Warriors,

I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits. As we, along with the rest of the country, continue to monitor the latest data related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot ignore the risks to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and local community. While we were certain we could all return to campus with a “new normal” this fall, we know now that this is not the safest, most realistic, option for our greater ESU community.

Warriors,

I hope this message finds you well and in good spirits. As we, along with the rest of the country, continue to monitor the latest data related to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot ignore the risks to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and local community. While we were certain we could all return to campus with a “new normal” this fall, we know now that this is not the safest, most realistic, option for our greater ESU community.

Today [July 14th] I must announce that East Stroudsburg University will be returning to remote learning for the majority of classes during the Fall 2020 semester. While this will have major implications for many in our community, we must continue to always put your safety as a top priority.

We were thrown into the world of remote learning rather suddenly this past spring and learned a lot from that experience. My leadership team and I, in communication with faculty, students and staff, have taken note of everything that did and did not work during that time. Now, with more time to plan, we are certain we can continue to offer a top quality education in a remote format as students work toward their ultimate goal of obtaining their degree. Keep in mind, while we planned to return to full on-campus learning this fall, we told you planning for the semester would be fluid and we were prepared to adjust if necessary. Though we didn’t think we would need to make this decision so soon, we were always prepared to make it. Further, our decision to keep the majority of classes online enables us to prepare for what we hope will be a more normal University experience when we reconvene for the Spring 2020 semester.

We will offer a very limited number of classes in a hybrid format, meaning both remote and in-person, to assist students with student teaching, clinical placements, internships, etc. We are committed to ensuring our students reach their educational and professional goals. We know it is important now, more than ever, to have highly trained professionals ready to work in our community.

The University will make adjustments to dining, housing, and other student fees impacted by this shift to remote instruction. For the Fall semester, tuition and fees will be adjusted to reflect the changes in the availability of amenities to students during this pandemic. Most students will receive approximately a 4-15% reduction in total charges as a result of the change to remote format. The university will also issue a 15% tuition waiver to the out-of-state tuition rate for non-residential students. Additional details about specific adjustments will be communicated in the coming days with changes in billing occurring shortly after.

We will be releasing students from all on-campus housing contracts for the Fall 2020 semester. ESU on-campus housing is developing plans to welcome a limited number of students to our residential facilities with added precautions for their health and well-being. Priority will be given to students who are in academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites), international students or other special circumstances. Further information on how to apply for housing will be forthcoming to students who have currently applied for Fall 2020 housing. For students who may have already signed a housing lease off campus, please reach out to your landlord and discuss options. We are certain there are many in the region who will work with you to cancel your contract given these unusual circumstances. For those who have difficulty, we remind you that as an ESU student, you have access to some legal advice/assistance through the Student Activity Association (570) 422-3291 and if necessary, the university will assist in advocating with local property owners.

We have a dedicated page on ESU’s website (www.esu.edu/open) that will answer most of your questions and provide you with plenty of resources and services in place to help you succeed this fall. In the next few days we will be posting and updating our Frequently Asked Questions with responses that convey information related to this new change to our Fall 2020 opening. We ask that you revisit the webpage later this week (and often) to carefully read through the information provided as it will be updated as needed. There will also be an open forum discussion via Zoom in August for students with Interim President Kenneth Long and other members of the senior leadership team to answer any additional questions you may have. Information on the forum will be available in the coming days.

In these times of uncertainty, I know we will all work together to provide the best education for our students while making the health and safety of our campus and the community at large a top priority. I urge you to reach out and ask for help when you need it. What we, and you, do between now and December will determine what happens in January. We must all work toward the goal of a safe reopening and the return to some level of campus normal. It is with so much personal love for ESU that I wish you all continued resolve to stay Warrior Strong.

Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D.
President
East Stroudsburg University

Today [July 14th] I must announce that East Stroudsburg University will be returning to remote learning for the majority of classes during the Fall 2020 semester. While this will have major implications for many in our community, we must continue to always put your safety as a top priority.

