Individual colleges and schools have provided information about the methods they will employ to provide you with the world-class education you expect.
Our Number One Priority
You are our number one priority. You always have been. And this challenging moment has only sharpened our focus. We have been hard at work developing innovative resources, tools, and support systems that will not only help you cope with this moment, but grow stronger, smarter, more resilient and thrive as a Bulldog.
We're here to help. Explore your resources below.
Latest Update for Students
september 25, 2020
Good morning Bulldogs!
As a result of the continued restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID-19 and the risk of spread at large indoor events, we will not be able to host an in-person Commencement nor the make-up ceremony for Spring 2020 graduates in Wink Arena on the Big Rapids campus. While this news is disappointing, the health and safety of everyone who would be attending is most important. We will commemorate the achievements of our graduates through a Virtual Commencement at 10 AM and 1:30 PM on December 19, 2020.
Mask Up, Bulldogs!
Keeping our communities safe and open is the responsibility of each of us. We're in this together!
Resources and Information
- Academic Delivery Methods
- Cleaning, Sanitization, and Air Quality
Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols have been heightened throughout campus in accordance with CDC guidelines to ensure all horizontal and vertical surfaces, along with critical touch points, will be addressed on a daily basis.
The Custodial department will be putting forth enhanced disinfection efforts that would include, but are not limited to:
- Classrooms and learning spaces
- Corridors and common/public spaces
- Athletic spaces including locker rooms and showers
- Residence hall entrances, corridors, public area bathrooms, laundry areas, lounges, stairwells and elevators
To support these efforts, the custodial department has introduced electrostatic disinfecting application devices. The electrostatic applicator gives a negative charge to the disinfecting solution as it exits the nozzle, allowing an even coat of solution that sticks to a targeted surface with 360-degree coverage.
In our June 25 communication to campus we outlined a new antimicrobial product procured by Physical Plant called MicrobeCare. This solution creates a barrier that kills 99.99% of microbes, prevents mutation and minimizes the spread of viruses, bacteria, fungi, algae and yeast on a wide variety of products. MicrobeCare is safe and has recorded proven results in highly sensitive healthcare environments. This five-minute video provides information on the product and its benefits.
This application of this product will begin on Monday, July 13 by Custodial staff beginning with academic spaces, followed by residential living areas, athletics and offices areas. It may take several weeks to complete the application across campus. The product will be applied using electrostatic applicators to all touch points within buildings to include but not limited to: door handles, light switches, hand rails, table tops, chairs, computer keyboards, restroom fixtures, etc. to combat possible exposure to COVID-19.
Physical Plant has evaluated the HVAC system capabilities for buildings across campus and has identified strategies to implement to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and create acceptable indoor air quality. These strategies include
- increasing ventilation rates
- ventilating 24/7 and flushing the building with outside air pre- and post-occupancy each day
- utilizing air filters with a minimum MERV 9 and MERV 13 efficiency where possible
These strategies are defined and proposed based on each existing building mechanical system and room situation, and these strategies will be applied for each building’s specific need identified. More details can be found in the documents below.
- College / Dean's Office Contact Info
College of Arts and Sciences - (231) 591-3660
College of Business - (231) 591-2420
College of Education and Human Services - (231) 591-3648
College of Engineering Technology - (231) 591-2890
College of Health Professions - (231) 591-2270
College of Pharmacy - (231) 591-2254
College of Optometry - (231) 591-3706
Kendall College of Art and Design - (616) 259-1203
Retention and Student Success -(231) 591-2360
- Face Coverings
To align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state regulations, all students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear a face covering inside University buildings and in any situation where social distancing is difficult. This directive will be updated regularly and is available for you to review.
Students needing an accommodation should contact Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services.
Employees needing an accommodation should contact Human Resources.
Ferris State University is asking everyone to accept the responsibility of protecting themselves and others.
- Facilities and Services Updates
- Health and Wellness
What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
COVID-19 is a newly identified coronavirus that is causing an outbreak of pneumonia illness. It was first identified in December 2019 in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.
Since then, cases have been identified in multiple other countries including the US.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and usually cause mild to moderate illness in people. This new virus is a public health concern because:
- It is newly identified, so much is still unknown about it.
- Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, have caused severe illness.
Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety
Students may contact the Personal Counseling Center via e-mail at [email protected] or telephone (231) 591-5968. Additionally, Listening Ear is a 24/7 Mental Health Crisis Hotline (989-772-2918) that provides immediate support, information and referrals for our students.
