Answers to common questions from the Beloit College community.
These frequently asked questions were updated on August 17, 2020, to include questions commonly asked in two recent student webinars.
Beloit was the first school in the country to announce a distinctive change to the curriculum that would make it possible to deliver its academic mission even as the environment reacts dynamically to the virus. The semester was divided into two “Mods,” or two units that enable flexible scheduling and course delivery. Setting up the semester this way has become the template that many other schools are now using.
The Task Force meets multiple times each week and continually evaluates our plans with respect to the virus situation. We expect to continue doing that throughout the fall term. A decision to make a significant change in the plan will be based on these criteria.
The COVID-19 Taskforce will continue to evaluate data from state, city, and county health officials, as well as what’s happening on campus, before recommending any change to providing instruction and co-curricular experiences for students. However, as teaching and learning will continue, tuition and fees will not be refunded.
Partial refunds of room and board will be possible. However, the college must meet its fixed costs even when the majority of students are not on campus. These include the costs of maintaining its physical plant, managing financial aid and student accounts, providing counseling, and continuing food services for students unable to return home. Therefore, if the campus has to close, even though teaching and learning will continue, the college will refund as much room and board as is possible.
All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face-coverings on campus at all times, inside and outside, unless they are alone in a personal space, such as their office, dorm room or home.
This includes inside buildings in public spaces, in classrooms and learning spaces, when other people are present, and when physical distancing is not possible. Face coverings will also be required outside if physical distancing cannot be maintained and in a vehicle if it is shared with another person.
You are required to put on a face covering if you are asked to do so.
At this time, work-study jobs will be available on campus. If students are taking classes remotely and not returning to campus, only students living in Wisconsin or Illinois will be able to work remotely. A job fair will be held immediately prior to the beginning of Mod 1.
Students who have worked on campus previously may find changed working conditions due to the need for physical distancing. Your supervisor will explain any modifications or schedule changes.
Testing Before Arriving on Campus
Yes. In order to return to campus, students must provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test administered within seven to 10 days of your planned arrival date. Refer to the testing policy for more information.
Since its formation, the COVID-19 Task Force has consistently evaluated changing conditions and emerging information with the primary goal of our campus being a safe place for everyone, including students and staff who remained on campus and those who will come to campus as the fall semester begins. The Task Force’s approach is to layer protective practices, including testing before coming to campus, wearing masks, and physical distancing.
Beloit will accept the nasopharyngeal swab, nasal swab, or the saliva test. Students should ask for a written confirmation of the test result to be filed with the Health and Wellness Center at email@example.com. Antibody tests will not be accepted. Tests for faculty and staff can be one of those three types as well and are being managed by the Human Resources office.
The test needs to be administered 7-10 days before coming to campus. The earliest time to take the test would be 10 days prior to returning to campus; the latest time to take the test would be seven days before returning to campus.
You have two options: Stay home while you wait for the results or quarantine on campus. In either case, your academic advisers and your course instructors will work with you to make sure you can engage with your coursework and complete assignments as they become due. Please report your intentions to the Health and Wellness Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your arrival on campus will be delayed because you chose to wait at home to receive results, please convey this immediately to your academic advisor, your course instructors, and Residential Life at email@example.com.
Testing will be available on campus throughout the fall term for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have come into contact with a confirmed case.
When a person on campus tests positive, those who have been in close contact with that person, usually defined as being within six feet for 15 minutes or longer, will be notified of their exposure.
Arrangements will be made for the contacted individuals to be tested.
Health & Wellness
Response to Cases On-Campus
If you do not have a negative test result by the time you are scheduled to be on campus, you may choose to remain at home and quarantine until you receive your results OR come to campus and quarantine until your test result is received. If you need to quarantine at home or on campus, you will still be able to do your academic coursework.
Additionally, we expect that all students, faculty, and staff who are returning to campus from any location and by any form of transportation should begin following all of the protective practices that are expected as part of daily life on campus for 14 days before arriving.
