Coronavirus FAQs

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COVID-19 General Information

What is COVID-19 and how does it spread?

What precautions should I take?

What does it mean to self-monitor?

What does it mean to self-isolate?

What should I do if I have symptoms?

Classes

When will classes resume?

How will I access my online class?

What is eCampus?

What is Blinn's attendance policy while classes are conducted online?

Will course syllabi change?

Does Blinn offer technology to assist students?

Grading System

Can students take classes pass/fail?

Will Blinn still offer A/B/C/D/F grading?

Can students take an Incomplete (I) and complete Spring 2020 courses in the Summer or Fall?

If I take an Incomplete, how can I complete the course?

When is the deadline to Q drop a class?

What does it mean to Q drop a class or take an incomplete?

Housing, Food Services, and Parking Refunds

Will Blinn issue refunds for campus housing, food services, and parking?

Student Housing

Will student housing re-open this semester?

Can I move back into my residence hall?

Is Blinn offering housing refunds?

How is my refund determined?

How do I receive my housing refund?

How do I contact my residence hall director?

When should I expect my refund?

Can I pick up items from my residence hall?

Campus Services

What support resources are available?

What Blinn Library resources are available for students and faculty?

Are campus health clinics open?

Are campus bookstores open?

Are financial aid disbursements proceeding as scheduled?

Are ACT, SAT, and TSIA testing services for prospective students available?

Student Connectivity Resources

What resources are available for students without internet connectivity?

Important Dates and Event Updates

Important Dates

What happens to the 8-week finals scheduled for March 16th?

Will the second Spring 8-week term still start on March 20th?

Will May Minimester, Summer, and Fall registration be delayed?

Will campus tours and Preview Days still take place?

Will graduation and pinning ceremonies still take place?

Which campus events will be canceled?

May Minimester and Summer Courses

Will May Minimester and Summer courses all be offered online?

Employee Information

Can employees work on campus?

Disability Services (Students FAQ)

Do I need to resend my Accommodation Letter to my instructor?

Do I need to reschedule my exams?

Do I have to take online classes?

I do not think I will do well in an online class environment. Should I drop my classes or withdraw?

Can I get an accommodation to take my classes or exams in-person?

I am having difficulty accessing the online course content due to my assistive technology (screen reader, text-to-speech software, etc.). What should I do?

I usually use a reader for my exams. How will this accommodation be handled remotely?

I usually use a scribe for exams. How will this be handled remotely?

I would like to meet with an ODS staff member. Can I make a face-to-face appointment?

Disability Services Contact Information:

Disability Services (Faculty FAQ)

How can I ensure that my online course is accessible?

Can you send me a list of every student in my class who needs accommodations?

Why can’t you just proctor my exams in the Testing Center?

I have never had online exams and do not know how to extend the time for students with testing accommodations. Can you show me how?

There is a lot of discussion about needing to caption and create transcripts for all online audio content. Am I going to be expected to caption and transcribe my course videos now that my class is online?

Why can’t I just turn on Auto Transcription to provide a transcript of the videos and live presentations for students with hearing loss?

I had a sign language interpreter or live transcriptionist in my classroom before moving online for a student with hearing loss. How will that be handled online?

Disability Services Contact Information:

Mental Health Counseling Services (Student FAQ)

How do I schedule a mental health counseling appointment?

I am experiencing an emergency or crisis. What should I do?

I am interested in career counseling. Can I make an appointment?

I need a referral to a community resource.

Is video conferencing confidential?

Do I need to complete another consent form?

Mental Health Counseling Contact Information:

Mental Health Counseling Services (Faculty FAQ)

I am concerned about a student in one of my courses. What should I do?

Are there resources I can provide students for mental health care?

Mental Health Counseling Contact Information:

Athletics

Are athletic events still taking place?


Answers

What is COVID-19 and how does it spread?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses from the CDC website transmission page.


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What precautions should I take?

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Disinfect frequently touched objects using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with those who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

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What does it mean to self-monitor?

According to the CDC, self-monitoring means people should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperatures twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, you should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a healthcare provider.

To download the CDC Check and Report Every Day (CARE) Booklet which helps you understand how to self-monitor your health and how to check your symptoms daily visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/COVID-19_CAREKit_ENG.pdf.


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What does it mean to self-isolate?

If you are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are asked to self-isolate after returning internationally or from a cruise, you should stay off campus and remain home.

