Health & Safety Plan

Table of Contents

 

Executive Summary

Montana State University Billings’ (MSUB) Health & Safety Plan establishes a clear direction for students to return to and remain on campus this spring semester, following the spread of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), which was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

This action plan is based off of the Montana University System Healthy Fall 2020: Planning Guidelines for Campuses, which gives the state public higher education institutions guidance to create their own plans for returning to in-person instruction and operations for fall and modifying their academic calendars to conclude before the traditional Thanksgiving break.

Returning to campus 

All students, faculty, and staff are advised to follow the CDC protocols for personal domestic and international travel. The CDC advises a  seven-day self-quarantine after international travel  and after domestic travel to high-risk areas, and to get COVID-19 tested 3-5 days after arrival (if possible). If not tested, it is advised to self-quarantine for 10 days.

MSUB Health and Safety Protocols

Physical distancing is strongly encouraged. MSUB follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on maintaining six-feet distance between individuals.

Face masks and face coverings: Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces and all enclosed or partially enclosed outdoor spaces. Face coverings are required in all outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible or difficult to reliably maintain. In outdoor settings where physical distancing is possible, face coverings continue to be strongly recommended. The face covering requirement applies to all MSUB students, employees and to all visitors, including service providers, contractors, vendors, suppliers, alumni, families, and community members.

The following exceptions apply to students, employees, and visitors regarding face coverings:

  • when alone in an office, enclosed study area, or other space where permitted by official notice;
  • when inside campus residence hall rooms or apartments; however, face coverings are still required in common areas such as hallways, common restrooms and when visiting other rooms;
  • when working or spending time outdoors (e.g., walking, exercising) and at least a six-foot distance can be consistently and reliably maintained;
  • Persons engaged in an activity that makes wearing a face covering impractical or unsafe, such as strenuous physical exercise;
  • in instances or spaces (such as welding labs, nursing labs, etc.) in which other requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) make it either impractical or unsafe to wear an additional face covering;
  • when alone in a vehicle or utility vehicle used for MSUB business, however, face coverings are required in vehicles used for MSUB business when there is more than one person inside the vehicle; and
  • when an accommodation is necessary as indicated by a medical professional and granted by written permission of the University.
  • Children under the age of five and those who cannot physically remove a face covering without assistance, or those who have requested and received a necessary accommodation are not required to wear face coverings.

Appropriate face coverings are those that cover the mouth and nose of the wearer. MSUB follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for effective face coverings.

Medical exemption: Face shields may only be used if the individual has a medical exemption from a medical professional and written permission is granted by the University. Face shields should cover from above the eyes to below the chin and wrap around the side of the wearer’s face to reduce the risk of the spread of respiratory particles. 

Disposable, single use paper masks are also acceptable when another face covering option is not available. Unless in healthcare or other specialized settings, MSUB recommends prudence about using N95 (additional regulatory requirements may be applicable)or surgical masks, which, due to critical supply issues nationally, should be prioritized for healthcare workers and other first responders.

Regardless of whether you wear a face covering or face shield, it is important to know how to properly maintain and clean them. Learn how to keep your face covering or face shield clean.

Employee and Student Awareness

Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and self-monitoring: MSUB strongly encourages every member of the MSUB community to self-monitor for symptoms. Students, faculty, and staff familiarity with the symptoms of COVID-19 is key to help reduce spread of the virus. All campus community members should become familiar with the symptoms described by the CDC and to self-monitor daily.

MSUB readiness

Consistently across the board, MSUB has in place:

  • Health and Safety Actions
    • Communications that educate about the wearing of cloth face-coverings via the COVID-19 Central website, digital screens, social media, email communications, and posters/flyers.
    • Signage installation (floor and walls) to indicate/encourage 6-foot spacing.
    • Moving or re-arranging desk/chairs/equipment/traffic flows to help facilitate 6 foot spacing.
    • Caps on group gatherings per the state of Montana’s orders. Currently the cap is at 25.
    • Installation of plexiglass shields in high-traffic reception areas.
    • Frequent and regular cleaning practices on high touch surfaces.
    • Wide availability of hand sanitizer across campus.
    • Increased availability of CDC -approved cleaning products for use on high-touch surfaces.
    • MSUB coordinates with OCHE for guidelines for use of personal safety supplies, cleaning supplies, and health monitoring equipment.
  • Education and Communication
    • The MSUB COVID-19 Central website is continually updated for content and resources. Local, state, and federal health officials acknowledge this is a novel virus. As such, MSUB acknowledges and communicates to students and employees that there is some increased risk associated with a return to living, learning, and working on campus.
    • Promotion of healthy hygiene practices and how to stop the spread of germs via the COVID-19 Central website, social media, digital screens, campus weekly emails, posters, and flyers across campus.
    • Implementation of reasonable accommodations including telework agreements, COVID-19 pay, and remote learning for those who qualify and/or are at an increased risk.
    • With guidance from RiverStone Health, MSUB strongly promotes self-monitoring of symptoms, avoiding large gatherings, and logging of contact information for all students, faculty, and staff members.