All members of the University community may use TAO, a secure, private online library of interactive and engaging programs to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common mental health concerns. If you are dealing with anxiety or fear issues, or know of someone who is, these resources are available for assistance.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms may be flu-like, ranging from mild to serious, and include:
- Difficulty breathing
Person-to-person spread is occurring, although it's unclear exactly how it is transmitted and how easily the virus spreads between people.
If you have symptoms of fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing and in the last 14 days you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency department, call first and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
- Ferris students may call Birkam Health Center at (231) 591-2614.
- Others should first call their health care provider or call the District Health Department #10 at (231) 592-0130.
- Avoid contact with others.
- Do not travel while sick. Please do not use public transportation or arrive unannounced at the Birkam Health Center. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
What is the treatment?
Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. (source: CDC)
Is there a vaccine?
Not at this time, although research that could lead to a vaccine is moving ahead quickly.
Where are the cases of COVID-19?
On March 10, state officials announced the first two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan. New cases continue to be identified in the United States, including Michigan. The CDC continues to indicate that the number of cases reported in the United States will increase, as testing capability is increased. Ferris is monitoring this information closely.
CDC site for cases in the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
Michigan information from state health officials can be found at: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/.
What is Social Distancing?
Social distancing means:
- Avoid public places where close contact with others might occur – this includes shopping centers, movie theaters, stadiums, workplaces, schools and classrooms.
- Avoid public transportation (e.g., bus, subway, taxi, ride share).
- Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others.
How do I prevent the Coronavirus?
There is no vaccine to prevent this virus, and the CDC advises that the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Here are everyday actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:
- Wear a mask/face covering when in public
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
How do I self-isolate and self-monitor?
To self-isolate, you should:
- Stay home. Do not go to work, school or public areas.
- Separate yourself from other people in your home. Avoid visitors to your home.
- Self-monitor for fever by checking temperature at least twice a day. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms.
- If you have symptoms, where a facemask when you are around other people.
- When seeking medical care, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms before heading to the doctor's office or the emergency room.
- Do not use public transport like buses or taxis.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and immediately throw the tissue in the trash and clean hands with sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces.
The CDC offers the following additional guidance on how to self-isolate: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html
- Re-Entry Communications for Students and Families
- Sept. 21, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- Sept. 16, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- Sept. 4, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- August 31, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- August 28, 2020 - Message to Parents from Jeanine Ward-Roof, Vice President for Student Affairs
- August 27, 2020 - Message to Students from President Eisler, Vice President Ward-Roof, and Dean Pulsifer
- August 26, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- August 25, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- August 19, 2020 - Message to Parents from Jeanine Ward-Roof, Vice President for Student Affairs
- August 18, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- August 5, 2020 - Message to Parents from Jeanine Ward-Roof, Vice President for Student Affairs
- July 30, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- June 26, 2020 - Message to Students from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- June 24, 2020 - Updates on CARES Act Eligibility from Joy Pulsifer, Dean of Student Life
- Student Organization (RSO) UpdatesYou can find comprehensive updates regarding student organizations on the Registered Student Organization Center's webpage.
- Statewide Location Contact InfoYou can find contact info for all of our off-campus locations on the Statewide Contact Info page.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I complete the required COVID-19 symptom checker?
Faculty, staff and student-employees must complete the symptom checker each day when working, whether in person on campus or when working remotely. The electronic symptom checker can be completed securely online. All students are highly encouraged to complete the symptom checker.
- Will the University be moving to remote delivery of instruction after Thanksgiving?
Yes. To finish out the remaining three weeks of the fall semester, instruction will move (wherever possible) to remote delivery beginning Monday, Nov. 30, after the Thanksgiving recess. This is a part of the University’s efforts to keep our community healthy and safe, to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 as we enter cold and flu season, and to help us move forward safely for the spring semester.
There will be some programs or classes, most notably those with laboratories that require significant amounts of specialized equipment, that will continue on campus during this period. Questions about specific programs or classes that may do this should be directed to the College’s academic dean. During this time after Thanksgiving, the University will remain open and operations will continue, with housing and dining available throughout the end of the semester.
- I don't have internet access. Is there a list of WiFi hotspots around the state?
The Ferris eLearning Department is maintaining a list of wifi hot spots around the state that may make it easier for you to stay connected and access your remote courses.
In addition, the Federal Communications Commission has an agreement which states that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot spots for increased accessibility to the internet. Visit the FCC's website for more information.
- Is the student food pantry open?
Yes, the FSU Student Food Pantry is open and ready to help you! Food pickup is available via scheduled appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 4-5 p.m. or by appointment. Stay updated by following the FSU Food Pantry on Facebook.
