In response to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Gordon College will continue courses online through the remainder of the spring semester. Learn more and stay updated ➔
On March 25, Gordon announced it would continue courses online through the remainder of the spring semester in response to concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19). This page attempts to address the many questions prompted by this decision. If your question is not answered here, please contact Gordon’s COVID-19 call center (978-867-4700) between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. EDT on weekdays or contact COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
How will students move out of the residence halls and when?
A comprehensive move-out plan for residential students is available at www.gordon.edu/coronavirus/reslife. The process is intentionally designed to maintain order and limit the number of people on campus during any given period.
What about international students or students cannot return home right now?
Campus housing remains available only to students who have no other option for housing. For extenuating circumstances in which move-out cannot be completed as instructed, students can complete the Petition to Remain on Campus form. RDs will review exceptional cases and make decisions by March 30. Please note that any students who completed the “Intent to Return” form earlier in March and plan to either return to or stay on campus must complete the new petition form.
If Commencement is in October, will seniors still be “graduating” in May?
The leadership team has been working with the Gordon College Student Association regarding Commencement and end-of-year activities for seniors. With input from the GCSA Commencement Committee, Commencement activities will be combined with Homecoming and Family Weekend (October 2–3, 2020). Degrees will be conferred, and diplomas mailed per usual in May. This change in the date of Commencement does not change the actual date of a student’s degree conferral (as long as they have completed their graduation requirements).
If I’m not going to be living or eating on campus for the next few weeks, can I get a refund for my food and housing expenses?
The College leadership team continues to carefully assess the options regarding the process to prorate spring semester room and board payments for residential students who (like all of us) anticipated being on campus for the full spring semester. This is not a “one size fits all” process, as the situation is different for graduating students and returning students, and we are evaluating the best means of meeting this need while being fiscally responsible to the needs of the College operations in what is an extraordinary time for institutions around the country. We will share next steps on this process with students and parents by April 15. We appreciate your patience.
What about summer programs—will those continue as planned?
At this point, decisions have only been made through Commencement (May 16). The College continues to monitor the situation and will assess summer programs on a case by case basis. If any adjustments or cancellations need to be made, that decision will be communicated to participants and invitees as soon as possible.
Will staff continue working remotely for the remainder of the semester?
Consistent with Governor Baker’s order, all non-essential offices have been shut down and are working remotely whenever possible. Faculty will continue to teach online for the rest of the semester but staff who are working remotely will be reevaluated once the governor’s order is lifted.
Are grades or credits being adjusted with the new online structure?
Grades and credit amounts will be awarded as normal. Faculty are committed to working with students through this unprecedented situation to maintain the gold standard of a Gordon education even from afar. They recognize that many students find themselves in unique and possibly challenging circumstances at this time, and will work with students as needed. Student should reach out to their professors with specific questions.
What is the College doing to help students make the transition to online learning?
The Student Care team has compiled a new web resource—Living and Learning Remotely—focused on four primary topics to help students survive and thrive during this time: learning online, emotional and physical wellness, spiritual life and other resources. Here, students can get tips on setting up their remote study space; access weekly devotionals, podcasts and sermons from the Chapel Office; access help from the Counseling Center or Academic Success Center; and read advice on maintaining physical and mental health during an uncertain time.
Can I access my books digitally? Can I still purchase and return books through the Bookstore?
The Bookstore has partnered with its digital book platform provider, “RedShelf,” to provide free access to digital books for the remainder of the semester (learn more on the Bookstore website). For any students needing to order books, the Bookstore now has free ground shipping on orders placed through the website. In addition, the Bookstore has extended a 15-day grace period on the May 16 rental return deadline to allow more time for in-transit rental check-ins to be processed before non-return collateral charges are processed.There will be free shipping labels available for all rental patrons in the U.S. until May 16 at midnight. Faculty may also utilize the Bookstore’s free online videos and open educational resources to help make class material more accessible during this time.
I’m enrolled in a course that requires on-campus participation (such as a lab or Discovery) and need those credits to graduate. What should I do?
