Updated: December 1, 2020

Student FAQ

NEW

Where can I pick up my two WCU issued face masks? 

Face masks can be picked up at the Sykes Student Union information desk. Please bring your Student ID card to show when you receive your mask.  All first year students will receive their two face masks in the mail in mid-September. 

NEW 11/13/20 Is WCU doing any on-campus Covid-19 Testing?

Student Health Services tests students who are symptomatic or have a known exposure to a person confirmed with Covid-19. If a Student Health medical provider determines the criteria is not met, students may be referred to off-campus testing options. 

How can I learn more about how I can access my courses when classes begin? 

Not every class will function the same way, but we have resources below to help you with ANY of the ways your class might be delivered.

  • Most of our classes at WCU have a landing page in our Learning Management System, which is called D2L. If you need a brief review of how that works, watch a short video on Accessing and Navigating D2L.  
  • Many of our classes will also meet, at least some of the time, via ZOOM. In that case, your professor will be reaching out to you to make sure you know how to access the Zoom Link for the class. Review our Getting Started with Zoom page to learn more. 
  • If you haven’t heard from the professor who is teaching your class, make sure you are checking your WCU email account. You can also reach out to your home department for assistance, and a list of those contacts can be found by browsing our Academic Departments.
  • Still not sure? Contact studentsuccess@wcupa.edu. We’re here to help!

How do I learn more about how and when my courses will be offered in the fall?

Student course schedules have been updated to reflect the new delivery formats based on virtual learning during the fall 2020 term.

Please log into myWCU to will find your updated class schedule.

Having trouble understanding your class schedule?

To get additional information regarding reading your class schedule, you can watch an instruction video or preview these PDF instructions.

You will see all your courses set up in one of the following formats:

Format Description
Remote Synchronous (RS) Fully remote course that offers days/times for the instructor and students to “meet” virtually.
Remote Asynchronous (RA) Fully remote course that does not require students to engage on specific days/times.
Online (OL) Fully online course that did not experience any changes with the move to remote learning for the fall 2020 term.
Hybrid (HB) Courses that offer some in-person engagement.

If you need assistance with updating your class schedule, we are happy to help.

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

You can also search the class schedule, filtering on delivery method/instruction mode. Using this method you can search for synchronous or asynchronous instruction. Instructions can be found at the bottom of the page.

When will I know if my classes will be in-person? 

Students registered for courses that offer some in-person engagement will see that indicated on the homepage of their myWCU. A new Hybrid Course Selection box has been added to show any courses the student is registered for that offer some in-person engagement. If a student does not have any courses offering in-person engagement, that will be shown in this area.

We are asking students enrolled in courses that are offering some in-person engagement to indicate their comfort with engaging in in-person learning. Students should log into myWCU, to see which classes are being offered in-person, and if applicable indicate their comfort with in-person learning. Detailed instructions can be found on the Registrar’s website .

Students can update their in-person engagement preference at any time leading up to the start of the semester if their circumstances change.

What are synchronous and asynchronous methods of course delivery? How are faculty deciding which delivery options to use?

First, know that our faculty and staff continue to be accessible and are highly committed to student success. Our faculty strive to balance the needs of all students to find the best possible solutions to help them succeed in each course.
WCU professors are using different approaches to determine which are best for their individual courses. And while our faculty understand that there isn’t a “one size fits all” answer, they have considered not only that students learn in a variety of ways, but also that access and equity can look very different in an online environment and become increasingly complicated when students are no longer on campus.

Courses taught through synchronous delivery are those in which the professors host online Zoom lectures live in real time at the same time and same frequency as originally scheduled.

Professors who develop courses for asynchronous delivery create prerecorded video lessons, reading or research assignments, or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own at the time of their choosing. Asynchronous learning may also encompass a wide variety of instructional interactions, including email exchanges, online discussion boards, breakout rooms, and other instructional materials and correspondence, among many other possible variations. Employing a wide range of tools to share content can deepen students’ understanding in this remote learning environment.

A blended learning approach often utilizes regular online Zoom sessions to deliver lectures and then directs students to online resources that the professors have prepared.

WCU professors embrace principles of quality instructional design and active learning in their daily lessons whether they are teaching in a face-to-face or remote learning environment. Active learning practices such as question and answer, writing-revision, problem-solving, group work, or authentic exploration may look different in an online classroom where students are not physically with the professor and their classmates.

Will I be required to engage in in-person learning if that is how my course is offered?

Students will not be required to engage in in-person learning during the fall 2020 term if they are not comfortable doing so. Students’ myWCU homepage will show any courses in which they are registered and in-person learning has been planned. Students will then have an opportunity to indicate if they are comfortable engaging in in-person instruction.

There may be some courses in which the University is required to have students engage in person to meet state licensure requirements. If a student is enrolled in one of these courses and is not comfortable engaging in person during the fall 2020 semester, the University will work with the student to reschedule the course for a future term.

Can I change my class schedule once I know how my courses will be taught?

Students are able to update their class schedules to meet the changing circumstances surrounding the fall semester.
If you need assistance with updating your class schedule, we are happy to help.

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

You can also search the class schedule, filtering on delivery method/instruction mode. Using this method you can search for synchronous or asynchronous instruction. Instructions can be found at the bottom of the page.

Can I still complete an internship? What about student teaching and clinicals?

More information will be forthcoming about student teaching, clinicals, and internships. Please note that in many cases, the availability of these experiences is dependent upon the host organizations’ COVID-19 policies.

