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Academic Continuity Questions

Here you are able to find answers to questions referring to Academic Continuity. You can ask your own questions here, if your question is not answered below.

General Questions

Is the janitorial staff being sent home? If so, are they being paid during this time?

What way will updates and any changes in the situation at UTHSC be communicated to me?

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?

Why is UTHSC implementing remote teaching/learning?

How long will UTHSC be holding remote classes?

Will the Health Sciences Library be closed during the period of remote teaching and learning?

Will food services on campus remain open?

When and how will individual colleges or academic programs provide their own academic continuity updates?

Has UTHSC started cleaning the campus more carefully?

Questions from Students

Can we volunteer while we are out of rotations?

If I feel isolated or overwhelmed, what can I do?

Are there only certain times in the year that a degree can be conferred? What if a student's progress is delayed past their intended graduation date?

Does this affect accreditation of the programs?

Will the library be closed for the rest of the semester or is there a chance it may open for a limited time after two weeks or so?

Will UTHSC move to grading students using Pass/Fail?

Do you know if we are required to be in Memphis in person for the rest of the semester for classes/labs or any kind of meeting?

I am currently on rotations and am concerned for my safety and exposure to COVID-19. Are there any actions I can take?

My accrediting body allows use of simulation for part of our clinical hours? Is this a possibility?

Can I upgrade my zoom access so sessions can be longer than 40 minutes

If there was a situation in which your program extends into another semester, does the university have a way for us to get more student loans? What if students need an amount that exceeds that of the COA because they didn’t budget for the purchase of a computer?

Will we be getting a portion of our tuition reimbursed for the fees that are not related to the class credits? (maintenance fee, parking, technology fee, etc.)

Will the school, write letters to give to our leasing offices to break our lease?

How are labs going to occur now that we are going online for the rest of the semester? Will this affect our summer break?

Will there be reductions in tuition? Would tuition be prorated or applied to future semesters if we are unable to complete this semester’s curriculum?

If we’ve not heard anything from our program director should we reach out to them or is there a timeline when we can expect to hear from them?

Are UTHSC clinics closed as long as classes are remote? Should we be canceling flights back to campus for clinic?

Do you know if we are required to be in Memphis in person for the rest of the semester for classes/labs or any kind of meeting?

What if you do not have the best Internet and face technical issues. How would that be taken into consideration when finishing courses/exams?

What are the options you all are looking at for alternative commencement?

Will graduation be held? If graduation is cancelled, how far in advance would we be notified?

Are students permitted to continue working at hospitals or any other employment setting?

Will students be able to come to campus for student health appointments?

Can students still come to campus to meet individually with faculty?

Is it possible that this is going to lead into the summer semesters and extend the time we are in a program?

Questions about Financial Aid during COVID-19

I’ve heard the recent stimulus bill provided emergency aid funds to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I request this assistance?

Is it true student loan interest is waived?

I am a Federal Work Study (FWS) student and I’ve been asked to report my scheduled hours worked. How can I submit a timesheet for hours when I haven’t worked?

Because of unexpected changes with the COVID-19 disruption, I have incurred unexpected expenses and need to borrow additional loan dollars. Can I borrow ?

I may receive an incomplete in a class for this term. How will this affect my financial aid?

I am stressed with the COVID-19 crisis and cannot continue my classes. If I stop attending my classes, can I continue receiving financial aid?

I’ve heard the recent stimulus bill provided emergency aid funds to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I request this assistance?

If I have additional questions, how can I contact Financial Aid?

Questions about specific programs and types of courses

What about the Audiology and Speech Pathology program in Knoxville?

What about the Pharmacy program at sites in Knoxville and Nashville?

How will laboratory-based classes be handled?

How will simulation experiences be handled?

What student group is the main priority for UTHSC?

If laboratory-based courses require evening and/or weekend make-up times, what about students who are scheduled to work during those times or who provide care for children or other family members during those times?

Are students allowed to have one-on-one office hours with professors?

For UTHSC students in the Audiology and Speech Pathology at Knoxville, do we follow the practices of UTHSC or UTK?

For accessibility, will courses be available in closed captioning?

Questions from Department Chairs

I am working on contingency plans for staffing a clinical site and this includes residents at our facility. In the medical staff bylaws at my site, we can reassign physicians to alternative clinical care sites in the event of a declared emergency. I would like to extend this opportunity to residents. Would that be acceptable?

Are there plans to send faculty and staff who are at lower risk home and, if so, for how long?

