Fall 2020 Information for Students and Families

GMercyU's caring community welcomed students to the fall semester with a hybrid format. Our hybrid approach makes it possible for students to take some courses on campus and complete others in a remote learning environment that will include virtual face-to-face and fully online instruction.

This model makes it possible to adhere to physical distancing requirements and limit the potential spread of the virus among students, faculty, staff, and their loved ones. It also will lessen any disruption to students resulting from a potential need to suddenly close campus down again based on a resurgence of the virus in our area.  However, all in-person courses will be ready to move to a fully remote learning environment in the event we need to close campuses due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

Spring 2021 Class Schedules

In order to provide an outstanding educational experience for all students and mitigate the continued health and safety concerns surrounding the potential spread and possible resurgence of COVID-19, the University will continue to take a Hybrid approach to instruction for the spring semester. The Spring 2021 schedule will be available on October 16, 2020.

We also will add four extra days to Easter break and cancel Spring Break rather than have two breaks just weeks apart during this uncertain time. This will further mitigate risks of exposure to the virus.

  • Classes will be held March 8-12, 2021 (originally designated as Spring Break on the Academic Calendar).
  • Classes will not be held from March 26-April 5, 2021 for Easter/Spring break.

Please remember that if you travel to a location designated as a “hot spot”, you will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks, which could impact your attendance for hybrid courses and/or clinicals and fieldwork placements. This could impact your academic progress.

  • The last day to withdrawal will be moved from March 31, 2021 to April 7, 2021.

More detail is below.

NEW: Spring 2021 Course Schedule Details

Spring 2021 Course Schedule

Please log in to GMercyU’s portal using your GMercyU username and password, and click the Colleague Self Service icon. Once logged in, you will be able to view the Spring course schedule by clicking on the Course Catalog, which has been updated to include information on modality.

Here’s how to determine the learning modality of each of your courses:

Modality   Description Schedule - Calendar View on Self Service                    
Hybrid

Some or all of your class sessions/labs will be held on campus.*  

You will attend class at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor. This information will be available in Blackboard at least one week before the semester begins.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: University Hall W112

Remote

Your class will be held remotely with at least some sessions held via live video conference on the scheduled day/time (synchronous).  

You will attend the synchronous sessions at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: REMOTE

Online

Your class will be held entirely online without a specific time and location (asynchronous).  

You will be able to complete your coursework at a time that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines and requirements.

Example:

Time: 11:58-11:59 PM (generic) Location: Online

*Everyone on campus will be required to follow Safety Protocols, per the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local and state health agencies.

This hybrid model makes safety a top priority! Structuring our spring class schedule in this way makes it possible to adhere to physical distancing requirements and limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus among students, faculty, staff, and their loved ones. It also will lessen any disruption to you that could result from a requirement to close campus suddenly based on a resurgence of the virus in our area.

Here are a few other important things you need to know:

  • You will continue to benefit from personal attention in both in-person and remote courses.
  • The Library, Academic Resource Center (including tutoring and accessibility services), Health & Wellness Center, Counseling Services, and other key student services will be available to students either remotely or on campus in adherence to physical distance guidelines.
  • Testing accommodations will be available on campus to students who are registered with the Office of Accessibility Services. Please contact ARCtesting@gmercyu.edu with any questions.
  • Remote courses will include virtual face-to-face instruction, meaning you will meet with your professors and classmates at the same time as you would if on campus. These “synchronous” sessions will all be held using Zoom.
  • Online instruction means you will complete your assignments at a time and place that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines. These “asynchronous” sessions will still provide you with opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates via the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard.
  • There are spaces available on campus for students that need to participate in a remote class. Keiss Library has designated spaces for commuter students who need to attend a remote class while on campus. Seats must be reserved ahead of time using the LibCal Seats app. Seats can be reserved up to two weeks in advance of when you need to use the library.
  • Training on how to get the most out of these experiences can be found in the Ready, Set, Remote! course that all students have access to in their BB courses.
  • Students that have technology concerns and needs, please see this section.

Safety Protocols

The safety of our campus community is our top priority! The University will follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and local and state health officials. Some of these requirements include:

Entering Campus

  • Everyone will enter campus via Sumneytown Pike and leave campus using Evans Road.
  • A short screening questionnaire and temperature check will be required to enter campus.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Face masks will be required while on campus. You may bring your own or use one provided by the University. Face masks can be removed when you are alone in your residence hall room or by yourself in a private office/other space.
  • Hand Sanitizer and Cleaning Supplies/Protocols will be provided throughout campus.
  • Students participating in clinical, internships and other off-campus experiential learning will abide by the safety protocols at those locations. More information will be provided to those students.

