Student FAQs

When will the semester start and end?

UNA’s academic calendar will remain as originally scheduled:

  • Classes will start August 19; the semester will conclude December 11.
  • The final weeks of the semester after Thanksgiving break will be conducted remotely:
    • Tuesday, November 24: Last day for in-person instruction
    • Wednesday, November 25 - Friday, November 27: Thanksgiving Break
    • Monday, November 30: course instruction and assessment shift to remote delivery for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester.

Will my course still meet during the originally scheduled time in the fall semester?

  • The course may continue to meet during the scheduled time or may be structured for modified face-to-face instruction via synchronous or asynchronous delivery. Faculty will determine how their courses will be taught and let you know the format and expectations of your class. If you have any questions about a specific course, please contact your instructor.

What does “modified face-to-face instruction” mean?

  • To maximize physical distancing, most classes in the fall semester will be delivered in a hybrid format – a mixture of face-to-face instruction and on-line delivery where participation may be synchronous or asynchronous. In synchronous instruction, students and faculty meet together online at scheduled times. Asynchronous instruction is not scheduled, and faculty and students may participate online at any time, i.e., you may access the class at your convenience.
  • Course format (in-person, hybrid in-person/online/synchronous/asynchronous) will be based on course goals and curricular/clinical/internship requirements.
  • In-person, seated instruction will be designed to provide for six feet of physical distancing, when possible. Cloth face coverings will be required.
  • Students will receive communication from your instructors confirming the instructional format of their classes.

What about spring semester?

  • Spring semester will begin face to face classes January 6 as planned right now.

Who should I contact if I have questions about a course and/or lab?

  • For questions related to any specific course and/or lab, please contact the course instructor.

What should I do if I need technical assistance with Internet connectivity, Canvas etc?

Will my instructor have Office Hours?

  • Faculty may utilize virtual office hours to remain available to students while also physical distancing.
  • If in-person office hours are held, physical distancing must be practiced and cloth face coverings worn in office spaces.
  • Please contact your instructor for specific office hours.

How will the University conduct academic advising in Fall 2020?

  • Academic advising may be conducted via Zoom or face-to-face if six-feet physical distancing can be maintained and cloth face coverings worn in office spaces.

Will UNA Library Services be open and available?

  • Collier Library and Information Services will operate under normal hours during the fall semester; available hours can be located here. Some services may be modified to protect the safety of students, faculty, and staff. The full list of services is available here.

Will Research and IRB approvals continue in the fall semester?

  • Research and IRB review and approval will continue this fall with physical distancing and face coverings when the six feet requirement cannot be maintained. While the IRB has suspended recruitment/data collection involving face to face interactions in response to Covid-19, research that can be conducted by other methods (Zoom interviews, online surveys, etc.) will continue to be approved. If you have questions about your study or the IRB process, please contact your faculty mentor.

Will accommodation be available remotely once the University goes to remote instruction after Thanksgiving?

  • Yes:  Disability Support Services will be available to ensure that students with accommodations are able to engage with their courses and related assignments. The students will need to register with DSS to receive accommodations. Please contact Disability Support Services for more information.

What happens if there is a surge or outbreak on campus mid-semester?

  • After reopening, the University will continually monitor the health of the campus population and the public health of our region and be ready to move back to remote work if conditions warrant.
  • All faculty are advised to design courses which include a modular approach such that required coursework can be delivered completely online in the event of:
    • an outbreak on campus that might necessitate a temporary break or a mid-semester shift
    • teaching faculty become ill and are unable to complete the course
    • students become ill or have to self-quarantine during the term and miss a significant amount of class time
    • federal or state guidelines/recommendations shift the maximum size of gatherings or academic activities due to virus resurgence in the fall.

Are education abroad/away programs being canceled for Fall 2020?

  • Education abroad/away programs along with all non-essential travel are on hold due to health and safety concerns. Contact the Education Abroad office for more information.

Will the situation affect my academic progress?

  • The University of North Alabama is committed to ensuring you can complete the semester and fulfill your academic requirements.

What if I have to miss class because I am in self-isolation for 14 days?

  • Faculty will be recording their classroom sessions; students on a 14-day quarantine will be able to continue with their course work online in a F2F class. Students must contact their individual instructors for details pertaining to their specific courses.

What if I prefer to delay a semester or a year due to COVID concerns?

  • UNA has gone to great lengths to ensure the health and safety of students. However, students have options. Students may take online classes at UNA their first semester or first academic year, then attend face to face classes in Spring or Fall 2021.

Are masks/face coverings required?

