January 12, 2021

JCSU Announces Change to Spring 2021 Operations

Dear JCSU Family,

As I shared with you in my message to welcome you to the spring 2021 semester, the delivery of a quality education as safely as possible remains our top priority. Throughout the fall semester, we engaged in responsive planning for academic and student life in anticipation of your return to campus this semester. All of our preparations and deliberations were rooted in the Guiding Principles established by our Board of Trustees. 

As much as we would like a return to living and learning on campus, the rate of coronavirus transmission has spiked and shows no sign of slowing down in the near future. After meticulous analysis of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, careful consideration of advice from local, state and national health authorities, and a lot of thoughtful deliberation, we have made the very difficult decision to deliver instruction solely online for the spring 2021 semester. This is not the outcome we hoped for. I know you’re disappointed, and I understand your disappointment. However, given the current conditions, we believe this is the best decision for the health and safety of everyone in the JCSU family. Keeping everyone safe now will help ensure we can all be together on campus in the future. 

Our commitment to your academic, personal and professional development will not change. We are increasing our resources to provide rigorous instruction, engaging virtual activities and robust counseling services to help you be successful this semester. 

For the spring 2021 semester:

  • Classes will be held virtually from Monday, January 11, 2021, to Saturday, May 1, 2021.
  • There will be no classes from Monday, February 1, 2021, to Friday, February 5, 2021.
  • Students who have already paid a deposit for housing will have their accounts credited. Seniors’ deposits will be refunded.
  • There will be no Spring Break for this semester.
  • Bull Breaks on Thursday, February 18, 2021, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, and Wednesday, March 10, 2021, will remain on the Academic Calendar to provide faculty and students with days of rest as they continue remote instruction.
  • A decision has not yet been made on Commencement Exercises. We understand the importance of this tradition and will continue to monitor conditions to make our decision soon.

Please check your JCSU email daily for information and updates as we move through the semester. You will soon receive information regarding important dates and virtual meetings.

Thank you for the patience and understanding you have shown as we came to this decision. Continue to take care of yourselves by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently. I’m hopeful we will be together on campus again for our summer session.

Hold High the Gold and Blue!

 

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D. 
President


January 11, 2021

Message from President Armbrister - First Day of Spring 2021 Classes

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed your much-deserved holiday break and are ready to embark on a new semester. I have certainly missed you and your "hustling and bustling" about campus in the pursuit of academic excellence and vibrant student life experiences.

As I shared at the beginning of the fall semester, a planning committee comprised of JCSU leadership, faculty and staff has been meeting and discussing options for reopening campus this spring semester. The delivery of a quality education as safely as possible remains our top priority. Our ongoing deliberations have been based on Guiding Principles established by our Board of Trustees. On December 3, 2020, we announced spring 2021 classes would begin virtually today with a return to in-person classes on February 8, so we could monitor the status of the coronavirus after the holiday season. We continue to consult with local, state and national health authorities, while monitoring the trends of COVID-19 cases. At this moment, we are considering internal and external recommendations carefully, while engaging in responsive planning to decide how to operate for the remainder of the semester. We will announce our decision by the end of this week. 

You have adapted and survived despite the challenges of this fluid situation. Since last March, you have faced the impact of the global public health crisis and economic fallout caused by the pandemic while also witnessing events that forced America to reckon with its history of systemic racism. Yet, you have been determined and not deterred. In addition to continuing your journey to earn a college education, you actively participated in the social justice movement and voted at the polls in record numbers to determine the outcome of the 2020 election. Not only have you survived but you have thrived, and I am proud of you! 

As I said to you before in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd, your presence, your voices and your ideas are needed now more than ever as our country and the world grapple with tough social, economic and political problems. The most recent incidence of violence that occurred at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an attack on our democracy and reaffirmed the blatantly disparate application of police power in America. Our nation needs, and deserves, a peaceful transfer of power that unites and pushes America forward with liberty and justice for all. HBCUs, like our illustrious institution, are known for producing leaders. As we prepare for the inauguration of the first woman – who is also Black and South Asian American and an HBCU graduate – as Vice President of the United States of America, I cannot help but think of the changemakers and problem solvers we’ve produced at Johnson C. Smith University who fought for and are fighting for equality across the country. We are now looking to each of you to continue that legacy and become trailblazers in your chosen fields.

Best wishes for a successful semester. As you begin classes today, I want all of you to remember where the power of education can take you and to think about what you want your legacy to be after you graduate from dear old JCSU. I am counting on you to be the change you want to see in the world. Indeed, the whole world is counting on you!

 

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President


Dec. 15, 2020

Credit/No Credit Option for Fall 2020

Dear Students,

A request from the Student Government Association for a CREDIT/NO CREDIT option for the Fall 2020 semester was presented for our consideration. The Academic Affairs Executive Council, in consultation with the faculty, has determined that a CREDIT/NO CREDIT option will not be available for Fall 2020.  The CREDIT/NO CREDIT option was offered during the Spring 2020 semester due to the unexpected move to completely online program delivery across all courses and was permitted as a special-case scenario by our accreditors. 

Your concerns are important to us. Beginning January 3, you may appeal in writing to faculty and college deans for grade changes, including changes of your grades to Incomplete. For faculty members and college deans to consider such changes, you will need to clearly and appropriately present your cases and indicate how you will submit any missing assignments or work that was negatively impacted by circumstances surrounding the pandemic. Please understand that our JCSU Incomplete policy indicates that you must be able to have a passing grade in the course if the impacted assignment(s) is not factored into the grade. Your appeals to your professors should demonstrate this. 

Ultimately, such decisions to change grades rest in the hands of the individual instructors and changing a grade to an Incomplete after a grade has been submitted is an unusual occurrence; however, we want to also offer this option in recognition of these atypical circumstances.  

This information has been posted on behalf of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


Dec. 3, 2020

Revised Spring 2021 Academic Calendar

The Campus Reopening Task Force has worked diligently since this past May to develop and implement plans to bring staff, faculty and students back to campus after the lifting of the stay at home order Governor Roy Cooper issued in March. During the summer, the Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to have all classes online for the fall 2020 semester due to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many staff returned to work on staggered schedules in August. Since that time, the task force has worked with Atrium Health to develop a rigorous schedule for testing students, faculty and staff in anticipation of having students and faculty return to campus for living and learning in January.

The University announced on November 2, 2020, a spring 2021 semester schedule that starts with virtual instruction on January 19, 2021, with face-to-face classes beginning on January 25. On yesterday (December 2), the Board of Trustees and the administration received a briefing to update them on the task force’s refined spring 2020 plan. After reviewing the updates and taking the current increase in COVID-19 cases into consideration, the Board decided to have the spring semester begin online January 11 with in-person classes starting on February 8, 2020. Therefore, the revised spring schedule is as follows:

Action(s)

Online Courses Early Start

(February – Four Weeks after Base Case)

Face-to-Face Classes Begin in February

Resident Advisors (RA) Move-In

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Residential Student Move-In

Saturday, January 30 through

Saturday, February 6, 2021

First Day of Online Teaching and Learning

Monday, January 11, 2021

(continues through Friday, January 29, 2021)

First Day of Face-to-Face Teaching and Learning/Information Booths

Monday, February 8, 2021

Second Day of Information Booths

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Faculty and Student Bull Break Day #1

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Faculty and Student Bull Break Day #2

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Faculty and Student Bull Break Day #3

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Good Friday Holiday

Friday, April 2, 2021

Easter Monday Holiday

Monday, April 5, 2021

Commencement

Sunday, May 16, 2021

As you know, the COVID-19 situation is changing constantly and cases of the virus are increasing currently. The Board took the position that delaying in-person classes until the beginning of February will allow the University to monitor the status of the virus at the start of 2021 to determine whether or not we need to consider other options. We will keep you posted. Please continue to read JCSU News e-newsletters and emails for the most up-to-date information. You may also visit the JCSU website for updates.


Nov. 2, 2020

JCSU Announces On-Campus Living and Learning for Spring 2021

Dear JCSU Students,

I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits despite these uncertain times. I have certainly missed you and your "hustling and bustling" all over campus in the pursuit of academic excellence. Like you, we have had to make plenty of adjustments without minimizing the quality and dynamic educational experience that constitutes the JCSU way.  

As I shared at the beginning of the fall semester, a planning committee comprised of JCSU leadership, faculty and staff has been meeting and discussing options for reopening campus in the spring. Your safety – all of our safety – remains our top priority. Our ongoing deliberations to bring you back in the spring have been based on Guiding Principles established by our Board of Trustees. We continue to consult with local, state and national health authorities, while monitoring the trends of COVID-19 cases. After careful consideration of internal and external recommendations, and adaptive and responsive planning, we have decided that subject to the prevailing public health circumstances in existence at the time of implementation, JCSU will reopen for living and learning on campus in the spring 2021 semester with the following conditions:  

  • Classes will commence on Tuesday, January 19, 2021, with virtual instruction, while face-to-face courses, via an assigned Gold, Blue or White cohort, will start on Monday, January 25, 2021.
  • We will forgo a traditional Spring Break. However, we will pause on Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10, 2021, for what we are calling, "Bull Break Days." 
  • May 1, 2021, will serve as the last day of classes before a newly scheduled Reading Day on Monday, May 3, 2021. 
  • Final Examinations will occur on Tuesday, May 4 to Saturday, May 8, 2021. 
  • Commencement is scheduled for Sunday, May 16, 2021. 

Please know that our staff and faculty have been hard at work, preparing for your return. From campus enhancements and improvements, to erecting safeguards and the purchasing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that your transition back to campus is a smooth one. In the same manner, I hope you will join us for our virtual Town Hall Forum entitled, "Charge Forward: #BacktoBeattiesFord," this evening at 6:00 p.m. During our meeting, we will feature a number of campus entities, and cover a range of important topics including the physical preparation of campus, COVID-19 testing, your move-in experience and our "social compact" with each other.  

Our Town Hall Forum will be presented on Zoom. Please refer to the email you received from Student Affairs on Friday, October 30, for the link to RSVP and receive the Zoom meeting link. You may also join us on YouTube by visiting the JCSU Student Affairs page.  

Finally, we hope you will take some time to review our Student Guide for Returning to Campus, which is attached to this email. This document has been devised to give you a preview of what campus life will be like when you return and our expectations of not only you, but our entire campus community. 

Thank you for the patience and understanding you have demonstrated throughout the fall semester. Of course, when you arrive, we will take care of each other by wearing our masks, practicing social distancing and washing our hands frequently. However, I cannot emphasize enough that the situation remains fluid, and these plans are subject to change based on prevailing public health circumstances between now and January. We will continue to monitor these conditions and remain hopeful that we will all be together soon as we adjust to our new normal.  

 
Hold High the Gold and Blue!

 

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D. 
President 


Sept. 8, 2020

President's Message for First Day of Classes

Dear Smithites, 

Welcome to Johnson C. Smith University’s fall 2020 semester. The start of a new academic year is always exciting even though it’s disappointing that you are not on campus. I cannot wait until we’re able to be together physically, and I hope that time will come soon. 

These are extraordinary times. It is hard to imagine what you have had to endure at this point in your lives. I am optimistic that if anyone can overcome the challenges of what I call the three calamities, it is this generation of young people represented by you. You’ve endured a worldwide pandemic; you are in the midst of a global economic meltdown; and you stand strong as the world has awakened the consciousness of America to its historically biased past. I am optimistic in large part because the faculty, staff and administrators at Johnson C. Smith University will ensure that as problems such as these arise, you are prepared to tackle those challenges. I look forward to your creativity, innovation and determination as you help to make our world a better place. 

Wishing you a safe and successful semester.  

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D. 
President 


Sept. 2, 2020

Emergency funding and technology request for students

Greetings Students,

As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope you and your families are safe and doing well. These trying times have caused us to operate virtually as a University community. The University wants you to know that we care about you and are here to assist you as we prepare for online learning, teaching, and support services while remaining vigilant to the orders of our local, state and federal leaders.

Some of you may be experiencing financial hardships. If you have a need and would like to apply for emergency relief funding, please click the link below and complete the form. All requests will be reviewed. This funding is available for all undergraduate and graduate students. If your request is approved, you will receive a check in the mail at the address we have on file. If your request for funding includes medical/dental assistance, housing, childcare, food, rent, or transportation and you are an undergraduate student, please do not complete the electronic form. Instead, you should contact Dr. Cathy Jones at cjones2@jcsu.edu.  

 The University is working diligently to financially clear students for the fall semester. During this process, the Office of Financial Aid may apply gap funding to your account to assist you with financial clearance for the fall semester. While this is not a guarantee, we will try our best to assist as many students as possible. Please continue to check your e-mail as well as your cost and fee statement on the portal for updates.    

 Moreover, the University is committed to doing all we can to support our students. Students seeking assistance with access to technology for online classes should e-mail helpdesk@jcsu.edu with the subject line “Technology Assistance Request.” The body of the e-mail should detail your technology request (i.e. laptop for CSC 430 course or Wi-Fi Hotspot). Please include your name and student ID number with your request. You must be financially cleared for the fall 2020 semester. All requests may not be granted.

Remember, continue to wash your hands, physically distance, and wear your mask. All the best this semester!

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7rsUiVIAs0qSCKqxldAeBJfrUPbqJKtKpCbomnh7b3FUOFlSQkpESU5GWUYxWE83TTg0RUFTQjhaNi4u

 


July 30, 2020

JCSU announces change to operations for Fall 2020 semester

Dear JCSU Family, 

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to abruptly transition to online instruction in March, it was our intention to welcome students to our majestic campus again in August and to restart campus life as we’ve always known it. On June 26, we informed you of our decision to reopen the University for in person classes and residential living for the fall 2020 semester. Since that time, there has been a drastic spike in the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the United States, particularly southern states. Because the rate of transmission of the coronavirus shows no sign of slowing down and in the interest of the health and safety of everyone in the JCSU family and our community, the Board of Trustees, the Administration and I have made the difficult decision to deliver instruction solely online for the fall 2020 semester. 

As I stated in my letter to the JCSU family in June, the plans we announced then were subject to change and would depend on the prevailing conditions at the time we expect to execute our plan. Unfortunately, under current conditions, the risk of an outbreak on the campus which cannot be contained are considered to be unacceptable if we continued on the path toward face-to-face instruction we announced in June. Not only have cases increased over the last month here in North Carolina, but they have also increased in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and the District of Columbia/Maryland/Virginia area – all states where a large number of our students live. 

I know how much each of you – especially our freshmen and transfer students – were looking forward to joining us on campus, and I understand your disappointment with this decision. I, too, am disappointed. Some of you have expressed that online learning has been challenging. Our administration, faculty and staff will continue to work diligently to ensure that you will receive a high-quality education, while remaining engaged with the University and with each other, even though our interactions will be virtual. We have reimagined the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning where faculty will enhance their skills and will incorporate technology in ways that provide you with a relevant, rigorous learning experience. 

I want to thank you for the patience and understanding you have shown as we have considered the complexities of this pandemic to plan for a fall 2020 semester that will protect the health and safety of everyone. I know you have many questions about the specifics of how we will operate virtually this fall. You will receive several communications that will answer your questions over the next few weeks. Please check your email frequently for these updates, which will also be posted on University’s COVID-19 website www.jcsu.edu/covid. You may call (704) 378-1109 or email deanofstudents@jcsu.edu with your questions for specific departments. 

