Tuesday, March 24, 2020 -Spring 2020 Temporary Changes to Academic Calendar & Grading Policies

Sent on behalf of President Cynthia Teniente-Matson and Provost Michael J. O’Brien

We know that this is a challenging time and that the circumstances and changes to your learning environment may be causing you some anxiety. In order to offer as much flexibility as possible, we are working to adjust the academic calendar and grading policies for the spring 2020 semester. 

  • To start, we are extending the deadline to drop with an automatic “W” to the last class day for all spring 2020 sessions (full-term, second eight-week, second five-week, and third five-week).
    • No instructor signature will be required, and you will automatically be given a grade of “W” if you drop.
    • To drop a class, please e-mail your request to the Office of the Registrar at registrar@tamusa.edu and include your name, J or K number, and class information (subject, CRN, and section number).
  • Drops made after March 11, 2020—the day we moved to online classes—will NOT count against your six-drop limit.

Finally, we want to share with you that we are working rapidly on some changes to grading policies that we hope will help address your concerns. We expect to have details worked out this week and to be able to make an announcement of changes in the near future.

Thank you for your continued patience as we examine all possibilities for dealing with these unprecedented circumstances.

Previous Messages


Dear Jaguar Students,

Your safety and academic progress remain our primary goals!  We know that you have been receiving a lot of information and that there are many questions and concerns you have related to COVID-19, the transition to online delivery of classes, and changes to scheduled university events, including some cherished ceremonies and traditions. Understandably, you have questions and concerns about these circumstances.

To provide you with an opportunity to raise those questions, a virtual Student Town Hall meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at  4 p.m.(Thursday, March 18). The panel, moderated by La-Tieka Sims, President of the Student Government Association, will include Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President; Dr. Michael O'Brien, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; and me.

  • To join the virtual Student Town Hall, please connect to the meeting just prior to 4 p.m. using the Student Town Hall link
  • We will also stream on Instagram Live @studentlifetamusa.
  • We invite you to send your questions prior to the Town Hall to vpsse@tamusa.edu to help us ensure that we are prepared to address the issues that concern you the most.
  • You will also be able to submit questions live during the Town Hall via the chat function. 

Earlier this evening, you received the news that commencement will be postponed until the fall. I want you to know this milestone will be commemorated in an alternative way during May. We are working in partnership with the Student Government Association to identify a creative and memorable experience to celebrate our graduates appropriately. I encourage you to reach out to your SGA representatives or me with your suggestions.

Finally, as you plan and consider participating in social events and activities, on and off campus, please be mindful that an important way to lower the risk of COVID-19 is to follow the social distancing guidelines endorsed by public health sources that recommend no more than 10 individuals be together at any time. On-campus, we are prohibiting any gatherings in excess of 10 participants. This applies to all student clubs and organizations, fraternities, sororities and any other student groups, as well as informal gatherings of students on campus for study groups or other activities.

As always, please call on us with your questions at (210) 784-1527 or by email at vpsse@tamusa.edu. I look forward to connecting with you all during the virtual Student Town Hall on Thursday!

Stay well, 

Mari Fuentes-Martin, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Success and Engagement
Texas A&M University-San Antonio


Dear Jaguars,

I hope you are all enjoying good health during this extended Spring Break week. As you know, the University remains open and faculty and staff are back at work as of yesterday, readying the University as we prepare for next week and beyond. I write today to share with you updated information that has already emerged from our planning process. I apologize in advance for my lengthy update - it is important that you are informed of all of the developments that will affect you directly. Please take the time to read the whole message.

First, a decision was made yesterday to deliver ALL courses online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. This decision was not made lightly, and reflects the abundance of caution that we are taking to protect your health and safety. As I mentioned in a previous message, faculty are taking this week to prepare for the transition to online learning. We understand you may have questions or concerns about how this will work. We will continue to keep you informed and ask for your patience as we finalize details this week.

Here is some information on when you can expect information:

  • By Wednesday - you will receive initial instructions and information from your instructors, though they may not yet have the full course plan for the rest of the semester finalized.
  • Later this week - you will also receive information about options available for students who do not have a personal computer and/or internet access at home.

As I mentioned in my last message, the University remains open even though classes will be conducted online.

  • All student support services such as the Academic Success Center, the Academic Advising Office, and the Writing Center remain in operation.
  • Please note that some offices may have transitioned to remote appointments and/or will need to limit the number of people in the office at a given time-so it is a good idea to call ahead for up-to-date information before coming to campus.
  • An exception to campus offices being open is the Recreational Sports department, including the gym and game room. These areas are closed for the remainder of this week as new protocols to minimize risk of virus and germ transmission are being developed.

At this time, there are no plans to extend the semester and the academic calendar remains unchanged. However, a number of events and Jaguar traditions will be impacted. We know that students and families look forward to these events but some changes are necessary to protect the campus community from risk.

  • Due to the need to limit large gatherings, the April 4 Ring Ceremony is canceled, but may be rescheduled for a later date. We will share this information with you as it becomes available.
  • We are currently considering the possibility of postponing spring commencement - a final decision will be made sometime this week after we consider all factors.

