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COVID-19 FAQS

Updated 6/26/20 5:00 p.m. Our prime concern is the health and safety of our students and employees, and we are actively undertaking contingency planning for this disease. Updates will be regularly posted here.

For more information on the disease and its global status please see the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is updating information regularly on webpages devoted to COVID-19 information.

For Current Flagship Students

  • Why are we switching to a new calendar and learning online?

    It was our hope to begin the regular Flagship fall semester with in-person classes on campus on Monday, August 24.  However, there is a high likelihood that our classes would be disrupted by a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic.  Even if we implemented our social distancing plan for in-person instruction, we would likely have to suspend face-to-face classes midway through the semester.  In that case we would default to the same circumstance we had after spring break:  twelve or more credits taught remotely at one time.  No one wants to see that happen again.

    We also considered delaying the resumption of instruction to January 2021.  This is not a good option either. Putting your education on hold for six months has consequences.  Your momentum may slow, your memory of necessary content may fade, and your entry into the job market would be held back.  Even a short delay in your progress can have lasting effects on your lifetime earnings. 

    Instead of social distancing or delay, Unity College is pursuing a third path.  This May we developed a new academic calendar that provides students the ability to take courses online, in-person, or to do both at the same time. Classes are held in five-week sessions with eight terms per year.  We call it Hybrid Learning.  The benefit of Hybrid Learning is that you can be enrolled full time with only a single three-credit course, instead of the four or five courses required by the semester-long Flagship calendar. You can take up to six credits a session.  This calendar provides a more sustainable remote option at an affordable price:  $470 per online credit, $550 for in-person credits. The eight distinct, stand-alone terms (three in the fall, three in the spring, and two in the summer) allow for multiple opportunities to reassess the safety of a campus return to in-person learning, and the online backup allows for quick pivots to remote learning in case of future coronavirus disruptions. We believe that Hybrid Learning provides you the best opportunity to continue or complete your education without interruption. 

  • Some colleges are choosing to hold in-person classes in the fall, why not Unity?

    While some schools, like Bates and Purdue, are planning to resume in-person classes in the fall, others, like Harvard and colleges making up the California State System, will conduct most classes online. In plotting a course forward, Unity’s prime concern has been the health of our students, staff, and community. Although many of our students are local to New England, where Covid-19 cases are declining, a substantial number live in, or have visited, states where cases are rising. Given how contagious the virus is, this means that everyone involved would be at risk if we all came together again – however much we would like to do that. While in-person learning could, in theory, work by mandating masks, plexiglass shields, social distancing, bans on community gatherings, etc., the residential experience would inevitably suffer in ways that we, frankly, cannot justify, especially in light of the very real possibility of having to send everyone back home in response to the predicted second wave of Covid-19 after just having opened.  

  • Do I have to change my major to a Hybrid Learning degree?

    No.  All Unity College students can continue or complete their Flagship degrees within Hybrid Learning. This means that you will be able to complete your degree with your current major (e.g., Sustainable Agriculture) and do not need to choose one of the five HL majors (although you are free to do so).  You will also be able to complete a second major and/or a minor to the extent possible.  Please note that, as with Flagship, courses for second majors and minors are not guaranteed to fit within your schedule.  

  • Is this change permanent? Can I switch back to the Flagship calendar later?

    Given the current state of the coronavirus pandemic and the predictive modeling for the coming months, we anticipate that all students will continue or complete their degree online in the Hybrid calendar for the foreseeable future.  Perhaps for an entire academic year.  Of course, we will continue to reassess and revise our plans as the situation changes.  If and when the Flagship resumes in-person learning, students can opt to return to that calendar.

  • What effect will this have on my financial aid?

    The shift to a nonstandard calendar allows Unity College to offer more affordable options to all students.  Online classes (such as all students will be taking this year) cost only $470 per credit hour.  In-person classes (when we are able to resume them safely) cost only $550 per credit hour.  All students will also pay a modest comprehensive fee that covers a range of non-academic services (such as remote access to the Wellness Center).  Overall, the cost of attending Unity College on the nonstandard calendar is significantly less than attending as a residential student on the Flagship calendar.  For that reason, students on nonstandard calendar do not receive institutional aid or merit scholarships from the college to attend.  All of your external financial aid will still be available, and work study opportunities will be available when we resume in-person instruction.  For aid to remain available, you must pass at least 12 credits and complete 20 weeks of attendance by the end of the fourth term. Sherry McCollett at smccollett@unity.edu or 207-509-7201 in the Financial Aid department will be able to discuss your financials. 

