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COVID-19 Information

Updates from Clark

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Past Updates from Clark

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are key questions related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We will continue to share updates and information directly with the campus community via email as new information about COVID-19 emerges.

In parentheses after the questions below, we have inserted the most recent date at which the content of each answer was updated.

Table of Contents

CARES Act Funding

For questions related to emergency funding through the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, please visit our CARES Act page.

COVID-19 Precautions and Exposure

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has set up a website to help you determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19, and where you can go to be tested.

If you are a student, during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) call (do not visit) University Health Services at 1-508-793-7467. After Health Services’ regular business hours, please take these steps:

  1. Call University Police at 508-793-7575. University Police will advise you of a plan of care developed in conjunction with Health Services.
  2. Refrain from contacting the doctor on call for information about COVID-19.
  3. If you are in need of medical care unrelated to COVID-19 symptoms and cannot wait unto Health Services is open, contact the covering doctor at 508-793-8830.

If you are a faculty or staff member:

  1. Immediately contact your healthcare provider. Do not come to work.
  2. If at work, leave work immediately.
  3. Follow CDC guidelines.
  4. Inform your manager in accordance with University and departmental policy.
  5. Call Human Resources to alert them to your situation: 508-793-7294.
  6. For staff, complete your biweekly timesheet and/or monthly leave reports using available sick time.
  7. Only return to work when healthy and free of fever for at least 24 hours.

Should a laboratory confirm that an individual on Clark’s campus has tested positive for COVID-19, University Health Services will work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to identify and contact anyone who may have come into close contact with the affected person. The University will provide all close contacts with detailed CDC and DPH information on related healthcare and monitoring, testing and isolation procedures.

Should any students believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask them to immediately call (not visit) University Health Services at 508-793-7467 during regular business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.).

After hours or on weekends, please take these steps:

  1. Call University Police at 508-793-7575. University Police will advise you of a plan of care developed in conjunction with Health Services.
  2. Refrain from contacting the Health Services doctor on call for information about COVID-19.
  3. If you are in need of medical care unrelated to COVID-19 symptoms and cannot wait unto Health Services is open, contact the covering doctor at 508-793-8830.

Should any faculty or staff believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, we ask them to take the following two steps immediately:

  1. Call (not visit) their healthcare professional.
  2. Immediately call (not visit) University Health Services at 1-508-793-7467.

This information comes from the CDC website:

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website..
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The CDC lists the symptoms for coronavirus (COVID-19) as:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.

If you are a student and you are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during regular business hours (M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.), please call Health Services at 1-508-793-7467. But after Health Services’ regular business hours, please take these steps:

  1. Call University Police at 508-793-7575. University Police will advise you of a plan of care developed in conjunction with Health Services.
  2. Refrain from contacting the doctor on call for information about COVID-19.
  3. If you are in need of medical care unrelated to COVID-19 symptoms and cannot wait unto Health Services is open, contact the covering doctor at 508-793-8830.

Should any faculty or staff believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms, we ask them to take the following two steps immediately:

  1. Call (not visit) their healthcare professional.
  2. Immediately call (not visit) University Health Services at 1-508-793-7467.

Events: Commencement, Athletics, and Alumni

We welcome students, family members, friends, and the rest of the Clark community to join our virtual Commencement on Sunday, May 24, at 12 noon (EDT).

We plan to hold an on-campus, face-to-face celebration of 2020 graduates this fall — or whenever such gatherings are safe.

For more information, visit the Commencement website.

We will mail diplomas to graduates after the May 24 online Commencement event. The mailing will include several copies of the traditional Commencement program, which contains a complete listing of all graduates, their honors and other details.

For now, Clark University has suspended all Admissions campus visits and events. We are still conducting online interviews for prospective undergraduate students who are interested in applying to Clark next fall. We already have many virtual options in place, but we are continuing to add even more virtual ways to get to know Clark on a regular basis. Visit the Virtual Visits for updates.

We also recommend that prospective students take our virtual tour and join ZeeMee, a social media platform for current Clarkies and prospective students.

Clark has cancelled all alumni events hosted by the University anywhere off campus. The University also has prohibited staff — including our Alumni and Friends staff — or faculty to travel off campus on University business except for rare exceptions.

Students: Living, Summer Funding, Work

Earlier this spring, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker closed non-essential businesses and issued a stay-at-home advisory. These actions are vital to our community’s efforts to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and mitigate demands on our health care system.

