Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs are evolving based on the information available. Topics will be added as new questions and answers emerge. For other questions, you can email

 

Fall 2020 Remote Learning

Why are classes being adjusted to remote modality for the rest of the fall term? 

Despite multiple layers of health and safety standards in place, a recent spike in positive cases of COVID-19 discovered during baseline PCR testing on campus revealed the unpredictable nature and community spread of the virus. With 85 percent of instruction for the fall term set to unfold in a remote modality from the start of the term, as well as the eventual pivot to a completely remote modality after Thanksgiving, plans had already been made in case the need arose to pivot to a fully remote learning modality. 

Are any classes or labs being held in-person? 

There will be some exceptions to allow continued face-to-face instruction and research in the College of Health Professions, Fisher College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Fine Arts and Communication as well as some graduate programs. Those colleges and programs will be finalizing plans and communicating to affected students, faculty and staff in the next few days. Our research initiatives, always guided by the highest standards, will continue as well. We are committed to working with students needing labs, studios and performance-based classes that are required for completion of their degrees. 

Does this change include TUNE, Hagerstown and Shady Grove?

Yes. Those locations follow TU protocols for schedule changes or campus status.

What does this change mean for the spring 2021 term?

This modality delivery change is only for fall 2020. While all guidance around health and safety will be followed, planning for spring term is underway as if it will be a face-to-face semester.

 

Refunds

Will housing be refunded?

Yes. Housing charges, including the housing deposit, will be fully canceled for students in TU-owned housing who moved out by the September 4 deadline. We anticipate that credits will be issued to student accounts by September 25, and then sent to the state of Maryland for processing. Students will begin receiving refunds in late September through October. 

What about refunds for housing managed by other offices?

Any refund decisions for off-campus housing are made by the management/leasing offices of those facilities. While we encourage other campus housing facilities to follow TU’s lead in issuing refunds, we have no control over independently owned housing contracts.

Will dining and parking be refunded?

Yes. The parking and dining offices emailed all plan/permit holders offering the ability to opt-in to continue their plans. Parking charges will be fully canceled for students, faculty and staff who did not opt in to keep their permits for the fall term. Dining charges will be fully canceled, minus any dining points used, to students, faculty and staff who did not opt in to keep their dining plans for the fall term.

We anticipate that credits will be issued to student accounts by September 25, and students will begin receiving refunds in late September through October.

Will mandatory fees be refunded?

As a result of our shift to a remote modality for the fall term, Towson University is reducing all mandatory fees by 10 percent, with the exception of the technology fee. For full-time undergraduate students, the fee reduction is $151.10. For part-time undergraduate students, the reduction is $13.80 per unit, and for graduate students, the reduction is $13.70 per unit.

Student account adjustments are currently underway and will be visible in students’ Towson Online Services accounts before they are sent to the state for processing. For adjustments that result in refunds, we expect them to be delivered in late September through October.

When will I receive my refund?

Student account adjustments are currently underway and will be visible in students’ Towson Online Services accounts before they are sent to the state for processing. For adjustments that result in refunds, we expect them to be delivered in late September through October.

 

Is tuition being refunded to any degree?

Tuition will not be discounted. The quality of education from our world-renowned faculty remains. Our colleges prepared over the summer for a heightened focus of instruction through remote means, given that 85 percent of instruction would unfold in a remote modality through Thanksgiving, and 100 percent of it would unfold remotely after Thanksgiving.

 

Campus Housing and Facilities

Will students who are living on campus now have to reapply for housing if in-person classes resume in the spring?

No, not if they didn’t cancel. Students in housing now will return in spring to their same fall assignment but must take all belongings home at this time. For those who did cancel, the spring housing application will open on November 1.

Will campus buildings remain open?

Campus buildings will be accessible with a TU OneCard.

Is the Cook Library open?

Many of the library’s services and resources are available online. If you need a quiet place to study, contactless pick-up, or more information about our services, visit our in-person resources page.

How can I obtain a OneCard?

You only need to get a new OneCard if you do not currently have one. New students, faculty and staff who do not yet have a OneCard should log in to the OneCard website to complete the application process.

You will be notified via email when the card is ready for pickup or if additional steps are required.

Students, faculty and staff who need to replace a lost or stolen OneCard may do so at the Auxiliary Services Business Office. Fees may apply.

Cards can be picked up from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the Auxiliary Services Business Office located on the first floor of the University Union.

Are dining services still available on campus?

