Effective January, 21, 2022:
- Please consult the respective websites of each member school, center, or affiliate as you may find differing COVID protocols. Some schools are starting the semester with remote learning, some are offering on-line courses all semester. Some schools are requiring two vaccination shots plus a booster; some are specifying that N95 or KN95 masks be worn.
If you’ve cross-registered for courses, please check the websites of the hosting member schools to find the information you’ll need to start the Spring 2022 semester. I suggest that you also check the Consortial Registrar’s web page for updates.
- Most GTU courses will be presented using remote modalities. Some are starting remotely with the hope of meeting in-person later in the semester, and a few courses are meeting in-person from the beginning. Please contact your professor if you have questions about your course format.
- The GTU requires two vaccination shots to enter the Hewlett Building for classes or library use; in the coming months, a booster may be added to that requirement. Please continue to send your vaccination verification to firstname.lastname@example.org. In compliance with California health regulations, masks are required in the Hewlett Building (through at least February 15). K95 or KN95 masks are preferred.
- Read the Vaccination Policy, the Student Vaccination Policy, and the Policy for entrance to the GTU Hewlett Building (library). (Policies released August 20, 2021).
- Until further notice, students should plan to continue to make use of remote modalities to attend to any GTU-related business, such as meeting or conversing with GTU faculty or staff. You will be kept apprised of you when in-person meetings are permissible.
- The GTU is committed to ensuring that all students are able to make sufficient academic progress.
- The GTU's Director of Digital Learning, Diandra Erickson offers virtual office hours for students every Wednesday at 1pm for assistance on online learning. Students can schedule a one-on-one meeting via Zoom with Diandra by emailing her at email@example.com
- The GTU North Building, the Annex, and the library will be closed to the public through until further notice.
- Student services will be by appointment only.
- If you are an international student on F-1 visa, the shelter in place directive does not impact your visa status, provided you continue to participate in online learning procedures. Given the extraordinary nature of the COVID-19 emergency, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) will allow F-1 students to temporarily count online classes towards a full course of study. This temporary provision is only in effect for the duration of the emergency.
- For questions or information regarding bill payment, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Students are encouraged to pay using Sonis or by mailing a check.
- If you are a prospective or admitted student planning a visit, please get in touch with our admissions team to discuss your situation and how we can help you at email@example.com.
- For more infomation on GTU Library services, see the Library Services section of this page.
- Faculty are encouraged to consult the "Instructions for Moving In-Class Courses Online" (updated March 25, 2020) prepared by GTU's Director of Digital Learning, Diandra Erickson. The following are additional resources for this semester.
- Weekly Virtual Office Hours: Faculty requiring additional assistance about online teaching methods/pedagogies or using Moodle/Zoom or other technologies for teaching are encouraged to meet Diandra at her weekly virtual office hours on Zoom which begin March 23. Office hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 11:00am-12:00pm. If you would like to attend any of these office hours, please contact the Director of Digital Learning for a link. Additionally, you can schedule a one-on-one meeting via Zoom with Diandra by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Course Design Workshops: The regularly scheduled course design workshops will continue to take place via Zoom for the remainder of the semester. Along with the regularly scheduled workshops, Diandra will also provide a "Moodle overview" workshop every Wednesday at 2pm starting March 23. In this workshop, she will provide a walkthrough of Moodle's most helpful features for developing good quality online courses. If you would like to attend any of these Moodle Training Sessions, please contact the Director of Digital Learning for a link.
Moodle Tutorial Videos: Soon after Spring Break, Diandra will have short Moodle Tutorial Videos posted on the Moodle site home that will be available to faculty. These videos will be based on FAQs received from faculty in the past weeks. Video topics will include:
Posting video lectures and PowerPoint to Moodle
Setting up assignments to be submitted through Moodle
Setting up and using the Moodle Gradebook
Using VoiceThread for lectures and discussions
Using VoiceThread for student assignments
Creating groups for discussion forums
Changing course formats on moodle
COVID-19 FAQ's for International Students
1. How does switching to online instruction affect my immigration status?
U.S. universities received guidance from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allows students to continue this semester’s courses online without jeopardizing their immigration status. The Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP) has confirmed that “If a school closes temporarily but offers online instruction or another alternative learning procedure, nonimmigrant students should participate in online or other alternate learning procedures and remain in active status in SEVIS.”
2. Can I complete the Spring Semester from my home country?
Yes, SEVP confirmed that international students may take full-time courses online either from within the US or from abroad. Regardless of where you are participating in online classes, your immigration status will remain active, if you participate in online learning, continue to be enrolled full-time, and make normal progress toward your degree.
3. If I vacate my current residence and relocate to a new U.S. address, do I need to report it?
Yes, you need to report any change of residential address in the U.S. to the federal government. Please send your new address to Chaitanya “Chai” Motupalli, Director of Student Life, at email@example.com.
Travel and Visa
4. Will the five-month rule apply to my visa if I go back home and stay away from GTU until the Fall semester?
The five-month rule refers to the termination of a student’s record in SEVIS if a student is away from classes or out of the country or not in status for five months. If you have decided to go home during COVID-19 and are maintaining full-time status until the end of the Spring Semester, the five-month rule should not worry you. After you complete the Spring Semester, you are entitled to your annual summer vacation. According to the immigration regulations, an F-1 student is in status during the summer holidays if the student is eligible and intends to register for the next term. You must return to GTU for the Fall to maintain your immigration status though.
5. Will I be able to come back to the U.S.?
Since travel restrictions are constantly changing, we cannot predict the travel situation for the time that you are planning to be back in the U.S. You will need to continue to monitor travel updates by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and travel guidelines by the U.S. Department of State. We will be carefully monitoring updates from the CDC, SEVP, USCIS, and the US Department of State as well.
6. Is there a time frame for when I am expected to return to the U.S. once the COVID-19 emergency is over and schools have resumed normal operations?
According to DHS, “Dependent on their school’s return to normal operations and any continuing travel restrictions, students should seek to return to the United States within 30 days of the next available session start date.”
7. My visa is expiring, and I am unable to travel to my home country currently. What should I do?
Your visa is meant to give you entry into the U.S. and it is not a problem if it expires while you are legally present in the U.S., i.e., by maintaining your immigration status by being in possession of a valid I-20 or DS-2019 and by meeting normal enrollment requirements.
8. Many students’ on-campus employment opportunities are now being conducted remotely while campuses are closed or students are able to perform their work duties from home. Can I engage in remote work for on-campus employment?
DHS maintains, “If the current on-campus employment opportunity has transitioned to remote work or the employment can be done through remote means, students may continue to engage in on-campus employment remotely.”
Some of you might qualify to apply for off-campus employment due to severe economic hardship caused by COVID-19. You may read more about that here. USCIS considers such applications on a case-by-case basis. If you intend to apply, please make a zoom appointment to discuss further by emailing Chai at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, for specific questions on CPT and OPT in the light of COVID-19, please contact Chai.