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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

University Wide

Are masks or face coverings required on campus?

Yes. As of July 2, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors must wear face coverings over their mouths and noses while on Baker campuses in the following settings:

  • Public outdoor spaces where social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained
  • Public spaces that may be visited by a member of the public
  • Common areas such as hallways, stairways, and elevators
  • Inside an enclosed area where social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained

This policy has been established based on Governor Laura Kelly’s Executive Order No. 20-52 requiring most Kansans in a public space to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible, the Douglas County Health Officer Order, and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Are campus offices open?
Yes, but the majority of the employees are working from home. Call or email if you need to reach a specific office or person. Access the directory at bakerU.edu/directory.
How long will faculty and staff work remotely?
  • Starting June 1, vice presidents, managers, and supervisors will return to the Overland Park and Baldwin City campuses as necessary to develop phasing plans for their departments.
  • We expect the phases to roll out through the summer. Schedules will be flexible and dates and schedules will vary depending on individual job functions, office configurations, and departmental needs.
  • Faculty and staff at the School of Nursing will follow guidelines established by Stormont Vail Health.
Is Baker’s accreditation at risk by going online?

COVID-19 information provided by the U.S. Department of Education has extended temporary flexibility to institutions to implement distance learning solutions to continue educating students in the event of campus interruptions or the unexpected return of students from travel abroad experiences. Similarly, flexibility was granted to accrediting agencies to waive routine regular distance learning review requirements and approval processes to allow institutions quickly to switch to distance learning to enable currently enrolled students to complete the current term. Baker has complied with all of this guidance and our accreditation provided by the Higher Learning Commission is not at risk   

How can I make a financial gift to the university specifically to offset expenses caused by the pandemic?
We have established the Baker University Emergency Relief Fund to help the university weather the financial challenges we face now and will continue to face in the coming months. The funds will be used for, but not be limited to, providing students, faculty, and staff access to the equipment and technology necessary for remote classes and business operations and to provide financial support to students with an outstanding student account balance at the university who may be experiencing a financial hardship. Gifts to the fund can be made online.
I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do?
Contact Baker University immediately so the university can take the steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Academics | Baldwin City Campus

Will classes be held in person in the fall?

​Yes, in-person classes will be held on the Baldwin City campus in the falll. To mitigate the health risks posed by holiday travel, flu season, and a potential second wave of COVID-19, we have modified our fall calendar as follows:

  • The 2020 fall semester will start on August 17 and conclude on Tuesday, November 24 (before the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26). This modified academic calendar will allow us to align with state, federal, and accreditation regulations for the required number of weeks in the semester while mitigating health risks during flu season.
  • Move-in dates for fall athletes are scheduled on August 3 (football), August 4 (men’s soccer) and August 7 (women’s soccer, cross country, and volleyball).
  • The move-in date for new students living on campus is Saturday, August 15. Please watch for an email from Residence Life for more information.
  • The move-in dates for returning students living on campus is Sunday, August 16. Please watch for an email from Residence Life with more information.
  • Final exams will be November 18-20 (Wednesday-Friday) and November 23-24 (Monday and Tuesday).
  • In order to release students from classes by Thanksgiving, we will hold classes on Labor Day, September 4, and we will not hold a fall break.
  • Winter commencement exercises are tentatively scheduled to be held in December.
Can I take my classes Pass/NC this semester and what is the deadline for requesting this?
Students at the College of Arts and Sciences have the opportunity to request that courses for the spring 2020 term be graded Pass/NC.

If you wish to take one (or more) courses using the P/NC option, the request must be made by April 27, 2020, which is also the final day to withdraw from a course this term. Once you make this decision you may not change your mind – so please make your choice carefully.

Please read the following carefully, and you are strongly encouraged to consult with your academic advisor before making a decision.

  • Students may choose to continue to take a course for a grade. In this case the student may earn the following grades: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, NC, or XF. We will not assign the grade of F in this term. If a student fails to earn a passing grade, an NC will be assigned. The student will not get credit for the course, but neither will an F be included in the student’s GPA. There is one exception. If the student fails due to academic misconduct (cheating or plagiarism) the grade of XF will be assigned and this will lower the student’s GPA. It is never appropriate to cheat or to plagiarize the work of someone else. A pandemic is not an excuse for academic dishonesty.
  • Students may choose to take a course that was previously going to be graded for a P/NC In this case, and only for this semester, the NC will be assigned only if the student is failing the course. If the student is earning at least a D-, the grade of P will be assigned. This will allow students to earn credit for the course and move forward without impact to their GPAs as long as they are passing. However, this is not always a good choice to makeso students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisors prior to making this choice for any course.