Student teaching, clinicals, and internships are designated as hybrid classes. In order to participate in these hybrid classes students must get approval from their department and indicate that they are comfortable engaging in in-person instruction through MyWCU.

I’m a first-year student. What will change about the First Year Experience?

The First Year Experience (FYE) education opportunities for our incoming students are even more critical in this remote situation. We have 80 of our best faculty members who are participating and are working on ways to translate this element into a meaningful remote experience. We already have a structure in place that builds community within programs and majors and that is part of the course design for our first-year students. More information will be forthcoming.

Should I consider a gap year?

We realize that in times of uncertainty it may seem that the simplest choice to take a semester off or even take a gap year. We know that students who continue with their education, however, will be far more likely to complete their degrees in a timely manner. In addition, the pandemic has eliminated some of the experiences and jobs that students have traditionally considered for a gap year.

What is my student organization permitted to participate in for Fall 2020?

The Office of Student Leadership and Involvement is committed to students’ development and safety as we continue to combat COVID-19. This pandemic has completely altered our normal way of life and how we like to engage with our students. It’s up to us to figure out healthy ways to overcome the challenges that COVID-19 provides and discover new alternatives and creative solutions. Please read the FAQ for Student Organizations and check the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement webpage frequently as you begin your fall planning.

What spaces are available for student organizations to reserve on campus?

Spaces available to students have been reduced in accordance with CDC guidelines. This document has been updated with available spaces and occupancy.

 

In order to reserve space, students must follow the instructions for corresponding buildings.

• Sykes Student Union: continue to put reservations in through 25Live

• Ehinger Gym and Student Rec Center: email SRCrequests@wcupa.edu for availability For more information, please visit our COVID-19 policies and procedures FAQ page.

• Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center: email AHuber@wcupa.edu for availability

 

Are there new policies in the Student Code of Conduct related to Coronavirus? 

Yes, the current updated list of all Safety Precautions appears here at Student Community Agreements , and this list will be updated on a regular basis as new requirements are issued by government, health, or University officials.

Students play a critical role in helping the community mitigate the infection and spread of the Coronavirus. In order to have a successful semester, we will all need to do our part, which includes educating ourselves and abiding by the posted health and safety measures. As such, students have agreed to follow all federal, state, county, local, and University guidelines listed at https://www.wcupa.edu/StudentCommunityAgreements/, as well as those issued throughout the academic year and communicated to students via email.

2020-2021 Student Code of Conduct

WINTER SESSION 2020-2021

The President announced on August 27 that winter 2020-2021 courses will be offered remotely.

The University recognizes the importance of all undergraduate students completing at least 30 credits per academic year.

Undergraduate students who enrolled in 12 to 17.5 credits during the fall 2020 semester will be able to roll over free credits from the fall to either the winter 2020-2021 or summer 2021 sessions. Allowing students to roll over unused credits from the fall semester to the winter or summer sessions enables students to stay on track for finishing their degree program in four years.

What is a rolled-over/free credit?

For undergraduate full-time students who were enrolled in between 12 and 17.5 credits for the fall semester, a rolled-over credit is the difference between the student’s final enrollment and the 18-credit full-time registration limit.

Two examples:

  • A student enrolled in 12 credits in the fall has 6 rolled-over credits to use in either the winter 2020-2021 or summer 2021 sessions (18 full-time credit limit minus the student’s 12 enrolled credits = 6 rolled-over credits).
  • A student enrolled in 16 credits in the fall has 2 rolled-over credits to use in either the winter 2020-2021 or summer 2021 sessions (18 full-time credit limit minus the student’s 16 enrolled credits = 2 rolled-over credits).

What if my fall enrollment changes?

The calculation of fall credits for purposes of determining rolled-over credits for winter/summer is based on a student’s attempted credits. A student’s fall enrollment may change if they opt to withdraw from a fall 2020 course but because the number of credits associated with a full term is based on the student’s attempted/enrolled credits, the student’s total number of credits does not adjust. The same is true if a student fails to complete a course.

For example, if a student starts the fall 2020 term enrolled in 16 credits but decides after the semester drop/add deadline to withdraw from a 3-credit course, we will still calculate the roll-over credits based on the original 16 enrolled credits.

How will I know how many credits I can roll over to winter/summer?

On September 29, the winter 2020-2021 class schedule will be available in myWCU. At that time, students will also be able to see their winter enrollment start date/time. Listed with your enrollment time will be the number of rolled-over credits from the fall term. Winter session courses will be offered remotely.

NEW 11/19/20 How will these rolled-over/free credits be reflected in my student account/bill?

Rolled credits earned in the fall 2020 semester will be automatically applied to winter session charges and will appear as a COVID-19 Student Success Credit on the Account Summary and the on-demand bill. Students with a $0 balance because of the COVID-19 Student Success Credit will need to confirm their enrollment using the link on myWCU > Student Financials tile > Additional Links > Confirm your Enrollment.

Students who enroll in credits beyond those that are rolled over from the fall term will be responsible for tuition and fees associated with the additional credits. For example, if a student rolls over 2 credits from the fall 2020 term and enrolls in a 3-credit winter course, the student bill would reflect that the student must only pay for 1 credit.

When will I know what courses are offered during the winter?

Winter 2020-2021 courses will be offered remotely. The class schedule is being finalized at this time and will be available to students on Tuesday, September 29, which is when students will be able to view course offerings and their enrollment start date/time in myWCU.

How do I learn more?

