Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

College Response

  • Academics: Students will have the opportunity at the end of the semester to opt for a “Pass/Fail” grade in most undergraduate classes rather than receiving a letter grade. (Read more details in the April 30 email below.)

  • Commencement, which had been scheduled for May 16, has been postponed. A virtual celebration is in the works, though this will not take the place of a formal Commencement ceremony, which is planned for later in the year. Additional details will be shared as soon as they are available.

  • Returning This Fall: We plan to see you in person this fall, pending public-health recommendations from state and federal officials. But we also have contingency plans in place to ensure you receive the best educational experience possible. (Read more details in the April 30 email below.)

  • CARES Act Funding for Students: The CARES Act did not include stimulus checks to college students who are still claimed as dependents on their parent or guardian’s tax returns. However, Keuka College has received funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund portion of the CARES Act, which is being distributed as emergency aid to students. (Read more details in the April 30 email below.)

  • Room & Board Credits and Refunds: If you participated in the room and/or board plan in Spring 2020 and left the campus early as a result of the pandemic, you’ll be eligible to receive a 50% refund or credit of your room & board costs for the final seven weeks of the semester (March 30 - May 15). (Read more details in the April 30 email below.)

  • Work Study: We realize a number of students had scheduled employment hours they anticipated working through the end of the semester and that many students rely on this income. As such, the College is exploring ways to fund payments to students for lost wages on a case-by-case basis. (Read more details in the April 30 email below.)

  • Student services are now available remotely. Please learn more here.

  • Events: The College has postponed all on-campus events until further notice. 


April 30, 2020 Update. Please see the latest message from President Amy Storey below:

Dear Keuka College Students and Families,

I hope that this message finds you well and that you are safe, healthy, and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. I know that many of you are up against a set of enormous challenges, and that the sudden pivot to remote learning is far from ideal for you. You have all shown impressive resiliency during this extraordinary time, and I hope that you won’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected] if there is anything that we can do for you.

I write today to share with you updates on academics, room & board credits/refunds, CARES Act payments you may be eligible for, and our plans for the fall.

Academics

Many of you are concerned about how the change to distance learning, as well as the stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, will impact your GPA. I want to assure you that it will be okay.

While I hope that you will continue bringing your best thinking to your remote coursework, you will have the opportunity at the end of the semester to opt for a “Pass/Fail” grade in most of your undergraduate classes rather than receiving a letter grade. 

Details about the Pass/Fail system are available by using this link. While it is important that you review this information thoroughly, this generally means that after you receive your letter grade, you will have the option of not having a grade of C- or higher recorded on your transcript or impacting your GPA. Once grades are received, you will need to talk with your academic advisor to see whether retaining a letter grade or opting for a Pass/Fail will be most advantageous to you.

Field Period®

We have developed new, flexible alternatives for students to complete Field Period® requirements. To learn more about these options, visit this link.

CARES Act Funding for Students

As you likely know, the CARES Act did not include stimulus checks to college students who are still claimed as dependents on their parent or guardian’s tax returns. However, Keuka College has received funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund portion of the CARES Act that is to be distributed as emergency aid to students.

You are eligible if:

  • You’re eligible to receive Title IV Funds (e.g., a domestic student or refugee with permanent resident status); and,
  • You were not enrolled in a program that was fully online before March 13; and,
  • You have encountered economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to be considered for funding, you must complete an application. Details about accessing the application and the associated deadlines will be sent to you on or before Wednesday, May 6. Checks will be mailed to you within ten business days of your application being received and approved. 

Room & Board Credits and Refunds

Though COVID-19 makes it impossible for us all to be on campus together, we are innovating and developing ways to deliver the high-quality educational experience you have come to expect from Keuka College. We are issuing credits/refunds for room & board, but will maintain tuition and fees.

If you participated in the room and/or board plan in Spring 2020 and left the campus early as a result of the pandemic, you will receive a 50% refund or credit of your room & board costs for the last seven weeks of the semester (March 30 - May 15).

All reimbursements will be applied to your student account balance first. If there is an ending credit on your account: 

  • If you are eligible for graduation this May, you will receive a refund check.
  • Returning students will see the credit applied to their next bill.
  • If you transfer or withdraw, you will not be eligible for a refund.