Do not go to campus including work, residence halls and apartments, classes, athletic events or other social gatherings until 14 days after returning from international or cruise travel. Likewise, avoid public places and gatherings in the community.


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What should I do if I have symptoms?

Individuals with symptoms are advised to make an appointment to see a medical provider. For other illnesses, contact your primary healthcare provider and stay at home to avoid spreading illness to others.

Blinn has temporarily suspended its absence policy, and students should contact their instructors if they are unable to attend for medical reasons. Employees who are ill should notify their supervisors and the Human Resources Department.

Baylor Scott & White is providing a COVID-19 screening questionnaire. The questionnaire is available through https://my.bswhealth.com or via the MyBSWHealth mobile app on Apple iOS or Android devices. The app also can be downloaded by texting BETTER to 88408. Anyone who experiences flu-like symptoms or has concerns about their risk of infection with COVID-19 is asked to take the screening questionnaire prior to scheduling an appointment or arriving at a clinic, hospital, or COVID-19 specimen collection site.


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When will classes resume?

Classes that have been converted to an online format resumed on Monday, March 23rd. All lecture courses have been converted to the online format. Students are not required to return to campus to participate in these online classes. Please look for an upcoming email this week from your instructors with information specific to your course sections.

Dental hygiene, paramedic, physical therapist assistant, and welding labs that must take place face-to-face due to accreditation guidelines will resume at a later date. For these limited courses, Blinn will follow appropriate safety protocols, including social distancing that places students at least six feet apart and the use of masks. Students, please look for emails from your instructor with information specific to your courses.


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How will I access my online class?

The initial communication with your professor already should have happened -- please check your Blinn email account. Success will require flexibility, understanding, and clear communication between you and your professor.  If you have not heard from your professor yet, please make an effort to contact your teacher and let him/her know that you are engaged in the class and ready to resume the semester.
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What is eCampus?

eCampus is a term that you will hear several times during the semester. eCampus, sometimes referred to as D2L or Desire2Learn, is an online environment where all your classes will be located.   If any of your classes are not held in eCampus you will be notified in advance by your professor over email.  

To access an orientation to online classes or to start your courses, go to "Blinn Online Get Started" at www.blinn.edu/online/get-started.html. You also will find additional resources at www.blinn.edu/online.


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What is Blinn's attendance policy while classes are conducted online?

We temporarily have suspended Blinn's current absence policy. Students will not be dropped for non-attendance.
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Will course syllabi change?

Be advised that due to the extraordinary circumstances presented by COVID-19, your course's syllabus will be edited. Your instructor will make every effort to make minimal changes in curriculum and exams. However, a few additional changes still might be necessary. Therefore, make sure that you review the syllabus soon after classes resume.  

Syllabi for all Blinn College classes will be changed to reflect the extended Spring Break.


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Does Blinn offer technology to assist students?

All current Blinn students are assigned an Office 365 license that enables access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneDrive for Business, OneNote, Sway, and others.

Access your Office 365 account using your Blinn email account and password at: https://portal.microsoftonline.com.


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Can students take classes pass/fail?

Students may choose a pass/no-pass (P/NP) grade for courses offered during the 16-week, 12-week, and second 8-week terms of Spring 2020. Under the P/NP grading system, a passing grade (P) is defined as a C or higher. A no-pass grade is defined as a D or F. During the Spring 2020 semester, P and NP grades will not be included in students’ GPA calculation.

P/NP grades (sometimes referred to as a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, or S/U) may not be accepted for transfer credit based upon the policies of the transfer institution. Blinn strongly recommends that students consult with an advisor from any institution to which they intend to transfer prior to choosing this option.

Any student considering the change to P/NP grading should consult with the appropriate personnel at their transfer institution (e.g., an academic advisor, professional school advisor, athletics advisor, and/or financial aid advisor) to understand the implications of the change on one’s future plans, including progress toward a degree and/or financial aid.

Please note that prior to converting any classes to a P/NP grade, special circumstances apply to current Blinn students, as noted below:

  • Students receiving Veterans Affairs educational benefits (Chapters 30, 31, 33, or 35) for the Spring 2020 semester must contact the Veterans Services Office at veteran.services@blinn.edu. Please include your student ID and the class(es) you are considering converting to a grade of P/NP.
  • Due to accreditation guidelines, students who are enrolled or plan to enroll in Health Sciences programs should not take courses on a pass/no-pass grading system unless the course already has been established in this manner by the program. For more information, these students should contact health.sciences@blinn.edu.
  • Students on academic probation must contact Academic Advising. Brenham, Schulenburg, and Sealy students should email brenham.advising@blinn.edu. Bryan and RELLIS Campus students should email bryan.advising@blinn.edu.
  • International students must contact international@blinn.edu.

