Responding to the Challenges of COVID-19 and the Enhanced Community Quarantine
April 24, 2020
MEMO TO: The AGSB Community
FROM: Rodolfo P. Ang
DATE: April 22, 2020
RE: Responding to the Challenges of COVID-19 and the Enhanced Community Quarantine
In light of the health crisis caused by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the consequent unprecedented (albeit necessary) changes in the way we must go about our daily lives, we must also modify the ways in which we teach and learn.
With the health and safety of our community foremost among our many concerns, the leadership of the AGSB has made the following decisions regarding the operations of the school for the rest of this academic year: regardless of when and if the Enhanced Community Quarantine will be lifted in Metro Manila, no more classes will be conducted physically on our campus for the balance of SY 2019-2020.
Concretely, this means that:
- All ongoing classes (for the second trimester of the MBA Standard and Middle Managers programs, and for the third term of the MBA Regis program) will be completed on an on-line basis.
- All classes offered in the third trimester of the MBA Standard and Middle Managers programs (beginning May 11, 2020) will be delivered on an on-line basis, using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous modes. Similarly, all classes offered in the fifth term of the MBA Regis program (beginning June 29, 2020) will be delivered on an on-line basis. (As previously announced, the fourth term of the Regis Program, which was originally scheduled from April 20 to June 13, 2020, has been cancelled).
Matters Related to Ongoing Classes (Second Trimester of MBA Standard/Middle Managers programs, Third term of MBA Regis progam)
- Students who for whatever reason feel unprepared or are unable to complete their ongoing classes (e.g. they do not have appropriate internet connectivity, or they are health care frontliners who are too busy to attend to their classes) may write to the Registrar at <firstname.lastname@example.org> to inform us of their decision to withdraw from their class(es). They will be given a full refund of their tuition, and receive a grade of WP (withdrawal with permission) from the class. The deadline for such requests is April 30, 2020.
- Deadlines for the submission of STRAMA papers will be finalized by the individual teachers in consultation with their Department Chair and their students. Concerns of students who experience extraordinary issues related to the completion of their papers will be dealt with on a case-to-case basis.
- STRAMA defenses will be conducted on an on-line basis.
Matters Related to Classes Offered for the Balance of the Academic Year (Third Trimester of MBA Standard/Middle Managers programs, Fifth term of MBA Regis program)
- Classes will be offered only on an on-line basis, using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous modes. We will limit our offerings only to those classes that we feel we can effectively teach on-line on such short notice. Consequently, not every class that students need or want to take will be available. Please bear with us for now; we have had very little time to prepare ourselves for on-line delivery of our classes.
- To effectively teach these on-line classes, we have made the decision to lower the maximum class size to 20 students per class, and to split the classes into two or three sessions per week, instead of single 3-hour or 4-hour sessions once a week.
- The list of classes to be offered, and the schedule of each class, is still being finalized, and will be released in a separate memo. Although some sessions will be offered on an asynchronous basis, many sessions will be offered on a synchronous basis. Students who enroll should be ready and able to participate on a synchronous basis in classes held during the pre-announced class schedule
- Students who wish to enroll in any of these classes must have access to what we have deemed to be the minimum technical requirements for effective participation in an on-line session:
- Must have access to a desktop PC or Laptop with properly installed webcam and microphone. Smartphones and tablets can also be used, but not all features of Blackboard Collaborate will be available.
- Must run their device using at least the following versions of operating systems: Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 10 or Mac OS
- Must have installed an updated Internet Browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari)
- Must have a dedicated internet connection of at least 5 Mbps or higher.
(You can perform a speed test of your existing connection at https://www.speedtest.net/. Avoid sharing your connection with other members of your household to minimize connectivity issues during the session.)
For clarifications regarding the above technical requirements, you may contact any of the following AGSB IT personnel:
o Renan Sulit (email@example.com)
o Renemark Bacani (firstname.lastname@example.org)
o Orlando Cruz (email@example.com)
- Registration will be conducted fully on-line or by remote communication (telephone or email). No student will be required to physically come to campus to complete his/her enrollment. The Registrar’s office will release a separate memo that will describe in detail the registration process that we will be following.
- We will not be offering separate classes for our satellite campuses. Students enrolled at our satellite campuses can take any of the classes offered by AGSB as long as it corresponds to the program of study they are pursuing. Every student will pay tuition fees corresponding to the fee schedule of their home campus.
- As has been past practice, students requesting waivers of pre-requisite requirements and/or cross-enrollment in classes offered for other programs (e.g. a Regis student wishing to enroll in a class offered for the Middle Managers program) should write to us care of Ms. Shineth Henson firstname.lastname@example.org, so that their requests can be addressed on a case-to-case basis.
- While we will continue to entertain student petitions for us to offer classes that are not originally calendared, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all such petitions. Our paramount concern will be our ability to effectively deliver every class on an on-line basis.
- Students who will not be able to enroll this coming trimester/term will not be required to file for a Leave of Absence at this time. Please note that this waiver only applies for the upcoming trimester for the Standard and MM programs, and the upcoming term for the Regis program.
- In light of the unexpected and unprecedented nature of this crisis, AGSB administration is prepared to relax its requirements related to the filing of leaves of absence and the maximum residency period for all affected students.
- Because most of the students in the MBA-Health program are health care professionals, all classes in this program are suspended indefinitely, and will only resume after it has been determined that our students are ready and prepared to come back to school.
- The schedule of classes in the Master in Entrepreneurship, Master in Entrepreneurship – Social Enterprise Development track, and all Institutional Programs will be separately worked out by the Program Directors in coordination with the students of each program.
- The schedule of classes for students enrolled at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH) will be subject to a separate memo, to be issued by the Dean of ASMPH.
Many of these changes in the way we do things call for attitudinal and behavioral changes in our entire learning community. Please bear with us and work with us as we try to see our way through this crisis.
Keep safe, everyone, and may the Lord watch over us and all of our loved ones in this era of COVID and ECQ.