Carver Hall

Fall 2020: Back to Bloom

 

In late August, when BU transitioned to remote learning for the remainder of Sessions I and II, we promised to inform you by Sept. 21 the plan for Session III, which begins on Wednesday, Oct. 7. We are sharing with you today that BU will continue with remote instruction for Session III.

We are making this decision because the safety and well-being of our campus community and our neighbors in the Town of Bloomsburg remain our highest priority. While there has been a downward trend in positive COVID-19 cases within the BU community, we must remain vigilant in our battle against the spread of the virus.

Thanks to the dedication of our faculty and staff, we are well-positioned to continue providing a high-quality remote learning environment for our students. The following are a few other important items for students:

All Courses Continue Remotely with Exceptions: All undergraduate and graduate courses in the Zeigler College of Business and the College of Education will continue to be taught remotely, as will the majority of courses in the College of Science and Technology and the College of Liberal Arts. Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis for specific courses such as clinicals and labs. Students in labs and clinicals should direct any specific questions to their respective deans and department chairs. Student-teachers should continue to follow the expectations of their school district site. Thesis students will be able to continue their research.

On-Campus Living: Students who reside on-campus will not be required to leave their residence halls. Those who do choose to return home will be reimbursed for the unused portions of their room and board fees. Our Residence Life staff members and community assistants will be working with all on-campus students to guide and support them. Further, certain on-campus facilities (including the Rec Center) will be available to on-campus residents only.

Student Clubs and Organizations: All clubs and organizations (including fraternities and sororities) must continue to hold meetings 100% virtually. Any students or groups who do not abide by this emergency policy will be held accountable pursuant to our Student Code of Conduct.

Questions and Concerns: We remain committed to our students, their health and wellness, and their overall success. Students with health concerns should contact the Student Health Center (570-389-4451) or their primary care provider. Please note that the Student Health Center will remain open, and all services will be available to students. Students who have questions about their classes should contact their department chair or respective dean. For any questions regarding student clubs and organizations, please contact our Dean of Students Office (570-389-4734).

Please continue to mask up, Huskies, and stay safe!

Sincerely,

    Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson
    Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Academic Quad Fountain
Back to Bloom

2020-21 Academic Calendar

  • Fall I (full fall semester) — Aug. 17 to Nov. 24 
  • Fall II — Aug. 17 to Oct. 6 
  • Fall III — Oct. 7 to Nov. 24 

Winter dates still pending

  •  Spring I (full spring semester) — Feb. 1 to May 13
  • Spring II — Feb. 1 to March 23
  • Spring III — March 24 to May 13

Fall Semester Q&A


Academics

Can I still change my schedule?
Most student schedules have been set, and any further adjustments would be student-generated changes. Check your schedule to confirm and if you have any questions about schedule, please contact the Registrar’s Office, BURegistrar@bloomu.edu

Winter Session: The winter session will be held Dec. 7, 2020 through Jan. 22, 2021. All courses will be delivered 100% online.

How do I get my textbooks?
Contact the University Store bloomustore.com. Books may be ordered for pickup or delivered to your home if studying remotely.

When searching for courses to add to my schedule, how can I tell what the course delivery method is?
You may view your schedules now in MyHusky. To help you understand how to read your schedule, refer to how to read your schedule located on the registrar’s page.

What is a modality?
Modality is the delivery method of the course. For Fall 2020, classes will be offered in the following modalities:

  • Face-to-Face. Sections that are taught in a classroom or space in which both students and the faculty member are both present. For Fall 2020, the number of students in the class have been limited and larger classrooms have been assigned than where a class typically meets.
  • Blended. Sections that are taught in more than one modality (Face-to-Face, Online-Synchronous, Online-Asynchronous). The goal is to maximize face-to-face contact time.
  • Online-Synchronous. Class is taught remotely at days and times scheduled by the Registrar's Office or as per the faculty.
  • Online-Asynchronous. Class materials, activities, and assignments are provided remotely and no day or time is regularly scheduled for the class.

On my schedule, I see Zoom for some classes and online for others. What’s the difference?
You may have seen that a “ZOOM” note has been added to one or more of your classes. A ZOOM room designation is a technology-enhanced room that enables a faculty to be able to deliver instruction face to face as well as remotely. Rooms with this designation are equipped with additional webcams and microphones to ensure active participation takes place during the class. These rooms will afford live interaction with faculty and other students.