Other local food pantries include:
Angels of Action
200 S. Stewart
Big Rapids MI
120 S. State St.
Big Rapids MI
- How are classes at Statewide locations impacted?
Our Statewide locations are following the directives of both our main campus and their community college partners. Please contact the Director of Student Services, Jocelyn Goheen, at [email protected] for more information.
- I have family and friends in affected areas, and I'm concerned about their well being.
Who can I speak with about these feelings?
Reports of the impact of COVID-19 around the world can be troubling, especially for members of the community who are from or have friends and family in affected areas.
Resources and support are available at the Personal Counseling Center. Please call (231) 591-5968 to request an appointment with a licensed mental health provider.
- I have experienced or witnessed derogatory actions toward someone related to this
outbreak. What should I do?
The University opposes any actions that harass, discriminate, or otherwise create a hostile environment for students, faculty, and staff. Any member of the University community can make a report about an alleged bias related incident or hate crime by contacting the FSU Department of Public Safety or the FSU Office of Student Conduct.
COVID-19 Testing FAQ
Please note as we are testing students living in residence halls upon move-in, it is important to recognize testing is not a substitute for prevention measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing/sanitizing hands often, and avoiding large crowds and gatherings.
- Why did Ferris make the decision to test students upon arrival and not before students
come to campus?
A test provides information of infection for an individual at a specific point in time, and any earlier test would occur days before arrival on campus. Negative, but not current, results may lead to a false sense of security and reduce compliance with our risk mitigation measures: daily self-assessment, social distancing, required face coverings, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, limits on the size of gatherings, and on-going education of community expectations.
- What kind of COVID-19 test is being performed?
The test being conducted is called a molecular or PCR test and is the most accurate type of test currently available. Each student will be given a test collection kit and asked to put the swab into their nose to collect a sample. This is called a nasal swab.
- Can I opt out of testing upon check-in?
No. The University is requiring all students residing on campus to take a COVID-19 test upon check-in.
- How are results communicated to students, whether positive or negative?
The Birkam Health Center will receive all positive COVID-19 test results, notify those students with positive results directly via phone and will notify District Health Department #10 so they can begin a health investigation and contact tracing.
For those students who test negative, they will be notified via email by the University.
- What happens if I test positive?
When you are notified you tested positive for COVID-19, please go to your local place of residence and self-isolate, limiting your contact with others immediately. When the local health department contacts you, they will coordinate with you and University staff to help you isolate and provide you with needed food and support. If you would like to go to your permanent residence to isolate, you will work with the health department to determine whether it is safe for you to do so.
Adhering to all recommendations directed by the health department and the University is mandatory for students. If you choose not to follow this guidance, you could be subject to student discipline.
You should not leave your residence hall room after receiving a positive test result until you are notified you can do so by the health department.
These are the steps that will be taken:
- The Director of Health Services at Birkam will notify District Health Department #10 in Mecosta County of a positive case.
- District Health Department #10 will contact those who test positive and begin a health investigation.
- The student will be advised to self-isolate by District Health Department #10 and will be given instructions on how to safely do this.
- District Health Department #10 and the Birkam Health Center will work together to reach out to contacts of the case to advise of quarantine and next steps.
- District Health Department #10 will have daily communication with the student who tests positive and will notify the student when they are released from self-isolation.
- The University will communicate with any colleges, departments or student organizations that may need to be aware of the positive case in a general message ensuring the message meets HIPPA requirements and protects the individual’s identity.
- The University will be maintaining a positive case dashboard at www.ferris.edu/coronavirus, and any positive test associated with Ferris State University will be reported in the dashboard.
- How will I be able to continue classes if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you are in a face-to-face course, instructors will work with you and make appropriate accommodations.
Please reach out to your instructor(s) and/or faculty advisor if you need accommodations due to testing positive for COVID-19.
- Who is paying for the testing?
Ferris State University
- Who will coordinate contact tracing efforts and why is it important?
The local health department, with assistance from the University, will conduct contact tracing efforts. Contact tracing is part of the process of supporting patients and warning contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission.
- What does it mean to be a contact for purposes of contact tracing?The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. For students, a contact could be roommates/suitemates, housemates, intimate partners - anyone who has been in contact within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes. It could also be someone with whom they shared personal items such as a cup, lip balm, or a vape. Contacts are directed to quarantine for 14 days from the day they last had close contact with the positive case. If you have contact with someone identified as a close contact of a positive individual, but not with the positive individual, you are generally considered a tertiary contact and are advised to self-monitor for symptoms, but not directed to quarantine.