Although we all are disappointed because we will not be together physically, we will move forward and get through this. As we adjust to this new normal together, I am confident that we will gather together on our beautiful campus again in the not too distant future.  

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President 


July 21, 2020

Employee Guide for Returning to Campus

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I hope this letter finds you and yours safe and well. The JCSU leadership team and I want to thank you for your work and dedication during the time we have been working remotely. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged, and will continue to challenge, the way we operate at JCSU. On behalf of the leadership team, please know we appreciate all that you do!  

This spring, I convened a task force to research and develop a phased approach for returning campus operations from the remote mode we have been in since March to an on-campus mode we expect to begin shortly. The Board of Trustees developed Guiding Principles that shaped the plans for our return. 

As articulated by the Board of Trustees, we have made our top priority the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus as we worked to develop a plan for our return. In doing so, we have followed local orders and ordinances of the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, as well as the State of North Carolina’s Phased Reopening Model. JCSU’s plans will also follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Accompanying this letter is a guide for faculty and staff that describes what you can expect as we transition to return to campus beginning as early as July 27, 2020. New policies, procedures guidelines will clarify expectations for everyone within the JCSU community. The guide has been developed by the Task Force noted above, which was comprised of the following subcommittees:

  • Health and Safety
  • Facilities and Space Utilization
  • Employee and Student Accommodations
  • Residence Halls and Dining Services
  • Academics
  • Communications 

The guide provides information and direction on the most important issues and concerns you may have as we return to campus in this phased approach. However, you are encouraged to seek answers to any questions you may have that have not been addressed fully. A process for making such inquiries is set forth in the guide. 

We understand that for most of you, the transition to working remotely has been difficult.  Similarly, the transition to campus operations will be equally as challenging. We are operating in uncharted territory and the road ahead will not be easy. Collectively, you all did an outstanding job navigating through the spring semester, and the leadership team and I are confident that we can replicate it again for the fall semester should prevailing conditions permit.

It should be noted that although the guide outlines the current plans for our return, we continue to monitor prevailing conditions and significant changes in conditions may require us to make adjustments to our approach.  

I want to thank each of you again for your unwavering support of Johnson C. Smith University throughout these unparalleled times. It is very encouraging for what we can accomplish when we are all working together. I am looking forward to seeing you, hopefully on campus (from an appropriate social distance, of course) in the not too distant future!

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President


July 7, 2020

JCSU Cancels Homecoming Activities and Commencement

Dear Golden Bulls Family,
 
I hope all of you continue to be safe and well during these unprecedented times. If there is anything that has become evident during this pandemic, it is that environmental conditions and trends are changing constantly and, unfortunately, here in North Carolina, many of those trends are going in the wrong direction. As a result, we continuously evaluate plans and re-evaluate decisions to maximize the health and safety of all members of our community.  
 
Recent data and trends have led us to conclude that we will not have in-person Homecoming activities for the 2020-2021 academic year. Unfortunately, the same data and trends led to a similar conclusion for the Commencement Exercises that were scheduled for October 28, 2020, to kick-off our Homecoming activities. We understand how much our 2020 graduates and their families were looking forward to an in-person graduation ceremony.  All of us were looking forward to the traditional pomp and circumstance of graduation and celebrating the milestone achievement with you. I know this is a big disappointment. However, we believe it is best to make the decision at this time in order to give graduates and their families, as well as alumni, appropriate notice and to avoid any last-minute inconveniences.
 
As of this writing, the Homecoming football game is still scheduled for Saturday, October 31, 2020. JCSU Athletics staff and University administration are in communication with Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) officials about procedures for the 2020-2021 athletics season. Details regarding game operations and attendance will be communicated as soon as those decisions are made.
 
Your safety – all of our safety – is our top priority. Although we are saddened we will not be together in person to Hold High the Gold and Blue, the cancellation of Homecoming activities and Commencement Exercises is necessary to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. We will gather as Smithies on campus again; I pray that time will come sooner rather than later. Until then, please remain vigilant in social distancing, wearing masks and hand washing. We will continue to update you as decisions are made and developments unfold. 
 
Sincerely,


Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President


June 26, 2020

Plans for Fall 2020 reopening

Dear JCSU Family,
 
I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits despite these uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a challenging, unprecedented spring semester. I long for the day when our campus is bustling with students and faculty in pursuit of academic excellence; staff providing outstanding service and support; and alumni, friends and guests who join us to experience the dynamic JCSU culture that is like no other. I pray that day will come. 
 
In the meantime, a planning committee comprised of JCSU leadership, faculty and staff has been meeting and discussing options for reopening campus in the fall. Your safety – all of our safety – is our top priority. Our deliberations have been based on Guiding Principles established by our Board of Trustees. We have also been consulting with local, state and national health authorities, while monitoring the trends of COVID-19 cases. After careful analysis and consideration of internal and external recommendations, we have decided that subject to the prevailing public health circumstances in existence at the time, JCSU will reopen for living and learning on campus in the fall 2020 semester with the following conditions: 

  • Classes will be held from Tuesday, September 8 to Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
  • Thanksgiving break will begin on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. However, students must move out of the residence halls no later than Tuesday, November 24.
  • Traditional students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break and will complete classes and final exams online beginning Monday, November 30. 
  • Students enrolled in evening/adult degree classes and the Master of Social Work program, however, will return to classes on campus Monday, November 30. 
  • There will not be a fall break.

 
Staff and faculty will begin returning to campus in phases as early as July 13, 2020. Details on the processes for staff and faculty to return, COVID-19 safety procedures, an exact academic calendar, information about move-in, housing, dining, athletics and other aspects of campus life will be provided in the coming weeks in a series of updates. Please check your JCSU email regularly for these updates. You may also find updated information at jcsu.edu/covid. 
 
Thank you for the patience and understanding you have shown as we came to this decision. Of course, we will take care of each other by wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing our hands frequently. However, I cannot emphasize enough that the situation is fluid, and these plans are subject to change based on prevailing public health circumstances at the time. We will monitor these conditions to make sure our students will be able to continue their education in the fall no matter the circumstances in August and September. I’m hopeful that we will all be together in the fall, supporting each other as we adjust to our new normal.  
 
Hold High the Gold and Blue!
 
Sincerely,



Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President


May 21, 2020

Planning Process for Fall 2020 Operations

Dear JCSU Campus Community, 

Johnson C. Smith University recently completed the academic year during one of the most trying times in recent history. Like other higher education institutions not only in the United States but also around the world, we were faced with moving quickly to online education following the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic this past March. As a result, the college experience for our students was drastically different. We are disappointed by the loss of direct contact with faculty and staff, the spring sports season, and the traditions of college life that are hallmarks of the spring semester. We are especially disappointed that we were unable to celebrate our graduates during our scheduled commencement exercises. However, we made it to the end with our Golden Bulls spirit intact.

I commend our staff for moving swiftly and compassionately to help students leave campus following stay at home orders and other guidelines from federal, state and local governments. I am particularly proud of the hard work our faculty did to deliver online classes that maintained rigor while recognizing and working through the disruption to the lives of our students. I’m equally proud of how our students demonstrated resilience, patience and perseverance as they adapted to the new normal of online classes and other services for the second half of the semester.

