CWU News

CWU to Administer Finals Online or by Email

Central Washington University announced today that all winter quarter 2020 finals will be administered online, via email, or by other means that do not require in-person contact.

“While we have had no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 at the CWU residential campus or at any of our centers and sites, we are making this decision as a precautionary move,” said CWU Interim Provost Lynn Franken. “Throughout this process, three guiding principles have informed our decision-making:  safeguarding our community; protecting the continuity and quality of the educational experience of our students; and participating in the international effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.”

Franken said that during the last week of winter quarter, March 9-13, all classes, including at university centers and sites (CWU-Des Moines, CWU-Lynnwood, CWU-Moses Lake, CWU-Pierce County, CWU-Wenatchee, CWU-Yakima, CWU-Sammamish, and CWU-JBLM), will be taught in their current method (in-person; online; or hybrid).

Exceptions, including exceptions related to disability accommodations, will be considered on a case-by-case basis, through recommendation by the department chair and approval by the dean of the college. Approved exceptions will be conveyed to students, posted on individual departmental and college websites, and reviewed and adjusted daily throughout the week.

Additionally, faculty and staff will continue to provide students with advising and mentoring as necessary. Social distancing protocols, opportunities to “meet” via email, text, or phone, and other common-sense health and safety measures will be observed.

The provost said during Finals Week (March 17-20), examinations will not be given in class, in laboratories, or in any face-to-face setting. All final examinations will be delivered online or via email, or through other virtual methods.

Franken added that CWU Multimodal Learning has gathered a variety of resources to help faculty members offer final assessments outside the classroom and will be hosting workshops to assist faculty in making these adjustments.

She said as the status of COVID-19 in our area becomes clearer over the coming days and weeks, the university may be required to adjust its procedures for teaching and learning for some portion of or for the entire spring quarter (March 31-June 12), primarily by planning for more flexible instructional methods. 

Additionally, university operations will continue as usual unless the situation changes. If non-faculty staff members have concerns about working on any of the campuses, they are encouraged to speak to a supervisor.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is spread the same way cold and flu viruses spread: when someone coughs or sneezes and respiratory droplets land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It’s also possible to catch COVID-19 by touching something that has the virus on it, and then touching your own face.

In response, CWU staff members are sanitizing surfaces across campus twice as frequently as they were a few weeks ago. Central also has increased the number of hand-sanitizing stations in buildings and set up a website,, which is regularly updated with information about the virus.

The best way to avoid the virus is to avoid close contact with people who are sick and not to touch eyes, nose, and mouth. Soap and water are this virus’s enemy, according to the CDC, which urges people to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Additionally, when using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, make sure it contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Anyone feeling sick or starting to get sick are encouraged to please stay home.

Media contact: Dawn Alford, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,