Academic FAQ

Academics

Will in-person classes resume in Fall 2020?
Yes. We plan to return to face-to-face classes this fall in compliance with all government requirements to protect the health of our students, staff and faculty as well as the community of Siloam Springs.

Updated: 7/27/2020

What is the new academic calendar for the fall semester?
We will start classes on August 17, a week earlier than usual, and end class instruction by Tuesday, November 24, the evening before Thanksgiving break. We will conduct our final exam week remotely from Tuesday through Friday the following week, December 1-4. In order to provide the same number of class days as a normal semester, we will hold classes on Labor Day and will not have a fall break.

Updated: 7/27/2020

When will the classes start for the spring semester?
We have not yet confirmed a start date for the spring semester. We will assess how well we are able to deliver face-to-face education this fall and the possible control of COVID-19’s spread before deciding. We hope to make a final decision no later than the end of the fall semester.

Updated: 7/27/2020

Can I take all or some of my classes remotely this fall?
Yes, if you are interested in this option, please contact Sarah Philpot in the registrar's office so we can discuss your situation.

Updated: 7/27/2020

How will courses continue if JBU must send students home again?
Instructors have been told to prepare their Fall 2020 classes to both accommodate students in isolation or quarantine and to be able to pivot to remote instruction at any point in the semester should that become necessary.

Updated: 7/27/2020

How will students attend class if they are ill or in isolation or quarantine?
JBU has invested in 65 OWL 360° Smart Video Conference cameras that can be added to classrooms and provide a video feed of the professor and other students via Zoom. This will allow students in isolation or quarantine to have a more immersive experience and fully participate in their classes live. For a video about the OWL camera technology, click here.

Updated: 7/27/2020

What changes will students see in hands-on classes like labs, visual arts and music and theatre?
Professors will make adjustments to best accommodate the academic requirements while also adhering to the health and safety guidelines of JBU. This might include additional lab sections to reduce the number of students in a space at one time or additional PPE requirements.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will students be able to participate in off-campus academic internships and practicums?
We expect that students will be able to participate in some off-campus internships and practicums, depending on the hosting institution. Students will be expected to maintain the same practices to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (masks, personal hygiene and physical distancing) in these off-campus experiences.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will junior and senior nursing students still be allowed to continue clinical experiences?
Yes. We are working closely with all healthcare agencies (i.e. hospitals, clinics, etc.) to ensure that our students get the best possible clinical experiences and meet the objectives for the courses. Hospitals are limiting the types of units and patient experiences due to COVID-19, but we are also providing clinical hours in community settings as available and supplementing with virtual experiences as necessary to ensure the students meet the required clinical hours per the Arkansas State Board of Nursing guidelines. While in clinical, students will be expected to abide by agency rules and protocols for infection control and safety concerns. 

Updated: 7/28/2020

Will I be able to study abroad?
There are no JBU study abroad programs (i.e. Irish Studies) this fall, and the CCCU has canceled all the Best Semester programs for the year.

Updated: 7/27/2020

Will the library be open?
Yes, the library will still be open for its normal hours, and the librarians will be available to assist students with research needs. Students will be required to wear a mask in the library unless they are alone in a closed study room. We also ask that students help us by sanitizing the space they use before they leave. You will find that we have adjusted available seating to accommodate physical distancing.

Updated: 7/27/2020

Will the computer labs be open?
Yes, computer labs will be open for student use. However, due to physical distancing requirements, there may be fewer machines available. We highly encourage students to arrive on campus with a laptop if possible.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

What happens if a faculty member is sick and cannot teach classes for an extended period of time?
JBU will do everything possible to provide a substitute faculty member with expertise in that area of study to continue the class.

Updated: 7/27/2020

What if I am unable to come to campus this fall?
If you are unable to come to campus but want to continue classes remotely, please email Sarah Philpot in the registrar’s office. If you choose to take a semester off, JBU will hold you in good standing, and you will not be required to go through an additional application process to return in the spring or in Fall 2021. We do ask that you contact the financial aid office to see how a leave of absence might affect your scholarships, but we expect that all JBU merit-based scholarships will carry over.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will I be required to wear a mask in class?
Yes. Even though we have physically distanced our desks and seats in the classrooms, students and faculty will always be required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth. This will help minimize your likelihood of being infected or having to quarantine if someone in the class tests positive. The ADH looks at a totality of facts and circumstances during contact tracing to decide who needs to quarantine. It defines “close contact” as spending more than 15 minutes within six feet of someone with no mask.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will faculty members be wearing a mask in class?
Yes. All JBU faculty and staff will be following the same mask guidelines as students.

Updated: 7/27/2020

What accommodations will be made for hearing impaired students who need to read the lips of faculty members?
If you are hearing impaired, we ask that you notify Jarrod Heathcote in the office of disability services so that we can let your professors know and make accommodations, including the use of masks with a clear panel. ITS is also investigating options for amplifying instructors’ voices in the classrooms. 