What if a staff member is at an affiliate site, such as Campbell Clinic? Do they telecommute via UTHSC rules if they can, or do they follow the rules of the affiliate site?

Do you have any advice to give students, faculty, and staff on their personal travel choices?

If faculty, staff, trainees, and/or students refuse to work on the grounds of potentially getting infected, what should we tell them?

Will you confirm that students with current off-campus clinical placements are supposed to continue with the placement unless operations are suspended via the off-campus site?

What should we tell medical students who approach us for their Longitudinal Scholars Program?

What are the recommendations for seeing research participants in a study?

When are we (OT and PT) allowed to start having the students come to campus in small groups for lab? What is the maximum number of students that can be in a lab at one time? To whom do we send the lab schedule, and will we need to contact campus police to get them access?

What contingency plans are there for tenure track faculty members whose research and scholarly productivity are being greatly affected by the current situation?

 Questions asked by Faculty Members

Any advice on a department seminar series and moving to Zoom?

How will the CARE team function during this time?

A few students have reported that they do not have Internet access at their apartments. Are students allowed to come to specific spaces on campus to access the Internet - assuming they can spread out in a large room or across several small rooms?

Hospitals have stopped all clinicals at UAMS and the Heart Hospital. What should we do about making up clinical time?

The Chancellor sent out a message on 3/13/2020 indicating that employees must self-isolate if, among other things, they are returning to the U.S. from another country. Does this refer to any other country and not just countries with a Level 2 or Level 3 warning?

Although courses will be taught remotely and university-sponsored events will be cancelled, what about other large gatherings of faculty, such as college or department faculty meetings, Grand Rounds, or other meetings? Should those be cancelled?

Has UTHSC considered allowing faculty to work from home during this time? Outlook and file sharing have made remote work possible. Many faculty have school-age children who attend schools that have closed and some are unable to find child care.

I have a basic Zoom account, but I have more participants in my course (or attending my meeting) than the basic account allows and I also need a longer amount of time to teach. What can I do?

I’ve never taught online or remotely or by distance methods. How can I make this sudden shift?

What should we do for our research activities? Can we bring in potentially vulnerable populations or should we suspend it?

Questions about Rotations and Research Lab Experiences

When might students not be permitted to go to their clinical rotations?

Should I continue to go to my clinical rotations?

Should I continue to go to my research lab?

What if I’m asked to leave my clinical rotation?

What if I’m asked to leave my research lab?

Can laboratory components of courses, with perhaps 4 to 6 students in a lab, continue to meet in person?

Answers


General Questions

Is the janitorial staff being sent home? If so, are they being paid during this time?

This question indicates this individual has significant empathy for others. Our campus was one of the first in the state to have a minimum wage of $15/hour. This signals how important these staff members are to the campus. Currently, all housekeeping staff are being paid.

Updated March 18, 2020

What way will updates and any changes in the situation at UTHSC be communicated to me?

  • All updates and changes, whether from the UT System, UTHSC, your college, or your academic program, will be delivered via your UTHSC email and, when relevant to academic continuity, be posted on this website.
  • It is imperative that you check your UTHSC email regularly and, in all cases, no less frequently than daily.

    Updated March 11, 2020

What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?

If you have specific questions about your academic program, contact your program representative.

If you have general questions about COVID-19, review the UTHSC Coronavirus Disease Information and Resources website.

If you have questions about the resources of the office of Academic, Faculty, and Students Affairs (AFSA) that can support you, visit the AFSA Resources page.

Updated March 11, 2020

Why is UTHSC implementing remote teaching/learning?

  • Healthcare experts tell us that one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is by implementing social distancing.
  • For a traditional university, the biggest risk is residence halls.
  • While UTHSC doesn’t have residence halls, we have large lecture classes of up to 200 students and a variety of other large gatherings with more than 10-20 people who are within 6 feet of each other for 10 minutes or more.
  • Requiring instruction to be done remotely helps us implement social distancing.

Updated March 13, 2020

How long will UTHSC be holding remote classes?

  • COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving disease, which means that we do not have a specific end date for teaching remotely.
  • We are continually re-assessing and will post updates as they develop.
  • It is likely that UTHSC may hold remote classes through the end of the spring term (June 30, 2020 end date).

Updated March 13, 2020

Will the Health Sciences Library be closed during the period of remote teaching and learning?

The Health Sciences Library physical location will be closed, but all online and telephone services will remain open

 

Updated March 16, 2020

Will food services on campus remain open?

 All food services are closed

Updated April 6, 2020

When and how will individual colleges or academic programs provide their own academic continuity updates?

