For more information about Bethany College's end of the semester academic plan impacted by COVID-19, click here.

Bethany College Response to COVID-19

In response to the global spread of COVID-19, Bethany College will extend its spring break through March 20 and resume March 23 with online classes until further notice.

“The health and safety of the Bethany community has and always will be our highest priority, and it is that commitment that guides us now as we prepare to take some significant steps to safeguard all those in our care to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the nation,” Bethany President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg said.

The college will remain open to essential operations, but students are advised not to return to campus if at all possible until further notice. In addition, on-campus events, athletics, and college air travel are suspended until further notice.

The Bethany College Cabinet is reviewing all recommendations from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is conferring with leaders at peer institutions.

“For all of us, this is brand new territory, and we will need to work together as we travel down this unexpected, yet necessary, path that places the well-being of all those in our Bethany family at the forefront,” Rodenberg said. “Bethany College is a resilient community that cares for each and every student, faculty and staff member.”

Cabinet will continue to meet regularly and evaluate new developments regarding COVID-19. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

COVID-19 FAQ

1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 7

Attention Bethany Students:

We continue to follow updated information from President Trump, CDC Briefings, and WV State and local officials. All recommendations strongly recommend everyone stay at home. Beginning tomorrow, we are suspending all on campus move out procedures in support of and compliance with “STAY AT HOME” directives from the US Government, West Virginia Governor, and other state agencies. This will stay in effect until further notice.

We will continue to review recommendations and update our procedures accordingly. It is our hope that we may allow students to return early in May but as always, this is a fluid situation. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to consider your safety and that of the Bethany community.

If you have any individual questions, please contact Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.

PLEASE STAY HOME! STAY SAFE! WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!

Know that we miss our students and wish you were here but we want to keep you and your families safe.

4:15 p.m., Monday, April 6

Best Bethany contacts to address FAQ topics

3 p.m., Friday, April 3

Dear Students,

As we near the end of the second week of online classes, I want to thank all of you for the effective and professional way that almost all of you have engaged with our courses online. We know that this is not the ideal “Bethany Experience.” I am sure that you would prefer face-to-face instruction, not to mention all the other activities on campus: sports, Greek life, cooking out on CV Hill in the warm sunshine, and being with your friends. And yet we have seen some very engaged and interesting classes and heard many good things from some of you. I can certainly tell you this: We all look forward to seeing you back on campus in the Fall.

We recognize that this sudden shift in instructional mode has been unsettling and that some of you are probably very worried about how this will impact your grade point average. We know that a bad grade can have consequences for your ability to participate in sports and extracurriculars, eligibility for scholarships and graduation honors, and applications for graduate schools and jobs.

Therefore, on Monday, the Faculty voted to allow students to take advantage of Credit/No Credit grading for courses completed in the Spring 2020 semester. When the semester concludes, you will receive grades as you would in a more normal semester, but with your advisor’s approval, you will be able to complete a form that will change the grade in a particular course to Credit/Non-Credit designation that will not affect your gpa. Courses for which you receive “Credit” will count towards your major, minor, or the Liberal Arts Core.

THIS RULE WILL ONLY BE IN EFFECT FOR COURSES TAKEN IN SPRING 2020.

Here is how this will work:

At the end of the semester, you will receive grades through Webadvisor and Student Self-Service as you have in the past.

If you wish to convert your grade in the course from a letter grade, you may change any passing (A, B, C, or D) grade to “Credit,” and you may convert an F to “No Credit.”

Students who are planning to graduate on May 9 must submit their request within 48 hours of the posting of grades. That means your request must be in by April 27 for comping seniors; the date will be May 6 for those who are not taking comps.

Students who are not planning to graduate must submit their request within 7 days of grades posting. We expect grades to post on May 12, and requests for Credit/No Credit changes should be submitted by May 19.

Decisions of the Academic Standards Committee on Academic Warning, Probation, Dismissal as well as scholarship or athletic eligibility will take into account the GPA after applying the Credit/No Credit designation. Because those decisions will be made very quickly after May 19, students are urged to make decisions to request a Credit/No Credit decision quickly. You might ask yourself, “How will I know whether or not to make these requests?” An easy rule of thumb is to look at your cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. Any grade that is lower than that GPA is one you should consider converting to Credit/No Credit. Any grade that is higher than that GPA is better to leave as a letter grade. If you follow that guideline, your cumulative GPA after the Spring 2020 should be no lower than but could be higher than your cumulative Fall 2019 GPA.

Please carefully review your midterm grades and current academic standing in your courses before meeting with your advisor to plan Fall 2020 courses, and you should be well-prepared to take full advantage of this special grading policy.

The Registrar will communicate with you as we near the end of the semester with instructions on how to complete a form and to receive approval from your faculty advisor.

Please contact the Registrar if you have any questions about how this will work.
We hope you and your families are healthy, well, and safe. Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns, and please take good care,

Dr. Joe Lane
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Dean Jerry Stebbins
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Students

1:45 p.m., Friday, April 3

Attention Bethany College Students:

The world continues to change daily and dramatically. If you are a student from California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, District of Columbia, New Jersey, or New York, we cannot permit you to come to campus to remove your belonging until further notice. This decision is informed by the recent declarations of the Governor of West Virginia.

We continue to evaluate the safety of the students, faculty, staff, and greater community. At this time, the risk is very high. This is effective beginning tomorrow, April 4, 2020.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause you individually. Your belongings will remain locked in your room and suite until it is determined to be safe for you to make the journey back to campus.

If you are from any other areas not deemed as “hot spots”, you do not need to rush to return. Ideally, student who can wait until after May 1, 2020 should do so. Your belongings will also remain locked in your room until you can return at a later date.

We ask any students that MUST come to Bethany, please help protect the greater community of Bethany and not go to Chambers at this time. The town has a largely older population who is inherently at a greater risk.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.

12:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 31

Hello,

As you know from the continuous stream of information, Bethany College is closely following directives from the Governor of West Virginia, Center for Disease Control, and the President of the United States.

Shortly after we released our plans for students to return to campus to pick up their belongings, Governor Justice held a press conference where he again reinforced the stay at home directive and indicated he was asking the State Police to restrict travel by vehicles from “hot spot” states.

We will work to help students gain access to their belongings within the directives of State and Federal agencies.

If you are from a state that allows you to come to Bethany to pick up your belongings and wish to do so, you may continue to register for a time to pick up your belongings within our parameters:

  • Return to campus in an assigned 3 hour time slot
  • Remove all personal furniture and garbage to the dumpster.
  • Leave campus as soon as you are packed.
  • No gathering or socializing
  • No students stay overnight.

If you are student from a nearby state and wish to return to get your belongings, please continue to schedule through Sam Goodge. However, if you are a student unable to return due to your state’s mandate or the distance we will work with you. If you are from a “hot spot” state (New York, Maryland, Virginia, Louisiana, Connecticut) you should stay home. This list may grow on a daily basis as the WV State directives change regularly.

If you cannot/do not come to campus during the two week period, you will not be able to return to campus to pick up belongings at least after April 30, 2020. We will work with students but if you come to campus, please plan to remove all of your belongings.

Thank you for your patience and assistance during this historical and unprecedented time.

If you have further questions, please email Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.

3:20 p.m., Monday, March 30

Dear Students, Families, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff,

Our fall semester began as every academic year does. Our incoming students stood poised to experience everything Bethany College has to offer, while our seniors arrived back on campus with visible anticipation and excitement for what their final year would hold.

But then the world changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since first learning of this profound global crisis, the health and safety of our community has been – and will continue to be – our foremost priority. To protect all members of the Bethany family, we have taken unprecedented measures, including ceasing all in-person classes and moving to remote instruction. Faculty and staff are also working from home at this time.

Sadly, our time apart will now need to be lengthened in light of the virus’ spread and in alignment with ongoing social distancing recommendations from state health officials. Following several conversations with our Board of Trustees and Academic Affairs, and to ensure the health and safety of everyone, we will be extending remote instruction through the remainder of the semester.

I need to pause at this moment and acknowledge the depth of disappointment being felt by the Class of 2020. What was to be a sentimental journey leading to graduation has abruptly halted, bringing with it heartbreak. In making this difficult decision, however, we also make a promise to provide the class with a meaningful Commencement ceremony. We will move forward with an online degree conferral on May 9, 2020 to be followed on Thursday, August 20, 2020 with a Commencement ceremony on campus timed with the official beginning of the new academic year. We invite our Class of 2020 and families to begin to make plans to return to campus at that time.

Meanwhile, I want to commend our community for continuing to put our students first. We deeply miss our students, and the lack of your presence on campus right now is palpable. We also know that our actions are necessary for your well-being and ours. Bethany has always been a College defined by resilience and lasting connections – now more than ever. Many of you have specific questions, answers to which, you will find below following this letter.

Our desire to stay connected also extends into the lives of our alumni, who understand firsthand the many cherished traditions at Bethany and who care deeply about future generations. The call to maintain social distancing has meant the postponement or cancellation of several events, but we are working to provide new and exciting remote engagement opportunities. Expect to hear more from our alumni relations office in the coming days and weeks ahead. I have no doubt that the office’s efforts will help strengthen our bonds with our alumni even more.

The decisions the Cabinet and I have had to make during the past few weeks for the health and safety of our community have all centered on a shared goal to emerge from this global health crisis stronger and more united in our beloved mission. I am honored and humbled to lead our dedicated faculty and staff at this pivotal time and to witness the loyalty and outpouring of support from our alumni. Continue to stay close in spirit while social distancing during this crisis, look out for each other, and find reassurance that your Bethany home will always have your back.

Warmest regards,
Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg
President

Bethany College Student Information

As you live into your online learning experience, Bethany College remains dedicated to your ability to complete your semester. We are also aware that the possibility of returning for a meaningful end of term is not an option before us. Therefore, as of Monday, March 30, 2020, Bethany College will continue online for the remainder of the spring term.

In order to assist students in understanding what this means for them, let me answer the following questions.

1. What is the revised Academic Calendar?  
April 14-17: Registration for the Fall semester opens – rising seniors (April 14), juniors (April 15), sophomores (April 16), and first-year (April 17).  Registration will take place through the online student self-service and will remain open through May 1

April 24: The Last Day of Classes for Students Sitting for Comprehensive Exams

April 27: Grades posted for Seniors who are Comping

April 27-May 1: Study Period for Comprehensive Exams

May 1: Last Day for Graduating Seniors who are not sitting for Comps

May 1: Last Day of regular classes for all undergraduates

May 4-6: Final Examination Period for undergraduates

May 4: Written Comprehensive Examinations (two three-hour sessions)

May 5-8: Oral Comprehensive Examinations  (two-hour Zoom conference orals)

May 9: Degree Conferral and Online Graduation Celebration

2. Will there be a formal Graduation Ceremony?
Bethany will hold a virtual conferral of degrees on May 9th as scheduled. Bethany College will follow this with a formal presentation of diplomas and full Graduation experience on Thursday, August 20, 2020 as we begin the new academic year. We will ask you to please plan to attend and bring your academic regalia for this celebration.

3. Will there be Comprehensive Exams?
Yes, Bethany will hold Comprehensive Exams. The faculty decided to adapt comprehensives to the online format by having students complete a shorter written section in two three-hour sessions on Monday, May 4, and a more substantial oral scheduled later in that week. You will be informed about more details from your departmental faculty, the Registrar, and the Provost.

