Student Guide

What students can expect for the spring semester

— Updated October 30, 2020 —

The spring 2021 semester will begin on February 1, 2021. For those enrolled this fall, the spring semester will look familiar. We will continue working tirelessly to create an environment that will allow you to receive a high-quality education and college experience while keeping your safety at heart as we all co-exist with the COVID-19 virus.

We know there are many questions and concerns that you and your loved ones have. Please know that we are all in this together and we are confident that this will be an amazing year for you as a Shocker! We will continue to communicate regularly with new information as it arises. The best way to see these messages is to consistently check your student email, as this is a fluid situation that continues to change

Here's a guide to the important things to know.  Frequently Asked Questions are located below this guide.


Calendar and academic changes

In an effort to keep all of us safe from possible infection spikes of COVID-19 and the complication of seasonal flu peaking in the winter months, we will make the following adjustments.

Delayed start, normal finish

The regular spring semester will begin two weeks later than normal, on Monday, February 1. Courses will be offered in several formats: online, hybrid-online, and hybrid. The last day of this semester will be Thursday, May 6, with finals proceeding as originally scheduled from May 8-13. Commencement remains scheduled for May 15, but the date and format are subject to change based on applicable health and safety guidelines in effect at that time.

No Spring Break

Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health, safety, and well-being of our entire campus community, we have made the difficult decision to cancel spring break. This week has instead been added to the break between the Fall and Spring semesters, which will now run from December 11 to January 29.

New online-only expanded spring semester pre-session

There will be an online-only pre-session in January with options for one-, two-, and four-week classes. This session will begin January 4 and end January 29 and will include an observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18. Like previous spring pre-sessions, this is an optional session in which faculty may choose to offer courses to allow for continuous learning for students before the start of the regular spring semester.

Course code added for spring semester

We are adding a new instructional method designation to our spring semester schedule-building process: Internet Instruction Synchronous (IIS). This code allows us to distinguish between fully online courses that are asynchronous (where professors generate online content in advance and students engage with it on their own schedules) versus synchronous (where students and professor are engaged with the content at the same time, whether in-person or online). The IIS code will be used on fully online courses with an assigned meeting time for synchronous teaching. As with IIE courses, the IIS designation will have an online fee.

Courses for spring 2021 will be offered with a mixture of four course types:

  • Fully Online - Internet Instruction Synchronous (IIS): Internet Instruction Synchronous courses require some form of “live” virtual class times where attendance is required for discussion, presentations and labs. IIS may be a good option for students new to college and for those who do best with live lectures and enjoy social settings. This delivery method requires an online course fee.
  • Fully Online - Internet Instruction Asynchronous (IIE): Internet Instruction Asynchronous courses are designed by the instructor to be self-managed for studies, learning and demonstration of learning. While time management is flexible, the course may require scheduled benchmarks such as quizzes and projects. This delivery method requires an online course fee.
  • Hybrid Online (HYO): All course materials delivered online, but with tests given in-person (on campus or at a remote testing site). This delivery method requires online course fee.
  • Hybrid (HYB): Courses with mixed delivery, with some in-person course work and some online coursework. No online course fees.

Students can visit wichita.edu/Spring2021 to see how much course content is online or in-person.


Health and safety

Self-Checks Before Coming to Campus

All members of the campus community should monitor your health, check your temperature if you feel you have a fever, and use the COVID-19 Self-Observation Questionnaire before coming to campus or leaving your dorm room. A limited supply of reduced-price thermometers are for sale at Student Health. For more information on what to do if you have symptoms or think you have been exposed, please visit the Student Health Services website or contact your health care provider.

Responsibilities While on Campus

Each of us has personal responsibilities to help mitigate the spread of this virus. While on campus, remember to:

  1. Practice social distancing;
  2. Wear a face mask;
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer); avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and put distance between yourself and others;
  5. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, and then throw the tissue in the trash; and
  6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your personal space.
Social Distancing

Students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to maintain a distance of 6 feet between individuals to the greatest extent possible. Classrooms and common spaces such as the Rhatigan Student Center and Shocker Hall Dining have already been reconfigured to support social distancing and are being frequently disinfected. Building and classroom entrances and exits may be designated in/out to promote social distancing and coordinate traffic flow. Stairwells may also be designated as one-way up or down traffic to reduce close contact. Elevators have been designated as a place of potential close contact and occupancy may be limited. Individuals should use the stairs whenever possible. Wash your hand or use hand sanitizer upon departing an elevator.

Face coverings

Students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear approved face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses in all hallways, public spaces (including outdoor spaces), classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings, unless they are walking alone outdoors and not within 6 feet of anyone else; working alone in a personal office space; are in their individual room, suite, or apartment in campus housing; or are eating/drinking in a designated area (i.e., RSC, Shocker Dining, etc.). There are certain exceptions to this policy including, but not limited to children 5 years or younger, or those individuals who have documented disabilities (including mental health) that would prohibit the use of a face mask or face covering . If you need a mask, you can purchase reusable masks from the Shocker Store in the Rhatigan Student Center or at Central Services (010 Morrison Hall). There are also a limited number of free masks available (while supplies last). Get the details on masks and face coverings.

Public Gathering Capacities

Gathering size limits may be limited based on federal, state, or local public health and governmental guidance. Gatherings are currently limited to groups of up to 15 “commonly known” individuals. Groups of commonly known individuals must be located at least 6 feet away from other groups at all times. If individuals are not commonly known to one another, they must maintain 6 feet of distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity. Local public health and government guidance currently caps maximum attendance at 2,000 attendees. However, at all times, the University reserves the right to determine the maximum number of attendees that may be present at any on-campus gathering, which number may be less than the number allowed by public health and government guidance. Please see Sedgwick County Emergency Public Health Order. NOTE: These limitations do not apply to classrooms.

Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Facilities Services is providing daily cleaning and disinfecting for all classroom spaces, common areas and public spaces. There will be hand sanitizer in each building available for anyone to use. Facilities Services will maintain an inventory of these supplies sufficient to ensure a regular cleaning and disinfecting program along with accepted health and safety practices, such as CDC guidance for schools and workplaces.

Emotional wellness

We recognize that this pandemic is extremely stressful and impacts all of our mental health. Look for the many free resources such as meditation and educational tips on managing your stress and maintaining your mental wellbeing. CAPS and #WSUWeSupportU are dedicated to making sure Shockers are heard, seen and understood while Wichita State University and our community take precautions for COVID-19. Counselors are still available to consult via telephone or Zoom to help you develop a self-care plan for your mental health during this crisis, which can be scheduled by calling 316-978-4792. Keep up with what our counselors are doing at @ShockersCAPS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you are in crisis, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1.


COVID-19 Testing and Tracking

COVID-19 Testing

On Oct. 13, 2020, Wichita State University launched its COVID-19 Voluntary Asymptomatic Surveillance Testing Program. Voluntary surveillance testing is part of the university’s multi-pronged strategy to monitor and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Learn more about the VST program

Wichita State is also offering testing to students with a known exposure or presentation of COVID-19 symptoms AND also mandating testing of all students living in and employees working in Housing and Residence Life, student athletes and certain students and employees associated with clinical programs. Those individuals are required to undergo mandatory testing and will receive additional information via email. If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, please visit the Student Health Center located adjacent to the YMCA or contact your health care provider.

Reporting Contact

Wichita State University has adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners if the University has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. It strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to self-report if they believe they may have been exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19. 

Students can self-report by completing the COVID-19 Report Form found on the wichita.edu/reportit website. Completing this form will connect students with the campus resources through the care coordinators and Student Health Services for support during isolation or quarantine periods.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is conducted through the Sedgwick County Health Department. The university only conducts contact tracing as coordinated through Student Health Services and in support of the Health Department. The university has adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners, if the university has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. The university relies heavily on students and employees to let us know if they believe they may have COVID-19. Students can email student.health@wichita.edu or call 316-978-4792.

See the Contact Tracing FAQ Section

Housing

Protocols and Procedures

Housing and Residential Life is working to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for all residents. Safety measures include a robust communication plan and a commitment to working with students to ensure their understanding of and adherence to policies. Housing will communicate directly with students about move-in, logistical information and expectations. 

Quarantining

Students living in the residence halls who test positive for COVID-19 or are considered a close contact with someone who has tested positive will need to isolate (positive test) or quarantine (close contact). You should contact housing staff at 316-978-3693 or housing.wsu@wichita.edu immediately to help arrange this alternative housing. While Housing and Residence Life has some spaces held offline to facilitate this, students are encouraged to isolate or quarantine at their permanent residence if they are able.


Academics

Academics

The semester begins on January 4 with pre-session courses and February 1 for regular session courses, and ends May 7. We have cancelled Spring Break to help mitigate the spread of COVID after travel. All courses for the sping will be held either online or hybrid (partially online, partially in-person). Before the first day of class, go here to learn more about what to expect for each of your courses. Additionally, logon to Blackboard to view other information about your courses.

Faculty will be reaching out to students ahead of the start of class. If you do not hear from them, contact them directly through email.

Concerns about being in-person

There are a number of resources available to students who may have concerns about returning to the in-person classroom setting. Students are encouraged to talk through these concerns with their instructors, department chairs or college deans. Students may also seek assistance through the Student Government Association. If you require an accommodation, please contact the Office of Disability Services.  


University Dining, Activities and Events

Dining and Rhatigan Student Center hours

WSU Dining will have modified hours, layouts and cleaning schedules. Please click here for more details about dining options, including dining options at Braeburn Square. 

Office hours

While students will be able to access all services during normal business hours, many campus offices will be operating with modified in-person office hours. Please check in-person hours before coming to campus. Please keep in mind that if you want to see a particular staff or faculty member, you will need to schedule an appointment in advance.

Campus activities

As we keep safety as our first priority, we are working to define what for now will be a new college experience. Wichita State will continually work to balance that out with providing you with ways to connect with each other and the university. We want to hear from you on ways to create new connections this semester. Please feel free to email vpstudentaffairs@wichita.edu with ideas or feedback. Check the ShockerSync website for ways to connect with fellow students.

Intramurals

The Sport Programs intramural activities this semester will include in-person single and double activities (tennis, disc golf, golf, etc.), recreational Esports, virtual activities (fishing derby, accumulative marathon, etc.), and traditional sports. More details can be found on imleagues.com/wichita. It is suggested that students create an IMLeagues account to stay up to date with registration openings and deadlines.

Athletics

Men’s and women’s basketball can play their first games on Nov. 25. The Wichita State men’s team opens its season that day against Dayton in Sioux Falls, S.D. Schedules for both teams are to be announced.

The American Athletic Conference adopted a format that consists of 20-game, double round-robin conference schedules in both men’s and women’s basketball. Conference schedules begin Dec. 14.

NCAA Division I championships for cross country and volleyball moved to the spring. Both sports may begin competition in late January.

Go Shockers!

Dr. Rick Muma, Interim President, Wichita State University
Dr. Teri Hall, Vice President, Student Affairs


NOTE: This is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation which continues to evolve rapidly. All information on these pages is subject to change as deemed necessary by University leadership in accordance with guidance and recommendations issued by federal, state, and local public health and government officials.