Now, we are faced with making critical decisions around how we will operate for the Fall 2020 semester. I realize you are anxious to know the plan so you can take steps to prepare for your return. This administration is not making decisions lightly. I assure you, we are thoroughly and carefully reviewing scenarios, taking into account everyone’s safety and health. Our decision-making is guided by a close working relationship with the Board of Trustees, which has asked that when decisions are made, that they be judged by a set of Guiding Principles which include placing a top priority on the care and concern for our students, faculty and staff. We are also focusing on continuing to deliver instruction with academic rigor and the knowledge that most of our students prefer an on-campus experience. However, I must be honest with you – the expected ongoing nature of the coronavirus pandemic means that nothing will be the way it was before mid-March and that being flexible is paramount. Even after we announce our plan to reopen, it is subject to change based on the conditions in existence at the time of action.

It is the collective goal of the Board of Trustees and the Administration to announce our decision regarding the Fall 2020 semester no later than June 26, 2020. In the meantime, we will provide you with updates regarding important deadlines, news and information in the JCSU News e-newsletter you receive on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please remember that even through most staff are working remotely currently, the university is fully operational, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or need assistance. I extend best wishes to faculty and students who will begin the online teaching and learning process for summer school next week. 

While these are uncertain times, you can be confident in knowing JCSU has a 153-year history of adjusting to both incremental and rapid change. Thinking critically, problem-solving creatively and calculating risks are what we do to overcome challenges. We are committed to overcoming this challenge and making the best possible decision about our operations for Fall 2020. I appreciate your continued understanding and patience as we contemplate complex issues to reach our decision. 

 

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President


April 21, 2020

JCSU Announces New Date for 2020 Commencement Exercises

Every student who matriculates to an institution of higher education dreams of the day when you will walk across the stage, hear your name called, and receive your diploma to the delight of family and friends. Most of our seniors walked onto Johnson C. Smith University’s campus at least four years ago ready to work toward the dream of participating in the pomp and circumstance of a graduation ceremony, marking the realization of that dream. Unfortunately, the necessary action of moving to online classes and closing residence halls in response to stay at home orders by local and state government officials to combat the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus took away the dream of having Commencement Exercises on May 17, 2020, as planned. 

JCSU’s administration understands the importance of an in-person graduation ceremony to our seniors and your families. Therefore, the University announces that Commencement 2020 has been rescheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at Bojangles’ Coliseum. The exercises will occur as part of Homecoming festivities this year. More details to come. 

In the meantime, all students who have applied for May graduation and met all degree requirements will be conferred your degrees after final grades have been submitted by faculty. Transcripts will list the student’s official graduation date (May 5, 2020, for graduates; May 9, 2020, for undergraduates) and degree honors, if applicable. The Office of the Registrar will also send an Official Conferral Letter at the end of the semester confirming the student’s conferral status. 

Diplomas were ordered in March. However, we are awaiting release from Jostens warehouse due to COVID-19. The Office of the Registrar will notify via email all graduates, once the diplomas are ready and sent by certified mail. Your caps and gowns will be available for pick up in the JCSU Bookstore when the University reopens.

Because these are uncertain times, the University is working on an alternative plan if circumstances with COVID-19 are such that we will not be able to have the in-person graduation ceremony on October 28.


April 14, 2020

April is National Stress Awareness Month

Stress can be a factor in the best of times. It’s even more important to be aware of stress and its effects during uncertain, unprecedented and rapidly-changing times brought on by the COVID-19 coronavirus. Dr. Thomas Barksdale, counselor in the JCSU Office of Counseling Services, provides information about stress to raise your awareness and help you identify how you can lessen the impact.

One of the various themes acknowledged in the month of April is stress awareness. Given the complex and cumbersome nature of this current global pandemic, it is very easy to feel helpless about your present circumstances and future aspirations. Across the world, people are grappling with health concerns, facing unemployment, financial loss, grief, trauma, and adjusting to expectations from family and school. Consequently, feelings of anxiety, depression, uncertainty, hopelessness, and fear are daily reminders that humankind is facing a new normal. With this in mind, we would like to empower you to rise up to the challenge of managing your stress, reach out for support and establish healthy boundaries that will aid in leading happier, healthier lives.

What is Stress? 
Stress is a normal part of life and your body responds to both good and bad stress similarly. In a recent article, the author outlines the vast frames that people use to define and ascertain what stress really is. It reports, “Though it is a universal human experience, the American Institute of Stress (AIS) notes that defining and measuring stress is difficult because “there has been no definition of stress that everyone accepts” and “people have very different ideas with respect to their definition of stress.” Accordingly, suffice it to say that stress is a reaction to the weight that people perceive in and around their lives. Though difficult to define, people are aware when they feel burdened, anxious, and a loss of control. To provide a working definition for general understanding, stress is: the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. If you are experiencing increased stress, please note that you are not alone. Awareness is key!

What are the Warning Signs of Stress? 
A variety of symptoms, including the following: 
• Dizziness or a general feeling of "being out of it" 
• General aches and pains; headaches 
• Grinding teeth, clenched jaw 
• Indigestion or acid reflux symptoms 
• Muscle tension in neck, face or shoulders 
• Problems sleeping 
• Racing heart; cold and sweaty palms 
• Tiredness, exhaustion; trembling/shaking 
• Weight gain or loss; increase in or loss of appetite. 
• Upset stomach, diarrhea.

Take time to listen to what your body is telling you. Read “Smithites Self-Care” below for tips from Dr. Barksdale on ways you can reduce stress.

 


April 9, 2020

Wishing you a safe, relaxing Easter Break

You have made it through the second week of online instruction. You deserve a break, time to savor your accomplishments and relax. Fortunately, you will have that opportunity during the Easter holiday break.

Easter is a reminder that spring has arrived. This is a time for renewal and change. Change has been the hallmark of this year. All of us have been forced to embrace change in ways we never thought we would. We are especially proud of our students for embracing this change as you take on a new and unfamiliar method of learning. Our pride extends to our faculty, some of whom have never taught an online class before, for rising to the occasion and making this change work. We’re also proud of staff, many of whom are homeschooling as they keep the University operating while working from home.

In addition to change, Easter also marks a time of renewal. Trees and flowers, long dormant from the winter, re-emerge as nature puts on a spectacular show of pastel colors. Make time to safely enjoy the outdoors during this four-day weekend. Take a walk, sit outside on your patio, porch or deck, put a blanket in your yard and have your own picnic. We have been cooped up inside for some time now, and you may be amazed at how good some fresh air and sunshine will make you feel.

It is our sincerest hope that this time away from studying and working will allow all of you to recharge your batteries as we get ready for this final push to the end of the school year. We hope you will return from this short break renewed, reinvigorated and ready to take on what lies ahead. As always, Hold High the Gold and Blue.


April 6, 2020

Easter break and pay for employees working remotely and on paid administrative leave

In accordance with Governor Cooper’s orders, remote operations will continue through April 30, 2020. We understand that the transition to online classes and working remotely has been an adjustment and we would like to clarify the operational status of the University as we approach two scheduled University holidays next week.

The University will close Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13, as we celebrate Good Friday and Easter Monday.  Full-time employees who are eligible for paid holidays will receive two days of holiday pay. We hope you and your families enjoy the four - day work weeks!

We appreciate all you have done to maintain the essential operations of the university and we are pleased to announce that employees working on campus and remotely will be paid from April 4-9 and April 14-30. Employees who are not able to work due to reduced campus operations will continue to receive paid administrative leave from April 4-9 and 14-30.

We hope the holiday break will provide time for rest and reflection. We are committed to staying in contact with you as JCSU and our nation navigate this unprecedented and challenging situation.


March 30, 2020

Welcome back to spring 2020 classes!

Welcome back to spring 2020 classes! Despite the unprecedented circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed our way of life over the past few weeks, we hope you have enjoyed moments of relaxation, peace and happiness during spring break.