Physical Distancing

  • People on campus will be required to obey all posted health and safety signage. This will include maintaining the required 6 feet of distance between individuals.
Academic Support for Remote/Online Learning

As always, help will be available when you need it! GMercyU will continue to offer a wide array of student support services, and we encourage all students to take full advantage of them.

If you find you’re having difficulty in one or more of your courses, please reach out to your professor and/or the Academic Resource Center (ARC) right away.  Schedule an appointmen by completing this form.

As always, we will do everything we can to help you achieve your goals, so don’t hesitate to ask for help. For additional questions, email arc@gmercyu.edu

Campus Spaces for Remote Learning

The University is identifying spaces on campus where students who are enrolled in hybrid courses can also participate in synchronous sessions for their remote classes. 

Students can participate in remote learning classes on campus in these locations: 

  • Keiss Library, 1st floor
  • St. Bernard Hall, Rooms 21 and 22
  • University Hall, Room E109

More information will be forthcoming.

Clinicals, Internships, Student Teaching

Students will be able to complete clinicals, internships, student teaching, and other experiential learning experiences off campus this fall – as long as the sites are open and available, and students are able to comply with any site-specific requirements related to COVID-19.

Although we completely understand that students want to know exactly how these experiences will be handled this fall, the continued uncertainty around the spread of COVID-19 makes it very difficult to predict what will happen throughout the fall semester.

For the health and safety of all concerned, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and state and local health officials, and abide by the rules set by our partnering organizations. This will require us all to be patient and flexible as many of these decisions will remain outside our control.

Please know that we are doing everything we can to create the best possible learning experience this fall, and deeply appreciate the care and concern that has been so much a part of our campus community’s response to this very difficult and uncertain time.

Dining Services

This fall, students can find healthy and delicious options in the Waldron Dining Hall and the Pepperazzi. The University is also launching Mobile Order Pick Up this fall as an alternative to in-person dining. 

Find meal plan options, hours of operation, and more on our Dining Services page.

Fall 2020 Tuition

Regardless of whether a particular course will be held on campus or remotely, you will learn with the same faculty and earn the same credits toward the same degree as you would if on campus. Although there will be savings in some areas, there are significant additional costs associated with moving instruction to a remote learning format that are not being passed along to students, so tuition rates will not change.

We did change the meal plan options for students living on campus, including adding a low-cost 100-meal block option. More details are located on the Dining Services page.

We also reduced some student fees and absorbed substantial increases in fees charged by outside vendors for online exam software and other student services. We eliminated parking fees for the summer and fall terms, and reduced the 2020-2021 Comprehensive Fee by $170 (or $4 per credit for students who are enrolled part-time) since there will be some changes in the types of activities and services offered on campus this fall.

Students will still have unlimited access to counseling, career development, library, tutoring, academic advising, IT, and on-campus health and wellness services throughout the fall semester. Students also will be able to participate remotely in our many clubs and organizations, and take advantage of other co-curricular opportunities, including Campus Ministry and the Griffin Student Leadership Institute, among others.

Why am I paying lab fees if my courses are being held remotely this semester?

Laboratory courses offered in a remote learning environment will include virtual labs and may require kits sent to the student’s home. The fees associated with these virtual lab materials will be covered by the University’s normal lab fee. However, if students are required to purchase lab kits and supplies directly from an outside vendor for a particular course, the University lab fee for that course will be eliminated.

Fall 2020: Which Classes Are Hybrid, Remote, or Online

Please log in to GMercyU’s Student Self Service portal using your GMercyU username and password, and click the Colleague Self Service icon . Once logged in, you will be able to view your course schedule, which has been updated to include information on modality. Here’s how to determine the learning modality of each of your courses:

Modality   Description Schedule - Calendar View on Self Service                    
Hybrid

Some or all of your class sessions/labs will be held on campus.*  

You will attend class at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor. This information will be available in Blackboard at least one week before the semester begins.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: University Hall W112

Remote

Your class will be held remotely with at least some sessions held via live video conference on the scheduled day/time (synchronous).  

You will attend the synchronous sessions at the appointed days/time, as directed by your professor.

Example:

Times: M/W/F 10:20-11:20 AM

Location: REMOTE

Online

Your class will be held entirely online without a specific time and location (asynchronous).  

You will be able to complete your coursework at a time that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines and requirements.

Example:

Time: 11:58-11:59 PM (generic) Location: Online

*Everyone on campus will be required to follow Safety Protocols, per the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local and state health agencies.

Regardless of whether a particular course will be held on campus or remotely, you will learn with the same faculty, receive the same quality of instruction, and earn the same credits as you would in any other semester. 