The Registrar’s Office will send students an email on September 29 that describes the process of utilizing rolled-over credits and introduces the winter 2020-2021 term and registration timeline.

 

DINING

What dining options will be available this Fall?

Lawrence Dining Hall, Rams Head Food Court (which includes Chick-fil-A, Grille Works, and a combined station of Sandwich Shack and Greens to Go), Starbucks, the Village P.O.D., and Good Uncle will be open for the Fall 2020 semester. Status of the food trucks parked on Church Street are determined by the owners of the food trucks, not the University. 

Hours of Operation for Dining Services

What meal plans are offered this semester?

All meal plans and pricing can be found on myWCU or our campus dish website: www.westchester.campusdish.com

What is Good Uncle?

Good Uncle is a food delivery service that has chef-created meals for students to pick up at various drop points around campus. They have a wide range of offering including healthy salads, baked pasta dishes, and ice cream. Students can purchase their meals on the Good Uncle App. Flex can now be used for Good Uncle. We have also added the use of two meal swipes at the Village POD to purchase a Good Uncle meal.

What are hours of operation for each dining venue? *updated*

Lawrence Dining Hall-

Monday – Sunday 

Brunch 10:30am –3 pm; Closed for cleaning 3-4:30pm; Dinner 4:30pm-7pm

Rams Head Food Court:

  • Sykes Student Union - Monday – Friday from 7:30 am –8:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am –8:00 pm
  • Chick-fil-A – Monday - Friday from 10:30 am –7:30 pm; Saturday from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm; closed Sunday; closed for cleaning everyday 3-3:30 
  • Greens To Go & Sandwich Shack – Monday - Friday from 10:30 am –7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am -7:00 pm; closed for cleaning everyday from 2-2:30pm
  • Grille Works – Monday - Friday from 10:30 am –7:30 pm; Sunday from 11:00 am –7:00 pm; closed Saturday; closed for cleaning everyday 4-4:30pm

Good Uncle - Monday -Thursday from 5:00 pm –1:00 am; Friday from 5:00 pm – 2:00 am; Saturday from 11:00 am –2:00 am; and Sunday from 11:00 am – 1:00 am.


The Village P.O.D. -
Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Sunday from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; closed Saturday.


Starbucks -
Monday –Thursday from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm; Friday from 7:30 am –4:00 pm; Sunday from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm; closed Saturdays.

Hours of Operation for Dining Services

What extra precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of the diners?

To comply with safety and health guidelines, the dining experience in all venues will be different, including restricted seating, modified menu options, and use of technology for ordering and payment. In addition, all dining halls will follow the below guidelines:

Face masks & Health Screenings

A face mask will be required to enter any of our dining facilities and all dining staff will be required to wear a mask. In addition, dining staff are also required to be temperature checked daily, and to take a health screening prior to their shift.

Cleanings

Lawrence Dining Hall will be closed twice each day for cleaning and sanitation, once on Saturday and Sunday. Rams Head will be closed once each day for cleaning and sanitation. In all dining halls, there will be extra and frequent cleanings of all surfaces and items that are at higher risk of contamination (door handles, light switches, condiment stations, etc.)

Social distancing

Students will be required to practice social distancing throughout each of our dining locations. Decals will be placed on the floor and at each station to ensure 6ft distances. Kiosks in Rams Head will be pulled from the counters and placed 6-feet apart along the walls.

Seating

  • In accordance with state-mandated occupancy rules, Lawrence Dining Hall will be limited in the number of seats provided. A specific number of seats in both Roman’s Kitchen and Side Café will be available. To counter the limited seating, all food will be placed in to-go containers for students to take out of the dining hall and eat at their leisure.
  • All tables and chairs will be removed from Rams Head Food Court and Starbucks and no seating will be available. All food from Rams Head will be placed in to-go containers for students to take out of the dining hall and eat at their leisure.
    Only 5 people will be allowed inside of the Village P.O.D. at once.

Additional Precautions

  • There will be increased availability of hand sanitizer, ‘no-touch’ service options, and targeted signage with communication to promote good hand hygiene.
  • Plexiglass barriers will be placed in all appropriate areas.
  • The majority of self-serve areas (food, beverages, utensils, etc.) will be eliminated for the time being, with the exception of fountain beverages, cereal, hand-wrapped fruit, and areas with packaged items and bottled beverages. Students will be able to get their own beverages.
  • Disposable silverware, to-go containers, and all condiments will be individually packaged with each meal.
  • No reusable containers or reusable cups may be used in Lawrence Dining Hall for the Fall semester. Disposable cups, lids, and straws will be available at the beverage station.

Will there still be meals available for students with special dietary requirements?

Absolutely. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options are available at Lawrence every day, and custom orders are an option in Rams Head. We encourage students to talk specifically with the District Chef or a manager about other dietary requirements so they may be addressed individually.

Additional information including meal plan costs

GENERAL

Is the University employing additional strategies this Fall to ensure that students can continue towards the timely completion of their degrees?

To support the University’s goal of all undergraduate students completing at least 30 credits per academic year in pursuit of finishing in four years, for the Fall 2020 semester, eligible WCU undergraduate students will be able to take advantage of 6 “free” Fall credits during the upcoming 2020-2021 Winter or Summer sessions. As full tuition costs are the same for 12 to 18 credits in WCU’s Fall and Spring semesters, undergraduate students taking 12 credits in the Fall will be able to take an additional 6 credits in the Winter or Summer session without being charged tuition. Similarly, undergraduate students taking 15 credits in the Fall will now be able to take an additional 3 credits in the Winter or Summer session without being charged tuition.

