What plans are in place to safeguard my health when MTU faculty, staff, and students return to campus?
Your health and safety are of paramount importance. From labs and classrooms to offices and conference rooms, plans tailored to each area of operations on campus are being put in place as part of Michigan Tech's three-step reopening process. Stay updated on how we are all working together to keep our campus and community safe at MTU Flex.
Will the fall semester start on time?
Michigan Tech intends to start fall semester instruction on Thursday, August 27, 2020—two days earlier than usual.
How long will MTU Flex last?
MTU Flex is the plan for fall semester. We hope it will not be needed after that, but we are prepared to continue MTU Flex as long as necessary to keep our campus and community safe.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about MTU Flex?
You can email questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm an incoming first-year student. What does this mean for me?
Welcome! Look for an email from Admissions with more information about what MTU Flex means for new students. If you do not get the email, or you still have questions, contact email@example.com.
How will classes be taught?
In the fall semester, learning will take place face-to-face, by remote instruction, or through a combination of the two. There is no face-to-face instruction on campus this summer.
What's the difference between remote instruction and online classes?
Remote instruction means meeting and interacting with your teacher and classmates in real time. For example, your face-to-face class that meets at 10 a.m. Wednesdays would still meet—but remotely on Zoom—at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Online classes are usually delivered asynchronously, which means they are completed by individual students on their own, with no set class time for learning together.
I don't want to take only online classes. Do I have a choice?
We prefer face-to-face instruction, too! But we must be prepared to take quick action while the pandemic continues. If we have to, we will shift partially or entirely to remote instruction—a kind of teaching and learning that's different from regular online classes.
How can a hands-on lab or class adjust to remote instruction?
As an example, a typical online physics lab makes use of your camera phone and specialized software to capture frame-by-frame motion of a ball falling, rolling down a ramp, etc. After calibrating the video for scale, careful measurements are taken, graphed, and analyzed to determine the rate of acceleration of the ball. The marked-up picture, graph, and analysis are all submitted for instructor review and feedback. Again, your phone camera comes in handy here to scan and upload graphs, drawings and worked out equations. An online discussion board is available throughout the process as questions arise, or so you can discuss or compare results with your classmates.
Will the Pass/Fail grading option continue?
No. Pass/Fail was an exception made for the spring 2020 semester only.
I'm a master's degree student and my thesis research has been delayed. Can I switch my degree to coursework-only?
Master's students whose graduation is delayed because of research progress this semester may want to consider converting their degree to a coursework option. The Graduate School can allow research credits to be considered toward a coursework degree. Please reach out to your graduate program director for additional details.
What resources are available to support my graduate research?
The opening of research labs is a high priority for us, and safe resumption of research activities is under constant review. As we plan our return to normal activities, the specifics will vary depending on the type of research activities, equipment, and whether fieldwork is involved. Here are some of many resources you can contact for more information:
- Contact your graduate program director or department.
- Information Technology for technology support to work remotely or on campus.
- The Graduate School resources archive, compiled to assist students with research and professional development.
- Michigan Tech Van Pelt and Opie Library offers information on the research process, reference help, citation and copyright documentation. It hosts workshops and consultations on citation software, data management, poster design, company research, etc. The library also provides remote access to electronic resources, and research guides on special topics.
I am a new graduate student. What should I expect in the fall? And what resources are available to help me?
The Graduate School understands that you are beginning your graduate education at an unprecedented time. We will provide the resources to make your education as smooth as possible. We are planning to welcome all new graduate students to Michigan Tech in-person in the fall. Our plans will evolve over the summer to make sure your introduction to campus is safe and adheres to federal and state guidance for group gatherings. Please see the Graduate School website for the most current information regarding Orientation to Graduate Studies and Research, Graduate Teaching Assistantship Orientation, Program Orientation and Safety Training, and International Student Information. Options for remote orientation and training will be available, if necessary. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or concerns. International students should consult the International Programs and Services for further information.
Are graduate students still able to conduct research?
Yes. While laboratory reopenings are being phased in, there are still many aspects of research that can go forward. Reopening plans for labs and other facilities will provide for safe operations, including social distancing protocols.
Will I still be able to get practical, hands-on experience?
Yes. Procedures and protocols have been developed to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, while also ensuring that students get the education and experience for which Michigan Tech is known. We expect that labs and facilities will be available, with appropriate safety measures.
Will I still be able to get a research assistantship?
Yes, in almost all cases. Students supported through assistantships funded through the University are continuing to be paid, even as access to campus is restricted to all but essential personnel. Teaching assistants are helping with online instruction; research assistants have adapted to the online only environment in a variety of ways. Research involving interaction with human subjects is restricted in some ways that other research is not. Funds to support this type of research may be delayed. Check with your program for details on whether you are impacted by this.
Will the disruption caused by access to campus/facilities/laboratories increase my time to degree?
Michigan Tech is committed to ensuring that all students graduate in a timely manner. Research never goes exactly the way you intend. There are always unforeseen circumstances. Projects are constantly being reimagined and refocused. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. We are encouraging all students and faculty to examine their research goals and adjust so that students may finish their degrees in a timely manner.
What resources are available for remote instruction?
Instructors are using Zoom, Huskycast, Panopto, and specific lab-focused software
for remote instruction, and are being assisted by staff in IT and the Jackson Center
for Teaching and Learning through instructional continuity tools and consultations.
Through Husky Innovate, Michigan Tech IDEA Hub, and other resources, faculty is collaborating with colleagues on campus and around the world; tag @mturesearch on Twitter to help share ideas.
What can I do if I don't have reliable high-speed internet access or a computer at my permanent residence?
Will the Library be open?
The Van Pelt and Opie Library building will be open in accordance with the University's three-step reopening plan, as state mandates permit, and with all safety protocols in place. One of MTU's goals for Step Two is to reopen the library on a limited basis. In instances when our library building is not able to be open, it will continue to serve our community with online resources, as it has throughout the pandemic.