1. As we approach the end of the semester, we would like to inform everyone of how we will close the current school year and conduct the next one. We would like to reiterate that our first priority is the safety and well-being of the whole university community: students and their families, faculty, and staff. Second is to enable students to graduate on time and begin their professional careers. And third is to let the others continue their education and avoid delays whenever possible while living with the limitations that an extended or modified quarantine imposes. We are aware that until a definite cure and vaccine are in place, our lives will not be as in the past. We wish things could be better and normal once again but we just have to make the most of what is in front of us.

2. Duration of the current semester

We have announced earlier that “while the semester will end on May 23, the faculty will not give new lessons and requirements after May 9 (this may, of course, be ended earlier if the faculty think that there has been sufficient learning and enough basis for grades). The remaining two weeks up to May 23 will be a time for students to catch up and submit the course requirements. Final grades will be due on June 1.”

3. Grades for current semester

After careful deliberation and cognizant of the sentiments of both faculty and students, we have decided on the following in order to uphold academic standards, recognize individual effort, and give as much leeway as possible due to the special circumstances.

a. The usual numerical grades will be given to those who complete the requirements satisfactorily. No failing marks will be given (i.e., 3.5 or 3.0 for graduate level).
Note that teachers may opt to hold removal exams or accept other requirements prior to June 1 to be able to give numerical grades.

b. “In Progress” or “IPR” grades will be given to those who are failing or unable to complete the requirements.

1) Students will be given removal examinations or a chance to submit requirements between June 2, 2020 and May 31, 2021. A numerical grade will be given if the requirements are fulfilled satisfactorily. Otherwise, WP (Withdrawn with Permission) will be given which will appear as such in the Transcript of Records, and the subject will have to be re-enrolled.

2) The set of requirements to be complied with will be given by the faculty to the students and the Program Director or Department Chair when issuing IPR grades.

3) Students may sit in the courses where they have IPR grades if they are offered in the next SY, subject to the availability of slots, the agreement of the professor, and clearance from the Registrar’s Office.

4) Subjects with uncleared IPR grades will be treated as soft prerequisites. That is, succeeding subjects can be taken while the IPR grades remain.

c. GWA and WA computations for this semester and SY will not be made for the purposes of retention in the university, deans’ and president’s lists. There will be no grade requirement to retain scholarships, and the service hours required of FA scholars will be waived for SY 2019-2020.

d. The grades for this semester will not be included in subsequent GWA computations unless requested otherwise by the student, in which case, it will apply to all subjects taken during the semester. For the reckoning of Latin honors the same policy applies; moreover, WP grades will not count and minimum load requirements will not be required.

e. Standalone graduate programs. The foregoing in general do not apply to the standalone graduate programs (e.g., JD, MABA, SBEP, ABEP, PhD BE, MAE, MSHCOD, MIT) which have proceeded following their own calendar and arrangements. To know the exceptions you may contact your Program Director.

f. Junior College. Item 3.b. does not apply to the Junior College since it is technically a senior high school that should follow the guidelines of the Department of Education. Subjects are offered annually, and completion of the entire year level is required before progressing to the next. The rules on remediation will apply. Remediation sessions will be conducted online during the midyear term.

4. The Midyear Term

a. Only courses needed for students to graduate on time will be offered. A
blended learning approach will be followed. Blended learning encompasses distance learning and may or may not include onsite sessions. Onsite sessions will be held only if permitted by circumstances. Rest assured that the University will not compromise the safety and well-being of any student, faculty, and staff. In this matter, we will go beyond what the authorities may require.

b. Academic calendar

1) Main dates:
June 08, 2020 (M) Start of Midyear Term
July 15, 2020 (W) Last day of lessons
July 16-18, 2020 (Th-S) Final Examinations/Completion of Requirements
July 23, 2020 (Th) Submission of Final Grades

2) The deadline for the submission of bound theses (for programs requiring it) by graduating students is moved to August 31, 2020 without prejudice to their official graduation date. Those who fail to meet the deadline will receive an IPR mark and will have one year to complete without having to re-enroll.

c. Internships, and similar requirements. Alternatives that comply with the requirements will be devised in accordance with the guidelines issued by CHED.* Students are to work closely with program directors or faculty in charge of internships about the requirements.

*CHED COVID Advisory No. 6

5. Graduation

a. There will be no formal graduation ceremonies in August
2020. The graduating batch of
2020 may instead join the ceremonies in August 2021.

b. However, those who have completed all requirements will be declared graduates on August 15,
2020. Official documents, e.g., diploma, transcript of records, will subsequently be issued.

6. 1st Semester 2020-21

School Year 2020-2021 will begin on August 05, 2020 (Wed) and will follow the blended learning approach as in the midyear. Adjustments in the schedule and modes of admission, enrollment, and orientation will be announced in due time.

7. Teacher training and capacity building for blended learning

The University is making the necessary preparations to be able to achieve the desired outcomes through a blended learning approach.

a. We will have to maximize the online platforms we already have, e.g., Canvas LMS, Library system, and augment them to be more useful. All courses will use Canvas and more library resources will be made available online.

b. We are reinforcing our Academic Technologies Section (ATS) and crafting a training program to enable faculty to deliver their courses in blended learning mode. All faculty members (Full-time and Part-time) will be required to undergo training and be properly certified during the midyear, prior to teaching in the next SY. The midyear will also be used to redevelop teaching materials and activities for the first semester of SY2020-21. A similar program will be given to those handling courses in the midyear. With the collaboration of faculty and students, the content and delivery of the courses should improve over time.

c. The ATS has initiated forums for faculty and students to gather experience, best practices, and other suggestions so that problems may be addressed and the learning experience improved. We encourage everyone to participate. Details will be announced to the University Community.

d. We are working with each School to ensure that the faculty have the needed equipment and internet access.

e. We are likewise working with partners and benefactors to assist students in need to have the minimum equipment and internet access required for learning to be feasible. We are aware that we will have to contend with the limitations imposed by our country’s digital infrastructure. Students will likewise undergo orientation to prepare them to adapt to these modes of learning.

f. Similar preparations are being done so that the various units, personnel, and other systems will be able to support this modified mode of delivering education.