  • Each college/program is working to ensure their faculty, staff, and students are informed as to college/program operations.
  • Email is a key mode of communication. Everyone should check their UTHSC email no less often than once daily; more frequent email checks are preferable.

Updated March 13, 2020

Has UTHSC started cleaning the campus more carefully?

Yes. Custodial services staff are employing enhanced cleaning and sanitizing methods and procedures, which includes increased frequency of deep cleaning and applications of disinfectants.

Updated March 13, 2020

Questions from Students

Can we volunteer while we are out of rotations?

Students are passionate about volunteering and stepping up. On the Student Engagement website, you can sign up for community service.

Updated April 6 , 2020

If I feel isolated or overwhelmed, what can I do?

Reach out to SASSI by email or phone, 901.448.5056. You can also visit SASSI's website for resources and services. 

If you have a concern about another student, friend or colleague, Share a Concern here.

Updated April 6 , 2020

Are there only certain times in the year that a degree can be conferred? What if a student's progress is delayed past their intended graduation date?

Given the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, programs may confer degrees at dates different than the current commencement dates. We are working closely with the programs to determine potential alternative dates. Degree conferral and commencement at two separate events. While the Chancellor does confer degrees at commencement, it is ceremonial. Degrees can be conferred outside of the commencement ceremony.

UTHSC’s policy SA108 – Awarding of Degrees allows for degrees to be awarded “out of sequence”. This is typically done for just a few students each year. Given the current disruption, we will work closely with the colleges to ensure students graduate as soon as all requirements are met.

Updated March 25, 2020

Does this affect accreditation of the programs?

  • The accrediting bodies are providing guidance to program about how to deal with the disruptions caused by the virus. Some are allowing flexibility and others are remaining firm that all requirements have been made.
  • The Office of Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs is tracking the communication from these accrediting bodies

Updated March 25, 2020

Will the library be closed for the rest of the semester or is there a chance it may open for a limited time after two weeks or so?

  • As we continue to monitor the situation, we will reopen the library to students as soon as it is safe to do so. Given the recent declaration of a civic emergency in Memphis, it is not likely the library will open soon.
  • We remain concerned about the spread of the virus and continue to encourage social distancing.

Updated March 25, 2020

Will UTHSC move to grading students using Pass/Fail?

  • Most of the academic programs are not planning to move to a Pass/Fail grading system.
  • There has been some discussion of converting individual courses to Pass/Fail but no decision has been made at this time.

Updated March 25, 2020

Do you know if we are required to be in Memphis in person for the rest of the semester for classes/labs or any kind of meeting?

  • On March 18, 2020, we advised students to remain where they were. We have been asked if students can go to their homes (permanent addresses). While we cannot bar students for going home, there are some important things to consider:
  • Memphis is under a shelter in place order. Travel remains risky.
  • While the programs will likely give a week’s notice if labs, rotations and other activities can be resumed, it may be difficult for a student to return to campus. The inability of a student to return will not stop the activities from occurring as scheduled.

Updated March 25, 2020

I am currently on rotations and am concerned for my safety and exposure to COVID-19. Are there any actions I can take?

  • The programs have determined that any student who wishes to be removed from a rotation because of health concerns in this current crisis will be allowed to stop the rotation. The student will receive the grade of Incomplete and will have to complete the rotation at a later date. This could impact graduation for students in the last year of their programs.

Updated March 25, 2020

My accrediting body allows use of simulation for part of our clinical hours? Is this a possibility?

  • While simulation is allowable, currently we are not bringing anyone to campus for educational experiences. Once we are able to return, the simulation staff are ready to gear up quickly and will work evenings and weekends to help students who slated to graduate in May complete their program requirements

Updated March 25, 2020

Can I upgrade my zoom access so sessions can be longer than 40 minutes

    • Currently, all Zoom basic accounts are now allowed up to 120 Minutes per meeting. If students require more than the 120 minutes, please contact Tonya Brown at tlbrown@uthsc.edu.  

Updated March 25, 2020

If there was a situation in which your program extends into another semester, does the university have a way for us to get more student loans? What if students need an amount that exceeds that of the COA because they didn’t budget for the purchase of a computer?

For students who experience unusual circumstances, there is a process that may result in an increase in the cost of attendance. The process is called Professional Judgement. The process is described on the Financial Aid website.

 

Additionally, recent legislation provides emergency funds for students. We will investigate how to access these funds as guidance is provided by the Department of Education.

