Coronavirus Update

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Planning and preparedness

Marymount California University continues to monitor and respond to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the goal of protecting the well-being of the university community. Keep reading for responsive actions, guidance and resources to keep our university community safe and informed.

News

(Updated June 15)

MCU will open in the fall with a combination of in-person and online classes, and extensive, expert-informed measures to safeguard the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. For more details, please read the press release and provost’s communique.

University Status

  • Summer classes will be conducted online as originally planned.
  • In-person campus tours have resumed. To schedule a private tour, register here. Prospective students can still schedule virtual appointments, too.
  • Since March 19, the state of California has been under the Stay at Home order, which requires Californians to stay at home unless performing essential activities. On May 4, an executive order informed local health jurisdictions and selective sectors they may gradually reopen under new modifications and guidance provided by the state.
  • All faculty and staff have been asked to comply with the state’s order and work remotely, with exceptions for essential campus services.
  • Faculty and staff who do come to campus are required to follow Los Angeles County’s ordinance regarding face coverings.

Announcements

  • MCU has extended its enrollment deposit deadline to June 30.
  • Late fees for outstanding balances will be waived through June 20.
  • All rooms in the Villas will be offered as singles at the price of a double, allowing students to safely social distance and save money in the process.

Community messages

Frequently asked questions

Is the university closed?
Effective March 16, Marymount California closed its oceanview campus and transitioned to online instruction for all classes through the end of the semester. Staff and faculty are continuing to work remotely, with the ability to serve students in most capacities through email, phone and videoconferencing.

What are MCU’s plans for the summer session?
Summer courses will be online as originally planned.

Will the university open for the fall semester?
Marymount California University plans to welcome students back to campus for the fall semester with a blend of in-person and online courses, and an adjusted academic calendar. We eliminated the fall break and will shift in-person classes to remote learning after Thanksgiving, with all remaining instruction, final projects and exams to be completed online to curb any possible spread of the coronavirus through holiday travel.

What changes can we expect?
The university created an emergency operations task force that has been actively working to address issues surrounding educational continuity, work environments and the student experience based on the most current state and county health guidelines. We have had to re-imagine many of our processes and procedures to promote the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. Among the changes you’ll see on campus will be physical distancing requirements, daily health self-assessments, face coverings, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, hand sanitation stations, plexi-glass partitions in common areas, more outdoor seating, and signage of new health and safety procedures. The committee is also surveying work spaces and classrooms to determine potential changes needed to technology, traffic flow and work schedules.

What are my housing options?
MCU will offer housing at the Villas in the fall, with a plan in place to help residents stay healthy that includes a deep cleaning over the summer. All rooms will be offered as singles at the double room rate. However, you can request a double if you prefer.

Will athletic teams be able to compete?
Marymount plans to participate in all sporting events during the 2020-2021 school year, but likely with no spectators at least early in the season. Intercollegiate competition is expected to begin Sept. 5.

Are the shuttles still in operation?
Shuttle service will not be available while the campus is closed. We anticipate a revised schedule and enhanced cleaning and distancing protocol when the campus reopens in August.

Is a commencement ceremony in the works?
Unfortunately, the university had to cancel its traditional commencement ceremony in May. We know how important this milestone is for our students and their families who supported them on this journey. However, we do still plan to offer an option in the future as restrictions are lifted that will allow us to honor the Class of 2020 and celebrate their accomplishments together. Continue to check our commencement website for updates.

How long will employees work from home?
At this time, we anticipate many employees who can work from home will continue to do so, most likely until July 30.

What do I need to know about online classes?
MCU’s online classes are delivered using a learning management system called My.Marymount, where you can access lectures, PowerPoint, emails, assignments, readings, documents, videos, links, discussion boards and the assignment dropbox any time of day. You should follow the class at your own pace, but you need to log in and participate every week as evidence of your attendance. Instructors have adjusted course activities to ensure the same learning outcomes presented at the beginning of the semester are achieved through distance learning.

What if I can’t log in?
If you have questions about using My.Marymount, please email edtechsupport@marymountcalifornia.edu. If you have questions about other online resources such as the student portal, email or Office 365, please email studenttechsupport@marymountcalifornia.edu.

I’m an international student and therefore restricted from taking online courses. How does this affect me?
The U.S. government recognizes there are extenuating circumstances because these classes were not intended to be online. Your visa status is not affected as long as you continue to make normal progress in your coursework as required by federal regulations whether you remain in the United States or decide to return to your home country for the remainder of the semester.

I’m new to online classes and am having difficulty adjusting. What should I do?
One of the keys to being successful at online learning is self-discipline. Because you are not required to be in class at a specific time, you have to be motivated to get the work done on your own. Especially if you have a job, family or other responsibilities, it’s important to set a schedule of when and how you will get your work done. If you don’t understand an assignment, please ask your professor for clarification, so you don’t fall behind.

What if I don’t have reliable Internet access at home or my connection is slow?
Your home network may not be as fast or reliable as your Internet connection at school, especially if multiple members of your household are online while you’re trying to work. If you’re having trouble with your network, try some of the steps below to improve your connection.