Frequently Asked Questions


What to know for fall 2020


What are the expectations for wearing face masks?

Students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear approved face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Wichita State University campuses in all hallways, public spaces (including outdoor spaces), classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings, unless they are walking alone outdoors and not within 6 feet of anyone else; working alone in a personal office space; are in their individual room, suite, or apartment in campus housing; or are eating/drinking in a designated area (i.e., RSC, Shocker Dining, etc.). There are certain exceptions to this policy including, but not limited to children 5 years or younger, or those individuals who have documented disabilities (including mental health) that would prohibit the use of a face mask or face covering . If you need a mask, you can purchase reusable masks from the Shocker Store in the Rhatigan Student Center or at Central Services (010 Morrison Hall). There are also a limited number of free masks available (while supplies last). Get the details on masks and face coverings.

Can I wear a face shield instead of a face covering?

No. Face shields should not be used as a substitute for face coverings. They can be used by faculty to improve communication in the classroom, but only while teaching.

Where can I obtain a mask on campus?

For one-time use, a free disposable mask is available while supplies last at:

  • Ablah Library
  • Shocker Store (Rhatigan Student Center)
  • Student Health Center
  • Shocker Hall
  • Shocker Support Locker
  • Marcus Welcome Center
  • Heskett Center
  • Rhatigan Student Center Information Desk

Washable masks are available at:

  • Shocker Support Locker (free for students only; limited supply)
  • Shocker Hall front desk (free for students only; limited supply)
  • Rhatigan Student Center information desk (free for students only; limited supply)
  • Central Services, Morrison Hall 010 (for purchase)
  • Shocker Store (Rhatigan Student Center) (for purchase)
How do I handle breaks during my in-person courses?

You should continue wearing your face covering, maintain physical distancing and engage in frequent handwashing.

Do I have to stay six feet away from fellow students and my professor?

Yes. Please make sure there is at least six feet of space between you and others in the class.

How will Wichita State prepare for possible disruptions of the fall semester?

Faculty will need to design flexibility into course delivery (e.g. hybrid, online or modified schedule) for next fall that limits disruption and assures quality learning outcomes.

How will Wichita State continue to financial assist students?

In early May, Wichita State started to distribute to our eligible students the $4.4M in CARES stimulus funding received from the federal government. Over 2,800 Pell-eligible students will immediately receive $1,000 for unforeseen emergency expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Our Financial Aid office is working with additional eligible students who also have financial needs and will process their applications soon.

Many of our students, including our international students and undocumented students, do not qualify for this federal stimulus and are in dire need of financial aid for basic items such as food, health insurance, rent etc.

The Wichita State University Foundation established the WSU COVID-19 Emergency Fund for our students in need.

Learn more

How will faculty approach designing classes for the fall semester?

Faculty will need to design flexibility into course delivery (e.g. hybrid, online or modified schedule) for next fall that limits disruption and assures quality learning outcomes.

What mental and physical health resources are available to students?

Wichita State understands this is a stressful time and we want to help students through this process as best we can. If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services.

Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can find help at our website at wichita.edu/shs.

Student Affairs has also developed an FAQ of emergency and self-care resources.

What is the financial impact of the pandemic on Wichita State?

As of early May, Wichita State is projecting a $6.8 million budget shortfall for the new fiscal year beginning July 1. This is from anticipated lower enrollment, especially of international students, who represent about 10% of our student population. This does not include financial impacts to our athletics department, student life and other lost revenue streams, nor does it include the millions of dollars we refunded to our students and families for housing, dining and parking during this spring semester. The university’s top priorities are to ensure that we continue to deliver the most impactful possible student experience, minimize impacts to our faculty and staff, and continue to partner with our community as we work together for the economic recovery of our region.

Our initial efforts to address the budget gap include:

  • Campus-wide hiring freeze, with rare exceptions.
  • Executive leadership furloughs or equivalent salary reduction, for the president, president's executive team, deans, athletics senior administration and coaches.
  • Halting discretionary spending.
  • An initial across-the-board 2% budget reduction.
  • Examining additional mitigation steps.

We will continue to monitor the situation. The biggest impact to our students and families will be if there is a state budget cut to higher education. That would necessitate further mitigation strategies.

How will Wichita State communicate with students and their families about COVID-19 related campus changes?

WSU recognizes that this is a very fluid situation, and we may need to adjust quickly. The WSU COVID-19 News website, wichita.edu/covid19news, is regularly updated by WSU Strategic Communications.

Students should stay connected to the university by regularly checking emails and announcements in Shocker Blast. In addition, university administration will communicate through email blasts and routine virtual town hall meeting.

Is the university reporting positive COVID-19 cases to the public?

Yes. The University has created a COVID-19 Dashboard that is updated weekly. University officials, in conjunction with the Sedgwick County Health Department, are closely monitoring all information as it relates to the health and safety of its campus community. The university is prepared to take all action necessary in the event that students, faculty or staff are believed to be faced with heightened risk of exposure, including, but not limited to, closing housing facilities and pivoting all classes to remote or online.

What is the university doing with reports of positive tests?

The university has adopted and implemented policies, procedures and practices regarding reports of known exposure or positive cases on campus. The university continues to follow the guidance of federal, state and local health officials in combating the spread of COVID-19 by requiring masks be worn on campus, limiting classroom sizes, encouraging frequent hand washing, postponing large events, promoting remote work, installing Plexiglas barriers in public offices, providing sanitizer to the campus community and in buildings, requiring social distancing, and increasing sanitization of targeted areas. Health officials agree that these measures are the most effective way to combat the spread of this disease.