Yes. Take-out dining services are available on campus. Meal plans are accepted through Tuesday, November 24. View current dining hours and locations. Plans for dining services during and after Thanksgiving will be shared once finalized.

 

Commencement

Will we hold an October Commencement for spring graduates?

The state of Maryland has announced a limit of 250 participants at outdoor events, therefore the October Commencement ceremony cannot occur. A survey will be conducted to determine students’ preferences for either a virtual ceremony or an in-person Commencement when it is safe to proceed.

TU will continue to move forward with further planning as indicated by the students’ preferences gathered through the survey.

 

Experiential Learning and Internships

What is included in experiential learning?

Experiential learning includes courses and for-credit experiences such as internships, clinicals, practicums, study abroad, and service-learning.

As a student, what do I need to know about off-campus/in-person experiential learning for fall 2020?

Where possible, students are strongly encouraged to participate in virtual/remote internships, clinicals, practicums, and service-learning. Decisions to permit in-person, for-credit experiential learning will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students will work with relevant faculty/staff to process the review of a request for an in-person experiential learning activity.

To evaluate a request for an in-person experience, information on the following (at a minimum) will need to be gathered/provided:

  • Will the student be in direct contact with individuals investigated/suspected/diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Does the site understand that the student would need to adhere to Towson University’s procedures for those exposed to or infected with COVID-19?
  • What are the site’s safety protocols (in congruence with CDC guidelines) on: social/physical distancing, PPE, health checks, and contract tracing
  • Is the state/municipality of the site under a stay-at-home or essential personnel only rule?
  • Does the site have the ability to transition to virtual/remote internship experience if needed?

If a request for in-person experiential learning is approved, the student will need to sign a statement of risk before commencing an in-person experience.

What if a major or program requires an internship or field work for graduation or professional certification?

Students should check with the coordinator of internships or professional experience (PDF) for their program. Many have established priority access and/or viable alternative experience or assignments for students who must fulfill experiential requirements.

Examples of alternatives could include micro-internships.

Faculty who would like to explore additional alternative assignments and learning opportunities for their internship course(s) can review suggestions for internship alternatives (PDF).

As a faculty/staff member, what do I need to know about in-person experiential learning for fall 2020?
 

Where possible, students are strongly encouraged to participate in virtual/remote internships, clinicals, practicums, and service-learning. Decisions to permit in-person, for-credit experiential learning will take place on a case-by-case basis.

An evaluation form (PDF) has been developed to guide faculty/staff in the review and decision-making process. Considerations in the evaluation include a focus on the site’s safety protocols.

Additionally, students participating in an in-person, for-credit experience will be asked to review and sign a statement of risk document (PDF).

Faculty/staff should work with their Chairs/Deans to establish how these documents are to be collected, evaluated, processed, and stored. Faculty/staff also should consult with Chairs/Deans to make necessary adjustments to these documents to conform to the dictates of programs, accreditors, and/or licensing boards. As collection of this information for in-person experiential learning will be required for fall 2020, units will need to determine how to build this information collection and storage into their existing processes.

Faculty/staff are encouraged to build in regular check-ins with students approved for in-person experiential learning to continually monitor any changes to local/state regulations, site safety practices, and student comfort with the in-person experience.

If PPE is required by an experiential learning site, but not provided by the site, how should we proceed?

Faculty/staff overseeing a student in this situation should run the PPE request through their Dean or VP who can explore feasibility and options with TU Environmental Health and Safety.

What are the considerations for virtual/remote experiential learning?

Benefits of virtual experiences can include:

  • Accessibility for underrepresented populations
  • Little to no expense incurred for commuting (while reducing carbon footprint), extra professional attire or additional workplace expenses (such as meals out)
  • Increased consultation with faculty coordinator (i.e., advice about work-based projects)
  • Development of in-demand skills: time and project management; organization; research and analysis, communication across multiple platforms; Internet literacy; global and diverse workplaces
  • Opportunity for students to become more self-directed including learning to complete projects independently without constant supervision and increased confidence in their own work production.

Robust and impactful virtual experiences should include the following elements:

  • Defines clear expectations; presents a written work plan
  • Identifies a supervisor with a background in the student’s field of study or professional interest
  • Complements/supports identified learning objectives
  • Benefits the student’s professional development
  • Establishes a mentoring environment and includes regular check points with a mentor
  • Equips the student with technology/tools and provides free training
    (Note: students who need financial assistance to secure technology required for their experiential learning activity should explore options available through the TU Student Emergency Fund.
  • Allows insight into a professional culture through staff meetings, training sessions, etc.
  • Includes other team members and a well-balanced experience of the overall organization.
What do I need to know about study abroad?