What to do if your connection is slow

  • Move closer to your Wi-Fi router. Getting closer to your router can improve signal strength. Wi-Fi extenders can boost the signal in other rooms.
  • Restart your router or computer. Most routers have a reset button. If your computer isn’t connecting but other devices are still working online, reboot your computer.
  • Close other programs and limit streaming/large downloads while you work. Other programs on your computer may consume processor or network resources. Try disconnecting or limiting use of other non-essential devices on your network.
  • Call your Internet service provider or check their status website to determine if there are any known issues. This will help you learn if the problem is widespread in your area or specific to your home.
  • Use a mobile hotspot. A hotspot lets you share your phone’s data with other devices to access the internet. Check with your mobile provider to see if a hotspot is an option for you.

And if you don’t have reliable access to the Internet at home, some Internet and mobile data providers have pledged to offer free access to the Internet or increased data allowances to ensure people can get online.

  • AT&T – Unlimited data to existing customers and $10/month plans for low-income families
  • Comcast/Xfinity – Free Wi-Fi for everyone for 60 days
  • Spectrum/Charter –Free broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days
  • Sprint – Unlimited data to existing customers and free hot spots for 60 days
  • T-Mobile – Unlimited data to existing customers
  • Verizon – Waived late fees and overage charges for 60 days

Will my labs meet as usual?
No. Please check your My.Marymount class site for the most up-to-date arrangements.

Will faculty still hold office hours?
Yes, although office hours are now offered online, by email or phone. Check your My.Marymount class sites for details or contact your instructor.

I am a student with accommodations. What should I do regarding remote instruction?
Please contact Laura Niemiec at lniemiec@marymountcalifornia.edu to request required accommodations.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my classes?
Please contact your instructor. Contact information and office hours for faculty are posted on My.Marymount.

Can I register for summer and fall classes?
Yes, registration is open, and we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Continuing students can register through the student portal and contact advisors by email and phone. New students will be contacted with instructions and invited to attend a summer advising and registration day.

Can I still meet with a tutor?
Yes. Learning Support is now offering virtual tutoring. You can access this new service through My.Marymount or here.

What happens to my internship?
MCU has suspended physical attendance at all internship/practicum sites. Please touch base with your site supervisor to inquire about projects or activities you can do remotely. If your internship/practicum site does not have remote work for you, please contact MCU’s Career Planning Director Roshni Lal at rlal@marymountcalifornia.edu. Continue to log your work hours, tasks/duties, and thoughts and reflections in your weekly work log. Now is a fitting time to focus on your reflections and how the current global situation impacts work, your industry, your site and you personally. You can submit internship/practicum assignments in the Dropbox in My.Marymount. For more information on internships and career planning, including our virtual workshops, explore our career pages.

What are MCU’s grading policies for the spring semester?
In light of the disruption COVID-19 has caused, changing the way classes are taught, MCU will offer students the option to convert their spring semester letter grades to credit or no credit that will not affect their GPA. You will be able to choose between keeping your letter grade in each class or a credit/no credit option. Any grade of C or above would translate into a credit designation while a C- and below would be recorded as NC. This policy enables you to complete your work, yet not be penalized for circumstances beyond your control. In some cases, it will be better to earn grades, so it is critical to discuss with your academic advisor before deciding to change grade options. The deadline to file the credit/no credit petition is April 24.  Learn more here. 

The university has also extended the deadline to withdraw from a course until April 24. Please discuss with your academic advisor the best course of action for your circumstances. In some cases, withdrawing from a course could affect your degree progress and financial aid.

Will MCU cancel finals?
No. Each class has its own assignments and assessments, which may range from synchronous exams or presentations during finals week to projects or exams that may occur in different time frames. Your instructors will communicate the expectations for their classes, so check My.Marymount class sites regularly for updates. 

Does the transition to online classes affect my academic status or my graduation?
No. Faculty will submit final grades for all students, and the Registrar will conduct a final degree audit for all students expected to graduate following the normal protocol.

Can I register for summer and fall classes?
Yes, registration is open, and we encourage you to register as soon as possible. Continuing students can register through the student portal and contact advisors by email and phone. New students will be contacted with instructions and invited to attend a summer advising and registration day.

How do I order a transcript?
Unofficial transcripts may be viewed, downloaded and printed from the student portal for current or recently enrolled students with portal access. Go to Academics>Unofficial Transcript to view a PDF version of your transcript. You may also view your grades by term under My Grades.

Official transcripts may be ordered via the National Student Clearinghouse. Secure electronic delivery is now available. Go to https://www.marymountcalifornia.edu/campus-services/registrar/transcripts/ and follow the directions under the National Student Clearinghouse link.

In-person, FedEx and same-day requests are not available at present. Requests for mailed transcripts or of historical archived records will be processed once a week; requests for electronic delivery (except for historical archived records) will be processed the following business day. Note that due to varying campus policies, MCU cannot guarantee delivery of a mailed transcript to any other campus.

