Helping students through the impact of coronavirus
This semester, nearly 80% of instruction is being offered remotely with some on-campus instruction in select courses requiring specialized equipment, clinical rotations, or other face-to-face learning. Whether your courses are online or on-ground this fall, ETSU is dedicated to providing the safest learning environment without sacrificing the high quality education students expect and deserve. Student services and offices (Dining Services, Sherrod Library, Culp Center, Financial Aid, etc.) will remain open for in-person and remote access.
What to expect for Fall 2020
Fall 2020 Operations
ETSU will begin the fall semester in Stage 2 with modifications. A series of operational stages, 1-4, were developed by the Future Operations Workgroup to provide levels of restrictions and other health and safety guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. ETSU transitioned to stage 2 in mid-June and began reopening campus.
The fall semester will begin as planned on August 24 (see revised Academic Calendar below) with on-ground and online instruction offered, students living in residence halls, and employees working on campus with options in place for staffing rotations and/or remote work options to maintain physical distancing expectations.
NOTE: Details within each operational stage are recommendations and may be modified as necessary.
ETSU will continue to follow recommendations from the CDC, the State of Tennessee and other entities in making decisions about the fall semester. Some decisions will be subject to approval from our Board of Trustees.
Health and Safety
People come first at East Tennessee State University, and the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors is our number one priority. Additional cleaning protocols are in place and adjustments are being made in classrooms and labs to meet recommended physical distancing guidelines such as moving desks farther apart, and limiting the number of persons sitting at a table. Pay close attention to health and safety information posted on walls, screens as well as floors so you can practice physical distancing while waiting in lines for food or other services.
All members of the ETSU community, including visitors, are required to wear face coverings in public spaces. Visit the Policy on Face Coverings webpage for details.
Bucs Are Back: COVID-19 Safety Pledge
Take the pledge today!
- Check your ETSU email for instructions on how to take the COVID-19 Safety Pledge.
- The training module only takes about 10 minutes to complete and includes a review of public health recommendations followed by the pledge.
- Answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips are available on the
Safety Pledge webpage.
Academics & Fall Calendar
What will classes be like?
ETSU is offering on-ground and online learning opportunities. Each of the courses scheduled for the fall semester has been carefully reviewed in order evaluate the possibility of altering the format of course delivery, such as transitioning some on-ground courses to online, or providing remote options for select on-ground courses.
*Revised* Academic Calendar for Fall 2020
As we prepare for Bucs to return to our campus for the fall 2020 semester, the COVID-19 pandemic will require adjustments to procedures and operations, such as the academic calendar. These changes are being made to safeguard the health of our students, faculty, staff, and campus.
First day of classes
September 7 - Labor Day
ETSU will be open and classes will be held
October 12-13 - Fall Break
ETSU will be open and classes will be held; Fall Break will be rescheduled to Thanksgiving week
November 11 - Veterans Day (observance)
ETSU will be open and classes will be held
Last day of in-person classes (November 21 for Saturday classes)
ETSU will be closed for Fall/Thanksgiving Break
November 30-December 4
Classes will continue remotely (online)
Final exams will be offered remotely (online)
Commencement (Format of ceremony to be provided at a later date)
*Following the Fall/Thanksgiving Break (November 23-27) ETSU will be open and students will continue their classes remotely (online) through the end of the fall semester.
- Gatton College of Pharmacy will alter its start date but will follow the university schedule beginning in September
- Quillen College of Medicine will maintain its regular schedule
Tools for Remote Learning
ETSU Information Technology Services website offers online learning resources for students.
Faculty use email, D2L and/or Zoom (video conferencing software) to provide course information and learning materials.
If you are not familiar with D2L, you can view the D2l Quick Start Guide for Students.
Zoom will be available via your instructor from within D2L for various class-related meetings. You may also use zoom for student group meetings by logging in to https://etsu.zoom.us. Zoom has a mobile app for iphone and android. Please visit our zoom help page for more information.
Be sure to check your email and your courses in D2L for information from your instructor on how to proceed with the course.
The Center for Academic Achievement (CFAA) is conducting online tutoring/learning services. Staff are available to answer student questions via phone or email and students can access assistance through the “Online Help” resources.
ETSU outdoor WiFi available
Students can connect to ETSU WiFi at the campus locations identified on the map below:
New Student Orientation
Have you completed ETSU’s online orientation, LAUNCH, and registered for your virtual orientation?