 

FYI: The cost of attendance (COA) is the total amount it will cost to attend the university each year. The COA includes tuition and fees; on-campus room and board (or a housing and food allowance for off-campus students); and allowances for books, supplies, transportation, loan fees, and, if applicable, dependent care. It can also include other expenses like an allowance for the rental or purchase of a personal computer, costs related to a disability, or costs for eligible study-abroad programs.

Updated March 25, 2020

Will we be getting a portion of our tuition reimbursed for the fees that are not related to the class credits? (maintenance fee, parking, technology fee, etc.)

There are plans to reimburse some parking fees.

Updated March 25, 2020

Will the school, write letters to give to our leasing offices to break our lease?

The University has no mechanism to write such a letter.

Updated March 25, 2020

How are labs going to occur now that we are going online for the rest of the semester? Will this affect our summer break?

  • We continue to monitor the situation. When it is safe to bring students back to campus, making up these labs will be one of our top priorities.
  • At this time, we are unsure about the impact on the academic calendar. June 30th is the official end of the UTHSC term.  We may have a few weeks for the end of the term for the make up. 

Updated March 18, 2020

Will there be reductions in tuition? Would tuition be prorated or applied to future semesters if we are unable to complete this semester’s curriculum?

Updated March 25, 2020

If we’ve not heard anything from our program director should we reach out to them or is there a timeline when we can expect to hear from them?

Students should feel free to contact their program directors at any time.

Updated March 18, 2020

Are UTHSC clinics closed as long as classes are remote? Should we be canceling flights back to campus for clinic?

At the current time, there are no plans to reopen UTHSC clinics. Some airlines are allowing people to cancel flights and reschedule without a rebooking fee.  Check with the airline.

Updated March 18, 2020 

Do you know if we are required to be in Memphis in person for the rest of the semester for classes/labs or any kind of meeting?

Students should stay where they are. The advice from health experts is to stay home. Domestic and international travel are both risky at this time.

 

Updated March 18, 2020

What if you do not have the best Internet and face technical issues. How would that be taken into consideration when finishing courses/exams?

See the Academic Continuity website  and look specifically at the AFSA & ITS Resources Tab. Look at information provided by Information Technology Services.

Updated March 18, 2020

What are the options you all are looking at for alternative commencement?

Planning has just started and we actually want to hear from students.  Send ideas to: afsa@uthsc.edu or through the Ask a Question tab on the Academic Continuity webpage.

Updated March 18, 2020

Will graduation be held? If graduation is cancelled, how far in advance would we be notified?

  • As of now (March 13, 2020), we have no plans to cancel or postpone graduation.
  • Given the fluid situation, we continue to re-evaluate our plans for graduation. If it becomes apparent that holding graduation would provide too much risk for attendees, we will notify everyone as soon as that determination is made.
  • Some decisions are made by other authorities, such as public health authorities and elected officials, and we are subject to and will abide by any directives that we are given by those entities.

Updated March 13, 2020

Are students permitted to continue working at hospitals or any other employment setting?

Unless your academic program or college has restrictions, UTHSC does not have any restrictions about student employment

Updated March 13, 2020

Will students be able to come to campus for student health appointments?

There is no prohibition to students coming to campus for their appointments. UHS will be open.

Updated March 17, 2020

Can students still come to campus to meet individually with faculty?

While we answered yes earlier, given the need for social distancing, meetings should be done via telephone or Zoom or systems like Skype might be used to hold a virtual meeting.

 

Updated March 17, 2020

Is it possible that this is going to lead into the summer semesters and extend the time we are in a program?

At this time, we do not know how long we will have our students away from campus. Students should follow local and national news to follow progress on dealing with COVID-19.

 

Updated March 18, 2020

Questions about Financial Aid during COVID-19

I’ve heard the recent stimulus bill provided emergency aid funds to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I request this assistance?

 

We are continuing to review survey applications for the emergency grants. Requests exceed available federal dollars so we are working to review all applications and assist as many students as possible.

Is it true student loan interest is waived?

Due to the national emergency, from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020, the interest rate is 0% on the following types of federal student loans owned by ED:

  • Direct Loans
  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Program loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans

Please note that some Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Program loans are owned by commercial lenders, and some Perkins Loans are owned by the institution you attended. These loans are not eligible for this benefit at this time.

Updated August 14, 2020

I am a Federal Work Study (FWS) student and I’ve been asked to report my scheduled hours worked. How can I submit a timesheet for hours when I haven’t worked?

Federal Work Study (FWS) is an important financial aid award for many students. As a self-help resource, it allows student to work while attending school and receive money to assist with expenses. Many students budget expecting this assistance.