Credits/refunds will be processed within the next eight weeks, and your student account balance in KC Portal will be updated to show your credit/refund.

Please do not contact the College with inquiries about your specific account so that we may focus our efforts on calculating amounts and processing statements. We anticipate that all accounts will be fully settled by July 1.

Why 50%?

Room & board revenue is an important part of how the College is able to operate. These dollars are used to provide you with robust services and staff; maintain the buildings you live, work, and study in; and offset a portion of the costs of your academic scholarship (this, for instance, is why scholarship values are typically reduced if you are approved to live off campus). 

As in your own homes, expenses are not spread evenly throughout each week of the year. For example, there are many seasonal services (e.g., heat, snow removal) you received in the fall and winter months from room & board payments that are not present in the spring.

Work Study

Keuka College has generally referred to all types of student employment as “work study,” though in actuality, federally funded work-study aid is much different from College-funded student employment. While the government is allowing unspent federal work-study aid to be given to students, the College’s federal work-study dollars were already fully paid out to students this academic year before the move to distance learning. Therefore, the federal funding for work study has been fully exhausted for this year. 

That said, we realize a number of students had scheduled employment hours they anticipated working through the end of the semester and that many students rely on this income. As such, the College will fund payments to students for lost student employment wages due to the pandemic on a case-by-case basis. We are working with individual supervisors to determine how many hours would have been worked in the second half of the semester to make these calculations. We anticipate having additional information available in the next few weeks.

Returning This Fall

We are committed to resuming classes, athletics, and residence life in a way that resembles the pre-pandemic environment as closely as possible in August, provided it is safe to do so. That said, we must also plan for new challenges that may be unavoidable.

The College’s ability to welcome you back to campus depends largely on guidance from the federal and state governments and public health officials. We are planning to see you in person this fall, but if guidance from the state won’t allow it, we will have contingency plans in place to ensure you receive the best educational experience possible.

One notable exception to this is for our Occupational Therapy students who will begin studying for their master’s degrees next year. Because of the way the pandemic has impacted clinical placement sites, that program’s schedule has been adjusted to include full-time summer study and online courses in the fall. There are no current plans to make similar adjustments in other programs.

I look forward to seeing you all on campus as soon as possible, but in the meantime, I’ll see you online! We will get through this together. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

Sincerely,
Amy Storey

President


Vital takeaways for current students and their families:

As we continue to adjust to the realities of remote instruction, we have some important support service updates to share. 

The Office of Student Success has been decentralized in an effort to better support you while you're learning from home. The College will continue to provide all the same services you’ve come to expect, albeit in a different format. 

  • Success Mentors - A member of the athletics department or student affairs staff will be assigned to you as a primary point of contact. Success Mentors and/or a resident assistant will check in with you periodically to ensure you are successful this spring. 
     
  • Tutoring and Writing Support - Catherine Agar will continue to oversee the writing center and will also support tutoring services. To coordinate an appointment for tutoring or writing support, connect with Catherine, [email protected]
     
  • Disability Services - Dr. Chris Alterio will provide oversight of disability services. If you have any needs, please contact Dr. Alterio directly, [email protected] 
     
  • Surviving COVID-19: A #RealCollege Guide for Students - The Hope Center has created an excellent guide for college students across the country to help you adjust to changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the guide here.

Health and Counseling Services will now be moved online. Our on-campus services will be suspended for the remainder of the semester. Following is the information required in order to utilize our online support:

Medical Helpline - For over the phone medical consultation and/or telemedicine support, simply call (315) 279-5368. This service is available Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 8:30 a.m. - Noon.

Counseling Non-Crisis Helpline - Our counseling staff will offer free, one-on-one consultations through Microsoft Teams. To schedule an appointment, contact [email protected]

Vital takeaways for faculty and staff:

  • While we will be temporarily changing our method of instruction. Staff will continue to follow their regular work schedules, and faculty will continue to provide an exceptional education to our students—albeit in a different format. 
     
  • All faculty and staff are expected to report and be continually available per the terms of their contracts. The College also asks that everyone remain calm and work to lower the anxiety of students—and one another—by exhibiting a strong leadership presence and confidence in our pathway forward to help our students succeed.
     