The adjustments we have made in campus operations will continue for now:

  • The Registrar, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Career Connections Center, Academic Support Services, and other offices in the ASEC building will provide services online only during regular business hours.
  • These offices will continue to be available to students during regular business hours, all by card access only:
    • Higgins University Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
    • The Academic Commons is open noon to 8 p.m. daily.
    • Jonas Clark Hall is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • All other buildings are locked and are only open to those with designated card access.
  • Undergraduate students remaining on campus have been re-located to Blackstone Hall, where the students have access to kitchens in their apartments. Student Council maintains a food bank for non-perishable items in the Rosenblatt Conference Room, University Center.
  • University Police are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached at 508-793-7575.
  • Clark student escort service is operating out of the Academic Commons from noon to 8 p.m. daily.
  • The ITS Help Desk is available online.
  • Whether you are on the Clark campus or at home, please continue to follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, hand washing, and other preventative health measures.

International Students

Effective Wednesday, April 1, the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO)has suspended in-office services to protect the health and wellbeing of staff and students alike.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the U.S. agency overseeing the F1 visa program, has issued new guidance permitting school officials to email I-20s to the student address listed in SEVIS, which will make the transition to providing comprehensive remote services possible.

All services will be provided remotely. If you have an immigration question or concern, please send an email, and someone will get back to you right away.

We will continue to provide a full range of services from a distance as indicated below:

  • Advising Appointments: Available by appointment with an adviser on Microsoft Teams or other videoconferencing platform
  • Email: Professional staff will check the ISSO inbox <href=”mailto:isso@clarku.edu” aria-label=”Email the International Students and Scholars Office”>isso@clarku.edu< Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, all staff will be checking their email regularly to answer your questions and set up virtual appointments as needed:
  • OPT Processing: OPT processing and I-20 issuance will continue. Students are responsible for mailing their applications directly to USCIS and for all processing fees, including the cost to have their I-20 with OPT request sent to them through eShip Global. If you wish, you can schedule a 15-minute virtual meeting with Abigail Nolan (abnolan@clarku.edu) to discuss your OPT application. Please allow approximately five business days for processing. If you have already applied for OPT, the ISSO will mail you any documents sent to our office.
  • Travel Signatures: If you require a travel signature, please email isso@clarku.edu. We will issue you a new I-20 with “travel” listed as the reprint reason and email the signed document to the email listed in your SEVIS record. If you required a DS-2019 travel signature, we will send you a new DS-2019 via regular mail.
  • COVID-19 Travel Tracker: Please update us with your travel plans so we can better assist you. If your plans change, you should submit the form again: Clark’s International Student Travel Tracking Form

Please contact ISSO at isso@clarku.edu or 508-793-7362 to discuss the risks to travel and OPT.

As long as you are maintaining your F-1 status, your CPT authorization will continue. However, you should work with your employer to determine whether it is still safe for you to report to your workplace or if you can make arrangements for remote work. Please contact ISSO at  isso@clarku.edu or 508-793-7362 to let us know if you will not be able to complete your CPT placement since in that case ISSO will need to adjust your I-20.

F-1 immigration regulations state that students may reenter the U.S. after a temporary absence of no more than five months. An exception to this rule exists for students who are enrolled in approved full-time study abroad. At this time, it is our understanding that given the recent guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, students who choose to return home and continue their studies online will be maintaining their student status even if they are outside of the U.S. for more than 5 months.

Keep in mind, however, that if you are not able to return to full-time study in the U.S. for the fall semester, requiring you to take a leave of absence, this may cause an interruption of your F-1 student status. In this case, you may require a new I-20 and you would not be eligible to apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT) until you have been in the U.S. in F-1 student status for two full semesters.

You will receive communication from the ISSO throughout the summer and we encourage you to contact us to discuss your individual situation.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has waived restrictions for international students completing their coursework in an online format. Clark’s International Student and Scholars Office (ISSO) is contacting international students directly for further guidance about their immigration status.

Counseling Services

During the summer while we are still dealing with COVID-19, the Center for Counseling and Personal Growth (CPG) is closed to students seeking counseling appointments.

However, we can help connect you to mental health support and therapists through CPG After Hours, a telephonic support service.