NEW 11/12/20 Will the alternative grading option once again be available for fall classes?

The University understands that impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues unabated and, in many ways, has increased in its disruption since the start of the fall semester. We realize that the stresses of this reality are causing students to be more anxious and stressed than ever before.  When we implemented the COVID-19 grading policy this past spring, we found that students ultimately ended up performing better when compared to previous springs semesters. Many of us believe that this was because the policy provided students with the opportunity to focus on learning instead of worrying so much about their grades.  It is in this context that we are announcing that the COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy adopted for the spring 2020 semester will be applied to the entire 2020-2021 academic year (fall 2020, winter 2020/21, spring 2021, and summer 2021 terms).

Our shared governance groups have come together to support the adoption and implementation of this policy, and we could not be prouder of the faculty and staff who worked to author this document. From a procedural perspective, this was approved by the Curriculum and Academic Policies Council Executive Committee, a group empowered to make decisions between the body’s Assembly meetings. The University’s primary shared governance leadership was also consulted, including the President of the WCU Chapter of APSCUF, the Faculty Senate President and Immediate Past President, and the Chair and Co-Chair of the Council of Chairs.

Highlights of this policy can be found on the 2020-2021 Academic Year COVID-19 Alternative Grading Policy page. 

NEW 12/1/20 When is the due date to have my alternative grading option(s) selected?

Faculty-awarded grades will be visible to students by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, December 16. Students will have until 12 p.m. (noon) on Monday, December 21 to make their alternative grade selection. After 12 p.m. all selections will be final.

NEW 12/1/20 How do I select an alternative grading option for my course(s)?

The grading option selection tool will become available in myWCU every semester. For the fall 2020 term the grade selection tool is available beginning on Wednesday, December 2 until 12 p.m. (noon) on Monday, December 21.

Instructions for selecting your alternative grade option can be found here.

NEW 12/1/20 What happens if I don’t select an alternative grading option for a course?

If a selection is not made for a course, option 1 will be auto-selected.

Will the use of face masks be mandatory for faculty, staff, and students?

Yes, anyone on campus in public spaces will be required to wear a mask. The University will be providing all students and employees with two WCU reusable face masks.

Will campus be closed like in the spring semester?

No. Many offices, services, and buildings will be open to serve our students, but may have reduced hours. Please contact the office or check the respective website for updates.

Will the University Libraries be open this fall?

Yes. For the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, University Libraries will implement social distancing practices and alternative service models to accommodate campus needs. For updates, go to library.wcupa.edu.

Will Sykes Student Union be open?

Yes. Fall 2020 Hours:

Monday-Friday  7:30am-8:00pm 
Saturday  9:00am-8:00pm 
Sunday  9:00am-8:00pm

 Visit Sykes Student Union website for future updates.

Will the counseling center be open in the fall?

Yes, for the health safety of faculty, staff and students, the counseling center will continue to provide online counseling services. For more details, please visit the Counseling Center webpage.

Will the Recreation Center be open?

Campus Recreation will continue to engage students through RamConnect and our virtual newsletter. Watch this video on reopening operations

The Student Recreation Center will reopen Monday, August 24th.  

Hours: Monday – Thursday 7am- 8pm, Friday 7am – 5pm, Sunday 11:30am – 7pm. Closed on Saturday.

For more information, please visit our COVID-19 policies and procedures FAQ page. If you have any questions, please email campusrecreation@wcupa.edu and we will respond in a timely manner. Follow us on Instagram (@wcupacampusrec) and Facebook (WCUPA Campus Recreation) for daily information.

 

Will the Resource Pantry be open?

Yes, we are working to ensure that the Resource Pantry is safely open and accessible to students both in-person and virtually. We will likely have modified hours so please check our website for updates.

Will the Campus Store be open?

Yes, please call or check their website for potentially modified hours.

What do I do if I feel sick? Will the Student Health Center be open in the fall? 

Yes, Student Health Services will be open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Services are available by appointment only. Telehealth appointments are also available. Students who need medical care should contact Student Health Services by phone at 610-436-2509.

Students who call with any of the following list of symptoms will be connected with an available nurse/provider for additional screening and triage. The nurse/provider will discuss symptoms and provide guidance for medical care per current CDC recommendations.

  • Fever without suspected etiology
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Known exposure to someone with presumptive/confirmed COVID-19
  • Any GI symptoms
  • Loss of senses of taste or smell

Students with COVID-19 symptoms will be referred for testing following CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance. Testing is available at Student Health Services. Additional testing sites are available in Chester County and throughout Pennsylvania.

For more details, please visit Student Health Services Updates for updates regarding Health Center services and procedures. Protocols will be updated in accordance with any changes provided by health authorities.

What do I do if my roommate is showing symptoms?

Encourage them to follow the same protocol recommended to all students showing symptoms. If a student is symptomatic and is tested for COVID-19, the student should self-report by completing the designated University form. For more details, please visit Student Health Services Updates for updates regarding Health Center services and procedures. Protocols will be updated in accordance with any changes provided by health authorities.

Will shuttle buses be running?

Shuttle bus service will be available but with reduced hours to meet the needs based on the number of faculty and students on campus. Bus windows will remain open as much as possible. One student per seat. Please visit the shuttle bus website for up-to-date changes and announcements.

Will Student Affairs still provide opportunities for co-curricular experiences?

Yes, Student Affairs is committed to completing the educational mission and continues to engage with all students through our programs and resources. Visit the Student Affairs WeCU website for all of our virtual engagement opportunities.

Will there be a standard for student organization meetings? Will student organizations be able to host events on campus?

All meetings must follow CDC considerations for social distancing and large gatherings. General meeting rooms will be set for social distancing and a limited number of people will be permitted in a given space. There must be a virtual option available. When possible, meetings should be held in the virtual environment. View Updated space capacities for Sykes Student Union.

Resources and guidelines will be provided for students to utilize spaces on campus that follow CDC considerations, according to the phases of opening directives from the state at that time. Facilities like Sykes Student Union, Student Recreation Center, Library, and Lawrence Hall will be operating at lower capacities to comply with state and local health guidelines.

Are students permitted to engage in in-person (face-to-face) service and volunteer activities in the community (e.g., packaging meals at the local food bank; tutoring students at local schools)?

At this time, we recommend that students support community-based organizations through virtual volunteer opportunities. Such opportunities can be found on Service Learning’s Social Distancing Page. In-person volunteering and service should only be performed with organizations that have clearly implemented health and safety procedures consistent with state and federal guidelines.

Will athletic events be held?

The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference will suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All fall and winter sports scheduled to begin before January 1 are suspended.

The Conference has reviewed its ability to shift fall sports competition and championships to the spring semester and fully intends to do so if a return to competition can be safely executed.

The Conference will evaluate the necessary schedule changes and will communicate its plans for moving all competitions to the spring semester at a later date.

The determination as to when winter and spring sports may begin workouts and practices will be considered at a later date.

When will students find out if they are coming back to campus in mid-January 2021?

If guidelines change during the fall semester, we will notify students immediately.

Is the Philadelphia campus Student Success Center still available to students for the Fall 2020 semester if classes are remote?

Yes. The Student Success Center will provide online support and is currently working on a flexible schedule to meet student needs. Official hours of operations will be forthcoming.

I have never used the Philadelphia campus Student Success Center. How do I make an appointment?

Please review  these instructions to create an account and schedule your online appointment.

I’m not comfortable with online programs or software like Zoom or Skype. Can I still receive remote assistance from the Philadelphia campus Student Success Center?

Yes! Phone consultations are also available. If you have further questions or would like to discuss how we can support your distance learning, please contact Ben Morgan (267-386-3027), Associate Director of the Student Success Center.

Will LARC tutoring be available?

Yes, tutors will conduct tutoring sessions via Zoom starting the second week of the semester. Additional online tutoring will be available 24/7 through SmarThinking, which can be accessed under “Resources” on D2L.

How do I register for tutoring at the LARC?

Information regarding virtual tutor registration will be made available to all students prior to the start of the fall semester. If you have any questions regarding registration, email the LARC office at  LARC@wcupa.edu.

I met with a Success Coach last year. Can this continue?

Yes, Success Coaches are available to meet one-on-one with students using myWCU Online. Please visit our website to schedule an on-line appointment.

I need help managing my time, getting organized with on-line classes, preparing for online tests, etc. 

Students can either meet individually with a success coach or view available Academic Success Workshops to learn and implement success strategies on their own. Visit our website to either schedule an on-line appointment with a success coach or to view a workshop.

STUDENT SUCCESS TIPSFOR REMOTE LEARNING

I need some help with my writing. Is the Writing Center still available to me?

Yes! The Writing Center will offer writing tutoring via Zoom. In some courses, tutors will be embedded with the course, and their contact information will be available on the course D2L site. Visit the Writing Center’s website to schedule an appointment.

I do not have much experience taking classes remotely. Where can I learn about how to succeed in digital learning spaces?

On your D2L page, there is a module called “Navigating Digital Learning.” We encourage all students to review these modules to learn how to excel in digital learning spaces. This site contains a collection of short tutorials or units to help you successfully use the learning technologies found at West Chester University.

STUDENT SUCCESS TIPS FOR REMOTE LEARNING

How does remote learning affect the status of graduate assistantships?

The University is committed to supporting graduate assistants the best that we are able. However, please contact your hiring department/supervisor regarding the status of your graduate assistantship.

WORK STUDY

Are all work study jobs going to be offered remotely?

It is up to the department and supervisor to determine whether they can offer remote work to student employees. Decisions will be made based on the tasks listed within each job description and any revised staffing structures in the department.

Does being selected for verification impact my eligibility for a work study position?

Yes, since the federal work study program is a federal need-based program, students are required to complete verification in order to confirm their eligibility. Students who have not submitted their required documentation cannot be reviewed for a federal work study position or additional financial assistance in place of work study. All students should review their “Financial Aid Alerts” on MyWCU in order to determine if they still have “initiated” requirements.

If I had a job last year am I guaranteed to have a work study job this year?

The Office of Financial Aid is reaching out to each department to collect information on how student employment will be offered within their area. If the department still plans to hire a student, and the student has done all necessary paperwork to be eligible (and has no outstanding Financial Aid Alerts), then the student will be offered a work study position.

If I am offered a work study position, do I have to accept it?

We recognize that some positions will be altered to offer remote or hybrid (both on-site and remote) work, and others will remain on campus. If you do not feel you will be able to complete the job due to changes in the job description, you can decline the position and request to be evaluated for additional financial assistance in place of your work study award.

If I have a work study award should I now expect it to be automatically converted to a grant?

