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These questions and answers will be updated and expanded as needed.

Updated: May 20

Is the college open? When do I report for work?

Most employees are working remotely until further notice. Only essential employees are allowed on campus. There is no physical access to buildings unless you are designated by your supervisor as necessary to maintain critical operations.

When you are telecommuting, you are expected to be accessible, responsive and engaged by phone, email and/or chat, during your regularly scheduled office hours. You may work with your supervisor to determine alternate hours, if deemed necessary to accommodate special circumstances such as child care and home-schooling. You should be prepared to participate in conference or video calls, work on ad hoc projects and/or complete the normal duties of your position each day. Simply monitoring email is not considered fulfilling your position duties and responsibilities. Sick or annual leave should be taken in the same manner as would be done if working on campus.

The college is physically closed to students and all classes will be delivered remotely with the aid of technology. Student services will be provided to students electronically.

If you need to come to campus to maintain critical operations, you must advise your supervisor as to the date, time and building to which you require access. They will obtain the necessary approvals. 

Be sure to follow the college’s red flags policies to ensure the protection of confidential and sensitive information.

How will the college handle summer term?

All summer classes will be delivered online. Some exceptions have been identified and communicated to individual faculty.

How will the college handle fall term?

All fall classes with start dates prior to Oct. 26 will be delivered online. This decision will allow us to build a robust schedule of online classes, including courses that “meet” online at scheduled times, which will be stated in the course description, and classes that do not require consistent online “meetings” but require the same level of assignment deadlines and communications with instructors and potentially with classmates on team projects. More detailed descriptions will be provided in the course schedules and FAQs. 

What is social distancing and what do I need to do?

Social distancing is a term for measures that create distance between people in settings where they might otherwise come in close contact.  Gatherings (10 people or more) and non-essential meetings should be canceled.

Additional measures to create distance between people include:

  • Maintaining distance from others whenever possible
  • Working remotely, in alternative locations and alternating schedules
  • Stagger days and/or hours in which employees are physically in the office while maintaining any required counter service coverage. It is appropriate to bring in employees for portions of the day to maintain coverage or to pick-up and return work.

How is the college impacted by Gov. Hogan’s executive orders?  

At AACC, we have transitioned to online classes, remote student support services and telecommuting for all employees. Some employees come to campus periodically to perform essential and critical tasks.

If deemed essential and required to periodically come to campus, can I get a letter documenting those facts?

Yes, your supervisor will need to provide your name to Vice President Melissa Beardmore via email and a letter will be sent to you within 24 hours. The college has been advised by county and state police that they will not make traffic stops simply to ask drivers where they are going to determine if their travel is essential or not. The letter, signed by Melissa Beardmore, can be emailed or mailed to a home address. 

When will we be allowed to return to campus?

We are creating a cross-divisional Riverhawk Recovery Team to develop a detailed recovery plan. As you know, we have decided to continue to offer courses and services online through the summer and into the fall. However, Gov. Hogan has outlined a Roadmap to Recovery for Maryland that includes three distinct phases. The Riverhawk Recovery Team will map out detailed steps that match the state’s plan and will articulate how faculty and staff may return to offices, depending on timing and decisions by the state and county. This planning is underway and will be shared with the college community when ready.

What do I do about my annual leave that I couldn’t use due to COVID-19?

In consideration of the staff who may have been unable to use annual leave due to COVID-19, staff will have an additional year to use their annual leave before it moves over to carry over leave. On July 1, 2020, annual leave not used by June 30, 2020, will remain in the annual leave accrual and not placed in the carry over leave accrual. On July 1, 2021, any remaining annual leave will be moved into carryover leave. If the carryover leave has reached the maximum allowable carry over, the leave will be forfeited.

If you have any questions, send them to humanresources@aacc.edu. 

What happens to my leave that was carried over from FY20 if I leave the college?

Any leave that was carried over from FY20 due to COVID-19 will not be paid out upon separation of employment. On separation of employment, an employee shall be paid for accumulated unused earned annual leave for FY21 only or shall repay the college for any unearned annual leave which has been used unless there is sufficient carryover leave to offset the deficit.

For the leave payout calculation, any leave used during FY21 (July 2020-June 2021) will be deducted from current year accrual.


Health and Wellness

How can I best take care of myself and others?

It’s understandable that people are experiencing some stress right now. This is an unprecedented public health issue and the information surrounding it changes every day. Remember that people process stress differently and be kind to one another.