- If I am identified as a close contact and directed to quarantine, can I test out of
quarantine with a negative COVID-19 result?No. The reason is that the test measures infection, not exposure. There is an incubation period for COVID-19 of 2-14 days. Someone can be exposed on a Monday, not develop an infection yet on a Tuesday and test negative, but then develop an infection on Wednesday. Hence, contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of testing results.
- I see other universities are testing wastewater to determine the prevalence of COVID-19
on campus. Is Ferris testing its wastewater to learn more about the prevalence of
Yes. The University is participating in wastewater monitoring on campus. Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater can predict the number of symptomatic individuals infected with COVID-19. People begin shedding the virus in feces before they become symptomatic.
Daily monitoring of wastewater flows on campus should reveal trends in the number of infections on campus, even if infected individuals are asymptomatic. If SARS-CoV-2 levels increase in the wastewater stream generated by a particular residential building, the University can intensify focus on that particular location to increase diagnostic testing of the asymptomatic residents of that building to limit the spread of the virus among their contacts.
- Will commuter students be required to be tested for COVID-19?
Not at this time. The University continues to evaluate its testing program and may conduct additional testing and/or monitoring as the semester continues.
- Will I still need to be tested if I have recently received a negative test result
within the last 48 hours?
No. However, students must provide verification of the negative test and that test must be an antigen or PCR test.
- What measures will be in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety when they return
Our fall plans comply with the state of Michigan COVID-19 requirements and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These plans include:
- requiring face coverings, physical/social distancing, symptom-checks, and staying at your residence when ill
- reduced maximum occupancy of classrooms and facilities and created one-way traffic flows
- changing some course delivery plans to align with CDC guidelines
- reduced density in offices, residence halls, dining facilities, and common areas
- increased cleaning and increased air handling
- treating surfaces with MicrobeCare and adding hand sanitizer stations around campus
- access to COVID-19 testing and support for campus contact tracing
- isolation rooms for on-campus residents
- providing at least one Ferris branded face covering per student
- asking everyone to stay to the right when entering buildings
- limiting elevators to no more than two individuals at any one time and encouraging those who are able to use the stairs
- What should I be doing to keep myself and other safe and healthy?
- Face coverings: Everyone must wear face coverings inside buildings, and outside where/when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.
- Practicing Good Personal Hygiene including frequent hand-washing for at least 20 seconds: In addition to encouraging our community members to wash their hands frequently, additional hand sanitizer stations will be installed throughout campus, along with reminders to avoid touching your face.
- Maintaining a safe space between you and others: Physical/social distancing reminders will be affixed on floors and walls of campus buildings to ensure that everyone remains at a safe distance when on-campus operations resume.
- Monitoring your own health on a daily basis (symptom checker): Checking for a fever, watching for other symptoms and, if warranted, seeking help through your primary care physician are important for everyone on campus.
- Avoiding large social gatherings and crowded events that exceed the State of Michigan’s events and organized gatherings guidelines.
- Staying at your personal residence when feeling ill.
- Reporting a positive COVID-19 test result to the University.
- Answering your phone and cooperating with contact tracing, and quarantining and self isolating when directed.
- Are face coverings required on campus?
Yes. Face coverings are required statewide in Michigan and in all campus and statewide buildings indoors and outside when six feet of physical/social distancing cannot be maintained. All students, faculty, staff and visitors are expected to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth inside all University buildings and in any situation where social distancing is difficult. The university will distribute at least one, washable, branded face covering to members of the campus community, and additional face coverings are available for purchase.
You may provide your own face coverings; however, they must meet CDC guidelines:
- Fit snugly against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
Fabric face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and they must be properly laundered with soap/detergent before subsequent use.
Students who are medically unable to wear a cloth face covering should contact Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services before returning in-person at [email protected] Students at Kendall College of Art & Design should contact Marie Yowtz, Director of Counseling & Disabilities Services at KCAD, at [email protected]
Individuals are not required to wear a face covering when they:
- are in their assigned residence on-campus with only roommate/suitemates present
- actively eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment or at a designated eating/drinking area
- exercising and wearing a face covering would interfere with the activity
- giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience, provided that the audience is at least six feet away from the speaker
- May I wear a gaiter as my face covering?
No. You may provide your own face coverings; however, they must meet all CDC guidelines:
- Fit snuggly against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops
- Include multiple layers of fabric
- Allow for breathing without restriction
Fabric face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and they must be properly laundered with soap/detergent before subsequent use.
- Have there been any changes to the academic calendar?