Each student is being evaluated based on their job history, eligibility after any enrollment or housing changes, and current interest in the program. If a student was expected to work this upcoming term and had a job in place, but is now not able to work for that department, they will be considered for additional financial assistance in place of that position.

If a student would have been on the work study program’s waitlist (based on whether they had a job lined up and whether they had completed all of their financial aid alerts to confirm their eligibility), they will be offered a spot on the work study waitlist as we expect openings to continue to be available throughout the fall term.

If I am on the work study waitlist when will I know whether I can expect a job offer or grant funding?

Most positions for the fall term become available to waitlisted students within the first month of the term (when hired students are required to accept or decline their job offers.) If a student is not able to be offered a job from the waitlist by this time, they then will be reviewed for additional financial assistance if they are still eligible.

Are all students who were originally awarded work study or have filled out an application guaranteed some type of funding from this program for the fall term?

Federal work study is a campus-based program that requires a student to have unmet financial need after their cost of attendance is finalized (based on enrollment and housing status.) Unlike Pell and PHEAA grants, this fund has limited dollars and therefore not all students will be awarded funding. Each student will be reviewed based on their eligibility, timeliness of application, and job history on-campus to make an FWS employment determination for fall

STUDENT VETERANS

Will my GI Bill® Education Benefits be affected by the change in modes of instruction to remote delivery?

From VA’s website:

From the beginning of this crisis, we have been working with Congress to preserve GI Bill® benefits for those of you impacted by COVID-19 during this difficult time. On March 21st, the President signed into law S.3503, giving VA temporary authority to continue GI Bill® payments uninterrupted during an emergency.

The new law allows VA to pay education benefits regardless of the fact that a program has been converted from resident training to online training, even if an online training hasn’t been approved or is not approvable.

GI Bill® students will continue to receive housing allowance payments at the resident training until 12/21/20, or until the school resumes normal operations of resident training, for programs converted solely to online training.

  • Post 9-11 recipients will not see a change to their Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) stipend for the spring 2020 semester only. Their classes will be considered hybrid (combination of on-line and in-class/on campus delivery modes) and VA will continue to pay housing stipends as certified. If students elect to take all, on-line classes for subsequent semesters, BAH will be reduced to ½ the national average (currently $850.00).
  • Per Guidance from the Philadelphia office, Vocational Rehabilitation recipients will continue to receive Chapter 31 residential rate if the class was already certified as residential for the remainder of the term.

For more information visit the WCU Veterans Center website: https://www.wcupa.edu/veteranscenter/

ON CAMPUS HOUSING

Can I still be considered for housing for fall 2020?

In order to be considered for WCU Traditional housing, you must have a previously approved application and visit MyHousing to complete the Fall 2020 Housing Request Form by Friday, July 17, 2020, by 11:59 PM. Housing approvals will only be given to students who are in the following categories: Promise Program students, proven hardship cases, academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites).


To be considered for USH Affiliated housing you are required to have a previously completed lease agreement and visit the Resident Portal to complete the Fall 2020 Housing Request Form by Friday, July 17, 2020, by 11:59 PM. Housing approvals will only be given to students who are in the following categories: Promise Program students, proven hardship cases, academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites).

How will WCU Residence Life and Housing and USH determine who will get housing for Fall 2020?

We are prepared to accomodate a limited population of students to our residential facilities this fall: Promise Program students, proven hardship cases, academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites). For the health and well-being of our students, all students will be placed in single bedrooms. Apartment and USH suite residents may share common area spaces. Our students in the residence halls and apartments will be notified of changes to common area spaces and will receive guidelines and expectations for maintaining the health and safety of themselves and fellow residents according to CDC protocol.

Housing approvals will only be given to students who are in the following categories: Promise Programs student, proven hardship cases, academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites). Those students will need to complete the Fall 2020 Housing Request Form that was emailed to them by Friday, July 17, 2020, by 11:59 PM.

When will I be notified that I have been accepted for on-campus housing?

You will receive an email on or before July 29, 2020 informing you of your housing status from either WCU Traditional Housing or USH Affiliated Housing.

Can I be considered for housing if I am on a waitlist?

You will be contacted if space becomes available.

If I decide to cancel my housing for fall 2020, but want to be considered for Spring 2021 housing, will I be able to secure housing for the Spring 2021 term and what is the process?

While there are no guarantees, our goal is to place as many students as possible. As we get closer to the spring semester, based on availability and monitoring the prospective housing options, students with a previously completed lease/occupancy agreement for the 2020-2021 academic year, will be given priority consideration for Spring 2021 housing. We will communicate those housing options at a later time. We appreciate your patience through this process.

Can I cancel my WCU Traditional application?

Yes, if you would like to cancel your application for housing visit MyHousing by Friday July 17, 2020, 11:59 PM.

Can I cancel my USH Affiliated Housing lease?

Yes, if you need to cancel your USH lease agreement, you must cancel before Friday, July 17, 2020, at 11:59 PM without penalty. You must complete the following form so we can accommodate your request: Early Lease Termination Request Form.

What will happen with my $200 housing deposit for WCU Traditional if I do not live on-campus for fall 2020?

For students not living on campus during the fall 2020 semester, your deposit will be applied to your semester bill. If you do not attend WCU you can request a refund at housing@wcupa.edu.

What steps are both WCU Traditional Housing and USH Affiliated Housing doing to keep the residence halls clean?