Finally, you may recall that the University requested that all recent and upcoming travel (through May 9) be reported through the Travel Self-Report form. This is a very important step in our ability to monitor any risk to the campus community. Please also note an important new policy: If you have recently traveled internationally to any country at all, you must NOT come to campus for 14 days following the date of your return to the U.S. Please use the Travel Self-Report form to report your travel. The University's Risk Management team will reach out to you with further instructions after you submit this form.

This is a constantly evolving situation. As such, I will be updating you frequently as new information becomes available. You can help by monitoring your University email even while you are off-campus. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my office at (210) 784-1489 or email me at vpsse@tamusa.edu.

Know that the A&M-San Antonio faculty and staff are working hard to support your continued health and safety, and your academic success. While these are challenging times, as members of the Jaguar family, we will get through them together.


Take care,

Dr. Mari Fuentes-Martin
Vice President, Student Success and Engagement


Dear Jaguars,

I hope you are all enjoying good health during this extended Spring Break week. As you know, the University remains open and faculty and staff are back at work as of yesterday, readying the University as we prepare for next week and beyond. I write today to share with you updated information that has already emerged from our planning process. I apologize in advance for my lengthy update - it is important that you are informed of all of the developments that will affect you directly. Please take the time to read the whole message.

First, a decision was made yesterday to deliver ALL courses online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. This decision was not made lightly, and reflects the abundance of caution that we are taking to protect your health and safety. As I mentioned in a previous message, faculty are taking this week to prepare for the transition to online learning. We understand you may have questions or concerns about how this will work. We will continue to keep you informed and ask for your patience as we finalize details this week.

Here is some information on when you can expect information:

  • By Wednesday - you will receive initial instructions and information from your instructors, though they may not yet have the full course plan for the rest of the semester finalized.
  • Later this week - you will also receive information about options available for students who do not have a personal computer and/or internet access at home.

As I mentioned in my last message, the University remains open even though classes will be conducted online.

  • All student support services such as the Academic Success Center, the Academic Advising Office, and the Writing Center remain in operation.
  • Please note that some offices may have transitioned to remote appointments and/or will need to limit the number of people in the office at a given time-so it is a good idea to call ahead for up-to-date information before coming to campus.
  • An exception to campus offices being open is the Recreational Sports department, including the gym and game room. These areas are closed for the remainder of this week as new protocols to minimize risk of virus and germ transmission are being developed.

At this time, there are no plans to extend the semester and the academic calendar remains unchanged. However, a number of events and Jaguar traditions will be impacted. We know that students and families look forward to these events but some changes are necessary to protect the campus community from risk.

  • Due to the need to limit large gatherings, the April 4 Ring Ceremony is canceled, but may be rescheduled for a later date. We will share this information with you as it becomes available.
  • We are currently considering the possibility of postponing spring commencement - a final decision will be made sometime this week after we consider all factors.

Finally, you may recall that the University requested that all recent and upcoming travel (through May 9) be reported through the Travel Self-Report form. This is a very important step in our ability to monitor any risk to the campus community. Please also note an important new policy: If you have recently traveled internationally to any country at all, you must NOT come to campus for 14 days following the date of your return to the U.S. Please use the Travel Self-Report form to report your travel. The University's Risk Management team will reach out to you with further instructions after you submit this form.

This is a constantly evolving situation. As such, I will be updating you frequently as new information becomes available. You can help by monitoring your University email even while you are off campus. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call my office at (210) 784-1489 or email me at vpsse@tamusa.edu.

Know that the A&M-San Antonio faculty and staff are working hard to support your continued health and safety, and your academic success. While these are challenging times, as members of the Jaguar family, we will get through them together.


Take care, 

Dr. Mari Fuentes-Martin
Vice President, Student Success and Engagement


Jaguar Students:

We understand the continued spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is of escalating concern. I want to share with you several updates on the proactive steps A&M-San Antonio is taking to ensure the health and safety of our campus community.

First, know that your health and safety is our priority. We understand that the increasing media and social media reports are impacting our community. While there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our community - and we continue to be at low risk of contracting the virus - it is important to be aware and to follow precautions to help lessen the risks of contracting the virus as well as the flu. I encourage you to follow the health and safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash your hands with soap and water

The University created a COVID-19 landing page where you can read the latest updates and actions taken by the University, as well as resources and answers to questions related to the Coronavirus. I encourage you to share the site with your friends and family.

Finally, as you prepare for Spring Break, I also encourage you to continue to follow the health guidelines recommended by the CDC whether you are staying close to home or traveling. If you are feeling unwell, please take the time to consult with your primary care physician to be assessed. For information on community medical care and local health care resources visit https://www.tamusa.edu/community-resources/. If you do not have a primary care physician please go the Health Department, which is located at 7430 Louis Pasteur Dr. or call 210-949-2000.

Please note that the Texas A&M University System is strongly discouraging all foreign travel by students, faculty and staff while the COVID-19 outbreak remains a changing and uncertain situation. The System is also requesting that all faculty, staff and students report all personal international travel to countries with a Level 1 risk or greater, and that they self-isolate for a 14-day period before returning to campus if they have traveled to a Level 2 or 3 risk country. Please familiarize yourself with the System's travel advisories here.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we continue to make decisions and develop actions to protect the health and safety for those who learn, work and live within our Jaguar community.

Sincerely, 

Dr. Mari Fuentes-Martin
Vice President, Student Success and Engagement