any student not wearing a face covering to leave the classroom and inform the dean’s office
    • Develop a plan for entering and exiting the classroom to avoid crowding at the door(s)
    • Encourage students to take their seats immediately
    • Release students on-time to prevent clustering in the hallways
    • Instruct students waiting in the hall to stand six feet apart

    Classroom Hygiene To-Do List

    The Faculty Senate has worked with Brittany Schaal, Director of Emergency Management, and colleagues to develop Managing Classrooms and Labs During COVID, a resource you’re encouraged to reference as a handy to-do list for maintaining classroom safety.

    Instructor Attendance and Class Preparedness

    The School seeks to be as responsive and flexible as possible to instructors’ experience during this unique time. Should an instructor be unable to complete their teaching assignment for health and safety reasons, the School will work to find a substitute to complete instruction.

    To support this intent, instructors should provide as much information as possible about theirs courses in their syllabus. Additionally, instructors should maintain a Blackboard site that includes (at minimum) the course syllabus, required readings, assignments, and student grades.

    Resources for SPCS Professional Education & Lifelong Learning 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
  • Information for Degree-Seeking Students

    SPCS students with a University of Richmond email address — generally in the form of firstname.lastname@richmond.edu — 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.

    All degree-seeking students are enrolled in the SPCS Student Online Support Community (AD878), an online student support site in Blackboard. Tools and resources are updated regularly, and discussions forums are monitored to provide quick responses to questions.

    To access the support site, log in to Blackboard and look under My Courses for “SPCS Student Online Support Community.”

    Getting Help with Technology

    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:

  • Information for Professional Education & Lifelong Learning Students

    All Professional Education and Think Again programs and classes scheduled for Spring 2021 will be offered remotely. This includes, but is not limited to, the following programs:

    • Beer Brewer Professional Certificate (all locations)
    • GIS Professional Certificate
    • Institute on Philanthropy
    • Political Campaign Management
    • Coding, Cybersecurity & Data Analytics Boot Camps
    • Fitness Trainer Programs

    In most cases, registrants will receive a link to access the remote learning environment via email a few days prior to the start of class.

    The following programs have been postponed and are awaiting rescheduling:

    • Estate Planning Seminar
    • Home-Based Business Boot Camp
    • Hospitality & Tourism Fundamentals
    • Latino Leadership Academy
    • PELS

    Resources for 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:

  • Information for Osher Members

    All Osher Institute classes are being offered remotely for the Spring 2021 term. Registration for spring classes remains available in the online registration portal.

    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@richmond.edu.
    • Osher staff will curate additions to the collection.

Getting Online

  • Eduroam Wireless Network

    The eduroam network, in which the University of Richmond participates, allows Richmond faculty, staff and students to log on to the eduroam wireless network at participating university partners around the country and world. There is no charge to UR community members who have active UR email accounts.

    University of Richmond faculty, staff, and students can login to the eduroam wireless network when visiting other participating institutions by authenticating with netid@richmond.edu after selecting the eduroam wireless network from the list of available connections.

    Locally, Randolph-Macon College and Virginia Commonwealth University (including the MCV campus) participate in eduroam. Regionally, University of Mary Washington, University of Virginia, Longwood University and the College of William & Mary participate.

  • Comcast Internet Essentials (Lower-cost Internet Access)

    Comcast offers Internet Essentials by Comcast to eligible low-income households. 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.

  • Cox Connect2Compete (Lower-cost Internet Access)

    Cox offers Connect2Compete, low-cost internet service for qualifying households. You may qualify if you have a K-12 student in the household and participate in a government assistance program.

  • UR Help Desk Assistance

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

    • Remote support available Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m.
    • On-call support available Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.