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Frequently Asked Questions

UPDATED MAY 1, 2020

is the usao campus open? 

Due to the COVID-19 executive order signed by Governor Stitt, the USAO campus will be closed to public access beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. Workers supporting colleges and universities for purposes of distance learning and provision of school meals are considered critical infrastructure sectors. At USAO, this includes security, housing, food services, custodial and information technology staff.

Although we are closed to the public, we will continue to operate virtually to accommodate our students. Contact us with any questions.

The Business Office will be open to take payments on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Call (405) 574-1213 or enter the building through the north door of Troutt Hall.

Are classes canceled?

No, beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all classes will move to online and remote instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. 

Independent Study, April 27—May 9, as well as the regular summer term, June 1—August 7, will also be held via online and remote instruction.

What are alternate instructional delivery methods?

This means that classes may be taught online or through a variety of instructional arrangements. Students need to check Canvas AND their email for guidance from their professors. For questions, contact Academic Affairs at (405) 574-1221. 

What if I don’t have access to a computer or internet to complete my assignments during this time?

There will be limited access to computer labs. Nash Library is restricted and will not be open for public access. However, the 24/7 lab will remain open for USAO students who need to access a computer. Students can use their student ID to enter the doors on the south side of the building. If you have trouble using your ID, contact Security at (405) 222-8066.

The following labs will be open from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. To access one of these labs, contact Security at (405) 222-8066.

Building Room  Notes
Austin Hall 201-Chemistry Lab Only open for Chemistry majors
Austin Hall  212-Physics Lab Only open for Physics majors
Canning Hall 204-ASL Lab Only open for Deaf Ed majors
Davis Hall 247-Music & Foreign Lang Lab Only open for Music & Foreign Lang majors
Gary Hall 214-Education Lab Only open for Education & Speech-Language Pathology majors
Nash Library 118-24-hour Lab Open 24/7
PE Building 116-Physical Ed Lab Only open for Physical Ed majors
Sparks Hall 2nd Floor Computer Lab Only open for Sparks Hall residents

All other computer labs on campus will be closed. 

If USAO students need to check-out materials from Nash Library please visit our online catalog to search for the item that you need. You may email Nicole McMonagle or Daniel Pool with the title and call number of your item. We will locate the item for you and then you may pick it up from the front of the library. You may also visit our library website to request interlibrary loans or to look for articles, books, etc. Please remember to log in at the bottom of the page first.

All computer labs will have a mandatory limit on the number of users allowed in the room at any given time. Security will regularly monitor all labs to ensure compliance in this regard. As a student in need of access, you will be required to honor the maximum number allowed in any one space. 

When will classes resume on campus?

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all classes will move to online and remote instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. 

Independent Study, April 27—May 9, as well as the regular summer term, June 1—August 7, will also be held via online and remote instruction.

After carefully considering the current situation and available models for the coming months, we fully intend to return to our traditional academic and residential college life this fall. Our top priority will always remain safeguarding the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty.

Unlike many larger institutions, USAO is well-positioned to adapt to this ever-changing situation. By design, USAO’s close-knit nature means that we have an ability to maintain a safe learning environment without unduly affecting student success.

What about finals?

At this time, finals will proceed as scheduled. The university is monitoring the situation and will continue to provide updates via social media and usao.edu/coronavirus.

How do i enroll in independent study and summer classes? What about fall? 

For current USAO students, enrollment for independent study, the summer and fall terms will proceed and be done via the MyUSAO portal. Every effort will be made to remove or minimize enrollment obstacles, thus easing the process of online registration. This will include most Business Office holds. Contact the Business Office for additional information.

Can I go to the library or Nobbs Wellness Center? What about other campus services?

ALL access to public spaces on campus will be severely restricted. This includes the USAO Fieldhouse, food services, workout facilities – all public gathering places. 

Nash Library is restricted and will not be open for public access. However, the 24/7 lab will remain open for USAO students who need to access a computer. There are eight computers in in the 24/7 computer lab and they all have separate work stations. The area will be sanitized and disinfected every day. Sanitizing wipes have been placed by the printer and we ask you to please wipe down surfaces before using them and to wash your hands after use. This will help limit the spread of any germs.

what about the student success center? 

Beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020, the Student Success Center will resume normal operating hours for scheduled virtual sessions.

Monday-Thursday 10:00 AM- 10:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday 4:00 PM -10:00 PM

All Tutoring/Mentoring sessions will all take place via Zoom.

How do I make an appointment?

Email ssc@usao.edu to schedule an appointment. Be sure to include your name, the subject matter, instructor, and optional timeframes of your availability. If you would like to request a specific tutor or mentor, please include their name, as well. We will see what is available and send you a calendar invite with the appropriate zoom link for your tutoring session. You may also fill out our online request form at https://usao.edu/academics/ssc-appointment.html

How do I attend a scheduled virtual session?

A link will be included in the calendar invite. Be sure to accept the calendar invitation in order to have access to your link. You do not have to download the zoom app or create an account, but you might want to consider it for ease of use and convenience. Free app options are available for your smart phone https://zoom.us/download

You can participate in virtual mentoring or tutoring from your computer or from your phone.

Please have patience with us as we work through the processes, you may experience minor technical difficulties, but rest assure that we will do what we can to ensure the continuation of services through alternative means.

What if I already have an appointment scheduled for in-person tutoring?

In lieu of social distancing, there will not be any in-person appointments. All scheduled appointments can still be available, if you email ssc@usao.edu and request to keep your appointment slot. We will update your calendar invite with the appropriate link.

Do student workers have to report during the extended spring break and/or the period of alternative instructional delivery?

Effective March 23, 2020 and through the end of the spring semester, Federal Work-Study students and Part-time as Needed students will receive continued payments on their regularly scheduled pay date. 

