Help for Students and Families

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March 26, 2020

We hope you are well and encourage you stay in touch as we all navigate this complex environment, and parse rapidly changing scenarios. At this time, all CMC students have transitioned off-campus (unless they were approved for on-campus housing). Classes will resume, in alternative formats, on Monday, March 30th. Please see below for helpful information, and don’t hesitate to let us know how we can assist you.

How to get ITS Help

Use the Online Service Request System

https://webapps.cmc.edu/itservices/login.php

Email: student-help@cmc.edu

Telephone Student ITS Help Desk

(909) 607-3054

Staffed 8am – 5pm

Virtual Office Hours

RTAs available 9:00 to 5:00 pm PST
https://cmc-its.zoom.us/j/399854213

CMC COVID-19 FAQs


Claremont McKenna College Announcements:

March 11 President's COVID-19 College Announcement:

After careful thought and broad consultation with public health experts, and in coordination with our peers in The Claremont Colleges, we have decided to:

  • Move all courses, academic support, and student services online or into an alternative distance format, beginning March 30 until the end of the semester;
  • Extend spring break by one week, from March 16 through March 27 to provide time for faculty to virtualize their courses, with the semester to conclude on May 15, as scheduled;
  • Require students to remain home or find another off-campus location by March 23 and urge them to avoid non-essential travel over the break;
  • Exempt some students (who for good cause cannot return home) and allow them to stay on campus as long as merited, pending the outcome of a strict approval process;
  • Implement rules of social distancing for the limited number of students who must remain on campus and for all other CMC events;
  • Postpone or cancel all college-sponsored in-person events until further notice;
  • Faculty and Staff are mostly learning and working from home, with the exception of a small number of employees providing on-campus support for those students remaining at CMC.
  • Restrict travel to only emergencies; and
  • Urge students, staff, and faculty who feel unwell to contact their healthcare providers.

Virtualization

  • Classes resumed in an online format on March 30, The College has provided guidance and resources to ensure each student has the technology they need to learn online.
  • Faculty are prepared to teach in a virtual format, transforming the final weeks of their materials, pedagogy, and strong engagement with students to adapt to this new format. A corps of faculty with expertise in educational technology are providing support and guidance to their peers.
  • The Dean of the Faculty is in touch with students and faculty about online platforms and other approaches to academic continuity. Faculty have communicated with their students to explain the specific, alternative format for each course. Academic advising, Soll Center advising, success consultants, peer tutoring, Center for Writing and Public Discourse and Murty Sunak QCL meetings, and other programs have moved online or to an alternative distance format. All undergraduate Claremont Colleges have moved their courses to virtual formats.
  • Next week, our top priority is to make sure all students and faculty have full curricular support.

Student Accounts: The College is reimbursing Room and Board costs on a fair and proportionate basis for all students who left campus by March 23. The offices of Financial Aid and Student Accounts will contact each student by the end of March with specific information about adjustments to their account. For those on the installment plan, we are also deferring the last installment until May 20, 2020.

Events: We have canceled or postponed all in-person events. We will be moving to virtual formats for as many of these engagements as possible. Staff or faculty who were planning an event should contact the Events Office for more information.

Commencement: As a small college where everyone knows each other, we are committed to the importance and long-term value of an in-person commencement.

Athletics: All CMS spring athletic competitions were suspended effective March 15th. In addition, CMS suspended all planned activities effective Friday, March 13th. This included all Intramural Sports, 5C Club Sports, recreational classes, and in-person Physical Education classes. Physical Education faculty and instructors are reaching out to their students with adjusted course plans. In addition to all programming being suspended, ALL Athletic and Recreational facilities including all fields, the Burns Track Complex, Biszantz Family Tennis Center, Roberts Pavilion and Axelrood Pool, are closed.

Off-Campus Study - Study Abroad, the Washington D.C. Program, and the Silicon Valley Program: Nearly all students have returned from study abroad, whether because programs closed or because they chose to go home. Many students in the Silicon Valley and the Washington D.C. programs are learning and working remotely—some have returned to their homes.

Updates to CMC Academic Regulations for Spring 2020

CMC has authorized the following changes to academic regulations for the spring 2020 semester.