  • Will my academic advisor change?

    Hybrid Learning students will be assigned to a Learning Coach. They will work with that Coach for the entire time they are enrolled in HL. Coaches support students in planning their schedules, selecting courses, and overcoming any challenges they might face when engaging in the learning experience.  Students can still rely on their instructors for career advice and mentoring.

  • If the sessions are shorter, will I receive grades and feedback in a timely way?

    Yes. In the Hybrid Learning calendar, all courses are offered in 5-week sessions, so the pace at which learners encounter subject matter is accelerated. This means that prompt and regular feedback is extremely important. HL students will have graded assignments weekly and feedback will be provided within 72 hours.

  • What will my classes be like?

    Whether in-person or online, we continue to be committed to highly experiential learning, which means that all of our classes will require students to engage with the learning community and apply concepts and skills to various real-world contexts. Both in-person and online courses are supported by our Learning Management System, Canvas. This tool provides students with access to course materials, discussion boards, announcements, and an up-to-date record of their grade. All instructors, both in-person and online, are required to use Canvas and keep assessment records current.  All online classes will be delivered asynchronously.

  • What if I have internet or computer issues?

    If you are experiencing internet or computer issues there are many avenues to assist you. The HelpDesk at Unity College can answer your technology and canvas questions M-F 8am-10pm Sat 9-5 Sunday 2-10pm (subject to change) by emailing helpdesk@unity.edu from your unity account or by calling 207-509-7110. For other issues please contact Dean of Students, Ray Phinney

  • What is going to happen to the athletic season now that there are no in-person activities?

    Unity College is continuously evaluating the athletic season closely with the YSCC and USCAA. The athletic conference member organizations are currently making contingency plans to continue athletic competitions in Spring 2021.

  • I am in the middle of my summer internship, is that affected by this decision?

    No, you can complete your internship as planned.  If you have any questions regarding internships, you can contact Rachel Kahn, Chief Advancement Officer, at rkahn@unity.edu or (207) 509-7221.

  • How can I have access to services from the Wellness Center even though we are not in-person?

    The Wellness Center staff will continue to assist students in gaining access to the services that they need. Unity College will be offering telemedicine services to students with access to nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and physicians 24 hours a day as well as mental health counselling and med management services.   

  • If I have not retrieved my belongings from my residence hall room yet, how can I get my things?

    Students can make appointments by contacting the Dean of Students, Ray Phinney (rphinney@unity.edu). Students who have self-isolated in Maine for 14 days prior to arrival or who have had a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours may schedule a time to gather their belongings. Students may only bring one person to assist them. Social distancing protocols as well as wearing masks must be observed at all times. Students who are unable to follow these requirements may contact the Dean of Students to coordinate shipping of personal belongings.

  • Will there be opportunities for virtual activities and socialization?

    The student success staff are planning a diverse schedule of events for Unity College students. We will be hosting weekly activities and opportunities to hangout virtually. Get your friends together for group game nights, comedians, video game tournaments, DIY crafts and online competitions.  

  • Who do I call if I have questions?

    Your assigned staff liaison will be reaching out to you shortly, but in the meantime, we are standing by to assist you.  You can contact Juanita Murray at jmurray@unity.edu or (207) 509-7236 and she will assist you with the next steps.  Please also feel free to contact Zach Falcon at zfacon@unity.edu or (207) 509-7131.

  • CARES Act Disbursement
    • Who is eligible for CARES Act Emergency Aid? Flagship students currently registered for the spring 2020 semester who are eligible to file a FAFSA and receive federal financial aid. Distance Education students are not eligible.
    • Why am I receiving these funds? These funds were earmarked for students who experienced a disruption to their on campus experience due to Covid-19. The funds are meant to provide support for any expenses incurred to move off-campus and complete the semester remotely.
    • How much will I receive? Unity College must review each student’s eligibility. The amounts of each award will depend on the number of eligible students. Pell Grant eligible students will be given first priority.
    • When will I receive my funds? The release of these funds has yet to be determined. The goal is to release funds as soon as possible once eligibility has been determined.
    • If I owe a past balance or a balance for fall 2020, will these funds cover this balance? No. Federal regulations do not allow us to hold these funds to cover balances even with a student’s permission.
    • Unity College CARES Act Disclosure Statement
  • What are the plans for Commencement this year?
    • May 8 – Flagship Virtual Awards Recognition on our website Unity.edu at 11:00 a.m.
    • May 9 – College-Wide Virtual Recognition on our website Unity.edu at 11:00 a.m.
    • December 18 – College-Wide December Graduation – at 90 Quaker Hill Road, Unity, ME at 6:30 p.m.
  • What is the graduation fee?

