Wilberforce University Hybrid Learning Experience
NEW PROTOCOLS FOR CAMPUS LIFE
A. Virtual Teaching and Learning
The Deans and other Vice Presidents will be assessing requests for remote teaching. We are trying to balance needs for an optimal teaching and learning environment with safety needs for high-risk individuals. We are also constrained by the percentage of completely online course offerings allowed in academic programs. From a teaching perspective, if a student can only attend virtually, this means that faculty will have to make ‘asynchronous’ accommodations for students who cannot attend face to face(f2f).
However, students need to realize that they are still accountable for attending and fully engaging with their classes and completing the learning assessments at the specified class times or within specified deadlines. Instructors are not required to hold individual or customized class sessions for every student who cannot attend their class at the specified class time. Nor are they expected to keep re-opening assignments for students who repeatedly fail to meet submission deadlines. We ask for your continued patience as we work to meet the needs of at-risk instructors and students.
B. Classroom Logistics
The social distancing mandate will require classroom capacities to be modified significantly and chairs to not be moved from their spots. Extra sections may have to be opened accordingly to accommodate needed registration overflow. Alternatively, classes may need to be relocated to larger spaces than in past semesters.
Depending on changing preregistration numbers, additional rooms may also need to be brought into service, in different buildings and venues typically used for events, such as the Aerobics Room. The conventional schedule such as M W F 9-9:50 or 10-10:50 will be converted to allow for a hybrid experience with equal distribution of face to face and virtual modes, while also allowing for additional time between classes to sanitize the classrooms. All Friday classes will be held virtually, in accordance with the schedule of classes, to allow for deep cleaning of buildings and spaces. Faculty and students will be asked to comply strictly with the ‘hybrid’ schedules to enforce needed safety measures.
Students should continue to monitor their SSB accounts for updates. If you have questions about your course schedule after these decisions are made, please contact your academic advisor. Because of safety mandates faculty will not be advising in their office spaces. If ‘face to face’ advising is needed, individual students will need to make appointments with advisors to meet in an appropriately larger designated meeting space. It is highly encouraged that, whenever possible, advising be scheduled via virtual means such as email or phone or Zoom.
C. Training and Faculty Development
Faculty will be undergoing continued training in January on technological tools and best practices for instructional delivery via synchronous and asynchronous means. Students will also be offered training, in advance of the semester, on engaging in classes via Canvas and Zoom. All students need to monitor their WU emails daily for any updates. If there are problems with accessing a WU email account or a Canvas course, a helpdesk form needs to be filled out and submitted to IT, clearly specifying the exact problem or issue.
Students must have completed the housing contract, by December 18, 2020, to guarantee University housing (https://wilberforce.edu/residence-life-housing-contract/). Students who prefer to reside off-campus should submit their housing exemption requests via email to Ms. Elyse Roulhac firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2021.
- Incoming new/transfer students will begin the move-in process on January 29, 2021, and move-in until January 31, 2021, by appointments only. Students must complete their validation process prior to arrival, virtually. All students will be required to complete an on-site COVID-19 Test.
- Students will participate in New Student Orientation through small group cohorts and virtual environments.
- Classes start February 1, 2020 (No move-in on this date).
- Students can make appointments via the electronic platform Signup Genius, between December 18, 2020, and January 18, 2021. The final signup information and link will be sent via email after December 18, 2020.
- Students will not be allowed to move into residence halls without testing in these pop-up sites.
HEALTH & SAFETY PREVENTION AND RESPONSE
A. Social Distancing
- To manage and minimize community spread, we will continue to require 6 feet of social distancing. Our teams are actively reconfiguring spaces and developing guidance on how to accommodate this requirement across campus, including classrooms, dining halls, meeting spaces, and elevators. We are installing Plexiglas shields in some high- traffic, customer-facing areas as well as instituting face shields for faculty and staff.
- Employees will be required to stay in their offices throughout the day and not come to other offices for reasons unnecessary for completing business (i.e., using coffee machines in another person’s office or visiting offices for non-essential work, etc.)
- Employees should not share office supplies or other items “back and forth.”
- Common area copiers will be placed into offices, and I.T. is working to provide
copiers for each office. The Mailroom and Publications Manager is available for substantial reproduction or printing needs.
- ALL MEETINGS must be VIRTUAL if there is not an ability to social distance and if there are more than ten individuals.
B. Re-Design for Social Distancing and COVID-19 Prevention
- We are currently in the process of acquiring face shields for faculty and staff.
- In collaboration with the Greene County Fire Department, we have developed social distancing in our student housing suites.
C. Face Masks and Coverings
- At the start of the semester, the University will provide two washable cloth masks to each student, faculty, and staff. More information on the distribution process is forthcoming. Masks or face coverings will be required in public spaces, including classrooms, gym, common areas of residence halls, meeting rooms, and the library, where 6 feet of social distancing is also required.
- Wearing a facemask in public and being at least 6 feet away from others dramatically reduces the risk of COVID-19 infection because the behaviors deter “close contact.” Close contact means coming within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes with a COVID-19-positive person, even if they are asymptomatic.
- Persons working in high-traffic areas (i.e., Registrar, Financial Aid, Bursar, Classroom, Residence Halls) will be required to wear a mask all day and distributed face shields to be worn.
- Persons not complying with mask policy and social distancing policy will be asked to leave campus. An employee may face disciplinary action for failing to wear a mask unless health restrictions have been communicated and documented with Human Resources.
- Exceptions to this rule would be only for individuals with disabilities or conditions that are not conducive to wearing a mask.
- Students will receive disciplinary sanctions up to suspension/dismissal. Students will be removed from class if they refuse to wear a mask in class.
