Return to Learn FAQs

Please visit the university's Return to Learn website first, as well as the university-wide FAQ page.

Below is some additional guidance from the CAS Dean's Office on a few of the topics.

    In accordance with Winthrop’s class attendance policy, students must attend no less than 75% of the online and in-person class meetings. For online meetings, participation and completion of course activities indicate attendance. The course has been designed to integrate in-person instruction to foster growth and development opportunities. The in-person meetings are outlined in the schedule and student must attend at least 75% of the in-person meetings to pass the class. Exceptions to this policy will be allowed when documentation of the illness is provided by the student or by the Dean of Students office.  

    As a general rule of thumb, the College recommends 1 hour of scheduled office hours for every 3 credit hours of instruction. 

    In accordance with the university's Return to Instruction plan (section 2.18), "Academic support such as advising, office hours, and tutoring will continue to be provided in virtual formats in order to minimize face-to-face contact in small office spaces."

    The above principle may be satisfied by some of the following suggested means:

    • Scheduling virtual, synchronous office hours delivered electronically – e.g., via Blackboard Collaborate, Teams, Zoom, or the like; 
    • Scheduling non-synchronous communication, clearly indicating when and how the student should submit a query and when and how the student should expect a response from the instructor. Stated response times may vary over the course of the week based on the needs of students: some students may readily access communications media during weekdays; others may need interaction during evenings or weekends. 
    • Providing the student with multiple means of contacting the instructor for direct interaction: telephone/s; text; e-mail; video- or tele-conference; etc.; 
    • Providing students with a means of joint or group interaction with the instructor, such as a chat room or discussion board; 
    • Linking the “office hours” policy with a broader set of communications expectations applying to both instructor and student; 

    Note: If you do offer contact with students via web interface, we recommend testing the connection with students early in the semester so that students are familiar and comfortable with its use. 

    Consult with your department Chair for department-specific guidelines or requirements. 

    For help with Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate, contact the Office of Online Learning (e-mail: or go directly to one of their support pages:

    For help with Teams, Zoom (once available), and general hardware issues, contact the IT office (e-mail: or go directly to one of their support pages:

    The Division of Student Affairs will handle mask-related cases as they do with other violations of the Student Code of Conduct. Approval for students to wear a face shield instead of a mask will be shared with faculty much like other accessibility accommodations are shared. Report a violation of mask requirements or other concerns here.

    Departments should be building in scheduling contingencies to plan for these likely occurrences. The college will work with department chairs on compensation for coverage that extends beyond 14 days.

    At-risk or academically vulnerable students can be referred to the Academic Success Center. Report academic concerns about your students here. 

    You can report your concerns to and the appropriate office will follow up.

    If you have a question or concern that is not covered on the university's Return to Learn website or the university-wide FAQ page and is also not addressed here, please use the form below to send it to the dean's office.



    The committee's recommendations and concerns as well as a guidance document from DHEC can be accessed below.

    CAS COVID-19 Recovery Committee Recommendations (link to PDF; 1.1MB; access restricted to active WIN accounts)

    DHEC College and University Guidance (link to PDF; 320KB; access restricted to active WIN accounts)

    In addition, Dr. Dwight Dimaculangan (Biology Department Chair) gave a presentation about the virus at the August 18, 2020 CAS Facutly Assembly. That presentation is available below (restricted to active WIN accounts).