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Spring 2020 COVID-19 Updates

Latest Developments

Learn more about TCNJ’s fall 2020 planning efforts.

TCNJ Updates and Resources

Prevention and Treatment

Health and Safety

Individuals are strongly advised to take recommended precautions: Wash your hands frequently (for at least 20 seconds); resist touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and avoid contact with people who are sick. Those with flu-like symptoms and those who may have been in contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19 should take steps to protect themselves and others. Read recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and view the NJ Department of Health’s Guidance for Contacts (those who may have been in contact with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19).

Please visit the TCNJ Student Health Services COVID-19 FAQs page for vital information on COVID-19 and answers to TCNJ-specific questions.

If You Feel Ill

Any community member with persistent symptoms should seek the advice of a health care professional.

Students

Students who feel ill should contact Student Health Services, which has moved to a telemedicine format for the semester. This service is available by appointment, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m., to TCNJ students currently taking classes. Telemedicine appointments can be scheduled by logging in to the Online Wellness Link (OWL) portal

Faculty and Staff

For their own health and safety as well as that of the campus community, those essential employees who must come to campus should not work when sick. Faculty unable to teach their online courses due to illness should contact their dean. Please refer to the “Sick Leave” section of this page (below) for more information.

Academics and Online Instruction

Online Course Delivery for the Spring 2020 Semester

All courses will be delivered online for the duration of the spring semester. Faculty and staff are diligently working to ensure a TCNJ-quality learning experience despite the change in mode of delivery. Approaches to courses that typically involve a physical presence (e.g., science lab, art studio, etc.) will be course specific. Students in courses requiring engagement with external partners (e.g., nursing practicums and student teaching) will take their directive from their dean.

TCNJ community members should refer to the Division of Information Technology’s guidelines to ensure proper access to technological resources and to the Gitenstein Library’s services summary to ensure proper access to information resources necessary for online learning and/or teaching. 

Students

Students unfamiliar with Canvas, the college’s online course-delivery platform, may contact faculty, view an online tutorial, reach out to more experienced peers, or email Canvas with questions. Those who do not have access to high-speed Internet or a computer should email Academic Affairs. Students requiring special accommodations will continue to receive appropriate support, and faculty will facilitate any documented accommodations (e.g., providing extra time) that fall within their realm.

Students also have access to virtual advising and to Tutoring Center services, including enhanced eTutoring options.

Faculty

Faculty scheduling online course meetings are asked to follow the current course schedule to reduce potential online conflicts for students. Faculty may find helpful information on course development and delivery on the Office of Instructional Design’s website and additional resources within the Canvas environment. They may also email Canvas with questions.


Spring Withdrawal, Advising, and Registration for Fall Courses

As of April 9, the withdrawal date for spring courses has been moved to April 24. Advising for fall courses will be handled remotely via virtual advising. Students are urged to contact their faculty advisor to establish an advising appointment well in advance of their registration appointment. The current schedule for fall registration remains unchanged.

Admissions for Fall 2020 (Undergraduate)

Please refer to the Undergraduate Admissions FAQs for Fall 2020 Applicants for the latest information on Admissions operations and deadlines.

Campus Services

Campus services — information technology support, facilities and maintenance, dining, tutoring, and more — remain operational but have been scaled back or are being provided online in most cases. Please recognize that, depending on the service, excessive demand may cause delays and require patience on your part.

For information on Student Health Services and Mental Health Services, please see the “Health and Wellness” section of this page (below).

Information Technology

TCNJ community members should refer to the Division of Information Technology’s guidelines to ensure proper access to technological resources and to the Gitenstein Library’s services summary to ensure proper access to information resources necessary for online learning and/or teaching.

Facilities

Due to reduced staffing and the need to practice social distancing, the college has made substantial changes to its facilities operations:

  • All academic buildings are closed. The provost will contact faculty about access to offices and labs and about other adjustments for the remainder of the semester.
  • The R. Barbara Gitenstein Library, Brower Student Center, Packer Hall, and the Fitness Center are closed.
  • The mailroom is open to process and sort incoming mail. There is no delivery to offices. Mail will be held until the college resumes normal operation or until it is picked up.