To all our students, we understand that the unforeseen changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have upended your lives. You have been forced to face a reality where your instruction has moved into a virtual space, and we recognize that some of you may be uncomfortable with this. You have lost the daily face-to-face contact with fellow Smithites that provides happiness, a nudge out of your comfort zone, and a shoulder to lean on when needed. This is a time of rapid change, and we understand that many of you may be nervous about what these changes will bring.

To our seniors, we understand that this has been an especially hard experience for you. We know there are moments, great and small, during senior year that allow for celebration and reflection on your time as a Golden Bull, and you will miss some of those moments.

We haven’t forgotten about our student-athletes. You thrive on competition in sports, the thrill of exciting fans and the camaraderie of being with your teammates. Many of you had your seasons cancelled, and we understand your disappointment.

In the face of all these things, we are still a community, still the JCSU family, and we will continue to celebrate you and your accomplishments in every way possible, even as circumstances force us to be apart.

Remember that the faculty are here for you. And we would like to recognize them for their efforts in adopting to this “new normal.” Your instructors want you to succeed. Reach out to them and ask them for help if you need it. Now is the time to keep lines of communication open and to be honest with your instructors so they can help you reach your full potential.

Even though we are no longer together physically on campus at 100 Beatties Ford Road, dear old J-C-S-U is here for you. We are working to keep open lines of communication so everyone will remain “in the loop” and feel connected.

Starting today, we will resume sending JCSU News with tips, information and resources you can use to be successful. Please follow us on social media under @JCSUniversity as we share information to help you navigate our ever-changing new reality.

This is an uncomfortable time for all of us. No one – the administration, the faculty, the staff, the alumni, your parents – has ever lived through a time quite like this. There is a great deal of uncertainty about what lies ahead for us. But Johnson C. Smith University has endured since 1867. We have lived up to our motto, Sit Lux, “let there be light,” through numerous decades of growth and change. We have spent nearly 153 years lifting people up, educating them, and facing the future together. We will uphold our legacy as we move forward, bravely and together, into this uncertain time.

Please continue to wear JCSU apparel every Friday and post photos on social media of you repping your school and showing your Golden Bulls Pride. Please reach out to each other, support each other and help each other. And, as always, HOLD HIGH THE GOLD AND BLUE!

President Clarence D. Armbrister has recorded a brief message for the JCSU family as we face this new reality. Please take a moment to click the link and watch. (Video is directly above of this message.)


March 26, 2020

Stay-At-Home Order issued for Mecklenburg County

Mecklenburg County has issued a stay-at-home order to fight the spread of COVID-19. This order has now gone into effect as of 8 a.m., Thursday, March 26.

According to the Mecklenburg County website, the order will require county residents to remain in their homes for the next 21 days in an attempt to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections within the county. Exceptions will be allowed for those seeking medical treatment, buying food or exercising outdoors.

Essential workers, including hospital and medical staff, pharmacy employees, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS Agency (MEDIC), some government employees and food service and grocery store employees will be allowed to travel to work. There are also many other essential business operations that can continue to operate.

Mecklenburg County government has answered a series of frequently asked questions on their website that outlines what you can and cannot do during this order. 

Johnson C. Smith University will continue remote operations through April 16. During this period, the campus will be closed to everyone except for faculty and staff who are involved in essential operations. 

We are doing this for your health and safety in accordance to the county’s proclamation. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and exponentially in Mecklenburg County. We hope you and your families will remain safe, healthy and strong until we make it to better days. We are committed to staying in contact with you as JCSU and our nation navigate this unprecedented and serious situation.


March 24, 2020

JCSU Urges Students to Move Out of Residence Halls by March 26, 2020, Due to Stay At Home Proclamation

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio announced a Stay At Home proclamation for Mecklenburg County to be effective from 8 a.m. Thursday, March 26 through April 16, 2020. As a result, we are amending the mandatory date that students must vacate residence halls to Thursday, March 26 at 8 a.m. Therefore, we strongly urge all students who can come to campus and remove items from their rooms to do so immediately. In limited cases after 8 a.m. this Thursday (March 26), you may be allowed to access your room to remove items essential for online learning such as computers, books and other education resources. To access your room from March 26 to March 30, you must send an email to your Residence Hall Coordinator (RHC) with the subject line “My Room.” Your email must detail the items you need to retrieve. Your RHC will escort you to your room when you arrive.

After March 30 at 12 p.m., you may no longer access the campus, including residence halls. Your belongings will be locked in your room. As stated in your housing agreement, Johnson C. Smith University is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.

We are doing this for your health and safety. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and exponentially in Mecklenburg County. We wish you all safe travels and hope you and your families will remain safe, healthy and strong until we make it to better days. We are committed to staying in contact with you as JCSU and our nation navigate this unprecedented and serious situation.


March 24, 2020

JCSU Extends Remote Operations to April 16, 2020, Due to Stay At Home Proclamation

On Tuesday, March 24, 2020, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio announced a Stay At Home proclamation for Mecklenburg County to be effective from 8 a.m. Thursday, March 26 through April 16, 2020. As a result, we are extending the date that most University operations will be conducted remotely to April 16. During this period, the campus will be closed to everyone except for faculty and staff who are involved in essential operations. 

We are doing this for your health and safety in accordance to the county’s proclamation. COVID-19 is spreading rapidly and exponentially in Mecklenburg County. We hope you and your families will remain safe, healthy and strong until we make it to better days. We are committed to staying in contact with you as JCSU and our nation navigate this unprecedented and serious situation.


March 23, 2020

Faculty and Staff Frequently Asked Questions

What does paid administrative leave mean? Do I have to use vacation and/or sick leave to receive my pay during that period?

Administrative leave is generally granted at the discretion of the President, for a specific, temporary duration of time.  This leave does not accrue and is not paid out upon separation from the university.  Through April 3, 2020, employees will be paid their base wages and stipends approved by March 20, 2020, without using accrued but unused vacation or sick leave.

How long will I be paid to work remotely if circumstances call for working remotely to continue after April 3, 2020?

We are constantly monitoring the situation to determine how we will conduct business after April 3. We will provide employees as much notice as possible.

What support can I expect from the University while I’m working remotely?

The IT team is available to provide technical assistance and training. You may contact the help desk by calling the University main phone line at 704.378.1000 and entering option "9" to be re-routed to our Helpdesk or send an email message to helpdesk@jcsu.edu for assistance. Because we are operating in unchartered territory, it is difficult for us to predict exactly what resources are required for each employee to work successfully. Please discuss all other needs with your manager, who will address your needs on a case-by-case basis.

What does limited access mean? What if I need something from my office so I can work remotely?

Managers have developed a list of employees authorized to access campus. Please contact your manager and develop a way of getting the information you need to perform your work effectively over the next two weeks.

What will the status of my benefits be during this time? Will I continue to have health benefits even if the University stops paying me?

Your benefits will continue as long as you are in paid status. The House and Senate have passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act with the goal of reducing the financial impact on employees. We are reviewing the Act to see how it will impact JCSU employees.

What if I am an essential employee and I get sick? What if I am a professor who gets sick, who will take over my classes?

Each division head has been asked to update or develop a business continuity plan to address this rapidly changing health challenge. Please contact your supervisor for information about the continuity plan for your specific area.

If an essential employee gets COVID-19 on campus will the campus be closed instead of restricted?

Beginning March 23, 2020, the University will conduct most of its business remotely in an effort to limit the number of faculty and staff on campus at one time. If an employee becomes ill, he/she should follow the guidance from their physician, the CDC and the local health department.

What resources are available to our employees at this time for our mental health?

Self-care is always important but it is even more important now. Should you need assistance in addressing personal or work-related challenges, don’t hesitate to use your free employee assistance program resources for yourself or your family. You may access these services 24 hours a day, seven days a week through atriumhealth.org/EAP using JCSU login code: JCS144. 

