Spring Semester 2021
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 maintaining a number of safety precautions this Spring. 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 Spring 2021 semester, remember: we are strong, determined, and resilient – we are Warriors!
Forms of Instruction for Spring 2021
|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.|
Spring 2021 Frequently Asked Questions
Spring 2021 Schedule & Course Delivery
- Will Spring semester start and end as scheduled? Will we get a Spring Break?
Spring semester 2021 will begin on Monday, January 11 and ends with finals week May 10-14. Spring Break will occur as scheduled from March 8-12, 2021. See all semester dates and deadlines.
While the class schedule and course delivery has been set and we hope to follow that plan for the duration of the semester, it is possible that we may need to convert face-to-face and hybrid courses to all online IF the COVID situation changes or worsens at any point.
- 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 Spring 2021 were updated on December 7, 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. Up until week 12 of the semester, a student will need to contact a counselor to discuss a withdrawal.
- Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org (Hutch Campus)
- Leann.email@example.com (Willmar Campus)
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?
- Courses that were originally listed as online will have the online course fee attached as usual.
- Courses that are being converted online that already have students enrolled will NOT have the online course fee attached.
- 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 Spring/Summer 2021 tuition and fees guide.
COVID-19: Masks, Screening, Testing, etc.
- What is the COVID-19 self-screening form and why is it required every time I come to campus?
All students, employees, and visitors coming to campus are required to complete the COVID-19 self-screening formeach day they are on campus. The screening can be done on your smartphone using the QR Code posted at one of our main entrances or you can do the screening on one of our laptops stationed at the main entrances.
The self-screening needs to be completed each day that 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 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.
- Will masks be provided or available to students and employees?
Yes. One Ridgewater College logo cloth mask will be available at no cost to students. Masks can be picked up at the front desk on each campus.
- 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.
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.
- 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 are available upon request at our front desk. Students unable to wear a mask or a face shield will not be allowed on campus and will be advised to take online classes. Students unwilling to wear a mask or face shield will not be allowed on campus.
- If I have been vaccinated for COVID-19, do I still have to wear a mask?
Yes. All students, faculty, and staff are required to wear a mask and social distance until further notice.
- 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 happens if someone in my class tests positive for COVID-19? Will I be notified and what should I do?
The College requires that anyone who tests positive or has a possible exposure to someone with COVID19 report their positive result or possible exposure via our COVID Reporting Form. Upon notification, the College’s Safety Administrator will begin the investigative process including contact tracing and if necessary, notification of others who may have been impacted. Given the sensitive nature of sharing private medical information, the names of those who test positive for COVID-19 will not be shared with the college as a whole. However, the college’s Safety Administrator will follow up on 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. We continue to work closely with MDH and county officials to communicate and track COVID-19 cases as we become aware of them.
If notified, a student should follow the directions provided by the Safety Administrator as to any required quarantine or isolation. Additional guidance is available in our Exposure Action Guide and this What to Do if You Are Sick guide.
The College President will provide reports of positive cases on campus to the college on a regular basis to keep you informed. Positive cases on our campuses are also reported weekly to the Minnesota State system and are tracked on the system’s COVID -19 Dashboard.
COVIDaware MN App
In addition to college notifications, the COVIDaware MN App is another resource available. COVIDaware MN is Minnesota’s exposure notification system. It will notify you if you’ve been near someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If you test positive, you can also use the app to anonymously notify anyone you’ve been near. COVIDaware MN is free and does not collect any personal information or track your location. The app was made available by the State of Minnesota, in partnership with PathCheck Foundation. It uses your phone’s Bluetooth signal and exposure notification technology developed by Apple and Google.
- Is COVID-19 testing available on campus for students or employees?
No. Information on testing locations in Minnesota can be found here.
- Do I need to need to quarantine after traveling out of state or internationally?
In December of 2020, this guidance on personal travel was issued by President Johnson:
Ridgewater Students and Colleagues:
As part of our ongoing response to the pandemic crisis, please review the information below as a guide to help you make the best decisions possible regarding any personal travel over the coming weeks.
While the language emphasizes out-of-state or international travel, please note the same cautions and advice apply to any social interactions, including travel and activities in our local area and state – a high-risk activity is just as problematic in a local setting as it is anywhere in the country or world.
This guidance is presented in the spirit of asking for your help to keep our campuses safe and to ensure the current course delivery plan for the spring semester can remain in place. The continued success of our effort to manage the COVID-19 situation relies heavily on the responsible and considerate behavior of every one of us in the college, so please take this information to heart and act accordingly.