Please note that:

  • CPG After Hours is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
  • The service can be used by students regardless of where they live; students from different states and countries may use this service.
  • Students can reach a therapist at CPG After Hours by calling CPG at (508) 793-7678 and selecting Option 2.

Therapy and Student Health Insurance

For the duration of the Massachusetts health emergency, the student health insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) has waived co-pays and deductibles for all mental health-covered services for therapists who are conducting therapy through a telehealth platform.

There are several resources you use to find a therapist in your community, including the Psychology Today Therapist Finder tool (which searches by Zip code in the United States and by town or postal code in 15+ other countries) and your insurance company’s provider search tool.

If you need additional help in locating a therapist, please contact CPG at counseling@clarku.edu, and a staff member can assist you.

Questions During the Summer? Contact Us

The staff at CPG wish you a summer of safety and health and look forward to seeing everyone when it is safe to do so.  If you need any assistance during the summer, please feel free to contact the counseling center (counseling@clarku.edu) or the director, Megan Kersting, at mkersting@clarku.edu.

This public health crisis has ushered in a time of uncertainty, chaos, and a way of life that is far from what we have been used to. It is incredibly normal to experience increased worry, stress, and emotions during this time.

Here are some tips for how to navigate this difficult time.

  • Monitor incoming information: There is a lot of information about the virus constantly coming our way. It is important to seek out reliable information. You can stay informed with the information coming from sources and websites of the CDC, World Health Organization, and Clark University. However, it is critical to have some distance from the barrage of incoming information. Take some time away from the news reports and social media to avoid information overload and increases in panic.
  • Focus on what you can control: It is easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But there are things you can do to help contribute to your health and the health of the public. Those prevention practices that the CDC recommends, including frequent, thorough handwashing and other precautions covered on this COVID-19 Information page under “COVID-19 Precautions and Exposure.”
  • Create some structure: When our day-to-day activities are disrupted, the lack of structure in our daily life can be a challenge. Even if you are staying at home, try to establish some sort of routine and schedule for your days. Perhaps try setting regular times to wake up and go to sleep and plan your days to have structured time blocks for meal times, coursework, hobbies, phone/video contact, etc.
  • Isolating physically, does not mean isolating emotionally: It is important to still engage with friends and family during this time, even if that means remotely. Humans are social creatures, and we need one another, particularly in uncertain or stressful times. Get creative with technology and take active steps to connect with your support network regularly.
  • Move your body: Research has shown the incredible impact exercise has on mental and emotional well-being. In this time, a lot of free fitness and yoga resources have been cropping up online. Take time to each day to move your body and get your heart pumping. It will help!
  • Get outside: If you live somewhere where you have access to non-crowded nature spaces, try to get outside. Time outdoors has been shown to help improve your mood.
  • Reach into the coping skills toolbox: Now is an especially important time to make self-care a priority. Use coping skills that have worked for you in the past and try adding some new ones. Engage in breathing exercises, mindfulness and meditation practices, calming rituals, journaling, coloring or other artistic acts, and hobbies you enjoy.
  • Stay connected to Clark’s resources: Despite the physical distance, we are still a community. Be on the lookout for information coming from Clark about efforts to support you. One weekly resource to check out is Wellness Wednesdays on IGTV of our Instagram account: @clark_cpg).  Erica Beachy, director of wellness education, will be publishing short 10-minute videos leading you through a relaxation or grounding technique.
  • Seek therapeutic help and support: It is important to recognize that individuals may respond quite differently to this crisis, but some common reactions may include worry or fear about your own or loved ones’ health status, fluctuations in mood, disruptions to your sleep or eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems, or increased use of alcohol or other substances. If you find yourself experiencing any of these or other reactions that concern you, reach out to CPG at counseling@clarku.edu for support. We can help give guidance for mental health treatment during this time.

Adapted from:  American Psychological Association: “Five Ways to View Coverage of the Coronavirus”

Yes. Check out these resources:

  • Clark University Police: Extension 7575 on campus or 508-793-7575 off campus
  • UMASS Memorial Medical Center Emergency Mental Health (EMH) Services: 508-344-3562
  • Community Healthlink Mental Health Emergency Hotline: 1-866-549-2142
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE
  • Samaritans: 1-877-870-4673
  • Pathways for Change 24-hour hotline (sexual assault): 1-800-870-5905
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “GO” to 741-741

Faculty and staff members seeking assistance may call the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-828-6025.

