In this section

COVID-19 Student Information

North Central University is closely monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). University officials have been in contact with county and state officials and will continue to monitor updates from federal and international health agencies to track the situation.

This page features the latest information about COVID-19 operational changes affecting North Central University on-campus students.

Questions can be directed to emergencymanagement@northcentral.edu.

Campus Safety and Security is available 24/7 at 612.343.4445

Last update: May 15, 2020, 9:00 a.m.

Fall plans + commencement + important dates

Dear NCU Community,

I’d like to provide an update about fall plans and commencement.

Fall 2020 plans

I am thrilled to announce that North Central University plans to be open for on-campus and online classes for the fall semester. All classes begin on August 26 and we will receive our new on-campus students for Welcome Week on Saturday, August 22. Athletes and student leaders will have different arrival timeframes that will be communicated separately.

Our top concern is to provide a safe and healthy environment for the NCU community. Our Senior Leadership Team has appointed a task force to map out return-to-campus plans that will provide peace of mind for students and their families. Plans will explore different scenarios to define how we engage in group settings, manage life in residence halls, and maintain the safest facilities possible. We will not be reckless but will engage in wise and practical thinking as we plan for each potential scenario. We will also acknowledge the need for clear plans for continuity of learning and operations in the event of extreme threats to health or safety.

We are making these plans in confidence, barring any extensive restrictions or mandates we must follow for the sake of public health, and, as with all things, if the Lord wills. Until there is a vaccine, the world will not be coronavirus-free. But we will strive to make NCU coronavirus-safe. This involves detailed plans for testing, tracking, treating, and containing.

Our return to campus may look different in many ways, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and evolving knowledge of best protocols for public health and safety.

Returning to campus will not be a simple process. We may need to find new ways to do old things, but I believe God will be unleashing creativity to help us find the best ways to continue His good work at NCU.

Our number-one goal is for each and every student to be able to move forward and thrive while receiving the world-class North Central University education.

Commencement

Our graduates provided clear feedback on the graduation survey: they want an in-person celebration and we agree! We need to celebrate the Class of 2020, and I’m happy to announce that our Commencement Ceremony will take place on December 12.

We chose December in order to provide the maximum amount of time for continued progress in our government’s recommendations for safe community life in the coronavirus era, and a date that would be least likely to be moved because of social-distancing restrictions.

Mark your calendars and plan to be in Minneapolis on December 12. More details will be coming soon. We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Heartfelt gratitude

The way our entire NCU community—students, faculty, staff, and our leaders—stepped up during this difficult season has simply been off the charts. I honor you and thank students and faculty for doing what you did to make it through transitions that put you into an entirely new educational ecosystem.

Thank you to our fully online students for staying steady at the wheel for your spring semester. We communicated a lot of things that didn’t apply directly to you in recent weeks because we want you to be informed as part of our community, and we appreciate your presence in the NCU family.

Thank you to faculty and staff who have transported their work to a home-based environment and continued to provide excellent support for our students and one another.

This hasn’t been easy, and I know that there has been loss and pain for many of you in this process.

Onward!

Now, it’s our time to begin on a path toward restoration and renewal—it’s time to look to the future!

To recap: mark your calendars for these important dates:

  • New on-campus students arrive for Welcome Week on August 22.
  • Orientation for graduate students is August 20.
  • Orientation for PSEO students is scheduled for August 12–13.
  • Self-paced orientation for online students will take place in August.
  • Classes begin on Wednesday, August 26, for fall semester, both on-campus and online.
  • Commencement will take place on December 12.

We will continue to communicate updates throughout the summer via email, Skyline News, and on this section of the website.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing news about campus projects that will make being at NCU this fall simply the best place you could be.

We can’t wait to be back together! Have a healthy and courageous summer!

 

Looking forward,

Scott Hagan, Ph.D.