Credit/No-Credit Grading Option

Students may request CR/NC grades in courses that would otherwise be letter-graded this semester and have until May 6th to inquire with their faculty members about this. Faculty may agree to assign CR/NC grades at their discretion. Faculty should not require students to accept CR/NC grading if they prefer letter grades. Courses graded CR/NC this semester will still qualify toward completion of requirements, provided students earn a grade of CR. Students must earn a letter-grade equivalent of C or better to qualify for a grade of CR. No paperwork or petition will be necessary for a faculty member to assign students CR/NC grades. Students interested in this option should discuss it with their instructors to determine whether this option is appropriate. Letter grading remains the default.

Deadline to Drop Without Record Now April 6, 2020

CMC extended the deadline to drop courses without record through April 6th. If you choose to drop a course, log into the portal and drop via the portal’s registration feature.

Voluntary Withdrawal Deadline

CMC extend the deadline to withdraw from courses voluntarily through May 6th. The same full-time status and required course provisions noted in the Catalog apply to students seeking voluntary withdrawals. Students may withdraw from courses via the portal registration feature; no petition or paperwork is required.

Requests for Part-Time Status

Students who wish to reduce to less than 3 units of credit for the term may request part-time status by emailing registrar@cmc.edu prior to May 6th. Provided students can still make satisfactory progress toward their degrees and remain in compliance with any student visa requirements, such requests will be approved administratively.

Important Caveats

Please be aware that a decision to drop or withdraw from a course, or to reduce below full-time status, may have serious adverse consequences for some students. Cutting back courses may delay progress toward graduation and/or affect financial aid packages. Please confer carefully with the appropriate offices before making your decisions. Once a course is dropped, it cannot be added back. Direct any questions regarding financial aid to finaid@cmc.edu, questions about student accounts to Jessica.Loyd@cmc.edu, and questions about academic progress to registrar@cmc.edu.

Senior Thesis

CMC Senior Thesis Due Date Now 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4th. CMC students completing a senior thesis this semester will have an extra week to submit their theses. Students enrolled in a Keck Science thesis, including the KGI Team Masters Project, will receive separate communications about their projects.

  • Late Penalties: CMC will maintain the late penalty schedule as outlined in the original senior thesis syllabus (1 grade point per day through 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8th).
  • Electronic Collection: CMC will collect senior theses electronically. We will provide information as soon as we have a collection mechanism ready.

Zoom Conference

If Zoom or Box is blocked in my country, is there a way for students to access it?

  • Students should reach out to DOS regarding their needs. IT will work with students to develop solutions on a case-by-case basis as they have the technology available to help with connection and communication.

Attending online classes in a different time zone

Will professors have access to technology (e.g. tablets) to facilitate lectures?

  • ITS will be available throughout the spring semester to accommodate any needs. ITS should be contacted if a teaching setup is insufficient.

Can professor recalibrate the difficulty of exams given the added difficulty of having online Classes?

  • We will be working with faculty to ensure their assessments are accessible and manageable given the special circumstances of virtualization. However, CMC is still dedicated to upholding its rigorous academic standards.

How will faculty accommodate students who reside in different time zones?

  • We have encouraged faculty to reach out to each student to poll for time zone and technology issues, as well as to establish clear guidance for how to connect with them through virtual office hours.

Academic Support (tutoring, success consultants, academic success meetings)

  • The Academic Success professional staff is available for continued virtual meetings. They are working with the Success Consultant and Peer tutoring teams to support students virtually.
  • The Soll Center for Student Opportunity has also moved its services online. Please make an appointment through Handshake or email the Career Coach directly.

Registrar Updates

Deadline to Drop without Record Now April 6, 2020

  • CMC has extended the deadline to drop courses without record through April 6th. If you choose to drop a course, just log into the portal and drop via the portal’s registration feature. The voluntary withdrawal deadline remains May 6th.

Pre-registration for Fall 2020 Now Begins April 28, 2020

  • We have postponed the start of pre-registration by one week. Returning students, including those with plans to participate in fall off-campus study programs, will receive pre-registration appointment information on April 6th. This extension affords an additional week of time to connect with your academic advisor to obtain clearance to register.

