Alert!SWU is preparing for the fall 2020 semester reopening:We are Ready!

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COVID-19 Response FAQs

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from students, staff, faculty, prospective families, and campus visitors. Scroll down or click an area below for answers to your FAQs.

Academics (Faculty) | Academics (Students) | Admissions | AdvancementCampus Operations | Financial (Employees) | Healthcare (Employees) | International StudentsStudent Life

Is the campus shut down?

No. Due to compliance with federal guidelines campus buildings are closed to the general public; however, offices on campus remain operational and accessible for students, faculty and staff, and individuals with official university business.  To work with us at a distance please feel free to reach out by email or phone. Click here to access our Office Directory. As soon as it is approved by the State, campus offices will start to be staffed once again. 

 

Academic Affairs (Faculty)

Should faculty committees continue to meet?

Yes, there’s a great deal of positive work being completed by the committees and you should continue to meet; however, alternative meeting venues such as Zoom or another type of video conferencing should be utilized.

 

Academic Affairs (Students)

Are graduation ceremonies canceled?

The decision to start the on-campus fall semester early on Monday August 17 will mean an early finish on November 24Graduation will also move back to November 21 from December 11. This is being planned as a face-to-face ceremony right now, and depending on social distancing requirements, may involve several ceremonies by categories to accommodate as many people as possible. Plans will evolve as we know more about the virus contagiousness. 

If graduation ceremonies are canceled, can students return their graduation regalia and obtain a refund?

Yes, Herff Jones is coordinating these returns directly.

Will this impact SWU Online classes (classes already scheduled online)?

No, SWU Online classes will continue to operate as normal.

How can students enrolled in on-campus academic programs meet with their academic advisors to register for fall and summer courses? 

While most students have now completed the summer and fall registration process, those that have not should contact their advisors now for instructions on how to set up an advising session. Advising sessions may take place via email, telephone, ZOOM video conferencing, or some other method. Students may see who their advisor is on mySWU by searching on the key words Degree Progress or by emailing .  

How will students enrolled in on-campus academic programs register for fall and summer courses?

Students enrolled in on-campus academic programs should have registered for fall and summer classes via mySWU the week of March 23. If you have not registered as of yet, please contact your advisor immediately

What if a student does not like or do well in online classes? How can he/she be successful?

Students are encouraged to ask questions and voice concerns on the Online Learning Support for On-Campus Students discussion section on the Student Tab on mySWU. This discussion area will include information posted by faculty and staff to support students’ move to online learning.

How is attendance in courses measured or recorded?

Attendance will be recorded in Canvas. Students should refer to their course syllabus or the catalog for more information about the attendance policy. Attendance in an online setting requires that students be engaged and participate in online discussions as appropriate and submit their assignment in a timely manner.

For students with learning disabilities, how are accommodations met for online courses? 

Students will receive the same or similar accommodations online as they did in the classroom. For example, if a student is given extra time for assessments, he/she will have extra time for testing online, too. Do online faculty closely monitor Canvas assignments and grades?

Yes, faculty monitor Canvas assignments and grades. In addition, staff in the Student Success Center, Athletics, and other areas will also be monitoring grades and attendance.

Will tutoring and coaching still be available?

Yes. Students can make an appointment for tutoring or coaching at https://swu.mywconline.com/ for both face-to-face appointments in the Student Success Center and online appointments.

 

Admissions

Can a campus tour for prospective students still be scheduled?

Yes! Campus visits and tours are now back in person by appointment.  Please contact the Admissions Office at 864-644-5550 or go to the Visit Campus webpage schedule an admissions appointment. 

 

Advancement

Will SWU continue to accept gifts?

Yes. SWU offers several methods of giving. Online giving is available 24/7.  Gifts will be processed as received and receipts provided to donors. Gifts in person are now accepted at Correll Hall (Administration Building). Please let us know in advance to meet and greet you outside if at all possible.

   

Campus Operations

What safety precautions are in place at SWU?

Campus safety always operates as normal. While most buildings are not open to the public quite yet, we are gearing up for more outside visitors once the pandemic peak in South Carolina has occurred. In preparation, all common areas (lobbies, dining hall, athletic field houses, coffee shop and Newton Hobson) will be continuously cleaned and sanitized. All restrooms will be frequently sanitized, and our cleaning staff will wipe down all the door handles and push bars. Hand sanitizing units will be placed in dozens of locations on campus as well.

