Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

How is Coe monitoring the COVID-19 situation worldwide?
A team of college officials is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19 worldwide. To assess risks related to study abroad travel, the college uses a number of resources, including consultation with governmental agencies, professional health and security organizations, schools we partner with abroad and more.

How is Coe managing COVID-19 on campus?
The college continues to monitor the situation and is following guidance from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and other agencies, including those in countries where Coe College students, faculty and staff may be traveling.

I am concerned that friends, family or classmates may be impacted by the disease. Is there a place I can go for help?
Students and employees who may have anxiety or depression regarding how they are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak are encouraged to seek mental health services. Resources for mental health services can be found on the Coe website. For employees, please reach out to Associate Vice President for Human Resources Kris Bridges (kbridges@coe.edu).

What can I do to limit my risk for COVID-19 or other similar illnesses (seasonal influenza)?
Practice good infection control strategies including:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with tissues when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after use.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers also are effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid spreading germs.
  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest (eight hours is ideal), exercising regularly and eating healthy.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with sick people.

How can I support my fellow Kohawks during the COVID-19 outbreak?
It is important to obtain credible information from experts including the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO) and public health agencies and to ensure you are only sharing credible resources. Outbreaks can cause fear and anxiety, and we encourage our campus community to be supportive and speak out against negative and stigmatizing behavior.

Our campus strives to be welcoming and diverse, and it is important to avoid assumptions about who may or may not have come into contact with someone carrying the virus based on their identity. We will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive campus for people of all backgrounds, and we must recognize the harm we do to our community if we allow ourselves to make such assumptions.

What should I do if I am experiencing financial hardship?
Contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 319.399.8240 or o-financialaid@coe.edu.

Campus Life/Residence Halls

Are the residence halls closing? 
For the safety and well-being of all students, we are implementing a densification process on campus. Therefore, students are strongly encouraged to return home by Sunday, April 5. This date is a guideline for moving your belongings out of your residence hall. We encourage you to take all materials needed to begin online instruction for the remainder of the term. If you are away from campus and not planning to return at this time or before April 5, you may gather your belongings from your residence hall in May. If you live on campus you will receive detailed move-out instructions. We recognize there may be extenuating circumstances preventing you from moving out of your residence hall. If this is the case, please submit this exception request form articulating your needs. Overall, let us know what works for you (collecting your belongings by April 5, collecting them in May or requesting to stay on campus during this time period). We will work with you and support you throughout this process.

How can I check out of my residence hall?
We are not doing “in-person” check-outs as we know that can inhibit your ability to travel home in a timely manner. For your safety and convenience, we are only processing express check-outs. This allows you to check out any time of day that works for you. Because of the nature of this check-out process, we will waive the damage billing fee for all residential students. The only exception to this is if extraordinarily and flagrant damage is done. 
 
Please plan to return to campus between now and Sunday, April 5, to retrieve your belongings. If you cannot take all of your belongings and check out by the April 5 guideline date, please take what you need for now. You then will have until Sunday, May 10, to remove all belongings and completely check out from your room. We will contact you at the start of May regarding this process.
 
Please let us know when you plan to check out by filling out this brief form. When completing this form you will be asked to tell us when you’re leaving campus and if you’re leaving items in your room. You then will drop your key off in the designated area outside the Office of Student Development in Upper Gage. There will be a white table outside the office with envelopes and a key box for each residence hall. Here are the detailed instructions for the check-out process:

  • On one of the small manila key envelopes provided at the table, fill out the following information:

    • Last Name, First Name (written clearly)

    • Coe ID Number

    • Building and room number
    • What side of the room you’re responsible for
    • Signature and date at the bottom

  • Drop the sealed key envelope into the cream-colored metal box on the white table outside the Office of Student Development.

  • Please be sure you also filled out the check-out form to let us know when you are leaving campus.


We understand that for some students, moving out of your residence hall at this time is not an option. If you need to stay beyond April 5, please fill out this form and provide information regarding your need to stay on campus. These requests will be evaluated by the Office of Student Development. We will let you know if you’re approved to stay on campus beyond April 5.
 
What should I do with my trash/recycling? 
You should bring any trash and/or recycling to the trash and recycling areas you’ve been using all term. 
 
Can I donate belongings I don’t want to take home or throw away?
In light of continued public health announcements, we will not take donations at this time. It is important that all items you no longer need or want are either recycled or thrown in the trash. 
 
What if I don’t have the ability to move home?
Please complete the housing exception request form as soon as possible to request to stay on campus beyond Sunday, April 5. Student requests to stay on campus will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
 
If I am remaining on campus, will I still be able to attend in-person classes?
Classes have moved exclusively to an online format. Therefore there are no in-person classes to attend. Activities for students will be limited for the remainder of the spring term. 
 
