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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Student Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Classes

Will classes be moved to a pass/fail grading system?

No. Although some schools in The Texas A&M University System have moved to a pass/fail grading system, West Texas A&M University will continue to use the existing A-F grading scale because many of our students are pre-professionals and need a letter grade for graduate school, and moving away from the A-F grading scale will limit student opportunities for scholarship and distinction based on merit.  

How do I know if a class has been moved online?

Please contact the faculty members teaching each of your classes to inquire if the course is going to be offered online for the remainder of the semester. Work with your faculty to ensure you understand the expectations and requirements for completing your courses, regardless of instruction mode. For further assistance, Information Technology has created a website to help students transition to the online format of their courses. Visit here to view the technology handbook, WT virtual math lab, resources from Cornette library, SMARTHINKING, online tutoring and more.

NOTE: Currently, 100 percent of WT’s spring 2020 lecture courses are offered online or digitally supported in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All of my classes are online except one or two. What are my options if I do not want to return to campus and attend face-to-face classes?

Faculty that have not moved classes online for the remainder of the semester have been asked to make accommodations for students who want to complete the semester at a distance. Many classes have nuances that make it difficult to quickly move online, but faculty are experts and will do their best to employ their expertise in a way that will support student needs.

NOTE: Should your situation prevent you from attend a class that is not online, we recommend you e-mail the faculty member teaching the course to explain your situation and request instructions for completing the course via distance. Please copy the University provost (nterry@wtamu.edu) and the dean of the college in which the faculty member teaches on the e-mail to the faculty member.

NOTE: We know this can be a stressful time, but please keep the tone of the e-mail message to faculty positive and professional.

What if my class has a lab or requires performing rehearsals/participation in activities as part of the requirements?

Please contact the faculty member teaching the course to inquire how lab, rehearsal, or participation portions of the course are to be handled. Work with your faculty to ensure you understand the expectations and requirements for completing the course.

Will exams and tests be administered online?

Yes. You do not need to come to campus for assignments, exams, or related class activities if your class has been moved to the online platform. If you are enrolled in a course that is not online, faculty are making every effort to accommodate you not having to return to campus. Work with each of your faculty members to make sure you understand the expectations and requirements for completing the semester exams.

Can I decide to drop a class(s) or withdraw from all classes after trying to complete the semester online?

Yes. WT has extended the date to drop a class or withdraw from all classes to April 15, 2020. To drop a class, go through Buff Advisor or Student Planning or e-mail the Office of the Registrar (registrar@wtamu.edu) using your WT e-mail address. To withdraw from all classes for the spring 2020 term, complete the Office of the Registrar withdrawal form by April 15.

Will I receive a refund or credit for my courses moving from on campus to online?

No. There are no pricing differentials when it comes to campus or online courses. There are services and expenses provided on campus that are displaced by technology solutions and online support. The change in instruction mode for the final 1/3 of the semester is not being facilitated for financial reasons by the university, but is a function of following best practices for human health and safety as per our state and federal guidelines. Classes are well past the midterm stage, and we are making every effort to accommodate a path where individuals can complete courses and continue on track toward degree completion.

 

Reimbursement

Will my student fees be reimbursed since I'm no longer on campus? 

No. All students, including online students, pay student fees. Whether you're online or on-campus, the fees remain the same, so refunds will not be issued at this time.

 

Campus Technology

Does the University have enough internet bandwidth to support moving so many classes to an online environment?

Yes. The Division of Information Technology maintains redundant internet connectivity between two different internet service providers. AT&T is our primary internet service provider, and there is a redundant connection through a Suddenlink business-class fiber optic connection. Between the two different providers, the University has 12GB of internet bandwidth with diversity.

How can faculty and staff continue to communicate and work with students moving to online?

WT is always online primarily through our learning management system (LMS), which is based on Blackboard Learn. Every academic course can be online through Blackboard. Faculty can use Blackboard for secure communication and sharing of content with students, including live video. This includes Cisco WebEx, our web-based video conferencing system that enables a single meeting hosted by a faculty or staff member to connect up to 1,000 attendees and maintain full synchronous communication, including chat and screen sharing. 