CMC Senior Thesis Due Date/Time Now May 4, 2020, 3:00pm

  • CMC students completing a senior thesis this semester will have an extra week to submit their theses. Students enrolled in a Keck Science thesis, including the KGI Team Masters Project, will receive separate communications about their projects.

Voluntary Withdrawal Deadline

  • The deadline to voluntarily withdraw from courses Wednesday, May 6th. The same full-time status and required course provisions noted above apply to students seeking voluntary withdrawals. Students may withdraw from courses via the Portal registration feature; no petition or paperwork is required.

Requests for Part-Time Status

  • Students who wish to reduce to less than 3 units of credit for the term may request part-time status by emailing registrar@cmc.edu prior to May 6th. Provided students can still make satisfactory progress toward their degrees and remain in compliance with any student visa requirements, such requests will be approved administratively.

Important Caveats

  • Please be aware that a decision to drop or withdraw from a course, or to reduce below full-time status, may have serious adverse consequences for some students. Cutting back courses may delay progress toward graduation and/or affect financial aid package. Please confer carefully with the appropriate offices before making your decisions. Once a course is dropped, it cannot be added back. Direct any questions regarding financial aid to finaid@cmc.edu, questions about student accounts to Jessica.Loyd@cmc.edu, and questions about academic progress to registrar@cmc.edu.

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Soll Center for Student Opportunity

How does this impact SIE and internships in general? Will students be allowed to take positions in major cities that have many COVID-19 cases?

  • An email was sent to all students on March 24th.
  • Students with plans to travel internationally are strongly encouraged to consider domestic (the country they currently reside in) or remote opportunities.
  • We are actively reaching out to companies to learn more about their summer internship programs. At this time, it is difficult to know how many companies and other internship sponsors will accept interns this summer. Many organizations have reported that they are moving forward with their programs, but also share that they will reevaluate in the coming months.
  • If you’ve already accepted an internship, we recommend that you stay in close touch with your employer to monitor the status of that opportunity

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Return to Campus

Is there a remote possibility that we may be able to move back in?

  • There are no plans for students to return this semester.

What is happening at other Claremont Colleges?

  • There has been intense collaboration between the five colleges. However, there still may be modest differences. If you have concerns about a course at another college, please escalate to the Dean of the Faculty’s office.

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Library

Effective March 16, the Library is closed to all visitors other than Library staff critical to on-site operations. Although the Library will be closed to all visitors, the Library staff will continue to work to support you in the following ways:

  • Borrowing materials: We are developing a plan for mailing physical copies of books we own or need to purchase, and we will implement a scan-on-demand service for Special Collections, course readings, and the general collection, within fair use guidelines.
    • Items that are currently checked out: Loan periods for current loans will be extended until September 30, 2020. With this in mind, and to conserve space in our book bins, please try to hold on to your materials if you expect to be back on campus for the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • Students who will have graduated or faculty who will have moved to other institutions by the 2020-2021 academic year may return their books by mail at the Library’s expense via the mailing address below.
      • The Claremont Colleges Library, Attention Library Circulation, 800 N. Dartmouth Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
  • Databases and access to e-resources: Please note that over half of our collections are accessible electronically. All of our online resources will still be accessible. Many publishers are also announcing that they are opening access to their online materials; some materials we did not previously have access to may now be available.
  • Course readings: Library staff will work closely with faculty to provide students electronic access to course readings in their entirety or in part. We will be reaching out to faculty in the coming two weeks to share access options. Please note that, effective immediately, students will not be able to check out print course readings.
  • Resource Sharing (ILL): We will aim to acquire resources requested electronically and obtain articles and book chapters for titles we do not own. For the foreseeable future, the library will not borrow books or media from other libraries.
    • If you have an ILL book checked out, please hold onto it and the Library will request renewals from the lending library on your behalf.
  • Remote Research Assistance: Faculty, staff and students may meet with librarians virtually using Zoom, email, or chat. You can contact or schedule an online appointment with a subject librarian at https://library.claremont.edu/librarians/
  • Remote Library Instruction: Faculty may still arrange for their classes to meet with librarians virtually via Zoom. You can request an instruction session via the Library website at https://library.claremont.edu/request-an-instruction-session/
  • Retrieving items from Library lockers: Faculty and students may contact libraryusers@claremont.edu to arrange a time to retrieve their items from our Library lockers.

