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.
East Stroudsburg University
- 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.
- 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.
- Will there be adjustments to tuition for out-of-state residents?Out-of-state residents will receive a 15% waiver toward their non-residential tuition charge. For information on the extended due date for student billing, please see the FAQ on that topic.
- I’m a senior. Will this prevent me from graduation? What is the status of Commencement?
The university is working diligently to ensure that students scheduled to graduate this fall will complete their course requirements and meet all graduation requirements. Please contact your department chairperson or college dean for details as to specific course requirements.
More information on Commencement will be shared later this summer or early in the fall semester.
- How will classes be taught for fall 2020?The majority of classes will be taught online during the fall 2020 semester with the exception of an extremely limited number of experientially based courses required for certifications, licensures, and/or accredited programs and some hybrid offerings. Please contact your department chair for questions specific to your schedule. In the next few weeks we plan to update the information available online.
- How will I receive my books and class materials for fall 2020?
The University Book Store expects to operate close to normal with the exception of abbreviated “in store' hours. The store has been accepting orders already through their website, and students are to be encouraged to order their books via the website. The University Bookstore is still accepting book vouchers, textbook scholarships, as well as all standard tenders through the website.
For commuters or for those who may be close by and choose to come to the bookstore, the University Store will be opening up in the middle of August on a modified schedule to be set soon. Students are encouraged to place their order on the bookstore website and choose 'in store pickup' to streamline the process. However, the store will still carry all of the required textbooks in the store. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Will the alternative grading option be used for the fall 2020?No, the alternative grading option will not be used for the fall 2020 semester.
- Are faculty available to meet with students?Faculty will be available to meet with students via email, phone, D2L or Zoom. Please reach out to your individual faculty members as needed. If you have difficulty in contacting a faculty member, please contact the Office of the Provost at (570) 422-2870 or email email@example.com.
- Will the library be open?Yes, Kemp Library will be open for both in-person and virtual access. Please check the Kemp Library website for hours and further information.
- Are tutoring services (Warrior Tutoring Center, Math Question Center, Writing Studio)
still available?Yes. The Warrior Tutoring Center, Math Question Lab, and the Writing Studio will be open for all students virtually.
- Can I use my smartphone for remote classes?
Smartphones are not recommended as they are not compatible with ESU's online platforms.
Recommend Specifications for Student-owned Computers:
A computer with sufficient memory (RAM) and hard-drive space is recommended.
- Average model: for basic applications (word processing, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, Internet access, educational software).
- High end model: for multi-media applications (3D modeling, video production, etc.). For the more advanced computer user.
Average High End Processor 7th / 8th generation
i5 3.8GHz - 4.5GHz
i9 4.8GHz - 5GHz
Memory 8GB 16GB - 32GB Hard Drive
(ssd recommended and preferred)
250 - 320GB 500GB - 1TB Screen Size 13" - 15.6" 15.6" and above
Access to computers will be available for local ESU students in the Kemp Library during fall 2020. Please check the Kemp Library website for hours and further information.
- If I don’t have a computer or internet in my home, what support is available?
Local students may use the computer lab in the Kemp Library. For students who are not in the immediate area, we recommend that students visit their local public library. For additional concerns and assistance, please contact the Office of the Provost at (570) 422-2870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How will my student teaching placement for Fall 2020 be affected?
At this time, we are planning for face-to-face student teaching placements unless school districts advise otherwise. Please contact the Office of Field Experiences and Partnerships (Jill Greenwood; email@example.com) for more information.
- What is the current status of experiential learning assignments such as internships,
externships, clinicals, labs and student teaching assignments?At this time, we expect that all students who are planning to have experiential learning assignments for fall 2020 (internships, student teaching, and clinicals), will continue as long at the sites are open and are accepting student placements. Please contact your department chair or college dean for more specific information.
- I'm a faculty member. What do I do if I have a student who has a captioning accommodation?Faculty should contact ESU’s Office of Accessible Services Individualized for Students (OASIS) for all student accommodation needs. Please complete the Faculty Request of Captioning Educational Content online form. In addition, OASIS is exploring the use of a phone app called OTTER AI, which also provides captioning. For more information on this or any other questions concerning accommodations please call OASIS at (570) 422-3954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I'm a student who has academic accommodations. What happens to my academic accommodations
when my courses are taught online?
The staff of OASIS wants to assure you that we will continue to support your learning as ESU transitions all classes to online instruction for the remainder of the semester.
Important things to note:
- All approved academic accommodations currently in place will remain in effect.
- Students with note takers will continue to have access to uploaded notes on Accommodate for all lectures (either pre-recorded or streaming live).
- Students with testing accommodations should continue to follow the testing protocol in provided by OASIS and contact professors prior to exam date to notify them you will be utilizing your extended time.
- Please update your ESU password when prompted. You will not be able to access Accommodate, D2L, ESUportal, etc, if you ignore these prompts if you are locked out.
For many students, online instruction is new and may be intimidating. We are here to support you. If you need help navigating online instruction please do not hesitate to contact Kim Roselli at email@example.com for assistance.
- What is the plan for international students?
- I have questions regarding my military/National Guard service. Who should I contact?Students with questions on how their military/National Guard service may impact their ESU experience during the COVID-19 pandemic should contact June Pepe, associate registrar for veterans services and records, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- Is there an updated due date for student billing after accounts are updated?Fall 2020 updated student bills were made available in the MyESU portal on August 10, and students were notified by email. All bills are due by August 19. For questions, please contact the Student Accounts Office at email@example.com.
- 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. If you are a returning student who already has an eCard, you do not need to submit a photo or pick up your card. Your current eCard will function the same this coming semester.
Please submit your photo for your ESU student eCard. Please bear in mind that this photo will represent you on your ID card, so pick a photo that you deem appropriate. The deadline to submit a photo is midnight of Monday, August 24. If you do not submit your photo before that date, your card will be processed after the start of the semester.
Please submit your photo as soon as possible to ensure that your card will be processed and available to you when you arrive. All other students are advised to wait to submit their photo until the Spring 2021 Semester.
eCards will be distributed on ESU’s campus on the following days:
- Thursday, August 27 (1-4 p.m.)
- Friday, August 28 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- Saturday, August 29 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- Sunday, August 30 (8 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Please email Rob Fetterly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to confirm a date and time for pickup.
To pick up your card, come to the Science and Technology Center on one of the dates listed above and present a form of photo ID. (Driver’s License, High School ID)
- 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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
- Will Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence and Student Activities Association still provide
opportunities for co-curricular experiences?Yes, Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence and the Student Activity Association is committed to completing the educational mission and continues to engage with all students through our programs and resources. A calendar of virtual engagement opportunities will be coming soon.
- Will Stony Acres be open?Canoeing, fishing, hiking, and disc golf will be open to the ESU community from dawn to dusk. Proper social distancing of 6 feet will be enforced. Reservations for camping and cabins will be available and must be made in advance. For more information and reservations, please contact Madeline Constantine at email@example.com or (570) 223-8316.
- 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.
- Is ESU canceling study abroad programs?At this time no study-abroad trips are scheduled. For more information, contact Director, Steve Ives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- Campus Address
- 161 Smith Street, Suite 100
- (570) 422-3235
- Title of Department Leader
- Nathan Black
- Manager, Environmental, Health and Safety