Prior to returning to campus

MSUB encourages students to complete a precautionary 10-day quarantine and daily health check prior to return to campus and to return to campus only if they remain symptom free for that entire quarantine period.

Returning from international travel

The CDC advises a seven-day self-quarantine after international travel, and to get COVID-19 tested 3-5 days after arrival (if possible). If not tested, it is advised to self-quarantine for 10 days.

Key items to note

MSUB complies with RiverStone Health guidelines which are in alignment with the CDC.

Visitors to MSUB are advised to sign-up for email and/or text notifications through the Emergency Notification System (ENS). Keyword for ENS opt-in is "msubsafety."

Dial 911 for immediate police assistance.

University Police Department’s 24-hour contact number is 406-657-2147 (non-emergency) or 406-657-2222 (emergency).

If students, staff, faculty, or recent visitors to MSUB are being tested for COVID-19, we ask that they complete the confidential COVID-19 Voluntary Reporting Form and review the decision tree.

Physical distancing: The term physical distancing will be used throughout this plan. Though the most frequently used term to refer to the COVID-19 safety precaution of maintaining six feet of distance between individuals is “social distancing,” this document uses the term “physical distancing” instead. “Physical distancing” is a more accurate description of the practice and MSUB encourages students and staff to maintain social connections even while keeping physical distance.

Athletic competition: Athletic competition will resume once it has been deemed safe for competitions to commence by the university.

Health and safety enforcement: University Police Officers will not take an enforcement position related to the university’s COVID-19 guidelines, recommendations, and requirements (e.g., physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, etc.), unless there are other criminal violations present.

Personal responsibility and accountability: It is our sincere hope that faculty, students, staff, and visitors will follow the wisdom associated with wearing a face covering to help protect the safety of themselves and others while on campus. In this way, we may all enjoy as much of a return to normalcy on campus as possible. All MSUB campus community members (students, employees, and visitors) are expected to comply with the guidelines set forth in this document.

External events at MSUB: All external parties renting event space at MSUB must submit a COVID-19 safety plan, which must be approved by MSUB’s COVID-19 Incident Command Team.

Public Health Testing & Contact Tracing Protocols

In collaboration with RiverStone Health, MSUB conducts its own contact tracing, following RiverStone Health and CDC guidelines. MSUB remains in frequent communication with RiverStone Health regarding monitoring, testing, and tracing efforts as well as advised quarantine and isolation protocols, and will continue to follow the guidance from local, state, and federal health officials.

Enhanced campus cleaning and sanitizing protocols: Facilities Services will continue their regular cleaning activities throughout both university and City College campuses and enhance the disinfecting of public spaces including washrooms, classrooms, laboratories, hallways, handrails, elevators, corridors, common study spaces, and public spaces in residence halls. Each department has been equipped with a “Cleaning Caddy” consisting of disinfecting wipes, spray, and hand sanitizer to ensure the proper and frequent disinfecting of offices and public spaces within each respective department. In addition, every student, faculty, and staff member received a 'Jacket Safety Kit containing:

  • 2 reusable personal face masks
  • 1 refillable bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Personal care and community safety information
  • Plastic carrying bag

Campus Events: Event occupancy is set at 50 percent for each venue on campus to allow for appropriate physical distancing following the protocol set by the Governor for Phase 2.

Classroom protocols: Health and safety protocols have been created for in-person classes. Comprehensive plans for individual classes such as configuration, seating charts, attendance policies, foot traffic, personal sanitization, etc., are in place. Faculty work with their students directly to ensure customized accommodations for those who require them, as well as for students who must potentially self-isolate or quarantine.

The following protocols apply to all areas of academics:

  • Students are educated on the health and safety expectations MSUB has of them while on university or City College campus.
  • Classroom occupancy allows for physical distancing. Disinfectants are available in each classroom to wipe down desks and other high-traffic areas between classes.
  • All in-person classes have assigned seating and attendance will be taken to ensure contact tracing if necessary.
  • Faculty have developed backup plans and/or partnered with a “teaching buddy” who can take over their classes if they become ill.
  • Faculty have developed plans for each in-person class for spring semester to transition to online learning, if necessary.

Maintain Buildings and Facilities

MSUB has developed a building/facilities usage and staffing plan that ensures adequate cleaning and disinfecting, with particular attention to all high traffic areas, common areas, and restroom facilities; a cleaning and tracking schedule has been created.

