Policy for Spring/Summer/Fall 2020 Completion for Higher Risk Populations: Alternative Options and Petition

Rationale: As USF makes the decision to go online with classes and return to campus when risk has diminished, it recognizes that the entire student body cannot move back and forth easily or have equal access to technology that allows for remote learning. For example, students may struggle with VPN, regular access to the internet, and time zone differences. The current environment does not allow for the international student population and those who are health vulnerable to return home or back to campus with ease. Government travel restrictions and mandated quarantine periods may make it very difficult for an international student on a nonimmigrant visa to reenter from their home country to return to their studies at USF in the summer or fall. Additionally, the CDC recommends those with compromised immune systems or other underlying health conditions stay home as much as possible and practice social distancing and it is not known how long that recommendation will remain in place. This policy addresses the needs of these populations and allows for USF students who otherwise may be forced to take a Leave of Absence under the current conditions, to complete their coursework and stay on track with their studies.

Applies to: International students; domestic students with CDC cited vulnerabilities; graduate and undergraduate, except for JD Law students. For Summer 2020 can also apply to students completing their final classes and encounter limitations related to the pandemic.


  • Due date for petitions: April 17, 2020
  • Students who have returned home for remote instruction, but are unable to return to the United States or to a USF campus after classes resume in-person format may:
    • ┬áIf an online option is available, complete the semester remotely, so long as location technology supports and the course format allows for remote completion.
    • Finish the remaining weeks of coursework remotely as independent course completion with the instructor providing a revised syllabus if needed and completed work being submitted electronically.
    • Receive an incomplete and complete the work as independent course completion with the instructor providing a revised syllabus if needed and completed work submitted during the summer or the following semester.
  • Deans will provide additional guidance, where necessary, for discipline-specific needs.
  • Submitted to CASA; approved by deans

Approval Process:

  • Student submits petition to CASA/Dean's office by April 17, 2020
  • Deans (or delegate) review and approve
  • For approved petitions, Deans (or delegate) will notify the instructor and work with the instructor to determine the method of completion.
  • Once approved, Deans (or delegate) will notify student. Instructor and student can connect and make arrangements to complete courses for the remainder of the semester.
  • For denied petitions, Deans (or delegate) will notify student.

Fillable PDF Form will Contain:

  • Students Name, CWID, Email, Phone
  • A statement from the student explaining barriers to completing the spring 2020 or summer 2020 semester remotely.
  • Provide supporting documentation (medical note for health conditions, copy of passport if international student)
  • Where student wants to complete courses
  • List all spring or summer courses
  • Adequacy of internet access
  • Faculty Signature (can be obtained electronically or email approval)
  • CASA/Deans Signature Students submitting a petition should be in good academic standing.

Suggestions for deans to share with instructors:

  • Allow flexibility in attending synchronous lectures
  • Record lectures and allow students with inconsistent access to internet to view asynchronously
  • Allow flexibility in due dates for assignments as students adjust to new circumstances and living arrangements
  • Consider the time difference for international students