ICE Guidance Related to Limitations on Nonimmigrant International Students
The university Deans and Provost’s office are working internally and in collaboration with other University of Texas campuses to arrive at a solution to ensure that our international students are able to complete fall 2020 classes whether these courses are offered online or otherwise, and without the need to leave the country. The university is currently considering multiple options and many of these seem feasible. If you are an international student, please DO NOT make any changes to your plans in registering and attending fall 2020 courses. We also want to assure you that we will do everything possible to take care of you. Please be confident that you are not alone in this and we are by your side. We are confident that a resolution will be achieved soon.
Fall 2020 Course Schedule
For the most part, our CS courses will be offered fully online. The only exceptions are couple of elective undergraduate and graduate courses that will be offered as hybrid. Even those courses will provide students the ability to attend online if they choose to. Our plan is to offer our courses on the original times specified when we submitted the fall schedule to the university this past February. The released course schedule contains some discrepancies that we are currently working to fix. In the meantime, please refer to our department’s website (https://www.utep.edu/cs/course-schedules/fall-2020-course-schedule.html) for the correct meeting times of courses in the fall. These are the designated times for synchronous class meetings. We understand that things might not work smoothly during every lecture (technology glitches, bad internet connections, and the fact that some of you might be sharing equipment with siblings and family members). As such, all our faculty are committed to providing the lecture material (lecture recordings, slides, notes,…) to all students at the conclusion of each lecture. As always, you are highly encouraged to reach out to your course instructor, department staff, or department Chair should you need any extra help.
While we have control over courses offered by our department, this is not the case for courses outside of CS. Over the next couple of days, the Chair and CS staff will be working on reviewing the new fall schedule to identify any class conflicts that might exist between our classes and others taken by our CS students. We will communicate with you should we find any issues that might affect your fall semester. Meanwhile, please let us know if you think that there’s a conflict within your schedule
Financial Assistance is Available to Students
The Office of Student Financial Aid continues to process CARES Act emergency grant assistance for UTEP. So far, 4,554 students have received over $2.3 million in support. Students should go to www.utep.edu/utepcares to determine eligibility and apply for this grant assistance.
University Senate Issues a Temporary Policy Change to Allow for Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Course Grading
Earlier today, the Faculty Senate passed the temporary policy to allow course instructors to make their spring 2020 courses to be eligible for an (S/U) grading option. A passing grade will appear on student transcripts as an “S” (satisfactory), and a failing grade will appear as a “U” (unsatisfactory). Neither an “S” nor a “U” will calculate into the student GPA. A grade of “S” will meet prerequisite requirements and count toward major/minor requirements.
Your course instructor will inform you of the availability of the S/U option for their course. Furthermore, instructors will communicate with you what constitutes a passing grade in their course. Note that, students will have the option to continue to use the traditional letter grade (A, B, C,..) grading mode if they choose to.
Please make sure to communicate any questions you have about this new policy with the instructors of your courses, as well as your academic advisor.
Course Drop Deadline Extended Until the Last Day of Classes
In addition to the above grading policy change, the Office of the Provost approved a further extension to the drop deadline until May 7th. Here's the official message:
The deadline to drop a course has been extended to May 7, 2020. Courses dropped in the spring 2020 semester will receive a grade of “W” (withdrawal) and will not count toward students’ six-course drop limit. Students who elect to drop a spring 2020 course do not need written approval from advisors or instructors. To drop a course, students should simply email email@example.com from their Miners email account and include: (1) their name, (2) student ID, (3) course name (e.g. UNIV 1301), and (4) the course CRN (e.g. 25896). The temporary change applies to students who will remain enrolled in at least one class at the institution for the spring 2020 semester.
Updates on Student Advising Process
The CS Faculty and Staff continue to provide advising for the Summer & Fall 2020 semesters. Faculty and staff are working hard to ensure adequate advising for all our student. In an effort to improve the quality and efficiancy of the advising sessions, we are providing the below guidelines for all our students. If you have already been advised for the Summer & Fall 2020 semesters, please disregard this announcement .
- Prepare for advising by looking through all of the courses offered
- https://www.utep.edu/cs/course-schedules/summer-2020-course-schedule.html (Summer 2020 CS Courses)
- https://www.utep.edu/cs/course-schedules/fall-2020-course-schedule.html (Fall 2020 CS Courses)
- Prepare any questions that you may have for your advisor
The process for setting up an advising appointment is as follows:
- Go to the CS Advising Website: https://www.utep.edu/cs/advising/index.html
- Select Undergraduate or Graduate, as appropriate
- Read the information shown on the advising page
- Click the “Schedule Advising” with your particular advisor
- If you do not know your academic advisor, please refer to a previously sent message from the CS Front Desk with that information
- Complete the “schedule advising” questionnaire
- Provide all required information
- Provide all the times that you are available. Your preferred time slot might have already been booked for another student
- Submit the questionnaire
Once you have completed the questionnaire to schedule an advising appointment:
- The CS Front Desk will send you a calendar invitation via email up 2 business days of submission
- The CS Front Desk will provide you instructions to how the advising appointment will take place (Virtually)
- Please keep your advising appointment
- Should you need to reschedule, please email the CS Front Desk (Note: Allow up to 2 business days for an updated appointment)
- Attend your advising session with your academic advisor
- Follow the instructions given by the CS Front Desk to meet with your advisor
- Please allow up to 2 business days for hold removal and course approval
- CS Front Desk will send you an email once your holds have been removed and courses approved
- Register for your courses on Goldmine
- Should you have any registration issues, please submit the specific error that you are receiving to the CS Front Desk
Please visit the CS Website for updates and information: https://www.utep.edu/cs/
Should you have any additional questions, please contact the CS Front Desk. When emailing the CS Front Desk, please provide a specific subject and a clear message. Please allow for up to 2 business days for requests to be processed.
