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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

William Penn University COVID-19 Updates

We look forward to welcoming students back to campus this fall; classes will start August 24, 2020. Please monitor this page for more updates.

Updates from William Penn University

William Penn University has implemented the following guidelines:

To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with the Iowa Department of Health, William Penn University has announced restrictions for summer camp activity on the premises. Any overnight camp will be limited to no more than 50 campers. All day camp activity will take place outdoors and use of the Penn Activity Center is prohibited for anyone’s use other than William Penn students and employees.

This decision is based on the governor’s proclamation and CDC guidelines (which would require social distancing and additional hygiene measures) and in the interest in protecting the participants along with the students and employees at William Penn University.

Campus is not the same without you! It has been six long weeks since you left campus – for your safety.  We are glad you are safe, but we miss you. We look forward to your return this Fall. Together we ARE stronger. I know this shift to online learning is not ideal, but many of you have shown admirable perseverance and determination. Stay the course! Finish Strong!

Now, an update about summer courses. Messages about Fall semester will arrive soon too!

To help you continue progressing, we offer summer courses starting on May 18. These courses will be offered with “live, in-class” conversations with instructors and students – via Zoom.  Many of you have told us that while you prefer face-to-face classes – we do too – you have enjoyed Zoom conversations and discussions as an temporary alternative. I am proud of you for adapting to this remote learning approach – until we can be together again in class. Please contact your advisor to review which Summer courses could be helpful to you.

We are proud of your resiliency. You have adapted well. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns. We remain your allies in your journey toward career and life success.

Kind regards,

Noel Stahle

I write to share two Spring Semester policies meant to support you as this crazy semester concludes.

Policy #1: Last Day to Withdraw from courses that began face-to-face but moved online

The deadline is FRIDAY MAY 1st – 5 p.m. We have extended this deadline to support you because we know you did not choose to complete your courses remotely, online. We are working to support you as best we can. However, before you choose to withdraw, consider the benefits of the student-friendly option in Policy #2.

Policy #2: CREDIT – NO CREDIT (CR-NC)

For courses that began face-to-face, then moved online, you may apply to receive credit for one or more courses instead of taking a low grade. Read the policy carefully. Some of you will benefit by taking the grade, others will benefit by taking the credit.

Step 1 – Complete each course this semester as best you can.

Step 2 – Review your semester grades via your student portal (not Moodle). Grades will be available beginning May 14.

Step 3 – Decide which courses, if any, you prefer to take the credit option rather than the grade.

Step 4 – Complete the application form on the Student Portal under the Tab – Forms.

Step 5 – Submit your application by May 22, 5 p.m. to the Office of the Registrar, dollde@wmpenn.edu. Include your cell number!!!!

Step 6 – Wait patiently while we review your request.

Step 7 – We will contact you at the number you provided, to review details with you.

Thank you for your patience as the University works through the changing landscape of higher education during COVID-19.  We have had many discussions over the last several weeks regarding the undue financial hardships that the University and our students have endured because of this pandemic.  With additional financial resources coming from the federal government for institutions and its students, we are grateful to provide additional streams of funding to students for unanticipated expenses.

It’s important to understand that there are two different categories of relief that we will be able to provide students.  This includes:

  • Residential Adjustments – Applicable to students living on campus at the time we released for Spring Break and did not return to the residence halls after the decision was made to resume classes remotely; and
  • CARES Act Funding – Applicable to students scheduled for face to face (f2f) classes the second half of the semester and finished the semester with remote learning.  These students also must have been eligible to receive federal financial aid for the Spring 2020 semester.

Students in the first category will receive funding in the form of a Residential Adjustment on their student accounts.  More information about this relief category will be provided to impacted students in a forthcoming email.  The goal is to have this adjustment posted to student accounts no later than Friday, May 8.

Students in the second category will receive an allocation of funding established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This is designed to go directly to students for unanticipated expenses incurred to complete the remainder of the spring semester with remote learning.  Students receiving funds in this category will receive additional information about this via email by the end of next week.  Our goal is to have this money distributed to qualifying students no later than Friday, May 29.