Federal law includes a provision allowing an institution to make FWS payments under certain limited circumstances to disaster-affected students who are scheduled to work but are unable to continue working.

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has met the requirements to continue paying students who are scheduled to work but are unable to work due to the COVID-19 disruption.

FWS supervisors are required to document when a student’s time record is submitted with ‘scheduled’ hours instead of the actual hours worked.

Updated April 2, 2020

Because of unexpected changes with the COVID-19 disruption, I have incurred unexpected expenses and need to borrow additional loan dollars. Can I borrow ?

Loans are available up to the cost of attendance. If you have not borrowed the maximum loans available, contact your financial aid counselor by email and request the amount you need so we can check your record and confirm you have eligibility remaining and if any additional actions are necessary to process your requested dollars. The Office of Financial Aid counselors should respond within one business day to email requests.

We understand that expenses continue and we want to make sure you receive the assistance available.

Please Note:  There is a deadline to request additional loan funds. All loans must be requested, processed and certified before the end of the term in which you are enrolled.

Updated April 2, 2020

I may receive an incomplete in a class for this term. How will this affect my financial aid?

An incomplete can impact students differently, depending upon where you are in your program. To best answer the question, you need to know what academic progress is required to maintain your financial aid eligibility. We have provided some examples to demonstrate the impact.

To keep your eligibility for financial aid, you must make satisfactory academic progress (SAP). SAP requires you to earn the minimum cumulative GPA for your program and to complete at least 67% of your overall credit hours attempted within your program. We check SAP requirements at the end of each term. Students who do not meet standards are placed on a warning status. While on SAP warning, students are eligible to continue receiving financial aid. At the end of the warning term, if the student does not meet all SAP requirements the student is suspended from financial aid eligibility. Appeals are permitted for documented special circumstances.

Scenario One: You are enrolled in your first term at UTHSC in four three credit hour classes and receive grades of “A” in three classes and an incomplete in the fourth. At the end of the term, you have a 4.00 GPA and successfully completed 75% of the credits attempted (9 credits completed/12 credits attempted). You’ve met SAP standards, you continue to be eligible for your financial aid, and your record will be checked again at the end of the next term.

Scenario Two: It’s your third year in your program and you’ve completed every course in every previous term. With the challenges this term, you earned two incompletes that you’re still working to complete. Your GPA is a 3.5 with a 94% pace of completion (68 credit hours completed/72 credit hours attempted). You’ve met SAP requirements, you continue to be eligible for your financial aid, and your record will be checked again at the end of the next term.

Scenario Three: You’re finishing your first year and you struggled in the first term, earning a 1.7 GPA but completed all courses. This term, you’re still trying to finish your courses but will be receiving an incomplete in all courses. Your pace of completion is 50% (15 credit hours/30 credit hours) and your GPA is below the minimum required. You will be placed on a warning for financial aid. By the end of the next term, if you’re not up to the minimum GPA AND the required 67% pace of completion, you’ll become ineligible for financial aid as of the following term.

Please Note:  You must remain enrolled and attending classes throughout the term. If you stop attending all classes before the end of the term, then your eligibility for financial aid is affected based on the date you stop attending.  If you have withdrawn from the term, you may have to repay some of the financial aid you received.  Please review the following question for additional information.

Updated April 2, 2020

I am stressed with the COVID-19 crisis and cannot continue my classes. If I stop attending my classes, can I continue receiving financial aid?

Financial aid is awarded to support a student during a period of enrollment. If you don’t attend the full period of enrollment as scheduled (you are no longer attending any class), the school must perform a Return to Title IV calculation.  

The calculation uses the number of days you attended and the number of days you were scheduled to attend in the term to determine how much financial aid you earned. This calculation must be performed and based on the result, you may be required to repay financial aid funds already received.

If you drop to less than half-time enrollment during the term (after receiving aid), the enrollment status affects your eligibility for additional financial aid dollars. A change in enrollment status may cause you to go into repayment for previous student loans received.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is some temporary relief provided through September 30, 2020 to suspend student loan repayments Please consult with your financial aid counselor about any changes you are considering. Your counselor can explain how your specific changes would impact your financial aid.

Updated April 2, 2020

I’ve heard the recent stimulus bill provided emergency aid funds to assist students during the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I request this assistance?

Federal emergency grants are available to students. You may apply online at banner.uthsc.edu > Financial Aid > Surveys > Emergency Student Grant Application. The federal grants will assist federal student aid eligible students who have additional educational expenses due to the disruption. Examples of additional expenses may include:

  • Technology that you had to purchase to continue classes online,
  • Additional food or housing expenses for room and board,
  • Transportation costs if you had to return from an intended learning location in order to continue your studies, and
  • Additional course materials you required to remain engaged in your studies.

