COVID-19 Academic Updates
COVID-19 Academic Updates
As you are preparing to move on campus, we want to clarify the community expectations during the quarantine period from August 14-30, 2020. The University continues to monitor the pandemic and adjusts the plans with a focus on student safety.
The objective of the 14 day self-quarantine for students in residential housing is to create a potential area of protection in a place where control measures such as social distancing and universal masking are not always possible. Limiting potential outside exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 protects everyone in the residential community
The following conditions of quarantine must be observed during the period of August 14-30 to ensure your ability to participate in classes on August 31.
Initial period of Quarantine - All students will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus prior to moving into their residential assignment. After moving in, students will remain in their residence halls until they receive a negative test result. We anticipate this will be for approximately 2-3 days. During this initial period of quarantine, students will be able to leave their residence halls to pick up meals from designated dining halls.
Students living in apartments on the Storrs and Stamford campuses, without access to a meal plan should arrive on campus with the necessary food and supplies for the initial quarantine period of 3 days. During this time, you will be expected to remain in your apartment and not travel to get food.
Throughout the initial phase of quarantine, there will be virtual engagement opportunities for students. Information about some of these opportunities are included at the end of this message.
Second phase of quarantine – Once everyone has received the results of their COVID-19 test we will enter the second phase of the quarantine period. During this time, students who received a negative test result will have the ability to engage in limited outdoor activities with other members of their designated family units. We anticipate this will begin on August 20.
Remaining in your family unit will help to create a quarantine “bubble”. You must remain within your family unit throughout the quarantine period. The family unit term describes groups of individuals living in close proximity to one another within university residence halls. Within the ‘family unit’ structure, students are able to operate as they would in a home environment. Family unit include 1) Residents in apartments, 2) residents in a suite (two rooms connected), and 3) residents assigned to a residential floor (floor section) who share a communal bathroom.
Following the quarantine expectations is necessary to help keep our community safe. During this residential quarantine, guests will not be allowed in the residence halls and residents will not be permitted in buildings to which they are not assigned.
Student Engagement during Quarantine
During this period, we will be offering engagement activities aimed to help the students living on campus to connect. A few programs are highlighted below:
UKindness – Is a University-wide initiative intended to inform, engage, and connect with students throughout the University during the COVID-19 pandemic? The UKindness website has a great deal of information which students may find helpful.
HuskyWoW – Typically we offer large scale, in person activities during the HuskyWow program but this year we are unable to follow our standard format. Staff have worked throughout the summer to redesign the HuskyWOW program to meet the needs of the community while abiding by the state of Connecticut and UConn Covid-19 guidelines. The HuskyWowschedule is available online.
Student Community Connection Ambassadors - UConn students are available to chat with students online to answer questions about the following - Updates on the Calendar of Activities, Student Organizations at UConn, Accessing Resources Around your Campus, Links to Important Information, Tips from one UConn Student to another Husky. This program is available now online.
This is just a sample of the engagement opportunities that will be available to students during the quarantine period. You will receive more information when you arrive on campus.
Please remember that we are taking student health and wellness very seriously, working together to offer a positive experience under challenging circumstances. It will look different from our typical fall opening but our goals of offering a rich educational and student life experience remain unchanged.
The steps we need to take for the fall 2020 are certainly not what any of us expected or planned to navigate but together we can each step up and do our part to keep the UConn community on track and moving forward to provide a positive and enriching experience for students.
Device Requirements for Student Success
As the University of Connecticut makes plans to welcome back new and returning Huskies this fall, it will be essential for all students to have access to the proper IT systems, services, and capabilities so that they may interact with instructors and classmates and complete required coursework.
