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Fall 2020 Phase 2 (Athens Campus) FAQs

How did the University decide which students would be eligible to return to campus in Phase 2?

The Ohio University Fall Curriculum Scenario Group, as well as deans, department chairs and directors, and faculty members worked through the summer to prioritize eligibility for students engaged in academic experiences that require access to in-person instruction, specialized equipment, or specific facilities to ensure academic progress toward degree requirements. 
Every student is important, and we look forward to the day all can return to face-to face classes.

The academic colleges prioritized students who must log clinical hours, practical hours or other documented experiences would be the first priority to return, as safely as possible, to our campuses, labs, and other specialized facilities.  

Additional students were added based on recommendations for who would most benefit from access to labs, workshops, studios, and specialized equipment, such as students who engage in research, upper-class students in capstone experiences, and students who need access to specific equipment or facilities. 

University Planning reviewed every classroom space with colleagues across all campuses to implement CDC and state guidance for safe distancing. This reduced our classroom capacity significantly – with new capacities approximately 25 percent of usual capacity.

We consulted with our Chief Medical Affairs Officer and Special Assistant to the President for Public Health Operations as well as Athens County Health and Medical Directors, while leveraging available public health data to guide our planning. We determined that we can best manage risk to our Athens campus community by continuing a reduced density model while also carefully increasing access to campus. We will bring approximately 30 percent of undergraduate students and 100 percent of all graduate students back to Athens for Phase 2. 
 

Why were students who need special equipment for science classes, media classes, etc. excluded?

For Phase 2, Ohio University has prioritized access for students engaged in academic experiences that require access to in-person instruction, specialized equipment, or specific facilities to meet accreditation requirements or to ensure academic progress toward degree requirements. 

In some circumstances, students in classes that traditionally required access to specialized equipment, materials or facilities will be provided with materials that can be used at home or online to meet the learning outcomes of the course. Over the summer, faculty and staff worked closely with the Office of Instructional Innovation to identify alternative or at-home materials to use during Phase 2. Please consult with your instructor to better understand the methods and materials they will use to support your experiential learning during phase 2.
 

What’s going to happen in Phase 2?

For Phase 2, we have prioritized eligibility for students engaged in academic experiences that require access to in-person instruction, specialized equipment, or specific facilities to meet accreditation requirements or to ensure academic progress toward degree requirements. So, students included in Phase 2 will have some face-to-face academic experiences, but a majority of courses will continue in an online modality, even for many of those students included in Phase 2.

What about students who have a hard time doing online classes?

You are in good hands at Ohio University! Ohio University was recently ranked the best online college in Ohio for its broad range of affordable online options and extensive partnerships with community colleges in several states. Even before the pandemic, many Ohio University students found an online modality to be a flexible and convenient way to complete courses. In fact, nearly one-third of all undergrad students take one or more classes in an online modality each semester, even when they are living on campus or in Athens.  That’s because our faculty strive to make the convenience of online classes engaging and academically challenging.

There are many supports in place for students who are concerned about their ability to learn successfully online In addition to talking with your instructors and academic advisor, there are additional supports including tutoring, supplemental instruction for classes that are known to be challenging to many students, and research assistance available through University Libraries. For information about accessing these services, as well as study tips and resources for taking an online course, please visit our Keep Learning website.

Students are encouraged to contact their instructors. Students may also contact the college’s Remote Teaching Coordinator with concerns about how a specific course is going:

Carissa Anderson – RHE
Ebony Green – University College
Greg Newton – Scripps College of Communication
Luke Pittaway –College of Business
Brian McCarthy – Arts and Sciences
Beth Novak – Honors Tutorial College
Sally Marinellie – College of Health Sciences Professions
Connie Patterson – Patton College of Education
Deb McAvoy – Russ College of Engineering and Technology
Cat Cutcher – Center for International Studies
Bose Maposa – Center for International Studies
Maureen Wagner – College of Fine Arts
Alex Murray -- Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Briju Thankachan – Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Deb Benton -- University Registrar
Kelly Broughton – University Libraries
Eszti Major-Rohrer – Office of Information Technology
Sylvia Mickunas – Office of Instructional Innovation
Candice Morris – Office of Instructional Innovation
 

Will there be an alternative grading option like there was last spring?

The University will implement an alternative grading policy that allows students to elect a Satisfactory/No Credit (S/NC) grading basis for most undergraduate courses in fall 2020. The revised policy incorporates some minor improvements to the policy implemented in spring, including assurance that students’ grades post before the option is selected. Additional details will be available soon on the Registrar website. This policy was recommended by the Academic Policy and Process Planning Group and approved by the Provost. Alternative grading options for graduate coursework are under evaluation now.

Will we require a negative COVID-19 test to come back to campus?

No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend entry testing of all returning students, faculty, and staff. However, all Phase 2 students returning to campus are expected to observe a 14-day period of social distancing at their permanent residence before they arrive in Athens or on campus. During this 14-day period, students are expected to monitor their health daily, reduce contact with others and follow CDC guidance.  

