Check out our student FAQ for more answers to some commonly asked questions about our fall and spring semesters as we work together to overcome the challenges created by COVID-19.
- Classes & Academics
- Isolation & Quarantine
- Admission, Financial Aid, Billing & Student Employment
- Residential Life
- International and Off-Campus Programs (IOCP)
- Campus Safety Practices
- Please also see: Fall Sports FAQ
Q: How will in-person and remote learning work?
A: As faculty have designed their classes, they have prioritized the kind of close relationships for which OWU is known – regardless of whether the classes are in-person or virtual.
The exact mix of in-person and online components in a single course could vary throughout the semester – depending on the needs of the class and the changing public health situation in Ohio. We believe that faculty should choose what makes sense not only for their course but also for their individual family situations.
For fall, approximately 20% of OWU courses are being offered remotely. The rest will be taught in a blended or hybrid format – using a combination of online and in-person components. This will allow students who might need to quarantine to keep participating in their courses and students who choose to learn remotely to stay on track to graduate.
Q: What should I expect in a “Blended or Hybrid” class?
A: There are a number of ways that faculty are working to ensure that their classes serve the needs of students – both those with us on campus and those not able to join us in person.
Most faculty are creating hybrid courses that move some traditional course elements online (e.g., videos of lectures) while in-class activities focus on providing more depth of understanding for the material. Some instructors will divide classes into smaller groups that meet fewer times per week for the in-class activities. As a result, even our in-person classes will incorporate a higher proportion of digital materials this fall.
If you want more specific information about how your course will be delivered, every syllabus will include a new course description that includes a short statement from professors about what to expect in the class.
Q: What if I am taking a lab course?
A: OWU faculty are employing a variety of techniques to ensure that students get the lab experience they need. All faculty teaching labs are prepared to work with both in-person and remote students. In-person labs are being split into smaller sections to allow for social distancing, and some labs will be offered outdoors.
If students cannot come to lab, faculty are creating backup remote options. Some are working on virtual labs, using a variety of software platforms designed for this purpose. Others are putting together lab kits that can be mailed to students at home. Others are more focused on interpretation of data, rather than collection.
There are a very few lab courses that focus on how to use particular instruments that might be postponed until spring, and we will work with students affected by these decisions to make sure that they remain on track to graduate.
Q: What if I am taking a studio art course?
A: Most studio courses will be taught in a hybrid mode; including in-studio demos and guided work time, in addition to remote content delivery. The Fine Arts Department will follow all university safety protocols, in addition to site-specific safety protocols unique to each medium/studio environment. Both Edgar Hall and Haycock Hall allow for ample space between workstations. In general, students will be responsible for their own supplies and tools, while community equipment will have regular sanitation protocols in place.
Students will have access to the art buildings/studio spaces outside of class time, but buildings will close for a period each night for proper cleaning. Faculty are prepared to work with students who cannot come to class.
If students in studio courses are considering being Remote Learners, they should reach out to their instructors to make arrangements to take studio courses remotely.
Q: I came to OWU for an in-person experience; how will you provide that?
A: Approximately 80% of courses this fall will be taught in-person. While there may be additional digital materials and online components for these blended courses, each course will have at minimum 50 minutes of real-time connection with students on campus per week. OWU faculty have not made a blanket decision to be online or not. They are making the best decision for each individual course so as to ensure the best and safest educational experience for students. Just as in any OWU course, faculty will get to know their students as individuals and continue to interact with them regularly.
By starting and staying at OWU, students develop adviser and mentoring relationships that build to signature experiences. Whether students start their college careers on campus or remotely at OWU, we will ensure that students make progress on their majors and will not have to transfer credits. Going through this experience with their OWU peers will provide students with the opportunity to learn from their classmates and build friendships for life.
Q: What are the benefits of coming to campus?
A: The hallmark of an education at an institution like OWU is the close connection among faculty, students, and staff. We know students as individuals, we treat them as whole beings, and we work with them to design the college experience that best suits their needs.