COVID-19 and Clark Operations

The work arrangements for employees deemed essential will continue as previously communicated to you through your department head. We are especially grateful to all of you who are working to keep the essential services of the University functioning.

Non-essential employees should not come to campus and should work from home where possible. Please follow the guidance provided by the Office of Human Resource on recording COVID-19 related absences on administrative leave reports and timecards.

Many campus buildings will remain closed or have limited hours as previously announced. Faculty and staff have access to offices, laboratories, and designated classrooms to perform essential services and conduct their courses.

Clark Facilities Management has added custodial staff on both weekday and weekend shifts and increased the frequency with which normal cleaning procedures are conducted from once per day to two to three times per day. This includes the cleaning and disinfection of hard surfaces, hard floors, and “hot spots”: common areas, bathrooms, classrooms, and the gym and fitness areas.

How is the University organizing its response to COVID-19? (March 5)

Clark has formed a COVID-19 Response Team, which is comprised of senior administrators representing every area of the University and is closely monitoring developments in this rapidly changing situation. As needed, it will implement procedures and protocols that can help safeguard the health and well-being of the campus community. The members are: (Chair) Paul Wykes, chief budget officer; Francy Magee, dean of students; Betsy Huang, dean of the college; Robin McNally, director of health services; John Labrie, dean of professional studies; Daniel Roderick, director of facilities management; David Everitt, director of human resources; Alissa Kramer, director of study abroad; Anthony Penny, business and auxiliary services manager; Kate Sawicki, director of residential life and housing; Jim Keogh, assistant vice president for marketing and communications; Stephen Goulet, chief of police; and Michael Newmark, general manager of dining services.

Clark continues to monitor travel advisories and health information from a variety of sources, including the World Health Organization,  U.S. Department of State, CDC, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. We will adjust University policies and plans as needed based on advisories and recommendations from those agencies.

Employee Guidance

Yes, to every extent that can be done without interfering with the University’s critical obligations to students and others during this time. The University is providing department heads and managers with information about the types of operational matters that they should evaluate with their offices in these deliberations as well as flexible work options that include, among others, flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, changes in standard work schedules, a condensed workweek and other options. These decisions are subject to the approval of the relevant supervisor or vice president in each department, depending on the request.

Many functions of the University cannot be done remotely without interfering with critical obligations to students or others. Therefore, a top priority of department heads and managers is to guide where relevant the development of flexible work plans that enable offices to do so. Options include, for example, changes in standard work schedules, a condensed workweek and other options that HR has provided to department heads. These decisions are subject to the approval of the relevant supervisor or vice president in each department, depending on the request. The University will prioritize the health and well-being of our employees and strives to balance that imperative with its obligation to meet the needs of students and others who depend upon Clark.

If that arrangement is approved by the relevant supervisor or vice president in your department, depending on the request, follow these steps:

  • In consultation with your manager, identify priority work and projects, including any deadline-driven responsibilities.
  • In addition, if telecommuting is part of your flexible work arrangement:
    • Make sure you have access to the minimum requirements necessary for telecommuting, namely (a) a computer with access to the internet and your Clark email account and (b) a phone.
    • Refer to Clark’s ITS Business Continuity Guide for help setting up a remote workstation on the computer(s) you will use for this work.
    • Arrange with your manager a temporary schedule for regular check-ins.
    • Review your telecommuting arrangements with your manager on a weekly basis and make any necessary adjustments based on University direction.
    • Continue to comply with University employee guidelines and policies while working off campus.
    • Note that non-exempt employees who are telecommuting are expected to abide by wage and hour laws and submit time sheets accurately and in compliance with University policy.

Such flexible work arrangements might include, as examples:

  • Shift the start and end time of your workday.
  • Condense your regular working hours into fewer days (e.g., 35 hours in four days, 40 hours in four days).
  • Work from home for part of the day and come into the office for part of the day.

Such decisions are subject to the approval of the relevant supervisor or vice president in each department, depending on the request. See additional related information in these FAQs.

If your child’s school is closed for an extended period, you should discuss the possibility of a flexible work arrangement with the appropriate manager or supervisor in your office. See additional related information elsewhere in these FAQs.

Please review the FAQs on the COVID-19 website closely, and if you still have questions about related employee policies and procedures write HR@clarku.edu. All other questions about the University and the COVID-19 situation should be addressed to COVID-19-info@Clarku.edu.