For additional information about the Library services, we encourage you to refer to the special FAQ website https://library.claremont.edu/coronavirus/.

 
Other

Will we be expected to return rented books to Huntley Bookstore when we need them for online classes at home? Is a summer extension possible?

  • Students can return books now if they are done with them. Domestic students can log into the rental portal and print out a UPS mailing label for free to mail their books back once they finish using them. Information is available at this linkIf you rented online, you can extend or purchase those rentals in your account. On the Rentals page, you will see options to “Extend” or “Buy” for each applicable rental item. You will be prompted to place an order with the rental extension or rental purchase.Students can keep any books checked out from the CARE center to finish their classes, even if they are seniors.

Would it be possible to get a leave to return next semester? (With reimbursement for tuition?)

  • Students can apply for leaves of absence per CMC’s policies in the Course Catalog.

What are plans for commencement?

  • We are committed to a live, in-person commencement for the Class of 2020. Sadly, we have concluded that we cannot do that safely in mid-May, and we will not reschedule it until large gatherings are safe for all whom want to attend.
  • Even though we will not be able to keep the expected timing of this celebration, we are dedicated to reproducing the quality of the on-campus experience in the future for our graduates.
  • The College will communicate how diplomas will be delivered. In past years, for students who do not attend commencement, they are mailed after the ceremony.

How will students who need mental health resources remain supported throughout our transition to virtual education?

  • Students currently receiving care from a psychiatrist at Monsour should contact their psychiatrist for medication refills, if they have not already heard from their doctor. Students are encouraged to identify clinicians near home for continued care.
  • For assistance with identifying therapists and/or psychiatrists near home, please reach out to your provider at Monsour (909.621.8202) or Jess Neilson in the Dean of Students office at Jneilson@cmc.edu
  • Project Sister will continue to be available, remotely, for any student needing support through May 15th. For students currently seeing Project Sister therapists through the EmPOWER Center, please contact their office at 909.607.0690 to set up ongoing appointments via phone or video.
  • For students seeing therapists located in Heggblade, please contact your individual therapist to learn about options for continued support for the remainder of the semester.

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Health and Well-Being

A Virtual Return to our Campus Community and Learning Remotely
Claremont McKenna College, Dean of Students Office
#CMConnected

We’ve put together some resources to help support you, and we plan on staying connected as often as we would if you were on campus. We see these resources as evolving, and it is our deepest hope that you will add and contribute to a growing body of resources we can all use to manage these challenging times. Please share your best practices and ideas with us by emailing slayden@cmc.edu.

Please keep in mind a few important things:

  • Your professors are your number one resource in this new learning environment; use this challenge as an opportunity to continue to develop strong relationships with our amazing faculty. Reaching out to faculty is your best, first step.
  • Remote learning is still learning: Some of the how has changed, but not the what or why of your education and learning. All the normal best learning practices still apply: engage with your professor, course materials, and class-mates; dedicate time to learning with your classmates; use your resources such as Success Consultants, the CWPD, the QCL, and peer tutoring; and reach out to the Academic Success staff in the DOS to schedule some academic coaching.
  • We’re all in this together. This means what becomes a glitch for you is likely a glitch for others. Reach out to others so that you can solve these problems.

You are at CMC because you belong at CMC—and CMC is more than the space it occupies in Claremont. CMC is you; CMC is all of us. Help one another. Be there for one another. And, remember, that we are here for you!

GETTING ORGANIZED

Your Space: What works for you?

  • Pick a space with a flat surface and a chair that allows you to sit up straight
  • Clear it of anything that is not relevant (placemats, coloring books, items from high school, etc.)
  • Choose a space that is the quietest or least used area in your environment
    • Consider facing a window or wall if that helps limit distractions
    • Talk to those in your household about your “work hours” and what level of noise you need to be successful
  • Set up your technology to ensure you have everything you need
    • Computer, printer, headphones, lamp, etc.
  • Ensure you have a stable internet connection
  • Gather your necessary supplies
    • Textbooks, novels, binders, folders, academic planner, scratch paper, pens, post-its, calculator, etc.
  • Pick a couple items that bring you joy
    • Picture of family/friends, diffuser, crystals, meaningful token, etc.
  • Put everything in a small box/bin if you need to move your workspace each day

Your courses: Many students have found it helpful to use a chart or other organizer to track changes and updates for their courses. You can try this one—or design your own.