The fall semester will begin as scheduled on Monday, August 31. Our academic calendars are available online. Where possible, in-person activities and instruction for the Fall 2020 semester will transition to remote/online delivery after Thanksgiving for the final two weeks of the fall semester and for finals week. This is to minimize the possibility of an outbreak after Thanksgiving travel and during the traditional beginning of the flu season.
Campus facilities and operations, including on-campus housing and dining, will continue through the end of finals. No decisions or changes have been made to the Spring 2021 academic calendar at this time.
Kendall College of Art & Design’s campus will be closed after Thanksgiving break for students and employees. On-campus operations will not be continuing and instruction and support services will be delivered remotely.
- What if the situation changes?
The University is carefully monitoring and responding to new information about COVID-19 and its impacts. It is understood that our plans must be flexible and include contingencies for changing conditions over time. We are prepared to deviate from outlined plans in order to take swift actions to keep our community safe. The University will be ready to pivot to primarily online instruction at any point during the fall semester should it be required. Students enrolled in courses at our regional locations will also receive communication regarding any changes at our regional site locations.
- What can I do if I am with other students who are not being safe/careful in terms
of social distancing, wearing masks, etc.?
Most of us are doing the right things to protect ourselves and others. If you find yourself around others who are not remembering to keep distance or wear a face mask, we encourage you to do your part to remind others of our shared responsibility. If you are comfortable, please remind those you are with to be safe by keeping distance and wearing their face covering. If you are not comfortable encouraging the behavior in the moment, please remove yourself from the situation and then let the appropriate people know (RAs in your Residence Hall, your professor in the classroom, any FSU/KCAD staff member, or use this form to report a non-emergency.
Academics, Advising, Tutoring, and Writing Center
- What can I expect my classes to be like this fall?
To protect everyone’s health and safety and allow for proper physical/social distancing in classrooms and campus/statewide buildings, a mix of different types of course formats will be offered in the fall:
- In-person classes: These are the typical, traditional classroom classes, but they will take place in rooms adjusted to allow for each student and the instructor to maintain six feet of distance from each other. Physical locations will show on your course schedule.
- Some in-person classes will appear in your schedule as “face-to-face with online supplement.” In-person classes with this designation will be in person, but may not meet for the usual length of an in-person class and the remainder of the “classroom” time will be spent in our Learning Management System (CANVAS). The time spent in person and in CANVAS will vary and be course specific. For example, a course that normally would be in-person three days a week, may meet two days a week and the remainder of the course time would be delivered within CANVAS.
- HyFlex classes: These classes will blend in-person and online learning in an effort to reduce the number of students on campus and in classrooms at one time. Hyflex provides the instructor the option of meeting with part of the class in person and part of the class live stream. How you participate will be determined and at the discretion of your instructor.
- Fully Online classes: These classes will be conducted fully online, in a synchronous (one set meeting time for all students) or asynchronous (no set meeting time, allowing students to access course materials at any time) format.
Screenshots provided at the link below show how these delivery methods appear in your detailed course schedule in MyFSU.Course Schedule Screenshots
- Why is Ferris changing some classes to online and hyflex delivery?
Ferris State’s fall course schedule is being reworked to ensure it is following CDC guidelines and physical/social distancing can be maintained. This effort to maintain a safe distance between people has significantly reduced classroom capacities around campus and thus requires some classes to be moved online or to a HyFlex (hybrid of online and in-person) format, to protect everyone’s health and safety.
- How can I make it to a fully online class after a face-to-face class, if I only have
10 minutes in between classes?
Residence hall students are encouraged to return to their rooms where they can take advantage of a direct wired internet connection. Non-residential students participating in online courses from the Big Rapids campus may use one of the computers in the FLITE library with their own headset/microphone, or a quiet location where WIFI is available, such as the commuter lounge in the lower level of the University Center or any of available spaces in the Student Recreation Center.
- What should I do if I do not feel comfortable returning in-person and/or I want to
take all online courses this fall?
If you have personal circumstances that lead you to prefer a fully online course load for the Fall 2020 semester, you should consult your academic advisor, who will be able to assist you. If you are unable to reach your advisor, please contact your College at the numbers below and/or at [email protected] (and include your student ID).
- What if I fall into a high-risk group, or have a physical or mental health condition
that requires that only online courses this fall?
If you have a health condition that supports the need for a reasonable accommodation, you should contact Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services before the semester begins at [email protected] Students at Kendall College of Art & Design should contact Marie Yowtz, Director of Counseling & Disabilities Services at KCAD, at [email protected]
- Are advisors available for appointments?