More information about the number of positive cases in the area can be found on Sedgwick County’s website.

Will the university tell me if I may have been exposed to COVID-19?

Recent Kansas legislation enacted to protect the privacy and confidentiality of information prevents the university from engaging in contact tracing efforts. As a result, all contact tracing is conducted through the state and local county health departments. The Sedgwick County Health Department, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, are responsible for contacting individuals who test positive, providing instructions for isolating, and collecting information on close contacts.

In the event of a positive test, employees are encouraged to contact Human Resources, and students are encouraged to report at wichita.edu/reportit.


Academics: Attending Class


What will classes look like?

Courses for spring 2021 will be offered with a mixture of four course types:

  • Fully Online - Internet Instruction Synchronous (IIS): Internet Instruction Synchronous courses require some form of “live” virtual class times where attendance is required for discussion, presentations and labs. IIS may be a good option for students new to college and for those who do best with live lectures and enjoy social settings. This delivery method requires an online course fee.
  • Fully Online - Internet Instruction Asynchronous (IIE): Internet Instruction Asynchronous courses are designed by the instructor to be self-managed for studies, learning and demonstration of learning. While time management is flexible, the course may require scheduled benchmarks such as quizzes and projects. This delivery method requires an online course fee.
  • Hybrid Online (HYO): All course materials delivered online, but with tests given in-person (on campus or at a remote testing site). This delivery method requires online course fee.
  • Hybrid (HYB): Courses with mixed delivery, with some in-person course work and some online coursework. No online course fees.

Students can visit wichita.edu/Spring2021 to see how much content is online or in-person.

What are important dates for Spring 2021?

Full-semester classes begin on Feb. 1.

The last day of this semester will be May 6, with finals proceeding as originally scheduled from May 8-13. Commencement remains scheduled for May 15, but the date and format are subject to change based on applicable health and safety guidelines in effect at that time.

Out of an abundance of caution for the campus community, Wichita State made the difficult decision to cancel spring break. This week has instead been added to the break between the Fall and Spring semesters, which will now run from December 11 to January 29.

Where do I go on the first day of classes?

We look forward to seeing you on campus and/or online starting Monday, Jan. 4 (for pre-session) or Monday, Feb. 1 (for regular session). Instructors have provided additional notes about their courses on wichita.edu/spring2021, including where to connect on the first day (in-person or online).

Please check each of your classes in Blackboard and keep an eye on your WSU email for information! If there is no information for a particular class, or if a class doesn’t have an instructor listed yet, please call OneStop at 1-855-978-1787 to be connected with the academic department offering your course.

What is "hybrid" course design?

A hybrid course gives instructors opportunity for flexibility and creativity. Content may be delivered in-person and online; it can be synchronous or asynchronous depending on instructor preference. Some examples might include:

  • "Flipped model" – provide out-of-class content for student preparation (videos, readings, lectures, etc), followed by in-class activity and/or engagement. In-person content may be alternated and delivered to only a portion of the class at a time to support reduced classroom capacity requirements and comply with physical distancing expectations.
  • Alternate half the class for in-person content and allow half of the class to learn remotely; live stream or record classroom sessions for students who are remotely accessing class content.
  • Use nearby unused class space to have two classrooms side by side to spread out students; move between both classrooms to supervise student engagement and activities (keeping in mind there will be limited classroom space available for the fall semester).
  • Divide content into modules (that could be interchangeable), where part of the class works on in-person content and part works on remote content; then swap.
  • Create additional out-of-class learning opportunities (e.g., service learning, online class activity) paired with in-person content that physically spreads out students.
  • Use mostly remote delivery with in-person testing or other assessments.
  • Meet in the classroom only for content requiring face-to-face delivery and hold other class sessions using synchronous Zoom lectures, by posting an asynchronous online-only video lecture or activity followed by online-only discussion (face-to-face classroom experiences will be dependent on classroom capacities, class size and physical distancing requirements which may change throughout the semester).
How is quality instruction measured in a hybrid class?

Hybrid courses are the same as the traditional classroom in that instructors are the first guardians of quality. The expectation is that faculty will develop the course in the same way to assure quality and student learning outcomes.

What fees will be associated with different modes of delivery?

Online fees are charged for courses that are designated IIE (fully online, asynchronous), IIS (fully online, synchronous) and HYO (hybrid online, fully online except for in-person testing). Courses that are HYB (hybrid) do not have an online fee.

Will my fees change if my class moves to online-only delivery?

No. The deadline for changing Fall course delivery to online-only format (IIE/HYO) was June 26. There should be no further changes that impact Fall student fees.

How will students know if classes have required in-person meetings?

Students should check wichita.edu/spring2021 for information about the design of their fall courses. They can also contact their faculty members if they do not find information for a specific class.

Can my professor require in-person attendance?

Instructors need to make their expectations for in-person work clear on the first day of class so students can make informed decisions about continuing in the class.

Instructors are discouraged from using grading techniques that may require a student to choose between their health or grade.

Instructors are encouraged to consider ways other than attendance to assess participation and/or engagement.

Instructors should ask students to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and instruct students who feel ill to not attend in-person meetings.

Can my instructor require me to turn on my computer's camera for my class?

Faculty should not require students to turn on their cameras while participating remotely. This puts a student’s privacy at risk.

There are many reasons why a student might not want to essentially invite their professor and peers into their personal living space by turning on their camera. Adding a background is not always a viable solution. These backgrounds do not work with all computers, use valuable computer resources, and do not prevent others from appearing on the screen whose privacy may need to be protected

What will professors do if a student discloses concerns with attending in-person classes?

Students should check out the class details on www.wichita.edu/spring2021 so they can make informed decisions about enrolling in the class before the start of the semester.

