This site will be updated periodically as new details become available.
Updated May 2, 2017, 3:10 p.m.
Message from the Dean of Academic Affairs to Students
May 2, 2017
Dear Missouri State University-West Plains students:
After a tumultuous set of days, let me extend my sincerest hope that each of you and your families are safe and sound. I know many of you have had your lives turned upside down over the past weekend with the historically heavy rains and subsequent flooding in our area affecting and sometimes destroying possessions both large and small. Whether you were displaced from your residence and/or your employment, or your life has just been disrupted by a very different set of circumstances, we at Missouri State-West Plains are keenly aware things are different for you as you face the immediate future.
As you know, a part of that future must be the rest of your Spring 2017 semester, successfully completing what you have invested time, energy and money in since January. Our intention in this week after the storms has been to step back from the semester as students take care of themselves and their families before having to take care of their coursework. That’s why, after consulting Missouri Department of Transportation and local government officials concerning road conditions, we have cancelled classes through the rest of this week. Classes resume Monday, May 8.
When you return next week, it is imperative that you do the following to better ensure your success in each of your courses, whether on campus, online, or even at your high school campus if you are a dual credit or dual enrollment student. We highly encourage you to take each of the following actions:
- Contact your instructor as soon as possible (immediately if possible) to discuss any outstanding assignment, including those that may have been due this week while we’ve been out of session. If you are repeatedly unable to contact your instructor, then please contact the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs at 417-255-7272.
- Await your instructors’ direction concerning assignments scheduled as being due during the coming week and/or during Finals Week. If you do not receive their instructions, DO NOT HESITATE to contact each of them in the most direct manner you have available. With the end of the semester looming, it is important that you know exactly what your instructor will be expecting from you in order to complete the semester. Each class will be different, so contacting each of your instructors is critical.
- For some students greatly impacted by the flooding, please visit with your instructors about the possibility of receiving an Incomplete Grade for the semester. NOTE, this is only an option; the better step is to commit to completing your course(s) now rather than later. We understand, however, that some of you have lost computers, phones, textbooks, essays, notes, etc., and to recover to a point of completing your semester at a level commensurate with your capabilities may not be possible right now. That’s where requesting an Incomplete Grade for the semester is a good option. Also, you MUST REQUEST this option from your instructor before the end of the semester; it is not automatic. Your instructor will provide details about what you must do during the extended time period (you will have, if needed, until the end of the Fall 2017 semester) to complete the course. The Incomplete Grade policy from the Course Catalog is at the bottom of this letter.
- Finally, if at all possible, come to each scheduled class period during the next couple of weeks. With such a disruption as this and with the end of the semester upon you, THE best way of finding out exactly your situation in a course and moving on to a successful completion of that course is to come to every scheduled class period over the next two weeks. For those who commute to campus, before you head our way, we highly suggest that you know the best route to take. While we have been told that 85 to 90 percent of all the currently blocked roads will be passable by Monday, there will absolutely be spots where you cannot travel like you may have done before the flooding. Above all, be safe.
- If you have an online course, all of the above suggestions apply to you, too, including, but in a different way, finding the best route to get to campus. Again, while we have been told that most internet service in our area will be operational, there will likely be individual exceptions. If you do not have an internet connection or a reliable internet connection at home, you should seek out a better place to complete your online course. Blackboard is fully operational on our end here at campus; it is up to you to connect and to be successful in completing your online assignments and uploads of those assignments. As normal, our computer labs are operational, so you are always welcome to come to campus for these resources.
On behalf of Chancellor Bennett and the faculty and staff of Missouri State University-West Plains, we hope you and your family are safe and sound and that life is beginning to settle down for you. If you have any issues regarding your courses or your ability to complete your courses, contact your instructors immediately. If you have academic needs beyond your instructor, please contact my office, the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs, at 417-255-7272. If you desire to visit with a personal counselor as you deal with the traumatic events of the past few days, remember each Missouri State-West Plains student has a set of free visits available to them through the Professional Services Program. For more information about receiving personal counseling, please contact the Office of the Dean of Student Services at 417-255-7255.
See you next week and best wishes!
Dr. Dennis L. Lancaster
Dean of Academic Affairs
Process of Requesting an Incomplete Grade
- Speak first with your instructor. Each of them will have been notified that you are among the Grizzly Loft residents displaced by the flooding.
- You and your instructor should discuss all that remains for you to complete the course. The two of you should determine what assignments/exams remain between now and the end of the semester.
- If after that discussion you decide to request an incomplete, there’s a form that the instructor must complete. On this form, the instructor will detail all that remains for you to complete the course. A copy of the form will be sent to you, so you’ll have that for your reference.
- Once processed through registration and records, you will have until the end of the Fall 2017 semester to complete the course. Obviously, it’s best if you can complete the course(s) as soon as possible.
- If you plan to graduate THIS semester, then you can still receive an incomplete and participate in graduation. However, you will not be able to receive your diploma until you have completed all required courses.
- Note: You do NOT have to take an incomplete; however, given these circumstances, the faculty, staff and administration of the University want you to have this chance to succeed to the best of your unhindered abilities.
Here’s the policy concerning Incomplete Grades as published in the Course Catalog:
Assignment and Removal of Incomplete Grades
In each instance where an ‘I’ grade is assigned, the course instructor shall, at the end of the semester in which the ‘I’ grade is given, indicate on an Assignment of Incomplete Grade form what the student must do to complete the course and how the completed work would affect the final grade. The original copy must be filed with the office of registration and records, which will then distribute copies to the student. If a student needs to repeat a course or a significant portion of a course, a grade should be assigned according to regulations governing the assignments of such grades. A ‘W’ grade may be assigned if the student has officially dropped the course within the semester deadlines.
An ‘I’ grade must be removed by the end of the following semester (excluding summer) or earlier as specified by the instructor; otherwise, the ‘I’ automatically becomes an ‘F’ grade. An extension of the time limit or other necessary arrangements to remove an ‘I’ grade will be made only if a written request for such extension is approved by the instructor and the academic dean. An approved request for extension of time for removal of an ‘I’ grade must be placed on file in the office of registration and records. The student should make arrangements with the instructor for the completion of the work. When the work is completed, the instructor will complete a Grade Change Authorization form in the office of registration and records. The student will be sent a copy of the form with a grade report indicating the adjusted grade point average.
For Graduates Only
An ‘I’ grade assigned during the semester or summer session of graduation should be removed prior to mid semester or July 15th for summer session. Failure to meet this deadline will result in the official date of graduation, being delayed to a later semester.