The College is committed to finding a way for every student to complete what is needed so they can graduate on time. Faculty and advisors will work individually with students to develop plans. Due to what is happening worldwide, there is a greater level of flexibility than there normally would be, and Gordon is committed to working with students and families through this time.
I need to remain on campus to complete requirements for my major (such as accessing an art studio, completing a practicum or internship, or fulfilling a certain number of hours in student teaching). What should I do?
While the expectation is that students will remain off campus, we recognize that this is not possible or practical for some students. Students for whom returning home is a hardship or who are otherwise obligated to remain on campus should complete the Petition to Remain on Campus form. RDs will review exceptional cases and make decisions by March 30. Students whose required student-teaching, practicum or internship hours are impacted by school and workplace closures due to COVID-19 should seek guidance from their faculty members and academic advisor. The College is committed to working with each student through this unprecedented situation.
How will school closures affect student teachers this semester?
The Gordon College School of Education is in touch with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. We are preparing for different plans that will depend on when the public schools reopen. Practicums that began 1/2/20 have almost reached the state’s minimum number of hours, but seem to have enough hours that a waiver is expected to be approved. Information will be sent as soon as we know. For questions about your specific situation, please contact your Program Supervisor.
Are all events cancelled during this time?
Under compliance with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s order to limit gatherings to less than 10 people, all internal and external College events are cancelled for the time-being. We will reevaluate events once the governor’s order has been lifted.
How will I get Chapel credit?
The College is committed to finding a way for every student to complete what is needed so they can graduate on time. We will be providing more information on this requirement as it becomes available, but this is not an item that students need to be stressed about right now.
I receive academic accommodations and it’s difficult for me to complete classes online. What should I do?
The Academic Success Center will be available to assist students virtually as we move into this online period. Please reach out to ASC@gordon.edu as needed and they will be able to guide you further.
When will midterm grades posted?
With all the disruption, we extended the original posting date by a week. So, midterm grades for 100- and 200-level courses were posted on Wednesday March 25. Similarly, the new deadline to withdraw from full semester courses with a W grade will be Friday, April 3. The Registrar is working to transition to online forms for course withdraws so that you can work with your instructor and advisor to complete the process online.
Can I still withdraw from a course?
Just like in any other semester, we encourage students to communicate with their professor and their advisor about whether withdrawing from a course is a good decision. Your midterm grade is only a snapshot of your performance and there still may be enough assignments and time to bring your grade up. But yes, the new deadline to withdraw from a full semester course with a W will be Friday, April 3. As we navigate this new learning environment, please be in contact with your advisors and faculty about your concerns.
Is campus open?
Due to Governor Baker’s orders, only essential functions at the College are currently open. Consistent with the governor’s “stay home” advisory, all campus visits are being handled in an online format. From the close of business on Friday, March 20 through April 14, the campus gates will be closed and all traffic will be directed to the main entrance. The Library in Jenks and the Bennett Center will be closed. Other essential services remain open for students, and staff are available to assist students with any needs during this time. The College has formalized a “work from home” protocol for employees who are able to complete their jobs remotely, and supervisors are working with their departments on a remote work strategy. For jobs that cannot be done remotely, the College is working with individuals on next steps.
Who is allowed on campus?
Is any international or domestic travel allowed?
All official college international travel is banned at this time. Anyone arriving in the U.S. after traveling internationally should self-isolate for 14-days before coming to campus. All official College domestic travel is limited at this time and requires the advance approval of a cabinet officer. Personal domestic travel is discouraged and may require a self-isolation period prior to returning to campus as conditions around the country are quickly changing.
How is Gordon monitoring the situation and making decisions?
Under the guidance of Gordon’s emergency management coordinator, a task force has been meeting all week (and for several weeks prior) to review options and take precautionary steps consistent with the guidance provided by the CDC and our state and local officials. They will continue to meet, monitor, adapt as needed and keep the Gordon community informed.
Can students who are employed on campus continue to work from home?
Student workers who can complete their job requirements remotely are welcome to work with their supervisors to continue their employment from home.