General FAQ (GBC COMMUNITY)
1. What is the PROTECT GBC pledge?
Being part of the GBC Community comes with a special responsibility. It means caring for one another while taking the extraordinary steps to stay well and persistently protect one another. Whether we are on campus or out in the community, we are accountable for one another's safety. The College asks all members of the GBC Community, including students, faculty and staff, to pledge to the following:
- I pledge to protect myself
- I pledge to protect others
- I pledge to protect our Goldey-Beacom community
2. What preparation has been made by GBC to handle COVID-19?
Goldey-Beacom College continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety, and well-being of its faculty, staff, and students. As a result of these uncertain and troubling times, the College has created a Return-To-Campus Taskforce. Based on its recommendations and federal, state and industry guidance, continue to adapt our policies and procedures to welcome our employees and students back to campus in the fall of 2021 with the confidence that our facilities are clean and safe.
As a result, the College has established several strategies to protect the members of our campus community and continue to develop more policies, which may not be listed below. We are committed to enforcing the following:
- Requiring vaccination for all students attending classes on campus, or utilizing campus resources in person
- Supporting maintenance staff with the proper supplies needed to clean and disinfect facilities
- Investing in technology to protect employees from COVID-19, e.g. ionization system for HVAC
- Requiring mandatory daily employee health self-assessment checks
- Requiring masks or face coverings on campus for unvaccinated students, staff, faculty and visitors
- Encouraging proper personal hygiene to promote frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers
- Practicing social distancing (three feet for vaccinated and six feet for unvaccinated members of the GBC community)
- Increasing frequency of cleaning and disinfecting workspaces and common areas on campus (as recommended by the CDC)
- Revising employee lunch and breaks policy to promote social distancing
- Encouraging staggered shifts
- Committing to frequent communications with employees and students
- Creating a Crisis Response Plan, in case COVID-19 occurs on campus
- Providing special employee accommodations for employees who fall in the vulnerable populations and are considered high-risk
- Modifying entrance to buildings and foot traffic
- Training for employees about new policies and protocols
- Monitoring the mental health and well-being of employees who may be anxious and concerned about these unsettling times
- Making hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available throughout campus
- Appointing a COVID-19 Liaison, Leilani Decena-Shepherd, to respond to employee and student concerns about safety and personal issues
3. What has the College done to sanitize the campus?
The College has been completely sanitized in preparation for the return of students, staff, faculty, and guests. Daily routine cleaning will continue as recommended by CDC and OSHA guidelines with follow-up selective sanitizing and disinfecting to areas that are deemed high traffic. The HVAC systems in all buildings are being outfitted with GPS Needlepoint Ionization which targets COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses and kills them within a 30-minute timeframe. All offices and classrooms have been provided with sanitizing buckets filled with wipes for surfaces and hands for office and desk use. Instant hand sanitizer stations have been placed at the entrances of all buildings and instant hand sanitizer gel pumps are located in all offices that service the public for public use.
4. What technology improvements will be implemented for online learning?
Several Learning Management Systems (LMS) were purchased this spring and faculty will be trained on them this summer. These enhancements will make the existing LMS more effective for teaching and student learning, allowing faculty to do more online. They are:
CourseArc is a content authoring and management tool that facilitates the collaborative creation of engaging and accessible online learning.
Panopto is a video management system the enables the GBC Community to securely centralize and stream videos that are created in a central repository. It automatically closed captions videos. It automatically ingests Zoom lectures.
Prezi is a centralized content creation platform that will cover any content situation, including presentations, video and design. Faculty will be able to build content that will be most effective for their class. Prezi content is delivered via Panopto.
The College has also joined Quality Matters, a nationally recognized, faculty-driven peer-review process used to ensure the quality of online and blended course design. QM standards were developed and revised based on research and established standards in the fields of instructional design and online learning. Utilizing these standards will strengthen GBC's online and blended courses to facilitate student learning. It will also provide a degree of standardization so that the virtual presence of courses is similar to students. Instructors will still be able to tailor their courses to their own unique style.
5. What decisions have been made about the Fall Semester 2021?
The Fall 2021 Calendar has been finalized, and we are hoping that nothing will necessitate changing it. Fall 2021 will consist of a 15-week semester with two 7-week sessions contained within the 15-week semester. It will start August 23 and end December 11, 2021.
