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COVID-19 Update: Information For Students

18 March 2020

Dear Students,

As the majority of Peralta Colleges faculty (College of Alameda, Berkeley City College, Laney and Merritt College) prepare to transition their classes to a remote delivery format, please know that you have options and support during the challenging times we face with the COVID-19 public health crisis.  Note that this information applies to partial closure and full closure conditions for our college communities.

The latest information about COVID-19 at the Peralta District always available here:

Classes Resume April 6, 2020

  • We are working hard to convert as many classes to a remote form of instruction by April 6th. The majority of the classes will be taught through “Canvas”. Canvas is the name of the online classroom software that is used at the Peralta Colleges. Prior to April 6th, faculty are receiving training, preparing to teach online and we are exploring ways to convert as many disciplines as possible to an online format.
  • For classes that CANNOT be moved to a remote form of instruction, you will receive notification with details and next steps before April 6th.


Student Support for Learning Online

  • Student Resources for Distance Education: Canvas
  • Low Cost Internet:
  • Comcast is offering 2 months free internet to low-income households
  • Be sure to communicate with your faculty if you are not familiar with online learning or need additional support to be successful in the class
  • Make sure you check your Peralta email daily. To forward your Peralta email to your gmail or yahoo see here for instructions
  • Check your email daily so that you don’t miss communication from your instructors or other key announcements
  • We are working to increase our online accessibility and support for DSPS students who may have concerns about moving to remote forms of instruction. Please email your counselor and instructor with concerns

Online Tutoring

  • Peralta’s Online Learning Platform (Canvas) has free Online Tutoring that may help students be successful in the transition to online learning

Pass/No Pass Grading Option

Many classes can allow a student to change to a Pass/No Pass grade option. This may provide you with a sense of ease in this transition. Please contact your instructor(s) to see if this is an option for your course. Note that choosing this option may impact whether or not the UC or other 4-year colleges accept a course for transfer. It is recommended that you contact your counselor who can assist you in making this decision. For the current spring 2020 corona virus related emergency, this option may only be available for late start classes.

Excused Withdrawal

Our hope is that each student can successfully finish this semester. If not, please consider the following options and know that you can attend classes this summer and fall—enrollment begins April 6, 2020.

  • “Excused Withdrawal” (EW) occurs when a student is permitted to withdraw from a course(s) due to specific events beyond the control of the student affecting his or her ability to complete a course(s). This can include illness of the student or someone they care for (documentation is required). It can also include a student statement that they are unable to transition from a face-to-face class to an online learning format
  • Excused withdrawals are not counted in progress probation and dismissal calculations.
  • Excused withdrawals are not counted toward the permitted number of withdrawals or counted as an enrollment attempt
  • Excused withdrawals do not result as F grades on student transcripts. Instead an “EW” will be on the students’ permanent record and transcript

Incomplete Grade:

Incomplete Grades (I) may be provided to students where faculty agree and if you have successfully (C or better) completed this class by (2/3 or 75% of the semester).  If the faculty agrees to give an I grade, there is a form that must be completed and signed by the faculty and student. The form must describe what course work the student is to complete to replace the I grade with a final course grade. An I grade allows students one year to complete the work. Remember, that not all faculty can or will agree to give an I grade.

Waiving of Some Financial Aid Regulations

The federal government has relaxed Financial Aid penalties in light of the COVID-19 health crisis. Absence and a decrease in units due to illness and/or COVID-19 related issues might not negatively impact a students’ financial aid. For more information or for questions about your particular situation, please go to the financial aid office at your college. More information is also here.

Graduation and Transfer

More information will be sent about alternative formats for graduation ceremonies and the impact of the emergency on students seeking to transfer this fall.

For additional information on any of the above items, please email Dr. Siri Brown, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, at

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