Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to update this page as we are able to share more information. Please check back often.

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General

Is the University closed? (updated 3/24)

Most buildings on all three UW Oshkosh campuses are locked. Until further notice, the only people with authorization to remain on UWO’s campuses are employees needed to deliver necessary campus services that cannot be completed through telecommuting and resident students that are not able to return to their permanent residences.

All campus-based classes on our Fond du Lac, Fox Cities and Oshkosh campuses will begin delivery of courses through alternative delivery methods on Monday, March 30. Alternative delivery methods of instruction will continue through the end of the spring semester and spring interim.

What is the University doing to address the impact of coronavirus?

In coordination with UW System, UWO has activated a committee to monitor and address the situation. We are continuously monitoring the situation and taking steps as directed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local, state and regional public health officials.

UWO’s leadership and Emergency Operations Committee will continue working on our COVID-19 response. We will keep you informed of new developments, details and decisions through regular emails and updates to this website. View recent updates

How does the Safer at Home order affect me? (New 3/26)

The Office of the Governor and the Wisconsin DHS issued a “Safer at Home” order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, effective until at least 8am on Friday, April 24. This order is mandatory and applies to the entire state of Wisconsin. Read frequently asked questions about Safer at Home.

What should students do if they experience COVID-19 symptoms? (updated 3/19)

If students are sick with COVID-19 or suspected of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below:

  • Stay home except to seek medical care. People mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.
  • If you are unable to return to your permanent residence, you will need to isolate in a single room on campus.
  • Restrict all activities outside of the room except for seeking medical care.
  • Use a separate bathroom.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: No ride-sharing or taxis.

As a matter of safety, we ask that if students are sick they call (920) 424-2424 before coming to the Student Health Center.

Patients who do not call ahead and who are exhibiting symptoms, such as coughing, fever or sneezing, when they arrive for an appointment, may be asked to reschedule or speak to a healthcare provider by phone.

What should employees do if they experience COVID-19 symptoms? (updated 3/19)

If you do not feel well, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider before visiting a healthcare agency. As always, inform your supervisor.

Follow these simple steps from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to prevent illness and avoid exposure to the virus:

  • Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash hands with soap and water
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • The CDC has additional information for those who have contracted COVID-19.

Academics

How will classes continue? (updated 3/29)

All face-to-face classes must move to alternative methods of instruction through the end of the spring semester and spring interim. Online courses are not affected by this decision.

Instructors can move to asynchronous activities starting the week of March 30 and/or synchronous activities during normal class meeting times beginning the week of March 30. Instructors may not change their classes’ normal meeting times. 

Essentially, UW Oshkosh is moving to a 13-week term. Instructors should alter their course materials, topics, assignments, etc. to fit the 13-week term. The UW System, Higher Learning Commission and U.S. Department of Education have indicated that we are allowed to make these changes and that they will not affect financial aid or accreditation.

How will classes be graded? (updated 3/31)

Some of our students would like us to keep letter grades so that they can pursue or maintain a strong GPA. Other students would like us to move to a pass/fail model, citing worries about how they will perform with all of the recent changes.

Right now, we are pursuing both options. We want what our students want: flexibility and integrity.

Letter grades will stay, but we want to try and provide students the best of both worlds. It may take a little more time to develop this hybrid-grading approach—certainly more than a one-size-fits-all decision takes. We ask for our community’s patience as we ensure that we do this in a way that works best for our University and for our students. As we maintain letter grades, we will work to provide the option to accommodate students who request pass/fail in certain circumstances. We pledge to notify you as we move forward with this process.

What is the updated deadline for dropping a class? (updated 3/31)

We have extended the course drop date for the 14-week term to May 15. We are pushing back the drop deadline because we want to give students the time they need to truly get used to their courses as they are delivered in alternative formats.

What is the new process for textbook buybacks and returns? (new 4/1)

We are still working through what the process will be for both buyback and returning rental books. As details are finalized, every student will be emailed with information regarding the process.

How will seven-week courses be affected?

For seven-week classes that would have ended the week of March 16, instructors may give their students the option of completing their term during the week of March 16. However, students must have the option to finish those courses during the week of March 30.

How will nursing clinical experiences be affected?

As they are not classified as on-campus courses, clinical experiences will continue the week of March 16th. If the agency where students have clinical the week of March 16th is still accepting students, the clinical experience will take place as normal. We recommend that students contact their clinical instructor for more information. 

What Project Success accommodations are available for exams and note-taking? (New 3/19)

Exam/ Quiz Accommodations:

Project Success students have been instructed to notify their course instructor of their intent to use an accommodation on an exam or quiz in advance. Course instructors are expected to match their students’ designated accommodation. More information on this has been requested from IT and will be shared as it is received.

Should a student request an exam reader as an accommodation, they can either:

  • Turn on built-in text-to-speech settings on their personal computer, which should work within CANVAS (IT is checking into this to verify)
  • Contact Project Success via email (projectsuccess@uwosh.edu) to schedule a time with a staff member to have the exam read. Please note that this would require the Project Success office to receive a copy of the exam and would need to be scheduled in advance to guarantee staff availability.