Instructors may consider replicating in-person learning experiences in a remote or online format when their program provides only one section of a course.

Can professors use Zoom for office or student hours instead of in-person office hours?

Yes. Instructors are responsible for coordinating schedules with their departmental chairperson and must clearly communicate their availability with students.

What do I need to know about online exams and proctoring?

Some instructors require students to have proctored exams for online testing. The university supports ProctorU and Respondus for proctoring options.

Additional information can be found at the Media Resources Center's Online Testing page.

Can professors charge students for test kits, proctored exams or other materials that are associated with courses?

We try to keep costs of instruction as low as possible for students but recognize that some additional costs may be necessary for class. These costs should be clearly communicated to students in the course syllabus. No additional costs should be passed on to students mid-semester. Note: instructors are encouraged to consider Open Alternative Textbooks (OAT) to reduce costs for students.

Learn more about OAT course design.

What are the details regarding the new auditing option for the 2020-21 academic year?

The required move to online instruction in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19 brought many challenges. Wichita State University is proud of the way our faculty rose to the task, providing the top-quality online instruction our university has delivered for many years.

As an additional benefit to our students, WSU has received approval by the Kansas Board of Regents to allow students who completed a class in spring 2020 to audit the same class in fall 2020 or spring 2021, if offered, at no cost.

This will allow students to potentially be in-person for some course content and/or a chance to review that content. Audits can only be done in courses where space is available.

  • Attendance in audit courses should not begin until after the audit enrollment is completed.
  • Audit courses do appear on the academic transcript with a grade of AU, which has no impact on GPA. Audits carry no earned credit hours.
  • Audited hours will not count toward the credit-hour requirements or be eligible for financial aid.
  • Students who graduate prior to fall 2020 are not eligible for these audits.
  • Students may audit at no cost in fall 2020 and spring 2021 only courses in which they were enrolled for normal credit in spring 2020.

How to audit a course from spring 2020

Students do not enroll in the audit courses using the normal registration system.

Enrollment in courses for audit can be done in person on the Thursday of the first week of each semester. For fall 2020, that date is Aug. 20; for spring 2021, Feb. 4, 2021. Students may also request an audit enrollment via email at registration@wichita.edu. This email must come from the student's WSU email account.

What guidance are instructors given for working with students with disabilities?

We are reminding instructors to keep those disabilities in mind as content is created for the class. For students with hearing impairments, any video will need accurate captions. For students with visual impairments, any content will need to be accessible those students as well.

Is a condition that makes someone high risk for COVID-19 complications something that gets legal accommodation protections?
What happens if I get sick and cannot attend in-person class sessions? Are my professors required to create online-only content for me?

Instructors should be responsive to students who are sick, just as they were before the emergence of COVID-19, by helping students make up work and stay on track in class.

Is there a standardized training or syllabus language that will be provided that clearly explains safe behaviors and compliance with campus policies?

The following statement should be included in all syllabi:

The COVID-19 pandemic is a complex, challenging, and fluid situation, which continues to evolve rapidly. Therefore, students consistently should review the link for the WSU COVID-19 Response (www.wichita.edu/about/COVID-19/index) for information throughout the semester. WSU will follow federal, state, and county public health recommendations and mandates in all decisions related to university operations. Our priority is the health, safety and well-being of our entire campus community. To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, students are expected to follow university guidelines for wearing their own face coverings (such as a bandana, scarf or other cloth mask) when on campus, unless walking alone outdoors or working alone in a personal office space. Students additionally are expected to follow physical or social distancing guidelines by keeping at least 6 feet from others, covering their coughs and practicing good hand hygiene.

Faculty should provide a clear statement of expectations on the first day of class promoting campus health and safety, and have extra disposable masks available in case someone does not have one available.

WSU provides a short video training for students. This video will include general information about COVID-19, ways students can reduce their risk for infection and spreading the virus to others and campus safety expectations.

Do professors have the authority to remove a student from class if they refuse to follow safety guidelines for wearing a face covering?

Instructors have the right to ask someone to leave if they are not observing campus public health protocols.


Academics: Student Academic Support


Where do I find support for remote learning for my hybrid and online courses?

Wichita State University has developed a Remote Student Support website to help with remote learning

Who can help me with my classes?

Academic Advisors are great resources, as are Success Coaches. Either can help answer questions you have about your studies.

The Office of Student Success has a number of resources to help you maximize your potential for success.

Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction (SI) are available online. If your class has SI, consult your class on Blackboard for the latest schedule. Your SI leader will maintain their schedule and hold sessions on the same days / times. If you currently have a tutor, email your tutor for specific information. If you need to request a tutor, go to your myWSU and click on Request a Tutor under Student Tools.

I suffer from anxiety. Are there resources to help?

Wichita State understands this is a stressful time and we want to help students through this process as best we can. If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services.

Am I allowed to access Ablah Library?

Ablah Library is open. For the daily schedule, check wichita.edu/libraryhours.

What if I have a complaint about my class?

If you have a problem with your class, the first step is to communicate your concern to the instructor. If the problem cannot be resolved with the instructor, you should communicate with the chairperson of the department that is offering the class. Ex: MATH100 – Speak to the chair of the Math department. See contact information for all chairpersons here. You may also reach out to the Student Advocate for assistance with these communications.


Remote Learning


How does the university help faculty prepare for online classes?

The Instructional Design and Access (IDA) team at the Media Resource Center (MRC) continues to provide a robust set of trainings and documentation to help faculty adapt courses to hybrid and online models. There are more than 50 faculty across campus who have received training as Online Faculty Fellows who are serving as resources to their peers.