Grant applications are reviewed weekly and students will receive award information by email.

Updated April 30, 2020

If I have additional questions, how can I contact Financial Aid?

You can visit the Financial Aid website for more information. Please understand that the Office of Financial Aid staff is ready to assist with your questions and concerns. Do not hesitate to email us at the One Stop Shop if you have additional questions.

Updated April 2, 2020

Questions about specific programs and types of courses

What about the Audiology and Speech Pathology program in Knoxville?

  • All in-person classes will be revised to be offered remotely, beginning March 23, 2020.
  • Students who are in research labs will continue to conduct research.
  • Students on clinical rotations will continue those rotations, following the guidance from the host site.

Updated March 11, 2020

What about the Pharmacy program at sites in Knoxville and Nashville?

  • All in-person classes will be revised to be offered remotely, beginning March 23, 2020.
  • Students who are in research labs will continue to conduct research.
  • Students on clinical rotations will continue those rotations, following the guidance from the host site.

Updated March 11, 2020

How will laboratory-based classes be handled?

  • Arrangements will be made with the academic programs so that labs can be held as feasible.
  • Some labs may be held in the evenings or on weekends.

Updated March 11, 2020

How will simulation experiences be handled?

  • Arrangements will be made with the academic programs so that simulation experiences can be held as feasible.
  • Some simulation experiences may be held in the evenings or on weekends.
  • The CHIPS (Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Simulation) team has provided information to academic programs on various strategies for conducting simulation experiences, including virtual simulations.

Updated March 11, 2020

What student group is the main priority for UTHSC?

  • Students who are to graduate at the end of this term are our highest priority as we consider our resources and plan for opportunities for completion of course requirements.
  • We remain committed to providing experiences/activities so all students can complete their program requirements.

Updated March 13, 2020

If laboratory-based courses require evening and/or weekend make-up times, what about students who are scheduled to work during those times or who provide care for children or other family members during those times?

Each academic program and college will work with students on those matters.

Updated March 13, 2020

Are students allowed to have one-on-one office hours with professors?

  • These can be done face-to-face or via any helpful technology, such as the telephone, chat, Skype, Zoom, etc.
  • Students would contact their professors directly

Updated March 13, 2020

For UTHSC students in the Audiology and Speech Pathology at Knoxville, do we follow the practices of UTHSC or UTK?

  • As of this date (March 13, 2020), follow UTHSC’s guidelines which are the following:
    • All in-person classes will be offered remotely, beginning March 23, 2020.
    • Students in research labs will continue to conduct research.
    • Students on clinical rotations will continue those rotations, following guidance from the host site.
  • In the future, should UTHSC and UTK guidance differ, UTHSC will re-evaluate and communicate with affected students.

Updated March 13, 2020

For accessibility, will courses be available in closed captioning?

  • We are exploring what we will be able to do, given our technology.
  • We are working with our faculty to identify strategies that can be used.

Updated March 13, 2020

Questions from Department Chairs

I am working on contingency plans for staffing a clinical site and this includes residents at our facility. In the medical staff bylaws at my site, we can reassign physicians to alternative clinical care sites in the event of a declared emergency. I would like to extend this opportunity to residents. Would that be acceptable?

This is a question to address to the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME). You can find their contact information here.

Updated March 17, 2020

Are there plans to send faculty and staff who are at lower risk home and, if so, for how long?

  • Both faculty and staff are registering through the online portal that the chancellor sent for reporting COVID-19 absences.
  • Question 3 specifically states: I (or a dependent) have asuppressed/compromised immune system and am self-isolating to limit exposure (supporting documentation required).
  • As of today, we have 21 employees (faculty and staff) who have registered themselves for this concern. Each received an email from that requested documentation from their provider. We are treating it like FML and allowing them to be on administrative leave through the time the physician has requested. The furthest date so far has been April 7, 2020. If they can telecommute this is not an issue.
  • We may have to come up with a longer-term solution if the campus does not close in April.

Updated March 17, 2020

What if a staff member is at an affiliate site, such as Campbell Clinic? Do they telecommute via UTHSC rules if they can, or do they follow the rules of the affiliate site?

They should follow the rules of the affiliate site.

Updated March 17, 2020

Do you have any advice to give students, faculty, and staff on their personal travel choices?