Together, university faculty and staff from Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) have identified the technical capabilities that incoming and continuing students will use when engaging with digital learning systems and applications from university and non-university locations. These capabilities include:
- Using Gmail to send and receive email with attachments
- Using PeopleSoft, the student administration system and self-service portal
- Using Blackboard (HuskyCT), the learning management system
- Using Kaltura to record and edit video
- Using LockDown browser for online assessment
- Composing text essays and receive digital editing (comments, markup suggestions and edits)
- Creating digital presentations
- Performing calculations
- Accessing and using online digital content with graphics and animations
- Participating fully in web and video conferencing
To perform these required functions, devices must be portable, sufficiently up to date, and have adequate memory and storage. Below are the minimum technical specifications for computers that are capable of effectively providing these capabilities:
- Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor (i7 or Ryzen 7 preferred)
- 8GB of RAM (16 GB preferred)
- Mac OS 10.15 or Windows 10
- 256 GB SSD hard drive (512 GB preferred)
- Wireless networking adapter
- Camera and microphone
Since device requirements and preferences may vary from student to student and by school, major, program, and/or course, ITS is prepared to support students with equipment selection information, hardware options, and a technology training course allowing students to test equipment and gain experience using university systems before the fall semester begins.
UConn wants all students to be successful, but we recognize that each student’s circumstances allow for different opportunities and limitations. Students who anticipate needing assistance accessing software and/or hardware ahead of the fall semester are asked to contact the ITS Technology Support Center at techsupport.uconn.edu, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 860-486-4357 to discuss options.
Full-time UConn undergraduates based at the Storrs campus will save more than $700 in discounted mandatory student fees if they take all of their fall courses fully online and do not live in University housing. The Office of the Bursar recently notified students of the changes on their fall semester fee bills. Graduate students will be notified in coming days with information about their fee bills. More information is here and in this FAQ on the Bursar’s site.
All classes at the UConn School of Law will be held online in Fall 2020, Dean Timothy Fisher announced in an email to the law school community.
The overriding factors in the decision, which differs from the University’s plan to reopen the main campus in Storrs, are the limitations of the buildings on the law school’s Hartford campus. The size of classrooms and the nature of ventilation systems pose significant obstacles to in-person instruction with the required public health and safety precautions in place.
“We could only conclude regretfully that as much as we wish to bring our students, faculty and staff back to campus this fall, we must wait longer,” Fisher wrote. The decision was reached by the UConn School of Law COVID-19 Leadership Planning Team, which includes Associate Deans Darcy Kirk, Leslie Levin and Paul Chill; Dean Designate Eboni Nelson; Library Director Jessica de Perio Wittman; Assistant Deans Karen DeMeola and Jennifer Cerny; and Registrar Lisa Rodino
No students will be required to be on campus or in Connecticut in Fall 2020, although some elective clinics may require students to be physically present on occasion. No decision has been made about the Spring 2021 semester.
In a difficult but necessary decision, the UConn Marching Band is suspending all in-person performances during the fall 2020 semester. This includes football games and pep band performances for men’s and women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey games.
The Marching Band has a proud 125-year history of embodying Husky spirit and providing opportunities for students to earn academic credit while developing musical, social, leadership and organizational skills.
Those activities will continue this fall, largely through online “virtual” practices and gatherings in place of in-person performances.
Our goal is to ensure that Marching Band members can participate under safe conditions while being prepared with the skills to resume in-person activities when that is appropriate. The band also will continue to recruit new members.
Our students’ health and safety is our primary concern, as it is throughout the University. Moving forward on the band’s regular in-person schedules for the fall semester posed too many logistical challenges in the current environment.
This decision to suspend in-person activities this fall was not made lightly. We know that our approximately 300 participants are eager to start practice each summer and to perform at UConn athletics events throughout fall, and that their exhilarating performances are a source of great pride for UConn Nation. Although the UCMB members are disappointed, they are coming together already to preserve the band and prepare for its return when that is possible.
A decision on in-person performances for the spring 2021 semester will be made later this year, and will be based on the best information available about health and safety indicators.
As always, thank you for your understanding in this unfortunate but unavoidable circumstance, and for your support of UConn’s bands and the past, present, and future members.