At what point would students be sent home? In the “YELLOW” phase? In the “RED” phase?
Should positive Covid-19 cases increase on the campus, consultation with state health guidelines, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and professionals will continue, and we will determine any adjustments that may need to made, including moving more courses to an online delivery. In the event students are asked to return to their home residence, students returning home may vary based on several factors including major. For example, according to PDE some students may continue to receive face-to-face instruction even under “RED” due to the nature of their training and the need for hands-on curriculum.

Why did Bloomsburg decide to divide classes into the sessions? 
This was to maximize the amount of face-to-face instruction we could provide under social distancing rules. Also, students were concerned about trying to complete a full semester online if Columbia County returned to RED status. This allows multiple stop and start points to reduce the load.

Does this mean I don’t have classes all semester? 
It would be very unlikely for a student to only have classes in session 2 or 3. Students’ schedules will have a balance of sessions 1, 2, and 3 courses.

Can students take more than 2 courses per 7-week period?
It's not recommended, but departments may utilize the overload approval process.

Will I have a fully online schedule?
It might be possible as we are attempting to offer courses with multiple sections in all three formats (face-to-face, blended, and online). There will be occasions that your preferred methodology may not be available.

What's a technology-enhanced classroom?
This is a classroom that allows the professor to teach the lecture directly with students able to attend live or if they prefer, remotely, to access the course. These classrooms allow students to have a live course taught by the instructor but watch remotely if the county were to return to yellow status. We have approximately 60 classrooms set up to allow a faculty member to teach traditionally with remote access. 

Will the length of time each class meets be the same in the 7-week sessions as it is in a 15-week session?
The time in class roughly doubles for the condensed 7-week sessions. However, some of the professors may blend some of that contact time between face-to-face and remote instruction.

Once I see my new Fall 2020 schedule, what should I expect?
All the classes you were scheduled for before the transition will be placed into one of the three Fall 2020 sessions. The session for each class will be indicated on your schedule. What may not appear is the actual building/room number of your classes. We will allow students to view their schedules before those updates have been made in accordance with the PA Department of Health and PASSHE COVID-19 guidelines. 

Can a student delay the start of the fall semester until the second 7-week session?
Yes. This plan is designed for students to be able to maintain their timely progress to graduation, even if they decide to delay their fall semester until the October start-date. By taking courses during the second 7-week session, and by taking courses over the winter session, a student would be caught up to proceed with the spring session.

Will I be able to take a class via Zoom one day, then go in-person the next time it meets?
Possibly, with some courses. The faculty or instructor will communicate flexibility for courses.

The Spring 2021 semester will begin on Feb. 1. Why the long break? 
Starting the Spring 2021 semester on Feb. 1 will allow for the Winter session as well as allow appropriate social distancing and quarantine time during and after the holiday season.

Nursing Majors: How will my classes/clinicals work?
You should anticipate a similar schedule like before COVID-19, with appropriate safety protocols in place.

Education Majors: Will students be able to do their ten observations that are required before taking our higher-level courses?
This is to be determined based on what the schools are planning to allow. This communication is forthcoming as they determine their plans for the fall.

Education Majors: If Columbia County moves to YELLOW or RED again, will I still be able to student teach if the school district where I'm placed is still GREEN?
Yes, and if a district moves to remote learning, you would engage in your experience remotely.

Will the pass/fail option be available this semester?
No. We're building in flexibility that was not available due to the rapid shift to online this last spring.

When will the fall commencement be held, and when will that be announced?
The announcement about the day/date for the Fall 2020 commencement will be made at a later date. This will allow us to make a determination as the semester progresses, given health and safety protocols that must be considered.

I'm a new BU student. How do I change my application to a different semester?
You can email the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at to request a semester change. Please include your full name and which semester you prefer (i.e. Fall 2021).

Will I be able to stay admitted in the same major if I change semesters?
In most cases, it's not a problem for you to remain in the same major. However, some majors, like Nursing, American Sign Language or Medical Imaging may not be able to be moved to a spring semester but the following fall. If you attend another college/university before attending BU, we may not be able to keep you admitted in Nursing or American Sign Language. Medical Imaging is only open to external transfers who have earned a rad-tech associate degree and are certified technologists.

What if I take college credits at another college then attend BU?
If you enroll in college courses elsewhere after graduating from high school, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will need to know where you will be attending and change your application status to a new transfer student. They will then need your official college transcript to review your college grades to ensure good academic standing and review for possible transfer credits. You must earn at least a “C” to earn credit from an accredited college/university. You can use our online course search tool to look for course equivalencies we have transferred to BU from numerous colleges/universities. Before you register for classes at another college, it's a good idea to consult with a BU faculty member in the major you're considering to ask for course recommendations to help you transfer seamlessly to BU.