D. Health Checks and Protocols
- To help identify symptoms and potentially-infected individuals, and stymie possible outbreaks, we will launch a daily process for students, staff, and faculty to record vital information and report any changes that could be COVID-19 symptoms. The use of these prevention protocols has become a best practice at organizations throughout the world. We are evaluating different smartphone app options and options for those without access to a smartphone. Expect more information on this as soon as possible, including how we will use and protect any data collected.
- Health and Safety Monitor will be placed at University entrances to complete a health screening that includes questions and temperature checks. wristband) that a visitor has signed in and completed the health screening process has been established.
E. COVID-19 Testing
- Students will be required to be tested prior to moving into campus housing via the COVID-19 On-campus Pop-up Site.
- University Officials have established a list of places that do free testing for ASYMPTOMATIC people. Most private insurance companies cover testing.
- The University Health Center will provide testing for symptomatic students.
- The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Safety and University Health Services will continue to work with GCPH (Greene County Public Health) to communicate any positive tests and support GCPH to complete contact tracing.
F. Cleaning and Disinfecting University Spaces
- Hand sanitizer stations are mounted in buildings across our campuses, including key entry and exit points, in all classrooms, by elevators, and residence halls. Maintenance team members will increase cleaning and disinfecting efforts in public areas across our campus.
- In various locations, spray bottles with a disinfecting solution will be accessible to students, staff, and faculty in high-traffic areas, like residence hall common areas, public spaces, and administrative areas. We will also have sanitizing stations in classrooms, where desks and chairs and high touch point areas can be disinfected after each
class. This will help increase the frequency that high-touch surfaces are cleaned each day, beyond the regular efforts of our custodians. Distribution logistics will be finalized in the coming weeks.
- Compliance with the safeguards also helps protect our custodial staff and other frontline workers whose work helps make our University operate smoothly. Each one of us must do our part.
The following actions are additional protocols that support the prevention of COVID-19 spread:
- All custodial staff will wear a mask and gloves during work hours.
- Computer labs will be wiped down frequently throughout the day.
- They will be changed according to best practices and manufacturers’ recommendations.
- Signage will be placed in bathrooms and community areas regarding proper hand washing and social distancing protocol (and other campus spaces).
- Public restrooms will have proper signage to ensure social distancing protocols.
G. Training and Education
- The COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team will send out information to the campus community about prevention and response.
- Signage on health safety guidelines in common areas has been placed throughout the campus.
- COVID-19 self-assessment using the CDC Health-Screening Tool is recommended for all employees and students.
- The University is/will work with the local health department to manage and facilitate contact tracing/notification in the event a person is infected with or exposed to COVID-19.
- The University has created two webpages devoted to COVID-19 information.
- For more information about COVID-19 and prevention and response please visit https://wilberforce.edu/coronavirus-covid-19/.
A. Enrollment Management
The Validation process will include a WU FastPass for students who have completed the process before campus arrival. Students who have not completed their financial aid, payments, registered, etc., will need to complete the validation process based upon limited appointments and virtually. Students will not be permitted to move into their residence halls or start classes without completing the Validation process.
B. Housing and Residential Life
- Student rooms have been configured for social distancing.
- Residence Hall’s couches will be removed and replaced with tables and seating that designate 6 feet of social distancing.
- The Student Visitation Process will be modified. Visitation will not allow for external visitors. Students may only have one person in their rooms at a time. We strongly encourage students only to utilize the common spaces, as long as it is no more than ten persons, and social distancing can be maintained.
- Health and Wellness Checks will be increased to weekly to inspect student cleanliness.
C. Student Activities and Programs
- All student gatherings will take place virtually or in groups of less than ten with social distancing.
D. Student Health and Wellness Services
- Student Health Services will provide testing for symptomatic individuals. Individuals who present symptoms will be managed through a partnership with the Greene
County Health Department and the campus COVID-19 Prevention & Response Team.
The University has enhanced its Quarantine & Isolation process to include COVID-19 response. Finalization of location for quarantine (for those exposed) & isolation (for those who have) is in process. A student who is exposed to a positive COVID-19 result will be required to quarantine until their results have been submitted. Students who have a positive COVID-19 result will be required to vacate the University immediately or to isolate in the Isolation House immediately. We strongly encourage that students and their families devise a COVID-19 Positive Result plan to ensure that the student has access to medical care and support during this time if such an emergency occurs.
E. Student Discipline and Community Standards
Students must adhere to the University guidelines for addressing COVID-19. Students who fail to adhere to University guidelines are subject to immediate dismissal from the University.
A. Campus Dining Services
- The WU Café dining capacity will be reduced from 143 to approximately 94 seats. Tables and furnishings are reconfigured to ensure physical distancing, with the use of downstairs as overflow seating.
- Dining services will reduce contact by discontinuing buffet service and self-serve stations but implement a “to go” option. Dishware and utensils will be stored behind the service area and distributed by staff.
- The WU Café employees will wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). WU Café will have sanitation stands, Plexiglas shields at each station
in the Café (to include the Cashier’s station), and the WU Café will move to an entirely cashless payment method.
- Implementation of regular testing for athletes and coaches will be finalized. Each player and coach must have their temperature checked and complete pre-screening
questionnaire daily. Results will be submitted by the Athletic Director to NAIA daily via the online website.
C. I.T. Services
- The University Network is experiencing upgrades.
- The Banner Software system is being upgraded to increase online infrastructure,
virtual capabilities. The Academic platform – Canvas and the virtual platform Zoom is now integrated.
- Laptops have been purchased in order to provide students in need with a device.
- The I.T. Department has successfully supported virtual campus events through new production protocols.
- The I.T. Department will be implementing software to have virtual appointments for faculty staff and students where applicable.