All OWU students, regardless of whether they are in-person or remote, have access to a wide array of student support services – such as the Sagan Academic Resource Center and the OWU Libraries. All students will be able to continue working with programs including Wesleyan In Washington and the Woltemade Center to ensure they have access to internships and other kinds of hands-on experiences that will prepare them for the workplace.
All students can continue to work with their mentors on independent research, including applications for Theory-to-Practice Grants and the Summer Science Research Program. And faculty advisers will continue to shepherd students through applications for law school, medical school, and graduate school. We believe that this kind of one-on-one interaction can take place either in person or through virtual means.
Q: Can I still take an in-person class if I am a remote learner?
A: Faculty are aware that a variety of challenges may prevent students from attending class for all or part of the semester. For example, we know that some students may be quarantined and asked to isolate until it’s safe for them to return to class.
In anticipation of these situations, faculty are designing alternate learning assignments for students who cannot be in the classroom. For example, some instructors will create videos of class discussions, others will ask students who are not in class to participate in virtual discussions at another time, and others will ask students to engage with online discussion boards or make short videos of themselves responding to prompts.
The advantage of taking fully remote courses is that these will be designed with the remote student in mind and will often provide more flexibility in the time frame in which students are asked to engage with course materials.
Q: Can I take remote classes if I am living on campus?
A: Yes. We would not recommend taking all remote classes, but students can sign up for whichever classes they choose, assuming space is available. We will be prioritizing remote classes for students who cannot return to campus.
International students in F-1 visa status, who entered the U.S. for spring semester with an initial status Form I-20 must enroll in at least one in-person class; more than one in-person class is recommended. There is no problem if these in-person courses move to a remote format or a student has to become fully remote at some point later in the semester.
Q: How can I change my schedule if I want more/fewer remote courses?
A: We cannot guarantee that all the courses you’d like to take will be offered in a fully online format, but you should have course options. Most faculty are creating hybrid courses that move many traditional course elements online (e.g., videos of lectures) and have in-class activities that focus on providing more depth of understanding for the material. Some instructors will divide classes into smaller groups that meet fewer times per week for the in-class activities. As a result, even our in-person classes will incorporate a higher proportion of digital materials.
Q: Why are some professors teaching remotely and others not?
A: Teaching in person is riskier for some faculty than for others. We believe that students will have the best experience when they are in class with faculty who feel comfortable being there. Some faculty are teaching remotely for those courses that are easily adaptable to an online environment (e.g. lecture courses) but still teaching in person for labs or studio courses.
Q: How do I find out whether my courses are in-person/hybrid or remote?
A: Courses that are fully remote are identified in Self-Service as meeting in the building and room called “Online.” You can check the status of your courses by logging into Self-Service and looking under the Schedule for each course on the right. If the course schedule says that the course meets in building and room “Online,” the course is fully remote and there will be no in-person meetings. However, you should plan to be available online during scheduled class times. All other courses will provide a mix of in-person and online components.
Q: What if I can’t get to campus?
A: Students unable to return to campus should apply to be Remote Learners. We will be communicating separately with Remote Learners to share a list of fully remote courses that they may wish to take. Students may sign up for any course (assuming seats are available), but we would recommend Remote Learners, particularly first-year and incoming international students, check out our fully Remote courses first. The advantage of taking fully remote courses is that these will be designed with the remote student in mind and will often provide more flexibility in the time frame in which students are asked to engage with course materials. Students will work with their advisers to finalize a schedule that makes sense for them.
Q: What if I need specific courses for my major and they aren’t on the list of Remote Courses?
A: Faculty are preparing to work with remote students in all of their courses – regardless of whether they are listed or not. We encourage you to sign up for remote courses when possible, particularly for courses that fulfill general education requirements, but we recognize that there may be some courses required for your major that won’t be offered in a fully remote mode. Returning international students are encouraged to contact their instructors to let them know that they will be unable to attend class in person, so that they can make arrangements.
Q: What if I don’t want to learn remotely?
A: The vast majority of our courses will be offered in-person, using a combination of regular class time mixed with online and virtual elements. Because first-year students are at the beginning of the college career, they have more flexibility in terms of which courses to take, and almost every course will fulfill some kind of requirement! Students should work with their adviser to pick the courses that make the most sense for them. We can’t guarantee that in-person students will have all in-person classes (because some courses are taught by faculty who cannot teach in person). However, we will do our best to make sure that students get the schedule that they need.
Q: What does “synchronous” or “asynchronous” mean?
A: Synchronous means that class sessions take place during scheduled time slots in real time. Asynchronous means that students engage with material at their own pace (not in real time). For in-person courses, “in real time” means that the students will have to be in their classroom at the scheduled time. For remote courses, “in real time” means that students will be expected to be available online during the scheduled time.
Q: Why should I take a hybrid course?
A: We know it’s confusing, but please know that your faculty members are trying to balance safety with what makes the most sense for the kind of learning that is taking place in the class. So, for instance, large lectures are safer when done online and there isn’t a huge difference between sitting in a lecture hall and watching a lecture online. Small discussion courses, labs, studio courses, courses with active learning are best in person (although we’ve been working hard to beef up our skills to create these experiences online, too). We are trying to balance what students need with keeping everyone safe. Making smart decisions about when to be virtual and when to be in person allows us to give all students the best possible learning environment.
Q: What will classes be like this year?
A: Classes will be different. Some will be largely in-person, and some will be online, but most will be hybrid classes, combining in-person and online components.
Hybrid classes will take a number of different forms. Many will shift traditional in-class elements online (e.g., lectures that will be available via video for remote viewing) but also include face-to-face activities that focus on helping students deepen their understanding of course concepts.
Courses that are fully online will include opportunities for students to interact with the instructor and each other. Students may enroll in online courses, hybrid courses, or a mix of both.
Please note that all classes will have some online components this year. In fall, this includes the last two weeks of the semester; in spring, it includes the first two weeks.
Q: Will online classes have recorded lectures or scheduled class meeting times?
A: The format for fully online courses will vary by discipline and with the nature of the course material. Many instructors are prerecording lectures to post in an online learning management system (typically Blackboard); other instructors hold virtual class meetings through Zoom or Blackboard Collaborate.
Last spring, students told us they value opportunities to interact with the instructor and with their fellow students. As a result, many online courses will include scheduled course activities in which students and the instructor will be online at the same time (synchronous activities).
We also are developing a set of online courses targeted specifically for first-year international students who cannot be in the U.S. this fall. Those courses may have more asynchronous activity due to challenges from widely varying time zones.
Q: If students test positive and have to isolate for 14 days what do they do about their classes?
A: To protect the campus community, please do not attend class if you feel ill or if you’ve been exposed to the virus.
Faculty members will have course plans that include alternate learning activities for students not able to attend class. In many cases, courses will have a hybrid structure, with traditional in-class elements available for remote viewing. For example, some instructors will make videos of their lectures and post them in an online learning management system. Face-to-face activities typically will be focused on helping students deepen their understanding of course concepts.
In some cases, students unable to be in the classroom may be able to participate via remote connections. In others, they may view recordings of class activities, and in still others, they may be given alternate assignments.
Q: Will education students be permitted to attend public schools for field placement requirements and student teaching? Also, will the Early Childhood Center be open?
A: Education students in junior- or senior-level courses will have an opportunity to complete their field or student teaching placements in person in the public schools. The university is also trying to accommodate any student who is a junior or senior and who has requested a remote placement. Currently, first- and second-year students are all completing virtual field experiences in place of in-person placements.
The Early Childhood Center plans to be open this spring. The center’s protocols are available here.
Q: How will musical ensembles work, since it's impossible to wear a mask and play an instrument?
A: We are committed to the safety of our musicians, and we value the beauty and community that our ensembles bring to campus, so we are doing all we can to make sure students continue to have the opportunity to make music. We are following the research on transmission via musical ensembles closely. Ensembles are dealing with these questions in several ways, such as outdoor rehearsals, "masks" for the instruments themselves, and virtual performances.
Q: Will I still be able to study in Beeghly Library and Slocum Reading Room?
A: Yes, we have reorganized seating in these spaces to allow students to use them and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
Q: Will there be Travel-Learning Courses for fall semester?
A: All study-abroad activities for fall semester have been canceled, and spring semester activities are still under evaluation. Please watch the IOCP website for current information.