To convert courses to a P/NP, students must complete the form at www.blinn.edu/academics/pass-no-pass/request-form.html by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24th.


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Will Blinn still offer A/B/C/D/F grading?

Blinn will continue to offer letter grades of A, B, C, D, and F as previously utilized and published in the College Catalog. An earned grade of F will be included in GPA calculations.
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Can students take an Incomplete (I) and complete Spring 2020 courses in the Summer or Fall?

Students who complete a Course Completion Contract available at https://bucblinn.sharepoint.com/forms/Academic%20Forms/COURSE-COMPLETION-CONTRACT.pdf and submit the completed form to their instructor may receive an incomplete (I). Incompletes will be given to students who identify themselves as undergoing hardship due to the transition from a face-to-face to an online environment, or other hardships related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Students must request an incomplete by 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 10th. Requests received after that date will be reviewed based on regular guidelines for issuing an incomplete (I) grade.

Students who receive an incomplete still must complete the course content, and their final grade will be determined after all course coursework is complete. Per Blinn policy, these courses must be completed no later than 90 days after the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester (Saturday, November 21st). Failure to complete the work specified in the course completion contract will result in an F grade that will be factored into the final grade point average (GPA) calculation. Additional charges or fees will not be assigned to students who receive an I.


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If I take an Incomplete, how can I complete the course?

Blinn plans to offer learning communities for students who take Incompletes (I). Through these learning communities, which will be offered once face-to-face instruction resumes, students will be instructed in the remainder of the course and can complete all assignments and exams.
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When is the deadline to Q drop a class?

The deadline for students to Q drop a class has been changed to Friday, May 8, 2020. During the Spring 2020 semester, a grade of “Q” will not count toward the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s limit of six drops allowed during a student’s college career. For the Spring 2020 semester, these Q drops will be reflected as a “W” on students’ transcripts.
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What does it mean to Q drop a class or take an incomplete?

Blinn's grading policy and associated terms are available at http://catalog.blinn.edu/content.php?catoid=4&navoid=118#grades.
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Will Blinn issue refunds for campus housing, food services, and parking?

On Thursday, March 26th, the Board of Trustees authorized the College to issue prorated refunds or credits for student housing, food services, and parking services impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Refunds will cover pro-rated costs of services for the dates between March 15, 2020, and May 14, 2020. The amount of any pro-rated refund will first be used to reduce any existing balance in the students’ fee account, with any remaining amount refunded.

Students residing in on-campus housing must make an appointment with their hall director, remove their belongings, and return their room and mailbox keys by April 20, 2020, to be eligible for the housing refund. Students who are unable to retrieve their items due to travel restrictions must contact their hall director no later than April 20, 2020. Special consideration for extended time to retrieve items will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Blinn asks that all students who arrive on campus to retrieve items maintain social distancing of at least six feet. The College is limiting the number of students who may enter campus facilities at one time. For more information regarding the move-out process, please contact Housing and Residence Life at 979-830-4461 or housing@blinn.edu.


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Will student housing re-open this semester?

Blinn has closed student housing for the Spring 2020 semester. For a list of academic resources and student services available online, via email, and by phone, please see our Academic and Student Services Schedules.
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Can I move back into my residence hall?

Blinn's student residence halls are closed for the Spring 2020 semester. Students without alternative housing possibilities, including foster and international students, may contact Dr. Becky McBride at becky.mcbride@blinn.edu for assistance with housing and meal plan options.
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Is Blinn offering housing refunds?

On Thursday, March 26th, the Board of Trustees authorized the College to issue prorated refunds for student housing, food services, and parking services impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus.
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How is my refund determined?

Refunds are the disbursement of credit balances of a student’s financial account. Students will receive a pro-rated credit for services (room and board) not used between March 15, 2020 and May 14, 2020.

The Office and Housing and Residence Life will place the credit on individual student accounts after the student has completed housing checkout. This credit will cover any existing balance (if any) on the student’s financial account. Students will be refunded the difference through their preferred refund choice.

Students receiving a room and/or board scholarship that covered all of their room and/or board will not receive any Blinn College funds back.