In an effort to ensure the well-being of our students, high traffic areas and touch points will be cleaned more frequently. Building common areas and amenity usage will be modified to ensure we remain in compliance with federal, state, local, and University guidelines. Ongoing monitoring of the health and safety of the community will occur continually. All students and staff will be required to follow the aforementioned guidelines. These and all other guidelines will be posted throughout our communities and they must be adhered to at all times.

Are there new guidelines for living on campus?

Yes. Students living on campus and their parent/guardian/guarantor and guests will be required to follow the guidelines outlined by West Chester University and federal, state, county, or local governmental agency.

  • Face Coverings – Requirement of personal face coverings/masks in common areas for visitors and students.
  • Building Access – Residence Halls will only have one entrance/exit available at all locations. Every student will need to check in at the front entrance with a WCU/USH staff member each time they enter the building. Students may be required to wait in line to be checked into the building.
  • Social Distancing – Students will need to practice 6 feet of safe social distancing.
  • Amenities – Building amenities will have reduced occupancy to maintain social distancing guidelines.
  • ElevatorsStudents will be required to follow occupancy guidelines posted on each elevator. We encourage students to take the stairs when possible and observe social distancing requirements in the process.
  • Guest Policy – After you have completed your move in, to protect the residential community, guests will not be permitted. It is our hope to restore guest access at some point during the fall semester; however, that will depend on the spread of the virus in our community. Ongoing monitoring of the health and safety of the community will occur continually.
  • Family unit is defined as a group of students who share an apartment, suite or bathroom.

What happens if I sign a USH lease and my financial situation changes?

WCU and USH are here to work with you and your family during this difficult time, and USH has committed to setting aside $445,000 in USH Housing Scholarships for financial hardships. These scholarships will be awarded through the Office of Financial Aid for the upcoming academic year. Please complete the USH Scholarships Application here in order to be considered for a one-time award.

What happens if I get sick?

If a student is symptomatic, the student will need to call Student Health Services for guidance and/or an appointment with a provider. If a student is symptomatic and is tested for COVID-19, the student should self-report by completing the designated University form. The student and potentially the roommates will be asked to return home if possible. Please note, if a student has to return home, they will be permitted to return to the residence halls once being cleared from the medical provider. If the student is unable to return home because of extenuating circumstances, the student will need to self-isolate in University designated locations. Chester County Health Department (CCHD) will be notified. The CCHD has been responsible for conducting contact tracing and notifying individuals who may have been exposed. See also Student Health Center FAQ above.

Is there a possibility my housing assignment could change?

Yes, if housing assignments need to be modified to comply with occupancy recommendations students will be notified as quickly as possible.

OFF CAMPUS AND COMMUTER STUDENT INFO

What is Advocates for Student Renters Group?

The Advocates for Student Renters Group is a group of WCU student renters who are actively meeting to discuss renting housing in the greater West Chester area. They have advocated for greater flexibility with lease terms, a lower cost for rent, rent relief, and other concerns related to the student rental process. If you are interested in discussing renting off campus with other students, visit their Facebook group.

I signed an off-campus lease for the 2020-2021 academic year. Am I able to get out of my off-campus lease?

A lease is a contract with your property owner.

1. Start with a conversation with your property owner.


2. If your lease/property owner allows, sublet your rental. You can list your subletting opportunity on Places4Students by visiting this link.


3. Schedule an appointment with WCU Free Student Legal Aid. The lawyer may be able to offer suggestions about the lease terms and how to get out of the lease. Contact Student Legal Aid here for more information.


4. Set up an appointment with Off Campus and Commuter Services by emailing commuters@wcupa.edu and/or Maggie Holroyd at mholroyd@wcupa.edu.

Does CARES Act funding provide for rent relief?

West Chester University continues to be committed to reducing the burden for students facing expenses or hardship incurred due to COVID-19 and WCU’s adjustments of in-person classes to distance education formats. Any student who signed a lease and met eligibility requirements was eligible for rent relief funding. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) are intended to reduce the burden for students who are enrolled for Fall 2020, signed a lease for off-campus housing for Fall 2020, and are unable to break the lease.

Where do I look for off-campus housing?

1. Start by searching Places4Students.com. In addition to viewing available rentals, Places4Students allows students to search/post for sublets and make roommate connections. Note! *If you are renting with other students in the Borough of West Chester or in West Goshen Township, you must rent in a student-zoned rental.* You can find out if the rental you are considering is student-zoned by asking the property owner.


2. Email commuters@wcupa.edu and/or Maggie Holroyd at mholroyd@wcupa.edu with any questions about renting in the local area.

I am a first-year student living off campus or commuting to WCU this fall.

You will learn more information about your life as an off campus and commuter student during orientation this summer. Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) offers specific programs for first-year students. Additionally, OCCS Rambassadors are student mentors who are specifically trained to assist with your transition from home to campus. Email commuters@wcupa.edu if you would like to speak with a Rambassador.

What University resources are available to me as an off campus/commuter student?

WCU’s Department of Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) is offering virtual one-on-one appointments to assist students with any questions. Email commuters@wcupa.edu with questions and/or to set up a virtual one-on-one appointment. OCCS also manages Free Student Legal Aid where students can meet with a lawyer. Students can schedule an appointment with Free Student Legal Aid on MyWCU. In addition, OCCS partners with Places4Students.com where students can view available rentals, search/post for sublets, and make roommate connections. Other University resources include Counseling Services, Health Services, the Campus Library, Sykes Student Union, Campus Rec Center. Please contact each of the departments for modifications of services and hours.