Yes. If you need assistance with adjusting your course schedule, please contact your advisor by email to request a virtual appointment. If you are unable to reach your advisor, please contact [email protected]
- What if I am sick and can’t attend class?
- Call your health provider
- Follow your health provider's instructions
- Rest and recover
- Follow the CDC recommendations
- Communicate with your faculty as soon as you are able. Let them know you are not feeling well and will connect with them as soon as you have recovered for options to make up what you missed and get caught up.
- If you need assistance with communicating with your faculty, please contact Dean of Student Life Joy Pulsifer at [email protected] If you are unable to continue and complete the semester due to your illness, please contact Lindsay Barber, Director of Birkam Health Services, at [email protected] to begin a request for a medical withdrawal.
- I was just informed that I need to isolate (or quarantine), what do I do about my
If you are feeling well enough, please continue to participate in your fully online courses. If you do not have access to a computer while in isolation/quarantine, please email [email protected] for assistance.
If you have any in-person classes and/or you are not feeling well enough to participate in your classes remotely, please contact your faculty by email to discuss options to participate remotely from isolation/quarantine and/or arrangements to make-up your work. Here is a sample email you may wish to use:
Dear Professor [name]
I am currently enrolled in [class]. Unfortunately, I have been directed to quarantine or isolate until at least [enter date]. Please know that I am committed to doing everything I can do in order to stay current with my coursework during this period.
With that in mind, I would deeply appreciate your help in working with me to make a plan that will allow me to participate remotely from isolation/quarantine and/or to make-up any face-to-face class time and work I will miss.
I look forward to hearing back from you soon and can be reached by either a response to this email, or by phone at [enter number].
- I was just directed to isolate or quarantine, do I need to change to a fully remote
No. Please reach out to your faculty (see sample email above) to make arrangements to participate remotely and/or to make-up the in-person class time and work that you will miss while in isolation/quarantine.
After contacting your faculty, if you need additional assistance with accommodations for your course work while in isolation/quarantine, please contact your advisor, your academic program, and/or the Office of Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services at [email protected]. Students may also request formal accommodations through Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services.
At KCAD, please contact your faculty advisor, the dean of Academic Affairs and/or Counseling and Disability Services.
- Will tutoring be available this fall?
Yes. Tutoring, writing consultation, and other academic support remain available through the Center for Academic Literacies. Walk-in Tutoring and other academic support will remain available through the Academic Literacies Center.
Online tutoring appointments can be made through Tutor Trac, online, by phone or in person. Follow the instructions in this guide to make a appointment.
The Writing Center will operate remotely and completely online during the Fall 2020 semester. For more information please visit the Writing Center webpage.
For students attending Kendall College of Art and Design, please contact the Activities and Resource Center (ARC) at [email protected]
On-Campus Housing and Dining
- Who can I talk to about University Housing and Dining questions?
- Will University Housing and Dining remain open?
University Housing and Dining will be open with plans in place to reduce density and provide for extra cleaning. Physical/social distancing will be implemented throughout common areas and dining halls, and we will continue to employ enhanced safety and cleaning protocols throughout residential and dining spaces. Dining halls will be open for students, but with limited seating. They will operate under all appropriate food service safety guidelines from local health authorities.
- If, after the start of the semester, the University pivots to all online classes,
will I be eligible for a housing refund?
If, after the start of the semester, the University moves to all online classes prior to Thanksgiving and for the remainder of the semester, students that choose to move and check-out of their residence hall will receive a prorated refund. If face-to-face classes resume in the spring semester, the student’s room reservation will be held for their return, and they will be expected to honor that spring semester contract if they attend spring semester classes.
- Can I return to my on-campus room after Thanksgiving break?
Yes. Housing and dining operations will remain open after Thanksgiving for residential students.
- I would like to change my housing assignment from North Hall to a single room. How
do I request a change to my on-campus housing assignment?
Email your request for an assignment change to [email protected]
- I do not feel comfortable coming to campus this fall and am taking all online courses.
How do I cancel my housing and/or appeal the requirement for first-year students to
Students who are looking to cancel their on-campus housing for the fall semester should email [email protected]
- What plans are in place if a housing resident contracts COVID-19?
We are setting aside rooms for isolation should that become necessary. Housing, Dining, and Custodial Services will provide basic housing, food, and cleaning needs. If a student needs to quarantine or self-isolate, representatives of University Housing, our Health Center, and our local Health Department will work closely to determine how to manage each student’s situation on a case-by-case basis.
- When are isolation or quarantine used?