President

North Central University

Pass/no pass grading option

Pass/No Pass Grade Option for Spring 2020

Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19 during the spring term, the Office of Academic Affairs has approved a Pass/No Pass grading option for all students. This will benefit students by allowing them to complete their courses while easing concerns that the current disruptions and transition to an online learning environment could negatively impact their GPA. Please note that NCU is not moving to a mandatory Pass/No Pass grading scale in all courses. Students can opt in for a Pass/No Pass grade in one course while earning standard letter grades (D- or higher) in other courses. Students are encouraged to make the choice on a course-by-course basis as best suits their needs. Please read the Important Considerations section for more information so that you can make an informed decision before requesting a Pass/No Pass grade.
All coursework will be graded through the end of the term, and at that time students will have the chance to review their final grade, and determine whether to keep the letter grade earned or request a Pass/No Pass grade.  NCU has established the addition of a High Pass and a Low Pass grade for the spring semester.  In addition, regardless of whether a student choses the letter grade or Pass/No Pass option, a failing grade (F) will be replaced by the non-punitive No Pass (NP) grade.  

Undergraduate course grading options:

Standard Letter Grade (A- F):  the default grading scale for the spring term
  • No change to passing grades (D- or higher)
  • No Pass (NP) for an F
Pass/No Pass Grade (does not count toward GPA)
  • High Pass (HP) for a C- or higher
  • Low Pass (LP) for grade between D+ and D-
  • No Pass (NP) for an F

Graduate course grading options:

Standard Letter Grade (A-F):  the default grading scale for the spring term
  • No change to passing grades (D- or higher)
  • No Pass (NP) for an F
Pass/No Pass Grade (does not count toward GPA)
  • High Pass (HP) for a B or higher
  • Low Pass (LP) for grade between a B- and D-
  • No Pass (NP) for an F

Process for Instructor

  • Instructor grades all coursework for the term as usual
  • Gradebook in Moodle should reflect a final grade for students to review by noon on Wednesday, May 6
  • Student notifies instructor by email to request Pass/No Pass grade option
    • Requests must be submitted by student by end of day on Friday, May 8.
  • Delay posting all grades in Moodle until Saturday, May 9 to allow time for students to review their grades and submit email request for Pass/No Pass Grade Option
    • Final Grade entry window in Moodle will be open May 9 thru May 14
    • HP (High Pass), LP (Low Pass) and NP (No Pass) grades will be available in Moodle
    • Instructor should submit a grade of NP rather than an F for all failing grades
    • No grade should be posted in Moodle for those who have been granted an incomplete extension.  Submit all Incomplete Grade requests using the standard form to the Registrar prior to last day of finals.

Process for Students

  • Review final grade in Moodle gradebook after noon on Wednesday, May 6.
  • No action is required to earn a letter grade
  • Notify instructor by email between Wednesday May 6 and the end of the day on Friday, May 8 to request the Pass/No Pass grade option.
  • Once a Pass/No Pass grade has been requested, it is not possible to change back to a letter grade.
  • Courses previously withdrawn are not eligible for the Pass/No Pass option.
  • Any requests submitted after May 8 must come directly to the Registrar’s Office for consideration.

Timeline

  • May 6:  Semester letter grades calculated by noon in Moodle
  • May 6 – 8:  Students may submit Pass/No Pass grade requests to instructor
  • May 9 – 14:  Instructor posts final grades in Moodle

Important Considerations

Meeting Degree Requirements

  • Courses graded with the High Pass or Low Pass grades will meet degree requirements, with a few exceptions noted below.
  • Any course that requires a “C-“ or higher, will require an “HP” grade in order to meet that degree requirement.  ENG-124 Research & Rhetoric is the perfect example of this.
  • High Pass, Low Pass and No Pass grades will not factor into the cumulative or term GPA.
  • Dean’s List requirements will be eased for the spring term to allow for some Pass/No Pass grades.  A minimum of 9 letter-graded credits (A-D) are required for inclusion on the Dean’s List, with a term GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • A failing grade (NP) will not meet a degree requirement, and must be retaken in a future term.
  • PSEO students should check with their high school guidance counselor before requesting a Pass/No Pass grade.