Some classes will be online and some in person this fall. How will that affect my visa status?
The Office of International Services is constantly reviewing guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). While we anticipate returning students will be able to return to classes for the fall and keep their immigration records and visa status active, we are waiting for specific updates about immigration procedures for this fall from SEVP. The Office of International Services will contact returning students with any updates affecting immigration status and class participation.

For new students who are not currently F-1 visa holders, we understand that U.S. Embassy closures and travel bans will continue to prohibit the visa process. We are keeping close watch on both situations and will be in direct contact about how best to proceed.

I returned home during the spring semester or just after the semester ended, and now my country is experiencing a travel ban to the U.S. Will I be able to return to the U.S. for the start of fall classes?
There are currently several countries and regions affected by travel bans to the U.S. (See travel ban information here and here.) At this time, we do not know when these bans will end, and they could remain in place until COVID-19 levels are curbed in these areas. If you are affected by a travel ban, please contact your academic advisor at advising@marymountcalifornia.edu to discuss potential online options to continue your studies. MCU’s international students will be notified right away if there is a change to a travel ban.

Will the Villas remain open this fall?
Yes, the Villas will be open for the Fall 2020 semester with several new procedures in place to ensure social distancing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting to provide a safe environment for our students. We are also offering single occupancy at the double room rate. Please contact residentiallife@marymountcalifornia.edu should you have specific questions.

I decided to travel home after spring break or after the semester ended. How do I get my I-20 signed?
To ensure all international students have up-to-date paperwork, the Office of International Services is reissuing all students a new I-20 with a new travel signature. Please complete this form to share the address where you would like your new I-20 to be shipped. To date, two-thirds of our international population has received a new I-20. Please be sure to complete the form if you have not already.

What are my housing options?
MCU will offer housing at the Villas in the fall, with a plan in place to help residents stay healthy that includes a deep cleaning over the summer. All rooms will be offered as singles at the double room rate. However, you can request a double if you prefer.

Will there be a refund for the spring semester?
No. Since classes are continuing for the remainder of the semester via remote instruction, there will be no credits to student accounts related to spring 2020 tuition charges.

How are you assisting students who are having trouble paying their spring tuition balance?
We acknowledge the financial impact COVID-19 may have and will not apply late fees to outstanding balances for the spring term until June.

Will MCU offer housing and dining refunds?
Marymount will grant a partial room and board refund to students who have moved out of the Villas. Refunds will be based on a per-day rate and the amount of flex cash that has been used at the time of check-out and return of keys. If you have already moved out but were unable to remove your belongings, you should do so by April 12. We will backdate your move-out to March 20 for calculating your refund. Residents who do not move out by April 12 will only receive a refund for those days after their official check-out from the Villas.

Will students with federal work-study jobs continued to be paid?
Yes, students with federal work-study jobs will be paid for the remainder of the semester whether or not they can work remotely.

Will students with on-campus jobs continue to be employed?
Student employees who do not have federal work-study jobs and are unable to work remotely will be paid for two additional weeks and then employment will temporarily end.  If you have questions about your employment, please reach out to your supervisor.

Prevention and well-being

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Social distancing can stop or slow down the spread of COVID-19.

FAQs on illness prevention and well-being.

Travel

MCU discourages university-sponsored international travel except for critical travel needs. Requests for exceptions need to be fielded by a supervisor. If an individual must travel internationally, plan to evaluate the COVID-19 virus outbreaks in the cities visited and the outbreaks in cities remaining on the itinerary every three days. Negative information will cause the trip to be aborted, and a quarantine or self-isolation may be required upon return. If traveling in a group, monitor the health of others traveling with you. Travel to Iran, Japan, South Korea, Italy and China is prohibited.

MCU also recommends avoiding personal international travel. There are no current restrictions on domestic air travel. For more information on travel, visit the Centers for Disease Control website at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

Large gatherings are generally discouraged, but not prohibited at this time. If attendance is critical, please obtain management approval before making arrangements to attend.

Background

COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019.

The current evidence is that most cases (~80%) of COVID-19 appear to be mild. The most common symptoms include fever (38°C/ 100.4 °F) and respiratory complaints, such as cough and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, infection can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Those with chronic underlying medical conditions appear to be at high risk for serious complications. Runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea are less commonly present. Read about COVID-19 symptoms.

The incubation period, or the time from which someone is exposed to their onset of symptoms, is most commonly reported to be in the 2-7 day range, but may range up to 14 days for COVID-19. This means it could take up to 10-14 days for someone to exhibit symptoms after they are infected.

Person-to-person spread is the primary source of transmission. Based upon available information, it appears that close contact with respiratory droplets from someone who is symptomatic (fever, cough) is the main source for transmission.

Additional resources

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Los Angeles Department of Public Health

What You Need to Know

What to Do if You Are Sick

Psychological Tips for Managing Coronavirus Concerns

Life During a Pandemic

Self-Care During Quarantine

Local Resources