Looking for Answers?

Students can find answers to their questions about academic issues here. For general university information, refer to the University Response Page

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Attendance

Policies related to class absences and attendance are determined by the instructor for each course taught. As the faculty member is most knowledgeable of the course content, and presence is tied so closely to their teaching methods and the discipline, the instructor is best positioned to create the requirements for their individual courses. All faculty are required to develop their own policies for their courses and share those policies with their students in the course syllabus.

Faculty are expected and encouraged to be flexible and understanding in working with their students regarding absences to find reasonable options for covering class material and assignments. This is especially true while students are in quarantine or isolation, as avoiding contact with others benefits the entire JMU community.

If you have questions or concerns about class policies, your first action should always be talking with your instructor.

Students should always work directly with their instructors for class-specific questions or issues, including attendance. Talk with your instructor in advance of missing a class.

Faculty and students are expected collaborate to find the best options for class participation if students are unable to be physically present. The method of how you proceed will vary by course.

While some classes are well suited for virtual delivery, some courses may not have great solutions (e.g., a piano workshop, or a course on instrumentation where students need to work with a specialized piece of equipment). The best option may be an online accommodation, but virtual delivery of classes is not required.

You may also be able to work with your instructors to receive an “I” (Incomplete) grade for courses you were unable to complete during the semester.  Information about incomplete grades are noted in the Undergraduate Catalog. Look in the section titled Incomplete Grades. There is also a withdraw option for individual courses on the same page.

If you need to with withdraw from all courses and from the university due to medical or other reasons, the you must follow the appropriate withdrawal process as outlined here. More information on withdrawal from the university, including information about refunds, is available from the Dean of Students Office.

Faculty cannot require documentation from the University Health Center (UHC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or a doctor's office for absences due to COVID. In addition, you cannot be required to submit proof of COVID testing, as it constitutes personal, confidential medical records.

The UHC offers a Self-Care Note, which faculty can require from students who must miss class. You could indicate under “Other” that you have tested positive for COVID-19, or you may decline to disclose symptoms or your COVID-19 diagnosis. 

As a condition of the Honor Code, students are required to tell the truth about their absences or face an Honor Code violation.

We expect you to make decisions about attendance based on your known exposures and/or positive tests, neither of which require outside documentation. Also, part of the UHC’s role on campus is to educate students on the appropriate use of health care. Most illnesses can be treated with self-care and do not require a medical appointment. The UHC medical team needs to focus on taking care of those who require a medical visit. 

You may choose to work with the Dean of Students for extended absences unrelated to COVID.

Faculty cannot require documentation from the University Health Center (UHC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or a doctor's office for absences due to COVID. In addition, you cannot be required to submit proof of COVID testing, as it constitutes personal, confidential medical records.

The UHC offers a Self-Care Note, which faculty can require from students who must miss class. You could indicate under “Other” that you have tested positive for COVID-19, or you may decline to disclose symptoms or your COVID-19 diagnosis. 

As a condition of the Honor Code, students are required to tell the truth about their absences or face an Honor Code violation.

We expect you to make decisions about attendance based on your known exposures and/or positive tests, neither of which require outside documentation. Also, part of the UHC’s role on campus is to educate students on the appropriate use of health care. Most illnesses can be treated with self-care and do not require a medical appointment. The UHC medical team needs to focus on taking care of those who require a medical visit. 

Online Course Resources

You can start by evaluating your online readiness.

Some technology, like software, will vary by course, so be sure to check with your instructor. For general information on hardware, look here.

Check out the resources offered by various offices, which are compiled here.

Be sure to let your instructor know if you have problems accessing the internet. The Libraries have gathered resources to assist in securing reliable internet access.

Classroom Behavior

Yes. Causing a distruption to a class, whether the class is virtual or in person, may be reported by your instructor to the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP) and result in sanctions. 