You can also:

  • Stay informed, but avoid excessive media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Take care of your body: meditate, exercise, eat healthy and get plenty of sleep.
  • Make time for activities you enjoy.
  • Share your concerns with a trusted family member or friend.
  • Remind yourself that this situation is not forever. We’ll get through this.

Learn about mental health and coping during COVID-19.

What resources are available to me via the Employee Assistance Program?

Visit bhsonline.com (login is AAC) for online resources related to COVID-19. These include resources for employees and supervisors, managing anxiety while working remotely, and working from home with kids. In addition, BHS is available 24/7 if you need to speak with someone. The number is 866-594-7292. BHS is available to all faculty, staff, temporary employees and adjunct employees. 

I am experiencing symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus. What should I do?

If you are sick, please stay home.

According to the CDC, seek medical advice if you develop symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) and

  • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19
  • Live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must contact the college’s executive director of Human Resources, Suzanne Boyer, at slboyer1@aacc.edu or 410-777-2045. She will determine what notifications, if any, need to be made to the college community.

The college will protect and keep private any personal information regarding your identity. Under federal law, your name, location, or any other identifying information cannot be disclosed.

According to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should:

    • Monitor yourself for fever, cough, shortness of breath or any other respiratory symptom for 14 days.
    • If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate and contact your primary care provider for evaluation.
    • If you become ill enough to seek medical care, you should put a mask on when you enter the office, tell the front desk you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have been exposed. 
    • If you have to call 911 you need to tell the 911 operator that you were exposed. 

Please notify the college if you are going to be tested. Contact Suzanne Boyer, at slboyer1@aacc.edu or 410-777-2045

For information visit Anne Arundel County Department of Health’s website

I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?

Take care of yourself!

If you are able, you must contact the college’s executive director of Human Resources, Suzanne Boyer, at slboyer1@aacc.edu or at 410-777-2045. She will determine what notifications need to be made to the college community, if any.

The college will protect and keep private any personal information regarding your identity. Under federal law, your name or any other identifying information cannot be disclosed.

Generally, the health department in your county of residence will handle any contact study if you test positive for COVID-19. Following are the general procedures the Anne Arundel County Health Department follows:

  • They will contact you, ask about the people you have contacted and ask for your permission to contact those people.
  • If you approve, they will notify AACC of your positive test and ask the college for names of people you may have contacted.
  • If you do not approve (and that is your right under federal privacy laws), they will contact the college, providing no personal information other than the date of the exposure and the building/location.
  • The health department will follow up with all contacts and determine their risk level to advise of any necessary follow up.

What if I’m sick or quarantined, but have used all my leave?

There are two options for leave if you are sick or quarantined due to COVID-19:

  1. You may use safe and sick leave to care for yourself or a family member. Annual leave may be used if safe and sick leave is exhausted. All employees must stay home if they are not feeling well. The requirement for a doctor’s note after three days of absence will be relaxed.

    The college will advance safe and sick leave, if no accrued leave is available, capped at 14 days (two-week time period)* for employees who are:

    ● Sick with COVID-19 (documentation required)

    ● Under quarantine for COVID-19, including those impacted by an individual living in the immediate household under quarantine (documentation required)

    ● Unable to work during a timeframe when the college is operating remotely (their job duties cannot be done remotely)

  2. You may use Emergency Sick Leave or expanded FMLA leave for up to two weeks.

    ● Two weeks of paid leave if the employee is unable to work due to quarantine or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. 

    ● Two weeks of paid sick leave at 66.67% pay if the employee is unable to work because of needing to care for a family member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19

Questions? Contact Human Resources at humanresources@aacc.edu.

*Advanced hours will be capped for each temporary employee at their average hours worked over 14 days.  Each temp's average hours worked over 14 days will be precalculated based on the previous four weeks worked.

What if a person living in the same household is on self-quarantine? Do I have to stay home as well?

Yes, you must stay home. You may use safe/sick leave or telecommute with your supervisor’s approval. Refer to the safe and sick leave policy to determine if the member of the household qualifies you for sick leave usage. 

You may also access Emergency Paid Sick Leave for up to two weeks.

The college will advance safe/sick leave, if no accrued leave is available, capped at 14 days (two-week time period)* for employees who are impacted by an individual living in the immediate household under quarantine (documentation required). You are also eligible for the expanded FMLA at 66.67% of the regular rate of pay for up to two weeks.