4. Will I receive a reimbursement or credit from services I did not receive in room & board?
As of March 23, 2020, all Bethany College students will be completing their coursework online or through other distance learning platforms for the remainder of the spring semester. Since announcing this change, the College has been reviewing guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and consulting with West Virginia’s State System of Higher Education to create a fair and equitable plan for returning room & board fees to students whose on-campus experience was interrupted because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

5. How will I receive my refund?
The refund first will be applied to your student account, reducing any total amount you still owe to the College. Once you have paid all balances owed to the College, any remaining funds will be credited to your Fall 2020 Room & Board Fees. Students who are graduating in May 2020 will have your reimbursement returned to you through direct deposit to your bank account. Students graduating without direct deposit will receive a physical check sent by mail to your permanent address.

6. When can I expect my refund or applied credit for next year?
The College expects to issue refunds and applied credit to eligible students as soon as feasible following the Fall Registration period.

7. What about tuition?
In keeping with Bethany College policies and current guidance, tuition and other academic/student service fees will NOT be refunded given that the College is providing students the opportunity to complete your academic semester via online/distance learning instruction.

8. When can I move out from my current dorm room?
Please email Mr. Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu to schedule a time to come and pick up your belongings from your room. In order to uphold social distancing guidelines, limited numbers of students will be permitted in a building at each given time slot. No students can spend the night on campus. Three hour time slots three times a day have been arranged over the next two weeks for students to come to campus to pick up their belongings.  The daily time slots are 8 – 11 a.m., noon – 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. All students must return their keys (including mailbox) in an assigned location in each residence halls.

9. How will I register for next semester from home?
Your faculty advisor will guide you through your registration process. Registration will be extended from April 14th to May 1 in order to give you ample time to meet with your advisor and complete your fall academic plan.

Again, we wish you all a meaningful online learning experience and encourage you to maximize this opportunity. Your faculty, staff and coaches are ready to assist you as needed. You should also be receiving regular contact from the Office of Student Life offering assistance both with online learning, personal health resource contacts, and other needs as they may arise. These are, indeed, unprecedented times and we remain confident in the resilience of our student body and campus community. Please know that we are here for you and we remain always #ONEBethany.

9:20 a.m., Tuesday, March 24

Bethany Community,

As we enter into online course delivery, I would like to share how the Registrar’s office will be transitioning during this time.

The Registrar’s office will be operating mainly online. Between myself and Nativa, we will be available 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday. We will physically be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. As always, Nativa and I are here to help. The best way to contact us is via email:
registrar@bethanywv.edu *this email goes to both of us and is the best one to use
nobrien@bethanywv.edu
lcucarese@bethanywv.edu

Additionally, the main phone line, 304-829-7831, will be transferred to a cell phone and will be answered M/W/F from 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and T/TH from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..

Transcript requests and education verifications will be fulfilled on the Tuesdays and Thursdays within the time that we are physically in the office. At this time, all major change requests will be suspended.

The date to withdraw from a class with a “W” has been extended to Friday, April 17th.

Students, contact our office to request a Course Withdraw Form, which will be sent to you via email. You are to send it to the instructor of the course for his/her signature. Once you receive it back, send it to your advisor for his/her signature. Then sign the form and email it to the Registrar’s office and we will process it.

*Students and Faculty, the withdraw form requests a digital signature. If you have not created a digital signature and don’t know how, you can use the following link for instructions: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/digital-ids.html

Registration for the Fall 2020 semester has been moved to begin on Tuesday, April 14th. As we are all working in an online format, advisors and advisees cannot meet face to face to determine classes for next semester. I will be sending out a document of screenshot steps, one for advisors and a different one for students, that will show you how to look at the offerings for next semester and how to create a tentative schedule.

Information regarding Comprehensive Exams and Commencement will be provided as it becomes available.

REGISTRATION DATES
12:01 a.m., Tuesday, April 14th
Students with 94 credits or more completed.

12:01 a.m., Wednesday, April 15th
Students with 60 credits or more completed.

12:01 a.m., Thursday, April 16th
Students with 25 credits or more completed.

12:01 a.m., Friday, April 17th
All students with fewer than 25 credits completed.

Lisa Cucarese, MA
Registrar

5 p.m., Wednesday, March 18
Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE LOG INTO YOUR CANVAS ACCOUNT DAILY! Please use the Canvas landing page for most of your needs.

STUDENT SERVICES AND RESOURCES

Do we have to return our books? Will we recharged if we don’t return them on time?

At this time, students will need their books to finish classes in the on-line formats. It is our hope t have everyone return to campus for the remainder of the semester. In the event that the semester is completed in an on-line format, students would be expected to return books to the book store via mail. The return date would be two weeks after the end of the semester. If you do not return your books you would be charged for them.

To learn more about book returns, please see the Follett website.

What if I don’t have my books or can’t get back to get my books?

Vital Source is a company assisting many students with access to books on-line during this disruption of services across the country. You can learn more about their program and services here.

OTHER RESOURCES for EBOOKS:

(March 17) REDSHELF and VITALSOURCE – major textbook providers have opened up free access for students until the end of term. Refer to their websites for details — check to see if your texts are available — these are large providers of textbooks for classes. Help Getting Started

Vital Source Access:

  1. Visit Vitalsource’s Bookshelf login page and follow the instructions to create an account. Students must use their institutional email address.
  2. Once they confirm their email, they can sign in and search for books by title, ISBN, author.
  3. When they find the title, just hover over it and click ‘borrow’. Users can borrow up to 7 titles.

(March 17) CENGAGE texts available

  • Cengage Higher Ed: A resource page has been established which will help you locate your Cengage representative to enable the following resources:
  • Free Access to Unlimited: We will be providing free access to our entire catalog – all of our online learning platforms and eBooks – through Cengage Unlimited, through end of term, to any student in any class at any US college that has been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Support Transition to Online: We will complement that offering with services and resources to back up educators as they change the way they teach.
  • Free Access to eBooks: As part of our mission to help as many students as we can, we are also participating in free eBook access programs being offered by our partners VitalSource and RedShelf.

(March 16) PROQUEST has announced that its Ebook Central titles will have unlimited simultaneous users for over 50 of their included publishers starting next week until mid-June. The full press release provides a list of the publishers. What this means for UR is that if a title is in our catalog and available on the ProQuest EBook platform, if the information in the catalog indicates we only have a single user, please ask your liaison if this may be included and available for unlimited users through this special availability.

COMPUTER/TECHNICAL/CANVAS/ON-LINE LEARNING ASSISTANCE

How do we get assistance with concerns regarding on-line classes or technology support?

Please call 724-829-7349 for assistance or email to hdesk@bethanywv.edu

Where do I go to log in to the Canvas, Outlook, etc.? – Bethany College Logins

I can’t sign into my account. Ex. Canvas, Outlook – email help@bethanywv.edu from your Bethany College email address. Emails sent to help@bethanywv.edu from outside email providers (Gmail, Yahoo.com, etc.) will be automatically blocked by our servers.

My internet is slow/won’t connect – check that your router is on/reset your router/reset device/try connection

I don’t know my password/account is locked – email help@bethanywv.edu from your Bethany College email address. Emails sent to help@bethanywv.edu from outside email providers (Gmail, Yahoo.com, etc.) will be automatically blocked by our servers.

How do I get to Zoom? – Go to Zoom.us

How do I join or create a meeting in Zoom?https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us?flash_digest=36ce89e448a0989d0df98afede0108a5fdce4b7c

How would I view a Zoom meeting my professor recorded and posted? – Your Zoom dashboard will show all recorded meetings you were invited to.

MAIL SERVICE/PACKAGES

Can I get my packages from the mailroom?

The mailroom will return packages for the next two weeks. After that time, packages will be returned to sender. Please change all package deliveries to your current address for the remainder of the on-line class schedule.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS QUESTIONS

Please call 304-829-7631 and you will be contacted by Wellness Staff personnel to assist you with any questions you may have.

COUNSELING

Please contact Renee Stock: rstock@bethanywv.edu or by calling 304-829-7572, she will provide assistance with coordination of services in your state. If you are located in West Virginia, you can receive counseling services via face to face meetings or another platform.

FINANCIAL QUESTIONS

What about reimbursements for unused food and lodging?

Bethany College is monitoring the situation and following CDC and Health Department recommendations. We will not be refunding students during the extended spring break nor the initial phase of shifting to online learning during this world-wide pandemic. We will revisit this policy as we move forward and as we continue to assess the level of ongoing risk to our campus community.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR or SCHEDULING

What if the college can’t open for the fall semester?

We fully anticipate opening the academic year for the fall semester.

Those classes that choose to use zoom will they be taking into account those in different time zones?

We realize this is may be an inconvenience but to keep classes on relatively normal schedule and not create conflicts with other classes, all classes would be offered at regularly scheduled hours in the Eastern Time Zone.

Please check your class syllabus for more information on expectation and assignments.

How will this affect the graduation requirements such as senior projects?

No decision regarding graduation or comprehensive exams has been made at this time. We continue to monitor the situation. Please continue to check the information on the main page of the Bethany College Web site for further updates.

WORKSTUDY AND PAYMENT

How will we get paid for our work-study already performed?

Please send an email to Ms. Kim Moore at kmoore@bethanywv.edu with the students name and address they would like their check mailed to.

ATHLETICS

What about athletics? Will coaches be mad if we leave?

With the recent suspension of the Spring Season by the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, spring sports at Bethany College have also been suspended. The coaching staff supports the measures taken by the College, the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, and the NCAA to keep our student-athletes safe. While we cannot be together in person our coaches will remain in contact with student-athletes to support them as classes go on-line.

11:20 a.m., Tuesday, March 17

Bethany Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

I must begin this note with words of deepest appreciation for your patience, understanding, kindness, and collaborative spirit. Last week’s decisions at Bethany and in the national landscape of higher education were unprecedented, but we took the steps we did because we care greatly about the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. At Bethany, we are a family, and we want each member of our family to be safe.

Bethany is blessed to have students who come from across the United States and around the world. With that in mind, and upon the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we determined that extending our spring break and moving to online learning beginning March 23 was the best course of action for our community at this time. This decision was one of the hardest I, along with my Cabinet, have ever had to make as it means we are keeping you from your second home, your friends, and your college community you helped to build. This is unimaginable to all of us at Bethany as our students and their experience living and learning together on our beautiful residential campus are at the heart of our mission and purpose.

I also recognize that this decision brings with it many questions, and I want to applaud all of our campus leaders for spending hours working to answer as many of them as they can these past few days. This level of personal engagement is #ONEBethany on full display, and I am beyond proud of the compassion being shown to all our constituents and to one another during this challenging time in our world.

As for our seniors, I know this is exceptionally difficult with graduation on the horizon. We pray that the spread of COVID-19 will subside, and that all those affected globally can find comfort, but we simply cannot commit to a firm decision about Commencement at this time. I assure you, we will make an announcement regarding Comprehensive Exams and Graduation as soon as possible. We are all navigating uncertainly right now, but through it all, we will continue do everything we can to make your final year special, all while adhering to the advice of public health officials.

Bethany College is resilient and for generations has promoted the creation of a world of worth and value. The health of our campus and global community calls us to take extraordinary measures right now, and I remain grateful to each of you for your continued understanding and desire to do whatever is needed for our students, our campus, and the world in which we live.

Warm regards,

Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

10 a.m., Monday, March 16

Dear Students,

We know that the last few days have been bewildering and disappointing on many levels. Like you, the professors and academic staff would prefer that we were looking at the “normal” phrenetic run from the end of spring break to the conclusion of the semester. We would like to be seeing you in class on Monday morning and re-establishing our normal routines. No one wanted to face the transitions we are facing, but must put your health and the health of all in our community first.