We were thrown into the world of remote learning rather suddenly this past spring and learned a lot from that experience. My leadership team and I, in communication with faculty, students and staff, have taken note of everything that did and did not work during that time. Now, with more time to plan, we are certain we can continue to offer a top quality education in a remote format as students work toward their ultimate goal of obtaining their degree. Keep in mind, while we planned to return to full on-campus learning this fall, we told you planning for the semester would be fluid and we were prepared to adjust if necessary. Though we didn’t think we would need to make this decision so soon, we were always prepared to make it. Further, our decision to keep the majority of classes online enables us to prepare for what we hope will be a more normal University experience when we reconvene for the Spring 2020 semester.

We will offer a very limited number of classes in a hybrid format, meaning both remote and in-person, to assist students with student teaching, clinical placements, internships, etc. We are committed to ensuring our students reach their educational and professional goals. We know it is important now, more than ever, to have highly trained professionals ready to work in our community.

The University will make adjustments to dining, housing, and other student fees impacted by this shift to remote instruction. For the Fall semester, tuition and fees will be adjusted to reflect the changes in the availability of amenities to students during this pandemic. Most students will receive approximately a 4-15% reduction in total charges as a result of the change to remote format. The university will also issue a 15% tuition waiver to the out-of-state tuition rate for non-residential students. Additional details about specific adjustments will be communicated in the coming days with changes in billing occurring shortly after.

We will be releasing students from all on-campus housing contracts for the Fall 2020 semester. ESU on-campus housing is developing plans to welcome a limited number of students to our residential facilities with added precautions for their health and well-being. Priority will be given to students who are in academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites), international students or other special circumstances. Further information on how to apply for housing will be forthcoming to students who have currently applied for Fall 2020 housing. For students who may have already signed a housing lease off campus, please reach out to your landlord and discuss options. We are certain there are many in the region who will work with you to cancel your contract given these unusual circumstances. For those who have difficulty, we remind you that as an ESU student, you have access to some legal advice/assistance through the Student Activity Association (570) 422-3291 and if necessary, the university will assist in advocating with local property owners.

We have a dedicated page on ESU’s website (www.esu.edu/open) that will answer most of your questions and provide you with plenty of resources and services in place to help you succeed this fall. In the next few days we will be posting and updating our Frequently Asked Questions with responses that convey information related to this new change to our Fall 2020 opening. We ask that you revisit the webpage later this week (and often) to carefully read through the information provided as it will be updated as needed. There will also be an open forum discussion via Zoom in August for students with Interim President Kenneth Long and other members of the senior leadership team to answer any additional questions you may have. Information on the forum will be available in the coming days.

In these times of uncertainty, I know we will all work together to provide the best education for our students while making the health and safety of our campus and the community at large a top priority. I urge you to reach out and ask for help when you need it. What we, and you, do between now and December will determine what happens in January. We must all work toward the goal of a safe reopening and the return to some level of campus normal. It is with so much personal love for ESU that I wish you all continued resolve to stay Warrior Strong.

Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D.
President
East Stroudsburg University


General Preparations

  • All divisions on campus are coordinating efforts to ensure that the small number of students who will be on campus (please see information above on students who are eligible to apply for on-campus housing), faculty and staff have proper personal protective equipment (PPE). All members of the ESU campus community and guests are required to wear masks in all public spaces and to practice social distancing (six-feet apart when possible). ESU will supply two reusable, washable cloth face masks to students and employees on campus. If you already have masks you are encouraged to continue to use them, and be sure to follow the CDC guidance on washing and sanitizing masks. Additional masks will be available for purchase at the bookstore.
  • Signage is in place in all campus buildings to remind everyone of traffic flow and other recommended CDC guidelines. Policies and procedures have been developed for those who do not adhere to University health and safety requirements associated with COVID-19.
  • All individuals entering all buildings on campus must wear a face mask and continue to wear a face mask when in hallways, classrooms, public spaces, common areas, and during office visits.
  • Any meetings among faculty, staff and students should continue to be conducted remotely as much as possible.
  • We are asking everyone affiliated with East Stroudsburg University to monitor their own health on a daily basis. If you do not feel well, stay home, stay away from others and seek medical advice if needed.
  • Whether on or off campus, it is expected that everyone will maintain social distancing at all times.