Resources for Faculty

Faculty should follow Clark’s Academic Continuity Guide, which was created for faculty by our academic leadership and technology team. It will be updated as necessary to support the needs of Clark’s academic programs. As faculty use the guide, they should bring any related questions to their department chairs, who will coordinate with the Dean of the College, the graduate dean if relevant, and ITS to provide support on these matters.

In addition, faculty may find a wealth of resources on the Moodle site for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) (requires sign on via email address and password).

In addition to following the University’s Appropriate Use Policy, please take note of the policies and recommended practices below.

Privacy Policy

Zoom meetings (or any other remote conferencing service), and their corresponding recordings, including transcripts of chats and discussions, are considered “education records” and therefore covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

When sessions are being recorded, all participants will see a notification on their screen. It is a best practice, however, for faculty to announce their intention to record a session. Students’ participation in the session is an assumed consent to the recording. Recordings may not be made available to a wider audience, other than those officially participating in the course, without prior consent from the student.

If recordings will be subsequently made available to the class for review or a later playback, the recording should be accessible only to the members of the class through a valid means of authentication.

Recommended Practices

When recording Zoom class sessions, faculty will have two options: “record to your computer” or “record to the cloud.”

Clark Information Technology Services recommends “record to the cloud.” This will save the class’ recordings to Panopto, Clark’s internal video streaming service. By default, those recordings will be available only to the faculty member teaching the class. However, the faculty member can easily move those recordings from their private Panopto folder to their Course Panopto folder. Therefore, they can protect students’ privacy by restricting these recordings to only those enrolled in the course, and make them easily available in Moodle. Learn how to move recordings in Panopto.

The faculty member should control who has permission to record the session. Recording should be limited to the host of the session to ensure proper reposting. Students should not use any other forms of technologies to independently record remote sessions.

Restricting access only to students registered for the class applies to recordings that include student images and/or voice and written comments.

Faculty are free to post videos of themselves on more public sites (e.g., Youtube) provided there are no references, images, or comments by or about specific students.

Library staff are continuing to update online holdings with publisher/vendor offers as well as trials for streaming video services. Faculty can find links to open collections, trial databases, and more updated library services in the Goddard Library’s Academic Continuity Guide.

In addition, faculty might want to explore:

  • Support from reference librarians: Virtual help is available, and librarians can consult with students, offer research help, and even “visit” classes through Zoom. Reach out to librarians via email, or through other options on the Goddard Library Online Help page.
  • Kanopy streaming video service: Videos available through Kanopy may be licensed for classroom use at a rate of $100 per title (this is the COVID-19 discount rate; the fee is typically $150 per title).
  • The library community’s list “Vendor Love in the Time of COVID-19.” Clark also is working with vendors to make resources available through the library’s Discovery Service and A-Z List of Databases. If faculty become aware of additional resources not yet on the “Vendor Love” list, please reach out to the Goddard Library staff.

In addition to this page’s Frequently Asked Questions covering Academic Policies and Guides, Research Policies, and more, faculty can find all of the emails collected on a special COVID-19 Moodle site managed by the Provost’s Office (requires sign on via email address and password).

Classes, Academic Policies, and Guidelines

Yes. Due to the anticipated high volume of requests for Incompletes, we have streamlined the process this spring:

Step 1

Students should apply directly to their faculty with their requests for an incomplete; students do not need to meet first with the Offices of the Dean of Students or Academic Advising to obtain confirmation of a medical or personal challenge.

If a student prefers not to share private information about a personal or medical situation with their faculty, they can email dos@clarku.edu with a detailed account of the situation, including supporting documentation if appropriate. A member of the Office of the Dean of Students or Dean of the College will reach back out, making a follow-up meeting when needed.

Below is the process.

Step 2

The student or professor emails the Incomplete form to the Chair of College Board:

  • The student fills out the top of the Incomplete form (note: form is a fillable one)
  • The student emails the form to their professor, or just an email to the professor, requesting an Incomplete. Student and professor may converse about this.
  • If the professor agrees to the Incomplete, the professor fills out their portion of the form and emails the form to Dean Jennifer Plante, Chair of College Board, at JPlante@clarku.edu. Alternatively, the professor can email the Chair of College Board, affirming that they agree to the Incomplete and notifying the Chair of what work needs to be completed.

Yes. Seniors have the option of taking an Incomplete in courses this spring and deferring their graduation until August.

 

In light of the recent decision to move classes online for the rest of the semester and to give faculty and undergraduate students time to transition to this new model, we are delaying the advising and registration period by two weeks.

The delay does not apply to graduate students in the School of Management or School of Professional Studies. Registration for those graduate students for the fall term remains July 7.

The delay in advising and registration only applies to:

  • Current undergraduate and graduate students in Arts and Sciences, including International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)
  • Undergraduate students in the School of Professional Studies (SPS)

Course grids opened on March 18, and advising began Monday, March 30. Registration now begins April 14, according to student’s level and/or class (see schedule in the FAQ below). Web-registration will open at 11 a.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) to help accommodate students in different time zones.

  • ARTS/SCI continuing graduate students (including non-resident students):Monday, April 13 (11 a.m.)
  • ARTS/SCI continuing undergraduate students
    • Senior class for registration purposes: Tuesday, April 14 (11 a.m.)
    • Junior class for registration purposes:  Thursday, April 16 (11 a.m.)
    • Sophomore and first-year class for registration purposes: Monday, April 20 (11 a.m.)
  • School of Professional Studies continuing undergraduate students: Monday, April 13 (11 a.m.)
  • School of Management (SOM) graduate students:  Tuesday, July 7 (9 a.m.)
  • School of Professional Studies (SPS) graduate students: Tuesday, July 7 (9 a.m.)

Once students begin registering, web registration will remain open through the end of the fall semester’s add/drop period, Wednesday, Sept. 2, at 11:59 p.m.

Yes. Given the current uncertainty and the likelihood that the pandemic will continue to be disruptive through the late spring and into the summer, Clark University will offer all summer courses online (Summer I and Summer II). This decision provides a level of certainty for students participating in summer courses and provides the faculty time to more adequately prepare their courses for an online delivery. Clark’s traditional summer offering include courses from School of Management (SOM); International Development, Community, and Environment; School of Professional Studies (SPS); SPS-Undergraduate; Education; and American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI).

Academic Technology Services, under the leadership of Joanne Dolan, has launched a six-week course/program to help faculty get courses up and running for summer.  All faculty who will be teaching this summer whose courses have not yet been developed online have been asked to enroll in this course.

Courses in the American Language and Culture Institute will follow a modified online development model.

Details on Summer Session can be found at https://www.clarku.edu/schools/sps/programs/summer-session/.

Registration for summer courses at Clark begins on April 22 for all students:

  • Full Summer and Summer I Module: Wednesday, April 22, 11 a.m., to Wednesday, May 27, 11:59 p.m.
  • Summer II Module: Wednesday, April 22, 11 a.m., to Wednesday, July 15, 11:59 p.m.

To obtain their registration PIN (required every time a student accesses web-registration), students must communicate with their advisers via email, phone, or another electronic means. Advisers should communicate directly with advisees any special instructions or direction concerning how they wish to handle this process remotely.

PINS will continue to be released the same as always through faculty’s CUWeb advisee listing. Faculty can their advising listing by logging into their ClarkYOU account and clicking the “advising” link under CU Web.

Students have been told to email the course instructor if they need an over-ride for permission courses, a waiver of a pre-requisite, or any other restriction.  As usual, you can enter those over-rides directly via your CUWeb account.

As usual, all dates and course grids are available on the Courses and Schedules page of the Registrar’s web-site. The office will remain open and available to help faculty with any advising and registration questions. Please call 508-793-7426 or email registrar@clarku.edu. In addition, www.clarku.edu/registrar has faculty resource guides available for faculty to review (PIN release, overrides, etc.).

The Registrar’s Office will accept emails in place of any forms requiring signatures from faculty or department chairs.

In addition, faculty may submit forms as email attachments. Please use your ClarkU accounts and email registrar@clarku.edu.

As usual, majors should be declared by the end of a student’s sophomore year. If a student is a sophomore but still has not declared a major, they need to do so now or else they will not be able to register for classes.

Students should email the department/program chair of the major they wish to declare. If approved, the chair will email all the relevant information to the Registrar’s Office on the student’s behalf.

For any undergraduate student wishing to declare or add a major/minor/concentration, the receiving department should email registrar@clarku.edu with the student’s Name, ID, program declaring and who the new advisor will be.

