Spring 2021 Guidelines
Students are expected to take the following actions before returning to Texas State campuses for the spring semester:
- Limit your contact with persons outside your immediate household and practice strict adherence to the CDC social distancing guidelines for 10 days;
- Get a COVID-19 test within one week prior to coming back to the university. You can find information about testing locations at TX COVID-19 Test Collection Sites and Curative, Inc. Testing Sites.
- Students and staff who live in on-campus residence halls are required to get a COVID-19 test. Additional information will be sent directly to all students who live on campus from the Department of Housing and Residential Life.
- Stay current with coursework. Students who are not ill but self-isolated (tested positive for COVID-19)/self-quarantined (identified as a close contact) should contact their professors and arrange to participate in their face-to-face classes remotely and make every effort to keep up with their coursework to the extent possible.
- Watch a video. All Texas State students were required to view a mandatory health and safety video before arriving at a Texas State campus.
- Wear a face covering! Know respect, show respect. Wear your mask to slow the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Visit the Face Covering & Mask page for more info on quality, effective face masks
- Follow the Twelve Health and Safety Measures: Including wearing face coverings, physical distancing, reporting to Bobcat Trace, Getting Tested (TX COVID-19 Test Collection Sites and Curative, Inc.), and more. View Twelve Health and Safety Measures
Self-Assessment and Testing: Self-assess daily for fever, loss of sense of smell, and other and symptoms of COVID-19. Please have your own thermometer so you can check for fever (≥ 100.4°F) every morning and whenever you feel ill. If you are sick—do not go to class or work. The Student Health Center can provide medical evaluations via telehealth. To schedule an appointment, call 512-245-2161
Report to Bobcat Trace. All students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or who are identified as a close contact should report it in Bobcat Trace. This is a secure web application for reporting positive COVID-19 cases and will guide our contact tracing efforts at Texas State.
If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for results, stay in isolation (do not go to class or work) until you receive your test results.
Protecting your health and safety on campus
- How will spring classes be delivered?
Spring 2021 classes will be delivered by four different instructional formats: 1) Online classes; 2) hybrid classes (instruction is delivered primarily online, with some face-to-face instruction); 3) “flexible” face-to-face classes (instruction is delivered primarily in-person, with some online delivery); 4) traditional face-to-face classes.
Courses remaining in face-to-face mode follow strict procedures to ensure the health, wellness, and safety of faculty and students.
We have significantly increased the number of online classes. Our faculty have worked hard to enhance online course delivery and to identify the best way to deliver class material and instruction. To support them, we have installed new technology in classrooms to allow for online instructional delivery, recording of lectures, and other features.
We encourage students to review their spring 2021 semester schedules as soon as possible. Due to the nature of some class content and degree programs, including licensure requirements, not all classes will be available online. Students are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor in their college or degree program to identify degree-applicable courses and options available to them.
- How will the face-to-face classes be delivered?
Classrooms will be limited to no more than 50 percent of the room’s rated maximum occupancy. For traditional face-to-face classes, enrollment will be no more than 50 percent of the room’s rated maximum capacity, and instruction will be delivered in person. For “flexible” classes, enrollment is greater than 50 percent of the room’s rate maximum capacity, and instruction will be delivered through a mixture of face-to-face and remote teaching and learning activities. In these cases, students attend in-person a portion of the time and participate remotely a portion of the time. Each instructor will communicate information regarding how the course will be delivered.
- How will classroom capacity be managed to reduce density?
Classrooms and public spaces on campus are de-densified to promote physical distancing. Assigned seats and attendance tracking will be used in all classrooms that are holding face-to-face classes. For more information on how classroom capacity will be managed, visit the "Instructional Delivery & Classroom Capacity" section on the Physical Distancing Measures page.
- What will lab classes look like?
Physical distancing will be practiced in all lab classes. As laboratories and computer labs vary across campus, academic departments and instructors will be afforded flexibility in determining what adaptations will meet their classes’ needs and limitations on space.
- How will exams be handled, including online exams?
Each instructor will provide information on how exams and graded components of the course will be managed. Some faculty may choose to use online proctored examinations in online/hybrid/"flexible" face-to-face classes. Use of online proctoring would require student access to a computer (with a webcam and microphone) and a reliable Internet connection. If applicable, your instructors will share each course’s specific technical information and appropriate protocol for online testing.
- Can I still visit my faculty during office hours?
Office hours will be held virtually or electronically (Ex: Zoom, Teams, phone). Please ask your instructor how they prefer to be contacted to hold office hours.
- How will spring classes be delivered?