During this time, we want to reassure you and inform you of a few important things.

  • Bethany faculty have been hard at work preparing for online instruction. We have extended Spring Break for the next week so that professors can revise their syllabi for this new reality and prepare to have clear instructions for each of you when the online delivery of classes begins on Monday, March 23. They will spend this week being “online students” in some sense by participating in “virtual” workshops designed to help them make the most of the technological tools at our disposal to deliver a quality educational experience to you when classes resume.
  • We hope this online approach will only be necessary for a few weeks, but we recognize that it may be longer. We also want you to know that Bethany College is committed to delivering a complete, educationally sound, and effective Spring 2020 semester to all students. You will be able to complete the credits for which you have registered and will be able to stay on track for your intended graduation dates, especially if that date is May 9, 2020.
  • Different classes will take different approaches to this online format, but classes that preserve a face-to-face class time through Zoom or another communication format will still meet on the same days and times that they have met on campus. As you adjust to your new schedule at home, please remember those time commitments.
  • We know that you would like to know exactly how your classes will work right away, but the faculty does need this week of extended Spring Break to prepare for this shift in our instructional model. We promise to explain everything in more detail in time for the start of classes, and we are hopeful that this knowledge will alleviate your understandable concerns and prevent significant emailing to your faculty as we work to deliver on our promise. You can expect to hear from each of your instructors by March 23.
  • One thing you can do to prepare for classes next week is to make sure that you are active in Canvas for all the courses for which you are registered. If your class has not used Canvas up to this point, the course should be published there this week. As soon as professors have them available, each Canvas site should have a copy of the original syllabus as well as an Online Syllabus Update that explains how the class meetings, grading policies, exams and assignments, and expectations have been altered to accommodate our enforced change of methods. That syllabus update will include a posting of contactable hours that will allow you to know when you can reach each of your professors, as well as any SI that may be available for the course and the preferred method (email, a phone number, texting platform, or virtual meeting site) for reaching them.
  • If you have concerns about your ability to be online and to reach resources like Canvas and Zoom, Student Life is working to make loaner laptops available, and a number of internet service providers are making high-speed internet available free of charge to help students access their classes.
  • Please check your Bethany email regularly this week. More information will be forthcoming, including a Student Guide to Online Learning at Bethany College in Spring 2020. Please don’t hesitate to let the Office of the Provost or the Office of Student Life know if you have any questions.

Trust us when we say we wish you were here and miss you already. This will be a challenge, but we should all be mindful that it is a challenge we are prepared to face together. #ONEBethany

Joe Lane, Ph.D.
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Bethany College
jlane@bethanywv.edu
304-830-7311

Gerald Stebbins
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students
gstebbins@bethanywv.edu
304-829-7631

5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12

Dear Bethany Community Members,

Since the start of the semester, my senior leadership team and I have been closely monitoring the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We have also been reviewing all recommendations from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, we have been in consultation with our peer institutions in the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The health and safety of the Bethany community has and always will be our highest priority, and it is that commitment that guides us now as we prepare to take some significant steps to safeguard all those in our care and to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the nation. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of West Virginia or on our campus, the situation is an unprecedented global pandemic. We ask for patience and understanding as we make decisions that we ultimately believe are in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff.

As such and at this time with our students currently on spring break, we have made the difficult but necessary decision that the College will remain open to essential operations but with a modified academic delivery until further notice:

  • Spring break will be extended by an additional week, March 16-20, as we prepare to suspend all in-person classes and switch to an online mode of instruction beginning Monday, March 23.
  • We are requesting that students not return to campus if at all possible until further notice.  All students who are currently at their permanent place of residence should remain there or, if they did travel, make arrangements to return home. For those for whom this is not a realistic option, please see information detailed below.
  • All college employees are expected to continue working during this period while observing proper health protocols, described below.
  • College air travel and on-campus events are suspended, until further notice.
  • The Bethany Cabinet will continue to meet regularly to evaluate the circumstances and will keep the Bethany College community informed utilizing email messaging, Facebook posts and texting as appropriate.

We know that there will be many questions during this time, however, we are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution in consultation with public health experts and our peer institutions nationwide. For all of us, this is brand new territory, and we will need to work together as we travel down this unexpected, yet necessary path that places the well-being of all those in our Bethany family at the forefront. This is a shared effort, and I thank each of you for the role you are playing to uphold our values and help each other during this challenging time. Bethany College is a resilient community that cares for each-and-every student, faculty and staff member.  Please make sure you check the website often for pertinent updates regarding the campus.

Warmest regards,

The Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg
President

Effective March 12 Bethany College remains open with modified academic operations. Please refer to details below.

Bethany College will implement the following until further notice and will be carefully monitoring the situation as our understanding of this pandemic evolves quickly. Recognizing the uncertainty this situation causes for the Bethany College family, we believe taking preventative steps now will potentially reduce the risk of future disruptions to our overall operation and mission.

Faculty will be receiving further instructions and guidance on the move to online instruction.  Expect the first of several memos from the Provost this afternoon.  We are offering online training, workshops, and resources to facilitate this transition.  These will take place during the week of March 16-20.

Employees are expected to continue working during this period, observing proper health protocols as described by the CDC and accessible on this webpage. Employees are also asked to assist with cleaning their personal workspaces also following the CDC guidelines.

For staff and faculty who are currently traveling, please take steps now to notify Bethany administration of your plans. Any person returning to campus must complete this survey to receive approval for re-entry to the campus.

Students Currently Off-Campus:  You will be given a discrete date and time frame to enter your dorm rooms and collect your books, computers, and other personal items that will allow you to continue your education from home.  Please contact the Office of Student Life (304) 829-7631 or email to sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.

Students Currently On-Campus:  Please contact the Office of Student Life at (304) 829-7631 or email to sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.  They will assist you with your plans to return home until further notice.  Please take with you your books, computers, and other personal items that will allow you to continue your education from home.

Graduate Interns:  Please plan to return home and remain there unless otherwise directed by your direct supervisor.  Any Graduate Intern authorized to remain on campus, due to the “essential operations” nature of the position, must have formal approval from the Dean of Student Life.

Mental health services are still available to students but will be delivered via phone or video conversation. For appointments, please contact Renee Stock at rstock@bethanywv.edu.

Instruction is moving to online platforms. 

In-person classes are suspended for this coming week to allow faculty and staff to modify delivery of their curriculum. Classes will resume via online and distance platforms on Monday, March 23. Students, please continue to watch your Bethany College email for further instructions.

Students are strongly encouraged to return home or stay home. 

We ask students not to return to campus during this period. On-campus services (residence halls, dining, etc.) will be limited for those with dire circumstances. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs by emailing Executive Director of Student Life Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu or by calling 304-829-7631 to discuss options.

College air travel is suspended. 

All college-sponsored air travel – domestic and international – is suspended. We strongly discourage all personal travel, domestic or international, and may require employees who do travel to self-quarantine upon return.

We remind the community of CDC guidelines and recommendations, which include a self-quarantine of 14 days after travel abroad in specific regions.

College events are suspended. 

All events, gatherings and athletic events in college facilities as well as college-sponsored events on and off campus are suspended until further notice.

Please note: We are working with Dining Services to ensure limited service is available for those who remain on campus. 

1:30 p.m., Friday, March 6

Bethany College Community:

As students get ready to return from spring break vacation, the administration at Bethany College continues to monitor the continually evolving information regarding COVID-19. Bethany College is following recommendations and guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The most effective means of preventing the spread of the flu or COVID-19 is through appropriate hygiene such as hand washing, coughing into your elbow, and practicing social distancing.

All staff, employees, and faculty who are feeling ill will be asked to stay home if they get sick while home over spring break.

Simple and effective tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19 can be found in this video:
https://cloud.c3softworks.com/#/whirl/5dcdab1833dd6616ec00400d

We ask that if students feel sick, to notify the Office of Student Life at gstebbins@bethanywv.edu so that we may assist you with continuing academic work when possible while limiting your contact with other students, faculty, and staff. If you are sick, you should not attend work or class. Please notify the Office of Student Life, and self-quarantine at home or in your residence hall.

What are the Symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

The symptoms for this virus include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Dry Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Respiratory Distress (trouble breathing)

The most prominent symptoms are dry cough, headache, and high fever, which can range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms typically last longer than the flu (up to 18 days).

Bethany College will be monitoring CDC updates several times a day. Check this web page for updates.

Many destinations are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19. The virus can spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. According to the CDC, there is limited access to adequate medical care in these affected areas. You may be at risk of getting stuck in these countries or being forced to quarantine when you return home.

In addition, the CDC has issued guidance for student foreign travel for institutions of higher education (IHE) in which they urge IHEs to consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange and travel programs given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please click here to read the full statement.

For updated travel advisories and virus information you can visit:

  • U.S. Department of State
  • Center for Disease Control
  • General COVID-19 information via the CDC

If necessary, we are prepared to alter our procedures and are planning should the situation with the virus change. We continue to prepare for any necessary changes to travel polices, large events, and athletic events. We will keep the Bethany College community aware in ongoing email communications.

We know many Bethany College families and students will be traveling during our spring break, and we have encouraged all of our students to practice and maintain good hygiene while away. We ask that you closely monitor your health during break. Of course, we are hopeful that everyone will return from break rested and healthy, but should symptoms arise, we ask that you refrain from returning to Bethany or to work with a fever or any flu-like symptoms.

It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion such as the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the CDC, or local governmental organizations will be followed by our school. In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and support of the Bethany community.

Sincerely,

Gerald Stebbins
Dean of Student Life

Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

4:15 p.m., Monday, April 6

Dear Bethany Faculty and Staff:

Today marks the beginning of our third week of remote learning in light of the COVID-19 global health crisis. Shifting successfully to this platform has required significant leadership by our faculty and ongoing collaboration with multiple members of our community. I want to commend your uncompromising dedication and incredible efforts, both of which reflect a true commitment to our students’ success.

This time of social distancing is unprecedented, but the passion for teaching and learning among our faculty is not. Together, what our faculty have delivered and will continue to deliver for the remainder of the spring semester is outstanding, and I encourage all of us to take time to acknowledge their tremendous work at this time. Thank you! I would also like to thank our staff members who are working in partnership with our faculty and who are maintaining our campus in order to support our students in this historic time and to prepare for their return in the fall.

The health and safety of all in the Bethany community continues to be our highest priority, which is why we have pursued the direction we have in recent weeks. At times, our days may have resembled more of a roller coaster of daily uncertainty, and while we strive for excellence always, we do not want to miss opportunities to offer thanks or communicate appreciation proactively. Therefore, let me say again, “Thank you to the entire Bethany faculty and staff.”

As we settle into a new normal, we will learn quickly, continue to adjust our teaching models, re-think our campus plans, and prepare for a meaningful end of the term, all while facing forward to the 2021 academic year.

Additionally, in order to assist with ongoing care and concern for our students, we have created a resource sheet for your use.

My deepest gratitude to each of you for stepping up when our students needed you the most.

Warmest regards,

Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

3 p.m., Friday, April 3

The following message was sent to students.

Dear Students,

As we near the end of the second week of online classes, I want to thank all of you for the effective and professional way that almost all of you have engaged with our courses online. We know that this is not the ideal “Bethany Experience.” I am sure that you would prefer face-to-face instruction, not to mention all the other activities on campus: sports, Greek life, cooking out on CV Hill in the warm sunshine, and being with your friends. And yet we have seen some very engaged and interesting classes and heard many good things from some of you. I can certainly tell you this: We all look forward to seeing you back on campus in the Fall.

