How will the university keep classrooms and high-traffic areas clean across campus?
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.
What is the purpose of the Public Health Task Force?
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.
What happens if the pandemic situation changes in the coming months?
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.
Will UTSA provide masks to students, faculty and staff?
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.
How will UTSA enforce its health protection and prevention guidelines (e.g.: wearing a face covering, socially distancing, etc.?)
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.
Designed for flexibility and accessibility, fall classes will be largely online with a small number of face-to-face classes. All face-to-face classes and any 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.
How do I indicate whether I want to complete all my courses online?
You do not need to take any special action if you want to take all of your courses online. The fall course schedule was finalized on July 31; your schedule should now reflect the designated mode of instruction for each of your courses. For courses that are listed as face-to-face, faculty also will offer virtual options for students who prefer to complete their courses remotely.
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.
Will all scheduled Fall 2020 classes be offered in-person and online? What about labs?
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.
Online Asynchronous– Classes do not meet in real-time.
There is no set course time — course content and instruction are available at the student’s convenience. There may be synchronous meetings (for example, office hours or tutoring) as long as they are not required for a grade. Online Synchronous– Classes meet in real-time.
Classes occur online during the scheduled course period.
Online Hybrid- Classes will require both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Thecourse syllabuswill indicate the frequency of the scheduled meeting times.
All course content is available asynchronously; however, synchronous class meetings may be held as part of the course and the student’s grade. The time for class meetings will be listed on the class schedule and syllabus.
Are labs going to be online? If so, how will they be conducted?
Lab courses that will be conducted face-to-face will also offer virtual options for students who prefer to complete their coursework remotely. Students can participate in any lab course entirely online, if preferred.
How will clinical teaching be conducted in Fall 2020?
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.
Will there be any changes to the cost of attendance for this fall?
Tuition rates for this fall will remain as published. However, following the decision to suspend campus transportation services, as well as a thorough evaluation of our mandatory fees and available services, we have amended our fall 2020 semester fees to waive the transportation fee and international education fee.
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.
Student Disability Services works closely with students and their faculty to make all the accommodations necessary for both online and in-person classes. Contact Disability Services directly at 210-458-4157 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any accommodations you may need this fall.
No. You will not need to re-register for the fall. By the end of July, face-to-face courses that are going online will be updated automatically. If any changes to the schedule do occur, other than being converted to online, students will be notified via email in advance.
I am a military-affiliated student and receive benefits through the GI Bill®, Hazlewood or a book voucher. Will my benefits be impacted if I take some or all my classes online this fall?
Your benefits will not be impacted. Federal legislation (S.3503) has been passed ensuring your benefits will not be reduced by taking online classes. This policy remains in place until January 2021 OR the university returns to normal operations.
What will happen to football season and Homecoming?
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.Applicationsfor Mr. and Ms. UTSA are currently open with plans to announce winners during Homecoming weekend.
How can students, faculty and staff obtain a UTSACard?
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.
Will the bookstore be open in the fall? How will we get our books and supplies?
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.
How will work-study positions be handled this fall?
Work study funding remains available to eligible students through their financial aid package. Positions will be available to students regardless of whether they are taking online or in-person classes. Some positions will be remote. Work study positions are posted on Handshake via the UTSA Career Center.
Is there any chance that UTSA’s residence halls will close during the fall semester?
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.
I’ve heard that UTSA Housing is full, but I really want to live on campus. What should I do?
Students with current UTSA Housing contracts have until Aug. 3 to determine if they want to maintain their contracts. If you want to live on campus, we encourage you to apply for the wait list at https://housing.utsa.edu. We are currently making offers to students on the wait list as rooms become available in Alvarez Hall, Chaparral Village or Laurel Village.
Can my family members and friends help me move in?
The health and well-being of our students and their families is our top priority, so we plan to schedule move-in appointments that help our residents and their families follow social distancing best practices during move-in. More information about move-in procedures will be provided to residents at the end of July.
May I have visitors while I am a resident in UTSA Housing?
In support of the health and well-being of our residents, no visitors or guests from outside your housing family unit will be permitted in your assigned unit or any other area in the residential community.
What are my leasing options for Campus Living Villages?
University Oaks and Chisholm Hall are owned and operated by Campus Living Villages (CLV), a private third-party company that operates under a ground lease with UTSA. As part of our contractual obligation with CLV, those properties are listed in the overall housing program at UTSA. However, we have underscored that University Oaks and Chisholm Hall are separate from the properties that UTSA owns and manages. Students who lease in University Oaks and Chisholm Hall are contracting with CLV, a private company, separate from UTSA, and are subject to the terms and obligations of its contract.
We have made CLV aware of UTSA’s plan to provide students living in university-owned communities with the option to either (1) be released from their contract or (2) sign an addendum continuing their lease regardless of whether classes are taught in person or online. While we would welcome and encourage CLV and other private apartment complexes to take a similar approach, we do not have the ability to direct them to make changes to their leasing agreements or practices.
Will the university provide extra safety measures to departments/areas as we reopen (i.e. PPE, hand sanitizer, etc.)?
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.
May I choose to only allow persons in my office who are wearing a face covering?
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.
Will staff have the option to continue telecommuting if they do not feel safe on campus?
Return-to-work modalities are being finalized for faculty and staff, 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.
Telecommuting agreements that were set to expire on July 31 have been automatically extended to August 14. By that date, supervisors will notify employees about work modality options for their position.
Will faculty and staff offices be sanitized daily?
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.
Will staff involved in recruitment and support programs be required to travel outside the university as they normally would to attend and staff events?
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.
Is UTSA considering the caretaking responsibilities of faculty and staff who have school-aged children?
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.
Will UTSA alter leave benefits for staff who must stay home due to quarantine or COVID-19 infection?
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.
Am I allowed to hire student workers for the fall?
The federal work-study program has not been affected by the pandemic, therefore offices are encouraged to post their available positions on Handshake by Aug. 1. All non-federally-funded student worker hiring remains suspended during the temporary telecommuting period. If you have unmet needs, please let your supervisor know as some areas with a large student workforce (e.g. Campus Rec, Student Union, etc.) may be looking for meaningful work to give their student employees.
Will faculty members be required to wear a face covering while they teach?
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.