How will I receive my pay during this period?

All University paid employees (faculty, staff and students) have access to the ADP Payroll portal through workforcenow.adp.com. Select "Sign Up” then follow directions using the registration codeJCSU-registration. Utilize this system to enroll in direct deposit immediately through Myself>Pay>Payment Options. If you do not have a banking account, reach out to Payroll through Payroll@jcsu.edu using your JCSU email address to request a paycard with the VISA logo. Wages can be loaded onto the card upon request then mailed to the employee.


March 23, 2020

Businesses and Organizations Offer COVID-19 Pandemic Relief

We hope you continue to stay safe during this rapidly changing situation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. In an effort to provide additional resources to the JCSU community, we have listed some of the companies and organizations assisting people during these economically challenging times. We encourage everyone to consider taking advantage of the free assistance provided. If you choose to utilize any of the companies listed below, please read the fine print in the terms and conditions section of retailers' websites before making a final decision.

United Way

The United Way has created the COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to provide financial and social services assistance to individuals and families as well as support for communities. You may visit the United Way website https://www.unitedway.org/the-latest/press/united-way-worldwide-launches-covid-19-community-response-and-recovery-fund or call 211 on your phone for details about services available in Charlotte and other cities/towns nationwide.

U-Haul:

The storage company is offering 30 Days free self-storage to college students amid coronavirus outbreak.

AT&T:

The cable, phone and media giant is suspending the termination of wireless, home phone or broadband service when customers can't pay their bills because of coronavirus disruptions. The company is also waiving related late fees, providing free access to its public WiFi hot spots and providing unlimited data to current home internet wireline customers and fixed wireless internet customers.

Duke Energy:

The utility is suspending disconnections for non-payment. "Customers should pay what they can to avoid building up a large balance that will be harder to pay off later," the company said.

Verizon:

Verizon said it is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers "negatively impacted by the global crisis."

T-Mobile:

The mobile phone service provider is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.

Charter Communications:

The telecommunications company is providing free Spectrum broadband and WiFi internet for the next 60 days to households with K-12 students or college students who don't already have a subscription. It’s also offering its WiFi hot spots for free to the public.

Comporium:

The South Carolina cable company is providing 60 days of free internet service to students. In addition, they are offering internet to new customers in homes with K-12 and higher education students.

Hyundai:

The automaker is reviving its Hyundai Assurance Job Loss Protection Program to give owners "peace of mind in uncertain times" as the coronavirus outbreak leads to concerns that Americans will stop buying new cars and trucks. Hyundai said the program will provide up to six months of car payments to new buyers if they lose their jobs involuntarily. It will also provide 90 days of payment deferral on new purchases.

Ford Motor Company :

Ford is offering customers "potential delay of payments to provide relief." It's also providing new-car buyers the chance to delay their first payment by 90 days.

Enterprise:

The rental car company is reducing the minimum age for renting a car to 18 through May 31 "to make it easier for students to get home to their families" due to the suspension of college courses.

Avis:

The rental car company is waiving surcharges for young drivers, though it hasn’t dropped the age cutoff from 21. Avis’ usual added fee for young drivers in most states is $27. The offer runs through April 30.

Please continue to be careful and follow CDC guidelines regarding hand washing and social distancing. We hope you will remain safe and healthy during this pandemic.


March 22, 2020

JCSU Parents:  We need your help to ensure the health and safety of your student. Although residence halls close officially March 30, please vacate ASAP, if feasible.


March 20, 2020

JCSU Remote Business Operations – March 23, 2020 to April 3, 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic has presented higher education with unprecedented challenges. As the virus spreads exponentially, new information presents new challenges and decisions need to be made or modified quickly. 

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, and continuing through April 3, 2020, most University operations will be conducted remotely. Therefore, you are encouraged to use email as the primary means of communicating with faculty and staff. During this period, most campus buildings will be inaccessible and on-campus services will be unavailable. Students will have access to residence halls and the cafeteria for grab and go meals through March 30, 2020. 

As mentioned in previous communications, the University is concerned for your safety and strongly urges students living in residence halls to vacate as soon as possible ahead of the March 30 deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Is there a pass/fail option for spring semester?  

Pass/Fail is not an option being offered for this semester. For now, courses will be graded as planned per the original course schedule.

What is the new deadline to withdraw from classes? 

Deadline to withdraw from classes has been pushed back to April 3, 2020. Additional information on the steps to withdraw will be communicated soon.

What is the University’s attendance policy now that classes are online?  

The attendance policy is unchanged, but faculty have the option to adapt their course attendance policies based on the transition to online courses. Please make sure you understand each professor’s policies when courses resume March 30, 2020.

How will tests and exams be administered for online courses?  

All coursework will be completed through Canvas, unless otherwise stated by an instructor.

How do I register for classes next semester?  

Advising and registration will take place by phone and email with considerable support from faculty and professional advisors. Registration will be through the online portal as normal.  

What can I do if I’m having difficulty with online classes because I’ve never taken an online class?  

Contact the JCSU Canvas Help Desk at 704.330,1300 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; and Canvas Support via the Help menu during all other hours (options of phone or chat are provided there). In addition, you can utilize the Smarthinking online academic support, which is accessible in the Canvas portal.

In addition, the University’s Learning Resource Center assists with writing and foreign languages. They will be available virtually. Appointments may be made by visiting https://centerlrc.10to8.com or via email at centerlrc@jcsu.edu

It is critical that you speak with your instructor in detail along the way for extra help and to devise strategies to help you succeed.

How will office hours be provided to students now that courses have transitioned online?  

Instructors will be asked to offer a regular time for online guidance, which will vary from course to course.

How are you able to use my money as a credit for next semester instead of returning it to me now?

The administration decided to apply credits as a means to provide freshmen, sophomores and juniors a credit towards their student balances for fall 2020. In many instances, this credit will be decreased by institutional aid, which is funded directly by the University. After the review process is completed, the amount of institutional aid may be greater than the credit applied to the student’s balance. If so, no credit or payment will be issued to the student. Graduating seniors will receive payment instead of credit on their student accounts. The process will adhere to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education. 

What is the difference between institutional aid and scholarship?

Student assistance or discounting is funded by two sources: funded aid and unfunded aid. Funded aid is typically contributed to the University by a donor. An example is an endowed scholarship. Unfunded aid is financed by the University and is paid from University funds. Unfunded Aid is also called institutional aid.    

How do I know if I am one of the Federal Work Study students who will be paid?

If you have been paid in the spring 2020 semester for Federal Work Study, you qualify for additional payments. If you did not earn any Federal Work Study payments this semester, you do not qualify. There is a limit on the amount you can earn in the spring semester, which is noted in your award letter.

How will I receive my Federal Work Study payments because I typically pick up my check from the Business Office?

Please provide your current mailing address to your work supervisor, who will ensure the check is mailed to you.

 



March 18, 2020

We hope everyone has been able to remain safe and well during this unprecedented time. Johnson C. Smith University continues to monitor the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 outbreak as it evolves. With increases of confirmed cases in North Carolina, and in light of recent Executive Orders issued by the Governor of North Carolina, our leadership team is meeting daily to make challenging decisions during this public health crisis. As a consequence, new information presents new challenges and decisions made previously may need to be modified. Therefore, we are modifying our previous instructions and will implement the procedures below to ensure the safety and well-being of the JCSU family as well as the public.

Residence Hall Closures

In response to calls to help limit the spread of the virus, students are required to move out of residence halls as soon as possible. All residence halls will close at 12 noon on Monday, March 30, 2020. This is subject to government mandates, which may result in residence halls being closed before March 30.