We recognize that this sudden shift in instructional mode has been unsettling and that some of you are probably very worried about how this will impact your grade point average. We know that a bad grade can have consequences for your ability to participate in sports and extracurriculars, eligibility for scholarships and graduation honors, and applications for graduate schools and jobs.

Therefore, on Monday, the Faculty voted to allow students to take advantage of Credit/No Credit grading for courses completed in the Spring 2020 semester. When the semester concludes, you will receive grades as you would in a more normal semester, but with your advisor’s approval, you will be able to complete a form that will change the grade in a particular course to Credit/Non-Credit designation that will not affect your gpa. Courses for which you receive “Credit” will count towards your major, minor, or the Liberal Arts Core.

THIS RULE WILL ONLY BE IN EFFECT FOR COURSES TAKEN IN SPRING 2020.

Here is how this will work:

At the end of the semester, you will receive grades through Webadvisor and Student Self-Service as you have in the past.

If you wish to convert your grade in the course from a letter grade, you may change any passing (A, B, C, or D) grade to “Credit,” and you may convert an F to “No Credit.”

Students who are planning to graduate on May 9 must submit their request within 48 hours of the posting of grades. That means your request must be in by April 27 for comping seniors; the date will be May 6 for those who are not taking comps.

Students who are not planning to graduate must submit their request within 7 days of grades posting. We expect grades to post on May 12, and requests for Credit/No Credit changes should be submitted by May 19.

Decisions of the Academic Standards Committee on Academic Warning, Probation, Dismissal as well as scholarship or athletic eligibility will take into account the GPA after applying the Credit/No Credit designation. Because those decisions will be made very quickly after May 19, students are urged to make decisions to request a Credit/No Credit decision quickly. You might ask yourself, “How will I know whether or not to make these requests?” An easy rule of thumb is to look at your cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. Any grade that is lower than that GPA is one you should consider converting to Credit/No Credit. Any grade that is higher than that GPA is better to leave as a letter grade. If you follow that guideline, your cumulative GPA after the Spring 2020 should be no lower than but could be higher than your cumulative Fall 2019 GPA.

Please carefully review your midterm grades and current academic standing in your courses before meeting with your advisor to plan Fall 2020 courses, and you should be well-prepared to take full advantage of this special grading policy.

The Registrar will communicate with you as we near the end of the semester with instructions on how to complete a form and to receive approval from your faculty advisor.

Please contact the Registrar if you have any questions about how this will work.
We hope you and your families are healthy, well, and safe. Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns, and please take good care,

Dr. Joe Lane
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Dean Jerry Stebbins
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Students

3:20 p.m., Monday, March 30

Dear Students, Families, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff,

Our fall semester began as every academic year does. Our incoming students stood poised to experience everything Bethany College has to offer, while our seniors arrived back on campus with visible anticipation and excitement for what their final year would hold.

But then the world changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since first learning of this profound global crisis, the health and safety of our community has been – and will continue to be – our foremost priority. To protect all members of the Bethany family, we have taken unprecedented measures, including ceasing all in-person classes and moving to remote instruction. Faculty and staff are also working from home at this time.

Sadly, our time apart will now need to be lengthened in light of the virus’ spread and in alignment with ongoing social distancing recommendations from state health officials. Following several conversations with our Board of Trustees and Academic Affairs, and to ensure the health and safety of everyone, we will be extending remote instruction through the remainder of the semester.

I need to pause at this moment and acknowledge the depth of disappointment being felt by the Class of 2020. What was to be a sentimental journey leading to graduation has abruptly halted, bringing with it heartbreak. In making this difficult decision, however, we also make a promise to provide the class with a meaningful Commencement ceremony. We will move forward with an online degree conferral on May 9, 2020 to be followed on Thursday, August 20, 2020 with a Commencement ceremony on campus timed with the official beginning of the new academic year. We invite our Class of 2020 and families to begin to make plans to return to campus at that time.

Meanwhile, I want to commend our community for continuing to put our students first. We deeply miss our students, and the lack of your presence on campus right now is palpable. We also know that our actions are necessary for your well-being and ours. Bethany has always been a College defined by resilience and lasting connections – now more than ever. Many of you have specific questions, answers to which, you will find below following this letter.

Our desire to stay connected also extends into the lives of our alumni, who understand firsthand the many cherished traditions at Bethany and who care deeply about future generations. The call to maintain social distancing has meant the postponement or cancellation of several events, but we are working to provide new and exciting remote engagement opportunities. Expect to hear more from our alumni relations office in the coming days and weeks ahead. I have no doubt that the office’s efforts will help strengthen our bonds with our alumni even more.

The decisions the Cabinet and I have had to make during the past few weeks for the health and safety of our community have all centered on a shared goal to emerge from this global health crisis stronger and more united in our beloved mission. I am honored and humbled to lead our dedicated faculty and staff at this pivotal time and to witness the loyalty and outpouring of support from our alumni. Continue to stay close in spirit while social distancing during this crisis, look out for each other, and find reassurance that your Bethany home will always have your back.

Warmest regards,
Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg
President

Bethany College Student Information

As you live into your online learning experience, Bethany College remains dedicated to your ability to complete your semester. We are also aware that the possibility of returning for a meaningful end of term is not an option before us. Therefore, as of Monday, March 30, 2020, Bethany College will continue online for the remainder of the spring term.

In order to assist students in understanding what this means for them, let me answer the following questions.

1. What is the revised Academic Calendar?  
April 14-17: Registration for the Fall semester opens – rising seniors (April 14), juniors (April 15), sophomores (April 16), and first-year (April 17).  Registration will take place through the online student self-service and will remain open through May 1

April 24: The Last Day of Classes for Students Sitting for Comprehensive Exams

April 27: Grades posted for Seniors who are Comping

April 27-May 1: Study Period for Comprehensive Exams

May 1: Last Day for Graduating Seniors who are not sitting for Comps

May 1: Last Day of regular classes for all undergraduates

May 4-6: Final Examination Period for undergraduates

May 4: Written Comprehensive Examinations (two three-hour sessions)

May 5-8: Oral Comprehensive Examinations  (two-hour Zoom conference orals)

May 9: Degree Conferral and Online Graduation Celebration

2. Will there be a formal Graduation Ceremony?
Bethany will hold a virtual conferral of degrees on May 9th as scheduled. Bethany College will follow this with a formal presentation of diplomas and full Graduation experience on Thursday, August 20, 2020 as we begin the new academic year. We will ask you to please plan to attend and bring your academic regalia for this celebration.

3. Will there be Comprehensive Exams?
Yes, Bethany will hold Comprehensive Exams. The faculty decided to adapt comprehensives to the online format by having students complete a shorter written section in two three-hour sessions on Monday, May 4, and a more substantial oral scheduled later in that week. You will be informed about more details from your departmental faculty, the Registrar, and the Provost.

4. Will I receive a reimbursement or credit from services I did not receive in room & board?
As of March 23, 2020, all Bethany College students will be completing their coursework online or through other distance learning platforms for the remainder of the spring semester. Since announcing this change, the College has been reviewing guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and consulting with West Virginia’s State System of Higher Education to create a fair and equitable plan for returning room & board fees to students whose on-campus experience was interrupted because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

5. How will I receive my refund?
The refund first will be applied to your student account, reducing any total amount you still owe to the College. Once you have paid all balances owed to the College, any remaining funds will be credited to your Fall 2020 Room & Board Fees. Students who are graduating in May 2020 will have your reimbursement returned to you through direct deposit to your bank account. Students graduating without direct deposit will receive a physical check sent by mail to your permanent address.

6. When can I expect my refund or applied credit for next year?
The College expects to issue refunds and applied credit to eligible students as soon as feasible following the Fall Registration period.

7. What about tuition?
In keeping with Bethany College policies and current guidance, tuition and other academic/student service fees will NOT be refunded given that the College is providing students the opportunity to complete your academic semester via online/distance learning instruction.

8. When can I move out from my current dorm room?
Please email Mr. Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu to schedule a time to come and pick up your belongings from your room. In order to uphold social distancing guidelines, limited numbers of students will be permitted in a building at each given time slot. No students can spend the night on campus. Three hour time slots three times a day have been arranged over the next two weeks for students to come to campus to pick up their belongings.  The daily time slots are 8 – 11 a.m., noon – 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. All students must return their keys (including mailbox) in an assigned location in each residence halls.

9. How will I register for next semester from home?
Your faculty advisor will guide you through your registration process. Registration will be extended from April 14th to May 1 in order to give you ample time to meet with your advisor and complete your fall academic plan.

Again, we wish you all a meaningful online learning experience and encourage you to maximize this opportunity. Your faculty, staff and coaches are ready to assist you as needed. You should also be receiving regular contact from the Office of Student Life offering assistance both with online learning, personal health resource contacts, and other needs as they may arise. These are, indeed, unprecedented times and we remain confident in the resilience of our student body and campus community. Please know that we are here for you and we remain always #ONEBethany.

9:20 a.m., Tuesday, March 24

Bethany Community,

As we enter into online course delivery, I would like to share how the Registrar’s office will be transitioning during this time.

The Registrar’s office will be operating mainly online. Between myself and Nativa, we will be available 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday. We will physically be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. As always, Nativa and I are here to help. The best way to contact us is via email:
registrar@bethanywv.edu *this email goes to both of us and is the best one to use
nobrien@bethanywv.edu
lcucarese@bethanywv.edu

Additionally, the main phone line, 304-829-7831, will be transferred to a cell phone and will be answered M/W/F from 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and T/TH from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m..

Transcript requests and education verifications will be fulfilled on the Tuesdays and Thursdays within the time that we are physically in the office. At this time, all major change requests will be suspended.

The date to withdraw from a class with a “W” has been extended to Friday, April 17th.

Students, contact our office to request a Course Withdraw Form, which will be sent to you via email. You are to send it to the instructor of the course for his/her signature. Once you receive it back, send it to your advisor for his/her signature. Then sign the form and email it to the Registrar’s office and we will process it.

*Students and Faculty, the withdraw form requests a digital signature. If you have not created a digital signature and don’t know how, you can use the following link for instructions: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/digital-ids.html

Registration for the Fall 2020 semester has been moved to begin on Tuesday, April 14th. As we are all working in an online format, advisors and advisees cannot meet face to face to determine classes for next semester. I will be sending out a document of screenshot steps, one for advisors and a different one for students, that will show you how to look at the offerings for next semester and how to create a tentative schedule.

Information regarding Comprehensive Exams and Commencement will be provided as it becomes available.

REGISTRATION DATES
12:01 a.m., Tuesday, April 14th
Students with 94 credits or more completed.

12:01 a.m., Wednesday, April 15th
Students with 60 credits or more completed.

12:01 a.m., Thursday, April 16th
Students with 25 credits or more completed.

12:01 a.m., Friday, April 17th
All students with fewer than 25 credits completed.

Lisa Cucarese, MA
Registrar

6:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 18

Dear Bethany Employees,

We understand the anxiety and uncertainly that surrounds the unprecedented pandemic (COVID-19) that has plagued our nation. Bethany College’s mission is to “provide teaching and learning in an atmosphere of service and work.” Remaining true to our mission and to our commitment to our valued employees, we are taking all reasonable steps to assure both your health and safety and your continued employment with its associated income stream and benefits. Bethany College is not alone in facing this challenge, but neither Bethany, nor our society, may have previously faced a challenge of this nature and magnitude.