Depending on your circumstance, you may receive support from one or both categories.  Please continue to watch your William Penn University email account throughout the remainder of this semester and the month of May to ensure you don’t miss any critical information related to this matter.

If you have initial questions about the Residential Adjustment, please contact Heidi Scholes, Dean of Students, at scholesh@wmpenn.edu or Ashley Wagamon, Student Account Officer, at wagamona@wmpenn.edu.  If you have initial questions about the CARES Act funding, please contact Ashley Wagamon at wagamona@wmpenn.edu.

The following message contains important end of year information regarding dorm move-out. If you have completed the Return Housing Request form, and requested to remain in the same room next fall, you are able to keep your belongings in your room over the summer. If this is what you intend to do you need to reply to this message.

Since you are currently here, on campus in the dorms, your move-out dates will remain May 4th through May 7th unless you have already made arrangements with our office for a delayed check out, or have requested Summer Housing. In adherence to the guidelines regarding social distancing we will limit the number of people in the dorms at any given time. You can sign up for your move-out time slot here https://calendly.com/dorm-move-out/60min.

To properly check out of your room all personal trash needs to be removed and your room keys need to be returned to the Residence Life Office in the Union.

The following message contains important end of year information regarding dorm move-out. If you have completed the Return Housing Request form, and requested to remain in the same room next fall, you are able to keep your belongings in your room over the summer. If this is what you intend to do you need to reply to this message.

If you do intend to return to campus to retrieve your belongings, and move-out, we are adjusting those dates back one week beginning May 11th. In adherence to the guidelines regarding social distancing we will limit the number of people in the dorms at any given time. You can sign up for your move-out time slot here https://calendly.com/dorm-move-out/60min. If you have already moved out of your room, but need to return your keys, please place them in secure envelope and send to the William Penn University mailing address to the attention of Residence Life.

Information pertaining to the residential adjustment you will be receiving will be released early next week. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all navigate this unprecedented time. We have missed having you on campus and are looking forward to next year!

As a result of our decision to complete the Spring Semester remotely, with no on campus classes resuming; William Penn dorms are now closed to students not currently on campus due to government recommendations. For students currently living on campus, we welcome you to stay through the end of the semester, if necessary. If you choose to stay on campus, please complete this waiver https://www.wmpenn.edu/student-life/housing/residentialwaiver/ immediately. For those residents not currently on campus, you cannot return to the dorms until our tentative move-out week of May 4-May 7. Please continue to check your William Penn email and our website for updates as this is a fluid situation and dates may change.

We appreciate your patience as we navigate through these unprecedented circumstances. Our primary focus is the safety and academic progress of our students. William Penn University Leadership is working on a solution regarding residential credits. We will provide more information soon.

In response to the evolving developments due to COVID-19, William Penn University has made the decision to continue our Spring Semester with remote classes, on campus classes will not resume as originally planned. We are saddened that we cannot welcome you back to campus this semester, however, we must follow social distancing guidelines. Our priority is the health and safety of the William Penn family. We will continue to support you in any way we can, please feel free to reach out to your professors with concerns or questions regarding your coursework.

Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 9, 2020 have been postponed. All of us at William Penn understand how disappointing this is to our Class of 2020. We are incredibly proud of you and wish we could all celebrate as planned in May. We will be sending out a survey to our graduating students regarding preferences for alternative options soon. Please watch your William Penn email and our website for more information.

While this is a challenging time, we will get through this together. William Penn University faculty and staff are committed as ever to ensuring your success. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have during this unsettling time. We look forward to the day when we can all return to campus and be together again. Until that time, I encourage you to stay in contact with your friends and classmates – we are stronger together.

The Campus Clinic is currently closed to students, faculty and staff. The clinic will temporarily be utilized by Mahaska Health for OB-GYN patients and pediatric immunizations.