  • While personal travel is just that – personal, any person who travels outside of the US must self-quarantine for 14 days. Some countries have limited access to healthcare and it is possible that flights may be canceled leaving the traveler stranded.
  • Individuals should exercise care when deciding to travel domestically or internationally.

Updated March 17, 2020

If faculty, staff, trainees, and/or students refuse to work on the grounds of potentially getting infected, what should we tell them?

  • Colleges will determine how to deal with students who choose not to complete a rotation. Currently, there is no penalty for the student. The student will receive a grade of incomplete for the rotation.
  • Faculty and staff may elect to use annual leave.
  • Trainees should check with Graduate Medical Education

Updated March 17, 2020

Will you confirm that students with current off-campus clinical placements are supposed to continue with the placement unless operations are suspended via the off-campus site?

  • On March 17, 2020, the AAMC and LCME directed colleges to remove medical students from rotations.
  • No blanket requirements are in place for other disciplines.

Updated March 17, 2020

What should we tell medical students who approach us for their Longitudinal Scholars Program?

This is a question to address to the Office of Medical Education. Their website has contact information.

Updated March 17, 2020

What are the recommendations for seeing research participants in a study?

  • The IRB sent the following message to the irbupdate listserv on Friday, March 13, 2020. We encourage you to contact the UTHSC IRB with specific questions and, if you are not already subscribed to the irbupdate listserv, subscribe.
  • The UTHSC Institutional Review Board (IRB) has received questions regarding the conduct of human subjects research studies in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. 
    • First, the UTHSC IRB is following  the University’s guidelines in regards to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak .
    • Next, if it is appropriate for researchers to modify their study to replace in-person visits with remote options, telephone visits, etc. to limit the exposure to COVID-19, then the researchers will need to submit a Form 2: Change Request and Amendment via iMedRIS to the UTHSC IRB for review and approval. 
    • Finally, federal regulations do allow for modifications to be implemented prior to IRB approval only when it is necessary to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to the subject (§46.108 (a)(3)(iii) and 21 CFR 56.108(a)(4)). If this occurs, the event is considered a deviation from the IRB approved protocol and the researchers should make the appropriate documentation in the research records.  In addition, if such a protocol deviation (a) has harmed or has posed a significant risk of substantive harm to the individual research subject or (b) has compromised the scientific integrity of the data collected for the study, then a report of such a protocol deviation should be submitted to the UTHSC IRB via Form 4: Unanticipated Problems in iMedRIS.
  •  Please contact the UTHSC IRB office if you have any questions.

Updated March 17, 2020

When are we (OT and PT) allowed to start having the students come to campus in small groups for lab? What is the maximum number of students that can be in a lab at one time? To whom do we send the lab schedule, and will we need to contact campus police to get them access?

  • Programs will be contacted when the situation changes sufficiently to allow students on campus.
  • If students are allowed back on campus, AFSA will work with the program and Campus Police to get access for the students.

Updated March 17, 2020

What contingency plans are there for tenure track faculty members whose research and scholarly productivity are being greatly affected by the current situation?

  • The UT System is investigating the best strategy for addressing this matter.
  • UT System has noted that the disruption caused by the coronavirus crisis has the potential to affect the productivity of tenure track faculty members in a negative way.
  • UTHSC’s Chancellor and the Chief Academic Officer will be involved in ongoing conversations about addressing this.

Updated March 17, 2020

 Questions asked by Faculty Members

Any advice on a department seminar series and moving to Zoom?

  • It would be very appropriate to use Zoom for a departmental seminar series or any other departmental meeting.
  • Depending on the length of your meeting, you may need a Zoom pro (or licensed) account. See the Teaching Remotely tab for more information.

Updated March 17, 2020

How will the CARE team function during this time?

The CARE team will continue to function. Meetings may be held remotely but will be held routinely.  Remember to submit names of students of concern via the portal.

Updated March 17, 2020

A few students have reported that they do not have Internet access at their apartments. Are students allowed to come to specific spaces on campus to access the Internet - assuming they can spread out in a large room or across several small rooms?

Programs should work with ITS and GEB to have those students come to campus and take exams. No other campus access is allowed at this time.

Updated March 17, 2020

Hospitals have stopped all clinicals at UAMS and the Heart Hospital. What should we do about making up clinical time?

  • Talk with the program director of the academic program.
  • This is an evolving situation and it is likely that more hospitals may move to limit non-essential personnel. Students are considered non-essential personnel.
  • Consistent with our commitments, students graduating this term should receive highest priority as clinical rotations are rescheduled.
  • Of note, residents and fellows are considered essential personnel and must continue working at their site as scheduled.