Will there still be dining on campus?
Coe has requested that all students move home as of Sunday, April 5. For those who are unable to move home and have been approved to remain on campus, General Manager Tina Powers and Executive Chef Nick Bata are working on a program to meet students’ dining needs. Coe will be offering a daily menu with a few choices during each meal period. Students will be asked to order ahead of time and then pick up their meal in the cafeteria. Details of the process will be communicated with students who complete the form to remain on campus.
 
If I move home, will I be reimbursed for my room and board?
Coe will work with you on unused portions of room and board for students who do not plan to live on campus for the remainder of the term. Details (which vary depending on each student’s financial aid package) will be sent to you by the Office of Student Financial Services. 

When will my room and board charges be adjusted? 
The Office of Student Financial Services staff is processing student accounts as we get more clarity on each student’s unique situation. We sincerely appreciate everyone’s patience as we do this work. We will share details with each of you as soon as we have them. In the meantime, if you have an emergency related to traveling home, please email o-financialaid@coe.edu and we will prioritize your request. 

For those students remaining on campus will there be any changes to day to day activities? 
Because of the situation we do have to make some adjustments to what you are accustomed to as a resident. Access to many facilities and services - including the cafeteria, recreation facilities, library and student development areas - will be significantly limited. In addition, student activities, programs and gatherings will be discontinued for the remainder of the term. Because Coe has moved into a “high priority” period we are unable to allow guests from outside of the community on campus. This includes visiting each other between halls on campus. Additional communication will be provided directly to those students remaining on campus. 
 
Can parents or family members visit the residence halls to help students pack? 
Parents and family members will be permitted to assist students with packing in the residence halls. Family members will need to be escorted by the Coe student at all times when in the residence halls. 
 
If I am going home and need to get to the airport, will there be shuttles?
Yes. The college will offer free campus shuttles to the airport. Shuttle information will be provided via email. 
 
Will the 2020-2021 housing selection process still continue?
Yes. The selection process can be completed online. We expect students will be able to select rooms during their designated time slot. To ensure the process is smooth for you, please take a few moments to review the provided information and below timeline. If you encounter issues during your selection time, can’t find the housing application or have questions about any of the below dates, call the Residence Life Office (319.399. 8843) or email residencelife@coe.edu

  • March 25: Housing application deadline. If you don’t fill the form out by then, you won’t be able to go through housing selection. 

  • April 1: Single rooms selection

  • April 8: Meal-plan-optional space selection

  • April 15: Meal-plan-required space selection


Two important forms to remember:

  • If you’re checking out by April 5, please fill out this form and use the directions above to drop off your key. 

  • If you cannot return home at this time for extreme reasons, please submit a request to stay on campus using this form.


Personal health/student absences

What precautions can I take on campus to prevent COVID-19, influenza or other illnesses? General health reminders for everyone:
There are steps you can take to limit your risk for any illness. We encourage the campus community to practice infection control strategies including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects (i.e. doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, etc.) and surfaces by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose; coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Improve your immune system by getting enough rest (eight hours is ideal), exercising regularly and eating healthy.
  • Follow the CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask:
    • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
    • The use of face masks is crucial for health care workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

To help stop the spread of disease, it also is important for students, faculty and staff to stay home when they are sick. While COVID-19 has not been detected on campus, influenza, colds and other illnesses are prevalent during the winter months.

What if I miss class?
Students who miss class due to illness are encouraged to contact their instructors as soon as possible to notify them of their illness and to determine how best to make up class time and assignments. If students are not able to contact their instructor due to their illness (hospitalized, etc.), they can contact the Student Development Office to assist with the notification process.

Academics

Have there been any changes to the current academic calendar?
Instead of starting on Monday, March 30, registration for continuing students will begin exactly one week later on Monday, April 6, and continue until Friday, April 10. The last day to withdraw from full-term courses and the last day to change method of grading has been moved to April 1. All other dates remain the same.