Things to carefully consider:

  • Some majors require a grade of C/C- or better in order to proceed in the discipline. Before you choose to take a course required for your major in a P/NC manner – STOP and consult your advisor.
  • Some graduate schools require (or strongly recommend) a letter grade for admission to the program. If you are planning to apply to graduate school – STOP and consult with your advisor prior to choosing the P/NC option.
  • PRE-NURSING students, please know that our nursing school does require grades for all courses used as part of your admission package. STOP and consult with your advisor or with Cara Bonfiglio at the Baker School of Nursing if you plan to attend our nursing school.
  • Some students need a letter grade in order to be eligible to compete in NAIA athletics in future semesters. If you are a scholar-athlete at Baker – STOP and consult your academic advisor on academic issues and your coach on eligibility issues prior to choosing P/NC as your grading option.

Our strongest recommendation is that you take most (if not all) of your courses for a grade. In the long term, we believe this will serve you best. However, if you feel that you are at risk of getting a D of some flavor in a course, the P/NC option may serve you well in this term. This is definitely the time to consult your advisor and (if applicable) your coach about this choice. Please do not make these decisions in a vacuum; consult with the experts in your disciplines.

If you want to take all your courses for a grade, no action is necessary.

If you wish to take one (or more) courses using the P/NC option, the instructions are on the registrar’s page of the website. The changes will be made using a form accessed through your portal, so the process will be secure. The request must be made by April 27, 2020, which is also the final day to withdraw from a course this term. Once you make this decision you may not change your mind – so please make your choice carefully.

Note that any courses that were previously P/NC courses will remain so and no action is required by the student.

When will enrollment for summer and fall 2020 CAS classes take place?
The enrollment period will be moved back one week and begin April 13. Timetables will be published online March 23.
Will I be able to enroll in fall classes if I have an outstanding balance that I am having trouble paying because of the pandemic?
The university is raising the maximum outstanding student account balance permitted to enroll from $100 to $2,500. Students with a balance of up to $2,500 must enter into payment arrangements with the Business Office to bring their account current during the fall semester by calling 785-594-8306. However, students will be allowed to enroll and begin fall 2020 courses.
Is tutoring available for CAS students?
Yes, the peer tutoring program has gone online.

Access a Tutor

  1. Go to your Moodle page.
  2. Select Virtual Baker Student Resource Hub.
  3. Select Online Tutoring Session.
  4. Go to Drop-In Online Tutoring Session. You will find the welcome page that explains how to use this resource! There is also a video that walks you through how to use the site and attend a Zoom meeting.

Check often for SP20 tutor schedule updates!

If you have questions contact kathy.wilson@bakeru.edu

Is Writing Center available for CAS students?
Yes, the Writing Center has gone online, and is open Monday-Thursday, 3 – 5 p.m.

What the Writing Center Can Do

  • Discuss brainstorming strategies for generating ideas
  • Read and provide feedback on in-process written work (maximum 3-5 double-spaced pages)

What the Writing Center Cannot Do

  • Proofread, edit or “correct” written work
  • Provide “drop-off” and “pick-up” service for written work

How It Works

  1. Email your draft (as an MS Word document) to Bill Pore at: wpore@bakerU.edu at least 15 minutes before you enter the Zoom waiting room. Begin your email subject line with: WC CONFERENCE.
  2. Click on Spring 2020 Remote Learning Writing Conferences to access the link to Zoom.
  3. Be prepared for an interactive one-on-one Zoom conference about your writing, which will last approximately 15 minutes.
Will the library be open while classes are being held online?
The library, archives, Old Castle museum, and Quayle Bible Collection will be closed until further notice. The library staff will continue to work remotely and can be reached by email: reference@bakerU.edu.

No library materials will be checked out while the library is closed. Questions about due dates for library materials currently held by students, staff, and faculty can be sent to rwalling@bakerU.edu.

The library staff will continue to process new interlibrary loan requests for articles and book chapters; however, the staff will not be able to process requests for entire books and other tangible materials until the library reopens.

While the brick and mortar library is closed, the Baker community will continue to have access to a wide array of online databases, journals, and e-books through the library website https://lib.bakeru.edu.

 

When are my rental textbooks due and how can I return them at the end of the semester?
Your textbooks are due Mary 15, 2020. Because the bookstore is closed to the public, you can ship your rentals using the free shipping label included in every rental reminder email.

  • You will receive your first email two weeks before your rental due date.
  • You will need a box for your books and a printer for the label.

After printing the label, take the shipment to the nearest FedEx store.

Will second-half classes on the Baldwin City campus still be held?
Yes, they will be held as scheduled.
Will midterm grades for the Baldwin City campus still be posted?
Yes.