For students, faculty or staff experiencing non-COVID-19 related health concerns, please call the Mahaska Health Clinic at 641-676-9255.  If you have concerns related to COVID-19, please call our Sports Medicine office on campus at 641-673-1293. We ask that you call first, so that our Sports Medicine team can follow all CDC protocol for pre-screening. Sports Medicine is working in partnership with Mahaska Health and following CDC guidelines.

Please consider the following Recommendation for sick people from the Iowa Department of Health: Persons who are infected with COVID-19 and are only mildly ill do not need to go to their healthcare provider or be tested to confirm they have COVID-19.

Stay home and isolate from others in the house until:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (3 full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fever)
  • AND Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
  • AND At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms have first appeared

We are following Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ recommendation that anyone who has recently traveled, whether internationally or domestically outside of Iowa, and returns to Iowa will be in self-isolation for 14 days. In an abundance of caution and following state guidelines, if you have left Iowa you need to stay in place until on campus classes have resumed. As part of this travel recommendation, if a student currently on campus leaves Iowa, they need to either stay in place or they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon return. If you have any questions about this, please contact Heidi Scholes at 641-673-1084.

University Leadership is monitoring this situation daily and will keep you updated as more information becomes available. Rest assured that you will have the ability to complete your courses this semester regardless of how circumstances evolve.

I am reaching out today to reassure you that we are monitoring developments with COVID-19 closely. The Iowa Department of Public Health has announced the first case in Mahaska County. This is a reminder to us all to follow the CDC suggested precautions including handwashing, social distancing, not gathering in crowds of 10 or more and not going out in the community unless necessary. If you are feeling ill, please call our Sports Medicine office on campus at 641-673-1293. Our Sports Medicine staff is working closely with Mahaska Health Partnership on any COVID-19 related concerns.

For further information and guidelines from the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health, please go to our dedicated page with links and information. https://www.wmpenn.edu/home/coronavirus/

If you have any other concerns or questions, please feel free to reach out to Heidi Scholes, Dean of Students at 641-673-1084 or scholesh@wmpenn.edu. We are here to support you during this difficult time.

I wanted to thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate the impact of the COVID-19 virus. We are up and running with remote classes and I have heard positive feedback so far. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns with your classes. This is a learning curve for many of us; it is important that you are successful during this time. Remember that it is now time to complete your 2020-21 Enrollment Verification by clicking on the banner on the student portal if you haven’t already done so. I encourage you to work with your advisor as you register for Fall 2020 classes.  student.wmpenn.edu

We would like to update you on a recent recommendation from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds that any Iowans who have traveled recently, whether internationally or domestically outside of Iowa, should strongly consider self-isolating for 14 days. We encourage our students to follow this advice. Some of you have traveled home to states that have a “Stay at home” order. That precludes your ability to return at this point. In an abundance of caution, if you have left Iowa you need to stay in place until the restrictions have been eased.  University Leadership is monitoring this situation daily and we will keep you updated as information becomes available. Rest assured that you will have the ability to complete your courses this semester regardless of how circumstances evolve.

We will make it through this together, and for many of us, that will be virtually through Zoom or other modes of digital communication. Please stay connected – participate in your classes, reach out to friends and classmates. Again, if you have concerns or need assistance, please feel free to contact us. We are here for you. We are family. And we are stronger together.

We’re stronger together. A video message from our President.

bit.ly/WPstrongertogether

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, university leadership has been monitoring the situation and its developments. With the governor’s recent recommendation we are making the following adjustments to our educational delivery. Classes are already canceled today and will be canceled Tuesday as well so that faculty can prepare for remote delivery. All classes will resume remotely on Wednesday, March 18. According to the governor’s recommendation, we will deliver our courses remotely for four weeks. Our plan is to resume classes on campus Monday, April 13. Instructors will be in communication with students via WP email with further details.

We understand that William Penn University is a home away from home, and in some cases, home to many of you. Our residence halls and dining hall will remain open. Any student who would prefer to stay on campus is welcome to stay. We have put recommended social distancing guidelines in place in common areas and have taken many other preventative measures around campus. You are our family, we are family, and we will not turn our back on you during this tough time. We are stronger together. Whether you remain on campus or take classes remotely, faculty and staff are here to support you in any way we can.