Updated March 17, 2020

The Chancellor sent out a message on 3/13/2020 indicating that employees must self-isolate if, among other things, they are returning to the U.S. from another country. Does this refer to any other country and not just countries with a Level 2 or Level 3 warning?

Travel to any country outside the U.S. will result in the need to self-isolate, even if there are no active warnings about travel to a specific country.

Updated March 17, 2020

Although courses will be taught remotely and university-sponsored events will be cancelled, what about other large gatherings of faculty, such as college or department faculty meetings, Grand Rounds, or other meetings? Should those be cancelled?

  • The scheduling of those and other similar meetings will be up to the college but all large meetings must be conducted be conducted using readily available technology that allows for the participation of individuals who are in various locations.
  • The TLC and ITS are available to work with you as you transition your original face-to-face meetings to a virtual approach.

Updated March 17, 2020

Has UTHSC considered allowing faculty to work from home during this time? Outlook and file sharing have made remote work possible. Many faculty have school-age children who attend schools that have closed and some are unable to find child care.

  • The Chancellor indicated in his message to the campus today (03/16/20) that employees that can work at home should work at home.
  • Faculty should consult with their chairs or division directors about working remotely.

Updated March 17, 2020

  • There is no broad UTHSC guideline that allows this for everyone.
  • It is important to have discussions with your direct supervisor about any specific situation.

Past Information: March 10, 2020

I have a basic Zoom account, but I have more participants in my course (or attending my meeting) than the basic account allows and I also need a longer amount of time to teach. What can I do?

  • Request a Zoom Pro (Licensed) account that allows for up to 300 attendees and an unlimited amount of time.
  • You can find the link to apply for a Zoom Pro account on this page.

Updated March 17, 2020

I’ve never taught online or remotely or by distance methods. How can I make this sudden shift?

  • The Academic Continuity page has a “Preparing to Teach Remotely” tab with provides brief and helpful guidance for teaching remotely.
  • Also on the Preparing to Teach Remotely page are the following:
    • Remote Readiness Assessment
    • Form to request a virtual or face-to-face meeting with a TLC consultant to meet your specific needs
  • We are committed to providing all the necessary resources so that our faculty and students will be successful as your instructional activities are modified by moving to remote delivery.

Updated March 17, 2020

What should we do for our research activities? Can we bring in potentially vulnerable populations or should we suspend it?

  • Contact your college’s research dean for a discussion.
  • Some situations may also need to be discussed specifically with the Office of Research.

Updated March 17, 2020

Questions about Rotations and Research Lab Experiences

When might students not be permitted to go to their clinical rotations?

  • If a clinical site implements a policy that non-essential personnel are restricted from the setting, students would be considered non-essential and, therefore, not permitted to be at the site.
  • It is important to note that residents and fellows are considered essential personnel and would, therefore, be required to report to the site as scheduled.

Updated March 13, 2020

Should I continue to go to my clinical rotations?

  • Yes, unless you are instructed otherwise by your preceptor.
  • Check in with your preceptor for specific guidance.
  • It is UTHSC’s practice that, if a practice site is open for business, students are expected to participate regardless of whether the UTHSC campus is closed for any reason or has shifted to remote approaches to instruction.

Updated March 11, 2020

Should I continue to go to my research lab?

  • Yes, unless you are instructed otherwise by your advisor.
  • Check in with your advisor for specific guidance.
  • If the research labs are open, students are expected to participate regardless of whether the UTHSC campus is closed for any reason or has shifted to remote approaches for courses.

Updated March 11, 2020

What if I’m asked to leave my clinical rotation?

  • Contact your program representative as soon as you receive word from your preceptor to inform the program of the situation.
  • If you are healthy, but your preceptor has informed you that the site is not permitting student learners to be on rotation for a time, ask your preceptor for the expected duration of leave from the site.
  • Understandably, as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, your preceptor may not know when you would be permitted to return to the site.

Updated March 11, 2020

What if I’m asked to leave my research lab?

  • Contact your program representative as soon as you receive word from your research advisor to inform the program of the situation.
  • If you are healthy, but an off-campus researcher has determined they are dismissing student learners for a time, ask them for the expected duration of leave from the site.
  • Understandably, as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, your research advisor may not know when you would be permitted to return to the site.

Updated March 11, 2020

Can laboratory components of courses, with perhaps 4 to 6 students in a lab, continue to meet in person?

No lab courses may be offered at this time.  We will provide updates to the program if the situation improves.

Updated March 17, 2020

May 26, 2022