MALAYBALAY CITY (29 April 2020) Bukidnon State University has issued applicable academic guidelines in time for the COVID-19 crisis and officially ended second semester classes in the main and satellite campuses on April 30, 2020.
Dr. Oscar B. Cabańelez, BukSU president, issued Memorandum Order No. 57, series of 2020 on April 28 adjusting the university’s academic policies, guidelines and calendar for the second semester of 2019-2020 and Summer 2020 due to the continuing threats of the corona virus disease (COVID)-19.
Aside from its main campus here, the university runs 16 satellite campuses in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
Dr. Cabańelez took into account the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)- COVID Advisory No. 6 dated April 13, 2020 and the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) placing the Provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental under General Community Quarantine. The memorandum was also based on other information from various meetings and pronouncements.
The memo covered the adjustments in the academic calendar and policies on internships, grades, probation and retention, comprehensive examinations, thesis and dissertation writing for graduate and undergraduate students and degree completion.
According to the memo, for undergraduate and graduate students, classes for the Second Semester, AY 2019-2020, shall end on April 30, 2020.
“Students are advised to stay in their respective localities given the indefinite threat of COVID-19,” it added.
Summer classes may be conducted from June 8 to July 14, 2020 with the university eyeing to use alternative remote learning platforms in place of residential or in-campus learning to follow the principle of physical distancing.
But the university is limiting the offer of summer classes to graduating Bachelor’s degree candidates, undergraduate students whose summer load is part of the curriculum indicated in the CHED approved policies, standards and guidelines and post-graduate students. The enrollment for summer classes is scheduled on June 1-5, 2020.
The same is true for the elementary and Junior/Senior High School, classes were also formally closed on April 30, 2020. The learners are no longer required to go back to school.
For the College of Law, the second semester has already ended on April 4, 2020.
The university has also ordered its hundreds of student interns/on the job trainees not to return to their training institutions anymore. The total number of hours earned prior to the implementation of General Community Quarantine will be credited. The university ordered all Student Internship Program coordinators to engage the interns with alternative outcome-based activities relevant to their disciplines in order to compensate for the remainder of the required number of hours.
Programs with on-the-job training scheduled for Summer 2020 were advised to adopt a special schedule to be carefully arranged by respective college deans subject to approval by the concerned authorities.
Final Grade for Course Work
The university also issued grade policies for undergraduate and graduate students. The final grade of students will be based on the complied course requirements prior to the implementation of the General Community Quarantine on March 16, 2020 including the assessments being made out of the seven-week tasks in the alternative mode of academic activities during the suspension of classes from March 16 to April 30.
An “INC” or “Incomplete” mark may be given to students who may still lack the academic requirements or needed competencies as assessed by the concerned instructor/professor. The University provides a period of one year within which they complete their academic requirements.
The university also extended until the first semester of AY 2020-2021, the completion of INCs due this semester. The faculty were requested to make an effort to reach out to their students so they can comply with the requirements and get a passing grade in their subjects.
Due to the psychological effects brought by COVID-19 to students, the university advised faculty not to give failing mark, unless the student did not attend classes. In this case, the mark can either be “DRP (Dropped)” or “NIC (Not In Class)”.
For College of Law students, grades shall be based on the completed course work, which ended on April 4, 2020. For Elementary and Secondary School Laboratory, the students’ final grade shall be computed based on their average grades from the 1st to the 3rd Grading Period.
The university also set the deadline for faculty to submit grades for graduating students on May 8, 2020. For non-graduating students, grades should be submitted 10 working days after May 22, 2020.
Probation and retention policies
The university also automatically waived probation and retention requirements provided in the University Code and Manuals but only during the 2nd semester of AY 2019-2020.
Colleges offering graduate programs may conduct online comprehensive examinations. If there are only less than 10 takers, program coordinators may conduct it in-campus provided that physical distancing, at least two meters apart, and other precautionary measures are strictly observed. To avoid infection due to physical contact with exam papers, professors may give a time-bound exam via email.
Thesis, dissertation writing
Graduate students can proceed with the different stages of their thesis/dissertation writing with the college secretary or thesis adviser facilitating the schedule for presentation.
Stage 1 (Proposal Presentation) may be done in a virtual platform. Stage 2 (Manuscript Review) may be done via email. The thesis/dissertation manuscript shall be reviewed by the adviser and submitted to the thesis committee for review. Feedback shall be emailed to the adviser and the candidate for final manuscript revision. Stage 3 (Oral Defense) may be conducted online or in-campus provided physical distancing and other safety measures are also observed.
The candidate shall submit an electronic copy of the thesis/dissertation to the respective college deans and programs coordinators. The hard bound copies shall be required before the release of diploma and transcript of record (TOR).
For undergraduate students, oral defense may be done through online arrangement. In the event that holding of oral defense through online is not feasible, the student may have an in-campus defense provided physical distancing and other safety measures are observed.
Fourth year college students are eligible to graduate if they have complied with all the academic requirements. They also have to be endorsed by the chairpersons and the college deans and duly evaluated by the University Registrar. Finally, they must be recommended by the Academic Council and confirmed by the Board of Regents (BOR).
The university will be holding an online ceremony via live streaming media in place of in-person commencement exercises.
Moving up and Completion exercises of Grades 6, 10 and 12 will also be through a virtual program.
The university president noted that the Deans/Directors/Principals/Chairpersons/Program Coordinators may issue additional directives for the faculty and students consistent with the university’s policies, standards, guidelines and other relevant government policies.
The university has also issued another memorandum for the resumption of regular work on May 4, 2020 with applicable guidelines. (OP-Information and Publication Service)