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Student Resources

Snapshots: What Will the Mount Look Like?

The Mount Safe Initiative seeks to safeguard the health and well-being of all members of the Mount community during the COVID-19 crisis while fostering student success. Our policies and procedures will be updated as our knowledge about and understanding of the virus evolves.

Classroom Practices

Offices, Workplaces & Common Areas

Residence Halls

FAQs: Fall 2020

Will Mount St. Mary’s be open for on-campus classes this fall?

Yes. The Mount will hold on-campus classes this fall. We will be operating in a modified normal environment with appropriate social distancing protocols in place. The specifics of some of the changes being implemented are described in the questions that follow, while other details are still being worked out because both the virus and the public health response to it are subject to a certain level of uncertainty. Know that the university is making all decisions based on information from public health experts and that our number one concern is the safety of our students and community.

What is the Mount doing to reopen safely?

The university has formed eight Mount Safe Initiative teams of faculty, staff and administrators from across the university to plan for reopening for in-person instruction in Fall 2020. The goal of the initiative is to safeguard the health and well-being of all members of the Mount community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the issues being addressed by the teams are COVID-19 response, social distancing operations, technology and instruction, innovation, the seminary and athletics.

Will the university require students to be tested for COVID-19 before they arrive on campus?

Yes. Viral testing is required to return to campus, and we are asking students to get tested 7-10 days before returning to campus. Students should ask their testing provider on average how long it is taking to get results.

Will students be required to take a temperature every day?

Yes, residential students will be required to take their temperature and complete a health survey every day before leaving their room in the morning. Commuter students will be required to do the same before coming to campus. Students will receive a kit with hand sanitizer, a thermometer and a face mask.

Is the Mount’s academic calendar being modified due to coronavirus?

Yes. The academic calendar for the Fall 2020 semester is being altered so that classes begin one week earlier on August 17. There will be no fall break, and students will finish classes before they go home for Thanksgiving and then take their final exams remotely after the Thanksgiving holiday.

This change is designed to stop possible spread of a second round of coronavirus, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting in late fall.

When will students move in?

  • Move in for first year students will be August 12 (PM) and August 13 (AM) and our orientation will be the 12-16.
  • Move in for returning students will be August 15 and 16.

The full move-in plan is being developed and will be communicated when it's finalized.

When will students get their final class schedule?

All first-year and transfer students will get their class schedule by the end of July.

How much of the class time will be online vs. in person?

Some classes with smaller enrollment and/or more square footage per student will be entirely in person. For larger classes, it is anticipated that some students may take turns attending classes remotely from their dorm rooms or other locations on campus to spread out as needed. Some students may choose to live at home and take classes entirely online.

Can a student opt to do their first semester online?

The Mount is ready to accommodate any student who wishes to continue their studies remotely in the fall semester. We are currently upgrading many of our classrooms with technology needed to deliver instruction simultaneously to students in the classroom, dorms and others who want to join remotely. This technology will help implement social distancing in classrooms on our campus and allow students off campus to connect to classes remotely.

Students will need to request this option through the Office of the Provost. The provost will then communicate this to all other offices.

Will tuition be reduced if students are taking online classes?

No. The Mount prides itself on doing remote learning the Mount Way, which means that students have access to most of the same learning resources and campus life activities that they enjoy on campus, including peer tutoring, counseling, the Career Center, Learning Services, fitness, Campus Ministry, library and many others. Visit our Student Resources During Remote Instruction to learn more about the services that the Mount offers to ensure student success and engagement.

How many students will live on campus/how will housing be structured?

Our residence halls vary in the size of rooms and amenities available so we will be developing a building-by-building plan that allows the majority of students to live on campus while implementing appropriate social distancing measures. This plan is still being worked on, and it will be communicated to students and parents when it is finalized.

Will housing still be guaranteed for all students?

A housing plan is still being worked on, and it will be communicated to students and parents when it is finalized. First-year students are expected to be prioritized.

When will housing assignments/move-in schedules be released?

Assignments and schedules will be released by the end of July.

How will access to the dining hall be monitored and controlled?

We plan to serve meals on campus at staggered times and enforce social distancing protocols in Patriot Hall, our dining hall. We will also enhance options for takeout meals. More details will be available soon.

Will there be sports on campus?

The Northeast Conference has delayed the start to fall athletics until September 10. Read the NEC's full release.

What measures is the university taking to encourage Mount community members to protect each other?

As you have been accustomed to in your personal lives over the past several months, social distancing and face coverings will be required and traffic flow in and out of buildings will be managed. The size of gatherings will be limited based on state and county guidelines, and when possible, meetings and events will be virtual. Options will be available, when appropriate, for employees to telework and students to learn remotely. Every classroom is being technologically equipped so that classes will be available both in person and remotely in order to spread students out physically distant in line with public health recommended practices. All rooms will have posted occupancy limits so social distancing can be maintained. More grab-and-go meal options will be available, and the food court and dining room will be rearranged so social distancing is possible.

What processes and procedures is the Mount putting in place to provide a healthy environment?

Our award-winning custodial team, who have been trained on sanitation of coronavirus, will be implementing enhanced and more frequent cleaning and disinfection of common areas and bathrooms will be cleaned twice a day. We also are adjusting HVAC systems to optimize air flow and filtering and every room will have air conditioning in place.

Visitors on campus will be limited to those with official business, and field trips and travel will be sharply reduced. Students will be encouraged to remain on campus as much as possible.

How will the university monitor for and contain coronavirus?

While details are still being worked out, there will be a COVID-19 testing requirement for students. All employees coming to campus must pass a temperature check and complete a wellness questionnaire each day before work, just as many of you recently did when you came to campus to move out of your residence hall. People who test positive will either be sent home or isolated on campus.

What will happen if students need to be sent home mid-semester?  Will room and board be refunded?

If students are sent home mid-semester, as they were in March 2020, they will continue their classes remotely the Mount Way, with a full suite of learning resources and campus life activities to support students. Room and board would be refunded on a prorated basis as it was in the spring of 2020.

At what point can a student decide to defer their start to spring semester?

For students who have not currently paid their enrollment deposit, they must notify the Admissions Office by December 1, 2020, that they wish to enroll for the Spring 2021 semester. For students who have already paid an enrollment deposit, they should notify the Admissions Office by August 1, 2020, that they wish to defer their start date to either Spring 2021 or Fall 2021.

What will happen to my scholarship/aid if I take a gap semester or gap year?

All awarded scholarships/aid (except athletic awards, which will be up to the coach’s discretion) will be honored for students who start in the Spring 2021 semester. For students who wish to enroll in Fall 2021, any previously granted academic scholarships will be honored. However, overall aid may change as the most recent FAFSA will be required. These policies still apply if a student has attended another college or university during the fall and/or spring.

Will I need to reapply if I attend another college after deferring enrollment?

If you have been enrolled at another college or university for more than two full semesters, you would need to reapply as a transfer student and would be considered for transfer scholarships/aid.

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FAQs: Daily Health Attestation

1. How often do I need to submit the attestation?

Daily. All students and employees are required to submit the attestation on a daily basis on days when they would normally be on campus.

2. I’m not going to be on campus today. Do I need to submit the attestation?

Yes. If you would, under normal circumstances, be expected on campus (work, classes, etc.) you need to submit the form. The attestation allows you to note you do not plan to be on campus today).

3. Do I have to wait for someone to tell me I can come to campus?

No. If you are able to answer ‘no’ to all questions, you may proceed.

4. What does “close contact” mean?

Close contact means someone was closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes from an individual who is positive for COVID-19. It does not matter if the individuals were wearing face coverings.

  • If the COVID-19 positive person had symptoms, the contact time would start two days (48 hours) before they developed symptoms.
  • If the person did not have symptoms, the contact time would start two days (48 hours) before the date of the positive COVID-19 test.