- Physical distancing: Furniture has been rearranged or removed to promote physical distancing. With less furniture in the Albert B. Alkek Library and common areas in buildings, additional places have been transformed so that you can study and complete online coursework while physical distancing – including the Grand Ballroom in the LBJ Student Center.
- Tight spaces: The number of people allowed in enclosed spaces such as classrooms, laboratories, and elevators has been reduced by 50 percent. Pay attention to capacity signs placed in these areas. When riding an elevator, wear a mask; or better, yet, take the stairs if you are able. To avoid crowding, students may be dismissed from class one row at a time. If a classroom has two doors, one may be established as an entrance only and one as the exit only. Students should exit the building and “walk to the right” in building hallways, quad, and other high traffic areas. Once outdoors, all of us should avoid crowded areas, not gather in large groups, maintain a six-foot distance, and wear face coverings when we are interacting with other people.
- Remote Learning On-Campus: Texas State has provided a dedicated space for students to participate in remote learning while on campus. A special computer lab is available in the LBJ Student Center Grand Ballroom equipped with socially distanced desktop computers which students can use to connect to remote courses and additional socially distanced desks with power and wired internet connectivity. The space is also equipped with Wi-Fi.
Learn more about on-campus modifications on the Physical Distancing page.
Many student life activities, support services, and programs will be held both in-person and virtually. Please visit Student Involvement to learn about how you can get connected with student organizations at Texas State University.
We encourage you to stay engaged by participating in modified co-curricular activities. Co-curricular activities are ones that are not part of your course work curriculum. Examples of co-curricular events include Common Experience, Academic Clubs, Institutional Inclusive Excellence for Student Initiatives, Fraternity and Sorority events, and Student Affairs events and programming.
- Size & Participant Limits: Outdoor event participation should be restricted to a maximum number of 10 participants. Student events may be organized in more than one pod (or small group) of 10. For example, a group of 50 students may be divided into five pods of ten that are clearly separated and well distanced. Each pod or small group should stay intact throughout the event and take attendance or pre-register in case contact tracing is necessary. Indoor event attendance should not exceed 50 percent of the capacity of the space where the event is being held. All participants should follow physical distancing and face mask guidelines.
- Pre-registration: Pre-registration is required for co-curricular activities, or event attendance must be recorded. This is intended to aid in the contact tracing process if a confirmed COVID-19 case is reported in an attendee. For event pre-registration and attendance, event organizers may use the Event Management computer application. Please contact Student Affairs Technology Services at email@example.com to access Event Management.
- Remote/Virtual: Co-curricular meetings and activities will be offered remotely or cancelled if they cannot adhere to the safety guidelines or occupancy limits. The sponsoring organization of an event is responsible for compliance with these guidelines.
- Tabling Events: “Tabling” events (tables reserved and manned by students in the Quad, Mall area and Bobcat Trail) may occur if only two students are at each table and only fifty percent of the normal table space is being utilized. Students cannot hand out food during tabling events.
- Visitors: During the pandemic, student events and co-curricular activities are not open to outside guests unless approved in advance.
- Athletics: Athletics activities conform to their own separate and specific guidelines. Students are welcome to attend Texas State athletic events. We ask that you wear a mask, wash your hands often, and stay home if you are sick. Out of an abundance of caution, tailgating is not allowed.Occupancy limits are in place. If you plan on attending a Texas State Athletics event, please review the Texas State Athletics’ COVID-19 safety measures at TXSTGameday.
The Housing and Residential Life staff has established guidelines to promote residents’ health and safety, as well as that of our staff. Modifications include reducing occupancy in community spaces; reduction in available apartment units as space may be needed for isolation of on-campus residents; reduction of triple-occupancy rooms to double-occupancy; and changes to visitation policy for outside guests. These guidelines and more will be shared frequently with housing residents by email and are published on the Department of Housing and Residence Life website.
Texas State Dining is committed to providing the variety and quality that our Bobcats expect by enhancing safety measures for our campus community, guests and associates.
In this time of social distancing, Texas State Dining has adapted their procedures to include associate wellness checks, increased frequency of sanitization procedures, introduction of new personal protective equipment, and implementation of social distancing signage.
Dining locations on-campus have put in place a variety of health and safety practices including: eliminated self-service at dining halls, incorporated the daily requirement of wellness and temperature checks on all dining associates, installed sneeze guards at guests interaction points such as cash registers and/or pick up areas, minimized or eliminated cash transactions, increased frequency of disinfection at common touch points, and other practices. Visit the Texas State Dining website for FAQs, Hours and Locations, Menus, Meal Plans and more.
Bobcats, we are here for you, with numerous programs, offices, and support services available to help you succeed.
Explore Student Support Services that cover academic excellence, mental health and wellbeing, social connections and relationship-building, recreation and fitness, financial aid and scholarships, and more.