Isolation and quarantine are used to limit the spread of communicable disease. Persons in isolation or quarantine should restrict activities outside their residence, except for getting medical care, for the period of time they are at risk of secondary transmission. If you are in isolation, do not go to work, class, public areas, and avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Tuition, Financial Aid, Student Financial Services (Student Bill), and Fees
- Will there be a discount to tuition this fall for online instruction or at any time
that the circumstances may require a pivot to all online learning?
In order to provide quality education now and in the future, we do not plan to discount tuition. Our faculty and staff continue to serve students, and deploying new technology—even on a temporary basis—is incurring additional costs for the university.
- Do I have to pay the $12 per credit fee for online courses? What about the other student
The $12 per credit online fee and the $16 Racquet and Fitness Facility Fee will not be charged for Fall 2020 courses. For information about the other refundable fees and how to request a refund within the first 5 days of the semester, please visit our Business Office webpage.
Please be aware that you may request a refund of the Health Services fee online in the Health Dog Patient Portal and this fall the Student Activities and Student Government Fee by emailing Student Financial Services at [email protected]
- Will my housing and dining rates be reduced because my classes are being delivered
online after Thanksgiving?
No. Housing and dining will remain open and available to you after Thanksgiving. In addition, Housing & Residential Life has already significantly reduced the cost of housing for many students this academic year.
- Are there any resources for students experiencing financial hardship related to COVID-19?
Is CARES Act funding still available?
CARES grants from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund are available to students who were enrolled in Spring 2020 and incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19. Examples of eligible expenses for CARES funding include medical, food, housing, utility and technology expenses; relocation costs to return home; unexpected childcare; course materials; and other unexpected expenses. Students who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for the emergency grants. At this time eligible students can receive up to $400 (one time). More information and a link to the application is located on our CARES Act page.
- Is Ferris State offering COVID-19 testing to students?
Ferris State students who are symptomatic or who have recently been exposed to someone who has tested positive are able to receive a COVID-19 test that will be covered by health insurance. Students who believe they need testing should schedule a virtual screening through the Healthy Dog Portal with a Birkam Health Center provider to receive testing at Spectrum Health System. Students can also search for local testing sites in Michigan.
- What happens when a student, staff, or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19?The University has protocols for isolation, contract tracing investigation, cleaning, accommodation, and notification. Team members from Birkam Health Center work closely with local public health authorities on case management and specific recommendations based on the unique needs of every case. For student cases, Birkam Health Center will assist our local health department with contact tracing. If/when someone is determined to be a contact (any individual within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes of the infected individual), that person will be notified, advised of assessment of infection, and instructed to quarantine for a period of time not to exceed 14 days. The number of people involved in this will depend on the outcomes of the investigation as well as the adherence to the recommended mitigation strategies. This means that social distancing, wearing your face covering and washing your hands often will decrease the chance of you being contacted to quarantine.
- What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. This includes individuals identified as high-risk for contracting COVID-19, but not experiencing symptoms.
Quarantine time-frame: 14 days from time of contact with possible virus to sequester away from others to avoid possible transmission if become ill/asymptomatic.
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. This includes individuals who are ill/tested positive/presumed positive for COVID-19.
Isolation time-frame: 10 days since symptoms first appeared and improving, with at least three days with no fever (non-medicated).
Symptoms and Prevention
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have reported mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure. Information suggests that older people and those with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness. For more information, consult the Centers for Disease Control or contact your local health practitioner.
- How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. This includes being within approximately six feet of an individual with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time, and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
- What should I do if I suspect I have COVID-19?
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID19, please self-isolate in your residence, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your recent travel or contact. They will work with the appropriate local or state public health departments to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Students may call the Spectrum Health COVID Hotline for a free screening at (833) 559-0659. During this virtual video visit, you will be asked a series of questions about your condition by a Spectrum Health provider who will advise whether you need to seek additional care. If determined to qualify for a test by Spectrum Health provider, will be instructed where and how to obtain the viral test.
- What can I do to avoid getting sick?
The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and influenza, is to avoid exposure to the virus. Take the CDC-recommended precautions to reduce your risk of exposure, including:
- Wearing a mask
- Proper handwashing
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a trash receptacle
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
- What is social/physical distancing?
Physical/social distancing includes maintaining distance from others when possible (six feet is recommended), refraining from attending large gatherings or events, and avoiding unnecessary contact with others (e.g., not shaking hands, hugging, or kissing as greetings).
- How does contact tracing work?
When an individual within the Ferris State community tests positive for COVID-19, the local public health agency takes the lead in contacting the individual who tested positive and the individuals with whom they have been in contact.
- Where can I access WiFi off-campus?