Those colleges that use specialty software have identified procedures for students to gain remote access to the software when needed.

How do I get the Zoom app to create and attend virtual meetings?

You can follow directions provided on the Media Resource Center's Zoom Training page.

I don’t know how to use online meeting platforms. What do I do?

Many students and staff are using Zoom or Microsoft Teams to conduct online meetings.

Look for information on our Instructional Design and Access website for helpful instructions. Specifically, look for the Zoom Training page. Students have Outlook accounts, so setting up a Microsoft Teams meeting is as easy as clicking that option on the ribbon at the top, which will create an automatic link in the email meeting request. This will allow multiple people to connect together online.

Be patient when trying these options at first. It’s always a good idea to run a test meeting with a friend so you can get used to using these tools and testing your computers capabilities. It’s a good idea to do this while classes are suspended so you get used to it.

How do I stop uninvited people from interfering in a Zoom meeting?

Zoom bombing is when an uninvited person joins a meeting and disrupts the event, usually with offensive content. This is a particular risk for events that are promoted in a public way (like recruitments events). You can protect yourself using Zoom’s security features. For guidance, go to wichita.edu/zoomsafe. You can request a co-host for your Zoom session – a CMS A/V technician who will help monitor your event and handle problems if they occur. Request a co-host. If you experience a Zoom bombing event, please report the incident using the Institutional Equity and Compliance Report form. The Compliance office is helping to track these incidents and manage any necessary institutional response. Make an incident report

Are Chromebooks and hot spots still available for Wichita State students?

Yes. For students who don't have access to a computer, there are a limited number of Chromebooks available. Submit a request using the link below. If you do not have internet access, contact WSU Help Desk at 316-978-HELP, Option 1 to submit a request.

View the requirements and submit a request

Because those working remotely may have limited or no internet access, a limited number of cellular hotspot devices (MiFis) from Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are available from Information Technology Services.

Submit a MiFi Request


Housing and Meal Plans


For information on housing and meal plans consult the Housing and Residence Life COVID-19 Page.


Student Resources and Support


How do I access the Shocker Support Locker?

The Shocker Support Locker is open to all Wichita State University students, faculty and staff and offers anyone who needs it access to food, clothing, toiletries, and baby/family products. The Shocker Support Locker is coordinated and managed by the Student Government Association.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, all students, faculty or staff are asked to complete the Shocker Support Locker Order Form to request items from the Shocker Support Locker until further notice

Locker staff will contact the user to coordinate a pick-up time between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday for the spring semester. Questions? Please contact sga.supportlocker@wichita.edu

What is Wichita State’s Care Team doing to help support students?

Wichita State’s Care Team helps students and employees with health or mental health concerns, academic struggles, financial stressors, housing and food concerns and more. For information, go to wichita.edu/careteam, email care@wichita.edu or call 316-978-3149.

Where do I go to get help with my COVID-19 related anxiety?

The emotional, financial and social disruptions caused by COVID-19 uncertainty are creating serious challenges for many of our students. Students with pre-existing and new conditions will require extra support. It is important that instructors refer students who might need assistance to the WSU Counseling and Prevention Services (CAPS) website to learn options for addressing mental health and wellness during COVID-19.


Guidance for International Students


The Office of International Education is maintaining an FAQ at https://www.wichita.edu/InternationalUpdates


Guidance for Parents


To control the spread of COVID-19, how does changing in-person classes to an online and/or remote format help?

In the natural course of spread of any infectious disease, like COVID-19, there is a sharp increase, a peak, and a decrease, forming a curve on a graph. Flattening the curve is what’s needed, and when that occurs it means the disease is slowing. Introducing population-based interventions such as social distancing, hand-washing, and lockdowns reduces the potential spread of infection. Changing from in-person classes to online and/or remote instruction is a social distancing intervention.

Are Chromebooks and hot spots still available for Wichita State students?

Yes. For students who don't have access to a computer, there are a limited number of Chromebooks available. Submit a request using the link below. If you do not have internet access, contact WSU Help Desk at 316-978-HELP, Option 1 to submit a request.

View the requirements and submit a request

Because those working remotely may have limited or no internet access, a limited number of cellular hotspot devices (MiFis) from Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T are available from Information Technology Services.

Submit a MiFi Request


Guidance for Travel


What are university guidelines on domestic travel during the semester?

Domestic travel is permitted. The university encourages you to consider the following:

  • Could the purpose of the trip be handled online or remotely?
  • Can this trip be delayed?
  • Please be mindful of CDC guidance and guidance relayed by the travel destination.
  • Students are asked to register at wichita.edu/travelnotification.
What are university policies for international travel during the semester?

All university-sponsored international travel is to be discontinued, effective immediately.

  • No new travel approvals will be granted unless extreme circumstances — approval will be required from a divisional Vice President.
  • Currently scheduled travel must be cancelled — reach out to supervisor regarding next steps.
What are university guidelines for personal travel during the semester?

Individuals on personal travel are encouraged to follow all CDC-issued guidelines and any guidelines issued by their travel destination.

The University strongly encourages students, faculty and staff on personal travel to register your travel with the university and provide us with basic details about any international travel planned through the end of the semester. Go to wichita.edu/travelnotification.

If you are returning from a country designated as Level 3 by the CDC, you must contact the local health department upon your return.

What if I recently traveled internationally or in the U.S.?

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is mandating a 14-day quarantine for travelers who have returned from certain areas identified as high risk for exposure to COVID-19. These areas are updated routinely. If you have recently traveled within the U.S. or internationally, please check the KDHE Travel Quarantine webpage for details BEFORE coming to campus.