Further, students will also be required to record a daily health self-assessment for the first 14 days that they are back on campus. We will be monitoring these reports and contacting those who record symptoms or don’t submit the assessment.
Yes, spaces have been prepared.
Quarantine: If a student is living in a single room, the student will remain there to quarantine. If a student lives with a roommate, the student needing to quarantine will move to an isolation room.
Isolation: Anyone needing to isolate will move to an isolation room. Thirty-eight rooms have been set aside for this purpose in various locations across campus.
When a student is in quarantine, it means there is a possibility they have been exposed to the virus. In this case, they will need to quarantine as long as 14 days. This allows enough time to determine if the person will become infectious.
Isolation occurs when the student has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Beloit College has established a robust system for delivering food that students have ordered from Bon Appétit. The person delivering the meal will also check to see if the student needs anything else.
Health and Wellness staff will check on students regularly. In addition, the college’s housekeeping staff, RAs, and security will conduct walk-throughs to check in on students.
The College has a longstanding partnership with Beloit Health System. Nurse practitioners from BHS provide services to students on campus through the Health and Wellness Center. Students who would need treatment beyond what can be provided on campus would go urgent care or the emergency room, both part of Beloit Health System.
Best Practices and Prevention
The principle “self-care is community care” will be a strong component of campus life.
For the 14 days before your return to campus, it’s important that you practice the protective practices you will be expected to follow when you return to campus, namely:
stay at home as much as possible,
wear a mask when in public, and
practice social distancing whether indoors or outdoors.
You are also strongly encouraged to get into the habit now of performing the daily symptom and wellness checks that will be required once you arrive on campus. Once on campus, you will have access to an app to record the results of your symptom checks. Symptom checks should be performed when you get up and before you leave your room or residence to come to campus.
Contact tracing will work in two layers: interviewing and a contact tracing phone app chosen for Beloit College.
A small team of staff members have been selected to conduct the interviews and are completing a contacting tracing course developed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. When contact tracing is needed, a team member will interview the student who has tested positive. Questions will focus on the two days prior to illness, including where the student had been and with whom. The contract tracing phone app will provide additional information about risk exposure.
Use of a daily symptom checker will be required to help lower the risk of infection.
Finally, the Rock County Public Health Department will partner with Beloit College to conduct contact tracing.
The college is requiring students to use the symptom checking app, but using the contact tracing app is optional. However, contract tracing can help keep the entire college community healthy and safe: faculty, staff, and students. Therefore, we encourage the use of the contact tracing app.
The symptom tracking app is a tool to assist in conducting daily wellness checks. It adds a layer of protection.
In addition to the app, you will also maintain a social distance of six feet whether indoors or outdoors, and you will wear masks diligently. This means that even if you have the COVID-19 virus but are asymptomatic, the probability that you will infect someone will be greatly reduced by virtue of these measures.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: “Self-care is community care.”
Everyone needs to take responsibility and help one another through this. We believe that’s what will keep us safe and what will keep us on campus. The college holds students, faculty, and staff who are participating in any work or activity in-person and on-campus accountable for adherence to protective practices.
The Dean of Students Office has prepared a set of steps to be taken in the case a student does not comply with expected behaviors, including the possibility of having to leave campus. Faculty and staff are subject to the same behavioral expectations as students and have been informed of steps to be taken if expectations are not met.
Additionally, the Beloit Student Government presidents have been working with a group of students over the last 2 months to create a new statement of student culture along with behavioral expectations for the upcoming academic year.
Yes, students will be allowed to leave campus. However, no matter where they go and for how long, students will be expected to follow the college’s protective practices, and the same applies to faculty and staff. The protective practices include social distancing, wearing a cloth mask or face covering when not alone, and frequent hand washing.
The college will follow local, state, and federal mandates that could restrict visits off of the campus if they are issued.
Students will have access to tele-counseling services. If both the student and the counselor agree, they may meet in-person.
