COVID-19 latest updates

As we all work diligently to ensure that faculty, staff, student, parent, and community questions are answered, multiple resources have been developed and are being updated continuously.

Resources for remote teaching and work

To assist you in working remotely, Telework at VCU offers a collection of software and resources that enables work and collaboration off-site.

Pass/Fail grade option

Because of the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the spring 2020 semester, VCU is offering a flexible grading policy to better accommodate our students and offer the best opportunity for their success. Learn more about the temporary Pass/Fail grade option »


To see a list of resources available by topic, select a header below to expand:

March 27, 2020

Best Practices for Teaching Remotely with Zoom
A new guide on best practices for teaching with Zoom and other video conferencing tools has been developed to help faculty more easily avoid potential FERPA violations, particularly as it pertains to recordings.

Support for International Students
International students and their faculty and advisors with questions can find resources at the Global Education Office's COVID-19 page, which includes links to immigration services as well as contact information for support on other issues related to remaining in Richmond, travel and health. They can also reach out directly to the director of international student and scholar programs, Amber Bennett Hill, at

Fall 2020 or full-year study abroad
Students who are considering Fall 2020 or Full-Year Study Abroad are encouraged to continue their applications at this time. As updates are made about fall travel abroad, VCU will notify all students and refund any VCU registration fees that have been paid if programs are cancelled due to COVID-19. Students are advised not to make any financial commitments (purchase flights, housing deposits, etc) and to register for fall coursework at VCU until there is more clarity about fall travel. For more information, visit the Global Education Office's COVID-19 page.

Student reimbursements for spring 2020

  • Tuition and Mandatory Fees: Mandatory fees (University, Library, Technology, Campus Learning Center, Activity, Health, etc.) ensure VCU can provide instructional and support services to students as they pursue their education. Although VCU has moved to remote instruction for the Spring 2020 semester, we continue to provide essential services that promote, facilitate and support student learning in a remote environment. Thus, no reimbursement for tuition and/or mandatory fees will be granted for the Spring 2020 semester. If you are interested in learning more about the services provided by specific offices, please visit their website or contact them directly. The staff and faculty continue to work tirelessly to provide you a quality education and student experience to ensure that you can finish Spring 2020 strong.
  • Student parking permits: VCU will be issuing refunds/credits for student parking permits. Information regarding parking permit refunds/credits will be communicated to students by April 9.
  • VCU COVID-19 website: This is the central source for universitywide information.
  • VCU email: It is imperative faculty, staff and students monitor their VCU email account regularly for updates.
  • Social media: Universitywide announcements will be posted to VCU’s official social media accounts - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram Stories.

All students are encouraged to talk to their advisors if they have any issues so we can point them to resources as we learn about them from various units.

Announcements will also be posted on VCU academic advising social media accounts:

Remote learning resources

Remote advising

All university academic advisors will be fully functioning through “remote” methods (Zoom, Google Hangout, phone, etc.). All academic advisors are updating their emails to reflect multiple ways of how to contact them and advisors continue to encourage all advisees to make appointments with them via their Navigate platform.

Spring 2020 study abroad programs recalled

VCU has mandated that all students studying abroad during spring 2020 return to the U.S. as soon as possible. Students have been instructed to work with their host institution to determine if online coursework is available. If this is not an available option through programs or host institutions, students have been instructed to inform their study abroad advisors immediately so that they can assist in connecting students with the appropriate offices at VCU that will work to ensure students' continued full-time enrollment at VCU for the remainder of the spring semester.

VCU Peer Support to Keep on Teaching

All announcements related to commencement on May 9 can be found at the VCU Commencement website.

  • Telework at VCU: A collection of software and resources that enable work and collaboration off-site.
  • VCU Human Resources COVID-19 page: Information from Human Resources regarding coronavirus, including alternative work arrangements, leave and payroll information

The following tools and resources can help you navigate experiential learning activities during COVID-19:


  • Mapping Access from Vanderbilt University: Tools for ensuring online course materials are as accessible as possible.
  • Student Opportunity Center: Provides a centralized web-based service that can connect students to virtual experiential learning opportunities.It also provides faculty and staff with an enterprise-wide platform to share and track student engagement in a low-burden way.


Co-curricular activities (virtual)

Community partnerships

Curated discipline-specific examples

Discussion of a shared text

  • Perusall: A social annotation tool that allows students and instructors to collaboratively markup .pdf documents. The service is free if you upload your own .pdfs, but there is also a library of texts available. Can be used as a standalone or can be Integrated with Canvas and Blackboard LMS systems. Includes a grading tool and ways to track contributions of individual students.


  • Keep on Teaching: Remote teaching resources for faculty
  • Moving Online Now: Chronicle of Higher Education’s currently free collection of curated advice
  • Higher-Ed and the Coronavirus Facebook Group: Hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Ed
  • Humanizing Online Teaching: By Drs. Mary Raygoza, Raina León, and Aaminah Norris, Saint Mary’s College of California. Good discussion of asynchronous versus synchronous teaching
  • Instructional Design Emergency Response Team: The Instructional Design Emergency Response (ID-ER) Network connects institutions and educators to e-learning professionals willing to help convert face-to-face courses or course components to online offerings during times of crisis, such as natural disasters and epidemics. Select “I can help” or “I need help”

High impact practices



Support for Student Learners Moving Online

Teaching online (How NOT to overwhelm students in a time of disruption)

Moving online quickly

Synchronous Instruction


RAMmalogues a program by the Office of Institutional Equity, Effectiveness and Success - is hosting a virtual forum for faculty and staff as well as students.

As the coronavirus outbreak creates distance between us, we believe it is still important to stay connected, check in with our peers and have a discussion about the emotional, mental and social impacts of COVID-19. Have you heard, seen and /or experienced feelings of exclusion related to COVID-19? Has your VCU experience changed as a result of the Coronavirus? These and other topics of conversation are hosted in a virtual dialogue by RAMmalogues - a braver/safer space for all to talk with each other about their social identities and lived experiences at VCU.

Dialogues encompassing race, gender, class and similar themes are led by trained facilitators provided by Kimbrough Consulting and Richmond Action Dialogues.

Students can register to receive a Zoom video conference link by registering for the March 27, 2020 session from noon-1:30 p.m.

Faculty and staff can register to receive a Zoom video conference link for the RAMmalogues special session taking place on March 30, from 8-9:30 a.m.

Non-discrimination policy

Virginia Commonwealth University remains committed to promoting a culture of inclusion for all its employees, patients and students. Discrimination or discriminatory harassment is not only unlawful, but it is harmful to the wellbeing of our university community. We are aware of the news reports regarding bullying, harassment and stereotyping of Chinese Americans and persons of Asian descent in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19). There is no place for this sort of behavior, especially not at VCU. Our university values, specifically those related to diversity and inclusion, have withstood many difficult situations and trying times, and they will not falter now. Please be assured that VCU will make every effort to prevent the occurence of unlawful discrimination and, if necessary, take prompt and appropriate action to remedy and prevent its reoccurence. Every member of our community is asked to:

Social media

Visit the Division for Inclusive Excellence's social media accounts at: