Dear SDC Students,

The year 2020 continues to be a challenging. Last spring we quickly transitioned to distance learning. Students responded incredibly to this mandate from the university. This summer, the faculty, staff and especially students have been anxiously anticipating getting back face to face. Unfortunately, WSU and the SDC undergraduate and graduate programs will only be offered through distance learning this fall semester.

I empathize with how difficult this is for some students to learn remotely and online can be a real obstacle for some instructors. However, this summer your faculty in the SDC have been participating in workshops in order to prepare the best possible remote educational experiences. Also, I have asked all of the faculty in the school to reach out to students registered in their classes soon in order to ensure that you are connected and know what to expect come the start of fall term.

I encourage you to attend the WSU Town Hall on Friday at 1:00 PM to get some questions answered. Also, there is a dedicated website for WSU that can answer general questions about “The Coug Experience: What to expect as Washington State University continues operations this fall.”

I have included questions and answers below that I have heard from some students directly or through your professors and advisors. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Q: Will classes be held synchronously and also asynchronously?
A: By default, your instructors will be meeting with the class online at the time the class is scheduled. Class sessions online will also be recorded and posted so that those who are impacted by COVID or are in another time zone can learn asynchronously. I encourage you to communicate with your professors to ensure that you understand what is expected of you and that you are keeping your professors aware if online education becomes a challenge due to personal or technical difficulties and you are falling behind. We are here to support you, mentor you, and instruct you as you progress in your path toward professionalism.

Q: Am I required to have my video/cameras ON during Zoom lectures?
A: Although this is not a requirement, we prefer that you turn on your camera to maximize our interactive learning during class.

Q: What if I don’t have good Internet at my house or my home is not conducive to working?
A: Please communicate with your program head, instructor, or advisor if you are having a challenge with connectivity. Shelley Pressley, Associate Dean for Student Success in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture is also a resource. Similar to Spring 2020, we will work to find a solution for all students to learn remotely.

Q: Will there be a pass / fail option this fall semester?
A: While pass / fail was an option in the spring, it will NOT be offered for fall semester.

Q: Will there be extra or co-curricular events/socializing or club events online for students?
A: The SDC will not have any face to face engagements this fall semester in class or outside of class. Via WSU e-mail accounts and on social media, we will be sharing opportunities for students to engage outside of class with peers and the school community in a virtual environment. This will include competitions, guest lectures, club meetings, etc.

Q: What about study tour and/or travel requirements?
A: All study tour/travel experiences are canceled for fall semester.

Q: Will there be office hours?
A: Yes. Instructors will provide detailed information about this in their course syllabus.

Q: Can I get access to SDC spaces in the fall in Carpenter, EME, Dana, and Daggy Halls?
A: All teaching spaces will be closed to students this fall including computer labs and fab labs. Research will continue for graduate student research employees and faculty researchers. Your faculty supervisor will contact you to review the return to campus policies for those working on campus.

Q: How will recruitment to firms and companies happen remotely?
A: We are working to set up opportunities online for you to connect with industry and interview for available positions. If you have more questions about this contact Jason Peschel for Construction Management and Sandi Brabb in the Voiland College Internships and Career Services office for Architecture, Interior Design, and Landscape Architecture.

Finally, a shout out to all of you for your resilience and sticking with the SDC and the Cougar family during this unprecedented time. We are dedicated to your education and your success!


Digital signature for Ryan E. Smith.




Ryan E. Smith
Director and Professor
C: 385-215-0326
O: 509-335-3066