Monitoring Campus

  • Any member of the campus community who is symptomatic needs to be tested as well as those who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Testing is available at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be quarantined on campus in a residence hall that has been designated specifically for those who are infected.
  • A plan for contact tracing is being developed and will be available in the near future.
  • What should I do if I feel sick?
    Students should call the ESU Health Center at (272) 762-4378 or their local health care provider. ESU students that are living on campus will be connected to a nurse for additional screening and triage. The nurse will discuss symptoms and provide guidance for medical care per CDC recommendations.

Classes & Academic Support

Housing and Dining

  • What students are eligible for on-campus housing for fall 2020?
    ESU on-campus housing is developing plans to welcome a limited number of students to our residential facilities with added precautions for their health and well-being. Priority will be given to students who are in academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites), international students, or other special circumstances. Further information on how to apply for housing will be forthcoming to students who have currently applied for Fall 2020 housing.
  • How do I cancel my housing contract for fall 2020?
    Residential and Dining Services will release all students from their on-campus housing contract for the Fall 2020 semester. You will receive an email to your ESU account confirming the cancellation of your housing and dining reservations. No actions from residents are necessary at this time.
  • Will University Ridge be open for fall 2020?
    Yes, on-campus housing at the University Ridge will be open and available for Fall 2020 for eligible students. Priority will be given to students who are in academic placements (i.e. student teachers, clinical placements, and internship sites), international students, or other special circumstances.
  • Will ESU be issuing refunds for residential & dining bills that have already been paid?
    Yes. Charges for housing and dining will be reversed for students that are changed to remote learning.
  • What dining options will be open for on-campus students?
    Dining Services will be functional during the Fall 2020 semester. Please visit Campus Dish for up-to-date information regarding meal plan options, on-campus dining locations, hours of operation, and other important information.

Student Services

  • Is there an updated due date for student billing after accounts are updated?
    The Student Accounts Office is in the process of updating tuition and student fees. The University will send a notification to students once all adjustments are complete. Students can expect to see their bill with updated due date in their MyESU portal the week of August 10.
  • Will there be adjustments to student fees for services that won't be provided in fall 2020?
    Adjustments will be made to student accounts for those programs and services no longer available as a result of the change to primary remote learning. For information on the extended due date for student billing, please see the FAQ on that topic.
  • What is the status of student ID’s (eCard) – how do I receive one, and what would I need one for this fall?

    Students who are on campus this fall – whether they are the limited number of students who will be residing and continuing academic placements, or students who would like to access the available services on campus (including the library, rec center and dining services) – must have an eCard.

    More information on obtaining an eCard will be sent to new students the week of August 10th.

  • Are department offices open?
    All department offices remain functional. Over the duration of the summer months, the University is executing a phased-transition to the “new normal” operation throughout campus. By the start of the fall semester, all departments will be open for in-person and remote service, with appropriate measures taken for safety.
  • Are student health services at LVH-Pocono available to students?

    Local ESU students experiencing symptoms (cough, fever, respiratory issues) must call the Expresscare at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono at (570) 476-3700 to be triaged, prior to visiting Expresscare.

    All other students may visit Expresscare for their healthcare needs. (Please note that the ESU student health center at LVH-Pocono is closed until August 17. However, Expresscare is still operational, but services are at the expense of the student.)

  • Is CAPS (Counseling & Psychological Services) available for students?

    ESU’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is providing remote telebehavioral health services to students via phone or ZOOM.

    Students who are seeking counseling services can call CAPS at (570) 422-3277, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and leave a message indicating they are interested in counseling. The student will receive a return call with instructions on how they may access and complete the necessary consent forms and intake information prior to receiving telebehavioral health services. Messages are checked regularly throughout the day.

    CAPS counselors are licensed in Pennsylvania and are regulated to provide counseling only to students in Pennsylvania at time of service. For students not living in Pennsylvania who require and are seeking other counseling services, please call or email the ESU Health and Wellness Center Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., at (570) 422-3277 or email afreeman11@esu.edu. The Health and Wellness Director and/or the Health and Wellness Case Manager will help you access services in your community. If the student is experiencing a mental health crisis, they should contact 911, 211, or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

  • What is the status of student employment for the fall 2020 semester?
    For questions, please contact your student employment supervisor, or the Student Payroll Office at AskHR@esu.edu.
  • Is the University Center open for fall 2020?
    The University Center will be closed to students for the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Is the Bookstore open?