Individual student payments for FWS will reflect scheduled hours not to exceed 10 hours per week or allotment. In order to be eligible a student must be an active work-study, which is defined as a student who has turned in an official time sheet for at least 1 of the last 2 pay cycles. Payments for Part-time as Needed students will reflect scheduled hours.

Students will not need to complete a time sheet. This will be done through the Financial Aid and Personnel & Business offices in conjunction with your supervisor. 

For questions regarding the FWS please contact K’reen Wilson in the Financial Aid Office at (405) 574-1251 or kwilson@usao.edu. For questions regarding the part time as needed, contact Sharla Bare in the Personnel and Business Office at (405) 574-1335 or sbare@usao.edu

If you would like your payroll check mailed to you please contact Katie Sanders or Paula Brashears in the Personnel & Business Office at (405) 574-1213 or ksanders@usao.edu.

What ABOUT FEDERAL STUDENT AID?

From the Department of Education: We at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) office of Federal Student Aid are actively monitoring the new coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak.

On March 27, 2020, the president signed the CARES Act into law, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. Below we have answered questions about several provisions of the Act. Questions that have been added or updated are identified with “NEW” or “UPDATED” before each question.

If you’re concerned about your studies or loan repayment, we can help you understand what to do in certain circumstances. We’ll be adding information for students, borrowers, and parents to this page on a regular basis, so please check back frequently.

For updated information, please check their website

Will on-campus events be canceled?

Effective March 16, 2020, all events held on campus will be canceled or postponed through Aug. 5, 2020. 

What about graduation?

Our scheduled April 25, 2020 commencement exercise has been canceled. We will be holding a virtual commencement ceremony May 22 at 6 p.m. For those who would like, they may participate in our December graduation. Should you choose to do so, contact the Registrar’s office at registrar@usao.edu.

I live on campus. Should I stay here or go back home?

All students in our residential halls are encouraged to return home if they are able. There is an express checkout option to minimize personal interaction. Students who are checking out can come to campus to pick up things and check out between 8am and 8pm daily.  Please email housing@usao.edu to let staff know you are coming to campus.

We are encouraging students to complete the checkout process as soon as possible, but no later than the move out date at the end of the spring semester, April 26. Refunds or credits for Room and Board will be calculated from the date of proper checkout as of March 22, 2020 or later. It will be calculated at a per day rate. If a student receives a room and/or board scholarship the scholarship amount will be deducted and refund/credit will be calculated at that point. For additional information contact the Business office.

There is a limited amount of storage for larger items such as refrigerators on a first come first served basis. Before coming to campus to check out, we are asking that if you have been outside of the state for spring break or if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms that you follow the recommendations set forth by the CDC and practice social distancing when outside your household for 14 days and to monitor for symptoms during that time. For those in housing who have no other options, alternative living arrangements will be made which may include relocation to a different room or residence hall to accommodate social distancing.

USAO on-campus dining services will be operating on a highly modified schedule and with only to-go options.

If you have questions, contact Student Services at studentservices@usao.edu

Information specifically for faculty & staff

Workers supporting colleges and universities for purposes of distance learning and provision of school meals are considered critical infrastructure sectors. At USAO, this includes security, housing, food services, custodial and information technology staff. All other employees are to begin teleworking. Although we are closed to the public, we will continue to operate virtually to accommodate our students. Everyone at the director-level or above must be contactable to meet the needs of your area. Staff need to seek guidance from their supervisor regarding their duties.

All buildings will be secured. Faculty who need to access to their office or other campus facilities for the purpose of distance learning need to inform Mike Coponiti each time at mcoponiti@usao.edu so he can ensure that custodial staff clean and disinfect the areas used.

Mail will not be delivered to offices. Mail must be picked up in the mailboxes at Lawson Clubhouse.  Each day, an e-mail will go out announcing that mail has been sorted to all mail boxes.

I AM IN NEED OF SUPPORT SERVICES (COUNSELING, DISABILITY OR CAREER SERVICES) WHO DO I CONTACT?

All of these services are available virtually.

For counseling support, please contact counseling@usao.edu to schedule a time to meet virtually.

For disability services, including any accommodations needed during this time, please contact disabilityservices@usao.edu for more information.

For career services, please contact careerservices@usao.edu for assistance with resumes and more.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Reframe “I am stuck inside” to “I can finally focus on my home and myself”.
    Think of the mandated work-from-home policy as an opportunity to refocus your attention from the external to the internal. Doing one productive thing per day can lead to a more positive attitude.
  2. Stay close to your normal routine.
    Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.
  3. Avoid obsessing over endless Coronavirus coverage.
    Choosing only certain credible websites (who.int or cdc.gov is a good start) for a limited amount of time each day (perhaps two chunks of 30 minutes each) will be in your best interest during this time.
  4. A chaotic home can lead to a chaotic mind.
    With all the uncertainty happening outside your home, keep the inside organized, predictable and clean. Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organize your day.
  5. Start a new quarantine ritual.
    Start a daily journal, take a walk every day, connect with a family member or friend each morning, start a watercolor painting which you can add to daily, and so on. Having something special during this time will help you look forward to each new day.
  6. Use telehealth as an option to talk to a professional if your anxiety becomes unmanageable.
    Many licensed psychologists are offering telehealth options over HIPAA-compliant video chat platforms. Remember to reach out for help if your anxiety is reaching proportions that is unmanageable without professional help. 

WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS OR BELIEVE I AM INFECTED?

If a faculty/staff member or student believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or are exhibiting symptoms, they should self-quarantine and avoid travel. Contact your primary care physician or the Oklahoma Department of Health’s Coronavirus hotline at 1-877-215-8336 for instruction on testing and other recommended procedures.