In addition, employees should note that the State’s current Paid COVID-19 Leave policy allows access to up to 80 hours of paid leave to cover COVID-related work absence, including a quarantine period mandated by the college. This leave benefit is only applicable, however, in situations when telecommuting or working from home is not possible. Any proposed use of COVID leave will go through a comprehensive review process to ensure we are following the required policy guidelines, so it is not guaranteed to every employee in any and every situation. Employees requesting use of Paid COVID-19 Leave must consult with Human Resources to determine eligibility.
Thank you for your continued assistance to help us keep our campuses as safe as possible for everyone.
Craig Johnson, President, Ridgewater College
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Ridgewater College | GUIDANCE FOR PERSONAL TRAVEL DURING THE PANDEMIC
To assist students and employees who are considering travel plans during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled the following information to help you safely plan your personal travel and reduce risks to the college community upon your return.
It is important to note that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. The CDC also currently recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel outside of the United States.
With that information and maintaining a safe campus environment in mind, we ask all students and employees to recognize the potential risks that personal travel may present to you and to others in the college community upon your return, and to consider postponing or limiting any unnecessary travel, especially out-of-state or international travel, until the risk of the pandemic has significantly reduced.
In addition, the following advice should be considered before making travel plans:
- Since travel advisories, guidance and quarantine requirements by country and state can change quickly, it is important for those who wish to travel to do their research to determine conditions and requirements for their travel destination:
- If traveling internationally or across international borders, you should check with the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine.
- Local policies at your destination may require you to be tested for COVID-19 before you can enter the country. If you test positive upon arrival, you may be required to isolate for a period of time; you may even be prevented from returning to the United States as scheduled.
- If you travel to a high-risk location, including within the U.S., or if, during travel, you participate in activities where social distancing was not maintained, be aware that you may be required to quarantine and employees may be required to work from home for 14 days upon return from travel. (The requirement to quarantine will be determined through discussion with the Ridgewater College Safety Administrator and/or your supervisor prior to or immediately upon return, considering the most up-to-date information at the time).
If you do choose to travel after doing your research, we ask that you:
- Review and follow the CDC’s “Travel During Covid19” guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html
- Consider avoiding high-risk locations as noted on the CDC site: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html (Areas are ranked by their level of COVID risk: High=Level 3, Moderate=Level 2, Low=Level 1)
- Consider the activities or factors that may add additional risk to you during your travels, such as:
- Attending any large gatherings of people, indoor and outdoors
- Contact with others who are not wearing masks
- Contact with anyone who has COVID, or is suspected of having COVID, or may have been exposed to COVID
- Engaging in any activities where you are not able to social distance (excluding air or vehicle travel).
- Interacting with or attending events with persons from various locations, particularly high-risk locations.
4. Follow the CDC’s After Travel Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html
Additionally, employees should talk with their supervisor in advance about their plans for personal travel outside of the state or country to review the potential risk of possible complications that could impact your safe return to work.
- When will the vaccine be available to Ridgewater College students and employees?
COVID-19 vaccine planning is currently happening at federal, state, and local levels of government. Please refer to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for additional information:
What Areas of the Campus are Open?
- What are the college's hours and which doors/entrances will be open?
Our campuses will be open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4:30 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 – 4:30 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 – 4:30 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.
Bookstore hours will continue to be reevaluated and are subject to change. View the Bookstore webpage for more information on hours and ordering.
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 libraries and/or computer labs be open for students to access computer resources, internet and technology?
Yes. The libraries on each campus will be open Spring Semester 2021 starting January 7, 2021, Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. (The library is closed during winter break December 21, 2020 through January 6, 2021). Our libraries will serve as computer labs: computers, internet and technology resources are available for students to use in teach library.
- Will food service be available on campus?
For Spring 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 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 Spring Semester 2021.
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 there be sporting events, practices, or other student activities happening on campus?
No. All sporting events, practices, team activities and in-person student life events have been canceled for Spring Semester 2021. Student life activities will be held virtually.
Student Technology, General Information and Resources Available
- 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:
- 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. Please let your advisor or instructor know ASAP if you have any problems, concerns, or needs related to technology. We may have other resources available to assist you.
- 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.
- 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 Spring Semester.
- 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.
Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org (Counselor, Hutchinson Campus)
Leann.email@example.com (Counselor, Willmar Campus)
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, installed additional safety barriers and implemented 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?
Your first step is to submit our COVID Reporting Form to alert our Safety Administrator who will contact you. To know more about what to do, follow the guidance provided in our Employee/Student COVID-19 Exposure Action Guide [PDF].
Please follow these recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health as well: