Return to Campus FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated October 5, 2021
What supplies pertaining to COVID-19 or quarantine should students bring with them? i.e.: number of masks, thermometers, medical supplies?
We will be providing some of the supplies that may be difficult to find (thermometers) but will distribute a list of other items that may be useful. Please plan to bring 3-5 masks to campus. We encourage students to begin trying out various styles of masks now and wearing them for the length of time they anticipate they'd be in class to get a sense of preferred style and fit.
What should someone do when they see students, faculty or staff not following the safety measures?
Violations should be reported using the policy violation report.
How should I report that I or someone else is ill?
What is the follow-up when a student fills out the Report an Illness Form?
When students complete the form, the Student Health Center contacts them about being tested. If the student is negative for COVID-19, SHC can discuss any other possible medical issues.
What is the testing protocol for residential students?
We ask that all students get a COVID-19 test at home prior to returning to school, and if it is positive, that they delay their move in and isolate at home for 10 days. Throughout the semester we will regularly be monitoring residence halls waste water and if we detect SARS-COV2 increasing the waste water of a building we will test the residents of that building. We will also test students anytime they are ill with symptoms of COVID-19. For more info see:
How often can I be tested for COVID-19?
In addition to wastewater testing, on-campus rapid testing will be available to any students who are feeling ill. In some cases, if you are exposed to COVID-19, you may be placed in quarantine without being tested. This is because you can test negative after your exposure and then later still go on to develop COVID-19. Additional screening and asymptomatic testing may be required of athletes. Read more
How frequently will students need to be tested on campus? Are we only requesting testing for students who show symptoms?
We will have a strategic plan for testing that will involve weekly campus-wide wastewater testing to monitor for increased presence of the virus on campus. Based on our population data, contact tracing, and symptoms, we will determine when and how often to test students on campus. Our initial plan calls for testing symptomatic students and contacts of positive cases on an as needed basis. Read more
Will students, staff, or faculty be required to pay for testing?
All students, staff, and faculty must be vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption prior to coming on-campus. Students and employees with an approved exemption will be required to continue testing and may be subject to associated costs. Wastewater testing will continue at no cost to students and employees.
What is the timeline for student testing? What is the turnaround for results if a student is determined to be a close contact?
The Student Health Center is not a 24/7/365 functioning medical facility and Goucher uses an outside vendor for PCR test lab services. SHC works with students needing isolation/quarantine after hours but will conduct testing & consultations during traditional business hours.
PCR test results are typically sent within 48 hours. If the SHC has tested a student on campus or a student has reported it to the SHC, the first step will be to work with housing to relocate the student to isolation and arrange meals.
The SHC has been doing contact tracing (see last question) when learning of a student’s status and will let HR know of any faculty and staff that need to be tested, as well as contact any at risk students so that they can come in to be tested.
The SHC will also let the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies know if a student is not able to attend classes who will inform all the affected faculty.
What is our guiding definition of “close contact”?
The CDC defines Close Contact through proximity and duration of exposure: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or a clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).
Do students need to quarantine if they have been exposed to another individual that tested positive for COVID-19?
Following CDC guidelines, individuals that are vaccinated are not required to quarantine.
However, GC is testing all students within 3-5 days of exposure.
If a student is unvaccinated and has been exposed, they will not go to class. There are only 14 unvaccinated students (counting commuters and graduate students, including a couple that are waiting for second dose).
Following CDC guidelines, when do students need to quarantine?
Students should quarantine if they have been in close contact (within 6 feet of someone for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone who has COVID-19, unless they have been fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms.
What will the procedures be for students who need to be quarantined?
Goucher College will use the key public health tools known as isolation and quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the campus community. Because there is typically little time to prepare for isolation or quarantine when instructed to do so, Goucher College has developed this planning guide to help students prepare to isolate or quarantine. This guide is for students who live on campus as well as students who live off-campus. For more information, see the Isolation and Quarantine Planning Guide (PDF).
If a student tests positive for COVID-19, when can they stop isolating?
We follow CDC guidelines: 10 days after the positive test if they are asymptomatic OR 10 days after onset of symptoms if they are symptomatic. If they have symptoms, they must be fever-free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication. So, if they have a fever on the 10th day, they will not be allowed to leave isolation until 24 hours after that breaks.
What is the contact tracing procedure?
Contact tracing will be done with the Student Health Center (SHC) after learning of a student’s positive status:
- SHC will conduct a meeting with the affected student to identify the people they were in contact while infected
- SHC will identify student´s schedule
- SHC will reach out to all students enrolled in the class and copy the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies (APUS)
- APUS will send an informal notification to faculty letting them know that there has been exposure in their class. All students will be required to obtain a COVID test, the timing of which will depend on their vaccination status. If they are vaccinated, they may continue to come to class while awaiting their test results, unless they are instructed otherwise by the SHC. APUS will notify faculty in the event of these cases. It will be at the faculty member´s discretion to grant any requests for excused absences or online instruction stemming from this situation and to determine the specific nature of these reasonable instructional adaptations
- SHC will notify the Office of Human Resources (HR) about exposed faculty/staff
Do we have a backup plan if there is a rise in cases? Which guidelines will we follow if there is another national or statewide call for closure and shelter in place?
We will be seeking input from our state and local health department on what number of cases would constitute what level of restrictive action (up to and including closure of the campus). While we await that input, we are working on developing a system to communicate risk, in real time, that is reflective of the data we are receiving from our wastewater and RT-PCR testing.
How can students best equip themselves to support their ongoing mental health after returning to campus?
Recent events have created an excessive load of stress and emotional strain for much of the country with disparate impact on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. While Goucher strives to create a positive living and learning community this spring, things will definitely look and feel different. There are some skills that may help navigate the changes and ongoing stress and strain of the spring semester:
- Willingness to reach out and seek support from various sources when needed
- Tolerance for change to the environment
- Creative problem-solving and flexibility
- Initiative to maintain social connections
- Tolerance to spending time alone
- Adaptive self-care plan that supports emotional and physical wellness
Over the summer, we encourage student to take advantage of the EverFi training module on Mental Well-Being for Students shared with students via email in Spring 2020.
Another timely resources to bolster your emotional wellness is a free course offered by the American Red Cross – Psychological First Aid: Supporting Yourself and Others During COVID-19
What is the plan to support students’ emotional health and wellbeing?
We understand that emotional health and wellbeing are central to the ongoing academic success of our students. We will continue to leverage our JED Campus framework to ensure emotional wellness needs of our students are addressed and integrated throughout the college experience this spring. To this end, faculty, staff, and student leaders are trained in early warning signs, effective conversations, and access to resources to support students experiencing a strain to their emotional wellness. Creative programming and outreach efforts will continue through various student-facing offices including Student Engagement, Wellness, and the Student Counseling Center. The Student Counseling Center will continue providing mental health services via teletherapy to students. Student Support & Outreach is also available to provide students with the education, tools, and support needed to be successful.
What do I do if I am exposed to Covid or if I become sick?
Students who are quarantining or in isolation because of exposure to a COVID-positive individual must not stay in their assigned room. Students may not attend classes in person, go to the library, go to the dining hall, etc. Students who fail to follow this policy will be subject to discipline (PDF). Students who are in quarantine are expected to attend all classes online (synchronously or asynchronously). Students who are in isolation must attend classes online if they feel able (synchronously or asynchronously). Students who are not able to attend face-to-face class must: (1) Indicate their status in the Report an Illness website and (2) Notify their instructor and advisor that they will not attend class face-to-face as soon as possible, ideally before the first day they miss class. Please read full Quarantine and Isolation (PDF) policy.
Who should I contact with questions about scheduling?
Contact your advisor with any questions about scheduling.
Check the Important Dates for Students calendar for exact dates.
Until when may I change my classes to P/NP or withdraw from them?
You may change your class to Pass/NoPass or Withdraw from your class before November 5 for full-semester courses and 2nd 7-week courses (the deadline is September 17 for 1st 7-week courses). You may petition after the deadline only if you have extenuating circumstances. See petition policy (PDF) for details.
Can I take my classes online in fall 2021?
Only students with documented disabilities or international students that cannot fly to the US for travel restrictions may apply for online accommodations. Please see policies here:
How many courses may I take online?
The limitation on online credits for students will continue to be waived for Summer and Fall 2021 and Winter session 2022; that is, online credits during these periods will not count toward the 12-credit maximum.
Is it possible that the mask mandate will relax at some point in the semester and if so, what factors will this depend on?
Certainly. The institution is periodically re-evaluating depending on variant spread and CDC guidelines.
May I eat and drink during class?