Computer Science Front Desk
P: (915) 613-1982
MX P: +52 66 2690 3182
Office hours : Monday-Friday, 8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm
Course Drop Deadline Extension
Please see the message from the Provost's Office to UTEP students:
We want to make sure you stay enrolled and successfully continue your path to a UTEP degree!
If you are considering dropping a course, please know that the drop deadline has been extended through April 10. A proposal is currently under consideration by the Faculty Senate and the Graduate Council to extend the deadline through the end of the semester.
Before dropping a course, please contact your advisors and professors, and make sure you are aware of the implications dropping a course can have on your financial aid eligibility.
We will keep you informed of any additional extensions.
COVID Emergency Funds Available for Female Students
The AnitaB and Last Mile Education Fund organizations have set up a COVID-19 emergency fund for underrepresented women of color students. The funds offer quick access to mini-grants of $599 at a selected set of Minority-Serving Institutions including UTEP.
To apply for the mini-grant, please complete the form available at: https://anitab.org/awards-grants/covid-19-emergency-assistance/
Funds are limited. You are encouraged to apply ASAP.
Updated Phone Numbers for CS Front Desk and Tech Support
We have updated the phone numbers to allow students who live in Mexico to connect with our staff if needed. The phone numbers are:
CS Font Desk: From the U.S: (915) 613-1982, From Mexico: +52 66 2690 3182.
CS Tech Support: From U.S: (915) 208-4810, From Mexico: +52 22 9690 3318.
CS Main Office Closure
Upon orders from the Interim Dean of Engineering, the CS main office and tech support are now closed until further notice. However the whole CS staff and faculty continue to operate fully. In case you need help, please contact us by e-mail or phone using the following skype numbers:
CS Font Desk: (915) 613-1982
CS Tech Support: (915) 208-4810
CS Chair: (915) 613-3110
Financial Aid Support for Students to Purchase Computer Equipment
The CS Tech team has few laptops to loan to students who have no access to PC/laptops. In addition, Financial Aid might be able to provide support to purchase equipment for our students to take home. Below is the language that is approved by Financial Aid. A bulletin went out to students Monday 03/23/2020:
Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, all courses for the spring semester will move to remote online delivery.
If you are a student who received financial aid for either the fall 2019 or spring 2020 semester(s) and do not currently own a computer, there may be grant assistance that will help you purchase a computer, internet hot spot, or tablet so that you can access your classes and course materials. Please email a request for this grant support to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, UTEP ID#, and a reliable phone number. We will contact you regarding your eligibility for grant assistance.
If you are not currently receiving financial aid, but still need assistance to purchase a computer, the Paydirt Emergency Loan Program is available to assist students. Maximum loan amount is $500. You can apply for this loan by emailing email@example.com.
If you have any questions, please call the Office of Student Financial Aid at 915-747-5204.
Note on Advising
Considering that many of our faculty have started using Microsoft Teams to conduct advising sessions, we have noticed that the advising sessions go smoother and with less glitches if the student uses the MS Teams application instead of the web browser. If your advisor has informed you that your advising session will be conducted using MS Teams, please follow the below instructions for MS Teams:
- Go to https://teams.microsoft.com
- Sign into Microsoft using Miners email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Log into Microsoft Teams using Miners authentication (username/password)
- Once logged in, download the Microsoft Teams App (Icon on Bottom-Lefthand Corner) and install on your computer
- Log into Microsoft Teams App
- Please wait for your advisor to call you (please note that they may call a few minutes after your scheduled appointment – you should wait on the Microsoft Teams App until your advisor calls you)
- If they do not call you within 15-minutes of your scheduled appointment, please send them an email verifying your appointment
Advising for the 2020 summer and fall semesters will go on as previously planned. The department faculty and supporting staff are prepared to conduct advising remotely, either by phone or using virtual tools. Please schedule your advising appointment by visiting the undergraduate advising page (https://www.utep.edu/cs/advising/undergraduate-advising.html) or the graduate advising page (https://www.utep.edu/cs/advising/graduate-advising.html).
Once your appointment is scheduled, the CS staff will reach out to you with instructions for your advising appointment. Considering the new nature of advising appointments, it is really important that you follow the pre-advising instructions provided at the previously mentioned pages. To ensure smooth advising operation, we highly encourage you to be prepared with your potential summer/fall schedule prior to the meeting.
Wifi Hotspot Devices Available to UTEP Students
The UTEP Technology Support Services located at the third floor of the Library provides hotspot devices for students in need of internet connectivity to ensure successful participation in the online offering of classes starting on March 30, 2020. Students must show a UTEP ID card in order to claim a device.
Since there is sure to be a limited supply of hotspot devices, please exercise good judgment and citizenship and only request a device if you absolutely need it.
CS Student Survey
In an effort to understand your ability to successfully complete your classes this semester, we do ask you to please complete the following survey regarding the availability of the necessary equipment to you.
Please help us rely the message regarding this survey to other students who might not have access to a computer or internet connection.