    The graduation fee helps to pay for the commencement ceremony, regalia, diploma cover, and the diploma.

  • I am not attending the graduation ceremony. Do I still have to pay the graduation fee?

    Yes, all graduates must pay the fee, whether or not they attend the commencement ceremony.

  • Who can I talk to if I’m experiencing stress or anxiety due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 globally?

    If you are experiencing any feelings of uneasiness because of the current COVID-19 issues, we encourage you to reach out to Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) or to contact the Wellness Center where our team of counselors will support you.

For Distance Education Students

For Prospective Students

General

  • How can I receive Unity College updates in a timely manner?

    Make sure you have your Unity College email enabled on your phone. Instructions are here. Additionally, make sure you are connected to the Unity College Alert System to receive important notifications as text messages and in your email.

  • Are Unity College facilities open?

    All Unity College facilities are closed to all but Unity College employees.

  • Are all campus events cancelled?

    All campus events are now virtual and can be viewed on the Campus Events Calendar.

  • When will you be posting updates?

    We will post regular updates as needed. We encourage you to visit this page daily to stay up-to-date on developments.

  • Can we still have gatherings or meetings on campus?

    We are not permitting meetings of more than 10 people and are observing social distancing guidelines of six feet between people.

  • Am I required to wear a face covering on campus?

    You must wear the cloth face covering of your choice in public spaces when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain until May 31 or Governor Mills amends her order. Face coverings enhance the effectiveness of physical distancing, but, are not substitutes for physical distancing practices and hand washing, which remain among the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.

  • What if I am a patient at the Wellness Center?
    • Currently there are no appointments being scheduled.
    • If you are a client of Maine Family Planning, you can contact them for prescription refills. They will mail prescriptions upon request.
    • Wellness Center staff can support you in referral information for your area and help navigate questions you may have about connecting to counseling, or other services.
    • If you have a medical record request, please contact the Wellness Center and we can fax or mail information after you sign a ROI (Release of Information).
    • TAO – Therapy Assisted Online is available for students, if you have any questions about signing up please contact us.
    • Reach out by phone or email if you have any concerns or questions, we want to hear from you!
  • What if I am a patient of the Wellness Center who has a prescription from Lydia?
    • Lydia will contact you by telephone to discuss refills of your medications. If we are unable to reach you by phone, we will contact you at your Unity email address for you to provide a number as Lydia will need to speak to you by telephone.
    • Please keep in mind if there are any complications or concerns, she will likely recommend that you follow up with your PCP, or other medical provider.
    • You will need to provide information about where you would like your medication refilled so please have the pharmacy name and their phone number available.
    • Certain prescriptions have strict state and federal guidelines, Lydia will plan with you regarding these.
    • If your medications previously were filled at Unity Pharmacy, they have offered to mail them and cover the postage cost. To arrange this call them at 207-948-3950. Please keep in mind that the mail system may experience some disruption or delay, so switching to a local pharmacy may be best at this time.
  • Can Unity College employees travel out of state?

    All college-sponsored travel has been cancelled. If you travel out of state, you must self quarantine for 14 days upon your return.

  • Is Community Weekend canceled?

    Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, we are sad to announce that the 2020 Unity College Community Weekend has been canceled. The weekend, slated for September 25-27, traditionally features an alumni reception, band, alumni and family breakfast, and the annual Unity College Woodsmen meet, along with a variety of other athletic events.  Traditionally, this weekend also aligns with the Common Ground Fair, which has been moved to a completely virtual format for this year.

    As previously shared, in an effort to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and healthy, all students will move to remote learning for the 2020-21 academic year.  All courses will be taught remotely through Hybrid Learning or online through Distance Education. 

    Information regarding 2021 events will be released as we continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation and its impact on our campus community.

     

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