Questions? Contact Human Resources at humanresources@aacc.edu

*Advanced hours will be capped for each temporary employee at their average hours worked over 14 days. Each temp's average hours worked over 14 days will be precalculated based on the previous four weeks worked.

What if I don't have health insurance to help me during this time?

For temporary employees and adjunct faculty who are not eligible for health insurance through the college, the Maryland Health Connection has opened a special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders to obtain health insurance. The special enrollment period is from March 16–June 15.

Visit the Maryland Health Connection for information.

 

Is anything being done to clean and/or disinfect our facilities?

Facilities has increased cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and restrooms. The custodial staff is responsible for disinfecting all hard surfaces in common areas including door levers, work surfaces, hard seating, hallways, classrooms, restrooms, etc. Most of this cleaning happens every evening, Monday–Friday.

Keyboards, mice, PCs, peripherals, etc. in common areas are disinfected several times per week.

Hand washing instruction signs have been placed in all bathrooms on the front doors and inside the restrooms on the mirrors. 

Employees should remember they are responsible for everything within their personal spaces.  Everyone is encouraged to wipe down their hard surfaces with a disinfectant. Building coordinators will be provided with spray bottles of disinfectant and microfiber rags. If you need to know the name of your building coordinator, please contact Arlene Crow, emergency manager, at acrow@aacc.edu

What do I do if I witness harassment based on suspected COVID-19 exposure?

While limiting the spread of the virus is important, we also must avoid the stigma that sometimes accompanies such illnesses. Don’t make assumptions about individuals you believe may have come into contact with COVID-19. In some cases, public reactions to the virus have been sensationalized. Individuals at some higher education institutions have reported encountering related discrimination and harassment. This will not be tolerated at AACC. 

Learn about stigma and resilience related to COVID-19.

Report a bias incident.

Email the Federal Compliance Officer at complianceofficer@aacc.edu.

EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

This act is a federal law passed on March 17, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law is effective April 2-Dec. 31, 2020. Up to two weeks at 100% pay for employees who must quarantine or who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or 66.67% pay for employees who must quarantine or care for a family member due to COVID-19 are eligible.   

To whom does this new law apply?

The new law applies to all employees of AACC who have been employed for 30 days or longer. It includes faculty, staff, contract with benefits, adjuncts and temporary employees. Those employees who have been employed for 30 days or longer are eligible for the emergency family medical leave act.

How do I use this leave?

In order to access this leave, submit a request through TimeClock Plus with your supervisor and Human Resources approval.

How do I document the need for this leave?

We are waiting for further guidance from the federal government, but the college will likely request employees who take this leave to provide appropriate documentation.

Where can I learn more?

Information is posted on the Human Resources intranet or email humanresources@aacc.edu

You may also visit “COVID-19 and the American Workplace” on the Department of Labor website.

Temporary Employees

I am a teleworking temporary employee who is sick with COVID-19. What leave applies to me?

You may use any remaining safe and sick leave during this time. Your available balance has been updated with the hours provided by the college and the hours available to you via Emergency Sick Leave which will be noted separately. You must enter a leave request into TimeClock Plus as you would normally do, and your supervisor and HR must approve. Once the leave is exhausted, you will be in unpaid leave status for the remainder of the directed quarantine. If you are still quarantined but able to work, you are permitted to do so and will not need to take leave.

I am a teleworking temporary employee who got sick with an illness other than COVID-19 on March 30. How am I paid?

You will be required to take safe and sick leave beginning March 31. You cannot use the emergency paid sick leave because you do not have COVID-19.

If I am a temporary employee, what leave options will I see in Time Clock Plus?

You will see three leave categories in TimeClock Plus:

  • “Safe and sick leave – temporary employees” which includes the safe and sick leave you accrue while working
  • “Safe and sick leave – pandemic EPSL self” – 100% paid emergency paid sick leave
  • “Safe and sick leave – pandemic EPSL caregiver” – 66.67% emergency paid sick leave.

I’m a temporary employee and can’t work because my children are home from school. Can I still get paid?

Yes, you can still get paid using Emergency Paid Sick Leave and taking the extended FMLA leave as long as you have worked for the college for 30 or more days. You can receive a maximum of $200 per day, up to $12,000 for up to 12 weeks. You must request this leave in TimeClock Plus and it will be approved by the supervisor and human resources.

