Student FAQ

Frequently asked questions from students about the Fall 2020 Return to Learn plan.

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Do I have to complete a self-screening before coming to campus?

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to complete a daily self-screening on a daily basis. The screening tool is part of a system-wide initiative by the Minnesota State System office.

Will my temperature be taken when I enter campus, classroom, or an office?

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to complete a daily self-screening on a daily basis. The screening tool is part of a system-wide initiative by the Minnesota State System office.

What if I am experiencing any of the following symptoms: fever or feverish feeling, chills, a new cough, shortness of breath, a new sore throat, new muscle aches, new headache, new loss of smell or taste?

  • Quarantine, seek medical advice, and do not come to campus.
    • A COVID Healthcare Hotline is available at Student Health Services at (507) 389-5591.
  • If the medical advice is to get tested, the student should isolate until test results are received.
  • If the test result is positive for COVID-19, then the student should call the Campus Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030.
  • If the medical advice is to quarantine due to symptoms or exposure, the student will quarantine for 14 days according to MDH guidelines.

How do I report my positive COVID-19 test result?

If the test result is positive for COVID-19, then the student should call the Campus Reporting Hotline at (507) 389-2030.

When can I return to campus after testing postive to COVID-19?

Students who seek to return to campus after testing positive for COVID-19 must follow directives from their healthcare provider.  Students must still follow all mask wearing and social distancing guidelines.

MDH guidelines state if you have COVID-19, stay home until all three of these things are true:

  • You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
  • It has been 10 days since you tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using medicine that lowers fevers.

What if I have been in contact with someone that has COVID?

Current MDH guidelines include quarantining for 14 days following close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask) with a person who tested positive for COVID. Furthermore:

  • For questions about symptoms, testing, or risk of COVID-19, call the Student Health Services COVID Healthcare Hotline at (507) 389-5591.
  • Contact your faculty members to inform them that you will not be attending class.
  • Students living in University housing should contact Residential Life to arrange accommodations for isolation/quarantine at or (507) 389-1011.
  • Students that need assistance with services should contact the Student Affairs Office at or (507) 389-2121.
  • For general questions, contact the Provost’s Office at or (507) 389-1333.

What if a student is exhibiting symptoms or is not wearing a mask? What do I do?

In regard to a person exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms:

Students who wish to report concerns or issues about hygiene and respiratory etiquette can contact the Student Affairs Office at or (507) 389-2121.

In regard to face-coverings:

Members of the University community are expected to behave responsibly and show respect for the health and safety of others. Any employee, student, or visitor who fails to abide by this directive without an approved accommodation may be asked or directed to leave the campus. Faculty and staff who are so directed but fail to comply may be subject to university discipline. Students who are so directed but fail to comply may be subject to student discipline.

Do I have to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test before returning to campus?

You are not required to quarantine before returning to campus but are required to complete a daily self-screening on a daily basis. However, we do ask that you follow the latest CDC guidelines upon returning if you have traveled out of the state or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Can students get tested on campus?

Yes. Please call the Student Health Services COVID Healthcare Hotline at (507) 389-5591 for more information and to make an appointment. Tests are by appointment only.

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What are the complimentary masks supplied to students and employees by the University made of?

They are three-ply masks, made with two layers of black cotton with one outer layer of polyester for dye sublimation.

Do I have to wear a mask outdoors on campus?

Masks are required in outdoor settings when social distancing cannot be maintained.

How do I go about a mask accommodation due to a medical condition?

Students who believe they should be considered for an exception to this requirement should contact Accessibility Resources at (507) 389-2825,

What is the policy on masks, shields, and where are they required on campus?

All faculty, staff, students, and visitors are required to wear a face covering over both the nose and mouth at all times when indoors on campus or in other university facilities.

What kind of mask is acceptable to wear on campus or can I just wear a shield?

Appropriate Face Coverings:

  • A cloth or disposable mask that fits snugly but comfortably, covers the mouth and nose and allows for unrestricted breathing.
  • Other face coverings expressly approved by the University.

Masks or cloth coverings can be purchased or handmade. There is not a list of approved vendors. When buying or making a face covering, remember to check that it meets the following requirements:

  • Completely covers the mouth and nose.
  • Is not overly tight or restrictive.
  • The face covering must not be made of mesh or other fabric with holes and must not have a valve designed to facilitate easy exhaling or other openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents.