You may unmask for a few seconds to take a sip of your drink. You should not plan to eat your meals in the classroom as this would require you to have your mask off for longer periods of time.
How will my grades affect my academic standing?
At the end of every semester, students’ grades are reviewed to determine their academic standing at the college. Students need to have a 2.0 cumulative GPA to remain in good standing at the college. Students whose term or cumulative GPA is under 2.0 will be placed on probation and required to attend ACE’s success workshops and work with success advisors ACE coaches (for more information, contact email@example.com). First-year students who receive F’s will be eligible to apply for academic forgiveness at the beginning of the sophomore year (which can convert up to 3 F grades to NP if certain academic standards are met; see the full policy here).
How can I get my academic accommodations for the semester?
If you have a disability that requires accommodations or temporary impairment (conditions include but are not limited to mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), please visit the Accommodations and Services section on the Accessibility Services website to make a request and submit documentation. If you are a returning student and have already established accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS), please ensure that you have submitted a “semester request” through your Accommodate account in order to have your accommodation letter sent to your professors. The Coordinator of OAS, Amanda Freeman, is available by appointment to answer questions and discuss any implementation issues you may have. Please address general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if I have a question about Study Abroad?
Frequently asked questions about the Study Abroad program can be found on the Study Abroad FAQs page.
What should I do about my study abroad requirement if I graduate in December 2021 or May 2022?
For students graduating during the 2021-22 academic year Goucher College is offering a variety of options as alternatives for students to satisfy the study abroad requirement.
For seniors who need to fulfil the study abroad requirement prior to May 2022 graduation, the following options are available in spring 2022:
IDS 310 -- “Global Engagement Seminar” (4-credit course) with substantial interdisciplinary theoretical and experiential learning.
IDS 305 -- “Practicum of Global Engagement” (1-credit course) with virtual exchange (8 weeks) and participation of two speaker events. Tuition is free for IDS 305.
Non-Goucher J-term study abroad courses from an approved program
Petition for waiver to the study abroad requirement due to unusual circumstances.
Current sophomores and juniors are welcome to apply for study abroad programs and may also take the on-campus IDS 310 and IDS 305 on a space-available basis.
Students majoring in Spanish, French, International Relations, and/or Peace Studies which require a semester study abroad for the completion of their degrees should consult with their academic advisors. The academic centers and the Office of Global Education will coordinate to identify or create meaningful experience to help fulfil this requirement.
For more information, please contact Mark Bladel at email@example.com.
What will happen to the PE requirement?
After receiving favorable faculty feedback, APC approved the removal of the PE requirement for all students, in favor of new co-curricular activity and wellness programming housed in Student Affairs. Students will no longer see the requirement in DegreeWorks after Friday, December 4th, 2020.
How should I complete the RPP LYE if I am a senior?
The faculty Academic Policy Committee (APC) has acted to suspend the LYE requirement for December 2021 and May/August 2022 graduates. APC sent a letter to affected students informing them of this change.
Student Affairs/Residence Life
What housing is being used for isolation & quarantine?
For the most part, students will be able to quarantine in their room, but we do have rooms set aside across campus to be used for isolation spaces. There is not a specific building, but all isolation spaces have access to a private bathroom (they might share with other covid + students) to stay in alignment with CDC guidelines.
What are my meal plan options?
Any student who resides on campus is required to have a campus meal plan. Meals will be available for delivery to students who are in quarantine or isolation so that meals are not lost during that time.
Will guests be allowed to visit me? What if they are students?
From Thursday, August 26 – Friday, September 10, 2021, residential students will not be allowed be permitted to have guests or friends within the halls. In rare cases special approval can be given by the Director of Residential Life, Dean of Students or Vice President of Student Affairs. During this time, residential students can visit each other within their own halls but not between halls.
What if I want to live with or near my friends?
The Office of Residential Life loves a good puzzle. We recognize that living close to friends is an important part of the college experience and even more so right now as we navigate these challenging times. As long as there is some flexibility on location, the Office of Residential Life can generally accommodate this request... just make sure you email them so they know who you’d like to live near!
Am I allowed to stay on campus if I get COVID?
Students positive for COVID will be moved to an Isolation room on campus for 10 days, where they will be monitored by staff and food will be delivered to them. If the students live nearby and would prefer to isolate at home or off campus, they may do so if they do not pose a risk to those they will be living with (for example, if your parents live nearby and you have your own bathroom and bedroom in their home that you can stay in).