All guests (and employees) are strongly reminded to wash their hands frequently and clean cell phones with cell phone wipes since they are often the most germ transmittable devices anyone will use!

What happens if a student tests positive for the virus on campus?

The university will continue to follow the safety plan outlined in its Infectious Disease Policy. SWU has space in its unused residence halls to serve as a place to quarantine any student who is tested as positive if that student cannot go home, as well as a separate location for those who are not sick but must be quarantined because of exposure to that positive case.

 

Financial (Employees)

What if a supervisor thinks his/her employee has the Coronavirus?

(Updated 6/28/2020) SWU employees are strongly encouraged to self-disclose to their supervisors if they think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 or around someone who has exhibited symptoms. While supervisors may not ask employees to disclose whether they have a condition that puts them in the high risk category if exposed to COVID-19, supervisors can and should ask their employees:

  • Are you okay? You don’t look well.
  • Are you experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms? 
  • Is it possible that you have exposed to the Coronavirus? Or been around anyone who has?
  • Have you sought medical care or testing?

If supervisors suspect that their employees are not well, and may be exhibiting symptoms, they can send them home to recover. If they indeed have the virus, then the university can require that they stay home through the maximum incubation period of the virus, approx. 14 days, before returning to work.

How is immediate family member defined?

Immediate family is defined as the employee’s spouse, natural, foster, step- and/or adopted children, spouses of children, and/or parents, or step-parents, of the employee or the employee’s spouse.

What if an employee does not have enough sick leave and has to be quarantined?

Staff employees and 11- and 12-month faculty should still report any sick leave taken for themselves or an immediate family member on the Monthly Absence Report. Faculty with 9- or 10-month contracts should submit their absence forms to their division chair or dean. SWU will allow employees to carry a negative sick leave balance during this period of uncertainty and will make a determination about how these negative leave balances will be handled after the threat of COVID-19 has passed. In other words, if an employee does accrue a negative balance, his/her pay will not be impacted.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): After April 1 and through December 31, employees may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or Expanded FMLA (FMLA+) if they are cannot work or telework for the following reasons only:

  • Employee is under quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  • Employee is advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Employee is caring for an individual subjected to quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by health care provider to self-quarantine
  • Employee is caring for son/daughter due to COVID-19 related school closure or unavailable childcare
  • Employee is  experiencing similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services

For more information, click here or contact .

Will an employee need to take FMLA leave if caring for him-/herself or a family member?

Family and Medical Leave Act leave is available for employees who have been working at SWU 12+ months and need to take extended leave for medical reasons. Requests for FMLA will be handled on a case-by-case basis during this time.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): After April 1 and through December 31, employees may be eligible for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) or Expanded FMLA (FMLA+) if they are cannot work or telework for the following reasons only:

  • Employee is under quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
  • Employee is advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19
  • Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and is seeking a medical diagnosis
  • Employee is caring for an individual subjected to quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by health care provider to self-quarantine
  • Employee is caring for son/daughter due to COVID-19 related school closure or unavailable childcare
  • Employee is  experiencing similar conditions as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services

For more information, click here or contact .

 

Healthcare (Employees)

Is the Coronavirus test covered under by BlueChoice health insurance?

BlueChoice will work with providers, state health officials and the CDC to make sure COVID-19 testing will be covered at no cost to the patient.

Are there any prior authorizations required for COVID-19 treatment?

BlueChoice will not enforce inpatient prior authorizations for treatment of COVID-19 related conditions. If a member is admitted into the hospital, the hospital should continue to notify BlueChoice.

What should employees do if they do not feel well?

Employees should not come to work if they are not well. Supervisors should be contacted using department/office call-in protocols (by phone, email, or text). Employees are encouraged to seek medical care, if necessary, and can also use Blue CareOnDemand or Doctors Care Anywhere if they prefer to not visit a doctor’s office, medical clinic or hospital. An app is also available for download.

How are employees’ prescriptions impacted? 

BlueChoice is closely monitoring any potential medication access issues to make sure its members get the medications they need in a timely manner. At this time, BlueChoice is not making any changes to its current process. BlueChoice members who have mail-order pharmacy benefits are encouraged to consider using them. For members who have concerns about running out of medications, BlueChoice recommends employees first contact their doctor or pharmacist.

What telehealth options are available for employees?

Blue CareOnDemand provides employees with a virtual doctor’s visit option. Visits are $59 and will be processed through insurance; employees not enrolled in BlueChoice may use this option as well. See information above about other telehealth options through First Sun EAP.

For employees enrolled in BlueChoice, our health plan has expanded their telehealth policy: BlueChoice is temporarily waiving the visit cost when the code, COVID19, is used. 

Doctors Care has extended its urgent care services to include behavioral and mental health conditions. If you, or someone you care about, are experiencing insomnia, stress, depression, or anxiety, these conditions can be treated online or at a Doctors Care facility near you.

Visit Doctors Care Anywhere to see an expert provider about urgent care or behavioral health conditions online. Simply set up an account, list your symptoms, and see a medical provider from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere. Prescriptions are called into your local pharmacy, and you’ll be on your way to feeling better quickly.

Telephone visits: Services delivered over the phone to existing patients will be covered. Providers offering these services must already be credentialed in the BlueChoice system.

Telehealth Services: HIPAA-compliant telehealth services (process and technology using both audio and video) will be covered at the same benefit level as office visits. This includes visits with new patients and current patients for providers already credentialed by BlueChoice to offer telehealth services. Other providers will need to apply to BlueChoice to use these telehealth services in their practices.

What resources are available to help employees deal with anxiety or stress during these uncertain times?

Life management services are available through SWU’s partnership with First Sun EAP (employee assistance plan). Employees and their family members have access to counselors by phone or text at 1.800.968.8143, by email at  or visit the website. In addition, SWU has contracted with First Sun EAP’s Be Better Now program and the wayForward app to provide yet another resource to help manage several mental health and wellness goals. Download the app through the app store and use SWU1 as the employee access code.

Doctors Care has extended its urgent care services to include behavioral and mental health conditions. If you, or someone you care about, are experiencing insomnia, stress, depression, or anxiety, these conditions can be treated online or at a Doctors Care facility near you.

Visit Doctors Care Anywhere to see an expert provider about urgent care or behavioral health conditions online. Simply set up an account, list your symptoms, and see a medical provider from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere. Prescriptions are called into your local pharmacy, and you’ll be on your way to feeling better quickly.

 

International Students

May I attend Southern Wesleyan University this fall 2020?

Students who successfully obtain a F-1 Visa and who were enrolled in classes at a college or university in the U.S. during March 2020 may continue with their studies for the fall 2020 semester!

May I attend the fall semester as an on-campus, residential student?

Yes, continuing students who attended a U.S. college or university in March 2020 may enroll as an on-campus student! However, if you are returning to SWU from outside of the U.S., you must self-quarantine for 14 days in the U.S. prior to returning to campus. If quarantining with family or friends for this 14-day self-quarantine period is not an option for you, please contact Jason Tegen, Assistant Vice President for Campus Life and Housing  or 864-404-5471 for assistance. If you spent the entire summer in the U.S., you are not required to self-quarantine prior to returning to campus.

May I remain in my country and continue my course of study online or through virtual instruction?

Yes, continuing students who attended a U.S. college or university in March 2020 may enroll in online or virtual courses if the courses you are required to complete in your degree program are offered online or virtually. Please contact me if you are considering this option because your schedule will need review to confirm that you are eligible to complete your courses in one of these formats.

May I enroll in fully online courses if I am living in the U.S. but not on-campus?

Only On-Campus Program students who are eligible to live off-campus according to the Office of Student Life policy may live off-campus as a fully online student.

If I choose to remain in my country and complete my courses online, will my tuition status change?

No, students who were enrolled in the On-Campus Program in March 2020 will continue to be charged the on-campus tuition rate even if they enroll in online or virtual courses for the fall semester.

When should I pay my tuition?

You may pay your tuition charges now by logging into https://my.swu.edu/

Will I be required to return to my home country (deported) if SWU must transition to fully online instruction due to federal or state health and safety regulations at any point during the fall semester?

No, continuing students who attended a U.S. college or university in March 2020 will not be deported according to ICE regulations if SWU switches to fully online instruction. However, federal and state health and safety regulations and guidelines will be considered by SWU leadership when determining if students may continue to live on campus if SWU transitions to fully online instruction.

 

Student Life

What resources are available to help students deal with anxiety or stress during these uncertain times?

SWU has contracted with First Sun EAP’s Be Better Now program and the wayForward app to provide yet another resource to help manage several mental health and wellness goals. Download the app through the app store and use "SWUstudents" as the student access code.