Housing and Residence Life
Residence Halls and Apartments are open and staggered move in days/times are being coordinated to allow for socially distanced move-in. In consultation with ETSU’s COVID Medical Team, the decision has been made to shift residence hall double bed spaces to single bed occupancy. These plans will be implemented for fall 2020 and will be reevaluated later this semester for spring 2021. This is a decision that promotes the health and safety of our campus residents and is being made out of an abundance of caution given rapidly changing COVID-19 conditions and increasing cases in the Appalachian Highlands over the last several weeks.
See the "Housing Update" memo for details.
New Student & Family Programs
ETSU has both an office responsible for assisting new student and parents/family members transition to ETSU and a formal family group - the Buccaneer Family Association.
The office of New Student & Family Programs recognizes that parents and families play an integral role in the successful transition of your student to ETSU. The Buccaneer Family Association is a way for you to be informed and involved as partners in the education of your student. BFA connects you to the departments and people that play an active role in the lives of our students. We believe the more informed you are about ETSU, the better resource you can be for your student. Membership in BFA provides parents and families with the resources, information, and opportunities to support their students learning, empower their students to take personal responsibility for social and academic choices, and understand their students experience at ETSU.
39th Annual Preview
All new undergraduate students are invited to register to participate in one of ETSU longest standing traditions, Preview. The Preview experience is like none other. The program is designed to make you feel at home and at ease prior to the beginning of fall classes. Get to know your classmates and have fun. The traditional multi-day Preview is for new students under the age of 23. A one-day program is available for Transfer, Adult, and International Students.
Summer Bridge Plus Program
July 27-August 16
Students will jump start their college career with this 3-week program that helps participants get acclimated to their new surroundings, studentship skills, explore careers, build connections within the community through a service-learning project, and connect with fellow students, faculty, and staff.
QUEST for Success
Registration deadline: August 14
This college transition program is designed to help underrepresented students become acclimated to campus life while building a network of friends, faculty, and staff to assist them through their college journey.
Learn more: etsu.edu/students/mcc/programs/questprogram/participants/dates.php
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-439-4844
August 24 - September 5
Now two weeks instead of one! Look for online and on ground activities and events to connect and engage new and returning students with campus clubs, opportunities, services, and offices.
Welcome Center and Campus Tours
Campus Tours available
University Health Center
The University Health Center, located in Roy S. Nicks Hall, Suite 160, is open and providing services for the ETSU community.
Do you want to be seen in person? You can schedule an appointment during clinic hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
The University Health Center also offers Virtual Telehealth visits for those who are not in Johnson City or prefer not to come to the clinic. Telehealth visits can either be conducted over a phone call or via a computer/laptop or camera capable cell phone. The latter provides both an audio and visual component, so you can see and speak with a provider without coming the clinic.
The University Health Center also offers virtual behavioral health appointments, in person and virtual sick visits, immunizations, TB tests, etc.
COVID-19 testing is available to students, staff, and faculty For more information about how to get tested, call the University Health Center at 423-439-4225. If you experience COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) and/or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, contact your health care provider or the University Health Center. Do not go to a health care facility before you have called your provider.
The Sherrod Library building is open, however, building and service hours may differ.
- Sherrod Library building and service hours: https://libraries.etsu.edu/use/fall2020
- All Sherrod Library services and collections are available online: https://libraries.etsu.edu/
Research help is available remotely:
24/7 off-campus access to electronic resources
Electronic delivery of interlibrary loans (articles, chapters, other digital media)
Training and support to integrate library’s electronic collections into D2L
Digital Commons repository for student and faculty e-portfolios, posters, papers, and other digital works
Graduate Assistantships/Fellowships & Tuition Scholarships
Graduate Assistants (GA) and Tuition Scholarship (TS) recipients should continue, as possible, with their usual activities.
GAs/TSs who are helping a faculty member with secondary research can do so remotely. You and your faculty member will need to stay in routine contact and you will be responsible for fulfilling your obligations.
GAs/TSs who have full teaching responsibilities or who conduct break-out or other learning support for a course should be working with a faculty member or mentor to understand the plan for moving classes online and receive the training you need to do their jobs competently. ETSU’s Center for Teaching Excellence and Information Technology offer useful resources to help you.