Face Shields:

  • Face coverings are preferred over face shields.
  • Face shields can be used in conjunction with a mask any time the user wishes. Use of both may be necessary for higher risk activities.
  • Face shields may be used by faculty while conducting lecture in a classroom provided 6-foot distancing can be maintained with students.
  • Masks should be worn going to and from the classroom or if the faculty member cannot maintain the 6-foot social distancing.
  • Other uses of a face shield in lieu of masks should be for medical reasons only.

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Are all campus services open?

All campus services are open, however some may be open virtually or have modified hours of operation.

Will I be able to study abroad fall 2021?

The ban on international travel issued on February 28, 2020, remains in effect. As of September 1, 2020, only domestic travel outside of Minnesota to states contiguous to Minnesota (Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota) via ground transportation. Requests for college or university related travel outside of Minnesota and contiguous states will be considered by the President on a case-by-case basis. For more information visit the Center for Education Abroad and Away.

If campus has to close, do I have to move home?

If we have a similar situation as we did during the spring 2020 semester, the residence halls will remain open for students who wish or need to stay.

Will there be a spring 2021 graduation?

The plan for what our ceremonies will look like is being worked on as we continue to follow evolving health and safety guidelines. If you are a student graduating in spring 2021, you will get more information regarding commencement through MavMail in the near future.

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What are the different class delivery options?

In-Person classes will have required  face-to-face interaction in a classroom, lab or field experience. Some course components may be delivered in alternative formats, but the majority of the course is delivered in-person in a space that has been prepared to accommodate students and faculty safely.

Hybrid courses will largely be delivered online, but they may include  some  required face-to-face interaction as well.  For example, one week the class may meet in-person; the next week, it may have online-only activities.

Online Only classes will be offered online, with no in-person interaction. Some online classes are asynchronous, which means that there are no required video conference meetings; others are  synchronous, which means that you must engage with the instructor at a scheduled time. Online courses have additional fees associated to them, although those fees do not apply to classes that have moved online as a result of the pandemic. The removal of online course fees for classes that moved to online as a result of the pandemic are currently being processed; reductions will be reflected on your student tuition bill next week.

FlexSync is a  synchronous  HyFlex learning experience designed specifically with the pandemic and smaller room capacities in mind. This allows us to be nimble while maintaining face-to-face instruction.  In a FlexSync course you  can  engage with instructors  either  in the classroom  or  via Zoom.  In-person attendance may be adjusted or offered on a rotating basis to meet evolving health and safety guidelines for distancing.  There are no additional fees for FlexSync classes.

Note: You may see the term HyFlex on your course schedule; the Minnesota State system uses HyFlex to describe flexible classes in general – but FlexSync is Minnesota State Mankato’s more comprehensive learning solution designed to support you.

What does an online differential fee pay for and what courses was it removed from?

There is an online differential fee attached to all online only courses to pay for the costs associated to delivering them. If any of your classes have been scheduled or switched to online-only as a result of the pandemic, you will not be charged online differential fees.

How will faculty decide who gets to go to class for FlexSync?

Faculty will be reaching out to students to determine if a rotation schedule is needed for in-person participation to ensure all students who would like to be in-person are given the opportunity.

How do I meet with faculty if they say they won't be on campus this semester?

Faculty will be holding virtual office hours to accommodate if they, or their students, aren’t on campus.

Can I refuse to attend in-person courses if I am concerned with my health?

Yes, if you don’t feel comfortable attending class in-person accommodations can be made via FlexSync classes.

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I am an international student, what is the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Guidance?

Current students:

  • For Fall semester, current students even outside the US may remain in active SEVIS status and study online if they have a full course of study and current students in the US may take all of their classes online and remain in active SEVIS status if they take a full course of study.
  • Current students on campus are free to take any type of instruction (but will need to be enrolled full-time and abide by regular immigration guidelines).

New incoming international students:

  • The guidance changed on July 24th and new incoming international students are not allowed to study all online on campus.
  • Students should read the attached and contact Jacy Fry, the Director of the Kearney Center for International Student Services and advising staff to assure that they attend some in person. Student is ultimately responsible for making sure they meet this requirement.

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