Q: Will domestic study-away or internship programs, such as Wesleyan in Washington, be permitted in the spring?
A: This is being decided case by case. Many internships have already been transformed into remote opportunities. Contact Darrell Albon or Lisa Ho in IOCP to learn more about specific programs.
Q: What's happening with Theatre and Dance this year?
A: OWU's Department of Theatre & Dance is working to support students' safety by following the OWU Safe Campus protocols and endeavoring to provide opportunities for students to explore their interests in the performing arts in the fullest possible way. Studio classes will be taught in a hybrid modality. Performance studio classes (acting and dance) will be held outdoors when possible and will either move to larger indoor spaces or move online. Technical theatre and design classes will also be taught in a hybrid modality, combining in-person instruction in a larger setting with online content.
All department events will be posted with presentation dates, times, and locations on the department website once they are confirmed.
Q: What is the process for a student quarantine or isolation?
A: If the University receives notice that a student has tested positive for the virus, the student will be contacted by a member of the Dean of Students staff and moved into isolation, into a building on campus reserved solely for students isolated because of the virus. They will have a private bedroom with a community bathroom (separated by gender).
If the University determines that a student has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the student will be contacted by a member of the Dean of Students staff and moved into quarantine, into a private room on campus with a private bathroom.
With both isolation and quarantine, students will be required to remain in their spaces until the Delaware General Health District clears them to resume normal activities. Students also have the option of returning home for their isolation/quarantine period. All students will be assigned a Care Coordinator who will check in with them daily to make sure their needs are met.
Students concerned that they may have been exposed could be asked to "soft quarantine" while awaiting a test result or more information from the health department. Students following a "soft quarantine" protocol are able to get their own food or mail, for example, but are asked to maintain extra distance, wear a mask, not eat meals with others, etc.
Q: How will the student be notified?
A: A member of the Dean of Students staff will contact the student by phone.
Q: How will the student's location be determined?
A: The University has determined specific residential spaces on campus for anyone who needs to quarantine or isolate. Those spaces are cleaned after each use and will be assigned based on availability at the time we need to move someone.
Q: What if the student wants to go home?
A: Students can absolutely go home if they want to, but if they do, they must stay off campus until their local health department clears them to return. Once they are cleared to return, they should contact the University for COVID-19 case management before returning to campus (firstname.lastname@example.org). They will receive a response and a letter letting them know they are approved to return to campus and resume normal activities.
Q: How will the student be cleared to come out of quarantine/isolation?
A: The Delaware General Health Department will monitor their symptoms and determine a date for release. Once they are cleared, they should contact the University for COVID-19 case management (email@example.com) before returning to campus. They will receive a response and a letter letting them know they are approved to return to campus and resume normal activities.
Q: Who will be informed of the student's situation? (Will professors be told? Parents?
A: Privacy is important to us. Parents will not be notified unless there is an emergency situation. Faculty will receive a notification from the Dean of Students office letting them know that the student needs to study remotely. If the student is an athlete, we will notify their coach as well. No specific health information will be released to the others except for a small circle of administrators who are managing the student’s case.
Q: Does the student need to notify people they've had contact with about their situation?
A: This can be helpful, but the Delaware General Health District will also conduct contact tracing and follow up with the University and other people who may be at risk.
Q: I don't have any symptoms, why do I have to isolate?
A: Health experts have shared that many people without symptoms, that test positive for the coronavirus, are still capable of transmitting the virus to others. Even though you are not displaying symptoms and feel healthy, you could be putting others at risk.
Q: Can students make requests about food?
A: Yes. When students are placed in quarantine or isolation, they are provided a link to indicate their boxed meal preferences. Our food service works hard to ensure every student gets what they’re ordering.
Q: I had myself tested when I was put under quarantine and the result is negative, why do I have to stay in quarantine?
A: Delaware County health officials have made it very clear to the University that if someone has had close contact with a positive person, they must be quarantined for 14 days regardless of any viral test results. The virus can take up to 14 days to manifest on a test when someone is exposed.
They are the authority about this decision, so the University will need to take direction from them as to when a student is cleared to return to normal activities.
