Alert!Stay up-to-date on SWU's response to COVID-19COVID-19 Updates

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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 | Advancement | Athletics | Campus Marketing/Communications | Campus Operations | Financial (Employees) | Financial (Students) | Healthcare (Employees) | Residence Life | Spiritual Life | Student 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


Academic Affairs (Faculty)

How are we supposed to handle taking attendance?

Attendance is to be taken weekly in online courses. If a student participates in any assignment during the week, they are to be counted present that week.

What will take us back to Face-to-Face classes?

That will be a Cabinet-level decision. Most institutions across the country are in the same situation we are in now. CDC recommends avoiding gatherings of more than 10, which prevents us from having face-to-face courses. We will give students that are currently at home no less than one week notice to return to campus when we resume face to face courses.

What if on-campus students don’t have time to turn in their assignments by Sunday, March 22?

Faculty are encouraged to show some grace as we transition to online. Keep in mind that while this may be your first time instructing online, it may also be your students’ first time taking an online class. They did not sign up for online, they are being forced to go to this. Everyone needs to show grace in this transition.

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 cancelled?

May commencement ceremonies will be streamed virtually. Check our Graduation page for updates.

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

SWU is currently collaborating with Herff Jones to learn about options.

What is the deadline for ordering graduation regalia?

April 1 is currently the deadline for ordering regalia without a late fee. The university is currently discussing ordering options with Herff Jones.

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? 

Because academic advisors use their own method for academic advisement, students are advised to 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 will register for fall and summer classes via mySWU. The week of March 23, students who are currently enrolled in on-campus programs will receive an email in their SWU email account containing detailed instructions about fall and summer registration.

What if students do not have a computer, data access, or have a limited data plan?

Campus computer labs are open for students’ use. There may be opportunities to use local libraries. Some local Internet providers are offering free service to students, allowing them to continue their studies online. Students are encouraged to check with local companies in their area.

Will students’ tests be proctored?

Given the transition to an online format, tests will be offered within the Canvas environment unproctored. Students are encouraged to become astutely familiar with their course materials, as multiple choice options are one of many forms of test that can be offered in the Canvas LMS.

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.

) Where can I ask questions or post my concerns about the transition to online learning?

A discussion area has been set-up for students to ask questions and list their concerns on the Student Tab on mySWU. This discussion will include information posted by faculty and staff to support students’ move to online learning.

How will students’ attendance in courses be 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.

Will students still earn credit for their spring 2020 practicum, internship, or student teaching experience?

Students should contact their practicum, internship, or student teaching experience advisor for detailed information about receiving credit for these experiences.

For students with learning disabilities, will accommodations be met when their classes are moved online?

Students will receive the same or similar accommodations online as you did in the classroom. For example, if a student is given extra time for assessments and tested in the Student Success Center, they will have extra time for testing online, too. Should students wish to take their online assessment on a computer in the Student Success Center, they can still make those appointments.

Will faculty closely monitor Canvas assignments and grades?

Yes, faculty will 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 accommodations or adjustments to due dates be established due to the transition to online courses?

The standard academic calendar for spring 2020 is still in place, and standard published academic polices are still in operation unless noted otherwise. Students should work with their instructors regarding assignment due date adjustments.

How will this move impact the withdraw date since classes are not meeting this week?

For on-campus students, the withdrawal deadline has been extended until Monday, March 23, 2020. Students should work with their instructor and the Office of Academic Affairs. For students who are apprehensive about learning in an online environment there are multiple offices that will be available to provide support, including the Student Success Center, TRiO, and PASS.

What safety precautions will be taken on campus for students who choose to return to campus?

Campus safety is still operating as normal. We will continue to follow the safety plan outlined in our Infectious Disease Policy. We are currently setting up space in our unused residence halls to serve as a place to quarantine any student who is tested as positive as well as a separate location for those who are not sick but must be quarantined because of exposure to that positive case.

Will tutoring and coaching still be available?

Yes. Students can make an appointment for tutoring or coaching at and choose “Yes, Schedule Online appointment” in the box “Meet Tutor Online?”



Is Future Warrior Day on April 18 cancelled?

No, not at this time.

Can a campus tour for prospective students still be scheduled?

Yes! Please contact the Admissions Office at 864-644-5550 or go to the Visit Campus webpage to schedule a tour or an admissions appointment.



Will the Board of Visitors meet as scheduled on March 18?

The Board of Visitors meeting has been moved to a Zoom format and will have a condensed schedule. It will still take place on March 18 as scheduled.

Will SWU continue to accept gifts?

Yes. SWU offers several methods of giving. Online giving is available 24/7. As long as on-campus business operations continue, gifts will be processed as received and receipts provided to donors.

Will event sponsorships be returned for events disrupted by the current emergency?

Unlike ticket sales, event sponsorships at SWU are charitable contributions. Requests for refunds will be handled through the Advancement office and evaluated on a case by case basis. Inquiries by event sponsors should be referred to the Advancement Office. Decisions regarding the possible return of a charitable contribution to event sponsors depend on a number of factors related to the type of event and the circumstances of the contribution. Appropriate event organizers and staff will be consulted before any decision.



Will the SWUPY Awards be held this year?

Our plan is to still hold the awards program and work should continue for the program.  We will evaluate in a couple of weeks to determine if modification is needed to the current plan.

Can students use the weight room?