    The physical Bookstore will be open in mid-August and will have modified hours.

    Students who need to order course-required materials can do so at any time, 24 hours a day, by visiting the bookstore website. Students are highly encouraged take advantage of the free shipping on the site to get their books send directly to them. Information on days and times for in-person pick-up of orders will be available in August.

    Faculty or staff with questions regarding textbooks, please contact Joe Knorr at (570) 422-3640 or email jknorr@esu.edu.

  • Is the Rec Center open?
    Yes, Campus Rec & Wellness will have indoor facilities open. There will be social distancing put in place for equipment, virtual fitness classes and programs, and some restrictions on activities offered. Equipment will be disinfected regularly to ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Is the Warrior Food Pantry operating?

    The Warrior Food Pantry plans to resume service on Tuesday, September 1. This resource, located at St. Matthew’s Church (78 Ridgeway Street, East Stroudsburg), operates each Tuesday from 2-4 p.m. Social distancing and mask protocols will be required.

    For those wishing to donate items, please visit the Warrior Food Pantry website for a list of helpful items and drop-off locations.

    Additionally, for a complete list of available community meals in the area, please see the resource guide. In the guide you will find the phone numbers to each community meal, please call ahead before arriving to ensure that they continue to be operational. The Salvation Army in East Stroudsburg is a resource for food as well and can be contacted at (570) 421-3050.

Student Activities & Events

Athletics

  • The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced on July 15 to suspend all mandated conference athletic events and championships through the fall semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All fall and winter sports scheduled to begin before January 1 are impacted by this decision. The conference will evaluate the necessary schedule changes and will communicate its plans for moving all competitions to the spring semester at a later date.
  • Information on varsity athletics can be found on their website.

Transportation and Travel

  • Is ESU canceling study abroad programs?
    At this time no study-abroad trips are scheduled. For more information, contact Director, Steve Ives, at sives@esu.edu.
  • What is the travel status for University business?
    Travel for University business or to conferences, nationally and internationally, was been suspended effective March 6, 2020, until further notice. As an alternative to traveling on University business, consider (when possible) using remote access via Zoom, Skype, etc. We recognize that this decision has major implications for students and faculty members who have planned travel to study or on behalf of ESU, especially cost implications associated with many of these plans. Please know that the University is doing all we can to request refunds, and we ask for your patience as we continue to conduct these tasks.

CARES Act & Refunds

  • What is the CARES Act and how can I apply to help with my current financial challenges?

    The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund provides funding to individual colleges and universities in the U.S. in order to provide financial grants to students who are facing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Department of Education has provided general guidelines to indicate how funds are to be distributed and has given each institution discretion on how funds will be disbursed.

    The request form for Fall 2020 is now available. For more information, please see CARES Act fund request page.

Communications

  • ESU’s Office of University Relations will generate appropriate messaging and other communication initiatives to share updates. University relations will use e-mail (ESU’s official communication channel), the University website and (when appropriate) social media to share messages with students, faculty, staff, parents and the community-at-large.
  • Admissions and Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence will work collaboratively to communicate the plan for Fall 2020. Any campus messaging relevant to parents and family members will be posted Parents & Families.

Coordination with Local Public Health Officials

  • ESU’s Director of Health and Wellness will communicate any identified cases of COVID-19 to local hospital officials and the DOH as per protocol. The director will also activate plans for quarantine as needed.

Submit Your Questions

We understand that students, parents and other members of our ESU community have questions during this ongoing situation.

We ask that you please closely review the above FAQ’s, and be assured that important campus information will be shared via ESU email (to students, faculty and staff), on this page, on the ESU parents page, and via social media.

If you need further assistance, the form below is available to submit your questions:

Contact Us

If you have questions about ESU's plans for the fall, please use the submission form above.

Contact Information

Campus Address
161 Smith Street, Suite 100
Phone:
(570) 422-3235
Title of Department Leader
Nathan Black
Name
Manager, Environmental, Health and Safety