COVID-19 Campus Mitigation Plan / Students in credit-bearing experiential learning placements

March 23, 2020

The health, safety, and well-being of our community is our top priority.  In alignment with our other COVID-19 Campus Mitigation Plans, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research Innovation and Impact (RII) have partnered to develop the following guidance for students enrolled in credit-bearing experiential learning courses during Spring 2020. Examples of credit-bearing experiential learning courses include Internships, Practicums, Clinical Rotations, Independent Study Plans, Capstone Projects, Senior Design Projects, and the like, wherein undergraduate and graduate students may work, whether on-campus or off-campus at host institutions. This decision is inclusive of all Arizona campuses, including Arizona Online.

All credit-bearing experiential learning placements are to be terminated effective today, Monday 23 March 2020, UNLESS the host site has made a 100% work from home (WFH) arrangement possible for the student.

Further, no students may be enrolled in a credit-bearing experiential learning placement due to start before 1 July UNLESS the host site has made a 100% WFH arrangement possible.  No such experiences with face-to-face interactions should be approved.  A decision will be made by 1 May 2020 on whether placements involving face-to-face engagement starting after 1 July 2020 can proceed, based on the COVID-19 conditions at that time.

We ask that individual instructors and advisors please work with their Program Director, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and / or Associate Dean for Research to develop appropriate alternatives for each student enrolled in such a course, following these guidelines: 

1.       Suitable work should be assigned to bring students up to at least 2/3 of the credit hours originally assigned for the practical experience (e.g., 2 CHs out of 3 planned, or 4 CHs out of 6 planned), e.g. via a reflective essay, completion of data analysis, or other work element.

2.       A plan should be developed for the remaining CHs for the experience, which may be made up of online course content ​equivalent to the remaining credit hours.  For example, this might focus on relevant Professional Skills Development (e.g., communications, leadership, time management, etc.). Instructors are encouraged to offer student choice when assigning course content. Alternatively, the Instructor can determine and assign other alternative educational assignments for the remaining CHs.

3.       If the student’s  practical experience will be reduced in hours, students enrolled in courses with variable units may reduce their units as long as they remain enrolled in at least 1 unit and it will not impede their progress to graduation. Or a student may request to add another available 7.5 week online course instead of the experiential learning course at no additional charge and without penalty. 

4.       All changes to syllabi must be documented

Please refer also to the COVID-19 Guidance on Research Students and Postdocs.

The University Internship Council and Student Engagement & Career Development have partnered to develop guidance and support for instructors in implementing these changes for internship courses in particular. Student Engagement & Career Development offers their online professional skills content for instructor consideration in responding to this challenge. Please see COVID-19 Mitigation Plan & Internship Box folder for that information.