COVID-19 Spring Quarter Q&A
Although learning and participation in courses may look very different during the Spring 2020 quarter due to UCSB’s COVID-19 response, the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability intends to provide the same level of quality instruction and active learning as UCSB’s usual in-person format. This is an unprecedented time that has required a rapid and complex transition to new procedures and norms that none of us have ever faced before, but PSTAT faculty are working with the utmost of integrity to ensure your education retains its quality during this public health emergency.
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Statistics and Applied Probability Course Descriptions from the UCSB General Catalog
COVID-19 Spring Quarter Q&A
A. Yes. As part of the COVID-19 response at UCSB, the Academic Senate voted to pre-approve department requests for a temporary waiver of unit limitations of P/NP grading during Spring 2020 for any departments that requested to opt-in. On Monday, 4/6/2020, the PSTAT faculty voted to opt-in to this temporary waiver for all PSTAT majors, in an attempt to assist students by being as flexible as possible. This means the following:
- Whereas normally students may not count any courses taken P/NP towards a PSTAT major, for Spring 2020 only, all PSTAT majors will be allowed to count any course taken P/NP towards major requirements
- for prerequisites that normally require a letter grade of C or greater (or prerequisites that merely require a passing grade), PSTAT will count a grade of P as fulfilling the prerequisite requirement for any course taken in Spring 2020 only.
When deciding to take a course P/NP in Spring 2020, please keep in mind the following:
- While a C- or D will count towards major units (so long as your UD and major GPA remains a 2.0 or above), an NP will not count towards major units. Students receive an NP if they earn a C- or lower in the course. Thus, for courses that are not part of a prerequisite series, students that chose to take the course P/NP may need to repeat a course in which a C- or D was earned, whereas if they had taken the course for a letter grade they would not have had to repeat it.
- PSTAT 176/276 has a prerequisite requirement of a B- or greater in PSTAT 160A and PSTAT 170. PSTAT will not accept a grade of "P" in fulfilling this prerequisite requirement; students that need to take PSTAT 176 down the line, and who are taking PSTAT 170 and/or 160A in Spring, should not take these courses P/NP.
- While PSTAT is accepting P/NP for prerequisite requirements that require either a passing grade or a grade of C or better during Spring 2020, this is not an automatic process. Once grades are submitted to the registrar for Spring 2020, students will need to request clearance from the department for any course they wish to register in going forward which requires a prerequisite that students took in Spring 2020 for P/NP.
- This P/NP policy does not have an effect on courses for the Statistics Minor.
- A student's decision to take a course P/NP is invisible to the instructor until final grades are submitted to the registrar. Faculty submit a letter grade to the registrar for the student in all cases, regardless of student choice for a letter grade or P/NP option. The registrar will then automatically convert the letter grade for students that chose the P/NP option to P if the grade is a C or higher, or NP if the grade is a C- or lower. Thus, all faculty will be grading students as if there were no P/NP option. Faculty will not change grades, assignments, expectations or rigor for students taking the course P/NP.
A. PSTAT advisors are available for online advising via Zoom. Please see here for more information.
A. No. The university is not doing a systemic enforcement of prerequisites due to the extended deadline for grade entry caused by the COVID-19 response, not because prerequisites are no longer a requirement for courses. Prerequisites are there for a reason – faculty use prerequisites to build curriculum off of; if you failed or have not yet taken a prerequisite for a course, you will not be prepared for the course material. If you failed the prerequisite in Winter 2020 quarter for a course you are enrolled in for Spring 2020, please drop yourself from that course. Be aware that all individual instructors have the right to enforce their prerequisite requirements; it is possible that instructors may have you manually dropped from the course if you are missing the prerequisite. Please don’t set yourself up for a surprise drop! Remove yourself from the course if you failed a prerequisite, and ensure you are enrolled in 12 units elsewhere.
A. Currently, it is up to the instructor of each individual course whether material will be offered synchronously (meaning all students receive the same material at the same time through a streamed lecture), or asynchronously (meaning all students receive the same material at different times through a pre-recorded lecture). We encourage students to schedule as though their courses will be offered during the scheduled times, in case this is the method your instructor chooses.
A. Although classroom capacity is no longer a problem, faculty and TAs are still limited in the number of students they can teach at any given time. In order to ensure that students receive an education that retains both integrity and quality of instruction, students should assume that courses will be retaining their current size limitations.
A. No. Faculty will not be lessening the rigor or lowering the difficulty of material for online courses; as such, students should not enroll in more units than they otherwise would have. In addition, faculty may require attendance and/or participation in their lecture (similar to an in-person format) which means courses will still retain the same demand on your time as it otherwise would have. PSTAT retains our usual guidance that students should not take more than 12 units of UD units of PSTAT coursework at a time.
A. Yes, faculty still have the means to take attendance using various tools in gauchospace; it is up to the individual instructor exactly how both attendance and participation credit will take place.
A. There will be no crashing during Spring 2020. Eligible students will be enrolled from the waitlist dependent on space availability. Individual instructors may be willing to manually add the students at the top of their waitlist to gauchospace for access to online content while the student waits to see if they will be enrolled from the waitlist, but this does not mean the student has been enrolled. Instructors will not be adding everyone to their gauchospace; the decision is being left to the individual instructors, but most likely students who are beyond the top 10 spots on the waitlist will not gain access.
A. Since there will be no crashing, the only way to enroll in a class is through the waitlisting process. Adding to a waitlist does not guarantee you a spot in the class. The waitlist automatically adds students when spots become available with priority given to PSTAT majors, and then by total units. Automatic add from the waitlist will be disabled on 4/12/2020. At this time, the office is not providing add codes for any issues that have arisen due to the COVID-19 transition to online learning.
Please understand that if a faculty manually adds you to their gauchospace because you are high up on their waitlist, this does not mean that you have been enrolled in the course; this is merely a courtesy from the instructor to give you access to their lecture/section materials in case you become enrolled through the waitlist.
A. Our policy remains that add codes are only offered to students if an issue has arisen due to administrative or system error. If you are trying to enroll to a course that is full, please add yourself to the waitlist. Do not ask the office for an add code, as we cannot provide one to you. If you need assistance in planning out issues that have arisen due to not being able to enroll in a course, such as falling behind on graduation or needing an updated schedule, you may contact our undergraduate advising team for an appointment.
A. Course materials found via the bookstore can be shipped directly to your mailing address. According to the UCSB campus store website, students will receive free UPS ground shipping on course materials for the Spring 2020 quarter. This is only offered for UPS ground shipping.