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How do I receive my housing refund?

To receive a refund, residential students must email or call their hall director to set up an appointment to remove belongings and return their room and mailbox keys by April 20, 2020.

Students who are unable to retrieve their items due to travel restrictions must contact their hall director no later than April 20, 2020. Special consideration for extended time to retrieve items will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Students who do not contact their hall director prior to April 20, 2020, will not receive a refund.


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How do I contact my residence hall director?

Below is a list of resident hall directors and their contact information.

Hall Name Phone Number Email Address
Hallstein Alexandria Jackson 979-830-4576 alexandria.jackson@blinn.edu
Spencer Briana Luton 979-830-4388 brianna.luton@blinn.edu
Holleman Cass Leech 979-830-6356 cass.leech@blinn.edu
Helman Alexia Bowe 979-830-4490 alexia.bowe@blinn.edu
BCPA Ashley Youngs 979-337-6594 ashley.youngs@blinn.edu
Wheeler Brett Connors 979-337-6982 brett.connors@blinn.edu
Lockett Brian Williams 979-830-4866 brian.williams@blinn.edu
Solons Curtis Smith 979-830-4481 curtis.smith@blinn.edu
Memorial Jonathan Wells 979-830-4931 jonathan.wells@blinn.edu
Mill Creek Jordan Drake 979-830-4911 jordan.drake@blinn.edu
Mill Creek Lydia Brooks 979-337-6586 lydia.brooks@blinn.edu
BCPA Miguel Padron 979-337-6530 miguel.padron@blinn.edu
Hallstein Rachel Lundstrom 979-830-4491 rachel.lundstrom@blinn.edu
Buccaneer William Delaney 979-830-4488 william.delaney@blinn.edu
Beazley Jeremy Carmody 979-830-4489 jeremy.carmody@blinn.edu
K. Atkinson Joseph Foteh 979-830-4481 joseph.foteh@blinn.edu

 

Blinn asks that all students who arrive on campus to retrieve items maintain social distancing of at least six feet. The College is limiting the number of students who may enter campus facilities at one time.


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When should I expect my refund?

Once a student has completed the checkout procedures with his or her hall director, they should expect a refund in a few weeks.

Students can make or verify their refund choice by opening the Nelnet Student Choice Refunds icon in the student portal. Additional information about refunds can be found at www.blinn.edu/business-office/nelnet-student-choice-refund-faqs.html or by emailing refunds@blinn.edu.

For more information regarding the move-out process, please contact Housing and Residence Life at 979-830-4461 or housing@blinn.edu.


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Can I pick up items from my residence hall?

Students who need to pick up items from their residence hall should contact their residence hall director to schedule a time to do so.


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What support resources are available?

To see Blinn's list of available student resources, including hours of operation and contact information, please see our Academic and Student Services Schedules. This list includes Blinn's:

  • libraries (available online),
  • learning centers (available online),
  • Disability Services (available online),
  • Department of Housing and Residence Life (online service available),
  • Student Leadership and Activities (online service available),
  • Prospective Student Relations Department (online service available),
  • Admissions (online service available),
  • Advising (online service available),
  • Enrollment Services (online service available),
  • Financial Aid (online service available),
  • and Title IX (online service available).

On Monday, March 23rd, Brazos County, the home of Blinn's Bryan and RELLIS campuses, issued a shelter in place order. While Blinn is exempt from this order as an essential government service, out of an abundance of caution, the College is closing all on-campus services across the College District, including the writing centers, testing centers, and computer labs.

Student services such as academic advising, disability services, enrollment services, and financial aid also will be available via phone and email. Contact information for the advising offices on each campus is available at www.blinn.edu/academic-advising/hours.html. We strongly encourage students to contact College services by phone or email to limit personal contact.

On the Brenham Campus, the Kruse Center will be closed for the remainder of the semester.


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What Blinn Library resources are available for students and faculty?

The library has several options to help students during this time of transition to online learning. Stay up to date with the library’s hours, resources, and other information here: http://libguides.blinn.edu/aboutthelibrary/libinfo

 

Chat and Text Services

Librarians will be monitoring chat and text messages during the hours of virtual service. The text number is 979-457-4051. 

 

Course and Topic guides 

http://libguides.blinn.edu/

Blinn librarians have created course and topic guides that provide links to resources as well as step-by-step instructions. These guides apply to most courses and general topics such as research, citing sources, etc.