Teaching & Learning
Courses & Resources
We grow better when we’re in a space where we can be together. We’re trying to be innovative in creating an atmosphere that we know is so important to our students, our faculty, and our staff. We still think that’s an important part of our education, and we want to provide that experience as best we can while being as safe as possible.
Thus, in addition to paying attention to the safety of our indoor spaces, we’re creating outdoor spaces where people can be together and talk with one another, including for some classes.
Courses for Mod 1 and Mod 2 will be in-person, online, or a hybrid that you can take either in-person or online. Take a look at the Fall 2020 Course Guide to explore what classes are in what formats.
Continuing students had the opportunity to discuss their schedule with their advisor from July 27 through August 7. Following the advising period, continuing students had a Add-Drop period from August 10 to August 14 to change their schedules.
All students will have an opportunity add or drop courses from September 1 through September 3. Refer to the Academic Calendar for more information.
Go immediately to the department chair to speak confidentially about the issue. If the situation cannot be resolved in this way and/or the faculty member is the department chair, reach out to the Provost’s Office about the issue by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will not be using computer labs. Instead, we have arranged for you to use computers in the cloud. You’ll be able to access all the applications normally available in a campus computer lab on your own device.
The majority of peer tutoring will happen online as it did during the latter part of the spring semester. In-person tutoring may be available in certain circumstances. Contact the LEADS office for more information.
In the Event a Student Becomes ill
Missing classes in the shorter Mod schedule could create more difficulties for students than missing the same number of classes in the longer semester time frame.
The Curriculum Oversight and Administration committee has been meeting to develop new policies about attendance, credit/no-credit options, and other aspects of student learning for the fall term. More information on those policies should be available soon. Faculty are also designing their courses with a focus on supporting students to do their work and continue to make progress toward their degree. Each faculty member will most likely approach this in a way that fits with the learning outcomes for the course.
If your course is normally graded with a letter grade (A-F), you can opt to change your grading method to or from “CR/NC” at any point until two days after grades are due at the end of the semester. This policy applies to Mod 1, Mod 2, and full-semester courses. Similarly to last semester, there will be a form you can fill out in your Portal to make this change, but be aware that your change request will be processed by the Registrar’s Office and appear in Portal after the deadline for making changes.
You should email your professors as soon as you know that you will not be attending class physically, and let them know that you are interested in participating remotely and feel well enough to do so. Depending on the length of your absence and how soon your professor is aware that you will be participating remotely, your professor will let you know some options for how you can continue to engage in class.
While these may include “Zooming in” or otherwise observing class sessions, they may also involve doing complementary research, writing or presenting a report for the class, generating discussion questions, coaching a peer through an in-class exercise, or leading a remote study session.
The most important thing is that you do not physically attend a face-to-face class if you feel ill or have been instructed to quarantine, and until you have been cleared by the Health & Wellness Center to attend class in person, you should continue to participate only remotely.
You should visit the Health & Wellness page now for specific guidelines so you are familiar with them when you arrive on campus. If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, if you yourself have tested positive, or if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should begin by contacting the Health & Wellness Center (Tara Girard at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Health & Wellness staff will protect your privacy in discussing your situation with others as much as possible.
The Dean of Students Office will then be notified and work with you to advise your instructors and advisors about your expected attendance, including projected time away from in-class participation, remote participation, and/or specific assignments, if possible. In order to protect your privacy, messages from the Dean of Students Office will not specify the nature of the illness or injury or exposure to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Task Force will also be notified if anyone who has been on campus becomes ill.
If you are experiencing a personal or family crisis, or if you are ill and do not feel well enough to participate in class remotely, you should begin by contacting the Health & Wellness Center (Tara Girard at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know your situation. The Health & Wellness staff will protect your privacy in discussing your situation with others as much as possible.
The Dean of Students Office will then be notified and work with you to develop a course of action that will respect your need to be away from class and minimize the potential impact of a prolonged absence on your academic progress. The Dean of Students’ Office will send an email to your professors and advisors about expected attendance, including projected time away from in-class participation, remote participation, and/or specific assignments, if possible.
You should email your professor(s), and they will collaborate with you to find a satisfactory way of finishing out the course. For some situations, pursuing a late withdrawal from courses will be the wisest choice, but finishing out a course may include: picking up where you left off in the course when you feel well enough to return; adopting a modified schedule of work and deadlines that will be manageable for you during your illness; completing only high-priority assignments and assessments in order to qualify for a grade of “CR.” In extreme circumstances, you may utilize the college’s process for receiving a grade of “Incomplete” for one or more courses.
Housing & Dining
Yes, families are welcome, but we ask that only two members accompany a student into the residence hall. We also require those people to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
The housekeepers will be cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms on a regular basis. Cleaning supplies will also be available for students to wipe down surfaces before and after they use them.
Yes. The college has conducted on-site training for all of its key facilities staff around ventilation and air filtration. The college has also contracted with Johnson Controls to utilize their expertise to ensure the systems work well.
Absolutely. In fact, a number of international students have remained on campus since the pandemic began.
We will have processes in place to assist students, whether they depart from campus or remain on campus.
Students will have multiple options to get food. The Commons and Hamiltons will be open and available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. DK’s will be available for lunch.
Commons will not look as it has traditionally. Students will not eat together in Commons, but instead will go there either to pick up meals they have pre-ordered using an app or to go through the food line to select food to take with them to eat elsewhere.
Hamiltons will have food that can be ordered and picked up. There will be physically distanced spaces to eat in the Powerhouse.
DK’s will be open at lunch with items pre-packaged only.
Areas are being set up across campus, including outside options such as new picnic tables, with enough room to gather together for meals while socially distancing.
Dining hours will remain the same as during the academic year 2019-20. Please check the Bon Appétit website for the latest hours and updates.
The plan is for kitchens to be open when the fall term begins. They will remain open as long as students keep them clean, practice physical distancing in that space, wear face-coverings, and follow protective practices. If those things do not happen, the kitchens will be closed.
Student Activities, Athletics, Recreation, and Work
Yes. All in-person activities will need to ensure that participants can follow protective practices - face-coverings and physical distancing. Some programming may happen in a virtual or online format.
Yes. It’s imperative to us that we maintain as much of what makes campus life meaningful to students as we can, including a sense of team.
Teams will continue working out and practicing at a reduced schedule, including smaller team workouts. We’ve asked our coaches to be creative in how they structure those workouts and how they start those practices.
There will be some restrictions, but team members will be given opportunities to train together and work out together in ways that will be safe for them.
We’d like fall sports to move to spring, if possible. Fall sports would start up in the second semester and continue through the year if possible.
Absolutely! Things may be a bit different, but the Powerhouse staff has been working on ways to keep students safe and still offer a variety of options to stay active or relax, to have fun with friends or grab a bit of solitude. Stay tuned for more details.
Yes, there are virtual employment opportunities for students. However, due to federal law, to work for Beloit College, whether virtually or in person, students must be living in Wisconsin or Illinois at the time.
Operations, Facilities, Local Community, and Employees
All of the academic buildings, museums, library, the sports center, Pearsons, Middle College and the residence halls will be open.
Access to the museums will be limited to students taking classes in those buildings and needing access to the collections.
The library will be open but will have reduced seating to ensure that everyone can observe physical distancing. Some computers will be available for use in the library, but the 24-hour labs in Pearsons and Chapin will be closed.
Presently the only visitors that should be coming to campus are those needed for essential academic or business continuity. The museums and the library are not open to the public. There is no use of campus facilities by the public or groups that are not directly connected to the college.
For the fall term, some faculty and staff will return to in-person teaching and working on campus. Others may continue to teach and work remotely. Offices may use staggered scheduling to ensure distancing requirements. Information about whether a class or service is virtual and how offices are operating will be made available as those decisions are made.