To further protect our campus and the community, we are implementing the following:

Students:
All students have been asked not to return from their spring break (with the exception of a few who face dire circumstances and are unable to leave). Avoiding large groups minimizes the risk of exposure and the transmission of COVID-19 to students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Faculty:
We are delivering instruction in an online format until further notice. Faculty are working diligently to provide education and continuity to our program with classes beginning in this new format on Monday, March 23, 2020. This will enable our students maintain continuity of their academic goals and career plans.

Staff:
In order to ensure essential functions are performed and for our staff employees to continue to work safely, we are implementing a “Work Wise Remote Option.” This program is designed for staff members who can work online and/or telephonically from their homes. These actions are being taken to keep COVID-19 exposure on campus to a minimum so that it will remain safer for those who must continue to report to campus to perform their job duties.

Working from home will require a formal work plan approved by your department head. We will use the following guidelines as of Thursday, March 19, 2020:

  1. A function that can be performed from home, via computer or other means, will be expected to be so performed.
  2. A function that cannot be performed from home, via computer or other means, will have a work plan developed which minimizes risk of exposure while on campus.

Please see your department head to receive your work plan. You will be expected to follow your work plan as outlined in order to remain in full employment standing.

Salaried Exempt Employees: You are expected to perform your normal duties remotely. Please note: Your offices will be available, please let Dean Stebbins or Jay Eisenhauer know you will be on campus and security will be advised.

Salaried Non-Exempt Employees: You are expected to perform your normal duties remotely. You will need to file your time sheet and report it to your department head on a weekly basis. Please note: Your offices will be available, please let Dean Stebbins or Jay Eisenhauer know you will be on campus and security will be advised.

Hourly Employees: We recognize that there are positions that can only be performed by an on-campus presence. We are working to ensure that those functions can be performed in a relatively risk free environment. You are expected to meet with your department head (in person or by other means) and receive a formal work plan. Your presence on campus is necessary in order to fulfill your job responsibilities. Regardless of working on campus or remotely, you will be responsible for tracking your work hours on a weekly basis. If you are on campus, please punch in and punch out. If you are working remotely, per your work plan, please track hours and report weekly. Weekly hours worked will need to be submitted to payroll following the existing procedure.

Additional Campus Updates:
The College Health Center will be closed at this time. If you call Health Services, you will be transferred to Student Life and provided information available to address your concern. Online telehealth and mental health options will be available to you. If you are covered by our medical benefits, fees have been waived to access medical guidance through telemedicine by calling the number on the back of your ID card. Our EAP services remain available to employees by calling 1-888-293-6948 or visiting www.workhealthlife.com/Standard3

The College Sick Leave Policy is hereby suspended for those who report they were exposed to COVID-19, a medical doctor recommends to self-quarantine, have symptoms mirroring or have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Employees who report one of these scenarios will receive excused sick time for the recommended quarantine period. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Please contact your supervisor or Human Resources by phone or email to discuss any special circumstances or concerns you may have. If you are working from home, you are still required to report to your supervisor if you are sick or taking vacation or personal time.

Until March 22, the Library will be available to faculty and staff by appointment from noon to 4:00 p.m. When you arrive at the Library, please call the number posted on the door or send an email in advance to library@bethanywv.edu ahead of time so that they may prepare materials for you before you arrive. Effective, Monday, March 23rd, all library services will be delivered digitally.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the guidelines as outlined by the CDC, state and local government. We will continue to keep you informed as new information becomes available.

Once again, I remain grateful for your dedicated leadership in our community and on our campus.

Sincerely,
Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

4:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 18

The College Sick Leave Policy is hereby suspended for those who report they were exposed to COVID-19, a medical doctor recommends to self-quarantine, have symptoms mirroring or have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Employees who report one of these scenarios will receive excused sick time for the recommended quarantine period. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Please contact your supervisor or Human Resources by phone or email to discuss any special circumstances or concerns you may have. If you are working from home, you are still required to report to your supervisor if you are sick or taking vacation or personal time.

Thank you.

Dr. Rodenberg

11:20 a.m., Tuesday, March 17

Bethany Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

I must begin this note with words of deepest appreciation for your patience, understanding, kindness, and collaborative spirit. Last week’s decisions at Bethany and in the national landscape of higher education were unprecedented, but we took the steps we did because we care greatly about the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. At Bethany, we are a family, and we want each member of our family to be safe.

Bethany is blessed to have students who come from across the United States and around the world. With that in mind, and upon the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we determined that extending our spring break and moving to online learning beginning March 23 was the best course of action for our community at this time. This decision was one of the hardest I, along with my Cabinet, have ever had to make as it means we are keeping you from your second home, your friends, and your college community you helped to build. This is unimaginable to all of us at Bethany as our students and their experience living and learning together on our beautiful residential campus are at the heart of our mission and purpose.

I also recognize that this decision brings with it many questions, and I want to applaud all of our campus leaders for spending hours working to answer as many of them as they can these past few days. This level of personal engagement is #ONEBethany on full display, and I am beyond proud of the compassion being shown to all our constituents and to one another during this challenging time in our world.

As for our seniors, I know this is exceptionally difficult with graduation on the horizon. We pray that the spread of COVID-19 will subside, and that all those affected globally can find comfort, but we simply cannot commit to a firm decision about Commencement at this time. I assure you, we will make an announcement regarding Comprehensive Exams and Graduation as soon as possible. We are all navigating uncertainly right now, but through it all, we will continue do everything we can to make your final year special, all while adhering to the advice of public health officials.

Bethany College is resilient and for generations has promoted the creation of a world of worth and value. The health of our campus and global community calls us to take extraordinary measures right now, and I remain grateful to each of you for your continued understanding and desire to do whatever is needed for our students, our campus, and the world in which we live.

Warm regards,

Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

9:50 p.m., Thursday, March 12

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

As you all have seen in the President’s communication to the Bethany campus community, we are extending Spring Break by one week (March 16-20) to allow faculty members time to prepare for alternative modes of class delivery. We will offer our classes online beginning on Monday, March 23 and until further notice.

We intend to reassess this policy during the first week of April and will keep the faculty informed and engaged in that assessment as we respond to a very fluid and difficult public health crisis.

I want to begin by thanking you all in advance for approaching the upcoming transitions and dislocations in the most professional way possible. This will not be easy or smooth, and we can all expect to encounter some significant difficulties along the way. We would all prefer to be offering our courses on campus to our students, but that is simply not possible. We must prepare as we can, learn from mistakes and correct them, and encourage our students even when they may struggle with our classes over the next several weeks. We will need to deal with these challenges in a positive and professional manner and should model for our students the resilience in the face of difficulty that we would wish for them to learn.

Changing all our courses to online delivery is a significant undertaking. Over the weekend, we will be rolling out a series of workshops and courses as well as offering multiple opportunities for discussions on how best to conduct our courses under these constraints. We don’t have all the answers yet, and suggestions and methodologies will evolve over the next few days as we discuss the particular challenges we face in adapting the courses and content that we offer to an online platform. We would encourage departments and/or programs to schedule their own virtual meetings or conference calls to discuss what will work best in their context.

We do not expect a one-size fits all solution will work for all classes, but we do have some expectations that you should take into account as you prepare your courses:

  1. We need to “publish” every active course in Canvas and encourage every enrolled student to log into the Canvas page for their courses. We will need to be documenting how we deliver course material without in person class meetings, and Canvas should be the first stop for each course. Working through Canvas allows students to know where they can find what is expected of them and allows us to track student engagement with the material. If you wish to use other tools to deliver course content, please link those tools and instructions to the Canvas page for the course.
  2. Each course on Canvas needs to have a copy of the original syllabus for the course and an Online Syllabus Update (by March 23). The Online Syllabus Update should explain to students what is expected of them (meetings, assignments, etc.) particularly insofar as the original syllabus must be revised for online delivery (E.g. if the original syllabus said all essays must be submitted in hard copy by the beginning of class, how are they now to be submitted and by what time). What constitutes “attendance” and how it will be counted needs to be clearly addressed and explained.
  3. The College is in the process of arranging a more robust license for Zoom and will also be trying out (and perhaps recommending) other online conferencing platforms over the next several days. We should be able to offer you a video conference platform if you do decide the best way to deliver your courses is a synchronous class meeting conducted through screens. That may make sense for some courses and less sense for others, but we plan to make it available. If you are going to insist upon this type of instruction, please plan to leave your course in the time slot it currently occupies. This will minimize the disruption to existing student schedules and avoid us placing students in conflicts where they are required to be in two “places” at the same time.
  4. We will need you to identify and publish Contactable Hours during which students can reach you and make it clear how they should best do so. We cannot count on catching students after class, in the hall, or at the caf so we need to tell them when we are going to be available and be available when we tell them. If you are uncomfortable texting or calling on your private line with students, we have some technological tools that can be shared and that can help. We expect that each faculty member will publish and keep at least one Contact Hour per credit hour taught (outside of active class meetings) when they are available for students, and we should try to keep in mind that students may need to reach us at hours outside the normal class day.
  5. Answer student emails and other messages. Please. It is always hard to keep up with the email (I surely know!), but students will have many questions, and we need to make sure we get them answers in a timely fashion.

This memo is not the last guidance but the first. We will be working next week to offer opportunities for workshops and resources to help you refine your courses and to answer your questions. Many thanks to Lisa Reilly, Diane Snyder, and Heather Ricciuti who have already researched a number of resources and met with me today to help us identify issues and get started. Kathy Shelek-Furbee and Karen Kormuth have also volunteered to help in pulling together opportunities in this transition, and Malachi Anthony is providing invaluable technical support and advice. If you would like to join us in working on a schedule of workshops or resource lists over the next week, please do volunteer. We will be posting as many good ideas as we can find.

Finally, I would ask that we all engage and approach our students from a perspective of understanding and empathy. This change is going to be deeply unsettling for many of them. Their normal schedules, social networks, academic plans, and athletic aspirations have been completely upended by these events. Some of them may now be home when they would rather be anywhere else, and others may soon be dealing with a serious illness or taking care of others who are sick. Some of them may find themselves providing childcare for younger siblings who are out of school while parents still have to work. Our seniors have had one of the most exciting periods of their college careers yanked out from under them.

Our students are likely to be as challenged by the technical difficulties of switching to online instruction as much as we are and some of them may have to overcome significant hurdles to understand what is being asked of them. We must be understanding of their struggles. This is not to say that we should not have standards, but it is a plea for us to consider how we apply those standards in a very difficult time for all concerned.

I would encourage you to reach out to your students and advisees sooner rather than later. Check on them and their families and reassure them that even if you do not have all the answers about how a class will work now, you will be in touch soon.
Checking in on students who were struggling at their midterm grades now may help them see how they can be successful even in these trying circumstances. And given that the students are not on campus, it is particularly important to complete an academic planning survey on your interactions with them so we know how students plan to improve their academic standing this spring.

Bethany rightly prides itself on caring for its students and offering the extra hand to help them succeed. That approach will be especially important over the next few weeks. Thank you for all you do for Bethany College and all you will do to make this unwanted diversion from our normal business of “close proximity” education as smooth as possible for everyone. Teaching and learning constitute our mission even in times of crisis and both are still possible this semester.

Best wishes and good health to all,

Joe

Dr. Joe Lane
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Professor of Political Science
Bethany College
31 E. Campus Dr.
Bethany, WV 26032

(304) 829-7311 (office)
(304) 975-0256 (cell)
(304) 829-7312 (fax)

5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12

Dear Bethany Community Members,

Since the start of the semester, my senior leadership team and I have been closely monitoring the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We have also been reviewing all recommendations from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, we have been in consultation with our peer institutions in the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The health and safety of the Bethany community has and always will be our highest priority, and it is that commitment that guides us now as we prepare to take some significant steps to safeguard all those in our care and to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the nation. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of West Virginia or on our campus, the situation is an unprecedented global pandemic. We ask for patience and understanding as we make decisions that we ultimately believe are in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff.