Q: I tested positive in the past; do I have to get tested again?
A: Individuals who have tested positive in the last 3 months do not have to get tested again. However, the University will want to see medical documentation proving that a person has had a prior infection.
Q: When do students need to wear masks in their on-campus residences?
A: Students living in a room with bedroom suites should wear a mask when visiting the other bedroom. We hope this will reduce the need to quarantine suitemates if someone in the other bedroom tests positive. The final decision about quarantining, based on contact tracing, will be made by public health officials from the Delaware General Health District.
Students are not expected to wear masks when they are in their bedroom alone or with only their roommate, or when they are using a space that they truly share with others, such as a common in-suite study space. But if the only thing suitemates share is a bathroom, students should wear a mask if they enter the other bedroom space.
Q: Are incoming students able to defer enrolling and begin classes later?
A: Yes, incoming students are able to defer to next fall, if necessary. While we hope you will consider being a remote learner (available to all students), we understand this is not the best choice for everyone. If you decide to defer, please contact your admission counselor right away so we can update your status.
Q: If classes are switched from in-person to remote during the academic year, will students receive any tuition reimbursement?
A: Because students still will be able to take classes, and faculty will continue to teach, whether courses are in-person or online, students will not receive tuition refunds if they complete courses at home.
Q: If students are approved to take all classes remotely without coming to campus, will they be charged for room and board?
A: No, students taking all classes remotely will be billed for tuition but not room and board. Students who receive need-based aid will see a decrease in that aid because they won’t have a room-and-board charge. Students in this situation should contact a financial aid counselor by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more help with their specific situation.
Q: If students become ill and return home to recover, will they receive room-and-board refunds for the days they are not on campus?
A: Our current plan is that 19 Williams Drive will serve as the isolation area/infirmary for students diagnosed with COVID-19. Students may live there for no additional cost while they recover, or, if allowed by the Delaware General Health District, they may choose to go home.
If a student goes home to recover and is able to come back relatively quickly (2-3 weeks), we do not anticipate providing a refund for the room charge. We likely will provide a partial refund of board (meal cost) for that period of time.
If a student becomes very ill and a medical withdrawal is necessary, all procedures associated with medical withdrawal will be effective.
If we are required by the state to send students home at any point, we will consider some form of partial room and board refunds, such as we did in spring 2020.
Please note that any adjustments and reconciliations would occur after the end of the semester.
Q: Will students be able to have on-campus jobs?
A: Ohio Wesleyan will continue to offer on-campus jobs for students this year. Some positions may be performed remotely. Look for updates from the Student Employment Office via email and the OWU Daily newsletter.
Q: Can students with Federal Work-Study awards get their anticipated funding by working remotely?
A: If the campus is open, all student employment will be located on campus. Unfortunately, students enrolled as remote learners will not be eligible for on-campus positions. If the campus is required to close, student positions deemed essential may be permitted to continue remotely. A final decision will be made at that time. Please remember that Federal Work-Study awards are not guaranteed and cannot be utilized in employment other than through OWU’s student positions.
Q: What is the protocol for laundry rooms? How many students are allowed in at once?
A: We will ask that all students wear a mask while in the laundry room because it's a common space within each residential community. We will encourage students to use good judgment when entering a laundry room so they can remain six feet from others and manage their laundry appropriately. RAs will check the laundry room several times a day to ensure there aren't major issues. If there are concerns, we will work with the community to improve how students manage their laundry.
Q: Will the university clean shared bathrooms in residence halls?
A: Our custodial services provider, ABM, will disinfect public restrooms twice a day, once in the early morning and again later in the day. This will include uniformed custodial staff disinfecting restroom door hardware, counters, dispensers, toilets, urinals, and showers. ABM also will ensure that Oxivir wipes are available in these restrooms. (Wipes should not be flushed down toilets.)
Students who have private or semi-private restrooms will continue to be responsible for cleaning their own restrooms. All buildings also will be disinfected through electrostatic spraying once a week.
Q: How is the move-in process being handled for fraternities?
A: Fraternity students will move in at the same time as other students. We ask all students to practice safe physical distancing while in public spaces and when around other people. The same is true in a fraternity.