 

Effective Monday, April 11, 2022, masks are no longer required in classrooms; however, they are still required:

  • At clinics on campus and in accordance with requirements at external locations, such as clinical placements, student teaching assignments, etc.
  • On public transportation (including buses) following current federal rules.
  • In private offices, when requested.
  • In other instances where specific contractual obligations apply.

There may be other areas of campus where masks will continue to be required. Those will be designated with appropriate signs.

If you recently tested positive for COVID-19, you must follow the isolation and quarantine instructions.

If you test positive for COVID, you should:

VDH will not be conducting contact tracing, so we strongly encourage you to contact anyone they have been in close contact with to help protect the health of the entire JMU community.

Faculty members may hold their required office hours in person or online. If you are unsure, ask your instructor!

Instructors may choose to record none, some or all of their classes to share with students, but recording is not required. 

Students may record classes only with instructor permission and in accordance with Academic Affairs Policy #15. See this question for more details.

If you are allowed to record classes under an approved ODS accomodation, this policy does not apply. 

Students may record classes only with instructor permission.

Instructors may give students permission to record their classes. You may not record classes without permission from your instructors, and instructors may revoke permission for a student to record at any time. Instructors may limit which portions of class may be recorded. 

Students can share recordings only with students enrolled in the same class this semester. Students must always provide a copy of the recording to the course instructor upon instructor request.

Keep in mind that recordings of class sessions:

  • and their use, dissemination and storage may not violate copyright or other intellectual property rights, laws or policies.
  • may only be for educational use and purposes.
  • may not be used in any way that denigrates and/or decontextualizes an instructor, student, or guest.

These requirements, and others, are detailed in Academic Affairs Policy #15, Class Session Recordings and Distribution. All recordings must be made and used in accordance with this policy.

If you are allowed to record classes under an approved ODS accomodation, this policy does not apply. 

Student Academic Support

The Learning Centers and Libraries are here to support you, in person and online! The Learning Centers are continuing to offer online tutoring, consultations and study sessions. Likewise, JMU Libraries continues to offer students help with finding information for assignments and projects, as well as providing support for moving to online learning. For support with online classes, check out these resources.

Learning Centers:

JMU Libraries:

Online reporting will operate as normal. Details are posted on the Honor Council website.

Counseling Services

The Counseling Center is open Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. To access services and speak to a Counseling Center clinician, visit the center during walk-in hours, 10 AM to 3 PM, Monday-Friday. Emergency services are available throughout the workday.

After regular business hours or on weekends, emergency assistance can be obtained by calling the Counseling Center at 540-568-6552 and selecting “Option 1” to connect to the afterhours crisis line.

For more information about services and resources, visit the Counseling Center’s website.

If you are concerned about a student, consider sending a Madison Cares referral. Madison Cares is a centralized program for departments, students, parents and community members to refer or consult about students of concern. They operate as an extended arm to students experiencing varying levels of social, emotional, academic or mental health stressors.

Anyone can submit a referral online for a student they are concerned about through the Madison Cares program. They will respond and address any concerns by providing care outreach, university resources, and direct support.

Graduate Students

Your program faculty should be your first point of contact, and The Graduate School is here to assist however they can. We've developed a series of FAQs specific to graduate students, found here.

Graduate students who have officially withdrawn from the university and who wish to return for Spring 2022 should contact The Graduate School as soon as possible at grad@jmu.edu or 540-568-6131.

International Students

The Center for Global Engagement is committed to supporting our international students and faculty. Visit our website (https://www.jmu.edu/global/) for the latest information.

If you're coming to Harrisonburg, International Student and Scholar Services has all the answers and information you'll need.

Prospective Students

Yes! JMU will maintain its current policy of accepting credit for courses with grades of “C” or higher. The Office of the Registrar will verify that students earned the equivalent of “C” or higher for any course with a grade of “credit,” “pass” or “pass+.” This policy will apply to all transfer course work, including dual enrollment credit.

Yes, the university will maintain its current policies for accepting these prior learning assessments taken during this year. See more information on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge

For more information, visit JMU Admissions

Back to Top