Credits and Refund Information

Johnson C. Smith University will utilize a five-step process for issuing credits or refunds to students as a result of the changes required to the spring 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The steps are as follows:

  1. If a student received institutional aid from JCSU in order to cover his/her direct cost of attending the university, he/she will not be eligible to receive a refund, as the institutional aid amount awarded to the student for attending the spring semester of 2020 will be adjusted accordingly. Please note that as adjustments are being made, your student account will reflect each step of the process. Once the process is complete, students will be notified via their JCSU email. 
  1. We will calculate a pro-rated amount of unused meal plan charges per student based on the choice of meal plan selected. That pro-rated amount will extend March 31, 2020, through the last day residence halls are open to students (May 9, 2020).
  1. We will calculate a pro-rated amount of housing charges beginning on March 31, 2020, through the last day residence halls are open per the academic calendar (May 9, 2020).
  1. If a student has an unpaid balance as a result of a payment plan for the spring semester, the pro-rated room and meal plan charges will be offset against the outstanding balance. Consequently, there is a possibility that the amount the student currently owes offsets the total and the student will not receive a credit or refund.
     
  2. For students who do not owe JCSU funds via payment plans, did not receive institutional aid to cover the direct costs of the university, and are freshman, sophomore or juniors, the university will place a credit on your account from the spring semester that will become a part of your aid package for academic year 2020-2021. If the student is a graduating senior, the credit amount on his/her account after the previous four steps noted above, will be refunded to him/her via check or direct deposit. Please note: For students who received funds from a Parent PLUS Loan, their funds will be returned via check made payable to the parent. 

Please contact the Office of Student Accounts at studentaccounts@jcsu.edu with questions.

Federal Work Study

Financial Aid is currently working through the payment of Federal Work Study (FWS) as authorized by the U.S. Department of Education. The amount awarded to FWS students for the spring semester is identified in their FWS award letters. No student will be paid more than the amount on the award letter. The average weekly number of hours paid to each student will be based on hours worked by the student during the spring semester. For the weeks between March 30 - May 9, 2020, FWS students may be paid up to six weeks at the average weekly hours. If this additional payment takes the total payments for FWS over the amount awarded to the student, the additional amount will be reduced or eliminated. By March 27, Financial Aid will communicate to all FWS students when the additional payments will be paid.   

On-Campus Meals

In accordance with the Executive Order of the Governor, all meals from the cafeteria will be grab and go from March 19 - 29, 2020.  Meals will be available on the brunch schedule.

Commencement Exercises

The 2020 Commencement ceremony is postponed. We are looking into our options and will have more information on how we will celebrate the Class of 2020 after the immediate threat has passed. Graduating seniors, who fulfill their academic requirements, will have their degrees conferred upon completion of the spring semester.

Higher education has not been faced with a situation like this previously. The administration is working diligently, but carefully, to make decisions that are in the best interest of the safety and health of our students, faculty, staff and the community at large. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we continue to navigate a situation that is changing daily.


March 16, 2020

Letter from President Armbrister Regarding JCSU's COVID-19 Response

Dear JCSU Community:

We find ourselves in the midst of unprecedented and uncertain times. I am writing to you today to reassure you that notwithstanding these times, Johnson C. Smith University remains focused and will continue to place its highest value on our students, faculty and staff.  As evidence of this commitment and, among our chief responsibilities, is our intention to ensure the health and safety of our JCSU family. To this end, we are constantly monitoring the Coronavirus pandemic and paying close attention to information coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, and other public health officials. Fortunately, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 on our campus.  

Out of an abundance of caution, our campus facilities team began an extreme and precautionary cleaning process in all campus facilities more than two weeks ago and will continue these efforts. Additionally, a JCSU task force has been assembled to provide oversight of planning and preparation addressing business continuity, safety, health, and communication as we respond to the myriad of issues related to COVID-19. 

All decisions made to this point have been made with the well-being of students, faculty, staff, and our entire community in mind. We have made the best decisions possible with the information available at the time. As noted above, these are unusual times for all, and we must stay the course as a united JCSU.  

As parents, Mrs. Armbrister and I understand how actions taken to address COVID-19 are both extremely necessary and extremely disruptive. We are praying for a healthy outcome for all. My commitment to you, is to share as much information as possible, as soon as possible, as we, along with the rest of the world, attempt to navigate this novel virus.

Please continue to be diligent with regard to monitoring all official communication channels, as important information will be provided on an ongoing basis. I would respectfully ask that we refrain from initiating or passing along rumors from unknown or unreliable sources.   

In response to COVID-19, the University has made the following decisions:

  • JCSU will extend spring break for one week through March 27, 2020, in order for faculty and staff to prepare for online instruction.
  • All classes will move online beginning Monday, March 30, 2020. MSW and Metropolitan College adult and evening classes will go fully online as of Monday, March 16, 2020, when Spring Term II begins.
  • All students are encouraged to return home for spring break, if they can do so, and vacate residence halls by March 30, 2020, at 12 noon for the remainder of the semester. A limited number of students including international students, students with travel restrictions and other students with the approval of the Dean of Students will be allowed to stay on campus to complete the spring semester.
  • Further information regarding online courses will follow.
  • Plans for 2020 Baccalaureate service and Commencement exercises will be reviewed by April 15 and a decision will be made subsequent to that review.
  • All domestic and international travel for JCSU faculty, staff and students is canceled through the end of the semester (May 17, 2020). We are currently monitoring international travel planned for summer and evaluating options.

For more information visit www.JCSU.edu/COVID. 

Thank you all for your commitment to our collective well-being.

Sincerely,

Clarence D. Armbrister, J.D.
President

 


March 12, 2020

Our top priority is the health and safety of our campus community. Johnson C. Smith University places its highest value on our students, faculty and staff, therefore we are committed to ensuring the coronavirus affects as few of the JCSU family and others as possible. This is a very fluid situation that has required examination and re-examination of the best course of action as public health officials release new information on an ongoing basis.

Any decision that can potentially affect classroom activities is made with the utmost care. After extremely careful consideration, including meeting with a committee composed of University leadership, emergency management, campus health professionals and others, the decision has been made to move academic courses to online for the duration of the spring semester. The University will extend Spring break for one week through March 27, 2020 in order for faculty and staff to prepare for online instruction.

In response to the growing pandemic the university has made the following decisions:

What Students Need to Know Before You Leave –

  • All students are encouraged to return home for spring break, if you can do so.  All residence halls will close March 30, 2020 at 12 noon for the remainder of the semester. At this time, all undergraduate class instruction will move to online.
  • MSW and Metropolitan College adult and evening classes will go fully online as of Monday, March 16, 2020 when Spring Term II begins.
  • Further information regarding online courses will follow.
  • A limited number of students including international students, students with travel restrictions and other students with the approval of the Dean of Students will be allowed to stay on campus to complete the spring semester. International students will be required to maintain specific conditions to maintain federal immigration status.
  • Plans for 2020 Baccalaureate service and Commencement exercises will be reviewed by April 15 and a decision will be made subsequent to that review.
  • Information regarding federal work study will be released over the next week.

For Faculty and Staff –

  • The University will remain open for business, and all faculty and staff should report to work as usual.
  • All domestic and international travel for JCSU faculty, staff and students will be canceled through the end of the semester (May 17, 2020). We are currently monitoring international travel planned for summer and evaluating options.
  • All events and sporting competitions on campus through the end of the semester are cancelled until further notice.  This includes the Arch of Triumph Gala scheduled for April 4, 2020.

All Campus Information –

  • All campus events are canceled until further notice.
  • Teleconferences are encouraged for large team communication at this time.
  • Security will be heightened and access to campus will be limited. Visitors will be screened at the gate and access will be restricted to faculty, staff and students.