How will the college continue to provide academic support services?
Academic Coaching: Academic coaches will continue to meet with their students, mostly through Google Meet. Students on academic probation still are expected to attend weekly meetings and are responsible for checking in with their coaches by email or phone in the week after spring break.
College Possible: Kyrsha Balderas and Steven Sharkey-Dye will maintain contact with their students.
"Drop-in" Supplemental Instruction and Tutoring: A virtual version of the Learning Commons’ peer-to-peer space will be available through a Discord chat. More information about how to access it will be available soon.
Learning Commons Academic Support: Students are encouraged to use the Request for Academic Support (RAS) form on my.coe.edu to reach out for any kind of academic help, including any assistance they may need adapting to online learning. Faculty are encouraged to let Learning Commons consultants know how we can help your students succeed.
Peer Tutors: Students can sign up for tutoring using the tutor scheduling system. First-time requests can be made using the tutor request form. Tutoring sessions will be held using Google Meet. These forms also are available on my.coe.edu in Academic Support under the Student tab.
Supplemental Instruction (SI): SI leaders and Shanna Pikora will be using Google Meet.. SI sessions will take place at their regularly scheduled time. Students in classes with SI will be sent links with instructions, and attendance will be taken so students will get credit for attending.
TRIO/AAP: TRIO/Academic Achievement Program consultants will continue to meet with their students virtually and will be available during regular business hours throughout the term. Each consultant will be in touch with students they see regularly about their preferred form of communication.
Writing Center: The Coe Writing Center will be available for online consultations. Students can go to coe.mywconline.com to make an appointment. Appointments can be made in advance, but some virtual "walk-in" appointments also will be available. A computer with a mic and internet connection are the best tools, but if students don't have access to wifi, they also can sign up for and have a digital writing consultation using their smartphone's browser. The digital conferencing platform will allow students to return to the appointment link to play back the consultation. The Coe Writing Center will continue to offer conversations about any writing project at any stage of the writing process. Consultants can send reports to faculty if the student requests.
Accommodations: Students needing accommodations should contact Kim Pierson by email at kpierson@coe.edu.

What about the senior art show?
It will take place online. Stay tuned for the link.

Will I be able to come get my artwork?
Yes, the Art Department will be sending out a Google form to arrange stopping  by the building to pick it up.

I was invited to conduct research on campus this summer. Is that still possible?
We are waiting a few weeks before deciding what to do about summer research. Right now, it’s still on.

Is the summer program at the Wilderness Field Station still happening?
Right now, it is still on. We are waiting a few weeks before deciding about anything in the summer.

When does advising begin, and how will it work?
Advising begins March 30 and primarily will be completed through phone appointments.

When will registration for next fall begin for continuing students?
Registration begins April 6.

I am in a music ensemble. What is happening with those?
There will be no virtual rehearsals or practices. Individual instructors may provide listening assignments, etc.

I was involved in the spring play. What is happening with it?
We are postponing our production of “Trevor” until the fall.

Will there still be a dean’s list this term?
Yes.

Receiving my degree

Will I still get my college degree in May?
Yes. Commencement is the ceremony, and while we are disappointed to not be able to gather together in May, you still will graduate. Your diploma will be mailed to you. Please update your mailing address in my.coe.edu. Additionally, your degree will be listed on your transcript, which is the official degree confirmation document. You can request an official transcript at www.getmytranscript.org. Degree completions and conferrals will be listed at the end of the term. You can request your transcript be held until that conferral is applied.
 
How can I be sure the college sends my degree to the right place?
You will get an email in the next few weeks from the Registrar’s Office asking you to confirm those details.
 
Why can’t I have my degree right now?
The college confers degrees once per term, and all students who meet graduation requirements are approved by the faculty and the Board of Trustees. All students meeting their requirements prior to conferral dates will be awarded their diploma with the most upcoming date.

May Term

What May Term courses are being offered in May 2020?

  • BIO 1xx Marine Diversity (will serve as a biology elective)
  • SPA 475 Topics in Hispanic Literature (will serve as a Spanish elective)
  • KIN 125 Public and Community Health
  • GSS 107 Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • BUS 125 Computers and Business
  • Topics in Evolution
  • Advanced Research Lab I
  • Advanced Research Lab II
  • Advanced Laboratory I
  • Internship in Psychology
  • Internship in Health Sciences

Are the May Term courses online or in person?
All 2020 May Term courses have been moved to the online modality due to public health guidelines.

I am not a senior, but I am only taking my May Term because I want the credit. What should I do?
Talk with your advisor about whether you want to take one of these online May Terms. You certainly can, but you do not have to. You likely have more flexibility and may be able to get the additional credit next year through a regular fall or spring course or through May Term 2021.

Can I take an international or domestic travel course this May?
Unfortunately no, Coe had to cancel these courses due to COVID-19.

If I decide I want to do one of these May Terms, where will I live and what will it cost?
If you need to live on campus during May Term, the Office of Residence Life can assist you.. It's free if this is your first May Term and $200 if it's not your first.

If I decide I want to take an  online May Term, how will I register and what is the cost?
The Registrar’s Office can assist you with registration (o-registrar@coe.edu). The tuition for these online May Term courses is $650 each after the first one, which is offered to students at no cost.

For international students

I am an international student. What happens if I am unable to return home after the spring term? We recognize this is an extremely difficult situation for students from impacted countries who may not be able to return home at the end of the semester or visit family. Coe will work closely with these students to make sure housing and other necessities are available should this need arise.