What happens to my student loans if I take a gap semester/year?
If you've received Federal Direct Loans or private loans in the past, you may be required to begin repayment. Typically, repayment begins six months after the last date of at least half-time enrollment. We encourage you to log into NSLDS.ed.gov to determine your federal loan servicer and then contact them for specific repayment information. For private loans, please contact your lender.

What are other considerations for a gap semester/year?
If you decide to step away from Bloomsburg University, we encourage you to take a class or two at a community college if possible to stay on track towards your degree completion. Please complete a “Prior Approval of Transfer Credit” form in MyHusky to make sure whatever credits you take will transfer back to BU. It’s also important to complete the next year’s FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov, which becomes available in October.

Will office hours still be held online?
Office hours should continue to be held online. Faculty should set up an open Zoom space to allow for drop-in attendance similar to face-to-face office hours.

How will the performance aspect of Music, Theatre and Dance be conducted?
We've been relying on the recommendations from the national organizations of these disciplines for guidance as to safely implement the curriculum. No face-to-face private lessons will occur. Detailed guidance is being developed and will be communicated directly to students in the courses and ensembles as it becomes available.

Student Account Billing (Tuition and Fees) and Financial Aid

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the Student Billing and Financial Aid FAQs to learn more about Fall 2020-Spring 2021 student account billing, including drop/add and course withdrawal dates, and financial aid.

Emergency Aid Application for Fall 2020: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act gives Bloomsburg University the ability to award funds to students for expenses related to the disruption of normal campus operations due to the coronavirus. Additionally, funding provided by the Strengthen the Pack campaign is also available to support our students during this time of need. The Emergency Aid Application for Fall 2020 is now available. Please email buaid@bloomu.edu if you have questions about your financial aid, or visit the Financial Aid webpage for information.

Student Assistance Form: Students, if you have a concern or need help with something – simply click on this request link and tell us how we can assist you. If you need COVID-19 related academic accommodations, please use this form to start the process. The link is located at the top of the Current Students page.

If a student takes the first 7-week session and then says it’s not for them, what happens to their financial aid?
The same process as typical drops would occur with refunds based on percent of courses completed.

Student Life

What will be done to ensure as much of a traditional campus experience as possible, while staying COVID-compliant?
This fall, we'll ask all Huskies to come together in support of our campus and community health initiatives. We anticipate a Pledge for the Pack that will seek to solidify this commitment to each other.

College affords abundant opportunities for students to interact and become involved in areas through a common interest or simple exploration. Communicating opportunities will look different and will be more reliant on electronic notification means. Similarly, student groups and activity planners will become more creative in how they conduct student group interactions and experiences. A full array of student activities will be planned from clubs and organizations to general student activities. Stay aware of virtual or in-person organizational meeting invitations and “pop-ins” to learn more.

This aligns with what's done under more traditional circumstances and focuses on supporting and fostering connections via more virtual or socially distanced methods.

With many activities being done virtually how will BU build community?
Community starts with engagement and finding those with common interests. It takes a willingness to join a meeting or say hello to someone from a distance. The seeds of a healthy community germinate with appreciation and respect for others around you and a willingness to listen and be heard. The University, through its housing, clubs, and organizations, activities, and services, is the catalyst to creating community. It's truly the people, the students, that foster its growth. Take a chance and get involved so that you take part in growing your Husky community.

How will public performances of events be coordinated?
Currently the numbers for any large gathering are determined by the Office of the Governor. These guidelines change often based on the rate of COVID-19 present in the state. It would be highly recommended to plan to live stream public performances.

Student Health and Wellness

#MASKUP: Remember, each member of the BU Family has a responsibility to take the necessary protective measures so that we can help contain and reduce the COVID-19 incidence rate in our county. #MASKUP when on- or off-campus and when visiting town or area businesses.

Masks: The proper wearing of a mask while on campus and in campus buildings is required. A properly worn mask will cover both your mouth and nose. It is also important to WASH your mask on a regular basis to prevent it from becoming a factor in the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 Testing. In partnership with Geisinger Health, there will be a dedicated COVID-19 testing facility on campus for students who are exhibiting COVID-related symptoms. The testing center will be housed in the Fenstermaker Alumni House and will be fully operational by the opening of the Fall semester.

Husky Health Checker. All members of the BU community are strongly encouraged to monitor their health each day by utilizing the Husky Health Checker survey. Upon completion of the survey, retain the badge on your mobile device by leaving your browser tab open or taking a screenshot, or on your computer by printing it or taking a picture of your screen using your mobile device.