Regular Faculty and Staff

I am a telecommuting staff member and can’t work because I am caring for a family member with COVID-19. How will I be paid?

Beginning March 30 and until April 2, you must take sick leave, annual leave and/or comp time if you are unable to work while you are caring for a family member. Beginning April 2, you may use Emergency Paid Sick Leave, where you will be paid 2/3 of your regular pay subject to a cap of $200 per day and $12,000 in total. All leave must be recorded in Time Clock Plus.

I became sick, with something other than the COVID-19, and cannot return to work until April 6. How do I record my leave?

For March 23–27, you are not required to take any leave. This is part of the extended spring break the college provided and you will be paid your regular salary. 

Beginning March 30, you will need to request sick leave in TimeClock Plus. If you are still ill and do not have any available sick leave, you may use annual leave. You are not eligible to use the 80 hours of available Emergency Paid Sick Leave because it is not directly related to COVID-19.

I’m regular staff/faculty member and can’t work because my children are home from school. Can I still get paid?

Yes, you can still get paid using your annual leave while there is no school for your child. You are also eligible for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and taking the extended FMLA leave as long as you have worked for the college for 30 or more days. This additional leave is subject to a maximum of $200 per day, up to $12,000 for up to 12 weeks.


Working Remotely

What are staff expected to do when they report remotely?

Staff should plan to telecommute and faculty to teach online and not come to the college unless a physical presence is required to maintain critical operations.

If you need to come to campus to maintain critical operations, you must notify your supervisor of the requested date, time and building to which you are requesting access. They will obtain the necessary approvals. This approval must be obtained before entering college grounds.

When you are telecommuting, you are expected to be accessible, responsive, reliable and engaged by phone, email and/or chat, during your regularly scheduled office hours. You may work with your supervisor to determine alternate hours, if deemed necessary to accommodate special circumstances such as child care and home-schooling. You should be prepared to participate in conference or video calls, work on ad hoc projects and/or complete the normal duties of your position each day. Simply monitoring email is not considered fulfilling your position duties and responsibilities. Sick or annual leave should be taken in the same manner as would be done if working on campus.

Employees who have questions should contact their supervisor.

Will the college be recruiting at this time?

All noncritical recruitments have been suspended indefinitely. Human Resources will be in touch with hiring managers regarding their recruitment. For information on the status of a recruitment in your department, email HR at humanresources@aacc.edu. 

What if I need office supplies to telecommute?

Departments should be transitioning to a digital environment to reduce the need for these supplies as much as possible. Printers, toner and paper are not considered critical supplies. Critical office supplies should be requested and approved by your supervisor prior to purchase and shipment directly to your home.

Where possible departments should assign a central buyer within the department that has a college pro-card to purchase all necessary supplies and materials from the College’s Amazon Business account or other online suppliers. Questions contact Jaclyn Gibbons at jjgibbons1@aacc.edu

When should I modify my voicemail and email auto reply to a standard message?

Suggested Messages

Voice Mail 
This is NAME with DEPARTMENT at Anne Arundel Community College. To reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all college employees are currently telecommuting. Please leave me a voice mail message and I will return your message as soon as possible.

Email
Update auto reply when not actively monitoring emails. Suggested out of office email (revised March 27):

In response to COVID-19, I will be working remotely as all AACC classes and students services will be delivered entirely online.

For the most up-to-date information on the constantly evolving COVID-19 AACC response, visit http://aacc.edu/virusinfo.  

Registration for summer classes continues online and fall registration will begin June 1. Please visit https://www.aacc.edu/apply-and-register/.  

I will return your email as soon as possible.

Thank you, stay safe and be well.

How will I get my mail?

Only offices that are performing essential functions should pick up mail at this time (e.g., student registrations, important student correspondence, compliance-related mail). If your office’s mail tends to consist of junk mail, magazines, journals and newspapers, please do not ask employees to come to campus to pick up mail and distribute it. We will store your mail on campus indefinitely. Document Services is recycling any junk mail and will hold all other mail (periodicals, journals, newspapers, etc).

The college will not deliver mail to offices. Supervisors have been instructed to determine the schedule for picking up and dropping off your mail in the Central Services Building (Copy Center entrance). Mailroom staff will be available to receive and sort mail and to facilitate drop off and pick up of mail by designated college staff Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Central Services Building. Special arrangements will be coordinated with the Business Office and Information Services for essential large batch outgoing mailings (student billings and statements, vendor checks, and payroll checks, etc.). 