Academics | SPGS

When will in-person classes resume for SPGS?
At this time, we intend to resume in-person classes for courses beginning after August 1. If your course begins before August 1, it will remain via Zoom for the entirety of the course. We will continue to monitor and follow federal and state mandates, so this date could change.

Technology

What can I do if I don’t have access to the Internet while living off campus?
Several Internet providers are offering free Internet for the next several months.

I haven’t taken an online class before. Will there be instructions for accessing my class?
Yes. Support resources and instructions will be posted within Moodle: bumoodle.bakerU.edu.
I am a student on the Baldwin City campus. Can I get a loaner laptop from IT?
IT does not have laptops available to loan to students. The computer labs on the lower floor of the library are available to students until March 27.  Labs  in the residence halls will be available only to students staying in housing until they are vacated. 

Student Emergency Financial Aid Grants via CARES Funds

Did Baker receive CARES Funds?
  1. Baker has signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement to receive approved federally approved funds under the CARES Act and as required by the assurance; the university will distribute at least 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students. The remaining 50 percent of these funds will be used to offset expenses incurred by the university for housing and meal refunds issued due to campus closures related to COVID.
  2. For the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students, Baker has been awarded a total of $567,000 from Department of Education (DOE).
When will Baker distribute the Financial Emergency Aid Grants to students?
The distribution date for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students is June 15, 2020, by check and USPS.
Who is eligible to receive an Emergency Financial Aid Grant at Baker University?
  1. Under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act, students must be eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to be considered for an Emergency Financial Aid Grant. To be deemed eligible for Title IV funds, a completed FAFSA must be on file with Baker for the spring term 2020. The total number students with a FAFSA on file at Baker is 1,024. The guidance from the DOE further excludes all online students, international or DACA students, and those students not eligible for Title IV funding from receiving these emergency financial aid grants.
  2. The DOE permitted universities to develop the specific methodology for how the funds would be distributed with the goal to assist those students with the greatest financial needs related to COVID 19. The methodology to calculate the grants for Baker students includes all full-time, on-ground, undergraduate students enrolled for the spring term 2020 at the Baldwin City campus and undergraduate School of Nursing in Topeka, Kansas, with a FAFSA on file for the academic year 2019-2020 and therefore eligible for Title IV funds. These students were impacted most significantly by the required campus closures as a result of the public health emergency. There are a total of 888 students meeting the eligibility criteria for the Emergency Financial Aid Grants under this methodology.
  3. Baker will distribute Emergency Financial Aid Grants to eligible students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act based on the approved methodology on June 15, 2020, by check and USPS. 
For eligible students, how much will the Emergency Financial Aid Grants be for?
Equal payments were determined for individual grant awards based on the number of students who qualified using the outlined criteria and methodology. A total of 888 students have been deemed eligible for these grants and, therefore, each eligible student will receive an Emergency Financial Aid Grant in the amount of $638.52. This will distribute all of the funds allocated to Baker for Emergency Financial Aid grants.

For students not deemed eligible for these funds, Baker has a donor-funded Baker Emergency Relief Fund and students may request assistance related to COVID through an application process.

Are there further requirements of students regarding Financial Emergency Aid Grants?
The DOE requires that universities confirm students receiving these grants had expenses related to COVID such as housing, food, transportation, etc.; therefore, eligible students are provided written notification that cashing the check constitutes an acknowledgment that they did incur eligible expenses related to COVID. No further documentation will be required by Baker. The DOE has declared these emergency disaster grants and therefore the grants are not taxable. However, the grants will be reported on the annual 1098T form, which captures all financial aid funding.

Financial Aid

Will I get a refund for my campus housing and meal plan?
Students who were in student housing or had a meal plan (or both) this spring will receive a student emergency financial aid support grant of up to eight weeks of housing and the unused portions of their meal plan. The grants will be applied to the affected student accounts. Students will be able to view the exact grant amount applied to their existing account balance by accessing their student portal.  The grants are calculated based on the specific housing choices and meal plans that were selected by each student and are intended to assist students in funding the housing and meal costs they are incurring as a result of having to relocate off campus related to COVID-19. If a student has an existing balance due to the university, the grant will be applied to the balance and reduce the amount owed.  If a student has a balance due to them after the housing and/or meal plan emergency financial aid support grant is applied and any other existing university charges are paid in full, the credit balance will be applied to the fall semester tuition and fees.

Students may instead request a direct payment of the grant by submitting this form, which must be submitted by April 20, 2020.