I encourage you to remain calm during this period of uncertainty. The William Penn University leadership team will continue to monitor the situation closely. We will communicate directly with you and update our website as necessary.

If you feel ill –

We are working closely with Mahaska Health Partnership and local health officials regarding our process for health care regarding COVID-19.  If you are feeling ill, please contact our Sports Medicine office as your first point of contact. Abu and his staff are working directly with MHP and will coordinate taking temperatures, answering questions and coordinating testing/ care if necessary. Please call ahead at 641-673-1293 or 641-673-1093 – this applies to all faculty, staff and students. The Sports Medicine office is located on the first floor of the PAC.

No classes Monday, March 16, 2020 –

Monday will be a faculty inservice day as they prepare to offer all of our courses via remote delivery options for those students choosing not to return to campus. The cafeteria will be open normal business hours.

We will continue to update our website as new information becomes available: https://www.wmpenn.edu/home/coronavirus/

At the advice of local and state health officials, William Penn University is still open and operational. However, as we continue to monitor this fluid and evolving situation, University Leadership is expanding the temporary remote option. This option is available to students who are not comfortable coming back to campus or who are currently in highly infected areas. Please reach out to Heidi Scholes, Dean of Students, 641-673-1084 scholesh@wmpenn.edu to request remote accommodation.

Although there have been no documented cases of COVID-19 within our campus community or in Mahaska County, we are making preparations to be able to respond if COVID-19 is detected. The William Penn University Leadership Team is actively working with state and local health officials on best practices and CDC recommendations.

William Penn University will remain open and operational. In an abundance of caution, we are working with our facilities team to ensure all surfaces and common touch points are disinfected more frequently. We are also working closely with Mahaska Health Partnership to offer extended and on call hours at our campus health clinic.

If you are experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please follow CDC guidelines https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html and contact Heidi Scholes before returning to campus. For students with autoimmune issues or with exposure to individuals infected by the virus we do have temporary remote options available. For more information, please contact:

                Dr. Noel Stahle, Vice President of Academic Affairs, 641-673-1010, stahlen@wmpenn.edu

                Heidi Scholes, Dean of Students, 641-673-1084, scholesh@wmpenn.edu

In order to ensure that proper precautions are taken, we ask that all students please complete a self-reporting survey regarding recent travel.  Anyone who has traveled to a CDC designated Level 3 country or area should self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with the CDC and Iowa Department of Health Guidelines. Please reference CDC guidelines for international travelers https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html . We request that all recent travel (nationally and internationally) be reported via this survey. The survey is available on the student portal, please complete this as soon as possible:

https://student.wmpenn.edu

This is an evolving situation and we will continue to monitor it and be in close contact with local officials. All updates will be made on our website: https://www.wmpenn.edu/coronavirus/

We understand that the Novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is causing much anxiety in our community, state and the world. William Penn University would like to share the following information and reminders as we begin Spring Break. Please be mindful as you travel and review the following information. If you are sick, please reach out to Heidi Scholes directly before coming back to campus so that we can discuss the best course of action.

WHAT IS KNOWN

  • The virus causing COVID-19 is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified, and causes a respiratory illness ranging from a mild cold-like illness to severe respiratory disease.
  • Similar to influenza, the people who are most likely to have severe disease and complications fromCOVID-19 are believe to be the very old, very young and those with other chronic or underlying medical conditions.
  • There is no vaccine or treatment currently available for COVID-19, so prevention is very important.

HOW THE VIRUS SPREADS

  • COVID-19 is believed to spread primarily the same way the common cold or flu spreads—through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes.
  • People who are most at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact (within about 6 feet) with someone who has the disease.
  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW

  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue or elbow.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) frequently.
  • Avoid touching your mouth and nose since that is how germs get into the body.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (everyday household disinfectants are fine).
  • Enhance cleaning of high touch surfaces like door knobs, toilet handles and sink handles.

