COVID-19 Update: April 17

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff, 

I hope this message finds each of you healthy and strong. The university has not been informed that any student, faculty, or staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and it appears that Calhoun County has done a good job of flattening the curve. This does not mean we should let down our guard, but it shows that our social distancing efforts are working. Please remain vigilant. Here are a few updates from around campus.  

Coping with COVID-19: An emergency fund has been established to assist students experiencing food and housing emergencies as the result of the coronavirus. For more information and an application for assistance, visit the FAQ page. The Gamecock Food Pantry is also open for those struggling to access basic food and supplies. To arrange a time to visit the Food Pantry, email If you are feeling uncertain about how to handle the fear, stress, and anxiety associated with COVID-19, you are not alone. Learn more about the mental health resources available to faculty, staff, and students.

Pass/No Credit Option: The option for students to request a grade of Pass (P) or a grade of No Credit (NC) for eligible courses/programs will begin after grades are posted and reviewed on May 1 after 3:30 p.m. Students will receive instructions on how to submit a request to use the “P” or “NC” option during finals week. Students can keep their original letter grades as assigned, if desired. Completion of the request form is only necessary for those students who want to consider the “P” or “NC” option, if eligible. Visit the FAQs for more information.

English Competency Exam: Effective immediately, the university will no longer require students to take the English Competency Exam (ECE). Graduating seniors who have not passed the exam can graduate. The Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Staci Stone, has created a committee to implement a Writing Across the Curriculum requirement that will take the place of the ECE. 

Merit Scholarships: Merit scholarships will automatically be renewed for the 2020-2021 year. Students will receive an email notification when the merit scholarship has been added to their account. This is a one-time exception to merit scholarship renewal requirements. GPA and credit hour completion requirements will apply for 2021-2022 renewals. Non-renewable scholarships will not be automatically renewed. 

Book Buyback: Traditional book buyback for the spring semester cannot begin until campus reopens. We apologize for the inconvenience and will start this process as soon as possible. Rental textbooks may be returned for free by mail, and the deadline to do so has been extended to June 15. One free printing label per semester may be printed from the bookstore website for textbook rental returns. We recommend returning all your rental books in one shipment with your free label to avoid paying for extra postage. Email the bookstore staff at with any questions. 

Commencement: The spring and summer commencement ceremonies will be held a day apart, on July 31 and August 1. The university has not yet determined which day will be reserved for which graduating class. More information will be available in 1-2 weeks, once the university’s commencement committee has had time to work out the details.  

Summer Semester: The summer semester will begin May 13, and registration is open through May 14. All summer courses will be offered online. The university will again offer a discount for online undergraduate courses this summer: $324 (regularly $377) per credit hour. See what courses are available, register, and learn more on the summer website. Also, for the first time, JSU students may use their financial aid this summer to pay for textbooks and supplies at the campus bookstore. Visit the bookstore website or review the list of required texts in your summer course schedule under Purchase/View Books for Classes. For assistance, contact the campus bookstore at

Scheduled Maintenance to MyJSU and Banner: Please note, MyJSU and Banner will be offline on Sunday morning, April 19, 4 a.m. to 12 p.m., for upgrades and system maintenance. Students can continue to access Canvas courses.  

I understand that everyone wants to know when campus will reopen, but it’s still too early to make that decision. The university will follow the recommendations of the Governor’s Office and the Alabama Department of Public Health. Until then, keep up the great work in class, at work, and with social distancing. I can’t wait to see you all again.  

Thank you,
Dr. Don C. Killingsworth, Jr.
Acting President