WeCU Student Affairs Virtual Engagement Opportunities & Resources

Student Support Center

 

What buildings will I be able to access on campus in the fall? May I access the Commuter Center in Sykes Student Union?

Some campus buildings will be open with limited capacity and potentially modified hours, for example, the library and Sykes Student Union. When hours are confirmed we will post and share widely. The Commuter Center opening will depend on the cleaning of soft furniture in Sykes Student Union to prevent any spreading of COVID-19. More details to come.

Sykes Student Union Fall 2020 hours

Monday-Friday  7:30am-8:00pm 
Saturday  9:00am-8:00pm 
Sunday  9:00am-8:00pm 

Campus Recreation Center Fall 2020 hours

Monday - Thursday 7am - 8pm

Friday 7am-5pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday 11:30am-7pm

Does the University offer free student legal aid?

West Chester University offers free legal services to currently enrolled students. Schedule an appointment with Free Student Legal Aid on MyWCU or visit this website for more information.

Does the WCU Student Code of Conduct apply to my life off campus/commuting while taking remote classes?

We are asking that you take all necessary and proper steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Student Code of Conduct and expectations of being a responsible citizen to protect our community still apply. Please visit the Student Conduct page for all university regulations and guidelines.

How do I communicate my concerns with others regarding COVID-19?

Good healthy adult communication begins with being honest about sharing space. Consider sharing your concerns about the health risks. If your concern is not respected, please take care of your own health and exercise caution by distancing yourself. Control the controllables!

Stay informed and share resources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) FAQ to help keep yourself and others healthy.

I am living with other students off campus during the Fall 2020 semester. What happens if I get sick or one of my roommates gets sick?

If a student is symptomatic, the student will need to call Student Health Services for guidance and/or an appointment with a provider. If a student is symptomatic and is tested for COVID-19, the student should self-report by completing the designated University form. The student and potentially the roommates will be asked to return home if possible. Chester County Health Department (CCHD) will be notified. The CCHD has been responsible for conducting contact tracing and notifying individuals who may have been exposed. See the Fall 2020 FAQ for more information.

I am living off campus with other students. What questions should I consider asking my roommate(s) regarding COVID-19?

SAFETY

  • Have you previously been diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • Do you have a higher risk for severe illness if exposed to the virus?
  • What precautions do you take to stop the spread? (ie. wearing a mask, hand washing, cleaning groceries, etc.)
  • How do you practice social distancing?

SOCIAL

  • Will you be working during the semester?
  • Do you plan to visit or stay with family, friends, or romantic partners during the semester?
  • Do you have plans to travel this year?
  • Do you plan to frequently visit restaurants, bars, or other establishments?

SPACE

  • How will we clean shared surfaces and spaces?
  • Are you comfortable with having guests over and what is our guest action plan?
  • If asked, are you willing to isolate for your roommates’ needs?
  • If a roommate has symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, what is our plan?

Is it recommended to host or participate in social gatherings?

As stated by the U.S. Department of Health, PA Department of Health, and the Chester County Health Department, it is recommended to refrain from social gatherings, including hosting at home, and to practice social distancing of maintaining a 6-foot distance from others as much as possible.

Does social distancing impact social gatherings?

We are expecting students living off campus to refrain from hosting social gatherings that could lead to the transmission of COVID-19. This is a global health emergency that requires all of us to exercise conscientious behavior and compassion toward one another by not engaging in activities that will continue to spread the virus.

If I do not return to my rental property, will my rental be safe?

Whether you are away for a quick trip and/or for parts of the semester, it is always recommended that you inform your neighbors and/or property owner/manager if you will not be returning to your rental property.

Will I still get the two WCU face masks?

Yes, two face masks are available to students. Please visit the Sykes Student Union information desk with your Student ID to pick up your masks.

I did not sign a lease for Fall 2020, but I may want to live off campus during the Spring 2021 semester. When should I sign a lease and how do I find housing?

We want to empower you to make the best decision for you and your family. OCCS partners with Places4Students.com. In addition to viewing available rentals, Places4Students allows students to search/post for sublets and make roommate connections. The availability for housing and the period for which you can obtain a lease will be managed by individual property owners. Most leases will not provide prorated refunds if students leave mid-lease. An option to consider is trying to negotiate with the landlord for a month-to-month lease. This option may give you more flexibility and, given the circumstances, some landlords may be more willing to negotiate. OCCS will offer information and resources throughout the fall semester to aid in your housing search process.

When should I sign a lease for the 2021-2022 academic year?

We want to empower you to make the best decision for you and your family. We encourage you to begin researching your options early as we know housing becomes increasingly competitive as the academic year progresses. Researching early does not mean you should sign early. Students should pay close attention to the terms of the lease. Schedule an appointment with Free Student Legal Aid to have them review the terms of your lease. OCCS partners with Places4Students.com. In addition to viewing available rentals, Places4Students allows students to search/post for sublets and make roommate connections. OCCS will offer information and resources throughout the fall semester to aid in your housing search process.

May I schedule an individual appointment with Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS)?

Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS) is offering virtual one-on-one appointments to assist students with any questions. Students have scheduled individual appointments to discuss renting, finding roommates, leases, life off campus, how to find friends, how to access public transportation, etc. Email commuters@wcupa.edu with questions and/or to set up a one on one appointment.

Am I able to meet other students on campus?

Yes, as long as you follow CDC considerations and WCU guidelines.

 

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