Starting Monday, June 1, students will be returning to UConn Storrs on a staggered, pre-selected schedule to gather their belongings and move out of their residence halls. The move-out process will continue through June 14. It had been delayed as campus operations changed due to the pandemic.
The process includes mandatory safety and social distancing guidelines, which are spelled out in an FAQ on the UConn Residential Life website. UConn Stamford residential students will be notified separately of arrangements to retrieve their belongings.
Dear UConn Students:
The CARES Act Grant application is now available for the second phase of awarding. The second phase is designed to assist students who did not meet initial eligibility in the first phase.
More information is available on eligibility and how to access the application, along with a list of FAQs.
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was approved by Congress, a large portion of which is intended to provide emergency financial grants directly to our neediest students who are facing unexpected expenses due to the university’s transition to online education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sent on behalf of Scott Jordan, Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer; and Nathan Fuerst, Vice President for Enrollment Planning & Management
Dear UConn Students,
We are writing to inform you of UConn’s plans to distribute CARES Act emergency grants.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was approved by Congress and includes support for higher education, including emergency grants for students facing expenses due to COVID-19. UConn is set to receive approximately $21 million, of which $10.7 million is designated for emergency grants to students. The remaining funds are designated for use by the institution to cover unexpected expenses, such as the pro-rated refunds for room, board and other fees.
The U.S. Department of Education recently issued guidance on distribution of these emergency grants to students, requiring that all recipients be Title IV eligible. In simplest terms, this means that students must have submitted a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application to UConn for the 2019-20 academic year to be eligible. To fulfill the Department of Education’s guidance, UConn will be issuing grants to our neediest students across all levels (undergraduate, graduate, law, medical, dental) as determined by the FAFSA, with amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000.
Students who are recipients of CARES Act emergency grants will be notified by the Office of Student Financial Aid Services via email in the coming week. To help expedite distribution of funds, we encourage students who have not already done so to sign up for Direct Deposit through the Bursar’s office.
Additional support is available to any student facing unexpected financial hardships due to COVID-19. To inquire, students can simply email email@example.com for assistance. Also outside of the CARES Act emergency grants, UConn will use an identical approach to awarding emergency grants to students who submitted the Institutional Aid Application for Undocumented Students.
Communication to Students from Office of the Provost
The University Senate, faculty, and administration recognize the many ways that the extraordinary circumstances of this semester and the continuing crisis have been felt across the student body.
Yesterday the University Senate voted to extend to May 15, 2020 the deadline for undergraduate students to choose to make a class Pass-Fail. This change provides further flexibility to you by allowing you to choose a class to be Pass-Fail after you know your final grade in the class. Please note that this rule applies only to classes taken in the spring 2020 semester.
Specifically, the by-law change states:
“For spring semester 2020 only, the usual limitations on students for electing to take courses on a Pass-Fail basis will be suspended. Individual schools and colleges will determine which courses may count toward major and minor requirements if taken Pass-Fail. General Education courses which are taken Pass-Fail will count toward the general education requirements. The 26-credit and scholastic probation restrictions are suspended. Pass-Fail courses from the spring 2020 semester will not count toward the three-course limit. Students may elect Pass-Fail grading at any time up until May 15, 2020.
All courses will be graded in the usual way by the instructor; and the instructor will submit a letter grade. Should students elect the Pass-Fail option, this letter grade will be translated into a P (D- or above) or will remain an F. In neither event will a course taken under the Pass-Fail option be included in the computation of the semester or cumulative grade point average, but a grade below C makes the student ineligible for Dean's List. Students should consult with their advisers before electing to complete courses on a Pass-Fail basis. Students who chose the Pass-Fail option prior to the adoption of these changes will have the option of reverting to a letter grade by notifying the Registrar by May 15, 2020.”
I know that many of you are facing much stress through this difficult time, and my thoughts are with all of you. I hope this change will give you more flexibility through the remainder of this semester and relieve some of that stress.