Saturday classes for the graduate program will begin on August 28, 2021.
Undergraduate courses will be offered in three formats. In-person courses will meet twice weekly for daytime classes and once weekly for evening classes. Hybrid courses will meet twice weekly, every other week, for daytime classes, and once every other week for evening classes. Online courses will take place 100% online.
Graduate courses will be offered in both the hybrid format and online format. Dates and times for hybrid courses can be found on Campus Web when scheduling classes.
All classes meet in classrooms that have been furnished for social distancing and a plexi-glass barrier has been erected between the presenter and the audience.
6. Will events go on as normal this fall?
Large gatherings and events will follow all state guidelines and mandates restricting crowd size and social distancing. Please contact the Student Affairs or the Alumni Office for specific event details.
NCAA Division II athletics--All athletic teams will have regular practice and competitions in the fall semester. No restrictions will apply unless state or federal regulations change.
7. Why is the College requiring students to be vaccinated?
COVID-19 is a serious, highly infectious, and potentially fatal respiratory disease, and although COVID-19 transmission has slowed in the United States, it still poses a significant threat to colleges and universities. COVID-19 vaccinations provide critical health protection and help protect our larger Goldey-Beacom College Community, moving us closer to herd immunity, limiting potential COVID-19 outbreaks, and influencing the degree to which we can resume normal campus activities in the fall.
8. Once I'm fully vaccinated, do I have to keep wearing a mask and continue to practice social distancing?
No. Fully vaccinated students will not be required to wear a mask on campus, except for rare occasions in which an event's crowd size or density requires masking by state or federal guidance. At this time, the CDC does not require any social distancing for fully vaccinated people, but the State of Delaware currently has a three-foot social distance rule in affect. Therefore, the College will follow the State's policies and require three-foot social distancing for fully vaccinated students until this requirement is lifted. Students with vaccine exemptions will be required to wear a mask indoors and outdoors, and maintain six-foot social distancing.
9. How do I prove I have been vaccinated?
The College is partnering with ChristianaCare GoHealth Urgent Care to collect vaccination information from students. Please watch for an email from our student health and wellness partner on July 12, 2021, for instructions regarding the submission of your vaccination records.
10. What if I simply don’t want to get vaccinated?
Please know the College will work with you to find online classes to keep you safely at home as you continue to make academic progress. Library resources are available online, and all campus offices are equipped with Zoom capability, as well as phone and email communication. As we learned in 2020, before vaccines were available, academic progress can be made while working and studying remotely. Unvaccinated students will not be permitted on campus. If you choose to remain unvaccinated, please check in with your Advisor as soon as possible so your schedule for the fall semester can be adjusted.
11. I have already contracted COVID-19. Do I need to be vaccinated as well?
Students who have already contracted COVID-19 should consult their primary care physician to determine if prior exposure qualifies them for a medical exemption. The College requires a medical professional to make such a determination.
12. I am fully vaccinated, but I am not comfortable being in a classroom or office without a mask on. May I continue wearing a mask even if I am vaccinated?
Absolutely yes! Any member of the community or visitor who feels more comfortable masking should continue to do so. This is a personal decision and should not be interpreted as an indication of anyone’s vaccination, medical or exemption status. Furthermore, if you sense someone is more comfortable around people who are masked, please approach these personal decisions with care and compassion. All are encouraged to carry masks, even while on campus, in case you encounter a situation that warrants wearing a mask.
13. I decided late that I wish to study at Goldey-Beacom College. I am not yet vaccinated. May I still begin my studies in the fall semester?
Yes. Prior to scheduling classes, you will need to obtain your first vaccine immediately. Once proof of an initial vaccine is submitted, you may attend classes while masked and practice six-foot social distancing until you meet the criteria for "fully vaccinated" status.
14. I am an international student from a country in which the vaccine is not readily available. May I still attend classes in the fall?
Yes. Upon arrival in the U.S., you will need to obtain your first vaccine immediately. Once proof of an initial vaccine is submitted, you may attend classes while masked and practice six-foot social distancing until you meet the criteria for "fully vaccinated" status.