General Process

Mailroom staff will receive mail delivery from the post office daily and have mail sorted by 10 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (MWF). On MWF the mailroom will be available for designated college staff to receive and drop off their mail while practicing appropriate social distancing procedures.  

On special coordinated large batch mailings (student billings and disbursement checks), mailings will be dropped off with the mailroom for application of postage, as necessary, and distribution to the post office by the designated mailroom employee at a coordinated time.      

Departments should designate a single individual and backup responsible for the pickup and electronic distribution of mail for their offices. The designated individual contact information should be sent by the department head to Kevin Miller at kbmiller3@aacc.edu.  

The designated individual will be permitted to pick up mail from the Central Services Building (CSB) Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Process for Pickup and Drop Off

In keeping with social distancing practices, individuals picking up mail should park in the front parking lot of CSB (Copy Center entrance), open their vehicle trunk and call 410-777-2404 to notify mailroom staff that they have arrived and are requesting mail pickup and drop off as necessary. Mailroom staff will verify the individual in their vehicle (from an appropriate distance of at least 6 feet) and deliver the mail to the trunk of the employee’s vehicle.  

The designated employee will then take the mail and distribute it electronically to the intended departmental recipients using email (for nonsensitive information) or other departmentally agreed upon procedures (e.g. scan and save to designated OneDrive folder). Mailroom staff will make a note of the time and date of delivery on a master schedule that will track the individuals receiving mail on behalf of each department.  

Any outgoing mail should be left in the vehicle trunk for pickup by the mailroom staff during the drop off process.  

How will I receive orders that I am placing with vendors?

Document Services is currently receiving regular deliveries from UPS and FedEx on weekday mornings. Personnel will also be available to receive deliveries from other vendors arriving at the Central Receiving loading dock on weekday mornings. Coverage on weekday afternoons will be available on a more limited basis. To ensure that your delivery is received, please notify Kevin Miller at kbmiller3@aacc.edu and include tracking information so we can plan accordingly. Since there is no physical access to buildings after April 1, the process for picking up your package(s) should follow the current mail pickup and drop off process (see How will I get my mail FAQ) at the Central Services Building. You will need to make alternate arrangements with Kevin Miller at kbmiller3@aacc.edu to have it delivered to a specific campus location (this will require input from Public Safety and Facilities Maintenance).

I am a temporary employee. What do I need to do?

Temporary employees should report as directed by your supervisor.

If the work you perform is no longer necessary, you will be paid the remaining balance of the two-week equivalent advanced by the college for the week of March 30.

Temporary employees will be paid using safe and sick leave until the balance of that leave is exhausted. Safe and sick leave will be advanced if accrued leave is insufficient. Advance of safe and sick leave will be capped at 14 days (two-week time period). For the week of March 23, temporary employees will be paid a one-week equivalent to their average weekly hours worked over the past four weeks. If the temporary employee works during this time period, they will be paid. Van drivers are considered contracted employees and do not count as temporary employees for this purpose due to their inconsistent scheduling.

The Business office will calculate average weekly wages for the week of March 23 and March 30. If there are hours in TCP (Time Clock Plus), we will assume these reflect the actual hours worked and should not be adjusted. Supervisors, it is critical that you review and approve any actual hours worked over this time period to ensure the temporary employee is paid properly.

Temporary employees may use any additional safe and sick leave accumulated after the week of March 30 up to their standard weekly schedule until all leave is exhausted.

What does this mean for my paycheck?

With the transition to telecommuting for all faculty and staff, regular employees will be paid their regular pay.  Temporary employees will be paid for hours worked.

Essential employees are reminded that they are to be on campus despite any possible closures. Consult your supervisor for more information regarding your work schedule.

The college will pay regular faculty and staff their normal salary and contracts during a scenario where the college is operating remotely. Annual and sick leave should be requested as if the employee were on campus working. Contracts issued for classes that are canceled due to low enrollment or are incompatible for online delivery will be canceled following standard college processes and will not be paid.

Questions? Contact Human Resources at humanresources@aacc.edu

How is leave being handled during the period of college closure and telecommuting?

Any leave submitted and approved for employees during the week of March 23-27 has been automatically deleted and employees will not be charged any leave for this week in the system.