SETTING THE MINDSET

Preparation and Expectations: Remember, your professors are the most valuable resources for your success. Make sure you are clear on their expectations before setting up a system to maintain motivation and accountability.

  • Treat your online course like an in-person course
    • Engage yourself in the material prior to the lecture/recording
    • Actively participate in discussions or forums
  • For a live class session, test your connection by joining the meeting 7-10 minutes prior
    • You can then mute the audio and disable the video
  • Take notes with pen and paper
    • This helps with staying focused and information retention
  • Take 5 minutes to write a summary of the lecture, highlighting 3-5 major takeaways
  • Make the most of your CMC network and ask for help!

Importance of Routines: Structured time works best. Work will become more manageable and less overwhelming when your mind is focused and attentive.

  • Plan out your week day-by-day
    • This includes times to be social with other CMCers online
    • Write a to-do list for each class/project
  • Set goals that are realistic and make sense with your workspace
    • Focus on one task at a time
    • Use distraction blockers that limit access to a website or app
    • Make time for regular breaks
  • Prioritize your work using a coded system
    • Red (immediate attention), yellow (on the radar), green (good shape)

Importance of Flexibility: Any new experience feels challenging at first. Everyone is adjusting, including your faculty members. Patience will be the key virtue during this time.

  • Expect a turnaround time of 24-48 hours for responses to your email(s)
  • Be prepared for possible delays in connectivity, communication, and the general pace of the semester
  • When things get overwhelming, don’t hesitate to email DOS

Well-Being Tips: Staying nourished—in all ways—should be a top priority!

  • Maintain a consistent and healthy sleeping schedule
    • Success Consultants would be more than happy to talk through a plan for you!
  • Listen to your body and give it what it needs (and more)
    • Drink a glass of water in between meals
    • Find ways to be engage and activate your body throughout the day
  • Take breaks away from the screen
    • Blue-light blocking glasses may help with eye strain, headaches, and getting to bed
  • Commit to a meditation practice—first thing in the morning or last thing at night
STAYING CONNECTED

The Basics:

  • Check your CMC email account twice every day
    • Don’t miss important information by skimming your inbox
    • In addition to those from your faculty, prioritize emails from CMC officials and departments (Registrar, DOS, Financial Aid, etc.)
  • Stay informed on local and global news
    • Be mindful of what and how much news you consume; set a specific time of day to check for updates
    • Many updates are shared during the lunch hour

Community Matters: Remember, we are in this together. One of the greatest opportunities during this time is finding new avenues for maintaining social connections. Here’s how we can start thinking about creating and maintaining our CMC community in a virtual world:

  • The relationships you made with faculty, staff, mentors, coaches, classmates aren’t “stuck” in Claremont
    • Check if anyone in your circle would be up for “Ath Tea” if you hit a slump
    • Create your own virtual Poppa/Reading Room—group exercise classes can happen virtually, too
    • Set up standing meetings to make sure each person has carved out time in their calendar
  • Share your ideas with others, and be inclusive. Our community will be as strong and connected as we make it. Reach out. Add to your groups.
  • Practice care for your fellow CMCers—how will you offer support and how will you feel better supported?
    • Make sure you have an open channel of communication with at least one other CMCer
    • This could even look like a “You’ve got this” or “How are you, for real?” daily text
  • We’ve designed a series of virtual gatherings to support your success—join us!
    • Monday Morning Meditations @ 8:15-8:45am PDT (starting March 30)
    • “Chill” Virtual Workshop Series @ 12:30-1:15pm PDT (starting April 6)
    • More information will be sent weekly by the Success Consultants
  • At CMC, social distancing only means physical distancing. What would you like to see us offer? Email deanofstudents@cmc.edu


Watch the March 13th Student livestream

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