Fall Semester 2020
Welcome, Ridgewater Warriors
We understand this is an interesting and challenging time, but it is also an opportunity for growth and learning. There is no better place for you than Ridgewater College!
In order to ensure that we can provide you with the best possible education and prioritize your safety, we are making unprecedented changes this fall. Our faculty and staff are dedicated to supporting you during this time. We remain committed to providing you with the absolute best learning experiences so you will have the greatest chances for success.
As we kick off the fall 2020 semester, remember: we are strong, determined, and resilient – we are Warriors!
Virtual Student Information Sessions
We hosted two student Zoom information sessions on Tuesday, August 18 at 4:30 and 7:00 p.m. where we provided Fall 2020 update information and answered questions. Information we covered included general updates, types of instruction delivery, student resources/support, and campus safety protocols. If you were unable to attend you can view the virtual student information sessions here.
Forms of Instruction for Fall 2020
|Online Only classes will be offered online, with no in-person interaction. Some online classes are asynchronous, which means there are no required video conference meetings where you need to meet at a certain time; others are synchronous, which means you must engage with the instructor at a scheduled time.||Select classes will operate with face-to-face interaction in a classroom, lab or field experiences for all course work.||Blended / hybrid courses will include scheduled in-person meetings/classes, as well as online learning.|
Fall 2020 Frequently Asked Questions
Fall Semester 2020 Course Delivery
- Will the fall semester start and end as scheduled?
Fall semester begins on Monday, August 24 and ends with finals week December 14-18. See all semester dates and deadlines.
Please note, in-person classes could be cancelled or converted to online/remote if the COVID situation gets worse. To ensure the safety of our faculty, staff, and students, we must be prepared to adjust. We will continue to follow the recommendations from the State of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for COVID-19 guidelines and safety measures.
- When and how do I know if my classes will be taught face-to-face on campus, online/remote, or hybrid?
Course schedules and delivery methods for Fall Semester 2020 have been updated as of July 31, 2020.
You should check your course schedule and read all the notes. You can review your course schedule by logging in to e-Services with your StarID and password. If you do not know or cannot remember your StarID or password, please visit starid.minnstate.edu for assistance.
- What is the difference between blended/hybrid, face-to-face, online asynchronous and online synchronous?
- Online Only (remote) classes will be offered online, with no in-person interaction.
- Some online classes are asynchronous, which means that there are no required video conference meetings which you need to join at a certain time.
- Others are synchronous, which means that you must engage with the instructor at a scheduled time.
- Face-to-Face – Select classes will operate with face-to-face interaction in a classroom, lab or field experiences for all course work. Some course assignments may be delivered in alternative formats, but the majority of the course is delivered in-person in a space that has been prepared to accommodate students and faculty safely.
- Blended/Hybrid (face-to-face and online) courses will include scheduled in-person meetings/classes, as well as online learning. Classes that need to have a hands-on component will be given priority for face-to-face delivery.
- What if I need to drop or withdraw from my classes?
Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing definitions:
- A course add includes initial registration, additional registration, or substituting one course for another; it must be completed by the term’s fifth business day.
- A course drop occurs when a student removes a course from his/her schedule on or before the fifth business day of the term. This does not reflect on an academic record and there are no associate fees.
- A course withdrawal occurs when a student removes a course from his/her schedule after the fifth business day of the term. Students are strongly encouraged to meet with an advisor prior to withdrawing from courses. This reflects a “W” on an academic record and only partial or none of the student’s tuition can be reimbursed, depending on the withdrawal date.
The last day to withdraw is can be viewed in the detail of the course from the course schedule. Just click on the course title to view the detail. The dates are also posted on your printable course schedule from your e-Services page. Click on “View/Modify Schedule”, then “Printable Schedule”.
Read more about the drop/withdraw process GO TO E-SERVICES
- Will fees be assessed for online courses?
- All courses that were originally listed as online will have the online course fee attached as usual.
- All courses that are being converted online that already have students enrolled will NOT have the online course fee attached.
- All courses that are being converted online that currently have no students enrolled will have the online course fee attached.
No student having enrolled in a course that was originally face-to-face but is now converted to online will pay the online course fee. For more information please view our tuition and fees guide.
2020-2021 TUITION & FEES GUIDE
- What is the plan for Spring 2021?
It is possible that Spring Semester could look much like Fall Semester 2020 depending on how the COVID situation evolves in the coming weeks and months. Our operating decision for Spring will be based on the best available information about the trajectory of the pandemic, the safety of our community, updated scientific and medical guidance, directives from local governments, COVID-19 testing capacity, and the ability to effectively support community health through preventative measures. The health and safety of our employees and students will remain our top priority in all decisions. We will provide updates about our planning throughout the fall semester.