As noted in President Nellis' message, all returning students are required to complete an online learning module and are asked to sign the OHIO Pledge. Prior to the start of Phase 2, you will receive additional information about obligations for your participation in this phase, including compliance with the University’s asymptomatic COVID-19 testing plan and other public health requirements.  You can find additional information about our phased return on the Be Safe Bobcats website.

Will people still have the option to stay all online?

Yes. Undergraduate students who have already arranged a fully online class schedule for the duration of the semester are permitted to complete the semester in that modality. 

IMPORTANT: For some Phase 2 classes, in-person attendance is required. If any of your classes require in-person attendance but you do not plan to return to campus, please contact your college Student Services Office or graduate program director to discuss your academic plans. Note that the University has extended the deadline to drop a course with possible fee adjustment to Friday, September 11.

PLEASE NOTE: There will be no refund or reduction in tuition or fees for the online modality since the University will be providing a full semester of instruction and awarding full academic credit to those who satisfactorily fulfill course requirements. 
 

Will Ohio University reduce tuition and fees for those students who are taking online classes?

There will be no refund or reduction in tuition or fees since the University will be providing a full semester of high-quality instruction and awarding full academic credit to those who satisfactorily fulfill course requirements.  

I live out of state, and I was not selected to come to campus for Phase 2. Why do I have to pay the non-resident surcharge if I am learning remotely?

The non-resident surcharge is added whether you are online or in-person.  It is assessed because, as a state institution, we receive state subsidy from the taxpayers of the State of Ohio for in-state students.  The out of state tuition helps to make up for that difference. 

Will there be refunds for student fees people not on campus can’t use (Ping, activity fees, library fees etc.)?

There will be no refund or reduction in fees. Many services for students will continue to be available remotely, including tutoring services, access to online and digital books, journals, and other learning resources through Alden Library and virtual events for many student organizations. All students who are living in Athens and registered for classes on the Athens campus, regardless of if they are in phases one or two, are welcome to use study, recreation and social spaces during those individual facilities’ operating hours.

Will deadlines to drop classes with less financial penalty be extended?

Yes. the University has extended the deadline to drop a course with possible fee adjustment to Friday, September 11. Please note that financial aid may be reduced if you drop below 12 credit hours and dropping classes can impact time to degree.

Can students drop their classes and postpone a semester?

The University has extended the deadline to drop a course with possible fee adjustment to Friday, September 11. Please contact your academic college student services office or graduate program director for academic advising to discuss any pause in your academic plans. 

Will those students not allowed on campus be able to get housing in the community?

No. Students previously planning to live in the residence halls this fall will receive a fall semester room and dining plan exception to remain at their parents/legal guardian’s permanent residence. Students are not permitted to secure an off-campus lease for fall 2020 as the intent of the phased return is to de-densify the Athens campus and community during a public health pandemic.  As a result, anyone who is required by University policy to live on campus and is found to have secured a lease in the Athens area during fall 2020 will be referred to the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility. Students not residing on campus fall semester 2020 will receive a term credit towards the two-year requirement to reside on campus.  

Students without a permanent residence or other extenuating circumstances may apply for an exception to reside on campus during Phase 2. An application for consideration must be submitted by Thursday, September 10, and can be found at www.ohio.edu/myhousing under Contracts and Applications. Applicants will be notified of the status of their exception request by Monday, September 14.
 

Am I required to wear a facial covering on campus?

Yes, in order to protect our community from further spread of the virus, OHIO has implemented a comprehensive set of strategies to reduce exposure, including requirement for facial coverings. Please see Policy 44.102, which became effective on August 26, 2020.

In addition, the City of Athens has approved an ordinance requiring facial coverings in the city of Athens, effective July 23, 2020.

The State of Ohio remains under a mandate to wear facial coverings, effective July 23, 2020.

Is there anything the University can do with local landlords to help students out of leases?

Students arrange their own off-campus housing with landlords who are private property owners.  Private property owners operate independently from Ohio University. 

Will dining plans/housing contracts be pro-rated for people going back in Phase 2?

Yes. Students will be charged a prorated amount of their housing and dining appropriate to the number of remaining weeks for housing or meals served in fall semester. While all fall students will be assigned a single room for fall semester, they will be assessed at the lower double occupancy rate that is applicable to their assigned hall. Phase 2 meal plans will begin with lunch on Thursday, September 24.

Can people not allowed back on the Athens campus for phase 2 classes still be able to access campus facilities like Ping?

All students who are registered for classes on the Athens campus, regardless of if they are in phases one or two, are welcome to use study, recreation and social spaces during those individual facilities’ operating hours. 

Will there be more online job opportunities for students?

Student employment opportunities are posted on www.ohiouniversityjobs.com when available. Students who previously selected a Federal Work-Study position should have been contacted by their Work-Study supervisor. Many supervisors are offering remote employment opportunities for the fall semester. Students who would like to work during the fall semester and who selected a position that does not offer remote work, may have an opportunity to be temporarily reassigned to a different position that offers remote work. The Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships will email students with additional details in the coming weeks. 