Here are a few other important things you need to know:

  • You will benefit from personal attention in both in-person and remote courses.
  • The Library, Academic Resource Center (including tutoring and accessibility services), Health & Wellness Center, Counseling Services, and other key student services will be available to students either remotely or on campus in adherence to physical distance guidelines.
  • Testing accommodations will be available on campus to students who are registered with the Office of Accessibility Services. Please contact ARCtesting@gmercyu.edu with any questions.
  • Remote courses will include virtual face-to-face instruction, meaning you will meet with your professors and classmates at the same time as you would if on campus. These “synchronous” sessions will all be held using a high-quality interactive video conferencing platform.
  • Online instruction means you will complete your assignments at a time and place that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines. These “asynchronous” sessions will still provide you with opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates via the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard.
  • The University is working to identify spaces on campus where students who are enrolled in hybrid courses can also participate in synchronous sessions for their remote classes. More information will be forthcoming.
  • Training on how to get the most out of these experiences will be provided to both students and faculty.

See entire 6.23.20 portal message on this topic.

Health and Wellness Center

Students must contact the Health & Wellness Center immediately if you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or feel you have symptoms.

Contact: 215-646-7300, ext. 21306 or email ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu.

Due to the potential spread of COVID-19, please contact the Health and Wellness Center for a phone screening prior to coming to the Health Center. The Health and Wellness Center staff will be following CDC guidelines and utilizing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for a safe opening in Fall 2020.

Location: We are located in Loyola Hall. Enter through St. Brigid Hall and we are on the right through the double doors. You will need to sign in or use your student ID to enter the building.

Hours: Monday, 8:30am - 6:00pm, Tuesday through Friday 8:30am-4:30pm. If you have an emergency outside of these hours, please contact Public Safety at 215-646-7300, ext. 21300. Nurses are available Monday through Friday, and doctor hours for the semester are posted on the Health and Wellness Center door.

Services: We are an acute care facility. Please refer to our web page for available services.

Fees: There is no cost for students to be seen in the Health Center. Nurse and doctor visits are free, as well as many over-the-counter medications. There is a minimal cost for the annual flu vaccine, PPD (tuberculosis) testing, and some antibiotics.

*Please contact Donna Ferguson, M.Ed, RN Director of the Health and Wellness Center at ferguson.d@gmercyu.edu if you have any further questions.
*Please note that all visits are private and confidential.

Hybrid Academic Model

Some courses will be offered in an in-person, on-campus format, but may also include some remote learning components. Other courses will be offered in a fully remote learning format, and will include a combination of virtual face-to-face instruction and online learning.

Here’s a little more detail on what remote learning will mean for you.

Courses that will be held remotely will include a combination of:

  • Virtual face-to-face instruction, meaning you will meet with your professors and classmates at the same time as you would if on campus. These “synchronous” sessions will all be held using a high-quality interactive video conferencing platform.
  • Online instruction, which means you will be able to complete your assignments at a time and place that best suits your schedule, as long as you meet assignment deadlines.  These “asynchronous” sessions will still provide you with opportunities to interact with your professors and classmates via the University’s Learning Management System, Blackboard.
    • Training on how to get the most out of these experiences will be provided to both students and faculty.
    • Remote courses will be noted with “REM” on your course schedule.
Keiss Library

UPDATED 10.22.20

Keiss Library will be changing its fall semester hours effective the week of October 26. Library usage has been very low in the evenings, and as a result, the library will close on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. The Library will continue to be open until 10 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Fridays until 4:30 p.m., and from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

Virtual reference assistance will continue to be available on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. As always, the Library’s electronic resources are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Please see our Fall Use Policy, our front desk pick-up for library items, and distance lending services for online students.

We also have spaces on campus that can be used for individual or group study.  Students must follow physical distancing protocols and sit in the seats that are marked. All group study and individual study rooms must be sanitized using the supplied cleaning products in these rooms by the occupants prior to leaving the area. The rooms will be cleaned each evening by Plant Services.

Individual Remote Study classrooms are available as follows and do not require a sign-up:

St. Bernard’s 21: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
St. Bernard’s 22: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
University Hall E109: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. 
Fatima 2: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Group Study classrooms (maximum limit is 14 people at one time). Advanced sign up is required (click the link below): 

University Hall E201: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Up to 14 people  
University Hall, E201
SIGN UP LINK

University Hall W116: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Up to 14 people
University Hall, W116
SIGN UP LINK

St. Bernard’s 12: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Up to 14 people  
St. Bernard Room 12
SIGN UP LINK

St. Bernard’s 14: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Up to 14 people
St. Bernard Room 14
SIGN UP LINK

Fatima 1: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Up to 14 people
Fatima Hall Room 1
SIGN UP LINK

 

New Student Orientation

The University will still hold a New Student Orientation event! Our Orientation Planning Team has been working on the best way to provide our incoming students with all the opportunities to meet their fellow classmates and learn more about how to be a successful student that we typically offer, while still adhering to all necessary health and safety guidelines.