Beginning March 28, leave should be requested and approved using existing systems and processes. If you will not report to your standard shift/schedule, when a physical presence is required to maintain critical operations, or if you will not be accessible, responsive, reliable and engaged by phone, email and/or chat during your regularly scheduled office hours, you should request leave.

 

Will I receive a performance evaluation this year?

With the goal of focusing on the student experience, the college is deferring the staff performance evaluation process until further notice.  However, please know you have the option to write employee evaluations if during this period of remote work, you have some uninterrupted work time. 

The following are some suggestions for proactive performance management practices during this deferral period: 

  1. Begin drafting the evaluation document in Performance Pro.
  2. Utilize the “Form/Notes” feature in Performance Pro to document any discussions you have had with employees in the past.
  3. If you are a new evaluator, please sign up for the new evaluator training. Please email John Englehart at jsenglehart@aacc.edu for more detailed information. Additional trainings will be offered via Zoom for those of you able to take advantage of this time to work on evaluations. 

Any conversations with employees about an evaluation should not occur until the period of telecommuting ends.  This postponement will not impact the distribution of pay increases in FY 2021. Please visit the HR Intranet page for more detailed Performance Pro information. 

Questions? Contact John Engelhart, jsenglehart@aacc.edu or Lisa Sanford, lasanford2@aacc.edu.

 

How do I telecommute?

Employees working remotely must have access to appropriate technology and information to perform their job. Meetings can be held via Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business or Zoom.

There is no need to use the telecommuting request form at this time.

Guidelines for using technology off campus are available on the intranet from Information Systems.

What resources are available to work remotely?


Meetings, Interviews and Conferences

Can I still schedule meetings, interviews and events?

There is no physical access to college buildings, so currently all external events, meetings and interviews are cancelled. This applies to the Arnold campus, AACC at Arundel Mills, Glen Burnie Town Center, Center for Cyber and Professional Training and the Sales & Service Training Center.

All non-critical recruitments have been suspended indefinitely. Human Resources will be in touch with hiring managers regarding their recruitment. For information on the status of a recruitment in your department, you can email HR at humanresources@aacc.edu

Should I attend my previously scheduled conference?

The college has suspended all AACC-related out-of-state or international travel. If your conference is within the next two months, you’ll need to cancel. Call your hotel, airline and conference organizers as soon as possible. The earlier you call, the more likely you’ll receive a refund.

If you cannot get a refund, attach appropriate documentation for your nonrefundable charge (receipt and any applicable correspondence with the vendor requesting cancellation and reimbursement) to your reimbursement request and follow the standard college procedures for requesting travel reimbursement and/or reconciling your procurement card statement. Should you have specific questions, contact Jaclyn Gibbons at ext. 2304 or jjgibbons1@aacc.edu

Can I attend a conference scheduled for this summer or fall?

We don’t know what the future might hold, so we encourage you to follow these suggestions:

  • Consider attending local conferences only, rather than nonlocal conferences requiring air travel.
  • Wait as long as possible before booking. It is more cost-effective to pay full price rather than an early registration/reservation special in the event the event gets canceled.
  • Book refundable flights or book with airlines that will offer full-cancellation refunds. Such airlines include: American Airlines, JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Southwest (Business Select tickets).
  • Book directly with the hotel/airline rather than through a third-party vendor, such as Expedia or Hotels.com, as the direct vendors have more favorable refund/cancelation policies.

Learning

Where can I find information specifically for the Division of Learning?

There is COVID-19 page off of the Division of Learning intranet page for resources related to this crisis. Communications, policies, guidelines developed through shared governance and more will be archived there.

How will students get books for classes beginning April 6?

The bookstore will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future. Instead, books and other supplies must be purchased online and will be mailed directly to students free of charge.

Deans have asked instructional coordinators to gather the roster of classes beginning April 6 and contact students directly about the textbooks required and the process for ordering. 

Now is a great time to use as many open access resources as possible.

When should I communicate with my students?

  • If you are teaching courses that have already begun, please communicate with your students by March 28. In your communication, please:
  • Beginning March 28 and moving forward, please do your best to return any emails from students within 24 hours.
  • For faculty and instructional staff who are teaching courses that have not yet begun, please reach out to students as early as possible.

Has there been any additional guidance regarding the use of Incompletes?

