COVID-19 INFORMATION

COVID-19 INFORMATION

Dakota Wesleyan University continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation, particularly at the local and regional level. We remain focused on the health and well-being of the university community. This webpage is updated regularly. We encourage you to make this page your first stop regarding questions about how DWU is navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19.

If you have specific questions that are not answered by the information on this page, we encourage you to call DWU’s telephone hotline at 605-995-2910 or send an email to DWUResponseTeam@dwu.edu.

Health and Safety precautions

  • If you become ill with flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, body aches, shortness of breath) please STAY HOME, (in your dorm room). You should only leave home if further medical attention is needed. Do not go to class, work or other school-related activities if you’re experiencing symptoms, especially a fever.

  • If you become ill and are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, you must stay in your room and call ahead for assistance.  Call the campus nurse at 605-995-2957. A COVID-19 screening questionnaire will be completed with the nurse via telephone.  The nurse will create an action plan for you. Individual care plans will be based on risk and symptoms of each student.

  • If you are experiencing flu symptoms contact your professors or work supervisor by phone or e-mail and make appropriate arrangements regarding missed class/work time.

  • When to seek Emergency Medical Attention (call 911 or call ahead to Avera Queen of Peace Emergency Department)
    •  Trouble breathing
    •  Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    •  New confusion
    •  Inability to wake or stay awake
    •  Bluish lips or face
     
  • Do not return to work or class until 3 days have passed with no fever, symptoms have improved and it has been 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

Updates

Posted: June 1, 2020 – 2 p.m.

DWU plans to resume classes on campus on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.

The fall semester will open with appropriate and prudent modifications to the university’s living and learning environments, with a modestly revised academic calendar.

The semester will be slightly different than a “normal” fall semester on our campus.  We are modifying our fall academic calendar by concluding on-campus, face-to-face classes at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20.  Classes will continue after this date in an online environment, with the last day of finals scheduled for December 16, 2020. 

We have chosen to modify the fall calendar in order to mitigate the potential risks to the campus community posed by students traveling home for Thanksgiving and then returning to campus.  To be clear, you are welcome to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday, but in doing so, you will be discouraged from returning to campus after the holiday.  For students that elect to stay on campus during Thanksgiving, they will be free to remain in the residence halls, following the move to an online learning environment, until Friday, December 18.

The fall 2020 semester will also be different in that we are implementing a variety of measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on our campus.  In implementing these measures, our goal continues to be to deliver a high-quality educational experience to all of our students while simultaneously maximizing the health and safety of all members of our campus community. 

The following represent examples of the measures we are implementing:

  • We are developing new classroom and building capacity numbers that will enable students and faculty to practice safe social distancing in classrooms and other campus facilities.
  • We will make modifications to classes and to schedules to remain in alignment with the classroom and building capacity numbers.
  • We are creating a variety of procedures and options in collaboration with our dining service, including social distancing in the dining room, staggered dining schedules, and order ahead and carry out options. 
  • We plan to resume athletic competition beginning in August. Athletic practices and contests will be modified in accordance with guidance from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).  We are receiving regular and ongoing guidance from both bodies.
  • Should a member of the campus community be diagnosed with COVID-19, the university has policies and procedures in place to address this situation. 
  • We are setting aside a number of residence hall rooms in which students can be quarantined should the need to do so arise.
  • We have the infrastructure in place that will enable students to continue their coursework should you be unable to attend classes for an extended period.
  • We are exploring a variety of options for testing and screening students, faculty and staff for COVID-19 periodically. 
  • We are developing a variety of contingency plans that will allow us to “tighten” or “loosen” campus protocols in response to changes in our local and regional COVID-19 situation.

DWU will continue to support our students in your growth in learning, leadership, faith and service despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Over the course of the next several months, we will be updating our campus regarding the DWU plans for the safe reopening of the fall semester.

We are compiling a list of items that we will be asking all students to bring with them upon their arrival to ensure that we can work collectively as a community to mitigate the spread of the virus.  

Please continue to watch your email and this website for further details.

Posted: May 1, 2020 — 8 a.m.

DWU EMPLOYEES TO TRANSITION BACK TO WORK

Beginning on Monday, May 11th, DWU employees will return to work on a rotational basis. Our goal is to continue to minimize personal interactions for the foreseeable future.  DWU does not believe it is in the best interest of all faculty and staff to immediately resume normal work routines on campus. Our aim is to gradually transition people, thereby limiting the potential for increased exposure to COVID-19 during this process. Rotational scheduling will be used through the end of May.

DWU will continue to encourage the use of virtual meetings even as people transition back to the campus work environment.  Small groups may use large classrooms to hold meetings, provided social distancing is maintained.  Individuals should feel free to use masks or other protective equipment as they deem appropriate.