We're also taking other safety measures in our houses, such as supplying disinfectant spray in public spaces performing enhanced cleaning in public spaces. For those who have dining, we are planning for the same distribution of food and allowing students to take more food with them rather than eating in the large dining room.
Students also are urged to not crowd rooms and to enter a room only while practicing physical distancing and wearing a facemask.
Q: Will all students be provided with a single room?
A: We have worked very closely on our reopening plan with local health officials and medical staff from The Ohio State University. Because we are focusing our campus safety plan on testing, we are not currently creating single rooms out of multiple occupancy spaces.
Q: Can more than one family member accompany their student during move-in?
A: There is nothing preventing multiple family members from making the trip to Delaware. However, to create a safer environment for our campus community, we are asking that only one parent engages in the check-in and move-in processes. If other family members come along, we ask that they remain in the car.
Q: How will belongings packed and stored by Commercial Works be obtained by students?
A: We are working on a process that will have student belongings delivered to the student's room ahead of move-in. However, that process has not been finalized. If it isn't possible to manage the delivery of personal items in storage, a process will be in place on move-in day so students can pick up their belongings.
Q: Will parking permits be available for purchase at the centralized check-in?
A: Parking permit applications are available online through the Department of Public Safety. Parking permits are mailed to the student's OWU mailbox, eliminating any need to stand in line to get a permit.
Q: Are international students permitted to take all of their fall classes online?
A: Yes, international students in F-1 status can opt to take fall classes online.
Continuing international students who are enrolled full-time remotely and are making normal progress toward their degree for the fall semester are able to remain outside of the U.S. and maintain their F-1 status.
New students who are remaining outside the U.S. and participating in remote learning have their F-1 visa status deferred to the 2021 Spring Semester.
Learn more from the International and Off-Campus Programs Office.
Q: I know international travel is prohibited for fall. What about U.S. domestic travel?
A: All university-supported domestic travel and activities, including domestic semester-long programs, are restricted until further notice. Students wishing to engage in domestic off-campus activities will need to seek approval.
Essential domestic travel for employees must be approved by their VP or Provost. Students needing additional guidance on domestic travel should contact the IOCP Office.
Q: What is the safety of the air-filtration systems in OWU’s buildings, especially the residence halls?
A: Ohio Wesleyan currently is running heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems around the clock to increase indoor air quality. We continue to evaluate the number of air changes per hour and the use of outside air in the HVAC systems. We change the air filters quarterly. In addition, a bipolar ionization system is being installed into the HVAC system in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center and is being explored elsewhere. In addition, we are investigating UVC lights and MERV filters in the HVAC systems, but we have not yet determined the appropriate action.
As for our residence halls, Stuyvesant and Smith have air-conditioning. Welch and Hayes have outside air handlers that allow fresh air to replace air that is exhausted from the building, and this system is running around the clock. Students may open windows in Bashford and Thomson to allow fresh air to enter their rooms.
Q: What steps is OWU taking to facilitate physical distancing across campus?
A: We are working comprehensively to ensure physical distancing. This includes removing furniture in common areas, taping it off, or marking it with “do not sit” signs. We are taking similar actions in classrooms and adding barriers between students in science labs.
We are using plexiglass barriers at cashier stations in the dining hall, bookstore, and other student service areas where transactions occur.
Both our academic and administrative departments have submitted plans to the Safe Campus Opening Task Force to identify what barriers and dividers are needed in every space in their areas.
Q: Will water fountains and hydration stations be available? If yes, how will they be kept clean?
A: Following the recommendation of the Delaware General Health District, we are disabling our drinking fountains. Our custodial services provider, ABM, will disinfect the hydration stations (water-bottle fillers) three times a day.
Q: With everything going on, I'd prefer to make my own meals. Am I required to participate in the meal plan this year?
A: Residential students must continue to have a meal plan. But we’re glad you are thinking about the importance of physical distancing. Please know that our food service provider, AVI Fresh, is working closely to ensure appropriate physical distancing throughout the dining experience. We will have additional "grab and go" areas for food pickup, as well as more outdoor seating. Payment also will be made via the GET app to minimize contact.