As such and at this time with our students currently on spring break, we have made the difficult but necessary decision that the College will remain open to essential operations but with a modified academic delivery until further notice:

  • Spring break will be extended by an additional week, March 16-20, as we prepare to suspend all in-person classes and switch to an online mode of instruction beginning Monday, March 23.
  • We are requesting that students not return to campus if at all possible until further notice.  All students who are currently at their permanent place of residence should remain there or, if they did travel, make arrangements to return home. For those for whom this is not a realistic option, please see information detailed below.
  • All college employees are expected to continue working during this period while observing proper health protocols, described below.
  • College air travel and on-campus events are suspended, until further notice.
  • The Bethany Cabinet will continue to meet regularly to evaluate the circumstances and will keep the Bethany College community informed utilizing email messaging, Facebook posts and texting as appropriate.

We know that there will be many questions during this time, however, we are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution in consultation with public health experts and our peer institutions nationwide. For all of us, this is brand new territory, and we will need to work together as we travel down this unexpected, yet necessary path that places the well-being of all those in our Bethany family at the forefront. This is a shared effort, and I thank each of you for the role you are playing to uphold our values and help each other during this challenging time. Bethany College is a resilient community that cares for each-and-every student, faculty and staff member.  Please make sure you check the website often for pertinent updates regarding the campus.

Warmest regards,

The Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg
President

Effective March 12 Bethany College remains open with modified academic operations. Please refer to details below.

Bethany College will implement the following until further notice and will be carefully monitoring the situation as our understanding of this pandemic evolves quickly. Recognizing the uncertainty this situation causes for the Bethany College family, we believe taking preventative steps now will potentially reduce the risk of future disruptions to our overall operation and mission.

Faculty will be receiving further instructions and guidance on the move to online instruction.  Expect the first of several memos from the Provost this afternoon.  We are offering online training, workshops, and resources to facilitate this transition.  These will take place during the week of March 16-20.

Employees are expected to continue working during this period, observing proper health protocols as described by the CDC and accessible on this webpage. Employees are also asked to assist with cleaning their personal workspaces also following the CDC guidelines.

For staff and faculty who are currently traveling, please take steps now to notify Bethany administration of your plans. Any person returning to campus must complete this survey to receive approval for re-entry to the campus.

Students Currently Off-Campus:  You will be given a discrete date and time frame to enter your dorm rooms and collect your books, computers, and other personal items that will allow you to continue your education from home.  Please contact the Office of Student Life (304) 829-7631 or email to sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.

Students Currently On-Campus:  Please contact the Office of Student Life at (304) 829-7631 or email to sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.  They will assist you with your plans to return home until further notice.  Please take with you your books, computers, and other personal items that will allow you to continue your education from home.

Graduate Interns:  Please plan to return home and remain there unless otherwise directed by your direct supervisor.  Any Graduate Intern authorized to remain on campus, due to the “essential operations” nature of the position, must have formal approval from the Dean of Student Life.

Mental health services are still available to students but will be delivered via phone or video conversation. For appointments, please contact Renee Stock at rstock@bethanywv.edu.

Instruction is moving to online platforms. 

In-person classes are suspended for this coming week to allow faculty and staff to modify delivery of their curriculum. Classes will resume via online and distance platforms on Monday, March 23. Students, please continue to watch your Bethany College email for further instructions.

Students are strongly encouraged to return home or stay home. 

We ask students not to return to campus during this period. On-campus services (residence halls, dining, etc.) will be limited for those with dire circumstances. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs by emailing Executive Director of Student Life Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu or by calling 304-829-7631 to discuss options.

College air travel is suspended. 

All college-sponsored air travel – domestic and international – is suspended. We strongly discourage all personal travel, domestic or international, and may require employees who do travel to self-quarantine upon return.

We remind the community of CDC guidelines and recommendations, which include a self-quarantine of 14 days after travel abroad in specific regions.

College events are suspended. 

All events, gatherings and athletic events in college facilities as well as college-sponsored events on and off campus are suspended until further notice.

Please note: We are working with Dining Services to ensure limited service is available for those who remain on campus. 

1:30 p.m., Friday, March 6

Bethany College Community:

As students get ready to return from spring break vacation, the administration at Bethany College continues to monitor the continually evolving information regarding COVID-19. Bethany College is following recommendations and guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The most effective means of preventing the spread of the flu or COVID-19 is through appropriate hygiene such as hand washing, coughing into your elbow, and practicing social distancing.

All staff, employees, and faculty who are feeling ill will be asked to stay home if they get sick while home over spring break.

Simple and effective tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19 can be found in this video:
https://cloud.c3softworks.com/#/whirl/5dcdab1833dd6616ec00400d

We ask that if students feel sick, to notify the Office of Student Life at gstebbins@bethanywv.edu so that we may assist you with continuing academic work when possible while limiting your contact with other students, faculty, and staff. If you are sick, you should not attend work or class. Please notify the Office of Student Life, and self-quarantine at home or in your residence hall.

What are the Symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

The symptoms for this virus include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Dry Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Respiratory Distress (trouble breathing)

The most prominent symptoms are dry cough, headache, and high fever, which can range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms typically last longer than the flu (up to 18 days).

Bethany College will be monitoring CDC updates several times a day. Check this web page for updates.

Many destinations are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19. The virus can spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. According to the CDC, there is limited access to adequate medical care in these affected areas. You may be at risk of getting stuck in these countries or being forced to quarantine when you return home.

In addition, the CDC has issued guidance for student foreign travel for institutions of higher education (IHE) in which they urge IHEs to consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange and travel programs given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please click here to read the full statement.

For updated travel advisories and virus information you can visit:

  • U.S. Department of State
  • Center for Disease Control
  • General COVID-19 information via the CDC

If necessary, we are prepared to alter our procedures and are planning should the situation with the virus change. We continue to prepare for any necessary changes to travel polices, large events, and athletic events. We will keep the Bethany College community aware in ongoing email communications.

We know many Bethany College families and students will be traveling during our spring break, and we have encouraged all of our students to practice and maintain good hygiene while away. We ask that you closely monitor your health during break. Of course, we are hopeful that everyone will return from break rested and healthy, but should symptoms arise, we ask that you refrain from returning to Bethany or to work with a fever or any flu-like symptoms.

It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion such as the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the CDC, or local governmental organizations will be followed by our school. In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and support of the Bethany community.

Sincerely,

Gerald Stebbins
Dean of Student Life

Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

4:15 p.m., Monday, April 6

Dear Bethany Faculty and Staff:

Today marks the beginning of our third week of remote learning in light of the COVID-19 global health crisis. Shifting successfully to this platform has required significant leadership by our faculty and ongoing collaboration with multiple members of our community. I want to commend your uncompromising dedication and incredible efforts, both of which reflect a true commitment to our students’ success.

This time of social distancing is unprecedented, but the passion for teaching and learning among our faculty is not. Together, what our faculty have delivered and will continue to deliver for the remainder of the spring semester is outstanding, and I encourage all of us to take time to acknowledge their tremendous work at this time. Thank you! I would also like to thank our staff members who are working in partnership with our faculty and who are maintaining our campus in order to support our students in this historic time and to prepare for their return in the fall.

The health and safety of all in the Bethany community continues to be our highest priority, which is why we have pursued the direction we have in recent weeks. At times, our days may have resembled more of a roller coaster of daily uncertainty, and while we strive for excellence always, we do not want to miss opportunities to offer thanks or communicate appreciation proactively. Therefore, let me say again, “Thank you to the entire Bethany faculty and staff.”

As we settle into a new normal, we will learn quickly, continue to adjust our teaching models, re-think our campus plans, and prepare for a meaningful end of the term, all while facing forward to the 2021 academic year.

Additionally, in order to assist with ongoing care and concern for our students, we have created a resource sheet for your use.

My deepest gratitude to each of you for stepping up when our students needed you the most.

Warmest regards,

Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

3 p.m., Friday, April 3

The following message was sent to students.

Dear Students,

As we near the end of the second week of online classes, I want to thank all of you for the effective and professional way that almost all of you have engaged with our courses online. We know that this is not the ideal “Bethany Experience.” I am sure that you would prefer face-to-face instruction, not to mention all the other activities on campus: sports, Greek life, cooking out on CV Hill in the warm sunshine, and being with your friends. And yet we have seen some very engaged and interesting classes and heard many good things from some of you. I can certainly tell you this: We all look forward to seeing you back on campus in the Fall.

We recognize that this sudden shift in instructional mode has been unsettling and that some of you are probably very worried about how this will impact your grade point average. We know that a bad grade can have consequences for your ability to participate in sports and extracurriculars, eligibility for scholarships and graduation honors, and applications for graduate schools and jobs.

Therefore, on Monday, the Faculty voted to allow students to take advantage of Credit/No Credit grading for courses completed in the Spring 2020 semester. When the semester concludes, you will receive grades as you would in a more normal semester, but with your advisor’s approval, you will be able to complete a form that will change the grade in a particular course to Credit/Non-Credit designation that will not affect your gpa. Courses for which you receive “Credit” will count towards your major, minor, or the Liberal Arts Core.

THIS RULE WILL ONLY BE IN EFFECT FOR COURSES TAKEN IN SPRING 2020.

Here is how this will work:

At the end of the semester, you will receive grades through Webadvisor and Student Self-Service as you have in the past.

If you wish to convert your grade in the course from a letter grade, you may change any passing (A, B, C, or D) grade to “Credit,” and you may convert an F to “No Credit.”

Students who are planning to graduate on May 9 must submit their request within 48 hours of the posting of grades. That means your request must be in by April 27 for comping seniors; the date will be May 6 for those who are not taking comps.

Students who are not planning to graduate must submit their request within 7 days of grades posting. We expect grades to post on May 12, and requests for Credit/No Credit changes should be submitted by May 19.

Decisions of the Academic Standards Committee on Academic Warning, Probation, Dismissal as well as scholarship or athletic eligibility will take into account the GPA after applying the Credit/No Credit designation. Because those decisions will be made very quickly after May 19, students are urged to make decisions to request a Credit/No Credit decision quickly. You might ask yourself, “How will I know whether or not to make these requests?” An easy rule of thumb is to look at your cumulative GPA at the end of the Fall 2019 semester. Any grade that is lower than that GPA is one you should consider converting to Credit/No Credit. Any grade that is higher than that GPA is better to leave as a letter grade. If you follow that guideline, your cumulative GPA after the Spring 2020 should be no lower than but could be higher than your cumulative Fall 2019 GPA.

Please carefully review your midterm grades and current academic standing in your courses before meeting with your advisor to plan Fall 2020 courses, and you should be well-prepared to take full advantage of this special grading policy.

The Registrar will communicate with you as we near the end of the semester with instructions on how to complete a form and to receive approval from your faculty advisor.

Please contact the Registrar if you have any questions about how this will work.
We hope you and your families are healthy, well, and safe. Please feel free to email me with any questions or concerns, and please take good care,

Dr. Joe Lane
Provost and Dean of the Faculty

Dean Jerry Stebbins
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Students

3:20 p.m., Monday, March 30

Dear Students, Families, Alumni, Faculty, and Staff,

Our fall semester began as every academic year does. Our incoming students stood poised to experience everything Bethany College has to offer, while our seniors arrived back on campus with visible anticipation and excitement for what their final year would hold.