My friends are using COVID Apps at their school, do we have one?
Yes. Right now Goucher is testing out an app called Campus Clear which will be used by all faculty, staff, & students needing to access campus or living on campus. This simple questionnaire will be sent daily and will either give a green “all clear” or follow up with next steps should you be feeling unwell. It will be of great importance for students to use this app so that we can keep campus as healthy as possible and so that the health center and residential life can follow-up directly with students who feel unwell.
Will Housing or Facilities Management staff enter my room at any point? Will I know?
Like in any other year, there might be a time when residential life or FMS will need to enter a room. As much as possible, students will have a heads up and anyone who enters a room will have a face covering. FMS and residential life staff want to stay as safe as possible just like you, so entering a room will only happen when absolutely necessary... or if you put in a work request.
What if I change my mind about wanting to live on campus?
Students can receive a full room refund through the first week of classes and a partial refund the second week. That said, if you arrive to campus and realize it is not the right fit for the semester you still have time to rescind housing for a full refund.
The following answers reflect the current plan for Athletics, which is subject to change, based on local and state guidelines and risk levels associated with COVID-19.
Will athletes be required to wear face coverings during practice and matches?
No. Initially athletes will be required to remain physically distant at all times. As restrictions are lifted, contact practices and competitions may resume without face coverings.
How will the college handle visiting teams? Will they be required to be masked?
Visitors will be required to be screened by their own Sports Medicine staffs prior to traveling to Goucher. Upon arrival, masks will be required until visitors begin their warm-ups and competitions.
Will the athletes be required to be tested more frequently?
Student-athletes will be subject to daily temperature checks and symptom tracking prior to participating in any Athletics activities.
Will students who are exercising be required to wear a face covering?
This policy has not been finalized yet. We would ask that all members of our community exercise responsibly, alone, or in socially distant groups.
Will students be able to attend athletic events? If so, what measures will be taken? Will we need to reserve tickets in advance?
We have not determined a policy for spectators at this point.
How will the Library operate in the Fall?
The Library will be open to Goucher College students, faculty, and staff. Everyone in the Library is expected to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, following campus Face Covering & Physical Distancing guidelines.
Will library materials be available?
Library materials will be available to circulate and upon an item's return it will be cleaned or quarantined depending on material type. Study spaces will be available but in limited amounts following the College's social distance protocols. Reserves that cannot be made available electronically will circulate but will have quarantine periods before they are able to circulate again.
Will research help be available?
Research help will be available through chat, text, and email. Appointments must be made for any in-person research consultations through our online request form.
Will Library teaching requests be available?
Will printers be available to use?
Printing will be available in the Learning Commons, the 4th floor of the library, and on the 3rd floor of the Athenaeum directly across from the Library.
Will I be able to visit Special Collections and Archives?
Special Collections & Archives will be open by appointment only.
Will tuition and fees differ depending on modality?
Tuition and fee costs will remain the same. Courses delivered remotely will be taught by Goucher’s faculty and will be applied toward your degree. As always, class sizes will be small, allowing for faculty to get to know you and interact with you. The college has incurred significant costs in order to increase our ability to deliver quality instruction remotely.
What if my payment plan monthly amounts included the balance from room and board charges?
If I was awarded federal work-study (FWS), will I have the opportunity to work?
Jobs for the fall semester will be posted online. Visit https://www.goucher.edu/career-education-office/professional-experience/student-employment for more details.
Is health insurance still required?
Yes, all full-time undergraduate students must have health insurance. Goucher College will automatically charge students for Goucher's health insurance (unless the student waives it). You may waive this coverage and have the charge removed if you have comparable coverage. Visit https://www.goucher.edu/billing/goucher-health-insurance for more details.
What is the difference between a deferral and a leave of absence (LOA)?
Taking a leave of absence is an option for currently enrolled students only and is managed by the Registrar’s Office. Deferring enrollment is an option for new incoming spring students.
How can I defer?
To defer, you must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . You may defer admission for no more than two consecutive semesters.
During the deferral period, you may take no more than 12 college credits. Students who take more than 12 college credits will be required to reapply as a transfer student.
What happens to my aid if I defer?
Since need-based financial aid is determined and packaged on a yearly basis, you will need to resubmit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for need-based financial aid. The FAFSA for the following year opens on October 1.