 

Embed a Librarian (For Faculty)

https://libguides.blinn.edu/faculty/embedding

A librarian can add library resources to eCampus classrooms and answer student questions about the library and other Blinn services.  All library resources are available through the eCampus Library Group. Please contact the library if you have trouble accessing this community group.

 

Collaborate Ultra (external learning tool in eCampus) (For Faculty)

Librarians can conduct an instruction session in your course at a time of your choosing. Please contact Linda Gray linda.gray@blinn.edu  or Janice Lapaglia Janice.lapaglia@blinn.edu  for a current list of librarians trained in this software.

 

Steps for Success Video series 

http://libguides.blinn.edu/videosandtutorials/stepsforsuccess

This video series guides students in using Blinn library resources at a distance. Embed one or more in your eCampus course. All videos are also available on our YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbhnQ9eCt6hLPvE-Xgsz-BA

 

Introduction to Library Research 

https://blinn.libwizard.com/f/ILR

This in-depth, Blinn-created tutorial helps students learn how to use Blinn library resources at a distance. This is an alternative to having a librarian conduct an online instruction session as it will teach many of the same concepts.

 

Captain Blinn’s Adventure

https://blinn.libwizard.com/f/CBA

This online escape room activity introduces students to the library and gives them a working understanding of where and how to find resources and get help.

 

Please contact the library and let us know how we can help you with this transition.


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Are campus health clinics open?

Out of an abundance of caution, Blinn and Baylor Scott & White have temporarily closed Blinn's campus health clinics. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms or who has concerns about their risk of infection with COVID-19 is asked to first take the free COVID-19 screen on the MyBSWHealth app by texting BETTER to 88408. Following your screening questionnaire, you may be prompted to complete an eVisit. eVisits may be evaluated by a Baylor Scott & White provider who can advise you on appropriate next steps.

For wellness and primary care, if you need an in-person appointment, please schedule it through the MyBSWHealth app or by calling 979-207-0100.

As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency, please dial 911 immediately.  


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Are campus bookstores open?

Barnes & Noble College, which operates Blinn's campus bookstores, has closed all its stores nation-wide with tentative plans to re-open on Monday, April 6th.

While the physical locations are closed, the stores are still taking and delivering orders. Students can email bookstore staff at the following email addresses:

Brenham Campus Bookstore: sm281@bncollege.com

Bryan Campus Bookstore: sm316@bncollege.com

RELLIS Campus Bookstore: sm8266@bncollege.com


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Are financial aid disbursements proceeding as scheduled?

Financial aid that was eligible to be disbursed for this year by March 17th was disbursed this week. Any refunds are being processed now and will be available by the end of the week. Financial aid for the 2nd 8-week session that starts Friday, March 27th will disburse on Friday, March 27th. Students who were expecting a financial aid disbursement and do not see a disbursement should email finaid@blinn.edu.
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Are ACT, SAT, and TSIA testing services for prospective students available?

At this time, Blinn's campus testing centers are closed. Prospective and high school students seeking to complete their ACT, SAT, or TSIA exams may take the test using online proctoring. More information from the Texas Education Agency is available here.
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What resources are available for students without internet connectivity?

There are a number of resources available to help students obtain or maintain internet connectivity:

  • The FCC has asked internet service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, promising not to terminate service due to an inability to pay their bills due to the coronavirus; to waive any late fees incurred because of economic circumstances related to the coronavirus; and to open wi-fi hotspots to any Americans who need them.
  • AlticeUSA (Suddenlink) is providing its Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution free for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and do not currently have home access for free for 60 days to any new household within its footprint.
  • AT&T offers open hotspots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10 per month plans to low-income families.
  • Comcast offers free wi-fi for two months to low-income families and all Xfinity hotspots are free to the public at this time.
  • Charter has committed to offer free Spectrum broadband and wifi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps.
  • Sprint and T-Mobile are following the FCC agreement, providing unlimited data to existing customers, and will allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.

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Important Dates

Monday, March 23rd – Classes resume in an online format

Monday, March 23rd – First Spring 8-week session finals originally scheduled for Monday, March 16th will take place on Monday, March 23rd.

Friday, March 27th – Registration for the second Spring 8-week session begins

Monday, March 30th – Registration for the May Minimester, Summer I, Summer II, and Fall terms begins for current students

Monday, April 6th – Limited labs that must take place face-to-face (such as certain dental hygiene, paramedic, physical therapist assistant, and welding labs) resume

Wednesday, April 8th – Registration for the May Minimester, Summer I, Summer II, and Fall terms begins for new students


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What happens to the 8-week finals scheduled for March 16th?