5. What happens if I answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions?

If you answer yes to any of the questions on the attestation, you will be advised to not come to campus. If you are an employee, follow your department’s procedure for calling out sick or requesting to work from home and contact your healthcare provider. If you are a student, inform your professors, work supervisors and/or coaches about your absence and contact the Mount’s Health Center.

6. What if my situation changes after I submit the attestation?

  • If an employee, stay home, follow your department’s procedure for calling out sick or requesting to work from home and contact your healthcare provider.
  • If a student, go to your room (residence hall or home), and contact the Health Center.

7. What if I answer a question incorrectly and submit the attestation before I catch it?

Contact Human Resources (for employees) or the Dean of Students Office (for students) to inform them of your error. Only these offices can override the error.

8. What if an employee or student comes to campus and shouldn’t have based on the attestation responses?

  • Supervisors should confirm with employees that they responded correctly to the attestation questions. If that is the case, they should then be advised to go home and consult with their health care provider.
  • Students should be referred to the Mount’s Health Center.

9. Why is this form necessary if I'm working from home?

Completing the Health Attestation Form daily on your regularly scheduled work days even if you will be working remotely from home will allow the university to track our community’s responses in the event of an outbreak.

10. Is the attestation HIPAA compliant?

  • In order to assist with the public health collection of information about those who are sick with, exposed to or test positive for COVID-19, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services issued a bulletin describing greater flexibility in the HIPAA law.
  • Mount St. Mary’s University is not a healthcare entity and as such is released from the regulations tied to HIPAA. We are, however, responsible for handling any COVID-19 related health information about our employees and students in a confidential manner. This means that though we can call any of your close contacts, IF you happen to test positive for COVID-19, to tell them they’ve been exposed to you, we CANNOT describe your health/symptoms, etc. We can also inform the Mount community that one of our employees or students is positive for COVID-19, but we can’t divulge the individual’s name.

11. What is the university doing with the information from the attestation?

  • Data collected will only be stored for the duration of the global pandemic.
  • The university’s supervisors and Dean of Students will be able to see the following information for those individuals who report to them: Name, and whether their direct report completed the survey and is able to access campus that day. They will not have access to the individual’s answers to each question on the attestation.

12. Are faculty not teaching during the summer term(s) required to file the attestations? (They are definitely working - on research and class prep - but are neither on campus nor expected to be.)

Faculty do not need to complete the health attestation form each day if it is not a time in which they would regularly be on campus and don’t intend to come on campus that day. Faculty need to begin completing the form when they are attending university meetings or training on a regular basis or when they come on campus for the Fall semester.

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Student Services for Fall 2020

Learning Services

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The goal of Learning Services is to help every student at the Mount become confident and successful on his or her journey. And while the ultimate responsibility for their success rests with themselves, our Learning Services team is here with a large variety of programs to help them sharpen their skills, focus their abilities, and empower their spirit.

Find out more about how Learning Services can help you on your academic journey during the fall semester.

Center for Campus Ministry

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For information about Mass in the beginning of August, including live stream information, please check the Chaplain's Memo emailed each Wednesday, or email the Center for Campus Ministry at centerforcampusministry@msmary.edu.

Find out more about how to get involved with the Center for Campus Ministry.

Career Center

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The Career Center is an invaluable resource during your journey at the Mount. Career Counselors are available for virtual and in-office walk-in hours Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Learn more about how the Career Center can help with your internship or job search, or complete our appointment request form for an individual appointment on the phone or Zoom.

Phillips Library

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The Phillips Library is committed to assisting students with all of their research needs. Students can search both print and electronic library materials through our catalog and library databases. When accessing library resources from off-campus, students will be prompted to sign in using their Mount email address and password. Students may request articles and print books through interlibrary loan.

Students are encouraged to reach out to a librarian for research assistance. Please use our Schedule a Meeting with a Librarian form to set-up a time to meet with us over Zoom or phone. For quick questions, students can connect with us over our Online Chat, text questions (301-447-7577), or email ask@msmary.libanswers.com.

Additional Offices and Departments

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Student Resources for Remote Instruction

Resources for students who may be taking some or all of their classes online.

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