The health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff is the University’s highest priority. The University has taken preventive measures over the past week. For more information on this, please visit our website at www.jcsu.edu. We are continuing to evaluate the coronavirus outbreak on a day-to-day basis. Please continue to monitor all communication channels for more information.

North Carolina

Please visit the website of the North Carolina Division of Public Health within the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for information about the virus, preparation and recommendations from our state.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

You may visit the CDC website for information and updates about the virus in the United States as well information on prevention and other recommendations.

International Travel/Study Abroad

Johnson C. Smith University does not have students who are studying abroad at this time. University officials will monitor the situation in regard to any study abroad trips planned for the near future and will follow travel recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. State Department. However, the COVID-19 situation is dynamic and people have differing levels of risk tolerance so students and their families should make the final decision about what is best for their situation.

What Johnson C. Smith University is Doing

The health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff is the University’s highest priority. JCSU officials are providing this overview of information, which will be updated regularly, regarding coronavirus, to the campus community. The information provided includes links to state and federal resources that allow students to learn more and monitor information for themselves if they choose to do so. The University is taking precautions and practicing suggested preventive measures.  

  • Soap dispensers in bathrooms will be filled at all times.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in the residence halls and select centralized locations throughout the campus.
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer will be placed in some offices and other areas that have a high volume of traffic.
  • Sanitizing wipes will be placed in the cafeteria and Bullpen, computer labs and Healthplex to allow persons to wipe surfaces, handheld devices, keyboards, exercise equipment, etc. Wipes will also be placed in offices that have a high volume of traffic.
  • The Health Center is prepared to protect students and health care professionals in the event a student(s) arrives at the center with active symptoms.

 

What You Can Do

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses (which includes the flu) are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu vaccine if you have not yet done so.

Stay Informed

The JCSU officials and the Emergency Management Team will continue to stay abreast of the situation. The EMT has also reviewed the University’s response plan and will act accordingly. Please stay informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, North Carolina Division of Public Health, the World Health Organization and local health departments. You may continue to monitor this emergency alert section of the University’s website for updated overviews and campus-specific information.


March 11, 2020

Johnson C. Smith University is monitoring closely the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The outbreak has been covered extensively in media stories, and University officials are asking the JCSU community to be vigilant and knowledgeable to help avoid the spread of misinformation.

As of March 12, 2020, more than 1,300 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the United States. Fourteen cases have been confirmed in North Carolina including two people who have tested positive at locations in Mecklenburg County.

No students, faculty or staff have reported symptoms of the virus. The virus presents as a respiratory illness in humans, typically causing mild symptoms similar to those of influenza or the common cold. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are among the most common symptoms. Because it is so new, no medicine(s) is available to treat the virus specifically. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures. 

North Carolina

Please visit the website of the North Carolina Division of Public Health within the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for information about the virus, preparation and recommendations from our state.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

You may visit the CDC website for information and updates about the virus in the United States as well information on prevention and other recommendations.

International Travel/Study Abroad

Johnson C. Smith University does not have students who are studying abroad at this time. University officials will monitor the situation in regard to any study abroad trips planned for the near future and will follow travel recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. State Department. However, the COVID-19 situation is dynamic and people have differing levels of risk tolerance so students and their families should make the final decision about what is best for their situation.

Spring Break

Spring break is rapidly approaching, and if you are planning personal travel to an international destination, we strongly recommend that you be mindful of potential risk of disruptions to your reentry to the United States and your ability to successfully return to class and/or work. Also, be aware of places in the U.S. that are reporting cases and follow guidelines from the CDC. Please heed travel advisories from federal agencies regarding all foreign and domestic travel.

What Johnson C. Smith University is Doing

The health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff is the University’s highest priority. JCSU officials are providing this overview of information, which will be updated regularly, regarding coronavirus, to the campus community. The information provided includes links to state and federal resources that allow students to learn more and monitor information for themselves if they choose to do so. The University is taking precautions and practicing suggested preventive measures.  

  • Soap dispensers in bathrooms will be filled at all times.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in the residence halls and select centralized locations throughout the campus.
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer will be placed in some offices and other areas that have a high volume of traffic.
  • Sanitizing wipes will be placed in the cafeteria and Bullpen, computer labs and Healthplex to allow persons to wipe surfaces, handheld devices, keyboards, exercise equipment, etc. Wipes will also be placed in offices that have a high volume of traffic.
  • The Health Center is prepared to protect students and health care professionals in the event a student(s) arrives at the center with active symptoms.

What You Can Do

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses (which includes the flu) are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu vaccine if you have not yet done so.

Stay Informed

The JCSU officials and the Emergency Management Team will continue to stay abreast of the situation. The EMT has also reviewed the University’s response plan and will act accordingly. Please stay informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, North Carolina Division of Public Health, the World Health Organization and local health departments. You may continue to monitor this emergency alert section of the University’s website for updated overviews and campus-specific information.


March 3, 2020

Johnson C. Smith University is monitoring closely the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The outbreak has been covered extensively in media stories, and University officials are asking the JCSU community to be vigilant and knowledgeable to help avoid the spread of misinformation.

As of March 3, 2020, in the United States, more than 100 cases of the virus have been confirmed in 15 states. One case has been confirmed in Wake County North Carolina. No students, faculty or staff have reported symptoms of the virus. The virus presents as a respiratory illness in humans, typically causing mild symptoms similar to those of influenza or the common cold. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are among the most common symptoms. Because it is so new, no medicine(s) is available to treat the virus specifically. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures. 

North Carolina

Please visit the website of the North Carolina Division of Public Health within the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for information about the virus, preparation and recommendations from our state.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

You may visit the CDC website for information and updates about the virus in the United States as well information on prevention and other recommendations.

International Travel/Study Abroad

Johnson C. Smith University does not have students who are studying abroad at this time. University officials will monitor the situation in regard to any study abroad trips planned for the near future and will follow travel recommendations from the CDC and the U.S. State Department. However, the COVID-19 situation is dynamic and people have differing levels of risk tolerance so students and their families should make the final decision about what is best for their situation.

Spring Break

Spring break is rapidly approaching, and if you are planning personal travel to an international destination, we strongly recommend that you be mindful of potential risk of disruptions to your reentry to the United States and your ability to successfully return to class and/or work. Also, be aware of places in the U.S. that are reporting cases and follow guidelines from the CDC. Please heed travel advisories from federal agencies regarding all foreign and domestic travel.

What Johnson C. Smith University is Doing

The health, safety and well-being of students, faculty and staff is the University’s highest priority. JCSU officials are providing this overview of information, which will be updated regularly, regarding coronavirus, to the campus community. The information provided includes links to state and federal resources that allow students to learn more and monitor information for themselves if they choose to do so. The University is taking precautions and practicing suggested preventive measures.  

  • Soap dispensers in bathrooms will be filled at all times.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in the residence halls and select centralized locations throughout the campus.
  • Bottles of hand sanitizer will be placed in some offices and other areas that have a high volume of traffic.
  • Sanitizing wipes will be placed in the cafeteria and Bullpen, computer labs and Healthplex to allow persons to wipe surfaces, handheld devices, keyboards, exercise equipment, etc. Wipes will also be placed in offices that have a high volume of traffic.
  • The Health Center is prepared to protect students and health care professionals in the event a student(s) arrives at the center with active symptoms.

What You Can Do

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses (which includes the flu) are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Immediately throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu vaccine if you have not yet done so.

Stay Informed

The JCSU officials and the Emergency Management Team will continue to stay abreast of the situation. The EMT has also reviewed the University’s response plan and will act accordingly. Please stay informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, North Carolina Division of Public Health, the World Health Organization and local health departments. You may continue to monitor this emergency alert section of the University’s website for updated overviews and campus-specific information.