For facilities assistance, please continue to call the service desk at 609.771.2353 Monday–Friday from 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m. If your call is of an urgent nature and falls outside these hours, please contact Campus Police at 609.771.2345.

Commencement

TCNJ held a virtual commencement ceremony, a remote yet intimate opportunity to mark this milestone, on May 21, 2020. Missed the ceremony? View it now.

The college is also making every effort to hold school- and department-specific academic ceremonies on campus later this year and is tentatively holding the dates of October 31 and November 1, 2020, for these smaller, more personal events. TCNJ will continue to prepare for this second part of its traditional commencement activities with the understanding that it is subject to change as circumstances change, given the need to follow best practices and to keep our community safe. Details will be forthcoming.

Events, Activities, and Sports

Campus Events and Activities

While all remaining campus events have been canceled through the end of the spring semester, we encourage you to participate in our virtual programming and other opportunities.

TCNJ Sports

Following the NCAA’s decision to cancel all remaining winter and spring championship events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The College of New Jersey has canceled intercollegiate athletics for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. With this course of action, TCNJ athletics joins the national collegiate athletics community in preventing the unnecessary transmission of COVID-19.

Health and Wellness

All services within the Health and Wellness area will be offered remotely for the remainder of the spring semester. We understand this pandemic is a challenging time for all and want to be there to provide support to the campus community in a way that protects all members.

View hours of operation and available remote services »

Housing, Dining, and Parking

Move Out: Updated 3/27

Due to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey and in the interest of protecting students and their families, TCNJ strongly recommends that students delay moving out from residential on-campus housing at this time.

While the TCNJ community has experienced only a handful of positive or presumed positive cases and has responded with careful guidance and precautions in each instance, even the most carefully scheduled move out presents a possible risk, especially with the number of students involved.

Those students who are willing to cancel their scheduled move-out time should do so within the MyHousing system. No other action is needed at this time; Residential Education and Housing will provide additional information in late April regarding the coordination of end-of-semester move-out plans.

Those who still choose to move out at this time should first review the Move-Out FAQs. Please also take all necessary precautions for both your own safety and that of others. Masks and gloves are highly recommended, and frequent hand-washing is the best form of personal protection. As this is a complex and precise operation subject to state and federal guidance as well as the need to protect the health and safety of our students, their families, and our staff, please do not come to campus until you have confirmation to do so.

Exceptions

All students are required to remain at home for the remainder of the spring semester. Limited exceptions have been granted to the following:

  • students with housing insecurity or accessibility issues
  • international students
  • students whose homes are in areas with extremely limited internet connectivity or who do not have access to a computer
  • students with other significant extenuating circumstances.

Students who have been approved to stay on campus will complete classes remotely amidst minimal campus services.

Credits and Refunds: Updated 4/2

The college will process prorated refunds for room, board, and selected fees to accounts in the coming weeks. Housing costs will be refunded at 50 percent of the total housing charge for the spring semester. Meal plans will be refunded as follows:

  • Students on A la Carte meal plans will be refunded 100 percent of the amount of all unused dining points.
  • Students on Carte Blanche plans will be refunded the prorated non-point portion of their meal plan based on the number of days remaining plus 100 percent of the amount of all unused dining points.

Refunds will first be applied to any outstanding student account balances. All other credit balances will be provided in the form of a refund check.

In addition, if you purchased a parking decal this academic year, a refund will be processed as follows: $80 for residential students, $32 for commuter students.

Note: Students who received scholarship aid from TCNJ to cover room and board will not be eligible for a refund.

Please refer to the complete Spring 2020 Refund FAQs for more information.

Preserving the TCNJ Culture

TCNJ is committed to maintaining an environment that is free of all forms of bias and discrimination. Being kind, supportive, and respectful of all members of our campus community remains a hallmark of The College of New Jersey. Behaviors inconsistent with this TCNJ value can be reported to the Bias Response Team.

Sick Leave

As President Foster communicated in her March 12 message, TCNJ has adopted Governor Murphy’s guidelines for state employees as clarified by the state Civil Service Commission. (Read related FAQs from the CSC.)

