Bloomsburg University Spring 2021 Semester Plan

Spring 2021: Bloom Onward

 

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:

Courses Continue Remotely with Exceptions: All undergraduate and graduate courses in the Zeigler College of Business 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. In the College of Education, all classes will be taught remotely, although some will be offered in the in-person/hybrid format. Students should direct any specific questions to their respective deans and department chairs.

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 in the spring
Bloomsburg University: Our Onward is Upward

2021 Spring Sessions

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

Spring Semester Q&A


Academics

When can I enroll in courses for the spring?

Review courses now and see how they will be delivered for Spring 2021, as well as the timetable for scheduling. If you have any questions about schedule, please contact the Registrar’s Office at BURegistrar@bloomu.edu.

How do I get my textbooks?

Books may be ordered via the University Store for pickup or delivered to your home if studying remotely.

How can I tell what the course delivery method is?

To help you understand how a class is offered, refer to how to read your schedule located on the Registrar’s Office page.

What is a modality?

Modality is the delivery method of the course. For Spring 2021, 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?

Should positive Covid-19 cases increase on campus, consultation with state health guidelines, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), and professionals will continue, and we will determine any adjustments that would need to be made, including pivoting more courses to remote learning. 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 in the case of active COVID-19 on the campus due to the nature of their training and the need for hands-on curriculum.

Why did Bloomsburg decide to divide classes into the sessions?

The Spring 2021 semester is split into three sessions to maximize the amount of face-to-face instruction we could provide under social distancing rules. 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 Session 3. Students’ schedules will have a balance of Sessions 1, 2, and 3 courses.

Can students take more than two courses per seven-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 attempt 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. 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.

Can a student delay the start of the spring semester until the second seven-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 spring semester until the March 24 start-date. By taking courses during the second seven-week session, and by taking courses over the summer session, a student would be caught up to proceed with the Fall 2021 semester.

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.

How will classes and clinicals work for nursing majors?

You should anticipate a similar schedule to pre-COVID-19, with appropriate safety protocols in place.

Will education majors 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 spring.

What should education majors do if the school district they're assigned to student teach has different restrictions than the area they live in?

Follow the guidelines of the district. Also, keep your cooperating teacher updated about conditions where you live. You may need to shift to remote instruction.

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 and Spring commencements be held, and when will that be announced?

Fall commencement will be held virtually on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, due to the continuation of campus community safety precautions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who completed their intent to graduate received an email on Monday, Oct.12, 2020, detailing both the opportunity to participate in a “stage walk” event on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, (registration required) and the virtual commencement on December 12, 2020.

The announcement about the Spring 2021 commencement will be made later. 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 buadmiss@bloomu.edu 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 will need to start the following fall. If you attend another college or 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. The office will 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 that transfer 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 2021-2022 FAFSA at www.studentaid.gov, which is now available.

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.

Student Account Billing (Tuition and Fees) and Financial Aid

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. If you have a concern or need help with something, simply sign into HuskySuccess and use the Raise Your Hand tab for assistance.

If a student takes the first seven-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?

The success of achieving a traditional campus experience rests within each student with consideration and compliance with the safety and virus spread mitigation measures communicated. During the Fall 2020 semester we did not do as well as we expected which led to the curtailing of most in-person events and social interactions anticipated in non-pandemic times. We are confident that a satisfying and fulfilling experience can be obtained if everyone does what needs to be done to keep themselves and others well. This requires some sacrifice of event gatherings on and off campus where safety measures (specifically, social distancing, mask wearing, and frequent hand washing) are not followed. Keeping our students safe and healthy is the primary directive and it will supersede social events if the spread of COVID-19, again, gets to a point where additional controls need to be put in place.

With that in mind, 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. Similarly, student groups and activity planners will continue to be 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?

A campus community starts with engagement and finding others with common interests. It takes a willingness to join a meeting or say hello to someone from a distance. A healthy community begins 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 means to creating community. Take a chance, meet those around you, 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 recent guidance from the Office of the Governor based on a variety of factors. These guidelines are subject to potentially stricter limits if established by the local municipality should the public health threat be deemed sufficiently high. For this reason, it is highly recommended to plan to live stream public performances whenever possible. Event requests still follows the established procedure of submitting an event request to Facilities Management at facsched@bloomu.edu.

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 Columbia 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.
  • Return to Campus COVID-19 Testing: The University is working with Geisinger Health and Columbia County to identify the resources and methodology for the testing of students returning to campus. While the details are still evolving, the intent is to adequately test or screen returning students to minimize to the maximum extent possible COVID-19 positive individuals from campus and allow them to quarantine/isolate as appropriate.
  • Classes in Session 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 Fenstemaker Alumni House and will continue to be operational during the Spring 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 several rooms on-campus to allow for a safe quarantining or isolation of students who are exhibiting, or have tested positive for, COVID-19 related symptoms. The number of rooms is limited and not guaranteed. If the number of rooms available becomes less than those requested or needed, students will need to make arrangements for how to best work through the time needed to quarantine or isolate in consultation with supporters and medical personnel. The university is not responsible for movement of students from current to alternate housing. Students are responsible for their ability to live independently and need to develop their plan if they, roommates, or others they associate with become ill or exposed to others with COVID-19 in a responsible manner. On-campus students with meal plans who move to the limited quarantine and isolation spaces will have meals twice daily and as arranged through instructions provided when moved into alternate housing.
  • 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. You are asked to call before coming to the Student Health Center. Do 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'm feeling ill or think I may have COVID-19?

You should not 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're feeling ill during the clinic hours, please 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 to complete one of the options below:

  • Complete your self-assessment and follow the recommendations
  • Contact your family or your Primary Care provider
  • Call for an appointment at the local Urgent Care clinic at the Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital (five 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 or isolate, because I'm ill?

You should contact your instructors, and the Student Health Center and ask to speak to a nurse about an extended medical illness absence form. If you need additional help navigating while you are ill, please go to Husky Success and use your single sign on and scroll down to the Raise Your Hand menu option and select the appropriate option to ask for help. Under comments, you can explain what kind of help you need.

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

The Student Recreation Center limited access to on-campus students in the fall semester due to increased instances of COVID-19. A fully developed opening plan has not been completed pending decisions and concern over the increased likelihood of disease spread in fitness centers. Once a plan is developed, it will be communicated via campus general announcements and the Student Recreation Center website.

Will Club Sports still be allowed to compete?

Club and intramural sports will resume upon successful containment and COVID-19 spread mitigation measures. Offerings from contactless to contact sports and activities will be communicated in line with cases of COVID-19 realized on campus.