FAQ: Fall 2020 Planning

Health

UTSA is committed to creating the safest possible environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. That’s why, in May, a Public Health Task Force comprised of scientists, public health experts and external health consultants was formed to help guide our processes for a safe and healthy return to campus.

The task force report defines cleaning and disinfection protocols, including regular cleaning and disinfecting of all classrooms, community spaces and high-traffic areas. Additional resources will also be made available including hand sanitizer stations, disinfecting supplies, plastic barriers for high traffic areas and online training to help students, faculty and staff take personal safety measures in gathering spaces like classrooms.

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UTSA is committed to fostering the health, safety and well-being of the campus community while enabling the continued academic progress of students. At the same time, the university recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly changing situation and it is imperative to gather as much information as possible to thoughtfully plan for the fall semester.

The UTSA Public Health Task Force was charged with developing a roadmap that will guide the university’s safe and healthy return to campus this fall. Its initial report provides overarching guidance for planning groups across the university.

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UTSA's Public Health Task Force is monitoring recommendations and updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is working closely with partners at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, University of Texas System, Association of College Health Administrators, NCAA, City of San Antonio, Bexar County, State of Texas and San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

The framework developed by the Public Health Task Force is a living document that will be updated as new information becomes available.

UTSA's fall semester is designed to be highly adaptable in the event we need to quickly move all instructional and operational activities online.

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While discussions are ongoing, testing is not required at this time. Any policy or procedural change will reflect the current public health situation.

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At this time, it is not feasible or practical to implement mass testing for COVID-19. Testing is available through the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

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UTSA will provide a face covering to students, faculty and staff prior to the fall semester. The university will also sell spare masks at RowdyMart at a minimal fee to individuals who forget, misplace, lose or damage their face coverings and need a quick replacement.

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All students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a mandatory public health compliance training prior to returning to campus. UTSA will also post signage across its campuses to reinforce the importance of public health practices.

More information on enforcement of UTSA's face covering requirement can be found on our Face Coverings at UTSA page. 
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Classroom air is exchanged a minimum of three times per hour. Building air systems are filtered and bring in some fresh outdoor air on a continual basis.

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Learning

On June 30, 2020, UTSA provided an update regarding fall 2020 planning.

The fall semester will entail a blend of online, hybrid, in-person and experiential learning activities. All in-person activities will include virtual alternatives to be inclusive of all, regardless of ability to come to campus or comfort-level with doing so.

On July 8, the Undergraduate and Master’s Education tactical team and Advancing Belonging and the Out-of-Classroom Experience tactical team will deliver their reports with further guidance regarding the framework for the fall semester.

By August 1, final course-specific information (modality, location, times) will be available in ASAP.

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Final course-specific information (modality, location, times) will be available in ASAP by July 31.

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Yes. Students should register for their Fall semester classes as they normally would. Each course listing will be updated in ASAP once a final decision is made about its delivery format (modality, location, times), by July 31st. 

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Current CDC recommendations include postponement of study abroad programs until further notice.  We are awaiting further guidance from CDC and will continue to review spring and summer study aboard programs on a case by case basis.  Fall 2020 study abroad programs have been canceled. Permalink

We will offer a blend of online, hybrid, in-person and experiential learning activities this fall. All in-person activities will include virtual alternatives to be inclusive of all, regardless of ability to come to campus or comfort-level with doing so. 

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In a hyflex model, courses are delivered in-person and online at the same time by a faculty member or instructor.

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More information about options for qualifying exams will be provided to graduate students in late July.

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This will be dependent on UTSA’s partnering school districts. Once the College of Education and Human Development receives definitive notice about their Fall 2020 plans, we will be able to provide information to our clinical teachers about Fall 2020 clinical teaching formats and placements. Fall Clinical Teachers should check the Clinical Teaching Blackboard for updates.

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Tuition rates for this fall will remain as published. Some mandatory fees may be adjusted pending final decisions regarding campus services.
 
We understand the financial challenges that many of our students are facing due to the uncertainties of the pandemic. We are making available a number of financial assistance resources to support them so they can continue to achieve their educational goals.
 
The cost of providing a high-quality educational experience remains generally consistent whether students choose instruction in the classroom or online. In some cases, though, online instruction can actually be more expensive to deliver, depending on the academic program. 

Tuition covers faculty and instructor salaries, the infrastructure costs of technology associated with course delivery, and the instructional technology teams that support our faculty. More than 62 percent of the university’s budget goes toward personnel expenses. Tuition also helps to fund student scholarships.

