Institutional Policies

The UTRGV disability accommodation, mandatory course evaluation statement and sexual misconduct statement are required on all syllabi. Additional policy statements are optional, such as those covering attendance, academic integrity, and course drop policies.


COVID-19 Resources

Please visit the UTRGV COVID-19 Website via the following link for the most up-to-date information and resources. This includes information on self-screening questions, links to forms for travel and contact, etc. 


Face Covering Protocol

As part of the university’s ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts to maintain a healthy environment for all members of our campus community, anyone entering a campus building must wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose. The covering must be worn in all hallways, public spaces, research labs, teaching/computer labs, libraries, classrooms, automobiles with a passenger, stairwells, elevators and common areas, as well as office spaces. In office spaces, when social distancing of 6 feet is possible and maintained, face coverings may be removed. Face coverings also are required in outdoor settings when safe social distancing and gathering practices are not possible.


Accommodation Requests Related to COVID-19

All student requests for accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis by Student Accessibility Services (SAS). A positive diagnosis of COVID-19 or being requested to isolate or quarantine by a health professional is not in itself sufficient to meet the definition for receiving ADA accommodations. A student’s particular disability condition, as documented by a qualified provider and communicated by the student, will be considered.   Determination of reasonable accommodations are made upon receipt of the student’s accommodation request (which can submitted via www.utrgv.edu/mySAS) and documentation of the disability condition, along with an interactive interview with the student.  SAS staff may also communicate with each of the student’s faculty regarding curriculum requirements and course structure.

1. What type of accommodations can be provided to students taking in person or hybrid courses that are immunocompromised or have a health condition that may be at elevated risk?

Accommodations would be determined on an individual basis. For in person or hybrid courses, accommodations may include, but are not limited to, attendance flexibility and remote participation, unless it would be a fundamental alteration. A fundamental alteration is a change that significantly alters the essential course or program requirements.

At Risk Students- Students who by diagnosis are immunosuppressed or, because of a medical treatment plan, including medication, may have a suppressed immune system. Current CDC guidance for elevated risk from COVID-19 includes those at high-risk for severe illness. According to the CDC, high-risk for severe illness includes those of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as individuals with:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Obesity (BMI of 30 or higher)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes

Please refer to the CDC website for frequently updated information.

A student considered at risk and seeking accommodations should include documentation from their medical provider that describes the impact of the condition and risk factors and limitations due to COVID-19.

2. What type of accommodations can be provided to students that, due to a special health related circumstance, cannot wear a face mask, but are enrolled in an in person or a hybrid course?

Accommodations may include, but are not limited to, remote participation, unless this would be a fundamental alteration of the curriculum or program requirements. For a student who is immunocompromised and has medical documentation that sufficiently supports not wearing a mask/facial covering as an accommodation, SAS staff would communicate with course instructors to determine if the student could complete course requirements remotely.

3. What type of accommodations can be provided if a student enrolled in hybrid or in person courses has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is suspected of having COVID-19 , is waiting to get results, and/or has been directed to self-isolate or quarantine by a health professional?

A positive diagnosis of COVID-19 or being requested to isolate or quarantine by a health professional is not in itself sufficient to meet the definition for receiving ADA accommodations. It may be possible for a student to continue their education remotely while they isolate or quarantine, wait for results, recuperate if asymptomatic, or experience minor symptoms that do not alter one or more life activity. However, this can be addressed based on each instructor’s attendance policy, which can differ depending on the course, so please check each course syllabus. Instructors may excuse absences, provide the opportunity to complete assignments, and provide a reasonable time to complete the assignment(s) in order for the student to make up the work that occurred during the missed class period(s).

If a student encounters health or medical complications as a result of COVID-19 that impact the student’s ability to continue his/her education, medical documentation which indicates impact on a major life activity as a result of the diagnosis should be provided to Student Accessibility Services so that reasonable accommodations can be evaluated for each course. The student should submit a request for accommodations through the mySAS portal located at www.utrgv.edu/mySAS.

4. Can an instructor ask a student for documentation of their illness, if a student requests an extension on classwork?

You can require documentation that the student was sick and could not come to class, however, you should not ask for a diagnosis. There are other illnesses that a student may have and other reasons for excused absences besides illness, including absences for official university activities. If an absence is excused, students should be given the opportunity to complete the missed assignments, quizzes/examination or other class work and provided a reasonable time after the absence to do so.


Students With Disabilities

Required on all syllabi. Do not modify.

Students with a documented disability (physical, psychological, learning, or other disability which affects academic performance) who would like to receive reasonable academic accommodations should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) for additional information.  In order for accommodation requests to be considered for approval, the student must apply using the mySAS portal located at UTRGV.edu/mySAS and is responsible for providing sufficient documentation of the disability to SAS. Students are required to participate in an interactive discussion, or an intake appointment, with SAS staff. Accommodations may be requested at any time but are not retroactive, meaning they are valid once approved by SAS. Please contact SAS early in the semester/module for guidance. Students who experience a broken bone, severe injury, or undergo surgery may also be eligible for temporary accommodations.

Pregnancy, Pregnancy-related, and Parenting Accommodations

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination, which includes discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status. Students seeking accommodations related to pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, or parenting (reasonably immediate postpartum period) are encouraged to apply to Student Accessibility Services using the following link: Pregnancy Accommodations Request Form

Student Accessibility Services

Brownsville Campus: Student Accessibility Services is located in 1.107 in the Music and Learning Center building (BMSLC) and can be contacted by phone at (956) 882-7374 or via email at ability@utrgv.edu.  