It’s important for students to review Testing, Reporting, and Response Steps to learn the necessary steps to take if they think they may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have tested positive.
Explore the Remote learning and Collaborating Resources for Students provided by the ITAC Assistance Center.
Online courses are typically just as time intensive as traditional courses. Some students claim that online courses require more time, commitment, and self-motivation. As you begin a new online course, it is important to schedule time each week for studying materials, completing assignments, and discussing questions or problems with your instructors. It is also important to identify a space in your house, apartment, residence hall or other location that is relatively private and free of distractions.
Before enrolling in an online or hybrid course, all students are encouraged to take the Online Learning Readiness Self-Assessment. Once you answer the assessment questions, you will be given recommendations for success in online learning at Texas State.
To successfully participate in any Texas State online or hybrid course, you should have easy access to a computer less than 5 years old with a high-speed Internet connection. The computer should have:
- Speakers or headphones and a camera, either built-in to the computer or connected through a USB port
- High-speed internet connection
- Access to software that is commonly used for accessing readings, completing assignments, and communicating with the course instructor;
- Contact ITAC for any questions about technology resources for Texas State students, including access to a large catalog of software and technology services
You should also have the ability to:
- Download and install software or plug-ins such as Adobe Reader, including anti-virus software;
- Use Bobcat mail, including attaching and downloading documents and other files from emails;
- Save files in commonly used word processing formats (for example, .docx, .rtf) and converting files to PDF;
- Copy and paste text and other items on a computer;
- Save and retrieve documents and files on your computer;
- Understand the basic functionality of video conferencing and chat;
- Use search engines and understand reliable sources of information;
- Know how to navigate through a learning management system (Canvas).
Here are some quick tips from the Office of Distance and Extended Learning (ODEL) for success as a remote learner:
- Active communication. Be proactive in keeping lines of communication open. Remote learners need to ask questions when they have them. Participation in class relies on different tools during remote learning but is still a necessary part of being a good student. Remember, faculty will not be able to see that a student has a hand raised or looks unsure about the information just presented. Being actively engaged in learning will make all the difference.
- Practicing good writing. Write clearly and professionally and plan to review any written items before posting them to discussion boards or sending them via email. Try composing and editing items in Microsoft Word before copying and pasting the final message into an online forum. Students who have never sent an email message to an instructor should keep in mind that a more formal start to an email such as "Dear Dr. X," is an appropriate approach. More informal forms of address or simply opening an email with "Hey!" is not often received well. And sign your email message.
- Scheduled study times. Routines will change as we shift to remote learning. Aside from remote classes, work schedules and family commitments may alter what we do and when. Scheduling specific times to study will help re-establish a routine and ensure that students take the appropriate amount of time to continue their studies. A typical 3 credit hour course requires approximately 9 hours of work per week even when delivered remotely.
- Making a study space. Having a dedicated space to study may seem like a luxury but will help if it can be arranged. The process of creating a place to work each time remote learning begins will discourage making the study time necessary for success.
- Creating daily and weekly goals. Setting mini-goals along the way will help remote learners stay positive. Study and work in chunks of time that make it possible to finish some manageable goal (a chapter or paper read, a paragraph written, or a section of problems solved).
- Discussing remote learning commitments with family and friends. Family and friends can and often do support students in accomplishing their goals. Support works best when those who care know what the student in their life needs. Discuss the study schedule, study space, and the commitments and tools needed to access remote learning with those who will want to help.
Shuttle Rider Code
All passengers are required to follow the Shuttle Rider Code before, during, and after riding the Bobcat Shuttle, pledging to conduct a daily self-assessment and to not step on the bus if you have potentially been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are experiencing any similar symptoms.
Signs and on-shuttle messaging will remind passengers of these changes. Some of the most important and noticeable changes include:
- Wearing masks or face coverings
- Sitting in every other seat – out-of-service seats will be marked with a notice. Please do not place your belongings on out-of-service seats.
- No standing
- Restricting ridership to a maximum of 20 riders
Please allow extra time for your commute, as the reduced capacity will affect travel times.
Please review the updated Bobcat Shuttle Map closely to determine if your route has been modified.
In addition to riding the Bobcat Shuttle, we encourage you to evaluate all transportation options including CARTS, walking, carpooling, bikes, scooters, or other alternative transportation.
Stay up-to-date on these enhanced safety measures, new rules, and schedule changes at Bobcat Shuttle. You can also follow Transportation Services on Facebook or Twitter. Please email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 245-5555.
For information about parking on-campus, visit Parking Services.
*Information provided in the Roadmap may change or be updated as needed to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.