Specifically, TCNJ will permit employees:

  • who are diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home without using accumulated sick leave
  • who have been exposed to the virus, and are thus either required to self-quarantine or recommended to stay home, to do so without using accumulated sick leave
  • to stay home without using allocated sick leave in the event their child’s school or child care center is closed.

In all cases, appropriate documentation will be required. Employees should coordinate with their supervisors when requesting an accommodation.

Spring 2020 Ungraded Option Policy

Spring 2020 Ungraded Option Policy FAQ

How will spring 2020 courses be graded?

A spring 2020 course will be graded as indicated in the course syllabus at the start of the semester. Unless a previously approved arrangement exists (e.g., an internship already approved as ungraded), you will earn a letter grade recorded by your instructors. Unlike other semesters, however, whether each spring 2020 course grade counts toward your GPA will depend on whether you choose the Ungraded Option (detailed below) for the course.

What happens if I want to earn a letter grade for my course(s)?

Since this is the default grading policy, you do not have to take any action. Your grade will be submitted to PAWS, count toward your GPA, and function in the same ways that grades do each semester.

What happens if I choose the Ungraded Option for my course(s)?

The temporary Spring 2020 Ungraded Option Policy allows you to request one, multiple, or all of your courses to be Ungraded. To choose the Ungraded Option for a course, you must submit the appropriate form to the Office of Records and Registration.

Based on the grade submitted by your instructor, if you choose the Ungraded Option and earn a “D” or better grade in an undergraduate course, Records and Registration will enter a “CD” (credit) on your transcript. Graduate students choosing the Ungraded Option need to earn a “C” or better to receive a “CD” designation on your transcript. A “CD” will count toward graduation, but it will be Ungraded on your transcript and not count toward your GPA. If you do not earn a passing grade, you will receive an “ND” (no credit). An “ND” will appear on your transcript; that course will not count toward your graduation requirements or your GPA.

Instructors will still submit a letter grade to the Office of Records and Registration, but that grade will not appear on your transcript or count toward your GPA. Instructors will not know if you choose the Ungraded Option.

I missed the June 1 deadline to request or rescind the Ungraded Option for spring 2020. What should I do?

The deadline to request or rescind the Ungraded Option for spring 2020 was June 1. 2020. Since it is past the deadline, if you wish to submit an appeal to either request or rescind the Ungraded Option for spring 2020 classes only, please email Frank Cooper, executive director of records and registration. Include in your appeal letter if you wish to request or rescind the spring 2020 Ungraded Option, the extenuating circumstances for the appeal, and the following information: name, PAWS ID, spring 2020 class information (subject code, course number, class section), instructor’s name, and letter grade assigned by the instructor.

I already submitted a form for a course to be ungraded, but PAWS is showing that course with a grade, and that grade is now affecting my GPA. What else should I do?

There is nothing else you need to do. For spring 2020 classes, instructors will assign letter grades,as usual. After all grades are posted, Records and Registration will convert the letter grades to the appropriate Ungraded Option grades (“CD” or “ND”), as described in the Spring 2020 Ungraded Option Policy, for those classes where the student chose the Upgraded Option.

One of my classes does not have a grade posted yet. If I don’t receive a grade in PAWS before June 1, will I be able to get an extension on completing the Ungraded Option form for spring 2020?

Students whose grades are posted after the June 1 deadline and wish to choose the ungraded option may appeal by emailing Frank Cooper, executive director of Records and Registration.

Who can participate in the spring 2020 Ungraded Option?

All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in TCNJ courses during spring 2020 who will otherwise receive a grade (with exceptions noted in the Spring 2020 Ungraded Option Policy) may choose an Ungraded Option.

  • If you are working toward a certain GPA to meet an external requirement, such as the 3.0 GPA requirement for teachers, please note that courses taken as Ungraded will not count toward the GPA.
  • If you plan to transfer the course, please note that other institutions may specify minimum letter grades (such as “C” or better) for courses to transfer.

Will choosing the Spring 2020 Ungraded Option impact my financial aid?

No, choosing the Ungraded Option has no impact on financial aid.

Does the Ungraded Option apply to students studying abroad/away?

Yes.

How will this change affect my GPA? 

Only courses that are graded will enter into GPA calculations. Courses for which you select the Ungraded Option will not factor into your GPA. The college will not be able to calculate or communicate alternative GPAs.

