July 9, 2020

Dear Spelman Community,

Spelman College highly values the members of our international student community. The College was caught off guard by the sudden change in rules announced by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

Spelman joins other higher educational institutions in the nation in expressing our concern for the temporary modifications announced by the SEVP. This new guideline requires international students to leave the United States, if they are taking a full online academic schedule for the fall 2020 semester, even though this is a strategy adopted by most colleges and universities during the pandemic.

Although the guideline allows students attending institutions operating a hybrid model to take more than one class/three-credit hours online, the unpredictable virulence of COVID-19 could shift an institution’s mode of instruction in a way that could force international students to leave the U.S. on short notice.  

Spelman is looking into several possibilities to ensure that the academic success of our international students is not jeopardized by the guidelines.

As we seek a solution, we know that this is a stressful time for those students. Spelman's Counseling Center and Sisters Chapel are ready to support international students and other members of our community who are feeling concerned and stressed by the impact of the announcement as the safety and wellbeing of our community is of foremost concern.   
‘Dimeji Togunde, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Global Education
Professor of International Studies

Office of Communications
Spelman College
350 Spelman Lane
Atlanta, GA 30314

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