Graduation

  • Degree conferrals will be slightly delayed due to the adjusted timeline for final grade submissions.
  • Honors are calculated based on GPA, and Pass/No Pass grades will not impact eligibility for graduation honors.
  • Students with incompletes will be eligible for degree conferral on either July 10 or August 26, depending on completion of final degree requirements.

Athletic Eligibility

Per NCAA rules, student-athletes must remain in good academic standing and making satisfactory progress toward degree as defined by North Central University to be eligible to compete in athletics.
For questions regarding individual eligibility, please email Steph Jeska at sfjeska@northcentral.edu with your questions.

Transferability Issues

Courses with a Pass/No Pass grade are generally not accepted by any institution for transfer credit.  An established standard of a “C-“ is required at all institutions for the awarding of transfer credit, and so we have established the High Pass (HP) with a minimum grade of “C-“ in order to preserve the transferability of those courses as much as possible. The transcript will note this minimum grade requirement for the HP grade, but NCU cannot guarantee the transfer credit policy for other institutions.  This should be taken into consideration when requesting a Pass/No Pass grade.

Impact on Licensure programs

Some programs have GPA minimums and licensure requirements for grades.  Not all courses will have the Pass/No Pass option.  Please consult your advisor if you are an Education, Psychology or Social Work major before selecting the Pass/No Pass option in any of your courses.

Graduate School Applications

Graduate schools may not accept Pass/No Pass grades in major core classes.  Seniors especially should take this into consideration if they have applied to a graduate program for the fall term. Please contact the school or check their website for their policies and potential exceptions due to COVID-19.

Financial Aid Questions

If you are concerned about potential impacts on your financial aid, please email Student Financial Services at studentfinance@northcentral.edu for assistance.
Payments and RAM Plan

In addition to the changes listed above, North Central has made the decision to revise the Spring RAM Plan in the following ways:

  • We will be waiving all future spring late fees on the RAM Plan and on student account balances
  • In addition to the April 10 RAM Plan payment, we will be adding a May 10 payment as well. This means your last RAM Plan payment will be divided in two; half will pull in April and the last amount in May. However, if you would prefer to pay off your account in April as planned, please feel free to manually make the May payment early.

Please note, if you are planning on signing up for a summer RAM plan, the first payment will also be due on May 10. Therefore, some students will have the last spring payment and the first summer payment due on the same day. Please plan accordingly if you fall into this category.

As a reminder, payments can still be made electronically by logging into your Colleague Self-Service account. Please check your account to see if you still owe a balance and need to make a payment.

If you are experiencing significant financial hardship and are unable to make payments, please complete the appeal form and we will make decisions on a case by case basis.

The Student Financial Services team is working regular hours remotely. We are here to help and want to assist you in any way we can during this difficult season.

Please send us an email at studentfinance@northcentral.edu if you have any questions or concerns about your finances.

Registration Holds

In order to help our students enroll in the courses they need in these unprecedented times, we have made the decision to loosen the standards governing registration holds related to finances. Our standard policy states that traditional undergraduate students must have a balance below $500 in order to register for classes. For online and graduate students, the balance must be $0.

For this registration cycle, we will be lifting all registration holds related to finances for students whose balances are under $5,000. This grace will be extended to all North Central students, including our online and graduate populations. We will be working quickly to get all these holds lifted within the next 48 hours.
Please note, if you have a balance on your account, this amount is still due even if your registration hold is being lifted.

COURSE DELIVERY
  • North Central University will be extending the virtual learning environment through the remainder of the semester. There will be no more on-campus classes for the 2019–20 academic year.
  • Our fully online courses will continue with no modifications.
  • Classes will be conducted via a virtual instruction learning environment as directed by each individual professor.
  • Faculty will communicate about your course(s) via email or Moodle. If you are uncertain about assignments for any course, contact your instructor.
COMMENCEMENT

We have made the painful decision that we must cancel our Commencement Ceremony on May 1 and our Hooding Ceremony for our master’s degree graduates on April 30. Given the uncertainty of how long the various restrictions of movement and activity will be in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., this became a necessary course of action. Please know that we are committed to celebrating our graduates! Though it may be delayed, we plan on holding a Commencement celebration to honor them at a later date.

Graduates, we would love to hear your ideas about the timing and type of celebration we should hold! Please fill out this 2020 Graduates idea form to help our team members know your thoughts.

Room and board

As was announced in President Hagan’s recent email to the NCU Community, we will be recalculating room and board charges for our residential students who have moved off campus. This group of students will receive a prorated amount for the last seven weeks of the semester. The returned amount will appear either as a credit or as a reduction in the amount due on your student account. This amount will look different for each student based on their specific hall/apartment building, room type, and meal plan.

We are currently working with Residence Life staff to get a list of students eligible for this reduction. Because the consequences and changes due to the COVID-19 outbreak continue to be in flux, we will wait until the end of the term to apply the reduction in charges onto accounts. This will ensure we are applying the credit accurately for all who qualify.

If this reduction in charges results in a credit balance on your student account, the credit will automatically roll forward to help cover Fall 2020 costs. If you are graduating or not returning to NCU in the fall, then we will send a refund check for the credit balance. Additionally, any student who would like to receive their credit balance in the form of a refund check will be able to request one at the end of the term. For students who still owe a balance after the recalculation, the refunded amount will simply reduce the amount due to North Central.

If you receive a housing scholarship, such as resident assistants, room hosts, etc., please note that your room charges are already paid for by North Central. Therefore, you will only be receiving a reduction in your meal plan costs.

For those students living in the apartments, your recalculation of rent will only be calculated if and when you officially check out and move out of your apartment. Otherwise, at this time, the apartments remain open and you are welcome to stay.

Chapel

We are pleased to be able to offer resources for your spiritual growth and connections with the NCU community during this season of a virtual learning environment. There will be a new chapel experience available each day at 11 a.m. on North Central’s YouTube channel. Virtual chapel is for those who want to take time during their day and worship and have a shared experience with the NCU community—even if people watch it at different times of the day. Attendance will not be taken for this virtual chapel experience, but we look forward to serving those who want to participate.

Campus Access

On March 25, 2020, Governor Tim Walz issued a Stay at Home Order, in effect from March 27 through April 10. As a result of this, the following items have been communicated via email to affected community members:

  • Residential students planning to move their belongings off campus will now need to pick them up by 8 p.m. on Friday, March 27. After this time, you will not have access to campus until April 10, at the earliest, providing the Stay at Home Order is lifted at that time. Please schedule a time for check-out with Student Development.
  • Residential students who have been approved to stay on campus may continue to remain but will need to limit off-campus movement according to the guidelines attached to the Stay at Home Order. Students who had planned to stay but now wish to change their plans need to notify Student Development and be moved out by Friday, March 27 at 8 p.m.
  • Effective immediately, ALL access to campus is only through the Miller Hall entrance by Campus Safety and Security. After Friday at 5 p.m., admittance to campus will be given only to those students and employees on the designated lists. Exceptions will be rare and will need to be cleared in advance with Security.

Library

The library building will be closed from Tuesday, March 17 through the end of the academic year. Although our physical resources will be less accessible, there are lots of ways the library can still assist you during this time:

We have a great collection of online databases, free access to some textbooks, eBooks, and other web-based resources through our Library Website. If you need any research help or assistance navigating our online resources, reach out to reference@northcentral.edu and we will be happy to help.

Though we won’t be able to process Interlibrary Loan requests for physical items, we will still be processing electronic Interlibrary Loans. If you have any questions or would like help requesting an article via ILL, please reach out to interlibraryloan@northcentral.edu.

If you currently have items checked out (equipment, books, DVDs) that will be due before you return to campus, send an email to circdesk@northcentral.edu and we will change your due date.

If you have any other general questions, reach out to circdesk@northcentral.edu and we will respond to you as promptly as we can.

We highly encourage that you follow us on Instagram at @nculibrary and follow TJ Jones Library on Facebook to make sure you catch any updates and resources that we post there. We’ll also be doing some fun online activities on these sites!

RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS
  • Students who have been approved this week to remain on campus may continue to do so.
  • Those who stay on campus will have access to essential campus services, including food services. The food service schedule is:
    • Monday – Friday:
      • Breakfast: 8-9 a.m.
        Lunch: 12-1 p.m.
        Dinner: 5-6 p.m
    • Saturday:
      • Lunch: 12-1 p.m.
        Dinner: 5-6 p.m
    • Sunday:
      • Dinner: 5-6 p.m.
  • All other students and students who are not approved to remain on campus will be expected to return home or make arrangements to stay off campus for the remainder of the academic year.
  • All other students and students who are not approved to remain on campus will be expected to return home or make arrangements to stay off campus.
  • Residential students will receive email communication from Student Development with instructions for a move-out/check-out process.
  • The Senior Leadership Team continues to evaluate a prorated refund for room and board charges, and we will communicate details as soon as we finalize the plan.
  • Residence Life personnel will be on call at all times.
STUDENT EMPLOYMENT
  • Unless you have been contacted by your supervisor to work, student jobs have been suspended for the remainder of the semester.
CAMPUS HEALTH AND SAFETY
  • Students who are approved to remain on campus will be asked to follow stringent guidelines for health and disease prevention in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Specific instructions will be provided by Residence Life staff.
  • Students remaining on campus must enter campus through the Miller Hall east doors by the Security office, regardless of residence location.
  • The Campus Safety and Security Office will remain open 24 hours/day. Call 612.343.4445 to access services.
TRAVEL
  • Students remaining on campus should notify Student Development of any travel activity outside of the Twin Cities.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
  • All spring athletics are suspended for the duration of the season.
  • All campus activities and events are canceled for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Residence Life staff will work with students on campus to provide services and activities on a limited basis.
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AND PREVENTION

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear between 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms include fever, coughing and trouble breathing. If you suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, it is recommended you call your doctor, local clinic or ER before going.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

Your health care provider will ask you about your symptoms, recent travel and contact with sick people. If your health care provider suspects you may have COVID-19, he or she will work with the local public health department and CDC for testing. The diagnosis is currently determined by a nasal and throat swab and/or a sputum culture.

How is COVID-19 treated?

As a rapidly emerging infectious disease, scientists are currently researching COVID-19 and working to develop a vaccine. Treatment currently focuses on supportive care designed to help your body fight the virus. Supportive care may include self-isolation, pain relief and rest. If symptoms are severe, patients may need hospital care, IV fluids and oxygen.

Am I at risk for COVID-19?

While cases of the illness have recently increased in the U.S., most people have a relatively low risk for infection. You are at an elevated risk if:

  • You recently traveled to an area with a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Had contact with a sick person who recently traveled to an area affected by a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with or may have COVID-19.

Can COVID-19 be prevented?

The best prevention is to not have contact with the virus. Avoid traveling to countries where there are current COVID-19 outbreaks. You can find the most current information regarding travel advisories on the CDC website.  Since COVID-19 has arrived in the United States and Minnesota, social distancing is being recommended as a mitigation strategy. This is a part of the reason for our efforts to reduce the number of individuals on campus. The best preventative measures are those you should take for every respiratory illness and consider everyday habits; this includes:

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is one of the easiest, most effective ways to reduce the spread of viral infections. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick. If you are sick, avoid others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or sleeve. If you use a tissue, immediately throw it away.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects.
  • Stay home if you are ill.
EXTERNAL RESOURCES

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following websites:

 

Connectivity

FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.

Questions about information on this page may be directed to emergencymanagement@northcentral.edu.