In addition to the frequently asked questions outlined below, several departments have compiled their own:
- COVID-19 Information for Graduate Students
- COVID-19 Information for International Students
- COVID-19 Information for Researchers
- Facilities Management: COVID-19 Information
- Human Resources: COVID-19 Information
- Instructional Continuity
- Registered Student Organizations: COVID-19 FAQs
- Study Abroad: COVID-19 FAQs
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.
What are the plans for Thanksgiving Break?
Currently, Michigan Tech is planning to continue with the fall semester as scheduled on our Academic Calendar. This includes a Thanksgiving Break from November 20-29.
Should the University see the need to change the status of in-person/on-campus instruction either before or after Thanksgiving Break, we would do so by elevating the Health and Safety Level on campus. These decisions are done using real-time data regarding the public health situation on campus and in the community, the capacity of the local health care system, and any governmental mandates.
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 MTU Flex be accessible for students with disabilities?
Yes. Student Disability Services will be able to provide virtual support and resources. Students do not need to have documentation of a disability to meet with the coordinator. Incoming students should make a virtual appointment as early as possible in their first semester.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about MTU Flex?
You can email questions and comments to 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.
Will all instructors wear face shields?
Instructors will wear face shields only while teaching credit-bearing courses where six feet of distance can be maintained. Instructors will be expected to wear cloth face coverings to and from class, but will be permitted to wear specially designed face shields while teaching credit-bearing courses where six feet of distance can be maintained. The face shields will allow for better airflow, allow students to see the instructor's face and will be equipped with headsets to enable remote learning for those students who are not able to be in the classroom.
What's the difference between hybrid, remote, and online classes?
Hybrid classes have face-to-face meeting times, but also offer students the opportunity to complete most activities virtually and/or remotely. In many cases, a class is hybrid because social distancing requirements won’t allow everyone to attend face-to-face simultaneously. Instructors are permitted to accommodate students who wish to avoid any face-to-face requirements.
Remote classes are offered synchronously, which means they have scheduled meeting times that students attend virtually, usually through a conferencing system like Zoom.
Online classes are offered asynchronously, which means that although there are deadlines, students can complete class activities with time and place flexibility. There are generally no scheduled full class meetings, though students may need to connect virtually with peers or the instructor at times they arrange, and may need to complete assignments or take exams within specific windows of time.
What is the new Attendance Policy? How does it work for students who are ill from COVID-19?
In response to recommendations from the American College Health Association, Michigan Tech has changed our attendance policy so students who become ill will not be required to make unnecessary visits to a health care provider for the purposes of obtaining documentation.
These students will work with the Dean of Students Office for assistance and support. Each situation will be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but we are hopeful that even though a student is ill, symptoms will not be so severe that they are unable to keep up with classes remotely during the full period of isolation.
In addition, students no longer need to contact the Dean of Students Office for excused absences involving fewer than three consecutive days unless they missed a major assignment, examination, or other graded requirements of the class. Students can review the Attendance Policy for more details.
Where can students go to participate in remote classes while on campus?
Students can take part in remote classes in any of these locations:
- The MUB Ballroom, Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (seating will be socially distanced)
- Wireless lounges located across campus (see list of lounge locations)
- The Van Pelt and Opie Library
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 an international graduate student. What does this mean for me?
>International Programs and Services (IPS) can give you helpful information about the international student experience at Michigan Tech, and also has a list of frequently asked questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may affect international students.
>For specific questions regarding immigration, visa interviews, and travel, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check the US Department of State website for the latest on visa application, wait times, and other announcements.
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 email@example.com 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.
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:
- 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'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.
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 current Health and Safety Level, as state mandates permit, and with all safety protocols in place. 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.
To check the status of library operations, visit the Departments, Events, and Services: Status Updates web page.