Guidance for Health, Wellness and Prevention


What are the symptoms and what can I do prevent the spread of the virus?

For information on symptoms and suggestions for what you can do for prevention, go to the Student Health coronavirus page.

What should I do if I think I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?

If you are sick or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Please do not come to campus. Notify your instructor you are ill through the process detailed in your syllabus.
  • Contact your health care provider. Call ahead before seeking medical care.
  • All current WSU students can contact Student Health Services (SHS) by calling (316) 978-4792 or sending a secure message through the myShockerHealth student portal (studenthealth.wichita.edu). Student Health’s hours are Mon- Fri. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • COVID-19 testing is available for symptomatic WSU students through SHS. Testing needs to be ordered by a provider during an office visit.
  • For after-hours care options, there is a list of immediate care clinic and/or hospitals on the SHS website.
What should I do if I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you have been notified by a public health representative or medical professional that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Wichita State University has adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners, if the University has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. It strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to self-report if they believe they may have been exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19.

Students can self-report by completing the COVID-19 Report Form found on the wichita.edu/reportit website. Completing this form will connect students with the campus resources through the care coordinators and Student Health Services for support during isolation or quarantine periods.

If you are enrolled in online classes, or hybrid classes that are fully online with no in person requirements, continue to complete course work as needed. You may decide to reach out to the faculty member to let them know you are in quarantine of isolation, but this is not required.

If you are enrolled in a hybrid class, where in-person sessions are required (such as a lab) contact your professor and let them know that you are being quarantined and cannot attend class.

If you have questions related to being identified as a close contact, call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022.

What should I do if I have been notified that I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19?

If you have been notified by a public health representative or medical professional that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

If you are enrolled in online classes, or hybrid classes that are fully online with no in person requirements, continue to complete course work as needed. You may decide to reach out to the faculty member to let them know you are in quarantine of isolation, but this is not required.

If you are enrolled in a hybrid class, where in person sessions are required (such as a lab) contact your professor and let them know that you are being quarantined and cannot attend class.

If you have questions related to being identified as a close contact, call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022.

What procedures do I follow if I live off campus?

It is recommended that you reach out to the Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) if you have received a positive COVID-19 test result or if you think you are a contact of positive COVID-19 case. Simply call the Sedgwick County Health Department COVID-19 triage hotline at 316-660-1022. SCHD will oversee the contact tracing process for anyone who may have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Quarantine is for people who were in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case but currently do not have any symptoms. Quarantine is also required for people who recently traveled to a location identified as high risk for COVID-19 by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19 and are waiting for test results.

What should I do about my classes if I am in isolation or quarantine?

It is recommended that you reach out to all of your faculty, informing them that you may need additional time to complete work and/or miss any in- person classes due to being in quarantine or isolation.

What are best practices if I am in isolation or quarantine?

If you are in a shared living space while in quarantine or isolation, take the following steps to reduce transmission risk to those you live with:

  • Stay away from other people in your home as much as possible, stay in a separate room with a closed door and using a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Avoid sharing household items, including drinking cups, eating utensils, towels or even bedding. Wash these items thoroughly after using.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces daily using a household cleaner or wipe. These (per the CDC) include: “counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables”.
  • When you cough/sneeze cover your mouth and nose with a tissue; immediately throw tissues in garbage; wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if that’s not available, clean with hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • No visitors unless the person needs to be in your home.
  • If someone needs to help care for you, they should wear a face covering and try to limit close contact with you.
  • If you need medical attention, call ahead and tell them you are in quarantine or isolation.
  • Wear a face covering if you must be around other people, such as during a drive to the doctor’s office or if out of your bedroom walking through common spaces in the home.
  • Limit contact with your pets. There is a small chance humans can pass the disease to dogs or other pets, though very few cases of transmission to pets has been reported.
What resources are available for personal care?

If you suffer from anxiety and need to talk to someone, please contact Counseling and Prevention Services by calling 316-978-4292 to schedule a telehealth consultation. Their website is wichita.edu/caps. You can also follow them on social media for daily wellness tip and free mindfulness training @ShockersCAPS and #WSUWeSupportU. To see past training videos visit the CAPS You Tube channel.

Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can find help at our website at wichita.edu/shs

Student Affairs has also developed an FAQ of emergency and self-care resources.

How do I access the Shocker Support Locker?

The Shocker Support Locker is open to all Wichita State University students, faculty and staff and offers anyone who needs it access to food, clothing, toiletries, and baby/family products. The Shocker Support Locker is coordinated and managed by the Student Government Association.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, all students, faculty or staff are asked to complete the Shocker Support Locker Order Form to request items from the Shocker Support Locker until further notice

Locker staff will contact the user to coordinate a pick-up time between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday for the spring semester. Questions? Please contact sga.supportlocker@wichita.edu

Is the Student Wellness Center open?

Student Health Services is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday to provide health care services to students. You can see a list of our services at wichita.edu/shs

Please use the main entrance for the Student Wellness Center in the lobby of the Steve Clark YMCA.

All students will be screened and required to wear a mask while in the Wellness Center. Additional visitors are asked to stay home. If you are experiencing fever, cough, or other signs of illness, please call Student Health at (316) 978-4792 to talk to a medical professional before coming into the center.

Counseling and Prevention Services (CAPS) will continue to offer mental health services in a remote fashion and is no longer taking in-person appointments. CAPS can help with obstacles such as: difficulties with depression, anxiety, and are available to consult via telephone or Zoom to help you develop a self-care plan for your mental wellness during this crisis.

Please call (316) 978-4792 to set-up a remote consultation. You can schedule with a receptionist by calling between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday or leave a message and someone will call you back during that time.