Wearing Masks & Coming to Campus
- What is the COVID-19 self-screening form and why is it required every time I come to campus?
Effective Monday, July 6, all students, employees, and visitors coming to campus will be required to complete a COVID-19 self-screening form. The screening can be done using a QR Code posted at one of our main entrances, and a smartphone. A paper copy will also be available at certain entrances for anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone. The form can also be completed before arriving on campus.
The self-screening needs to be completed on a daily basis whenever a student, employee, or visitor is on campus. The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our priority. We are required under Executive Order 20-74, which indicated that we “must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick students or institution staff and instructors from entering the institution for in-person or on-site activities.”
- Do I have to wear a mask if I'm coming to campus?
Yes – masks are required on campus, whether you are in the classrooms, common areas, cafeteria, library, bookstore, or anywhere else where you may encounter other individuals. All individuals on our campuses – employees, students, visitors, vendors and service providers – are required to wear a face mask/covering upon entering any college building.
The only exceptions are as follows:
- when an individual is alone in a room with no other people present – but as soon as someone else enters that room, or you leave the room into a common space, corridor, restroom, etc., a face mask/covering must be worn.
- while eating in appropriate areas, but only while eating – before and after eating a meal, face masks/coverings must be worn and social distancing must be maintained when seated with others. Eating in labs, shops and active classes in not permitted. However, students may eat in an empty classroom if no class is actively taking place. While eating, you must be stationary (not moving through hallways or other spaces).
- outdoors on our campuses with physical distancing in place – but we strongly encourage wearing a face mask/covering when you are with other people in any situation.
To safeguard the learning environment and the workplace, to the extent reasonably possible, Minnesota State colleges, universities, and system office are also subject to Executive Order 20-81 which requires all employees, students, and visitors to wear face masks or face coverings in all buildings as well as other designated confined spaces.
Those entering campus must also complete a COVID-19 self-screening form, available at the front entrances, or through our website either prior to or upon arriving on campus.
- What types of masks/face coverings are allowed?
Per the Governor’s Executive Order 20-81, types of face coverings can include a paper or disposable mask, a cloth mask, a neck gaiter, a scarf, a bandanna, or a religious face covering
Face shields are not an acceptable form of a mask except in the situations described in the question below.
- Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask? Does the college provide face shields?
The use of face shields will be allowed on a limited basis on our campuses. Students and faculty are only permitted to wear face shields as an alternative to face coverings in the following situations:
- When an individual has a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who have a medical condition that compromises their ability to breathe, and individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. These individuals should consider using alternatives to face coverings, including clear face shields, and staying at home as much as possible.
- When faculty are teaching a class or giving a lecture, or when students are participating in classroom activities, where it is important for the face to be seen (for example, certain activities in language or communications classes).
- Where a face covering may pose a hazard due to the nature of the class or activity (for example, in a laboratory component of a class).
- When staff or faculty are providing direct support student services and a face covering impedes the service being provided.
Face shields will be available for pick-up at the Student Life desk on both campuses August 24 – 28 and August 31 – September 4, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. Students unable to utilize a face covering (mask or face shield) should not come to campus and will be advised to only take online classes.
- Will masks be provided to students and employees?
Yes. One cloth mask will be available at no cost to students.*
Mask distribution to students:
- Where: Student Life desk on both campuses
- Dates: August 24 – 28, August 31 – September 4
- Times: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
- Face shields will be available as well
*To ensure all students have access to a complimentary cloth mask, our initial distribution will include one mask instead of two as originally communicated. We may distribute additional masks later in the semester.
- What if I have a medical condition and cannot wear a mask?
The Governor’s Executive Order 20-81 indicates the following individuals are exempt from face-covering requirements of this Executive Order:
- Individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that makes it unreasonable for the individual to maintain a face covering. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who have a medical condition that compromises their ability to breathe, and individuals who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. These individuals should consider using alternatives to face coverings, including clear face shields, and staying at home as much as possible.
Face shields will be available. Please watch for additional information on how to obtain one if needed. Students unable to utilize a face covering (mask or face shield) should not come to campus and will be advised to only take online classes.
- If I have a mask on, do I need to observe social distancing guidelines?
Yes. A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but is especially important in situations when maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other individuals who are not members of the same household is not possible.
- What if someone in my class tests positive for COVID-19? What happens and will I be notified?