Given the ongoing world health crisis and current restrictions on international travel, Towson University has canceled all study abroad for summer and fall 2020. We look forward to resuming study abroad activity as soon as it is safe to do so. Students interested in exploring education abroad opportunities for 2021 and beyond should attend a virtual group advising session to get started. Have questions? Contact the TU Study Abroad Office at .

 

Campus health and Safety

Will the Tigers Care QuickScan continue?

Yes. As an added benefit for community health, TU will continue to operate the QuickScan.

Will the TU Health Center COVID-19 test site remain operational?

Yes. The Health Center will remain operational to allow for essential personnel and members of the TU community to have a COVID-19 PCR test. Appointments are necessary. Ongoing testing for individuals who remain on campus will be announced in the coming weeks.

What measures are being put in place to protect the health and wellbeing of TU students, faculty and staff when they return to campus? 

Towson University has established health guidelines for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors to help protect the entire TU community. TU has also developed guidance and protocols for a safe and healthy return to campus in preparation for resuming on-campus study, work, research and activities. 

TU’s Community Responsibility Commitment describes specific behaviors required to ensure that all members of the community are supporting the health and safety of each other.

Where can I find the most recent COVID-19 testing data? 

TU is updating a COVID-19 Testing Data dashboard every Thursday.  

Will students staying on campus have access to the Health and Counseling Center?

Yes. The TU Health Center has a free COVID-19 test site operating on-campus outside the Health Center for the TU community. Services are by appointment only.

To make an appointment with the Health Center for non-COVID-related services, please call 410-704-2466 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The Counseling Center is offering a full array of services for the fall 2020 term, including after-hours assistance. To reach the center, call 410-704-2512 at any time. Information and appointments are available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Immediate crisis support is always available by phone outside of business hours.  

What if I am diagnosed with COVID-19 or am in contact with a confirmed case? 

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or were in contact with a confirmed case and you have concerns, please see information about reporting COVID-19 symptoms

Is there a COVID-19 Nurse HelpLine I can call with questions?

TU is offering a 24/7 TigersCare COVID-19 Nurse HelpLine to our community members (students, faculty, staff, and other university affiliates). The TigersCare Nurse HelpLine provides COVID Screening per CDC guidelines and inquiries about:

  • Symptoms, including shortness of breath, cough or fever
  • Testing questions and understanding results
  • Possible exposure and not having symptoms
  • Diagnosed or suspected symptoms of COVID-19

Written protocols are used to assist any TU community member who experiences symptoms the right level of care. The TU 24/7 TigersCare COVID-19 Nurse HelpLine phone number is 855-278-8610.

What is the standard for campus cleaning at TU?
  • Common areas, lobbies, classrooms and conference rooms will be cleaned daily by ABM, following CDC guidance. Additional cleaning of high touch points and high communal use areas (stairwell and room/building door handles, elevator buttons, etc.) will be done several times a day.
  • Employees are expected to clean individual work areas of keyboard, desk, or surfaces with which they have made contact and wipe down personal workspaces. Cleaning cloths/disinfecting spray will be made available.
  • TU is using cleaning supplies that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19
  • Read more about campus cleaning standards in the Return to TU Guidance & Protocols.
Will the campus continue to recognize the COVID-19 health and safety protocols such as masks on campus, physical distancing, etc.?

All COVID-19 protocols will remain in effect. For more information, read about how Tigers Care.

 

Admissions and Aid

Can I defer enrollment and start in the spring?

Yes. Students who submitted their enrollment contract and fee can contact Shaun Belton at  to discuss deferment options.

Will I lose my financial aid package if I defer?

If you are deferring from fall 2020 to spring 2021, you do not need to submit your FAFSA again but your financial aid package may change.

 

Staff and Student Workers

Will some staff still return to work on campus?

We will continue to encourage and support telework to the extent possible recognizing that some positions cannot sustain partial or full telework. There will still be some positions and work that can and will be performed on campus

Will administrative leave be available for staff or students?

There are no plans to provide administrative leave for staff. If anyone is unable to work for any reason, they can use their accrued paid leave or in some situations, they may be eligible for paid leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Read more about using leave and the FFCRA.

Student workers are not eligible for administrative leave, including students with Federal work-study awards. Current federal aid regulations prohibit TU from paying FWS funds to students who aren’t working.