Edinburg Campus: Student Accessibility Services is located in 108 University Center (EUCTR) and can be contacted by phone at (956) 665-7005 or via email at ability@utrgv.edu.


Mandatory Course Evaluation Period

Required on all syllabi. Do not modify.

Students are required to complete an ONLINE evaluation of this course, accessed through your UTRGV account ( my.utrgv.edu); you will be contacted through email with further instructions.  Students who complete their evaluations will have priority access to their grades. Online evaluations will be available on or about:

Fall 2020 Course Evaluation Period
Semester Date Range
Module 1 October 7-13, 2020
Module 2 December 2-8, 2020
Full Fall Semester November 13 – December 2, 2020

Sexual Misconduct and Mandatory Reporting:

Required on all syllabi. Do not modify.

In accordance with UT System regulations, your instructor is a “Responsible Employee” for reporting purposes under Title IX regulations and so must report to the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity ( OIED@utrgv.edu) any instance, occurring during a student’s time in college, of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual harassment, about which she/he becomes aware during this course through writing, discussion, or personal disclosure. More information can be found at  UTRGV.edu/equity, including confidential resources available on campus. The faculty and staff of UTRGV actively strive to provide a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect that is free from sexual misconduct, discrimination, and all forms of violence. If students, faculty, or staff would like confidential assistance, or have questions, they can contact OVAVP ( Office for Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention) at (956) 665-8287, (956) 882-8282, or  OVAVP@utrgv.edu.


Attendance

Recommended on all syllabi; may be modified by the instructor as long as it is consistent with UTRGV policy.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and may be dropped from the course for excessive absences. UTRGV’s attendance policy excuses students from attending class if they are participating in officially sponsored university activities, such as athletics; have been provided such an accommodation by Student Accessibility Services (SAS); for observance of religious holy days; or for military service. Students should contact the instructor in advance of the excused absence and arrange to make up missed work or examinations.


Academic Integrity

Recommended on all syllabi.

Members of the UTRGV community uphold the Vaquero Honor Code’s shared values of honesty, integrity and mutual respect in our interactions and relationships.  In this regard, academic integrity is fundamental in our actions, as any act of dishonesty conflicts as much with academic achievement as with the values of honesty and integrity.  Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating, plagiarism (including self-plagiarism), and collusion; submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person; taking an examination for another person; any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student; or the attempt to commit such acts (Board of Regents Rules and Regulations, STU 02-100, and UTRGV Academic Integrity Guidelines).  All violations of Academic Integrity will be reported to Student Rights and Responsibilities through Vaqueros Report It .


Course Drops

Recommended on all syllabi; may be modified by the instructor as long as it is not inconsistent with UTRGV policy.

According to UTRGV policy, students may drop any class without penalty earning a grade of DR (drop) until the official drop date. Following that date, students must be assigned a letter grade and can no longer drop the class. Students considering dropping the class should be aware of the “3-peat rule” and the “6-drop” rule so they can recognize how dropped classes may affect their academic success. The 6-drop rule refers to Texas law that dictates that undergraduate students may not drop more than six courses during their undergraduate career. Courses dropped at other Texas public higher education institutions will count toward the six-course drop limit. The 3-peat rule refers to additional fees charged to students who take the same class for the third time.


Student Services

Recommended on all syllabi.

Students who demonstrate financial need have a variety of options when it comes to paying for college costs, such as scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Students should visit the Student Services Center (U Central) for additional information. U Central is located in BMAIN 1.100 (Brownsville) or ESSBL 1.145 (Edinburg) or can be reached by email ( ucentral@utrgv.edu) or telephone: (888) 882-4026. In addition to financial aid, U Central can assist students with registration and admissions.

Students seeking academic help in their studies can use university resources in addition to an instructor’s office hours. University Resources include the Advising Center, Career Center, Counseling Center, Learning Center, and Writing Center. The centers provide services such as tutoring, writing help, counseling services, critical thinking, study skills, degree planning, and student employment. In addition, services such as the Food Pantry are also provided. Locations are listed below. 

Student Support Services
Center Name Brownsville Campus Edinburg Campus Email Address
Advising Center BMAIN 1.400
(956) 665-7120
ESWKH 101
(956) 665-7120
AcademicAdvising@utrgv.edu
Career Center BINAB 1.105
(956) 882-5627
ESSBL 2.101
(956) 665-2243
CareerCenter@utrgv.edu
Counseling Center BSTUN 2.10
(956) 882-3897
EUCTR 109
(956) 665-2574
Counseling@utrgv.edu
Food Pantry BCAVL 101 & 102
(956) 882-7126
EUCTR 114
(956) 665-3663
FoodPantry@utrgv.edu
Learning Center BMSLC 2.118
(956) 882-8208
ELCTR 100
(956) 665-2585
LearningCenter@utrgv.edu
Writing Center BLIBR 3.206
(956) 882-7065
ESTAC 3.119
(956) 665-2538
WC@utrgv.edu

Student Confidentiality (FERPA)

The  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records whereby parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student's education records, and the right to request that a school correct records, and that schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record.

More information about FERPA.