The College will continue to work with MDH and county officials to closely track COVID-19 cases. Given the sensitive nature of sharing private medical information, the college as a whole will not be notified of positive cases. However, the college’s Safety/COVID Contact will be informed of all positive COVID-19 tests and depending upon the results of initial investigation and contact tracing will take the necessary steps to notify those individuals who have been impacted and implement action plans. (If notified, a student should follow the steps outlined in our What to Do if You Are Sick guide).
- Will Ridgewater College offer COVID-19 testing on campus for students or employees?
- Do I need to need to stay home if I have traveled internationally?
Based on information from the CDC, students who are coming from countries outside of the United States DO NOT need to quarantine for two weeks when they arrive home.
What Areas of the Campus are Open?
- What entrances will be open on campus and what are the college hours?
Our campuses will be open Monday through Friday from 7 am until 5 pm. In some cases, our campuses may be open on weekends for classes offered through Customized Training and Continuing Education. The maps below show which entrances will be open.
Doors (main door 100 & 350)
Open 7:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Hutchinson East Campus: (TBD)
Doors (500 & 550)
Open 7:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F
Open Saturday & Sunday per class schedule (CTCE)
Doors (main door, 4, 7, 29, 35, 36, 37, 52, 65, 71 & 74)
Open 7:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Doors (13 & 22)
Open 6:30 am – 5:00 pm M-F
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Customized programming (TBD door 10 managed by CTCE)
Open 7:00 am – 9:00 pm M-F
Open Saturday & Sunday per class schedule
View the door access maps below:
- Willmar Campus Door Access Map
- Hutchinson Campus Door Access Map
- Hutchinson East Campus Door Access Map
Employees: If you have a key or fob you will be able to gain access at any time to the doors that you normally access. The times above are specific to public and student access.
- Will the campus bookstore be open?
Bookstores on each campus will be open but with limited hours and services, as noted below. Books and supplies MUST be purchased online.
For Fall Semester, books will be available to purchase online starting August 8, 2020, with free shipping on all orders. Don’t delay in ordering your books! Waiting to purchase books could delay your order.
Beginning August 10 – August 21, the Bookstore service windows will be open 9 am – 2 pm at both campuses for students who ordered books online and selected pick-up rather than home delivery. You will be emailed when your books are ready for pick-up.
The Bookstore will reopen for in-person returns, exchanges and the sale of general merchandise beginning August 24 – September 4 from 9 am – 2 pm. Bookstore hours will continue to be reevaluated and are subject to change.
PSEO Students – when selecting your books, please do NOT select rentals.
Please contact call 320-222-5590 (Willmar) or 320-234-8524 (Hutchinson) if you have questions or concerns.
- Will the fitness centers, gymnasium, student lounge areas and Create Space be open?
The gymnasium and fitness centers will not be open for use by faculty, staff or students during Fall Semester 2020.
The Create Space on the Hutchinson Campus will be available to students for use as part of classroom activity only; the Create Space will not have open hours.
Using the college for social gatherings or games is not be permitted. Students not following social distancing guidelines will be asked to leave.
- Will food service be available on campus?
For fall semester, food services will be open 8 am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday at the Willmar campus. Food service will not be available in Hutchinson.
Vending machines will be available at both campuses. Additionally, the Bookstore will have snacks and other food items available for purchase when open.
- Will there be sports gatherings, sporting events, or other activities on campus?
All events and the volleyball season are canceled for Fall Semester 2020. All student life activities will be held virtually.
Activities and sporting events will be reassessed for Spring Semester 2021. For updates on sports and sporting events, please visit the athletics webpage for the most up-to-date information.
- Will the campus libraries be open for students to access resources and technology?
Yes. The libraries on each campus will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. During the semester break, they will be closed December 21, 2020 through January 6, 2021. Both libraries will reopen at 8:00 am on January 7.
Maintaining a Clean and Safe Campus
- What is Ridgewater doing to keep the campus community safe during the COVID pandemic?
The College has been working extremely hard to develop strategies to keep everyone safe. We have also been working with state and local officials to develop protocols aimed at protecting each other. The strongest line of defense we have to limit the spread of COVID-19 is following the personal safety guidelines:
- Wear face coverings
- Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet
- Wash your hands regularly
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
In addition, the College is following cleaning protocols recommended by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for high traffic areas. Explore our Back-to-Campus Preparedness Plan for more information on cleaning.
- How is the college adapting and cleaning shared spaces where people are together for prolonged periods?
We have developed an aggressive cleaning plan for the institution. In addition, Maintenance is working through the re-opening plans and installing additional safety protocols. These include increased cleaning in high traffic areas, installing plexiglass barriers, removing or marking off furniture, and reconfiguring work spaces where possible.