Updated: 7/27/2020

Are the classrooms set up to allow for physical distancing?
Yes, almost every single one of our classrooms has been adapted. We adjusted our classrooms to provide for physical distancing among students and between professors and students. Therefore, we ask that you DO NOT MOVE the furniture at any point during the semester. To accommodate all our classes, we are utilizing other areas of campus for classrooms, including Simmons Great Hall, BPAC, etc. (As such, these rooms will be largely unavailable for other events.)

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will we have assigned seats?
Yes. JBU is requiring faculty to use assigned seating in classes so that JBU and the ADH can efficiently conduct contact tracing and minimize the number of students who might have to be tested or who might have to go into quarantine.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

What other new classroom procedures will be in place?
We will have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer near the door to every classroom. We ask that students and professors use sanitizer as they enter. We will also ask students to take a sanitizing wipe from the provided container and wipe down their desks before sitting down.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

What if a student requires up close assistance from their professor during class?
Instructors can help students for short periods of time with less than six-foot distancing. These interactions should be limited to two to three minutes at a time, and the cumulative interactions with any student should be kept to less than 15 minutes during any single class period. Instructors are encouraged to wear face shields or close-fitting goggles if they will be interacting with students closer than six feet. 

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Can we have class outside?
Outside classes are an option that will be left to the discretion of the faculty member. JBU will have several large outdoor tents set up this year that can be used, and there will be chairs available to set up outside classrooms. Students must still maintain physical distance, but if that can be achieved, they can remove masks in outdoor classes.

Updated: 7/27/2020

For classes held in residence halls, will we be able to scan our IDs to get into the residence hall even if we do not live there?
Students who have a class in a residence hall will be able to scan into those buildings starting about 15 minutes before their class time until the class is over.

Updated: 8/7/2020

If I have a question for a faculty member outside of class, will we meet physically or virtually?
This is up to the discretion of the faculty member and student. If the faculty member’s office does not allow for physical distancing, they can choose to meet elsewhere or virtually. Likewise, if the student or professor prefers to meet virtually, they can request to do so. Faculty members may choose to hold their office hours virtually.

Updated: 7/27/2020

Will labs need to follow the six-foot distancing guidelines?
Yes, all labs will need to follow the standard classroom guidelines. Exceptions may be made in some specific situations after being submitted by the faculty member and approved by the COVID-19 Task Force. In the event of an exception, it is likely that students and faculty will be required to wear additional PPE.

Updated: 7/27/2020

Can students get closer than six feet to other students for brief periods during class events like demonstrations?
Students should always follow the six-foot distancing guidelines with other students for any course-related work, unless there is approval from the COVID-19 Task Force to use additional PPE.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

What will happen to a scheduled on-campus class if someone tests positive in that class? Who will be notified and how? 
Contact tracers will determine if it is necessary to notify and quarantine anyone in the class. Almost all of our classrooms are spaced out for physical distancing, and everyone will be required to wear a mask. This means that in normal circumstances no one in the class would need to be quarantined unless they had close contact with the person outside of that class time.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will absences related to COVID-19 be excused?
Yes. As part of the efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 this fall, attendance and excused absence policies have been adjusted for Fall 2020. Class attendance will be used solely for contact tracing purposes and may not be used in any way in grade calculations. Absences due to illness of the student will be excused and students will be allowed to make up for full credit work missed. Faculty will take students at their word on illnesses as the university nurse may not be able to verify all student illness.

Updated: 7/29/2020 

If a student must be isolated or quarantined, how will that impact their grades?
Unless a student is severely ill or has to return home and does not have adequate Wi-Fi access, we anticipate that the student should be able to participate in classes via Zoom for that short period of time and, while working with professors, should not see a detrimental effect to their grades. The best advice we can give students is to over-communicate with their professors so that they can help you through this time.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

How will JBU handle performance requirements for music and theatre students? 
Professors in these programs will make adjustments to best accommodate the academic requirements while also adhering to the health and safety guidelines of JBU. This might include live-streamed performances without an audience, private performances etc.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

If a student is required to do an internship, what happens now? What if the company where the student planned to intern requires employees to work from home?
The student should first check with their specific internship site/company. If the internship can no longer occur, they should speak with their academic adviser. Every attempt will be made to find suitable internship possibilities, but we also understand this may be difficult and we can work with academic requirements.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

If class sizes and class locations are being adjusted, will my class schedule change? What about December graduates who don't have any flexibility?
We worked very hard to not change any class meeting times but did have to adjust approximately seven classes. Those students are being notified by the registrar's office. We will work with December graduates to ensure that they meet their requirements.

Updated: 7/27/2020 

Will there be a fall commencement?
Under the current ADH guidelines regarding occupancy of indoor venues, it would be difficult to hold a commencement ceremony, but we are committed to investigating our options. If we do have a fall commencement, it would most likely be held the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It is likely that guest attendance would have to be limited somewhat and/or involve a live stream to multiple venues on campus.

Updated: 7/27/2020

When will the postponed spring commencement be?
If we can hold a fall commencement (see above), we will investigate if we can also accommodate a ceremony for our Spring 2020 graduates. It is likely that attendance would be limited and ticketed and/or involve a live stream to multiple venues on campus.

Updated: 7/27/2020