The Academic Standards Committee created guidance on a broader use of Incompletes, endorsed by Dr. Gavin as well as TFO, LLC and Academic Forum leadership. The full statement is available on the Division of Learning intranet page. A paragraph from that statement is below:

the Committee on Academic Standards encourages faculty, in discussion with their school and department, to expand the definition of the Incomplete to students who would benefit from resubmission of substantial projects with revision or would benefit from retesting for the Spring semester 2020. We encourage faculty to consider the extraordinary circumstances in which we now found ourselves and the undue burden it has placed on both students and faculty to meet the Learning Objectives of our courses at the college. Faculty are encouraged to examine how students can demonstrate their mastery of the Learning Objectives of the course. In appropriate situations, faculty should consider assigning the grade of Incomplete.

If I give my student an Incomplete, how will they access course materials once the term ends on May 22?

When you submit a grade of Incomplete (“I”) in the final grade column in MyAACC, the “I” grade allows the student to maintain access to the course. To issue a student a temporary grade of Incomplete “I”, enter the “I” grade in the grade column and communicate your deadline to the student. The Records and Registration office does not need to be notified of the deadline you established with the student for the completion of the course assignments.

When you are ready to do so, change the “I” grade through MyAACC. Use the same steps to enter final grades in MyAACC, place your cursor on the “I” in the Final Grade field, type the grade over the “I” and click “Submit”. A grade change form is not necessary to change the “I” grade to a letter grade as it can be completed through MyAACC. Incomplete grades must be updated by Oct. 10, 2020. Any “I” grade that is not changed to a letter grade by Oct. 10 will be replaced by an “F” grade on Oct. 11, 2020.

What guidance is there regarding withdrawals?

The College has adopted a later deadline for students to withdraw. With these later withdraw dates, please encourage your students to stick with classes, especially those classes that had to shift modality mid-semester and the possibility for Incompletes. Incompletes may be finished by mid-September, so face-to-face interaction will be potentially possible by that date.

Note: The last day to withdraw from a spring class is provided in MyAACC under My Course Schedule and on the faculty’s attendance record for each class. 

  • The withdrawal date for 15-week classes is May 1.
  • The withdrawal date for 13-week classes is May 5.
  • The withdrawal date for 8-week classes is May 8.

If student services, including testing, are remote, how will tests be proctored?

A March 24 directive from the Maryland Commission on Higher Education stated that “any non-essential face-to-face interaction with students and the public should cease” (letter is posted on Learning Intranet COVID site). Hence, in your planning, please understand that AACC will not be offering in-person proctoring of tests in spring 2020. For many disciplines, this is a hardship.  

Anticipating that AACC may not be able to offer face-to-face online proctoring, and the hardship it may cause in disciplines that rely on proctored testing, the Online Policies and Practices and E-Learner Success Committees, as well as TFO and Academic Council Leadership rose to action. Together, administration and faculty on these governance committees have worked to develop solutions that honor MHEC’s mandate. 

That guidance may be found on the Division of Learning intranet page.

 

How do these changes to the term affect the final exam schedule?

If you had face-to-face classes, you do not need to adhere to the final exam schedule published. Your exams may be asynchronous if you wish.

Grades for courses are still due 48 hours after the exam is given.

Will students be allowed to choose a pass-fail option for the spring term?

A motion was passed by the Academic Forum on April 4 to allow for a pass-fail option for students in the Spring 2020 semester only.  Students will be able to choose, at the end of this semester, a pass-fail rather than a letter grade in consultation with a faculty member, chair, director, Assistant Dean or advisor. The Committee on Academic Standards will have the form available on May 4 through Canvas that will include a list of circumstances in which students should not take their courses Pass/Fail. The grading scheme would be as follows:

  • The default will be a letter grade.
  • Pass is considered to be a C grade or higher (per college policy) and successful completion of the course for federal financial aid purposes.
  • Students may elect to have a pass-fail entered at the end of the term.
  • We are encouraging liberal use of the incomplete, with more direction coming from your department during this term (incompletes do not affect financial aid status).

Note: Faculty will not be recording grades as pass-fail. This will be done via the grade change form. Once in order, the registrar will make the change from letter grade to pass-fail. Pass-fail is considered in the maximum number of credits for which a student may receive federal aid. There are considerations for those students who receive scholarships, or use employer-provided tuition assistance, VA benefits or receive tuition assistance through GoArmyEd. The college is prepared to make sure our students make an informed decision when requesting a grade change to pass-fail.