Great Life will be open to the public with restricted numbers of people permitted to use the facility at any given time.  The track area will remain closed through June 30.

The McGovern Library and Dakota Discovery Museum will be closed through June 30.

No summer camps will be held during the month of June. We will make a determination about July camps by May 20. No overnight camps will be held this summer.

Organized, outdoor athletic workout sessions with students will be permitted only in groups of 10 or fewer using strict social distancing guidelines. These should not begin until June 1.

Athletic fall schedules will be confirmed by late June.  All fall traditional and online classes are scheduled to resume on Monday, August 24 as originally scheduled.

Posted: April 29, 2020 — 3 p.m.

DWU OFFERS DISCOUNTED SUMMER COURSES  

DWU is excited to announce that we will be offering some of our most popular courses at a discounted rate this summer.  Two sessions will be offered, starting May 4 and June 29.  All courses will be online and last only 8 weeks. This is a great opportunity for students to continue their education during the summer months.  For more information, visit www.dwu.edu/summer2020.

Final grades for the Spring 2020 semester will be processed by May 8.  If you need a transcript sent to a graduate school or employer, please go to the website and complete a request form https://tsorder.studentclearinghouse.org/school/welcome.

Congratulations to all of our graduating seniors on their degree attainment.  We are proud of the incredible contributions you left on this university.  We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as you enter a new phase of the journey.

Commencement exercises for Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Summer 2020 graduates will be held on Sunday, September 27 at 1 p.m.  DWU will be planning other events for parents and students that weekend.  More details will be forthcoming.

Posted: April 16, 2020 — 3 p.m.

WE MISS YOU

DWU faculty and staff continue to remain positive and encouraged during this global pandemic and many heartfelt interactions and stories have arisen as a response.  As COVD-19 continues to shape our life, disrupting our routines and forcing upon us a new normal, at DWU,  we know that one thing will not be forgotten – we are NOT us, without students.

Students - We miss you. We miss seeing you on campus. We miss interacting with you in the halls. We miss witnessing the many small, but mighty miracles that happen in class and the spring rituals that normally consume this time of year. 

Over the course of the next few weeks, many DWU staff and faculty members will be sharing a special message with you. This is just a small way that we can share our true appreciation for all that you do to make this community a family. Thank you for remaining strong and brave during this time of transition. 

We can’t wait to see you again.  Thank you for all your efforts to advocate for and support Wesleyan.

FAQs:

CARES Act Student Emergency Aid

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act offers institutions funds to ease expenses students incurred with the disruption of their education during the spring 2020 semester. Dakota Wesleyan University applied for, and received, funds in the amount of $320,922 to be awarded to students.

The CARES Act funding covers expenses related to the disruption of normal institutional operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students must have been attending Dakota Wesleyan University at the time the institution made the decision to convert all undergraduate on-campus classes to the on-line format for the remainder of the semester. Funds are allocated based on a model developed by the university, and in accordance with federal guidelines from the Department of Education.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be enrolled in (and not withdrawn from) the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Must be a degree-seeking, traditional undergraduate student. · Must be eligible to receive Title IV aid and have submitted a 2019-2020 FAFSA.
  • Must have incurred additional expenses for food, housing, technology, healthcare, childcare or moving home based on the disruptive impact of COVID-19.
  • Must not be enrolled in a program that was already fully (or primarily as decided by DWU) online at the start of the spring 2020 semester (i.e. students enrolled in the Master of Education, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor in Organizational Leadership, and Sioux Falls LPN-BSN programs are not eligible for these emergency funds)

Eligible Expenses:

  • Housing (rent, utilities)
  • Food (groceries, other meal expenses)
  • Technology (computer, phone, internet access, other remote access needs)
  • Healthcare (medical, counseling, other healthcare related expenses)
  • Childcare (babysitting, daycare, other dependent care costs)
  • Course material (books, access codes, supplies, lab equipment)
  • Other expenses (tutoring, unexpected living/academic situations or expenses)

Award Amounts and Disbursement:

  • It is a one-time award.
  • Undergraduate students at Dakota Wesleyan University were categorized based on the following criteria:
    • Expected Family Contribution (EFC) provided by the FAFSA.
    • Amount of university scholarship award.
  • Distributions were made in the form of a housing/food disruption grant for students displaced from campus housing. These grants were distributed April 27, 2020.