It is important that this email comes from the program the student is entering. This is the only way the Registrar’s Office knows that the department has approved the student and can assign the appropriate adviser. This will reduce a lot of unnecessary back and forth emails.

The Registrar’s Office cannot process an email from a faculty adviser in another department. For example, a faculty advisor in biology informing us their undeclared advisee is declaring a major in English.  In this case, the email should come from the English Department.

Faculty advisers should encourage students to email the chair of the department/program they wish to enter.

Current juniors with at least 20 units earned were previously instructed to submit their Graduation Clearance Forms by March 23. The Graduation Clearance Form is available online. A fillable version was emailed to faculty on March 16 and also is available online.

The Registrar’s Office asks faculty to fill out and sign this form as they usually would when talking to students about fall courses.

After having met with all their advisees, faculty may forward the forms to the Registrar’s Office by the end of the semester.

A few key points:

  • At a later time, the Registrar’s Office will manage the minors, double majors, or concentrations the students are pursuing.
  • Faculty should fill in the top portion of the form, paying particular attention to the box specifying in which term the student plans to graduate (please ask the student). Faculty may want to speak to students instead of using email.
  • Faculty should gather as much information as they can now, rather than waiting until the fall.

Students should remember that the “P” grade neither helps nor hinders their GPA. A “P” or Pass will help to maintain a GPA but not improve it. An “F” grade issued for a Pass/Fail option, on the other hand, will be negatively factored into GPA calculations.

Consistent with our current practice, faculty will still be required to enter a letter grade that will be converted to P or F (unless the course has already been approved as Pass/Fail at the graduate level, where faculty may enter the P or F grades). A grade of C- or better is required for a Pass in all undergraduate courses. A grade of B- or better is required for a Pass in all graduate courses.

For undergraduate students, the Dean’s List criteria remain in effect: three units of graded coursework (including no grade lower than a B-, NR, NC, NS, and IN grades) and the applicable GPA.

The University will not provide or verify the letter grade submitted for students who select the Pass/Fail option.

Research Policies

Yes. Due to new and unforeseen risks of COVID-19 exposure, Clark University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) has temporarily suspended (or paused) all human subjects research at Clark University involving additional in-person interactions. “Additional in-person interactions” implies that participating in the research will cause people to come into additional personal contact with other people — including researchers, subjects or others.

This pause applies to all research conducted under Clark IRB approval that fits the above description, regardless of location (i.e., on or off campus). This includes multi-institutional (collaborative) research projects operating under Clark IRB approval. That is, if the project fits the above description and is operating under the oversight of Clark’s IRB, it is subject to this temporary suspension of activities.

If you are in doubt as to whether this temporary suspension applies to your project, please assume that it does apply unless instructed otherwise by the IRB.

Research subject to this temporary suspension includes, but is not limited to, activities such as:

  • In-person interviews or surveys (not conducted remotely)
  • Focus groups
  • Experiments requiring subjects to be present in person
  • All other activities with in-person contact between researchers and subjects, regardless of how “close” these additional in-person interactions might be (e.g., six feet apart)

Yes. The temporary suspension does not apply to:

  1. Interactions conducted remotely — such as via Skype, Zoom or telephone — that cause no additional in-person contact involving subjects.
  2. Surveys or data collection conducted online, via telephone/mail, or using other remote methods.
  3. Circumstances wherein the researchers and subjects will already be in identical degrees of in-person contact regardless of the research taking place. An example would be in-school classroom observations during regular classroom activities, where observations are conducted by a teacher who would be present in the classroom regardless of whether the research takes place. For this exception to apply, researchers must submit a request to the IRB; the waiver request is explained in the FAQ below.
  4. Data analysis from human subjects interactions that have already taken place — and hence require no further in-person contact.
  5. Other types of human subjects research that can be conducted without in-person contact.

Researchers conducting in-person research that they believe falls under exception No. 3 (outlined in the above FAQ: in-person research that will not cause additional in-person contact) must submit a formal request to continue this research during the pause.

No in-person (i.e., face-to-face) research of any type is allowed during the pause without explicit prior approval of the IRB.

Submit requests, along with clear explanation and justification (and the original IRB protocol number), to humansubjects@clarku.edu.

We will process these requests as soon as possible.

