WSU officials discussed the “No Record, COVID” grade option, arrival testing for students in the spring and vaccine distribution during a COVID-19 town hall on Wednesday.
The university adopted a new grade option for the 2020-21 academic year. Students who receive a C- or lower in a course can choose a “No Record, COVID” grade.
Although NRC grades do not give students credit for the class, it may be a good option for some students, said WSU Provost Elizabeth Chilton.
“NRC grade functions like extending the withdrawal deadline, except that it doesn’t leave this ‘W’ on your transcript notation,” she said.
Students taking courses in professional health science careers like medicine, pharmacy and veterinary medicine are excluded from the NRC grade option because of accreditation issues, Chilton said.
WSU is expecting a slight increase in students living on campus for the spring semester, said Phil Weiler, WSU vice president for marketing and communications.
Students living in residence halls during spring must be tested for COVID-19. Students who want access to on-campus services are expected to get tested as well, said Jill Creighton, WSU dean of students and associate vice president of student affairs.
Students will continue living with one person per dorm. After arriving on campus, freshmen will go to Beasley Coliseum to receive their CougarCard ID, a COVID-19 test and pick up their key, she said.
“All other students living in Whitman County, and especially in Pullman, are strongly encouraged to take that COVID-19 arrival test,” she said.
Arrival testing will occur from Jan. 4-22, excluding Jan. 13. Special off-campus testing for Fraternity & Sorority Life and College Hill students will take place Jan. 14-18 at Adams Mall, she said.
Creighton said it is important for students experiencing any flu-like symptoms to contact Cougar Health Services. Voluntary COVID-19 screening and wastewater testing will be ongoing throughout the semester.
WSU pharmacy students will help provide tests. They are trained to collect samples and administer the vaccine, said Colleen Kerr, vice president for external affairs and government relations.
“It’s a really exciting opportunity for our students to actually be supporting WSU, participating in the state response to the pandemic, and supporting all of our communities,” she said.
Weiler said WSU is hoping to assist the state in providing vaccines.