Students with PACE positions should have been contacted by their supervisor regarding remote work possibilities for the fall semester.
 

What is move-in going to look like for students allowed back on campus? Will early/late move in be allowed for out of state students?

Phase 2 move in will begin for most approved students on September 22 and will end on Saturday, September 26.  Students will be assigned a specific day and time for move in to ensure that adequate physical distancing is possible. If students wish to change their assigned day and time they can change to other available dates and times by visiting www.ohio.edu/myhousing.  
 
However, for all out of state students particularly those that live in one of the states identified by the State of Ohio as having a COVID-19 travel advisory, they will need to complete a 14-day quarantine on campus in temporary quarantine housing.  Students impacted by the travel advisory will be contacted directly by the Housing & Residence Life department.
 
Anyone that plans to help students move-in must be free of any symptoms that could be a sign of COVID-19. Check-in will be centralized with a station on each of our three greens.  Moving carts will be available for use on each green that will be sanitized throughout the day. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide any move-in volunteers this year to provide physical assistance during the move-in process.  As a result, students are encouraged to pack lightly for their 8 weeks on campus knowing that they will also need to completely move-out of their assigned rooms by November 21, 2020.   
 

What about students in unsafe situations? Were they considered? Will the request to return to on-campus housing be re-opened?

As was the case in Phase 1, students without a permanent place of residence or other extenuating circumstances may apply for an exception to reside on campus during Phase 2. Visit www.ohio.edu/myhousing for additional information. 

Can students not in Phase 2 expect to return in the spring?

Pandemic and public health conditions, along with our collective success for the rest of fall semester, will inform decisions about spring. While we hope that conditions will permit a robust in-person experience at every location, we must continue to monitor health risks to our campuses and communities in the coming months. We'll work to effectively mitigate those risks wherever possible, and we will keep students and families informed of our spring plans as they develop.

If I am in Phase 2, how will I know if my classes are in-person or online?

Please check your schedule in MyOHIO Student Center. In most cases, the Days & Times and a Room will be listed and information regarding how the class is being delivered is provided in the class notes (accessed by clicking on the section number).'

Example of schedule in MyOHIO Student Center, with section number "100" in the Section column of the schedule circled

 
In some cases, a remote option may still be available for Phase 2 classes that are being offered in person. Instructors will share information about any adjustments or expectations for attendance in Phase 2.

If my roommate is also in Phase 2, can we live together?

 If roommate connections are included in Phase 2, the Housing and Residence Life assignments team will attempt to assign roommates into adjacent or nearby rooms using single occupancy. 

How will residence hall assignments be made for Phase 2?

The Housing and Residence Life team will assign housing for all Phase 2 students who did not choose a fully online option and who were not previously approved as a commuter.  During Phase 2, all residential students will be assigned a single-occupancy room, which will be assessed at the lower double occupancy rate that is applicable to their assigned building.  

When will I be billed for Phase 2 housing and dining plans, and how do I know how much it will cost?

Students living on campus will be billed according to the rate table available at https://www.ohio.edu/bursar/guarantee-20-21. The published charges are commensurate with the number of weeks remaining in fall semester. Students checking in prior to September 21 will be assessed a room and dining plan charge the day after moving in.  All other students will be assessed a room and dining plan charge no later than September 22.  

If I receive financial aid and my loans were reduced in Phase 1, how can I receive additional loan funds to assist with my Phase 2 housing and dining charges?

In some instances, Parent PLUS Loans and educational loans through private lenders will be reinstated. You will receive an email from the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships informing you of the loan reinstatement and requesting that you contact that office if you do not want the reinstated loan. Loan reinstatement will occur as Phase 2 housing and dining charges are assessed. This process will begin September 15 and continue through September 25. 
 
If you would like to pursue a new or additional PLUS or private loan to assist with housing and/or dining charges, please visit https://www.ohio.edu/financial-aid/resources/additional for information and application procedures.
 

Will there be a Phase 3?

No. Ohio University has completed its phased approach to the fall semester. Pandemic and public health conditions, along with our collective success for the rest of fall semester, will inform decisions about spring. While we hope that conditions will permit a robust in-person experience at every location, we must continue to monitor health risks to our campuses and communities in the coming months. We'll work to effectively mitigate those risks wherever possible, and we will keep students and families informed of our spring plans as they develop. 

It appears that my academic program or class is in Phase 2, but I have not received a housing assignment. Why is this?

First- and second-year Athens campus students who previously received approval for a commuter application or submitted an intent to remain online form to Housing and Residence Life will not receive housing assignments for fall 2020 Phase 2. If you are eligible to participate in Phase 2 and, due to extenuating circumstances, you would like to be considered for on-campus housing after receiving commuter approval or declaring online-only intentions, you will need to complete the Fall 2020 Housing Request located at www.ohio.edu/myhousing under “Contracts and Applications” for review and consideration.   

When will I get my student ID?

Ohio University first-year and transfer students who have not yet received their OHIO ID will receive their IDs in a welcome package, which will be mailed the week of September 14.