The state of Michigan has published a statewide WiFi hotspot map to enable residents lacking home internet access a path to locate and use a strong connection.
- I’m concerned about bias, racism, homophobia, and xenophobia related to COVID-19.
COVID-19 is not associated with any race, ethnicity, or nationality, though systemic health and social inequalities have put members of some communities at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 than others. It is vital that our community work to combat discrimination based on racial bias or appearances and to correct misinformation on the spot. Make sure you only share accurate, unbiased information, and speak up when you hear, see, or read misinformation or harassment. Incidents of bias or harassment can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
- I’m very worried about COVID-19. Are there resources to manage my feelings?
The abundance of news and updates about COVID-19 and ongoing uncertainty is making many people feel anxious. The University Counseling Center has gathered a variety of online resources to assist students. In addition, students can access virtual appointments with our Counseling Center staff. Please visit our Personal Counseling Center webpage for more information; including our Therapy Assistance Online program (TAO).
Events, Activities, and Athletics
- Will there be events and activities outside of the classroom?
Yes! Student Life is actively preparing registered student organizations guidelines for meetings and programs, and the following are some examples of how we are working to keep all students connected to organizations and activities:
- The Center for Leadership, Activities, and Career Services will host a virtual student organizations fair, and many registered student organizations will host interest meetings virtually.
- In addition to virtual events, we anticipate that student organizations will hold some in-person events, subject to University and state and federal guidelines.
- University traditions and in-person activities will continue in a modified or hybrid format with a mix of virtual and in-person experiences.
- Multicultural Student Services, the Veterans Resource Center, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and the Center for [email protected] Studies will continue to support students with programming, resource support, and educational training and workshops that will primarily be held virtually, with some limited in-person offerings.
There will be opportunities to socially engage and make new friends while on campus or at a statewide location, but the experience will be different. We do not envision fitness activities taking place or indoor exercise facilities being available, given current state executive orders. Strict adherence to group limits of 10 or fewer people, indoors, with face coverings and distancing will be required, as defined by the recent executive order from Michigan’s governor (outside of classroom settings). Any in-person activity or event will be limited to 10 people or fewer for indoor settings and 100 people or fewer for outdoor settings. In both settings, face coverings must be worn and appropriate physical distancing must be maintained. Virtual events and activities will also be organized.
- Are athletic events still being held?One of our two athletic conferences, the GLIAC (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) suspended all athletic competitions for all sports until at least Jan. 1, 2021. At this time a decision has not been made by our hockey conference, the WCHA, about the 2020 season.
- Will the Student Recreation Center be open this fall?
The Student Recreation Center will re-open for students on Thursday, September 17!
Recently Governor Whitmer’s office announced gyms can re-open with restrictions. For more information on the University Recreation Center re-opening phases, including hours and how to make a required reservation in advance of working out, https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/studentlife/u-rec/reopening.htm.
- Are students encouraged to stay on or near campus this fall?
To limit your exposure, the CDC recommends that you limit your travel. We are working to offer additional events and activities to engage students on weekends this academic year. There may be circumstances in which people must travel. In those cases you are encouraged to follow the CDC guidelines for travel within the United States.
Other Campus Facilities
- Will the FLITE Library and the University Center be open this fall?
Our campus re-entry plans include opening all facilities where possible and where reduced density and physical/social distancing can be maintained. FLITE and the University Center are open this fall. For information on FLITE’s reengagement plan and their hours this fall, please watch the FLITE webpage for updates.
- Will the planned and rescheduled commencement ceremonies be taking place in-person
This has not been decided at this time.
- I have a rental agreement with a property management company or landlord, and I want
to end my lease. Can Ferris help?
Unfortunately, we are unable to intervene in any contracts between students and other entities such as landlords or property management companies.
- What does the pivot of in-person classes where possible after Thanksgiving mean for
This will depend on your specific on-campus student employment. Please work with your supervisor to understand your location, hours, and options for the final three weeks of the fall semester.
Campus Visits for Prospective Students
- Are there opportunities for me to visit campus?
Prospective students have the opportunity to sign up for a personal on-campus visit experiences by appointment only. These visits are limited to 1 student with 2 additional guests. The one-hour experience includes the opportunity to speak with an admissions representative, have a guided tour in a University golf cart or van, and tour various areas such as the University Recreation Center and a model residence hall room in North Hall. Safety is of primary importance for your visit and the Admissions representative will be wearing a face covering. We require that all campus guests also wear a face covering (face masks will be provided if needed). For information on dates, times, and experiences available, please go to www.ferris.edu/visit.