GAs/TSs who have responsibilities for laboratories, studio spaces, animal care, or who work in an administrative unit (like CPA) will receive instructions from your direct supervisor as to what will be expected from you and your responsibilities.
International Student Information
International Student Orientation and Arrival
Tentatively set for August 13-23
Incoming international students will receive assistance with arrival tasks and requirements, begin to familiarize themselves with campus and its resources, and have opportunities to build social connections.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does the guidance released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) impact my ability to be a student at ETSU?
- On July 14, the previous ICE COVID-19 SEVP Guidance for Fall 2020 was rescinded and on July 15 the policy was updated. However, this information may still generate a lot of questions and concerns, but please know the IPS Office and the ETSU Community are here to assist and provide you with the support you need to ensure your success while you our student. Please refer to this factsheet for information on the latest ICE guidance.
Which countries are currently under a travel ban to the U.S.A.?
- United Kingdom
- Most European countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
- Iran — Suspended issuance of immigrant visas and non-immigrant visas except F, M, and J visas
- Libya — Suspended entry for immigrants and individuals on B-1, B-2 and B-1/B-2 visas
- North Korea — Suspended entry for immigrants or non-immigrants.
- Somalia — Suspended entry for immigrants
- Syria — Suspended entry immigrants and non-immigrants
- Venezuela — Suspended entry for officials of Venezuelan government agencies who are involved in screening and vetting procedures as nonimmigrants on B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas
- Yemen — Suspended entry for immigrants and nonimmigrants on B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visa
If I am an ETSU student and I am currently in a country that has a travel restriction, what are my options?
You can enroll in available online courses, however, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not yet provided guidance that allows international students to maintain their visa status while enrolled fully online.
- If you lack a student visa, you will need to secure one in the future so that you can have the full benefit of your coursework and a path to graduation.
Will I be able to maintain a merit scholarship, graduate assistantship, or tuition scholar position if I cannot travel to ETSU?
Under the Tennessee EVEA law, a student has to have legal status (appropriate visa) and be physically present in the state to qualify for any state benefit, including scholarships, assistantships, or t.s. positions.
If I am not able to travel to the United States in time to begin the fall semester and I do not want to, or am unable to, enroll in online courses, what are my options?
International students can defer their enrollment until the spring 2021 semester
- To defer your enrollment, contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or Graduate Studies at email@example.com to request a deferred enrollment form.
Is there any chance that the United States government will lift the travel restrictions in time for me to return to ETSU?
The United States government has not provided any information on when travel restrictions will be lifted.
If I did not travel home over the summer, will I be impacted by any of these restrictions?
International students who remained in the United States may enroll in online or on-ground coursework and, if applicable, maintain any scholarships.
If I am an international student living locally (did not travel home) and I become ill with COVID-19, what should I do?
If you have any of the following symptoms, please isolate yourself in your home and contact a medical professional:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Free testing is available to determine if you have COVID-19. To arrange for testing call your medical provider or you may also contact the ETSU Student Health Clinic at 423-439-4225.
If you are living in on-campus Housing and have symptoms of or have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, please call our Department of Housing and Residence Life so that they may offer supportive measures to assist you with isolation and/or appropriate quarantine measures. 423-439-4446.
Are there any programs or support services for international students?
The International Student Success office, in the Multicultural Center, offers additional resources for international students. Students may also contact the staff.
- The International Programs office, in the Honors College, provides academic advisement, support, and information on travel abroad programs. Students may contact the staff of the office for more information.
- The International Friendship Program (IFB) connects incoming international students to host families in the Johnson City and ETSU communities. Host families normally provide housing for two nights, help with the move-in process, and continue to be a source of support for students throughout their time at ETSU. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IFP program will function differently for the fall semester. More information on these changes will be provided soon. Interested students should fill out an application here.
When can I move into campus housing?
- The latest move-in information from the ETSU Office of Housing and Residence Life is available here.
When will food service begin on campus?
- Campus food service operations will begin on August 19, 2020. At that time the cafeteria and retail food options will be open.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Office for the Protection of Human Research Subjects and the ETSU IRBs are fully operational. All IRB email addresses continue to be monitored with the same or greater frequency. IRB staff will be available via phone and email during normal business hours. We want to assure the research community that our primary concern is the safety of our researchers and research participants while also preserving the scientific integrity of research protocols.
To lean more: etsu.edu/irb/covid-19-info-for-research.php