The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is a top priority, thank you for your cooperation.

Spring Semester 2020 Grading and Credit Policy

Professors are committed to supporting your best efforts by being flexible as you finish strong. Find the Spring Semester 2020 Grading Policy here. To apply for Credit/No Credit Option for Spring Semester of 2020, find the application here.

Campus Events

To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with the Iowa Department of Health, William Penn University has announced restrictions for summer camp activity on the premises. Any overnight camp will be limited to no more than 50 campers. All day camp activity will take place outdoors and use of the Penn Activity Center is prohibited for anyone’s use other than William Penn students and employees. This decision is based on the governor’s proclamation and CDC guidelines (which would require social distancing and additional hygiene measures) and in the interest in protecting the participants along with the students and employees at William Penn University.

Commencement

Commencement ceremonies scheduled for May 9, 2020 have been postponed. All of us at William Penn understand how disappointing this is to our Class of 2020. We will be sending out a survey to our graduating students regarding preferences for alternative options soon. Please watch your William Penn email and our website for more information.

CARES Act

William Penn University will use funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. Click here to read more about the CARES Act.

COVID-19 Resources

This is an evolving situation and updates are available from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including updated Travel Notices for countries with community transmission.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others circulating among animals. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). Rarely animal coronaviruses can infect and spread between people, such as with this new virus. Because this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation, the CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, including any changes in the risk assessment.

Symptoms of Coronavirus may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

If you have returned in the past 14 days from travel to a country with a COVID-19 outbreak AND are experiencing fever and respiratory symptoms (such as fever with coughing or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath), the CDC advises you to seek medical advice and call ahead to your health-care provider or nurse advice line.

Important: If you are feeling ill or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact Sports Medicine first: (641-673-1293 or 641-673-1093). Sports Medicine is working in coordination with Mahaska Health and should be your first point of contact.

If you are feeling ill or showing symptoms of COVID-19, please contact Sports Medicine first: (641-673-1293 or 641-673-1093). Sports Medicine is working in coordination with Mahaska Health and should be your first point of contact.

  • Dorms are restricted to students who have completed the required waiver. No visitors are allowed on campus.
  • Facilities has increased staffing and cleaning schedules to focus on common touch points and surfaces.
  • Food services are taking preventative measures and serving all food to-go.
  • In accordance with local public health official guidelines, any individual tested for COVID-19 will be in quarantine until test results come back.
  • Classes will be delivered remotely for the remainder of the spring semester.
  • Residence halls and dining hall (to-go only) are available only to students who have completed the required waiver.
  • No visitors are allowed on campus during this time.

William Penn employees are still working, and ready to help when needed. You can reach them via email or telephone: Staff Directory

  • Only employees, students and essential services allowed on campus.
  • Prospective students may visit by calling 641.673.1012 to set an appointment or visit our virtual tour here.
  • All public events have been cancelled through April 30, 2020.
  • The Penn Activity Center (PAC) and Wilcox Library are also closed to the public until further notice.

Mental Health Resources

Campus Counselor, Tyne Smith, will be in her office and available from 1 to 5 PM, Monday – Wednesday with appointments being 15-30 min in length. To book an appointment, you can:

  • Calendly – calendly.com/tynesmith
  • Call – 641.673.1703
  • Email – smitht@wmpenn.edu

 

Given the university’s temporary move to on-line learning and public health recommendations of social distancing we are offering the following options:

  • Tele-health consulting via HIPPA protected Zoom online video meeting. Utilizing this option means you have access to a completely quiet and confidential space from which to engage in your session.
  • Connect via phone call. This second option is for students who have limited access to internet or are unable to meet using Zoom. This is to allow more flexibility as to when and where you will be able to engage in your therapy session.
  • Correspond via email if you so choose. This does not require any appointment.

Yoga Classes

Click here to join Melissa Schettler for a live-Zoom yoga class every Wednesday and Friday, 3:30 to 4:15 PM.

Click here to participate in a recorded yoga session.