Yes, appropriate cloth face coverings should cover both the nose and mouth. CDC guidelines about cloth face coverings can be found here. Cloth face coverings are required:

  • At all times when in public areas or shared spaces within buildings;
  • Outdoors, when near others, and when physical distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained (e.g. course transition times);
  • In classrooms, students are required to wear cloth face coverings or masks, reasonable accommodations will be made for those who are unable to meet this requirement;
  • In classrooms, faculty may teach their courses without a face covering only if they are able to maintain six-feet physical distancing away from the students; otherwise, a cloth face covering or mask is required to be used. Faculty should maximize distance between themselves and students while teaching, and all coughs and sneezes must be covered with a cloth. Faculty could also consider using a Plexiglas barrier or shield; and
  • By employees when physical distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained. Reasonable accommodations will be made for those who are unable to meet this requirement.

There are situations when a cloth face covering is not required or does not have to be worn because of the type of activity or factors related to the environment. Examples include:

  • While eating or drinking;
  • While in your in your room/apartment with assigned roommates;
  • Performing physical exertion, such as manual labor, running, and athletics training;
  • Outdoors with more than six feet continuous separation between all people; and
  • Other physical limitations or conditions that preclude an individual from wearing a cloth face covering.

Will I be required to purchase my own face covering?

  • Yes. However, UNA will provide cloth face coverings to students, if needed. Residents can obtain one in Housing and Residence Life in Rice Hall. Students may obtain them from Office of Student Engagement in GUC 163.

What happens if a student comes to class without a face covering? 

  • Faculty are requested to make sure the student understands that the university is requiring face coverings, and a minimum of six feet physical distancing. 
  • If the student continues to resist wearing a face covering, faculty may either refer them to the Office of Student Conduct for failing to comply with a reasonable directive and/or not allow them to attend the class until they wear a face covering.  A referral may be submitted to the Office of Student Conduct by email to studentconduct@una.edu.

When should I complete the Self-Screening Assessment?

  • Every day before your arrival to campus.
  • Students are not required to report the results of the assessment to University Health Services unless the answer to any of the questions is yes.

What if I test positive and live in the residence hall?

  • All residents in the halls must wear cloth face coverings in hallways and public areas unless in they are in their residence hall room.
  • Should a student test positive, the student should return home. Accommodations will be made to continue academic studies remotely.
  • Should a student not have alternative housing, UNA has designated places for self-isolation in other University facilities.
  • University Health Services will notify employees and students who have had contact with that person to do symptom checks and make recommendations.

What if I do not have a vehicle and need to be taken to get a COVID-19 test?

  • UNA has a designated van to provide transportation.
  • University Health Services will initiate the protocol to get that transportation for the student.
  • Students will need to take a photo ID, insurance card, money or debit card.

How long will I need to isolate from campus if I test positive for COVID or if I am a close contact of a person that tested positive?

  • You will need to call University Health Services for guidance on dates and for contact tracing purposes. Health Services follows guidance from ADPH and CDC and each positive case is handled on a case by case basis with Health Services’ staff. You may call 256-765-4328 during normal business hours, or 256-765-5000 8am-8pm seven days a week. See CDC guidance for general information on self-isolation.

When does Housing move-in begin?

When do I start the self-screening process?

  • Residents should start the self-screening 14 days prior to arrival. The symptom self-check form is sent daily to students via their UNA email.

How many people can help me move-in?

  • Each resident may bring 3 guests to assist with move-in. We ask that you avoid coming if you are in a high-risk category, have a temperature of 100.4 or above, and/or have been exposed to COVID-19.

Where do I find the information about move-in?

Go to https://www.una.edu/housing/living-on-campus/hrl-covid-19.html

Will students get money back for housing or meal plans if they choose to stay at home or otherwise remain off campus when the University moves to remote instructional delivery after Thanksgiving?

  • No, Housing prices are set by semester rather than number of days. Meals are sold in block quantities, so they are not tied to the number of days, but rather the number of meals purchased. Additionally, Housing and Dining services are opening earlier than in previous years and will remain open after Thanksgiving, through the end of the semester. The services provided are not changing, and students will have ample time to have used all of their meals.

If there is a COVID-19 resurge and University residence halls and Dining services close before the semester ends, will students get refunded for the time they aren’t able to live on campus?

  • The loss of use to residence halls or apartments and any balance remaining on a meal plan will be issued to the student in the form of a scholarship.

When is the last day to drop classes and get full refund?

If your student decided to do online classes for fall 2020 and has a Housing Scholarship for fall and spring semester, how does that work?

  • The fall 2020 portion of the Housing Scholarship would be forfeited.
  • If your student wants to stay home in the fall but live on campus during the spring 2021 semester, the spring portion of the scholarship can be applied to their spring on-campus housing charges.
  • Students would need to notify the Department of Housing and Residence Life at housing@una.edu and complete the Housing exemption form.
  • Students would need to notify Student Financial Aid at sfins@una.edu

When will campus tours resume?

  • UNA currently has several options available for campus tours. Guests can tour campus virtually. This option is available on-demand for your convenience. Self-guided and virtual campus visits are available and can be scheduled on our visit page. In-person guided campus tours will be available beginning August 19. Registration for in-person guided tours will be available in mid-July. Students and guests will be required to wear cloth face coverings during in-person guided campus tours.

Questions?