How are faculty and staff able to connect and work from home?

The University has an enterprise-class VPN (virtual private network) gateway that provides secure and encrypted network connectivity for remote work at home. Once connected, the WT VPN extends the WT network to faculty and staff working from home and enables them to securely connect to their office computers on campus. Telephone services will continue to be available through either call forwarding, voicemail integration with email, mobile phone, or office telephone portability through Cisco Jabber. Faculty and staff also have access to Microsoft Office 365, including Microsoft OneDrive, for storing and sharing files from any location.

Will students living on campus have access to computers, printers and internet connectivity?

Yes. The Hastings Electronic Learning Center (HELC) will remain open for students and provides access to 350 Dell business computers, four high capacity Xerox printers, Wi-Fi access and charging stations. Normal hours of operation are posted on the HELC website.

Hours of operation until April 30 are as follows:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

CLICK HERE FOR ONLINE LEARNING RESOURCES

 

Residence Halls

Is WT advising students to move out of the residence halls as a result of the pandemic?

No. At this time, we are leaving that decision up to students and their families. However, we are making it as easy as possible for students and family to do what is best for them, including moving out of the residence halls.

West Texas A&M University is a member of The Texas A&M University System and as such is a state agency directed by Governor Abbott.  The leadership and requirements that govern our campus come from the governor’s office and the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System through Chancellor John Sharp. To date, we have been asked to stay open in service to students living in our residence halls and provide all of the health, safety, and welfare provisions typical to these operations. Our residence halls and food services are open as are other necessary campus functions. They will remain so until we are directed to do otherwise.

Will residence halls remain open?

Yes. Unless the situation changes in a way that requires us to reconsider, we intend to keep residence halls open for students who wish to live on campus.

Will the dining hall remain open?

Yes. The dining hall will remain open, but is take-out only. NOTE: The JBK Student Center POD is open, but the remainder of the food court is closed.

Can I move out of the residence halls for the remainder of the semester?

Residential Living is using an Express Check-out model to limit in person contact.  Instructions for how to check out are posted throughout the residence halls and there is a Express Check-out Dropbox located at the front desk of every hall.

If I missed the March 24 deadline to complete the survey, can I still be eligible to receive a credit for my unused housing and meal plan?

In order to be eligible for credit for housing and meal plans, you must have completed the survey sent to your WT email by 11:59PM on March 25. (Note: This is an extension of the original March 17 and March 24 deadlines.)

WT will credit any prorated housing and meal plan amounts to your WT accounts receivable. If you have a balance due to the University, the prorated housing and meal plan credit will be applied to the amount owed.  At the end of the Spring 2020 semester, any remaining credit will be refunded to the direct deposit bank account on file or mailed as a check to the address on record with the Registrar’s Office.  Requests made after March 25 will not be honored, unless approved by the Vice President for Student Enrollment, Engagement and Success.

Once your survey is received with your intent to move out, Residential Living staff will contact you with instructions for checking out of your residence hall.  All move-outs will be handled on an individual basis.  Due to the nature of the housing agreement, proxy check-outs are not permitted and Residential Living will work with you as needed.  This may include finding a mutually agreed-upon time for you to retrieve your personal belongings.  For the safety of our staff, personal belongings will not be packed or mailed to you.

If I make the decision to move out of the residence halls for the rest of the semester but change my mind later, can I move back into the residence halls?

No. Once a student moves out of the residence halls for the semester, they will not be allowed to move back in for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester.

Will students that remain in residence halls have restricted or limited access to the campus?

Yes. Many on-campus buildings are closed or have restricted hours. Operating hours for the following facilities will be until April 30 or until further notice. These hours could also change at any time.

Activities Center

Closed

Admissions and campus tours

Closed

Center for Learning Disabilities

Closed

Harrington Academic Hall, Amarillo Center

Closed

Kids Kollege

Closed

Library

The building is closed, but students can go here for librarian assistance and information about accessing the library’s resources and services online.