If you received a merit scholarship, it will be continued providing so long as you take no more than 12 credits at another institution during their deferral period. Scholarship recipients who complete more than 12 college credits during the deferral period may forfeit the scholarship.
What happens to my aid if I take a leave of absence (LOA)?
Institutional aid is limited to eight semesters. The semester(s) when you are on a LOA do not count toward the eight-semester limit. Students receiving need-based aid will need to reapply each year by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Note, if you have previously borrowed through the student loan programs, you will enter repayment after a six-month grace period. If you do enter repayment, the payment can once again be deferred once you reenroll on at least a half-time basis.
Please refer to our Library FAQ for additional information on accessing library resources now.
For Faculty & Staff
Are faculty and staff going to be tested before they return to campus?
All staff and faculty must be vaccinated or have an approved medical or religious exemption prior to returning to the campus on August 16, 2021. Employees with an approved exemption will be required to continue testing and may be subject to associated costs. Wastewater testing will continue at no cost to employees.
I’m an employee and need to get tested. Can I use the Student Health Center?
Employees may not use the Student Health Center. Employees must test off-campus at a facility of their choice (e.g., pharmacy, doctor’s office, urgent care center) and rapid test results are acceptable. Test results must be received weekly by Friday at 4pm. Test results may be dropped off in-person to the Office of Human Resources or sent to email@example.com.
I’m an employee and have been told I need to test off-campus. Where do I need to go and where do I send results?
As of August 16, 2021, all employees of Goucher College are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a pending or approved medical or religious exemption request. Employees in the process of becoming vaccinated or with a pending/approved exemption are required to provide weekly negative COVID-19 test results to the Office of Human Resources.
Employees may test off-campus at a facility of their choice (e.g., pharmacy, doctor’s office, urgent care center) and rapid test results are acceptable. Test results must be received weekly by Friday at 4pm. Test results may be dropped off in-person to the Office of Human Resources or sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can employees best equip themselves to support their ongoing mental health after returning to campus?
The Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) through BHS provides 24/7 free, confidential, in-the moment-support to employees and their household members to help with personal or professional problems. Counseling services, community discounts, financial and legal consultation services, and childcare and eldercare referrals are also available. Take advantage of the numerous athletic and fitness opportunities as well, including Goucher’s walking trails.
What should faculty/staff tell a student to do if they share that they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
If a student has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they should call or email the Student Health Center (email@example.com).
What should faculty/staff tell a student who share that they have been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19?
If a student has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, they should use the COVID reporting form.
Will faculty be informed about a student who tests positive to COVID-19?
If a student is positive, the Student Health Center (SHC) will inform the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies (APUS), who will then inform the faculty member that the student will not be able to attend class in person. APUS will not specify why the student may not be able to attend class as medical information is confidential.
How should faculty accommodate students who are not officially quarantining but who are waiting for test results and are asymptomatic?
If students are vaccinated and asymptomatic, CDC is not suggesting for them to quarantine while they await results.
How should faculty accommodate students who may be not officially quarantining but who have symptoms associated with COVID?
Students are being advised to quarantine if they are symptomatic. This is also a CDC recommendation. All faculty members have attendance policies in place which should be enforced. It is at professors and instructors’ discretion to grant any requests for excused absences or online instruction stemming from individual case-to-case circumstances. It is also at professors and instructors’ discretion to determine the specific nature of these reasonable instructional adaptations for individual case-to-case students. However, faculty should still abide by APC guidelines for online instruction:
- The default expectation for both faculty and students is that classes will be in-person in the fall, with few exceptions for either.
- Students unable to attend classes because they are in quarantine may receive permission to attend classes online temporarily. See Quarantine and Isolation Policy (PDF). In these cases, faculty will receive an email from the associate provost for undergraduate studies informing them that the student will contact them in a timely manner to inquire about how to makeup missed classwork.
Is Goucher College consulting with an epidemiologist?
There will be various interpretations of the CDC guidelines including that one epidemiologist may not agree with another. We are not contracted with a specific epidemiologist, but our team is constantly conversing with local colleagues, the health department, and participating in webinars about best practices based on CDC guidelines that include epidemiologists. It is also important for any faculty and staff member to know that they are always welcome and encouraged to be tested when they want. Here is the link for local FREE testing sites https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/covid-19/testing. Additionally, HR has shared how tests can also be charged to health plans versus paying out of pocket for testing.
Don't see an answer to your question? Ask us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.