Dakota Wesleyan University CARES Act Model

Category — Pell Recipients 
Award amount — $625
Number awarded — 155

Category  EFC range $5600-$9000
Award amount — $500
Number awarded  35

Category — EFC range $9001-$12000
Award amount — $450
Number awarded — 28

Category — EFC range $12001-$15000
Award amount — $400
Number awarded — 27

Category — EFC range $15001-$20000
Award amount — $350
Number awarded —  62

Category — EFC range $20001 & Above
Award amount — $250
Number awarded — 107

Category — Housing/Food Disruption Grant
Award amount — $475
Number awarded — 390

FAQs

Are international students eligible to receive CARES Act Student Emergency Grant?
Because international students are typically not eligible to receive Title IV aid, international students will not be eligible for CARES Act Student Emergency Grant.

How can I use the money?
Grants are provided for emergency use due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You should use them accordingly.

If I have a balance with DWU, will my grant be applied towards my balance?
Students were surveyed and given the option on the housing/food disruption grants if they wanted funds sent directly to them. Monies from the CARES Act model were disbursed directly to the student.

Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Mary Alexander, Director of Financial Aid in the Dakota Wesleyan University Financial Aid office at mary.alexander@dwu.edu.

How did Dakota Wesleyan University develop the eligibility criteria?
DWU is following guidance from the U.S. Department of Education.

How will I register for fall 2020 courses?

By now, students should have completed the registration process for next fall.  If not, please reach out to Jerry Luckett, DWU registrar, at Jerry.Luckett@dwu.edu or 605-995-2647.  Jerry is available to answer any questions about this process.

Will fall events take place on campus?

At this time, fall events are scheduled to take place on campus.

We plan to resume athletic competition beginning in August. Athletic practices and contests will be modified in accordance with guidance from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). 

Are facilities and buildings on campus closed?

Although general university business operations will continue as normal, all DWU buildings and facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice. This includes the McGovern Library, Dakota Discovery Museum, DWU cafeteria and Tiger Café.

The Great Life Fitness Center is open to the public with restricted numbers of people permitted to use the facility at any given time.  

The track area will remain closed through June 30.

Are there other ways to experience DWU as a prospective student if I can’t visit campus?

Yes! Our admissions office is offering a virtual visit experience, and as of June 1, we are resuming in-person individual visits with modified social distancing requirements. Please visit www.dwu.edu/visit to schedule your visit.

Will I continue to receive accommodations through Student Accessibility Services?

Yes. If you have any questions or concerns, or if you would like to seek accommodations, long term or short term, please reach out to the Disability Services Coordinator, Dustin Wheeler.  He can be reached via email at Laurie.Johnson@dwu.edu or by phone at 605-995-2931.

Will I still receive academic support such as tutoring, writing support or academic coaching?

Tutoring is still available to DWU students! You will remotely meet with your tutor through Zoom.

To request a tutor: Fill out an online Tutor Request Form or email Academic Success/Career Services Coordinator, Kristy Zink, at Kristy.Zink@dwu.edu stating the course and instructor.  You will be assigned a tutor and your assigned tutor will reach out to you via email within 48 hours.

To schedule with your tutor: You and your tutor will discuss a time that works best for both of you. Then, your assigned tutor will schedule the Zoom session. After the session is scheduled, you will receive an email with the meeting details. At the scheduled meeting time, simply click on Click Here to Join within the email.    

Another tutoring option: TutorMe is an online tutoring platform with access to a non-DWU tutor 24/7 in all subjects. You can connect to TutorMe through Canvas. In Canvas, click into one of your classes. On the left hand side toolbar, click on TutorMe Online Tutoring. Click Connect with a Tutor, you will be directed to TutorMe. ClickConnect with a Live Tutor and follow the prompts.

Questions: Email Kristy Zink at Kristy.Zink@dwu.edu

Career Services

Contact the Academic Success/Career Services Coordinator, Kristy Zink, at Kristy.Zink@dwu.edu to obtain assistance in:

Career preparation – resumé building and reviews, mock interviews, and job preparation questions. Simply email your resumé and cover letters for review!

Job opportunities – Click here for off campus job listings and internships.

Major exploration – discover your strengths and find out what major is right for you here.

Will baccalaureate and commencement ceremonies be rescheduled for a later date?

Yes, the university anticipates holding baccalaureate and commencement exercises on September 27, 2020. Despite the challenging circumstances we currently face, the university very much wants to provide all graduates an opportunity to celebrate their tremendous accomplishments at a time when the safety and security of students and family members can be more fully assured.  Please note that the university will be able to provide students with proof of their graduation in advance of the fall commencement exercises.

When will summer housing assignments be available?

At this time, the university board of trustees has not authorized the opening of summer housing. We are monitoring the current COVID-19 pandemic and if conditions improve to the degree that housing can be opened, students will be notified immediately about such opportunities.

How do I reach the DWU campus counselor?

During this uncertain time, DWU campus counselor Jennifer Noteboom is available to meet virtually with students, faculty and staff members via Zoom.

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