Quarantine. BU has set aside 72 rooms on-campus to allow for a safe quarantining of any students who are exhibiting COVID-related symptoms. Meals will be delivered to students who are in quarantine on-campus.

Town: With the return to campus, Bloomsburg Town Police want to remind students about the importance of being good neighbors during these uncertain times. It is important to continue wearing a mask when off-campus and large gatherings of more than 25 and parties are prohibited. Large gatherings have been shown to be an easy way to spread COVID-19. Also, the BU Student Code of Conduct allows for sanctions for those whose are cited off-campus.

Is the Student Health Center open?
The Student Health Center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for scheduled appointments starting Aug. 10. You'll be directed to call before coming to the Student Health Center and not walk in for appointments. The appointment phone number is 570-389-4451. When you call for an appointment, you will be asked brief screening questions that will help guide your care. This extra step is completed for your safety and the safety of others.

What should I do if I am feeling ill or think I may have COVID-19?
You're reminded not to attend classes, visit common areas, or attend social gatherings if you're feeling ill. We recommend, if possible, that you self-isolate until you consult a medical professional. You're reminded to complete a daily self-screening assessment that will be available to you as a student, take your temperature and record it.

If you are feeling ill during the clinic hours, you're encouraged to call the Student Health Center at 570-389-4451 to talk with a nurse or schedule an appointment.

If feeling ill after clinic hours, it's important you complete one of the options below:

  • Complete your self-assessment and follow the recommendations
  • Contact your family or your Primary Care provider from home
  • Call for an appointment at the local Urgent Care clinic in the nearby Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital (5 min walk close to campus). Reminder if you attend this clinic, your insurance will be charged. The phone number is 570-416-1890.
  • Contact the PA Department of Health at 1-800-PA-Health (1-800-724-3258) for more information and direction if you're concerned about your symptoms and the possibility of COVID-19. This is a 24-hour service. There could be a wait.
  • Contact 911 or go to your emergency room if it's an emergency. We recommend you call the emergency room first if you're able. The Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital is the nearest emergency room (next to campus). The number is 570-387-2200.

Reminder — it's important to self-isolate and use your phone to reach out for the next steps.

What do I do if I'm out of class for a time or need to go home/isolate because I'm ill?
You should contact your instructors, and you can contact the Student Health Center and ask to speak to a nurse about an extended medical illness absence form.

What do I do if I have another medical concern?
If you have other symptoms of concern, as with all appointments, call the Student Health Center to talk with a provider and/or schedule an appointment.

Will I be seen face to face in the clinic or through telehealth services?
Both in-clinic and telehealth services will be offered this semester. After talking with the Student Health Center clinical team, they will work with you to define the best type of appointment for your needs.

Are there services for counseling or to talk with someone about my stress?
Counselors are available each day Monday through Friday for regular appointments and same-day brief consults. Please call 570-389-4255 to schedule a time. These services are offered both face-to-face and tele-counseling appointments. The counselor will talk with you first on the phone to discuss what's the safest option for your needs and the current conditions. There will be outreach workshops available where counselors will share coping strategies to help you with resources and support.

What if I have questions about how all COVID-19 could impact my health?
The BU Health Educator has 1:1 appointments to meet and discuss your concerns and strategies. She will refer you to the Student Health Center or the counselors as appropriate. There will be regular opportunities available on campus for students to learn and engage with small in-person groups or Zoom sessions to provide information, education, and to help with coping strategies.

Student Recreation Center

Student Recreation Center Fall 2020 Operations Plan

The Student Recreation Center has announced a phased re-opening approach and will begin to open areas of the facility. Effective Monday, Aug. 17, the center will open with updated hours:

Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

How will social distancing be maintained? 
We will follow guidance and community area use protocols.

How often will the equipment in the Rec Center be cleaned?
Cleanliness will continue to be an area of pride for the Rec Center, and while we will continue to focus on this initiative, but we need everyone to contribute and clean each piece of equipment before and after each use. The facility is full of high touch areas, and we have increased the number of cleaning stations located throughout the facility.

A good rule moving forward is if you touch it, clean it. We ask that each member practice excellent personal hygiene and wipe down equipment before and after each use. Gym wipe stations and hand sanitizer stations are plentiful around the facility. Personal spray bottles for cleaning equipment will be given to patrons upon arrival and will be collected from each individual when leaving. 

The Rec Center has reallocated staffing to this new heightened cleanliness initiative and will remain focused on cleaning throughout the building during operation and after business hours each day.

Will Club Sports still be allowed to compete?
In light of the recent announcement from the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference cancelling fall intercollegiate competitions, we've also cancelled club sport competition for the fall semester.