  • With the majority of students no longer on campus and athletics and co-curricular activities suspended, some of our staff will be trained and redeployed to assist faculty and students in different ways.

Archived messages

Dear Keuka College Community,

These past few weeks have been full of uncertainty and concern. As COVID-19 spreads around the world, we have been reminded about those who matter to us most: our students, friends, families, and colleagues. This is an unprecedented moment in our history that, on an international scale, has led to more questions than answers. 

One of Keuka College’s greatest strengths is our small, close-knit community. However, as COVID-19 continues to spread, those who are in close proximity to someone infected are at greatest risk. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advise that the risk of severe illness to most people is low, it is important that we put the health and safety of the Keuka College community first. 

As students, faculty, and staff prepare to leave for destinations around the country during Spring Break, we cannot be certain that individuals will be free from exposure or infection upon their return. In addition, our community does not have the facilities or the health care systems in place to support a large-scale quarantine.

As a result, we have decided to change the way in which Keuka College operates in order to limit large gatherings, minimize the risk of exposure that comes with the closeness of residence hall living, and reduce population density — the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease.

Although as of today there are no confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in our area, out of an abundance of caution, the College is extending Spring Break for on-campus students to two full weeks. There will be no classes during the week of March 23-27. We are currently evaluating scheduled Spring Break travel for our athletics teams, and more information pertaining to trips will be shared within the next day.

Beginning on March 30, all Keuka College classes will move to online instruction for an undefined period of time. Students in the Adult and Online Education programs will continue their current schedule until March 19, at which point all instruction will be delivered online as well. 

Many of us call our campus “home,” and our Adult and Online Education students look forward to their weekly, face-to-face gatherings. I realize that this decision will be heartbreaking to many, and especially so to our seniors, who have been looking forward to celebrating their final few weeks as Keuka College students together. We will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and hope that we will be able to reconvene the Keuka College community later this semester.

While we will be temporarily changing our method of instruction, staff will continue to follow their regular work schedules, and faculty members will continue to provide an exceptional education to our students—albeit in a different format. Faculty and staff will be working together over the next two weeks to create the best possible online educational experience for our students. Faculty and staff should report to work as usual, unless they have been given approval to work remotely by their area vice president.

Effective immediately, all in-person, nonessential events must be postponed, canceled, or offered virtually until further notice. “Nonessential” means anything unrelated to educational instruction or dining services. Additionally, we strongly encourage faculty and staff to postpone or cancel any nonessential visits to campus by those outside of our College community.

Because of the temporary move to online course delivery, we recognize that many of our residential students may choose to return home. The Student Affairs team is readying plans to assist students and families with their departures. Information regarding the College’s housing policies and procedures will be forthcoming from Dean of Students Jon Accardi within the next few days.

We also know that some students, including our international students and those on professional and clinical placements, have chosen to remain on campus over Spring Break and may choose to stay on campus during the weeks that we are teaching online. If this is an accommodation you need, you must use this link to let us know. Those who leave for Spring Break and elect to return to live on campus while they take online classes may be subject to COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine. We will make every effort to accommodate your needs, but please be aware that services such as dining may be reduced to limit large gatherings. 

The entire College community is working tirelessly to adapt to this new environment, and we will be sharing information with you in the coming days and weeks through email and on this Coronavirus website. We have created a dedicated email address, [email protected], where you may send your questions. Finally, we have established a dedicated hotline, (315) 279-5034, for any questions not addressed on the website. The hotline will be available beginning at noon on Thursday, March 12.

We know that many of our residential students and their families will have questions with respect to room and board expenses. We have prioritized our planning efforts in this rapidly evolving time to focus on the College’s academic mission. However, we will provide information regarding room and board in the near future after giving full consideration to College and federal regulations and guidelines.

We ask that all members of the Keuka College community continuously check their email as new information will be shared as soon as it becomes available. These are times of challenge, but I know that our College community will rise to the occasion and meet those challenges head-on with resilience, resourcefulness, and a shared spirit of ingenuity.

Thank you for continuing to Believe in What We Can Do Together.

Sincerely,

Amy Storey​
President

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