The Spring 8-week finals originally scheduled for Monday, March 16th, have been rescheduled for Monday, March 23rd.
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Will the second Spring 8-week term still start on March 20th?

The second Spring 8-week term has been rescheduled to begin on Friday, March 27th.
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Will May Minimester, Summer, and Fall registration be delayed?

May Minimester, Summer, and Fall registration are each scheduled to begin on time. Current students can register now and new students will be able to register beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 8th.

Once campuses re-open, academic advising will be available and Blinn recommends that students participate in remote advising options.

All May Minimester courses will be offered online.


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Will campus tours and Preview Days still take place?

Campus tours have been cancelled and Preview Days are postponed indefinitely.
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Will graduation and pinning ceremonies still take place?

Blinn has postponed its Spring 2020 commencement and pinning ceremonies. These ceremonies will be rescheduled for late summer or early fall when local, state, and federal restrictions allow and when it is safe for our College community to come together again.

Blinn recognizes that the College’s commencement and pinning ceremonies present an opportunity for our graduates to celebrate their incredible accomplishments and to be recognized for their hard work. Blinn will begin planning ceremonies for Spring 2020 graduates as soon as health conditions and guidelines allow.
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Which campus events will be canceled?

All on-campus events have been canceled or postponed for the Spring semester. Additionally, the Blinn College Foundation Clay Shoot has been canceled.


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Will May Minimester and Summer courses all be offered online?

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, all May Minimester and Summer courses will be offered online. As Blinn continues to monitor federal, state, and local mandates related to COVID-19, the College will re-evaluate the possibility of offering face-to-face courses during the Summer II term and will update faculty, staff, and students regarding any changes.

For registration steps, please visit www.blinn.edu/admissions/registration.html.


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Can employees work on campus?

To help protect the health of our students, employees, and communities, the College District is strictly limiting on-campus work and encouraging all employees to work remotely. Please coordinate work arrangements with your supervisor.

Please note that in response to the pandemic, campus operating hours are between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Outside of those hours, no employees may work on campus or access campus facilities.

 


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Do I need to resend my Accommodation Letter to my instructor?

Given the new format of classes for the remainder of the semester, students are highly encouraged to resend their Accommodation Letter to the instructor of each class in which they will continue to need accommodations. With all of the changes to the semester and use of remote working and teaching, faculty may not have a copy of the letter you presented to them at the beginning of the semester readily available. Intentional communication and a proactive reminder of the accommodation a student needs can minimize confusion or issues surrounding accommodations. Accommodation Letters can be accessed via your BUC Blinn email. If you no longer have a copy, please email your respective campus (Bryan Campus – bryan.ods@blinn.edu; Brenham, Schulenburg, and Sealy campuses – brenham.ods@blinn.edu; RELLIS Campus – RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu).
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Do I need to reschedule my exams?

Possibly. All exams through the end of the Spring 2020 semester will occur in an online format and not in person – including finals. Due to the faculty’s ability to provide extended testing time, and a student’s ability to take the exam anywhere they have internet access, exams may need to be rescheduled with our testing specialist. Placing students in a testing room to take their exam goes against the guidelines for the campus operations during this time and exposes students and staff to potential risk.
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Do I have to take online classes?

The College is converting all classes to an online format for the protection of the Blinn College District campuses. Students are encouraged to review the revised syllabus sent by faculty and reach out to them with additional questions about an instructor’s class and its new format. Your accommodations apply to classes regardless of whether they are in person or online, so a current Accommodation Letter should assist you in setting up accommodations in an online environment.
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I do not think I will do well in an online class environment. Should I drop my classes or withdraw?

Disability Services does not recommend dropping classes at this time until students have the opportunity to experience the course in its online format and they can make an informed decision about what is best for their needs. Any concerns regarding your degree plan or current course load should be directed to your academic advisor, who can help discuss your options for pursuing classes and completing your degree. If you experience a specific barrier related to your disability in an online course, please contact an ODS counselor to discuss.
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Can I get an accommodation to take my classes or exams in-person?