How will students choose the pass-fail option?

The pass-fail request form will be available for students on Monday, May 4. Students can find the form in the left-hand navigation bar on Canvas. Students can click on the link and will be taken to the instructions for filling out the form. Before submitting, the student will be required to respond to statements on the form. 

Once submitted, the form will be sent to the Committee on Academic Standards for review. If the student has indicated that they are not clear on how the change to a pass-fail will impact their academic record, Records and Registration will connect with the student.  

Once the student’s request is reviewed and determined to be complete, the student’s traditional grade issued by the instructor will be changed to a pass-fail grade. If a student requests a grade change before their traditional grade is submitted by their instructor, the form will be returned to them and they may experience a delay in receiving a final grade. 

Every effort should be made to encourage students to review the traditional grade issued by the instructor before submitting a request to change to a pass-fail grade. 

How should attendance tracking be done this term now that all classes are being taught online?

Faculty need to only enter attendance once a week and ignore any other dates for that week.

What information can students access remotely from the library?

Library staff developed a guide for students focusing on online services and resources. This guide will be updated as needed. The orange banner at the top of the page appears on all of the other guide pages.  

There is also a link within Canvas for students generally to reach the library. In those classes with an embedded librarian, there are links to online resources, videos, and other resources to help specifically with that course content. The faculty member teaching the class makes the decision to have a librarian within the online course. 

Students with AACC ID cards should already be using the 13-digit barcode that appears on their card.

For those without an AACC ID card, students can complete a registration form. When this form is received by the library (it comes via email to the circulation desk account), a library card is issued and library staff emails the card number to the student. This applies during normal library open hours. During the time that the college is closed to in-person service, the hours are Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.  The library staff will also monitor for card requests periodically on weekends.

A student who is logged into Canvas can access most library databases from within Canvas. Staff have been able to set this up with some database vendors, but not all. We will periodically check back in with vendors to see if this status has changed.

What video conferencing technology does the college encourage faculty to use?

We are encouraging all faculty to use Microsoft Teams for video conferencing within classes. It was made available and integrated into Canvas on March 27.  Having one conferencing tool for students in this time reduces the number of new things that students must learn. Teams is a reliable and stable product. Video conferences may be recorded and automatically transcribed. The transcription is then searchable by students. You will be able to access additional how to videos in the Faculty Resource Community in the coming days.

What do I do if I am missing the most recent attendance reporting dates for my online class?

Since the original 15-week spring term has ended, attendance is not required for the remainder of the extended spring term.

Remote Contacts

Find the contact you need below or download and print this list.

Enrollment Services

AACC Bookstore
websales@aacc.edu 

Admissions
admissions@aacc.edu 

Cashier
cashiersoffice@aacc.edu 

Financial Aid
finaid@aacc.edu 

General Information 

Records and Registration
records@aacc.edu 

Testing Center
testing-arnold@aacc.edu 

Academic and Instructional Support

Advising, Academic and Transfer Advising
advising@aacc.edu 

Continuing Education
iscenter@aacc.edu 

English Language Learning
esloffice@aacc.edu 

Supplemental Instruction
jlbarata@aacc.edu 

Technology Learning Center
tlcta@aacc.edu 

Tutoring Office
tutoring@aacc.edu 

Virtual Campus (distance learning) programs
virtualcampus@aacc.edu 

Writing Centers
jgrabin@aacc.edu 

Student Support

Athletics
athletics@aacc.edu 

Career and Employment Services

Child Development Center
lvcurtis@aacc.edu 

Community Standards
ocs@aacc.edu 

Counseling (personal)
dmhallila@aacc.edu 

Disability Support Services
dss@aacc.edu 

Emergency Student Support Services
studenthelplink@aacc.edu 

Health & Wellness Center
bamays@aacc.edu 

Library Services
truxal@aacc.libanswers.com 

  • Loaner devices (laptops, scientific calculators)
    circdesk@aacc.edu

Military/Veteran Student Support
veterans@aacc.edu 

New Student Transitions
orientation@aacc.edu 

Public Safety and Police
securityofficer@aacc.edu 

Student Achievement and Success Program
SASP@aacc.edu 

Student Engagement
studentengagement@aacc.edu 

Technical Call Center
helpdesk@aacc.edu