- Do I need to bring my own cleaning supplies to clean my office/work station?
Ridgewater employees will not be required to bring their own cleaning materials but may do so if they wish. Cleaning supplies including sanitizing wipes, disinfectant spray, dry cloths, and hand sanitizer have been deployed to all work areas. Please contact Maintenance directly if you need additional supplies for your office or work area. Currently, both campuses are setup with a “maintenance on duty” number that anyone can call for assistance. Our Maintenance team is responsive and should be able to arrive with needed supplies in a timely manner.
- Hutchinson Campus:
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call – 320-552-0167
- Willmar Campus:
- Email – email@example.com
- Call – 320-212-1351
Prior to the start of classes, we will provide cleaning supplies to our F2F classrooms. It is important to understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes germs and dust by using detergents or soap and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects by using chemicals, and also lowers the risk of spreading infection.
- Hutchinson Campus:
- What should I do if I've had possible exposure or been tested for COVID-19?
Know what to do and how to report for the various scenarios that can occur related to symptoms, test results and how long to stay home if you need to with our Employee/Student COVID-19 Exposure Action Guide [PDF].
Please follow these recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health as well:
Student Information and Resources
- How do I obtain a parking permit or student ID? Will I need them?
Your Student ID gives you access to special discounts at local businesses in Willmar and Hutchinson. You may need a Student ID because:
- You are a new students and didn’t receive an ID due to COVID-19 and virtual new student registration days
- Your current ID is expired
- You lost your ID
Complete the online Warrior ID Request Form to request your ID. You will need to log into the form using the same login you use for your Ridgewater email:
- Your StarID Password
IDs will be printed and mailed the first and third week of each month, typically on Wednesdays.
Parking permits will not be required for Fall Semester. Parking permits will be available for pick up at the Business Office on either campus in the future. Please check back for more information on when permits will be available.
- Will I be charged a parking fee?
You will be charged a parking fee if you have face-to-face classes on campus. If your classes are online or have been changed to an online format due to COVID-19, you will not be charged the parking fee.
- Can I bring food or beverages to campus? Where and how can I consume them?
Students may bring food and beverages to campus. Masks may be removed while eating. However, before and after eating a meal, face masks/coverings must be worn. Social distancing must be maintained when seated with others while eating.
Food must be consumed in appropriate areas, such as the Commons and campus dining areas. Eating in labs, shops and active classes in not permitted. However, students may eat in an empty classroom if no class is actively taking place. While eating, you must be stationary (not moving through hallways or other spaces).
Beverages may be brought into classrooms if permitted by the instructor. Face coverings may be lifted very briefly to consume beverages.
- What if I need an accommodation for a class?
If you have concerns about a current accommodation, please contact Ridgewater College Disability Services.
- How does the COVID-19 situation impact my federal student loans?
On March 27, 2020, the president signed the CARES Act into law, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. You can find more information about how this may impact you here: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
- How does COVID-19 impact international students?
Please refer to the COVID-19 US Custom and Immigration Enforcement FAQ sheet.
- I am very stressed or anxious about this situation. Where can I get help?
This is a challenging time and many of us are feeling stress or anxiety. United Healthcare is offering a free emotional-support helpline for all students through Optum, one of their subsidiary companies. Their 24/7 toll-free helpline number, 866-342-6892, is free of charge and open to any student. Our counselors, LeAnn Pueringer and Lisa Wagoner, are also available to help students.
- What should I do if I need technical assistance?
Technology support is available through the Minnesota State and Ridgewater College. Contact Minnesota State’s one-stop support for technology services line at 1-844-456-3876.
Areas of Assistance Days of Operation Hours Star ID
Monday – Thursday
If you need technical assistance outside of the areas listed above, please contact the Ridgewater College IT team in one of the following ways:
- Do I need a different login to access my online courses via Zoom?
No. You can log in to your zoom account using your StarID and StarID password. If you do not know or cannot remember your StarID or password, please visit starid.minnstate.edu for assistance.
For more information on using Zoom, please visit our Technology Support and Resources page.
- What kind of equipment/technology will I need to complete an online course?
Typically you will need access to the following items for the best online learning experience:
- Laptop, computer or tablet
- Webcam or built-in camera
- Headset, earbuds, or a microphone/speaker
- What if I do not have a computer, webcam or internet to participate in online classes?
If you do not have a computer to participate in online/remote classes, our library computer labs will be set up with social distancing for use on both the Hutchinson and Willmar campuses.
If you have technology concerns, please contact your advisor or instructor.