We will share more information on how Fall Orientation will work in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Parking Permits

The University will not charge students to park on campus during the summer and fall semesters, but all students MUST register their vehicle and display a permit while on campus or be subject to a parking violation.  You will be required to register your vehicle with the Public Safety Department online at the link below and display your 2019-2020 tag, if available.

Please register your vehicles by Sunday, August 23, 2020.

Register your Vehicle

When registering enter LAST YEAR'S PERMIT # into the NOTE SECTION of the Registration form. This will allow for the data base to have current vehicle contact and vehicle information. If you DO NOT HAVE last year's permit, please add "NEED NEW PERMIT, RESIDENT STUDENT" or "NEED NEW PERMIT, COMMUTER STUDENT" into the Note section of the registration form on the last screen.  Permits can be picked up at the main entrance gate the first two weeks of the semester.   

All vehicles on campus must be registered per University policy. The Public Safety Department will be enforcing parking regulations at the onset of the semester for our community’s safety. Campus parking enforcement will begin on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. 

Public Safety is asking anyone who cannot register online to call the Public Safety dispatcher to make alternate arrangements to register your vehicle.  If you have any questions, please call 215-641-5522.

At this time, a decision has not yet been made on parking permits for the spring semester.  Please check your email and the portal for future announcements for parking this spring.

Pass / Fail Policy

The University will not change our current pass/fail policy for online courses, which applies only to open elective courses taken by junior- and senior-level students; however, requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Please know that for many students, the move to pass/fail would not be in their best interest with regards to meeting accreditation standards, pursing certifications, and/or applying to graduate school.

If you have a question about whether a specific course qualifies and/or if it is in your best interest to pursue pass/fail, please contact your academic advisor. All pass/fail requests require final approval from the Dean of your school.

Residence Life

Despite these challenging times, Residence Life is dedicated and committed to providing a fun, warm, and supportive residential experience. We are excited to welcome both new and familiar faces back to campus soon!

As announced in June via email, the Office of Residence Life has assigned students to rooms – with no roommates – in all four of GMercyU’s residence halls. Assignments for all residents were issued via email on Friday, July 3, 2020 and Tuesday, July 7, 2020. First-year and transfer students had their assignments emailed to both their personal and GMercyU email accounts.

To keep everyone safe and healthy this fall, residents can expect the following:

  • Masks will be required when residents are not in their own bedrooms.
  • All residence hall lounges and laundry facilities will remain open with posted occupancy limits and physical distancing signage.
  • While there will be no restrictions on residents visiting each other, guests (anyone who is not a resident) will not be allowed in the residence halls.
  • Community kitchens in Siena and Alexandria Hall will be closed.
  • Resident Assistants (RA’s) will continue to be present to provide caring support and encouragement, programming, and other initiatives to engage and contribute to the growth of our residents.

To help protect our commuity while around campus, residents will also be expected to follow the University’s health and safety protocols
 

Move-In/Drop Off

Due to the need for physical distancing, we will be staggering our move-in schedule. You'll sign up for a specific day and time to bring your belongings to your room and then return home until we officially open the residence halls for the semester. Detail on this process will be sent via email.

What to Bring/What Not to Bring

Students may be required to leave housing with short notice due to state-mandated COVID-19 closure requirements or an on-campus outbreak; please consider this when deciding how much to pack. In addition, Residence Life has put together a recommended list of items to bring and a list of items that you cannot bring. Find more details on that here.

If you are interested in living on campus and have not yet submitted your housing application or deposit, please contact Residence Life for next steps as soon as possible at reslife@gmercyu.edu.

Technology Needs

In need of an affordable internet service provider? Please see this Guide To Internet Plans For Low And Fixed-Income Households.

And, a limited amount of CARES Act funding may be available to help you with your technology needs. To apply, please complete this form and submit it studentbilling@gmercyu.edu. See all CARES Act details here.

Your Health and Safety

It is our top priority. The University’s Emergency Response Team has developed detailed health and safety protocols that comply with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and local and state health officials. All students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus will be required to comply with these protocols.

Please see details here

We understand that health concerns may make it inadvisable for some students to come to campus while the risk of the spread of COVID-19 still exists. Please contact your academic advisor if you will not be able to come to campus so you can work together to determine the best path forward.

If you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are experiencing symptoms, please immediately contact the University’s Health and Wellness Center at 215-646-7300, ext. 21306.