Non-study abroad travel

What travel restrictions are currently in place?
Coe is restricting all group domestic and international travel. Decisions on travel restrictions are based on travel advisories from the Iowa Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State.

Does Coe have any recommendations for students traveling independently while on spring break? Many countries are implementing travel restrictions. For this reason, it is not recommended to travel internationally or domestically at this time. Students considering personal international travel on weekends and breaks should carefully consider these restrictions as it may cause delays, mandatory quarantines or being denied entry to a country.

Students who are traveling should, in addition to taking recommended measures to prevent illness, take basic precautions to prepare for potential travel disruptions:

  • Students should keep cellphones fully charged and operational and check their email at least daily.
  • Students should travel with all key documents, including their passport, visa if applicable and insurance documents.
  • Students should travel with a full supply of any prescribed medications, regardless of how long they plan to be away. Prescription medications need to be in their original containers.

What if I am traveling domestically (within the United States) for spring break?
The CDC has not currently issued any travel restrictions within the United States. We know students will be traveling to various locations for break and encourage students to practice healthy habits (see personal health section below).

What about spring break travel not sponsored by the college? As with students who wish to travel to other countries within their study abroad experience, Iowa Department of Public Health strongly recommends everyone reconsider travel to any country with a CDC Level 3 or U.S. Department of State Level 4 advisory based on COVID-19. We encourage you to monitor developments through the U.S. Department of State and CDC websites. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions. Travelers should carefully consider these restrictions as it may cause delays, mandatory quarantines or being denied entry to a country.

I have recently traveled to a country impacted by COVID-19. Do I need to let the college know? Students, faculty and staff who have traveled to areas significantly impacted by COVID-19, including China, Iran, South Korea and Italy should notify the Student Development Office and/or provost as soon as possible after their return. The same holds true if you believe you have had contact with someone who is infected with COVID-19.

For employees

Are faculty and staff working from home?
Coe is following social distancing guidelines. Faculty and staff are asked to work from home where possible through April 30. Essential operations staff will continue to work on campus while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

What resources are available for remote work?
Log into my.coe.edu and go to the Employee tab to access remote working resources like VPN access, wireless internet, forwarding phones and G-suite tools (e.g. Google Meet, Drive, Docs, etc.).

I’m not feeling well, but I need something from my office. Can I come to campus to pick it up?
If you have illness symptoms (ex. fever, cough, shortness of breath) or live in a household with someone who does, do not come to campus for any reason. If you need something from your office, contact your supervisor or the Provost’s Office, and they will arrange to have it delivered.

What if I have medical or child care complications related to COVID-19 that are impacting my ability to work?
We recognize that many are experiencing challenges related to parenting, family support, health, technology limitations and other difficulties. Please talk with your supervisor or the Office of Human Resourcesabout options related to paid leave, flexibility in scheduling and other support resources available to you.

What changes have been made to the payroll, benefit, recruitment and other processes now that we are working from home?
Since most of us are working remotely, including the Human Resources Office, several modifications have been made to the payroll process and for human resources forms. For more information, please visit the human resources website.

What benefits are available to me related to COVID-19?
Employee Assistance Program/Counseling

  • All faculty and staff have access to our Employee Assistance Program that offers three free counseling sessions per year, and they can be provided via telehealth benefits. Call 866.799.2728 to access this benefit.

Retirement Plans

  • The CARES Act offers opportunities for hardship loans and withdrawal from retirement plans for those who are financially adversely impacted by COVID-19.
  • TIAA, our plan sponsor, is in the process of developing a process for making requests. You can reach out to them directly at 800.842.2252 to discuss these options.

For those covered under our health insurance:

  • COVID-19 testing is covered on Coe's health insurance plan without any cost to employees.
  • The CARES Act expanded the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) — both in terms of qualifying expenses and allowing telehealth appointments to be covered with co-insurance before reaching deductible through December 31.
  • Additionally, copays are waived through mid-June for telehealth services if you are on any Coe plan, including the $3,000/HSA plan.

How will advising and registration for continuing students occur?
Advising sessions will take place via phone, Gchat, Zoom, etc., and registration will be online as usual. Registration for continuing students based on credits earned will be opened on April 6 and, according to the usual schedule of student access, remain open through the end of May.

Will the college’s SPAN early alert system still operate?
SPAN will remain available for faculty and staff to send in notes. The SPAN team follow up electronically.

How can I contact human resources staff with questions or concerns?
Please reach out to o-humanresources@coe.edu or your supervisor with any specific questions or concerns. The Human Resources Office is available and happy to set up phone or virtual meetings, and they can be confidential.

Cellphone numbers for every member of the HR team are posted on my.coe.edu on the Employee tab, below the “Working Remotely Resources” section.