The Spring 2020 Ungraded Option Policy makes an exception for selected undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. Why?

To ensure that nursing students are in compliance with clinical and licensure requirements, they must demonstrate minimum competency in numerous areas. For undergraduate students, the minimum is 75 percent (i.e., a grade of “C-”) in the following courses: NUR200, NUR240, NUR330, NUR334, NUR340, NUR344, NUR440, and NUR444. For graduate students, the minimum is 80 percent (i.e., a grade of “B”) in the following courses: NUR503, NUR504, NUR633 NUR643, NUR636, NUR637, NUR638 and NUR690, NUR660, and NUR695.

How will this option impact the 3.0 requirement for NJ teacher certification?

The state of New Jersey still requires students to have a 3.0 GPA in order to earn CEAS (Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing) certification. Ungraded courses will not be factored into your GPA. If you do not yet have a 3.0, you will still need grades in your spring courses to raise your GPA, particularly if you are close to graduation.

TCNJ requires you to have a 2.75 GPA before beginning advanced fieldwork. Students who have not attained that 2.75 GPA because of Ungraded course work should contact their advisor and the Support for Teacher Education Programs office for individual consultation.

If at the end of spring 2020 I have failed to achieve or maintain academic good standing, what happens next?

If you fail to achieve or maintain academic good standing (i.e., at risk of academic suspension or dismissal) by the end of spring semester, you will be notified and invited to return for the fall 2020 semester to re-earn academic good standing. You will be required to seek academic advising for your fall courses. The Probation, Dismissal, and Academic Standing Policy will be held in abeyance only for the spring 2020 semester.

Will choosing the Ungraded Option affect my ability to make Dean’s List?

As per TCNJ policy, students must take three graded course units to be eligible for Dean’s List and earn a 3.5 GPA. (Pass/Fail and Ungraded Options do not count.) Therefore, if you have a four-unit course load and take one course as Ungraded, you would still be eligible for Dean’s List because you have three graded courses. Alternatively, if you have a four-unit course load and take two courses as Ungraded, you would not be eligible for Dean’s List in spring 2020 because you do not have three graded units.

Will choosing the Ungraded Option affect my ability to graduate with honors?

You must earn at least 16 graded course units to be eligible for graduation with honors. As per TCNJ policy​, “These units may not include courses taken on a Pass/Unsatisfactory basis​ or Credit/No Credit or additive credit or units earned through the college’s credit-by-examination process.” Therefore, it is your responsibility to determine if you have enough graded units to be eligible for graduation with honors, as courses with Ungraded Options do not count toward the 16 required graded units.

What other factors should I consider when deciding if I want to convert a course to Ungraded?

You are encouraged to consult with your academic advisors if you have questions about converting courses to Ungraded.

What if I am repeating a class?

You may choose the Ungraded Option when repeating a course for which you previously received a failing grade or a withdrawal (“W”). Please review the following related options:

  • If repeating a course to replace a failing grade results in a passing grade, do nothing and keep the new grade.
  • If repeating a course to replace a failing grade results in another failing grade, choose the Ungraded Option.
  • If repeating a course with a “W,” your choice will depend on your grade.
    • If keeping your spring semester grade improves your GPA, keep the grade.
    • If your spring semester grade harms your GPA, choose the Ungraded Option.

What is the deadline for deciding if I want to receive a letter grade or apply for the Ungraded Option?

You first need to see your final grade. Students choosing the Ungraded Option for one or more courses will need to submit the completed Ungraded Option form by June 1, 2020. Requests to rescind an ungraded option may be made through June 1 as well. Appeals to move a course from graded to the Ungraded Option after June 1 will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Student Accounts

As the campus community works together to support each other during these unprecedented times brought on by the COVID 19 pandemic, TCNJ recognizes the added challenges that families may be experiencing. In light of these events, the college will allow payments for any outstanding spring 2020 semester charges to be made by the end of the semester without penalty. Please refer to the complete Spring 2020 Refund FAQs for more information.

CARES Act Aid

As of April 30, eligible TCNJ students can apply for assistance through the CARES Act.