Blinn College District’s first concern is to the health and safety of each individual. In this spirit, the College has stopped face-to-face class instruction and moved courses online. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has made national health recommendations that state people should not be congregated in groups of more than 10. Students with concerns about course components in the online format should contact an ODS counselor to discuss the situation further and explore potential solutions for the continuation of the course.
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I am having difficulty accessing the online course content due to my assistive technology (screen reader, text-to-speech software, etc.). What should I do?

Notify your instructor that you are having difficulty accessing a specific tool or document to see if they can provide an accessible version. Then consult with an ODS counselor to see if Disability Services can assist you or help you work with your instructor to figure out how to facilitate the access you need.

Resources:

Read and Write

Fusion (JAWS and Zoomtext)

Otter

NVDA (Visual Impairment)

Texas Workforce Commission

Voice Aloud

Kurzweil Education  


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I usually use a reader for my exams. How will this accommodation be handled remotely?

All students that have a test reader as an accommodation will schedule their exams remotely with an ODS staff member. Students may also use tools for using text-to-speech software in lieu of a human reader as an option. If a student prefers a human reader, they could have a friend or family member serve in this role during an online exam as they would typically do for other at-home reading tasks. If a student or instructor has a concern about a student using a friend or family member as their test reader, please contact the student’s ODS counselor to discuss and look at other possible alternatives.
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I usually use a scribe for exams. How will this be handled remotely?

All students that have a test scribe as an accommodation may utilize tools for using voice-to-text software in lieu of a human scribe as an option. If a student needs a human scribe to complete an exam, they could have a friend or family member serve in this role during an online exam as they would typically for other at-home writing tasks. If a student or instructor has a concern about a student using a friend or family member as their test scribe, please contact the student’s ODS counselor to discuss and look at other possible alternatives.
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I would like to meet with an ODS staff member. Can I make a face-to-face appointment?

Our office will only hold appointments remotely. Please email your respective campus to schedule an ODS appointment through Microsoft Teams or Skype.
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Disability Services Contact Information:

Website: www.blinn.edu/disability

Bryan Campus: 979-209-7251 or bryan.ods@blinn.edu

RELLIS Campus: 979-209-8947 or RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu

Brenham/Sealy/Schulenburg Campuses: 979-830-4157 or brenham.ods@blinn.edu


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How can I ensure that my online course is accessible?

Here are some resources to ensure the content you create is also accessible to students with disabilities:


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Can you send me a list of every student in my class who needs accommodations?

Unfortunately, Disability Services does not have the ability to run a report of all students who are enrolled in specific classes that have requested accommodation letters. 

Also note that accommodations are used by students based on their disability and class type. A student with a math learning disability may not request or use any accommodations in their English class so it is hard to say exactly which students in your class need and have requested accommodations, even if they are registered with our department. Each student currently registered with our office has access to a PDF copy of their Accommodation Letter.

Our recommendation is for you to send an email to your class and post an announcement in your eCampus shell that requests students send you their Accommodation Letter directly. This allows students to decide if they will need accommodations in your course now that the implementation of class has moved to an online format. Disability Services also has encouraged students to resend their accommodation letters to their instructors.


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Why can’t you just proctor my exams in the Testing Center?

The Disability Services Office has recommended utilizing an online platform for the remainder of the semester since there will not be any in-person exams. Further, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has made national health recommendations that state people should not be congregated in groups of more than 10. Placing students in a testing room to take their exam goes against the guidelines for the campus community’s operation during this time.
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I have never had online exams and do not know how to extend the time for students with testing accommodations. Can you show me how?

Exams administered through eCampus can be adjusted to allow for extra time for specific students through the “Test Availability Exception” feature. Please contact a design specialist or your Dean if you have any questions.

It is important to note that extending the exam time for everyone in the class (i.e. just giving all students time and a half or double time) does not meet the accommodations of students with Extended Testing Time as an accommodation.


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There is a lot of discussion about needing to caption and create transcripts for all online audio content. Am I going to be expected to caption and transcribe my course videos now that my class is online?

The Blinn College District strives for access and equity for all students. While including captions is a best practice for all videos and an important part of universal design and accessibility, we recognize that these are emergent times and it is not realistic to caption every video. Instructors are encouraged to make captions and transcripts available in their courses when possible. 
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Why can’t I just turn on Auto Transcription to provide a transcript of the videos and live presentations for students with hearing loss?

Unfortunately, automatic captioning is not usually effective for students that depend on captioning to access audio content. The 85% accuracy claim that many video vendors make is usually based on recordings under ideal conditions (no background noise, clear pronunciation, no accents, and no specialized terminology). The reality is that automatic captioning does not provide captioning that is accurate enough for college course lectures and content.
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I had a sign language interpreter or live transcriptionist in my classroom before moving online for a student with hearing loss. How will that be handled online?