Yes. Although the campus is closed to the general public, students currently on campus and those returning to campus can use the weight room. Equipment must be sanitized with disinfectant wipes after each use. 

What do athletes need to do when they return to campus?

Student athletes need to check in with their RDs and coaches. If an athlete decides to leave and go home, he/she will need to notify both the RD and coach.


Campus Marketing/Communications

Will there be any impacts to the campus marketing department?

Campus Marketing and Communications projects will continue to progress as normal; however, priority is going to be given for communicating campus updates and logistics regarding COVID-19, as a result some projects may be delayed in order to work on these communications.


Campus Operations

What safety precautions will be taken on campus for students who choose to return to campus?

Campus safety is still operating as normal. All common areas (lobbies, dining hall, athletic field houses, coffee shop and Newton Hobson) were cleaned over spring break. All restrooms were sanitized, and our cleaning staff has been wiping down all the door handles and push bars. New hand sanitizing units have been placed on campus as well.
Students (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 is currently setting up space in its unused residence halls to serve as a place to quarantine any student who is tested as positive 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)

If the campus closes, will employees be paid?

Employees would be paid during a campus closure much like they would when the campus is closed for inclement weather.

What happens if the school an employee’s child(ren) attends closes?

Supervisors will work with each employee on a case-by-case basis based on the employee’s job requirements and the circumstances to find a solution.

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

SWU employees are strongly encouraged to self-disclose to their supervisors if they think they may have been exposed to Coronavirus or around someone who has exhibited symptoms. Supervisors are strongly cautioned against asking an employee outright if he/she has the Coronavirus just as they would any medical condition.
Supervisors can and should ask their employees:

  • Are you okay? You don’t look well.
  • 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.

What other actions should a supervisor take at this time?

This is a good time for supervisors to make sure that they have all of their employees’ emergency contact information.
Remind employees about resources available to them such as BlueChoice (if they are a participants), Blue CareOnDemand (telehealth), and First Sun EAP (and the new wayForward app).

Do employees need to provide doctor’s notes for sickness or quarantine?

During this period, employees will be trusted to make decisions with integrity and appropriateness to ensure the well-being of themselves and their family’s health. As has been encouraged by professional organizations and the CDC, SWU will practice leniency in not requiring a doctor’s note for these absences so as not to overwhelm already overburdened doctor’s offices, medical clinics, and hospitals with requests for this type of documentation.

What about students’ work study jobs?

A number of offices are open and students’ work study jobs are still an option if they choose to be here. Many university operations actually depend on student workers; students are encouraged to speak with their supervisors about their plans.

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?

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.

Will an employee need to take FMLA leave if caring form 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.


Financial (Students)

What about students’ work study jobs?

Offices are open and students’ work study jobs are still an option if they choose to be here. Many university operations actually depend on student workers; students are encouraged to speak with their supervisors about their plans.

What is the impact for GI Bill recipients since classes have moved to an online format?

There will be no change in benefit payments for GI Bill recipients for the remainder of the spring semester because SWU has already been approved by the State Approving Agency for courses and/or programs to be offered via online modality.

Will students get a refund on their room and board if they stay off campus?

No, this situation is like a natural disaster and beyond SWU’s control. The residence halls will remain operational for those that need to stay for internet connectivity or because the health situation at home makes going home a risk to themselves or their elderly loved ones. Your room is yours to use for the rest of the semester if you choose. Our hope is to be teaching on a regular face-to-face schedule as soon as appropriate depending on the spread of the virus, so on-campus living needs to remain an option.

If students are not attending classes for the rest of the semester, will they be able to have a portion of their tuition returned?

Classes are not cancelled; they are moving online. Students should login to their classes on Canvas starting March 19.


Healthcare (Employees)

Will Nurse Herron's hours remain the same?

Nurse Herron's office hours will fluctuate due to briefings and meetings on the virus. Employees should contact Andrea Herd for an appointment or to find Nurse Herron in an emergency. 

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 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.

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.


Residence Life

Can I get in my residence hall room to get my things?

Yes, the residence halls are open. You may stay on campus if you choose or return briefly to get items you need for online study. Your room is yours to use for the entire rest of the semester, and once we resume face to face classes, we will alert you on your required return date. If you have specific residence life questions, please contact your RD.

Will there be food service if I remain on campus?

Yes, food service will continue with food and beverages being served directly to you. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance and Clorox wipes provided for the tables. Food service will begin again on Sunday night as scheduled.

Are all student activities cancelled?

All large group events such as fine arts and athletics are cancelled. However, many other student activities will move online or outdoors. Tune-in to the student activities Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to watch for e-fun opportunities, group connections, and outdoor events.


Spiritual Life

Will there be Chapel requirements?

Students will be given credit for the chapels that they will miss due to the online format.  The university is working to get chapel devotions and sermons online for students’ enrichment including the Lenten messages on Fridays.  There will also be opportunities on campus for face-to-face enrichment as well.  The university is also working to get small groups into an online format so that there is also continuity there, as well.   


Student Life

Have all student activities been cancelled?

All large group activities such as fine arts productions and athletic competitions are cancelled. However, many other student activities will be moving online or to an outdoor venue. Tune-in to the Student Life Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds to watch for e-fun opportunities, online group connections, and outdoor events.

What about appointments with Counseling or Career Services?

We are committed to the continuity of your care.  Counseling and Career appointments will continue face to face unless the student is not on campus.  At that point, please contact the office to set up a virtual meeting.

What other 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.