Should a student request a scribe as an accommodation, they can either:

  • Type responses into a word document or use their personal computer’s built in speech-to-text capabilities, and then copy/paste the information into the CANVAS response section
  • Contact Project Success via email (projectsuccess@uwosh.edu) to schedule a time with a staff member to have the exam scribed remotely. Please note that this would require the use of a phone or voice call program for Project Success staff to scribe the verbal responses and send back to the student for review and submission.

Note-taker Accommodations:

  • Note-taker accommodations will still be provided as usual for any course that is being offered in a live-lecture online format.
  • Lectures provided as podcasts may not require an additional note-taker if the student has access to review and re-watch the lectures, unless the student presents additional considerations.
  • Note-takers will not be provided for independent work (discussions, readings, papers, etc.) assigned in place of traditional lecture.

Residence Halls

Do I need to leave my residence hall? (Updated 3/19)

Effective immediately, students are expected to plan to move their belongings out of their room.  We have developed an intentional move-out process that will limit the number of individuals on campus at any time. It is important that everyone follow the process that has been developed so that we reduce exposure and keep everyone safe and healthy. View this communication from the Department of Residence Life for more information.

Will dining services remain open?

Effective Monday, March 16, all dining retail locations will be closed except Blackhawk Commons. The Blackhawk Commons service is only available for students who are on a meal plan. No guests or employees are allowed at this time. Employees are encouraged to bring their lunch to campus.

An email has been sent to all students on a meal plan alerting them that Blackhawk Commons will provide a to-go meal to student meal-plan holders only during each meal period starting on Monday. There will be no self-serve options, and students cannot dine-in. Students should enter through the doors on the northwest side of the building (Taylor Hall side).

Office of International Education-sponsored Study Abroad/Away

What is the status of spring interim, summer and fall 2020 study abroad/away programs? (Updated 3/25)

Spring interim, summer and fall semester 2020 study abroad/away programs have not yet been rescheduled or, worst-case-scenario, canceled. We are still hopeful that one, some or all programs may run. We are, however, also well aware that they may not.

To prepare for possible program rescheduling or cancellation, Office of International Education staff has begun developing backup plans for:

  • students who need the course offered through their study abroad/away program to graduate this semester or to advance into courses in fall.
  • students who must maintain full-time status for financial aid, GI Bill, insurance, and other reasons.
  • students who contact the Office of International Education to report other scenarios that require our attention.

To avoid negative consequences from program rescheduling or cancellation, such as financial aid reductions, impacts on GI Bill benefits, progress toward graduation, or completion of prerequisite courses that must show up in TitanWeb to retain fall semester enrollments, programs cannot be rescheduled or canceled until all potential issues for individual students on our programs have been resolved.

Students may also reach out to advisors for advice on formulating a backup plan, if needed.

When will I know if my program will be rescheduled or canceled? (Updated 3/25)

OIE is working with individual students and Program Leaders this week to determine the feasibility of rescheduling, especially in cases where courses associated with programs are already in progress. Options will be announced to program participants as those options are confirmed; therefore, each program will be announced at a different point in time.

What will happen if I withdraw from my program?

The Withdrawal & Refund terms you signed will apply.  Review the Withdrawal & Refund form, available from the application page for your program on our website, for details.

If you withdraw for a reason covered by the “Program Fee Refund” benefit in your Cultural Insurance Services International policy, you may be able to make an insurance claim for reimbursement of financial obligations and fees paid that are not otherwise recoverable.

If you withdraw from a program that was ticketed on a group flight, you will not be reimbursed for the air ticket and the ticket cannot be re-used at a later date.

You will not be able to use fees paid toward a future program.  Fees paid to the university are used to cover expenses associated with your current program and, if these cannot be recovered for you, will not be available to spend on future programming.

When programs are cancelled due to an epidemic, UW Oshkosh will submit claims to an insurance company for possible reimbursement.  Reimbursement is not possible for withdrawals that occur prior to program cancellation. 

What happens if my program is rescheduled or cancelled?

When programs are rescheduled or cancelled due to an epidemic, UW Oshkosh will submit claims to an insurance company for possible reimbursement. While we can’t guarantee that all claims will be paid, we do not anticipate charging students for cancelled programs.

If the Office of International Education booked your airline ticket, you will receive information from the Office of International Education as we receive information from our travel agency and the airlines. Airlines may, but are not required to, allow for future use of the ticket, subject to terms and conditions that are to be determined. Given the enormity of the current situation and the hundreds of thousands of passengers worldwide rebooking and cancelling flights right now, we encourage you to be patient as we wait for answers. 

Any reimbursement owed to you will appear as a credit on your account in TitanWeb. You may use this credit to pay any outstanding balances on your account, including study abroad for a future program if the new program fees have been added to your account.

Can I be reimbursed for expenses that I did not pay to the University?

The University cannot reimburse for personal items such as passports, visas, luggage, travel clothing, electronics, etc. even if these are purchased to prepare for your program abroad/away.  Reimbursement inclusions, for students who are entitled to a reimbursement, will be calculated for each program if the program is cancelled and communicated directly to students.