That is why our tuition rates remain in place. 

Since the out-of-class experience for students taking their courses fully online this semester will be different, we are assessing our fee schedule to better reflect this reality. Permalink

Campus Life

UTSA is continuing to review applications and admit students as it did prior to the onset of the pandemic. SAT/ACT requirements have been temporarily suspended for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 undergraduate admission, as well as Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. The deadline for Fall 2020 admission has been extended to July 31. The university has also temporarily suspended the GRE requirement for admission to the UTSA Graduate School. At the same time, our Keep Running With Us program, which provides top performing UTSA grads with automatic admission to certain master’s programs, has been popular with new students. 

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When Campus Recreation reopens this fall, students, faculty and staff will be highly encouraged to wear face coverings.

 

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UTSA intends to celebrate football season and Homecoming while putting appropriate protocols in place to practice social distancing. The dates for the football schedule are final with kick-off times not yet determined. UTSA Athletics is working with the Alamodome to establish protocols that provide a safe environment for all patrons.

Homecoming events may need to be scaled or held virtually based on future guidelines for large-scale gatherings in October. Applications for Mr. and Ms. UTSA are currently open with plans to announce winners during Homecoming weekend.

 

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The university is developing a process to allow students, faculty and staff to request a UTSACard remotely, including uploading their own ID photo. The process for distributing remotely processed cards is in development at this time. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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The Rowdy Campus Store (RCS) plans to open to for walk-in business as soon as it is permitted. The campus store will observe public health guidance and practices recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District and UTSA Public Health Task Force best practices. 

The Rowdy Campus Store expects students will be able to purchase course materials and supplies in the campus stores and/or through the stores’ website. Online purchasers will have the option to pick up their order at the store or have the order shipped.

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Living

Yes. More information is available on the Living page on our Roadrunner Return website. 

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UTSA Housing intends to provide housing regardless of changes to the academic schedule or manner of instruction to support the housing needs of our students. UTSA Housing does not anticipate closing or issuing a refund as a result of such adjustments.

Additionally, housing units will be designated for students who need to isolate or quarantine, particularly for students who do not have a local residence in which to do so.

 

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Working

The university will provide a face covering to students, faculty and staff prior to the fall semester. Hand sanitizer will be available in dispensing machines distributed throughout the university and in most departmental offices. Restrooms will always be supplied with soap and paper towels. The university will also supply initial sanitizing materials to departments free of charge.

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Yes. University guidelines require that masks must be worn at all times in all campus buildings. Face coverings are optional if alone in an enclosed space such as a private office, or practice room. If working in an enclosed space, masks may be removed until another individual enters the workspace where social distancing cannot be maintained. More information is available on our Face Coverings at UTSA page

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Possibly. Return-to-work modalities are being explored for staff and faculty as well as flexible workplace policies. College and department leaders are actively planning how services will be delivered in the fall and the level of in-person support needed to deliver those services.

The university expects to release more information on work modality on July 28. 

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Common areas will be sanitized each weekday evening and periodically throughout each weekday.  Personal offices will be cleaned on a periodic basis but not sanitized on a daily basis. Faculty and staff will be responsible for sanitizing their personal workspace including phone, keyboard and mouse.

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Possibly. UTSA’s goal is to enable the health, safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff. Meetings and events that can be conducted virtually should continue to be conducted virtually. Those that cannot will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by employees and their supervisors.

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UTSA recognizes that some area K-12 school districts may offer classes in a virtual or hybrid model and that those decisions could impact child care of faculty and staff. UTSA will provide additional guidance on this topic as part of its workplace modality planning.

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The Extended Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) were implemented on April 1, 2020 and allow extended benefits to employees who need to take leave due to COVID-19 related concerns.  The benefits under EFMLA are extended to qualified employees and may provide protected time off and other incentives to employees that meet certain eligibility requirements. Learn more about EFMLA and EPSL eligibility. Permalink

Teaching

Face coverings (medical or non-medical grade) that fully cover both the nose and the mouth must be worn at all times by students and faculty while in the classroom. Exceptions must follow university guidelines. If a barrier is available in the classroom, it may be acceptable for faculty to remove face coverings during lecture.
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Any classes scheduled for face-to-face instruction must have a parallel online component of the classroom experience (hyflex) for students who will not be able to attend in person. 
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Have a question that's not answered here? Email coronavirus@utsa.edu

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