Disability Services will contact students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and work toward ensuring those specific classes will have a transcriptionist or interpreter available for any synchronous lectures.
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Disability Services Contact Information:

Website: www.blinn.edu/disability

Bryan Campus: 979-209-7251 or bryan.ods@blinn.edu

RELLIS Campus: 979-209-8947 or RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu

Brenham/Sealy/Schulenburg Campuses: 979-830-4157 or brenham.ods@blinn.edu


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How do I schedule a mental health counseling appointment?

All mental health counseling appointments will be conducted through an online platform. Please email your respective campus (Brenham/Schulenburg/Sealy Campus – brenham.counseling@blinn.edu; Bryan Campus – bryan.counseling@blinn.edu; RELLIS Campus – RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu) to schedule an appointment.
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I am experiencing an emergency or crisis. What should I do?

Please call 911 or go to your local emergency room. Students may also utilize helplines such as MHMR (888-522-8262) or the Crisis Text Helpline at 741-741.
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I am interested in career counseling. Can I make an appointment?

Yes. All career counseling appointments will be conducted virtually through an online platform. Please email your respective campus (Brenham/Schulenburg/Sealy Campus – brenham.counseling@blinn.edu; Bryan Campus – bryan.counseling@blinn.edu; RELLIS Campus – RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu) to schedule an appointment.
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I need a referral to a community resource.

Please email your respective campus (Brenham/Schulenburg/Sealy Campus – brenham.counseling@blinn.edu; Bryan Campus – bryan.counseling@blinn.edu; RELLIS Campus – RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu) and we can provide you community resources.
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Is video conferencing confidential?

Our office will be utilizing Microsoft Teams to conduct virtual appointments. Teams is Tier D-compliant. This includes the following standards: ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SSAE16 SOC 1 and SOC 2, HIPAA, and EU Model Clauses (EUMC). Within the Microsoft compliance framework, Microsoft classifies Office 365 applications and services into four categories. Each category is defined by specific compliance commitments that must be met for an Office 365 service, or a related Microsoft service, to be listed in that category. Services in compliance categories C and D that have industry-leading compliance commitments are enabled by default.

Additionally, The Office of Civil Rights has temporarily amended the HHS protected health information act. OCR is exercising its enforcement discretion for noncompliance with HIPPA rules in compliance with the good faith provision of telehealth using nonpublic audio or video communication products during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.


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Do I need to complete another consent form?

Yes. All students who previously have received services will be required to complete a new consent to counseling form to reflect tele-counseling services. Additionally, we will be asking for updated contact information.
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Mental Health Counseling Contact Information:

Website: www.blinn.edu/counseling-services/appointments.html

Bryan Campus: 979-29-7251 or bryan.counseling@blinn.edu

RELLIS Campus: 979-209-8947 or rellis.ods@blinn.edu

Brenham/Sealy/Schulenburg Campus: 979-830-4196 or brenham.counseling@blinn.edu


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I am concerned about a student in one of my courses. What should I do?

If you are immediately concerned about a student’s well-being, please call 911. All mental health counseling has been moved to an online platform. Faculty may also report instances to the Behavioral Intervention Team. If you would like to consult with a counselor, please email your respective campus (Brenham/Schulenburg/Sealy Campus – brenham.counseling@blinn.edu; Bryan Campus – bryan.counseling@blinn.edu; RELLIS Campus – RELLIS.ods@blinn.edu) to schedule an appointment.
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Are there resources I can provide students for mental health care?

There are self-help resources on our website. Please share with your students and encourage students to follow our Instagram or Facebook social media pages. We are posting resources weekly through those platforms. We can provide additional resources or referrals by contacting your respective campus via email.
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Mental Health Counseling Contact Information:

Website: www.blinn.edu/counseling-services/appointments.html

Bryan Campus: 979-29-7251 or bryan.counseling@blinn.edu

RELLIS Campus: 979-209-8947 or rellis.ods@blinn.edu

Brenham/Sealy/Schulenburg Campus: 979-830-4196 or brenham.counseling@blinn.edu


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Are athletic events still taking place?

On Monday, March 16th, the NJCAA announced that it has canceled all upcoming basketball championships as well as spring competition, effective immediately. Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play.

Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.


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