Researchers may request a waiver of this in-person suspension under particular circumstances, which will be reviewed by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) on a case-by-case basis. There is no specific form that must be completed. Submit these requests via email, along with clear explanation and justification, to humansubjects@clarku.edu.

All requests must include the original IRB protocol number and previously approved proposal (as an attachment).

Cases in which waivers might be granted include:

  1. Research for which the researchers can demonstrate clearly that the benefits of continued in-person interactions outweigh the risk due to COVID-19. Except in rare cases, these waivers will not apply to most types of social and behavioral research conducted at Clark.
  2. Research for which the researchers can demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the proposed in-person interactions will not increase the probability and magnitude of harm from COVID-19. (The IRB cannot currently envision cases where this would apply at Clark, but is leaving this option open to address unforeseen circumstances.)
  3. Other research for which the researcher can present a clear and compelling reason why in-person interactions need to occur or continue as part of the project. (The IRB cannot currently envision cases where this would apply at Clark, but is leaving this option open to address unforeseen circumstances.)

Yes. The IRB encourages researchers to request a formal modification of their research protocols so that research can continue via remote means.

To do so:

  • Submit these modification requests via email, along with clear explanation and justification, to humansubjects@clarku.edu.
  • Include the original IRB protocol.
  • Attach your previously approved proposal with “tracked changes” (preferred) or highlights to identify the modifications to your original protocol that are requested in order to allow research to continue during the suspension. For example, interviews or even focus groups can potentially be held via remote platforms such as Skype or Zoom.

The IRB will review and approve these modification requests as soon as possible to enable research to continue.

As mentioned in the above FAQs, human subjects research that involves only remote data collection (e.g., via internet or telephone) does not require modification and can continue as originally approved by the IRB.

If you have questions about whether your research is subject to this mandated pause, please contact the IRB Chair, Robert Johnston, rjohnston@clarku.edu.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) will lift the temporary suspension as soon as conditions demonstrate that in-person research interactions will not place subjects or others at significantly increased risk due to COVID-19.

We understand that this will be difficult for many of us at Clark, and regret any disruption that this may cause. The IRB may issue updates to this policy as conditions dictate or to address questions as they arise.

Please address any questions regarding this policy to the IRB Chair, Robert Johnston, rjohnston@clarku.edu.

We realize that questions may arise concerning this policy. If in doubt, your affirmative duty as a researcher at Clark is to protect the rights and safety of your research subjects.

Travel, including Study Abroad

Clark University has suspended all study away for the fall 2020 semester, including:

  • All programs, international or domestic, virtual or in person.
  • Students who were requesting a Clark-facilitated foreign leave of absence.

Although this was a difficult decision, the University believes that student health and safety, academic continuity, and students’ on-campus Clark experience — whether physical or virtual — is paramount.

We announced this decision early, giving students time to plan, and taking into account these issues:

  • The uncertainty of conditions in various countries. Consular services, along with nonessential businesses and travel, have been suspended throughout the world. Therefore, many study abroad programs may not be viable.
  • The stability and resilience of study abroad organizations, which may not be able to provide a quality experience that would allow Clark students to achieve their academic and personal goals.
  • Fiscal prudence for our students and the University.
  • The unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and unanticipated effects from the pandemic.
  • The need for students’ academic predictability and planning, ensuring that:
    • Students have time to complete their fall 2020 course registration, possibly preventing any losses associated with nonrefundable expenses.
    • Students who have certain requirements have time to find suitable alternatives.

Students choosing to study outside of the Clark curriculum will have no University connection or support, including access to study abroad options through the University, international insurance, and pre-articulation of course credit.

Students may defer to a future semester or will be refunded their $100 application fee. The Study Abroad Office will follow up with students about next steps.

The Study Abroad Office is working with academic departments to find suitable alternatives so that students can meet study abroad requirements. Students are encouraged to be in touch with their advisers.

Yes. All non-essential University travel, both within the United States and internationally, is canceled effective immediately. The standard for exceptions will be extremely high.  If staff seek exceptions, they should contact their area vice president. If faculty seek exceptions, they should contact the provost. This prohibition will proceed at least through summer 2020. Further announcements will be made if this timeline is extended.

Have More Questions?

If you have other questions not addressed by the information above, please email those questions to COVID-19-info@clarku.edu.

Helpful Resources

If you are seeking more information, we recommend referring to sources considered credible and informed. This includes the following sources: