Answers to common questions from the Beloit College community.
*Updated on December 14, 2020.
From the outset, deliberations centered on the health and safety of our community. Scientific advice in response to COVID drove our plan, as the College’s administrative leadership teams meet daily to assess COVID rates, risks and decisions.
Senior Staff, following multiple conversations with the COVID-19 Task Force, students, faculty, staff, and culminating with Academic Senate, voted Dec. 2 to change the start date. Classes will be held from Feb. 15 to May 21. Graduation is on May 30.
In addition to bypassing an expected post-holiday January surge, extending the start date allows us to:
Provide a safer and richer student experience, as we avoid the most severe winter weather when students will largely be confined to their rooms due to frigid temperatures;
Avoid a significant overlap between COVID and the height of the flu season;
Enjoy a greater proportion of Spring Semester activities outdoors;
Extend the much-needed break for students, faculty, and staff.
Yes. The first Mod will begin on Feb. 15 and the second Mod will begin on April 6.
Beloit was the first school in the country to announce this distinctive change to the curriculum that would make it possible to deliver its academic mission even as the environment reacts dynamically to the virus. Our “Mods” enable flexible scheduling and course delivery. Setting up the semester this way, with a mix of online and in-person instruction, allowed our students to remain on campus.
After listening to concerns that a Feb. 23 start date was too late, we adjusted the semester start to Feb. 15 - so that classes will end May 21, and we will have graduation on May 30.
Those with early June jobs or internships will be able to start them on time. And those who had planned to leave campus by mid-May can work with their professors to make that happen.
The College is planning a robust two-week Career Accelerator program for students from Jan. 25-Feb. 5 to help them identify, prepare for, and apply for internships, jobs, and other career-related opportunities. Students will be able to attend remote site visits, network with panelists, and receive resume reviews and advice from a host of talented alumni and business professionals.
The Advanced Mentoring Program (AMP) is in the process of developing AMP connections opportunities that will count towards the credit students earn for participating in AMP in the spring semester.
Students may find that employers are looking for additional help and so finding a new job or returning to a previous work location may be possible.
Bills for Spring semester will be sent January 8 and will be due Feb. 5. Please visit our Bursar website for more information.
All students, faculty, staff, and approved visitors are 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, and when other people are present. Face coverings are also required in a vehicle if it is shared with another person.
Students are not permitted to have outside visitors on campus. The only visitors coming to campus should be those required for essential academic or business continuity.
If students are taking classes remotely and not returning to campus, only students living in Wisconsin or Illinois are able to work remotely.
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.
During the Extended Break
With the later semester start date, we’re working with departments to provide on-campus job opportunities in January and February for students who are on-campus or residing in Wisconsin and Illinois. Please talk to your supervisor for more information.
Spring Semester & Extended Break
We encourage our community to practice this year’s motto of “self-care is community care.” We hope that students, faculty, and staff would reflect that through the extended break, and be really mindful when engaging in activities with people off-campus.
Some students have already let us know that their personal circumstances require them to remain on campus for the break. For those students whose stays are extended due to this shift, we are reducing their incremental costs by 40 percent.
Yes. The Powerhouse will be open 9 am - 6 pm every day once break begins, including on weekends for students who want to use it for various activities. Hamilton’s, The Powerhouse Cafe, will also be open and used for food service.
Each year the College allocates funding for students whose circumstances have changed and need financial support. There may also be additional resources available through the CARES Act.No student emergency will be ignored.
Students returning for Spring 2021 will have their access cards reactivated at 8 a.m. on Feb. 13, and students are allowed to move back anytime after that reactivation time. We are not assigning specific move-in times. If your student’s card doesn’t allow them into their residence, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students returning to campus must have proof of a negative COVID test, and will be required to follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines as they return to campus.All requests to come to campus earlier than Feb. 13 will be reviewed by the Dean’s Office.
Yes. Just as with the fall semester, Beloit will continue to test students once they are back on campus. In addition, if needed, we will help students find testing in their local areas prior to coming back.
Asymptomatic testing capacity is increasing in many areas. Please reach out to email@example.com for assistance with finding testing sites in your area. Testing will continue on campus in the spring semester with a minimum frequency of every other week for students.
Vaccines will become available soon, and first for front-line healthcare workers and other at-risk populations. We don’t yet know when the vaccines would be available far more broadly. When they do become available, we will continue to follow guidance from public health experts and organizations such as the American College Health Association.
We did not have shuttles this semester because of widespread COVID infections in the community surrounding the College. Once we get into Spring Semester, we will determine the safety of having shuttles and will let students know.
Coaches and student-athletes will work together to identify training schedules.
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. Results should be sent firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 seven to 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 is available on campus. At this time, approximately 50 percent of the student body is being tested weekly. Additionally, testing is available for those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have come into contact with a confirmed case.
Going forward, the college is partnering with Chicago-based Abbott Laboratories to conduct free Covid rapid testing for all students weekly. As of this moment, the college is working with Abbott to secure the testing equipment. The test is a molecular test (not antigen) and results will be available within 15 minutes.
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.
Yes, spaces have been prepared.
Quarantine: If a student is living in a single room, it is possible 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.
Quarantine: In consultation with public health officials, involves restricting movement or separating healthy individuals who may have been exposed to the virus from the rest of the population to monitor symptoms and detect cases early. These individuals are identified through contact tracing or symptoms.
Isolation: In consultation with public health officials, keeping someone, with or without symptoms, who tested positive for COVID-19 away from others.
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.
Beloit College’s Covid-Care Team in partnership with Health and Wellness staff will check on students daily.
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 to urgent care or the emergency room, both part of Beloit Health System.
Best Practices and Prevention
The principle “self-care is community care” is 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.
A small team of staff members has been selected to conduct contact tracing interviews after 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 or testing, including where the student had been and with whom.
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 off campus and assist in any way needed with on-campus contact tracing.
The college is requiring students to use the symptom checking app, However, contract tracing can help keep the entire college community healthy and safe: faculty, staff, and students. Student privacy is protected to the extent that it is possible, at all times.
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 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.
All students have access to telehealth counseling services.
Teaching & Learning
Courses & Resources
We grow better when we’re in a space where we can be together. We have been 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 have created outdoor spaces where people can be together and talk with one another, including for some classes.
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.
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 during the 2020-2021 academic year.
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 your 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 regularly. 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.
Yes, international students will be allowed to live on campus.
We will have processes in place to assist students, whether they depart from campus or remain on campus.
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.
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 have been 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.
Kitchens are open and 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 are continuing to work out and practice 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.
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 have returned to in-person teaching and working on campus. Others are teaching and working remotely. Offices are using 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.