Outstanding Balances

  • Late fees, including late payment and late registration, incurred from December through August will be waived.
  • Refunds will first be applied to any outstanding student account balances.

Undergraduate Payment Plans

Undergraduate student payment plans are moving from the 10-month plans previously offered to a 12-month plan.

  • The full-year payment plan is broken into two six-month plans.
  • The first six months covers the fall term and begins with a July 25 payment. Payments are made every following month on the 25th through December 2020.
  • The second six months covers the spring term and begins with a January 25 payment. Payments are made every following month on the 25th through June 2021.
  • Students enrolling late in the plan will not be required to make up missed payments. Instead, their plan will start with the month in which they enroll. Their plan will proceed for the remaining months, and the additional balance due will be backloaded to the end of the semester.
    • For example: A student enrolls in August; there are five payments remaining for fall and six payments for the spring. The bill is for $12,000, requiring a monthly payment of $1,000 for 12 months. The payment plan is set up for $5,000 for the fall and $6,000 for the spring, a late fine waiver is applied for the $1,000 shortage, and the student is permitted an extra month after the full-year payment plan contract expires to pay the balance (payment by July 2021 instead of June).

Graduate Payment Plans

Graduate student payment plans are moving from the eight-month plans previously offered to a 10-month plan, with an additional two-month grace period for payment if needed.

  • The full-year payment plan is broken into two five-month plans.
  • The first five months covers the fall term and begins with an August 25 payment. Payments are made every following month on the 25th through December 2020.
  • The second five months covers the spring term and begins with a February 25 payment. Payments are made every following month on the 25th through June 2021.
  • Students enrolling late in the plan will not be required to make up missed payments. Instead, their plan will start with the month in which they enroll. Their plan will proceed for the remaining months, and the additional balance due will be backloaded to the end of the semester.
    • For example: A student enrolls in September; there are four payments remaining for fall and five payments for the spring. The bill is for $10,000, requiring a monthly payment of $1,000 for 10 months. The payment plan is set up for $4,000 for the fall and $5,000 for the spring, a late fine waiver is applied for the $1,000 shortage, and the student is permitted an extra two months after the full-year payment plan contract expires to pay the balance (payment by August 2021 instead of July).

Registration

Financial registration holds for current students have been lifted to allow students to register for summer and fall terms.

Get-It Card Balances

Get-It Card balances will be carried forward to the next academic year unless students request to be refunded.

Please email Student Accounts with any questions.

Telecommuting

Out of concern for the well-being of our employees and in accordance with the governor’s directives, all-but-essential staff will continue to work remotely as communicated by supervisors and in campus messages. Divisions, departments, and other units are implementing area-specific work-from-home plans.

Employees should refer to the Division of Information Technology’s guidelines to ensure proper access to resources necessary for telecommuting.

Travel

Returning from International Travel

As the campus is now closed by order of the state of New Jersey, community members returning from international travel should follow CDC recommendations. We continue to work with students returning early from a semester abroad to assist them in completing their academic credits.

Planned International Travel

All TCNJ travel through the end of the semester is canceled. No travel request should be submitted for any travel at this time. All summer faculty-led trips are canceled. All summer study abroad trips (i.e., not faculty-led) scheduled through third party providers are canceled. The summer Washington Center Internship Program in Washington, D.C., remains under review. No decision has been made yet regarding fall travel and trips.

Returning from Domestic Travel

Students, faculty, and staff returning from domestic travel should exercise reasonable precautions, as travel paths often involve contact with people who may have traveled to high-risk areas.

Individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms should seek the advice of their health care professional. Students currently taking classes have access to telemedicine appointments provided by TCNJ Student Health Services. This service is available by appointment, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.; appointments can be scheduled by logging in to the Online Wellness Link (OWL) portal.

Planned Domestic Travel

All TCNJ travel through the end of the semester is canceled. Cancellation of a TCNJ-approved trip (domestic or international)—whether by the college, a host organization, or a community member as a health precaution—can result in the need to seek reimbursement. Should you need to request reimbursement due to a trip cancellation, please contact your dean’s office or your supervisor.

Please also note that conference hosts may be responsible for refunding registration fees, and some credit cards have automatic travel insurance that may apply.

External Resources

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