But then the world changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Since first learning of this profound global crisis, the health and safety of our community has been – and will continue to be – our foremost priority. To protect all members of the Bethany family, we have taken unprecedented measures, including ceasing all in-person classes and moving to remote instruction. Faculty and staff are also working from home at this time.

Sadly, our time apart will now need to be lengthened in light of the virus’ spread and in alignment with ongoing social distancing recommendations from state health officials. Following several conversations with our Board of Trustees and Academic Affairs, and to ensure the health and safety of everyone, we will be extending remote instruction through the remainder of the semester.

I need to pause at this moment and acknowledge the depth of disappointment being felt by the Class of 2020. What was to be a sentimental journey leading to graduation has abruptly halted, bringing with it heartbreak. In making this difficult decision, however, we also make a promise to provide the class with a meaningful Commencement ceremony. We will move forward with an online degree conferral on May 9, 2020 to be followed on Thursday, August 20, 2020 with a Commencement ceremony on campus timed with the official beginning of the new academic year. We invite our Class of 2020 and families to begin to make plans to return to campus at that time.

Meanwhile, I want to commend our community for continuing to put our students first. We deeply miss our students, and the lack of your presence on campus right now is palpable. We also know that our actions are necessary for your well-being and ours. Bethany has always been a College defined by resilience and lasting connections – now more than ever. Many of you have specific questions, answers to which, you will find below following this letter.

Our desire to stay connected also extends into the lives of our alumni, who understand firsthand the many cherished traditions at Bethany and who care deeply about future generations. The call to maintain social distancing has meant the postponement or cancellation of several events, but we are working to provide new and exciting remote engagement opportunities. Expect to hear more from our alumni relations office in the coming days and weeks ahead. I have no doubt that the office’s efforts will help strengthen our bonds with our alumni even more.

The decisions the Cabinet and I have had to make during the past few weeks for the health and safety of our community have all centered on a shared goal to emerge from this global health crisis stronger and more united in our beloved mission. I am honored and humbled to lead our dedicated faculty and staff at this pivotal time and to witness the loyalty and outpouring of support from our alumni. Continue to stay close in spirit while social distancing during this crisis, look out for each other, and find reassurance that your Bethany home will always have your back.

Warmest regards,
Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg
President

Bethany College Student Information

As you live into your online learning experience, Bethany College remains dedicated to your ability to complete your semester. We are also aware that the possibility of returning for a meaningful end of term is not an option before us. Therefore, as of Monday, March 30, 2020, Bethany College will continue online for the remainder of the spring term.

In order to assist students in understanding what this means for them, let me answer the following questions.

1. What is the revised Academic Calendar?  
April 14-17: Registration for the Fall semester opens – rising seniors (April 14), juniors (April 15), sophomores (April 16), and first-year (April 17).  Registration will take place through the online student self-service and will remain open through May 1

April 24: The Last Day of Classes for Students Sitting for Comprehensive Exams

April 27: Grades posted for Seniors who are Comping

April 27-May 1: Study Period for Comprehensive Exams

May 1: Last Day for Graduating Seniors who are not sitting for Comps

May 1: Last Day of regular classes for all undergraduates

May 4-6: Final Examination Period for undergraduates

May 4: Written Comprehensive Examinations (two three-hour sessions)

May 5-8: Oral Comprehensive Examinations  (two-hour Zoom conference orals)

May 9: Degree Conferral and Online Graduation Celebration

2. Will there be a formal Graduation Ceremony?
Bethany will hold a virtual conferral of degrees on May 9th as scheduled. Bethany College will follow this with a formal presentation of diplomas and full Graduation experience on Thursday, August 20, 2020 as we begin the new academic year. We will ask you to please plan to attend and bring your academic regalia for this celebration.

3. Will there be Comprehensive Exams?
Yes, Bethany will hold Comprehensive Exams. The faculty decided to adapt comprehensives to the online format by having students complete a shorter written section in two three-hour sessions on Monday, May 4, and a more substantial oral scheduled later in that week. You will be informed about more details from your departmental faculty, the Registrar, and the Provost.

4. Will I receive a reimbursement or credit from services I did not receive in room & board?
As of March 23, 2020, all Bethany College students will be completing their coursework online or through other distance learning platforms for the remainder of the spring semester. Since announcing this change, the College has been reviewing guidance from the U.S. Department of Education and consulting with West Virginia’s State System of Higher Education to create a fair and equitable plan for returning room & board fees to students whose on-campus experience was interrupted because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

5. How will I receive my refund?
The refund first will be applied to your student account, reducing any total amount you still owe to the College. Once you have paid all balances owed to the College, any remaining funds will be credited to your Fall 2020 Room & Board Fees. Students who are graduating in May 2020 will have your reimbursement returned to you through direct deposit to your bank account. Students graduating without direct deposit will receive a physical check sent by mail to your permanent address.

6. When can I expect my refund or applied credit for next year?
The College expects to issue refunds and applied credit to eligible students as soon as feasible following the Fall Registration period.

7. What about tuition?
In keeping with Bethany College policies and current guidance, tuition and other academic/student service fees will NOT be refunded given that the College is providing students the opportunity to complete your academic semester via online/distance learning instruction.

8. When can I move out from my current dorm room?
Please email Mr. Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu to schedule a time to come and pick up your belongings from your room. In order to uphold social distancing guidelines, limited numbers of students will be permitted in a building at each given time slot. No students can spend the night on campus. Three hour time slots three times a day have been arranged over the next two weeks for students to come to campus to pick up their belongings.  The daily time slots are 8 – 11 a.m., noon – 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. All students must return their keys (including mailbox) in an assigned location in each residence halls.

9. How will I register for next semester from home?
Your faculty advisor will guide you through your registration process. Registration will be extended from April 14th to May 1 in order to give you ample time to meet with your advisor and complete your fall academic plan.

Again, we wish you all a meaningful online learning experience and encourage you to maximize this opportunity. Your faculty, staff and coaches are ready to assist you as needed. You should also be receiving regular contact from the Office of Student Life offering assistance both with online learning, personal health resource contacts, and other needs as they may arise. These are, indeed, unprecedented times and we remain confident in the resilience of our student body and campus community. Please know that we are here for you and we remain always #ONEBethany.

6:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 18

Dear Bethany Employees,

We understand the anxiety and uncertainly that surrounds the unprecedented pandemic (COVID-19) that has plagued our nation. Bethany College’s mission is to “provide teaching and learning in an atmosphere of service and work.” Remaining true to our mission and to our commitment to our valued employees, we are taking all reasonable steps to assure both your health and safety and your continued employment with its associated income stream and benefits. Bethany College is not alone in facing this challenge, but neither Bethany, nor our society, may have previously faced a challenge of this nature and magnitude.

To further protect our campus and the community, we are implementing the following:

Students:
All students have been asked not to return from their spring break (with the exception of a few who face dire circumstances and are unable to leave). Avoiding large groups minimizes the risk of exposure and the transmission of COVID-19 to students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Faculty:
We are delivering instruction in an online format until further notice. Faculty are working diligently to provide education and continuity to our program with classes beginning in this new format on Monday, March 23, 2020. This will enable our students maintain continuity of their academic goals and career plans.

Staff:
In order to ensure essential functions are performed and for our staff employees to continue to work safely, we are implementing a “Work Wise Remote Option.” This program is designed for staff members who can work online and/or telephonically from their homes. These actions are being taken to keep COVID-19 exposure on campus to a minimum so that it will remain safer for those who must continue to report to campus to perform their job duties.

Working from home will require a formal work plan approved by your department head. We will use the following guidelines as of Thursday, March 19, 2020:

  1. A function that can be performed from home, via computer or other means, will be expected to be so performed.
  2. A function that cannot be performed from home, via computer or other means, will have a work plan developed which minimizes risk of exposure while on campus.

Please see your department head to receive your work plan. You will be expected to follow your work plan as outlined in order to remain in full employment standing.

Salaried Exempt Employees: You are expected to perform your normal duties remotely. Please note: Your offices will be available, please let Dean Stebbins or Jay Eisenhauer know you will be on campus and security will be advised.

Salaried Non-Exempt Employees: You are expected to perform your normal duties remotely. You will need to file your time sheet and report it to your department head on a weekly basis. Please note: Your offices will be available, please let Dean Stebbins or Jay Eisenhauer know you will be on campus and security will be advised.

Hourly Employees: We recognize that there are positions that can only be performed by an on-campus presence. We are working to ensure that those functions can be performed in a relatively risk free environment. You are expected to meet with your department head (in person or by other means) and receive a formal work plan. Your presence on campus is necessary in order to fulfill your job responsibilities. Regardless of working on campus or remotely, you will be responsible for tracking your work hours on a weekly basis. If you are on campus, please punch in and punch out. If you are working remotely, per your work plan, please track hours and report weekly. Weekly hours worked will need to be submitted to payroll following the existing procedure.

Additional Campus Updates:
The College Health Center will be closed at this time. If you call Health Services, you will be transferred to Student Life and provided information available to address your concern. Online telehealth and mental health options will be available to you. If you are covered by our medical benefits, fees have been waived to access medical guidance through telemedicine by calling the number on the back of your ID card. Our EAP services remain available to employees by calling 1-888-293-6948 or visiting www.workhealthlife.com/Standard3

The College Sick Leave Policy is hereby suspended for those who report they were exposed to COVID-19, a medical doctor recommends to self-quarantine, have symptoms mirroring or have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Employees who report one of these scenarios will receive excused sick time for the recommended quarantine period. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Please contact your supervisor or Human Resources by phone or email to discuss any special circumstances or concerns you may have. If you are working from home, you are still required to report to your supervisor if you are sick or taking vacation or personal time.

Until March 22, the Library will be available to faculty and staff by appointment from noon to 4:00 p.m. When you arrive at the Library, please call the number posted on the door or send an email in advance to library@bethanywv.edu ahead of time so that they may prepare materials for you before you arrive. Effective, Monday, March 23rd, all library services will be delivered digitally.

We will continue to monitor the situation and will follow the guidelines as outlined by the CDC, state and local government. We will continue to keep you informed as new information becomes available.

Once again, I remain grateful for your dedicated leadership in our community and on our campus.

Sincerely,
Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

4:20 p.m., Wednesday, March 18

The College Sick Leave Policy is hereby suspended for those who report they were exposed to COVID-19, a medical doctor recommends to self-quarantine, have symptoms mirroring or have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. Employees who report one of these scenarios will receive excused sick time for the recommended quarantine period. This policy will remain in effect until further notice. Please contact your supervisor or Human Resources by phone or email to discuss any special circumstances or concerns you may have. If you are working from home, you are still required to report to your supervisor if you are sick or taking vacation or personal time.

Thank you.

Dr. Rodenberg

11:20 a.m., Tuesday, March 17

Bethany Students, Parents, Faculty, and Staff,

I must begin this note with words of deepest appreciation for your patience, understanding, kindness, and collaborative spirit. Last week’s decisions at Bethany and in the national landscape of higher education were unprecedented, but we took the steps we did because we care greatly about the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. At Bethany, we are a family, and we want each member of our family to be safe.

Bethany is blessed to have students who come from across the United States and around the world. With that in mind, and upon the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we determined that extending our spring break and moving to online learning beginning March 23 was the best course of action for our community at this time. This decision was one of the hardest I, along with my Cabinet, have ever had to make as it means we are keeping you from your second home, your friends, and your college community you helped to build. This is unimaginable to all of us at Bethany as our students and their experience living and learning together on our beautiful residential campus are at the heart of our mission and purpose.