If you purchased an airline ticket, the airline through which your ticket was booked will determine the terms and conditions associated with a cancellation.  Airline cancellation policies are fluid at this time as airlines attempt to accommodate flight changes on a massive scale.

Students in F/J Immigration Status

What will happen to my immigration status when courses are offered through an Alternative Delivery Method?

The decision to cancel classes for the week of March 16 and to begin delivery of courses through alternative delivery methods on Monday, March 30, will not negatively affect your F/J immigration status. 

Am I required to depart the United States?

The same immigration regulations you have been following to remain in the U.S. continue to apply now.  If you continue to follow immigration regulations, including full-time course enrollment through the alternative delivery methods, you may remain in the U.S.  However, you must keep a few things in mind: 

  • Check the “Program End Date” on your immigration document.  
  • If you are in F status and have an I-20 immigration document, you have 60 days from your “Program End Date” to depart the country or start a new program of study. 
  • If you are in J status and have a DS-2019 immigration document, you have 30 days from your “Program End Date” to depart the country.  
  • Inability to depart the U.S. due to lack of flights does not prevent you from violating the terms of your immigration status.
Can I leave Oshkosh over spring break or when courses are through an Alternative Delivery Method?

Yes. However, if you are considering travel inside or outside of the U.S. Followed by return to the U.S., review and consider these risks first.  Share this list of potential risks with any people who may be helping you make travel decisions. 

  • If you are in the U.S. in J status and hold a DS-2019 immigration document, you may not return to the U.S. in J status or use your DS-2019 to re-enter the U.S.  (This does not apply to students in F status.)
  • No one can predict whether you will need to self-quarantine when re-entering the U.S. or self-quarantine when returning to Wisconsin from other parts of the U.S. 
  • Due to travel bans in the U.S., it is possible that you may not be permitted to re-enter the U.S. if you leave.
  • You may not be able to depart from a country outside the U.S., or there may be entry restrictions imposed by countries through which you must fly to reach the U.S.
  • If the current visa in your passport will be expired when you intend to re-enter the U.S., you may not be able to apply for a valid visa to return.  Prepare for U.S. Embassy and Consulate closures and refer to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website in your country for current information on visa processing.
  • Depending on your access to the internet and internet sites or content in the U.S., there may be challenges associated with completing coursework from outside the U.S.  Content may not be accessible everywhere in the world.
  • If you are unable to maintain your enrollment through the alternative course delivery methods, you may need to withdraw from spring semester. This could impact your student immigration status. Your eligibility to return to the U.S. or apply for benefits such as OPT could be compromised. You will not receive a refund on tuition and fees paid for spring semester.  If you have questions, contact your immigration advisor before making a decision
  • Departing the United States does not free you from your US financial obligations. You may still need to pay rent/utilities or other expenses while you are away.
  • If the university is closed, on-campus employment is not guaranteed.
  • There are currently very few international flights, and no one can predict whether there will be further restrictions or fewer flights. 
Do I have to tell someone at UW Oshkosh if I don't plan to live in my campus residence or my local residence for all or part of the time that courses are offered via an Alternative Delivery Method?

Federal immigration requirements to report a change of address within 10 days still apply. If you plan to live in a different location while courses are offered via an Alternative Delivery Method, you must complete the UWO International Education Departure Form with an updated address. 

I have reviewed and thoroughly understand the risks associated with departing Oshkosh, but I have decided that it is in my best interest to depart. What do I do next?

As soon as you make the decision to depart, you must immediately complete the UWO International Education Departure Form to share your decision with your immigration advisor. Make sure to take care of any other obligations you have (housing, etc.) before you depart.  

Every student is in a different situation, and OIE encourages you to think about the numerous factors unique to yourself when making your decision.

Events

Are events cancelled?

All UWO sponsored events and those events held on our campuses are canceled immediately until further notice. We ask that you consider your health and the health of those around you when thinking about attendance at any group event.

How will Commencement be held? (New 3/18)

Regrettably, there will be no face-to-face spring commencement on May 16. Over the coming weeks we will consider our options, including the possible scheduling of an alternative date. We pledge to keep you updated.

Is UW Regional Placement Testing canceled?

UW Oshkosh has canceled placement testing activities for March. UW Fox Cities and UW Fond du Lac campus have canceled all activities until June 5th. Please visit the University of Wisconsin Center for Placement Testing for additional details regarding site closure.

Is university travel canceled?

We are suspending all UW Oshkosh-sponsored domestic and international travel effective immediately.

We strongly discourage non-essential personal international and domestic travelDocumented cases of COVID-19 are growing rapidly both domestically and internationally. You may face a higher risk of infection, significant delays returning and/or the requirement to self-isolate upon your return.

All campus community members should be aware that if you travel, you may be required to self-isolate for 14 days depending on where you’re traveling to and from, even if you do not exhibit symptoms.

Areas that currently require a self-quarantine can be found on the CDC website. Impacted countries can change at any time, including while you are on a trip.

Employees

Where can employees find more information?

Please view the For Employees page for answers to frequently asked questions.

Where can faculty and IAS learn more about alternative instruction?

Find information, resources and guidelines for online and alternative instruction on our Instructional Continuity page.