Follow us at ShockersCAPS for tips on how to beat covid-19 stress. If there is a mental health emergency, please call 911, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text “support” to the crisis text line at 741-741.

How is Wichita State’s custodial staff reacting?

The Custodial Services staff has ramped up their disinfecting efforts recently in an effort to provide increased sanitation for the university community. Training sessions for custodial staff have taken place, with a renewed emphasis on disinfecting touch points throughout campus. They will continue to use germicidal disinfectants for these surfaces and as part of their regular cleaning routines.


Contact Tracing


Is Wichita State University allowed to conduct contact tracing?

No. Wichita State is not allowed to conduct contact tracing

On June 9, 2020, Kansas enacted HB 2016. This legislation created the “COVID-19 Contact Tracing Privacy Act.” Under this Act, only the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the local health officer are authorized to conduct contact tracing. Only the KDHE and the local health officer can grant permission to other state entities to do contact tracing.

In other words, the Act prohibits other state entities, such as Wichita State University, from performing any “contact tracing” activities unless this tracing is specifically authorized by KDHE or the local health officer.

How does HB 2016 define contact tracing and how does that affect Wichita State University?

Under the HB 2016, “contact tracing” has its own definition. And that means that the University has to follow and rely upon that definition – not how “contact tracing” is commonly understood or defined by the CDC or by any other state.

For purposes of HB 2016, “contact tracing” means identifying persons who may have been exposed to an infected person for the purpose of containing the spread of COVID-19 by notifying the contact that the contact may have been exposed, should be tested and should self-quarantine.

Since we are a state entity, the University is prohibited by law from notifying any student, employee, or visitor of any potential known exposure – even in general terms.

What entity is responsible for contact tracing?

In Sedgwick County, contact tracing is the sole responsibility of the Sedgwick County Health Department. This includes any contact tracing that must be done on the Wichita State campus. SCHD, in conjunction with KDHE, are responsible for contacting individuals who test positive, providing instructions for isolating, and collecting information on close contacts.

Contact tracing is a specific process that is conducted through local and state public health authorities. When an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the lab where the test was completed and the provider who ordered the test are required to report the positive test results to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). This report is used to initiate the contact tracing process by local and/or state public health authorities.

Why is it important to self-report potential exposure or positive test for COVID-19?

Wichita State University has adopted procedures and protocols to alert members of our community, including our students, employees and campus partners, if the University has knowledge of potential COVID-19 exposure. It strongly encourages all students, faculty, and staff to self-report if they believe they may have been exposed to, or tested positive for, COVID-19. Reporting can be done as follows:

  • Employees should contact HR Total Rewards (totalrewards@wichita.edu)
  • Students should complete the COVID-19 Report Form found on the wichita.edu/reportit website. Completing this form will connect students with the campus resources through the care coordinators and Student Health Services for support during isolation or quarantine periods.
How should students in residence halls react to close contact or positive test for COVID-19?

Students living in the residence halls are required to contact Housing staff if they test positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case. Housing staff will work with students to facilitate quarantine and isolation spaces on campus, if needed.

How does KDHE define “close contact?”

KDHE defines a “close contact” as being within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes or having direct contact with someone with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.

If you are not a close contact, you do not have any special precautions to take, though everyone should follow prevention measures to keep themselves healthy. These measures include practicing good hygiene and social distancing, wearing a face covering, monitoring your health, and staying home if you are sick.


Financial Implications for the University


What is the financial impact of the pandemic on Wichita State?

As of early May 2020, Wichita State is projecting a $6.8 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1. This is from anticipated lower enrollment, especially of international students, who represent about 10% of our student population. This does not include financial impacts to our athletics department, student life and other lost revenue streams, nor does it include the millions of dollars we refunded to our students and families for housing, dining and parking during this spring semester. The university’s top priorities are to ensure that we continue to deliver the most impactful possible student experience, minimize impacts to our faculty and staff, and continue to partner with our community as we work together for the economic recovery of our region.

Our initial efforts to address the budget gap include:

  • Campus-wide hiring freeze, with rare exceptions.
  • Executive leadership furloughs or equivalent salary reduction, for the president, president's executive team, deans, athletics senior administration and coaches.
  • Halting discretionary spending.
  • An initial across-the-board 2% budget reduction.
  • Examining additional mitigation steps.

We will continue to monitor the situation. The biggest impact to our students and families will be if there is a state budget cut to higher education. That would necessitate further mitigation strategies.

How will funds from the CARES Act help Wichita State students?

On April 9, The U.S. Department of Education released its official allocations for the newly passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Wichita State University will receive nearly $8.8 million. Half of the funds – nearly $4.4 million – will be allocated as emergency financial aid grants to students.

The CARES Act provides institutions with discretion on how to award this emergency aid to students.

WSU will be working diligently to put together a plan on how to administer the student funds and use the remainder of the money.

“We’re incredibly appreciative to receive this critical financial assistance,” Wichita State President Jay Golden said. “We are studying the guidelines now to discover how best to use these funds for the benefit of our students and university.”

Get more information about the CARES Act
What steps has your institution taken -- or could take -- to deal with the financial impact? And what concerns and worries exist about the possible impact to fall enrollment (including tuition revenue)?

Wichita State has instituted a hiring freeze and restrictions on discretionary spending, including travel and non-essential purchases.

As we enter the start of the new fiscal year, which began July 1, we need to consider the potential financial impact of many variables.

What is the overall scale of the challenge facing your institution, so that people can understand the financial costs being paid in your efforts to keep students, faculty and staff safe at this time?

Our first concern is for the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and community. We will take it one step at a time, one day at a time, until our educational programs and student experience are fully restored and functioning at a high level.