Panhandle Plains Historical Museum

Closed

Testing Center

Closed

Buff Stop in Cross Hall

8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday

HELC

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Dining Hall

The dining hall will remain for take only during the following hours.

7 - 9 a.m., 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Monday - Friday
5 - 6:30 p.m. Monday - Sunday
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 

NOTE: The JBK Student Center POD is open, but the remainder of the food court is closed.

Doc's Meats

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday and Friday only

Mary Moody Northen Hall

1 - 9 p.m. Monday - Thursday

Student ministries

Student ministries are off campus and not operated by the University. Please contact leaders of student ministry organizations for specific information.

University Post Office

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - noon on Saturday, east door access only

 

Commencement

Since WT postponed the May 2020 commencement, will I still graduate?

Yes. Participation in commencement exercises is not a requirement to graduate with a degree from WT.

Will WT consider rescheduling the May 2020 commencement?

Yes. The University is considering when and how to schedule an alternative commencement event. The nature and time of such an event is yet to be determined. If an alternative commencement event is not scheduled, any graduate that was planning on participating in the May 2020 commencement exercises will be permitted to participate in the December 2020 or May 2021 commencement exercises.

NOTE: Please be assured, we want WT students to have the opportunity to celebrate their graduation by participating in commencement. However, we are following the advice of health officials related to challenges of the current global health crisis by doing our part to mitigate the risk of large-group gatherings for the foreseeable future.

May students who were to graduate in May 2020 participate in another graduation ceremony?

Yes. If an alternative commencement event is not scheduled, any graduate that was planning on participating in the May 2020 commencement exercises will be permitted to participate in the December 2020 or May 2021 commencement exercises.

Can I return my graduation regalia for a refund?

Yes. Bookstore exchange and refund policies have not changed. The Bookstore has a refund policy for most items associated with commencement. Please contact the campus Bookstore for specific information. Students scheduled to graduate May 2020 will graduate even though commencement exercises are postponed. We encourage you to send your graduation announcements to family and friends. Your academic accomplishments are an important accomplishment and a source of great pride for you, your family, your friends and the University.

International Students

As an international student, may I travel internationally at this time?

We advise international students to contact the International Student Office (806-651-2073) before embarking on any travel. If the office is closed, you may contact the Kristine Combs, Director of International Student Services, at kcombs@wtamu.edu. International students are advised to complete the WTAMU Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Reporting Form before any international travel. If you have questions concerning international student travel, please contact Mr. Jon Davis at jdavis@wtamu.edu.

Does the COVID-19 situation affect my immigration status?

The Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance that allow students on F-1 status to take classes on-line for the remainder of the spring semester. WT International Student Services will inform students if changes occur.

I am currently outside the United States and cannot return to the United States because of the Coronavirus. What should I do?

Email kcombs@wtamu.edu with your name, student ID#, your country of citizenship, I-20 expiration date, passport expiration date, visa expiration date, and expected date of degree completion.

 

Events on campus

Are there any events still planned to take place on campus?

No. Currently, all University special events, as well as special public events on campus, including the May commencement ceremonies, are canceled through the end of the spring semester. This includes all non-school activities scheduled to be held on University grounds.

Can student organizations still conduct meetings or host events on campus?

No. To help prevent the potential spread of this virus, please use our hosting technologies rather than meeting in person. We ask that students cooperate by not moving events off campus to protect the community.

 

Sanitation and Cleaning on Campus

What measures are being taken to ensure safety through sterilization and cleaning?

The campus is being cleaned daily. However, we highly recommend following the Centers for Disease Control protocols for protecting against and helping curb the spread of the virus.

NOTE: SSC is regularly cleaning all University facilities, especially “touch areas” using enhanced cleaning standards. This includes cleaning campus buildings frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, hand rails, toilets, elevator controls, faucets, sinks etc.) with EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surfaces involved.