I also recognize that this decision brings with it many questions, and I want to applaud all of our campus leaders for spending hours working to answer as many of them as they can these past few days. This level of personal engagement is #ONEBethany on full display, and I am beyond proud of the compassion being shown to all our constituents and to one another during this challenging time in our world.

As for our seniors, I know this is exceptionally difficult with graduation on the horizon. We pray that the spread of COVID-19 will subside, and that all those affected globally can find comfort, but we simply cannot commit to a firm decision about Commencement at this time. I assure you, we will make an announcement regarding Comprehensive Exams and Graduation as soon as possible. We are all navigating uncertainly right now, but through it all, we will continue do everything we can to make your final year special, all while adhering to the advice of public health officials.

Bethany College is resilient and for generations has promoted the creation of a world of worth and value. The health of our campus and global community calls us to take extraordinary measures right now, and I remain grateful to each of you for your continued understanding and desire to do whatever is needed for our students, our campus, and the world in which we live.

Warm regards,

Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

5:30 p.m., Thursday, March 12

Dear Bethany Community Members,

Since the start of the semester, my senior leadership team and I have been closely monitoring the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). We have also been reviewing all recommendations from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, we have been in consultation with our peer institutions in the states of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The health and safety of the Bethany community has and always will be our highest priority, and it is that commitment that guides us now as we prepare to take some significant steps to safeguard all those in our care and to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the nation. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state of West Virginia or on our campus, the situation is an unprecedented global pandemic. We ask for patience and understanding as we make decisions that we ultimately believe are in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff.

As such and at this time with our students currently on spring break, we have made the difficult but necessary decision that the College will remain open to essential operations but with a modified academic delivery until further notice:

  • Spring break will be extended by an additional week, March 16-20, as we prepare to suspend all in-person classes and switch to an online mode of instruction beginning Monday, March 23.
  • We are requesting that students not return to campus if at all possible until further notice.  All students who are currently at their permanent place of residence should remain there or, if they did travel, make arrangements to return home. For those for whom this is not a realistic option, please see information detailed below.
  • All college employees are expected to continue working during this period while observing proper health protocols, described below.
  • College air travel and on-campus events are suspended, until further notice.
  • The Bethany Cabinet will continue to meet regularly to evaluate the circumstances and will keep the Bethany College community informed utilizing email messaging, Facebook posts and texting as appropriate.

We know that there will be many questions during this time, however, we are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution in consultation with public health experts and our peer institutions nationwide. For all of us, this is brand new territory, and we will need to work together as we travel down this unexpected, yet necessary path that places the well-being of all those in our Bethany family at the forefront. This is a shared effort, and I thank each of you for the role you are playing to uphold our values and help each other during this challenging time. Bethany College is a resilient community that cares for each-and-every student, faculty and staff member.  Please make sure you check the website often for pertinent updates regarding the campus.

Warmest regards,

The Rev. Dr. Tamara Rodenberg
President

Effective March 12 Bethany College remains open with modified academic operations. Please refer to details below.

Bethany College will implement the following until further notice and will be carefully monitoring the situation as our understanding of this pandemic evolves quickly. Recognizing the uncertainty this situation causes for the Bethany College family, we believe taking preventative steps now will potentially reduce the risk of future disruptions to our overall operation and mission.

Faculty will be receiving further instructions and guidance on the move to online instruction.  Expect the first of several memos from the Provost this afternoon.  We are offering online training, workshops, and resources to facilitate this transition.  These will take place during the week of March 16-20.

Employees are expected to continue working during this period, observing proper health protocols as described by the CDC and accessible on this webpage. Employees are also asked to assist with cleaning their personal workspaces also following the CDC guidelines.

For staff and faculty who are currently traveling, please take steps now to notify Bethany administration of your plans. Any person returning to campus must complete this survey to receive approval for re-entry to the campus.

Students Currently Off-Campus:  You will be given a discrete date and time frame to enter your dorm rooms and collect your books, computers, and other personal items that will allow you to continue your education from home.  Please contact the Office of Student Life (304) 829-7631 or email to sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.

Students Currently On-Campus:  Please contact the Office of Student Life at (304) 829-7631 or email to sgoodge@bethanywv.edu.  They will assist you with your plans to return home until further notice.  Please take with you your books, computers, and other personal items that will allow you to continue your education from home.

Graduate Interns:  Please plan to return home and remain there unless otherwise directed by your direct supervisor.  Any Graduate Intern authorized to remain on campus, due to the “essential operations” nature of the position, must have formal approval from the Dean of Student Life.

Mental health services are still available to students but will be delivered via phone or video conversation. For appointments, please contact Renee Stock at rstock@bethanywv.edu.

Instruction is moving to online platforms. 

In-person classes are suspended for this coming week to allow faculty and staff to modify delivery of their curriculum. Classes will resume via online and distance platforms on Monday, March 23. Students, please continue to watch your Bethany College email for further instructions.

Students are strongly encouraged to return home or stay home. 

We ask students not to return to campus during this period. On-campus services (residence halls, dining, etc.) will be limited for those with dire circumstances. Please contact the Office of Student Affairs by emailing Executive Director of Student Life Sam Goodge at sgoodge@bethanywv.edu or by calling 304-829-7631 to discuss options.

College air travel is suspended. 

All college-sponsored air travel – domestic and international – is suspended. We strongly discourage all personal travel, domestic or international, and may require employees who do travel to self-quarantine upon return.

We remind the community of CDC guidelines and recommendations, which include a self-quarantine of 14 days after travel abroad in specific regions.

College events are suspended. 

All events, gatherings and athletic events in college facilities as well as college-sponsored events on and off campus are suspended until further notice.

Please note: We are working with Dining Services to ensure limited service is available for those who remain on campus. 

1:30 p.m., Friday, March 6

Bethany College Community:

As students get ready to return from spring break vacation, the administration at Bethany College continues to monitor the continually evolving information regarding COVID-19. Bethany College is following recommendations and guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The most effective means of preventing the spread of the flu or COVID-19 is through appropriate hygiene such as hand washing, coughing into your elbow, and practicing social distancing.

All staff, employees, and faculty who are feeling ill will be asked to stay home if they get sick while home over spring break.

Simple and effective tips for preventing the spread of COVID-19 can be found in this video:
https://cloud.c3softworks.com/#/whirl/5dcdab1833dd6616ec00400d

We ask that if students feel sick, to notify the Office of Student Life at gstebbins@bethanywv.edu so that we may assist you with continuing academic work when possible while limiting your contact with other students, faculty, and staff. If you are sick, you should not attend work or class. Please notify the Office of Student Life, and self-quarantine at home or in your residence hall.

What are the Symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

The symptoms for this virus include:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Dry Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Respiratory Distress (trouble breathing)

The most prominent symptoms are dry cough, headache, and high fever, which can range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms typically last longer than the flu (up to 18 days).

Bethany College will be monitoring CDC updates several times a day. Check this web page for updates.

Many destinations are experiencing sustained community transmission of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19. The virus can spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel. According to the CDC, there is limited access to adequate medical care in these affected areas. You may be at risk of getting stuck in these countries or being forced to quarantine when you return home.

In addition, the CDC has issued guidance for student foreign travel for institutions of higher education (IHE) in which they urge IHEs to consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange and travel programs given the global outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Please click here to read the full statement.

For updated travel advisories and virus information you can visit:

  • U.S. Department of State
  • Center for Disease Control
  • General COVID-19 information via the CDC

If necessary, we are prepared to alter our procedures and are planning should the situation with the virus change. We continue to prepare for any necessary changes to travel polices, large events, and athletic events. We will keep the Bethany College community aware in ongoing email communications.

We know many Bethany College families and students will be traveling during our spring break, and we have encouraged all of our students to practice and maintain good hygiene while away. We ask that you closely monitor your health during break. Of course, we are hopeful that everyone will return from break rested and healthy, but should symptoms arise, we ask that you refrain from returning to Bethany or to work with a fever or any flu-like symptoms.

It is important to remember that handling the spread of a serious contagion such as the coronavirus is primarily a task for public health agencies. Any directives from the CDC, or local governmental organizations will be followed by our school. In times like this, we are particularly grateful for the strength and support of the Bethany community.

Sincerely,

Gerald Stebbins
Dean of Student Life

Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg
President

9:45 a.m., Tuesday, April 7

Prospective students are invited to visit Bethany College virtually. All first-time visitors to the college using the virtual option will receive a $1,000 grant for each of their four years at Bethany College.

3:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 31

Dear Prospective Students and Families,

Having spent my entire career doing admission and financial aid work, I can say that it has been a privilege to assist students and their families as they navigate the process and find their college home. I am passionate about helping people through what is typically an exciting and sometimes confusing and stressful process. But no other year has felt as confusing and uncertain as this one.

As I work from my home, spending my days in virtual meetings and brainstorming ways to stay connected as a staff, as a College, and as a community, my focus is primarily on how Bethany College stays connected to you, our prospective Bethanians. And I am reflecting on the ways your lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped our world. The disappointment the collective Class of 2020 must feel is palpable as the many celebratory moments you planned to experience this spring are on hold. Please know I feel it, and while I may not know you personally, I feel for you as a collective group.

I also know that spring 2020 is the time that you are to be finalizing your college plans. For the Classes of 2021 and 2022, this may be the time you planned to start your college search. A visit to Bethany College  in the spring is like nothing else with the lush green, rolling hills, the sound of athletic contests echoing across the campus, and buds on the trees just starting to blossom. Through the decades, countless numbers of students have experienced taking that first walk through the campus and falling in love with Bethany. I wish you could be here now, but the requirement to remain socially distant is not allowing for our typical visits.

In thinking about the challenges you are facing, and with a sincere desire to assist you in your college search, we at Bethany College have taken some steps to help in these unprecedented times.

  1. Given the unpredictability of the coronavirus crisis and how it impacts you as a family, we know your intentions about going to college may also now be fluid. We are committed to continuing to accept applications for the Fall 2020 class well into the summer and have created a more streamlined application for you to use if you have not yet applied for admission to Bethany College.
  2. Given the challenges of not being in your high schools at this time, and with limited access to your school counselor, Bethany College is allowing students to submit self-reported grade point averages to be considered for admission.
  3. Similarly, given the cancellations or postponements of standardized testing, Bethany College is reviewing applications with or without standardized test scores for domestic students.
  4. May 1st has traditionally been the national enrollment decision deadline. While we encourage you to make your college choice and submit your enrollment deposit as soon as possible, we are officially extending our recommended enrollment deadline to June 1st, with additional extended grace periods throughout the summer, as needed.
  5. While Bethany College has been generous and aggressive in awarding scholarships and financial assistance to students who have submitted their FAFSA, we continue to stay committed to doing all we can to assist families with affordability. If you have not yet submitted your FAFSA, please do so as soon as you can so we can extend a generous offer to you. If you have received your financial aid award but are experiencing income changes during this global health crisis, please contact us at financialaid@bethanywv.edu to discuss your situation.
  6. And finally, while we cannot host you on campus for a visit, we encourage you to check our campus visit webpage for great videos that show this beautiful place and our active student body. We have provided a way for you to make a virtual appointment with one of our enrollment team members who are here to talk with you, no matter where you are in your college search process. And to further encourage you to connect with us, we are offering our $1,000 per year visit grant to students who “visit” us for the first time, virtually.

As you can see, the Bethany College community is like a family. And family takes care of family. We are here to help take care of you as you go through your college search during a challenging season.

Sincerely,
Karen Hunt
Vice President for Enrollment