  • Graduating seniors eligible for a grant due do not need to request a check. These will be automatically processed if the grant results in a credit balance on their student account.
  • Our goal is to have all checks distributed by April 23, 2020. If a student does not request a check, no further action is required and the emergency financial aid grant will automatically be applied to the fall 2020 tuition and fees.
Will I be able to enroll in fall classes if I have an outstanding balance that I am having trouble paying because of the pandemic?
The university is raising the maximum outstanding student account balance permitted to enroll from $100 to $2,500. Students with a balance of up to $2,500 must enter into payment arrangements with the Business Office to bring their account current during the fall semester by calling 785-594-8306. However, students will be allowed to enroll and begin fall 2020 courses.
Will I still get paid for work study while classes are being held online?
The federal government has authorized payment of work study even if students do not actually work as a result of a campus closing related to COVID-19. An average of your weekly hours will be paid.
How will shifting classes to online affect my VA benefits?
We have been advised that VA benefits will not be affected by the shift to online delivery of instruction.
If my school moves classes online, will I get less financial aid?

If your school has moved classes to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid. If you have questions about the online format, contact your school.

Is help available if I am having difficulty paying my university bill because of hardships caused by the pandemic?

We have established the Baker University Emergency Relief Fund to support students. The funds will be administered on an individual basis through the Office of Financial Aid. New applications closed July 8, 2020.

Housing & Dining Services

When will students move in on the Baldwin City campus?
  • Move-in dates for fall athletes are scheduled on August 3 (football), August 4 (men’s soccer) and August 7 (women’s soccer, cross country, and volleyball).
  • The move-in date for new students living on campus is Saturday, August 15. Please watch for an email from Residence Life for more information.
  • The move-in dates for returning students living on campus is Sunday, August 16. Please watch for an email from Residence Life with more information.
Will I get a refund for housing or meal plans as a result of closing the campus in Baldwin City?
Students who were in student housing or had a meal plan (or both) this spring will receive a student emergency financial aid support grant of up to eight weeks of housing and the unused portions of their meal plan. The grants will be applied to the affected student accounts. Students will be able to view the exact grant amount applied to their existing account balance by accessing their student portal.  The grants are calculated based on the specific housing choices and meal plans that were selected by each student and are intended to assist students in funding the housing and meal costs they are incurring as a result of having to relocate off campus related to COVID-19. If a student has an existing balance due to the university, the grant will be applied to the balance and reduce the amount owed.  If a student has a balance due to them after the housing and/or meal plan emergency financial aid support grant is applied and any other existing university charges are paid in full, the credit balance will be applied to the fall semester tuition and fees.

Students may instead request a direct payment of the grant by submitting this form, which must be submitted by April 20, 2020.

  • Graduating seniors eligible for a grant due do not need to request a check. These will be automatically processed if the grant results in a credit balance on their student account.
  • Our goal is to have all checks distributed by April 23, 2020. If a student does not request a check, no further action is required and the emergency financial aid grant will automatically be applied to the fall 2020 tuition and fees.

Facilities & Services

Now that I have moved home, should my parents count me on the 2020 Census?
No, you will still be counted by the university as a resident of Baldwin City.

  • Students who were living on campus (or in university-managed housing) will be counted by the institutions and should not be counted by parents. Parents should NOT count college students that have moved home due to COVID-19.
  • Students who were living off campus SHOULD respond to the 2020 Census using their off-campus residential address (where they WOULD have been on April 1, 2020 under normal circumstances) AND include all others also living there.
  • If parents counted their college student at home, it is OK. We have processes in place to deal with situations where a student was counted more than once.

Fact Sheet: Counting College Students
Video: 2020 Census: What College Students Need to Know to Be Counted in the Right Place
1-minute version of video: 2020 Census: What you should know

Will the Mail and Copy Center be open while employees are working remotely and students are off campus?
Yes. The mail room in  Baldwin City will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Is the facilities staff taking special precautions to disinfect buildings on campus?
The facilities staff is doing a systematic deep clean in all buildings and common-use spaces in the residence halls. It has increased the frequency it disinfects door handles, light switches, desks, and other frequently touched surfaces with a product recommended to be effective against the coronavirus.

Athletics & Activities

Are spring athletic practices or competitions still being held?
The NAIA announced on Monday, March 16, to cancel the spring 2020 sports season, effective immediately. No spring sport student-athletes will be charged a season of competition, and any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent. Athletic Director Nate Houser will share more information with student-athletes in the next few weeks.
Are events and activities on campus scheduled through the end of the semester still happening?
All events and activities on Baker’s campuses during the spring have been canceled or postponed.
Are the visit days on the Baldwin City campus in April still being held? Can I visit campus and take a tour for prospective students?
All group and individual visits for prospective students will take place virtually through Zoom videoconferencing. Learn more at bakeru.edu/visit.

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