In order to assist students, faculty, and staff, Facilities Services have implemented a layered strategy to enhance cleaning and disinfecting of campus buildings and spaces to meet or exceed CDC guidelines. Facilities Services staff are on campus and visible during regular working hours and will ‘flex shifts’ as necessary to meet campus needs.

Facilities Services staff will continue normal cleaning activities throughout campus. Enhanced disinfecting of public spaces by Facilities Services staff will include washrooms, library spaces, classrooms, public spaces in residence buildings, laboratories, hallways, and corridors.

Enhancements include:

  • Disinfection of horizontal surfaces of classroom desks, tables, and similar surfaces once each day per CDC guidelines.
  • Disinfection of high touch items like door push/pulls, elevator buttons, light switches, stair railings, cabinet doors, etc. throughout the day per CDC guidelines.
  • Bathrooms, showers, locker/changing rooms are thoroughly cleaned and continuously stocked to support the expected increase in hand-washing and personal hygiene activities.
  • Event specific plans to ensure these activities receive the same standard of enhanced cleaning and disinfection.
  • 25 pedestal hand sanitizer stands are distributed throughout the campus.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at all points of service.
  • A tracking process for area cleaning and disinfecting has been created to monitor workload and ensure all target cleaning and disinfection standards are being accomplished.

Plexiglass separation barriers

In locations where physical distancing cannot be readily achieved, physical plexiglass barriers are installed.

Physical distancing protocols

  • A combination of schedule adjustments and physical changes to space has been completed to reduce room capacity to 50 percent and create 6- feet physical distancing to meet CDC/State guidelines.
  • Floor stickers to remind individuals to maintain a 6-foot separation are installed throughout both campuses.
  • In classrooms and labs, tables and chairs are limited to ensure distancing for students.

Plan for placement and monitoring of materials that promote healthy hygiene practices.

Specialty-cleaning supplies are distributed in three formats to supplement custodial disinfecting by allowing individuals to take personal action to protect themselves and their peers.

Student, faculty, and staff members received a 'Jacket Safety Kit containing:

  • 2 reusable personal face masks
  • 1 refillable bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Personal care and community safety information and instructions for product use
  • Carrying bag

Each work area and teaching space id equipped with a "Cleaning Caddy" that contains the following:

  • 1 refillable bottle of hand sanitizer
  • 1 refillable spray bottle of disinfecting product
  • 1 microfiber rag
  • 1 pair of nitrile gloves
  • 1 instruction sheet

Each building is provided with a resupply cart to ensure the availability of cleaning supplies.

Establish, as applicable, clearly communicated guidelines if there are any changes to building hours of operation or general accessibility.

Signage posted on buildings will reflect changes to hours of operation. Any major building hours of operation or general accessibility changes will be communicated to campus.

Communicated promptly with students, faculty, and staff via email or MSUB’s emergency notification system.

Faculty and Staff Campus Operations

Staffing and facility use plans are in place to mitigate risks for employees and students. Anyone (including students, faculty, staff, and visitors) entering university or City College campus buildings, including residence halls, must wear a face covering.

Continue reasonable work accommodations for employees with heightened risk from COVID-19 exposure.

  • Individual employee accommodations and requests concerning COVID-19 are addressed through the Human Resources Office (HR). Supervisors of these employees work with Human Resources (HR) on a case-by-case basis.
    • COVID-19 leave is available to employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19 related events such as school closure and imposed-quarantine. The process for requesting accommodations will begin with the employee’s supervisor and proceed to HR.
    • Reasonable accommodations are available to employees who cannot work on-site due to medically related COVID-19 concerns. The process for requesting accommodations will begin with the employee’s supervisor and proceed to HR.
  • Employee health and hygiene practices are encouraged.
    • Offices maintain a supply of hand sanitizer which is available and accessible to all employees in the workplace.
    • Employees must wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Employees will follow CDC guidelines by covering coughs and sneezes and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Employees who are sick will remain home.
    • Supervisors will regularly remind their employees to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Supervisors can require employees to leave the workplace if COVID-19 symptoms are present (this does not apply to non-COVID related illness or conditions).
    • COVID-19 leave is available to employees who are symptomatic, quarantined, or who have received a positive diagnosis.
  • As a reminder to all MSUB employees and their families, the Employee Assistance Program is available for a wide range of services including, but not limited to, mental and emotional well-being services.

Where relevant, consult with employee unions as staffing strategies are developed.

MSUB HR participates in regular weekly meetings with OCHE HR and unions for questions, updates, etc. HR will work with union representatives directly as needed on an individual employee basis, or if other staffing strategies are required.

Ensure that employee work calendars comply with contractual obligations.

Union contracts and employment contracts allow flexibility with employee schedules. MSUB will work on an individual basis with employees who need schedule changes or adjustments under ADA or COVID-19 leave.

For student-facing business operations, supplement in-person service with remote delivery options whenever possible, with an emphasis on phone/tablet accessibility.

MSUB has reconfigured certain student support operations, such as advising, so that students can access the service remotely and offer tele-advising.

Communications

  • A weekly section in the Buzz Bulletin is dedicated to reminding campus to continue to follow the proper safety precautions along with a weekly COVID-19 tip.
  • Fresh monitor slide content is created weekly for the campus monitors reminding people to take safety measures.
  • COVID-19 Town Halls take place regularly to keep campus community updated.
  • A robust social media COVID-19 awareness campaign is running via MSUB’s social media platforms.
  • MSUB student health ambassadors create weekly videos to current students with COVID-19 health and safety tips. Videos are emailed to students.
  • University campus and City College have and will continue to have updated and branded signage related to COVID-19 that is prominently displayed in departments, offices, classrooms, and public areas.
  • MSUB’s COVID-19 Central webpage is continuously updated with the latest COVID-19 information for students, faculty, and staff. Individuals can refer to that page for the latest updates.

Campus Safety and Security

Develop campus safety and security plans that balances public health concerns and precautions with protecting student and campus community safety in accordance with federal guidelines (e.g., Clery, Title IX guidelines, etc.).

  • The University Police Department will continue to provide law enforcement, public safety, and support services to both MSUB campuses.
    • Staffing levels remain consistent with increased staffing during daytime hours when there are increased calls for service and the greatest number of students, faculty, staff, and visitors on both MSUB campuses.
    • Engagement efforts with Student Health Services, the Dean of Student Engagement and Associate Dean of Students/Director of Housing & Residence Life will be continued.
    • Support to other university and City College campus departments and organizations will continue to be provided as requested.
  • The University Police Department, through the Chief of Police, will continue to provide Emergency Management Services and coordination.
  • The Chief of Police will continue membership and involvement with the Yellowstone County Local Emergency Planning Committee.
  • The Chief of Police will continue to coordinate MSUB Emergency Management services in conjunction with university administration, Director of Student Health Services, and other local emergency management professionals.

Develop plans and protocols to maintain and protect student and employee privacy in remote, online, and blended operational environments in accordance with federal privacy guidelines (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA, etc.).

  • In December 2019, the U.S. Department of Education, along with HHS, issued guidance on the applicability of FERPA and HIPAA to student health records, the “Joint Guidance on the Application of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) To Student Health Records.”
  • FERPA prohibits educational agencies and institutions from disclosing PII from students’ education record without the prior written consent of a parent or “eligible student,” unless an exception to FERPA’s general consent rule applies. 20 U.S.C. §§ 1232g(b)(1) and (b)(2); 34 C.F.R. §§ 99.30 and 99.31. For instance, pursuant to one such exception, the “health or safety emergency” exception, educational agencies and institutions may disclose to a public health agency PII from student education records, without prior written consent in connection with an emergency if the public health agency’s knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other individuals. 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1)(I); 34 C.F.R. §§ 99.31(a)(10) and 99.36. For all other situations where an exception to FERPA’s general consent requirement does not apply, educational agencies and institutions must obtain prior written consent of a parent or eligible student to disclose PII from student education records. 20 U.S.C. §§ 1232g(b)(1) and (b)(2); 34 C.F.R. §§ 99.30 and 99.31.
  • Information sharing, web hosting, and telecommunication innovations that have enabled new education technologies raise questions about how best to protect student privacy. MSUB will need to evaluate the use of new online educational services on a case-by-case basis to determine if FERPA-protected information (i.e., PII from education records) is implicated. Prior to using educational technologies, faculty and departments should consult with Information Technology (IT) to review compliance with data sharing and student privacy. Per established policy, software purchasing requires all software needs to be vetted by IT, MSU IT Security, and MSU Legal before it is used.

Establish clear, student-centered guidelines for campus safety personnel who engage in enforcement of health and safety protocols.

The health and safety of the University Police Department staff and Billings community is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • University Police Officers will not take an enforcement position related to the university’s COVID-19 guidelines, recommendations, and requirements (e.g., physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, etc.), unless there are other criminal violations present.
  • University Police Officers will continue to respond to all reported criminal activity and appropriate service-related details.

MSU Billings Police Officers will adhere to the following protocol when responding to calls for service:

Non-Symptomatic Individual(s)/COVID-19 status unknown

  • Indoors/Transports— It is mandatory officers wear a surgical or cloth mask. Maintain social distance and use nylon gloves when practical. All individuals are required to wear an appropriate mask when transported. After transport, wipe down/disinfect transport area.
  • Outdoors- Officers are advised to wear a surgical or cloth mask, maintain social distance, and use nylon gloves when appropriate.

Symptomatic Individual(s)/COVID-19 positive status

  • Indoors/Outdoors/Transports— It is mandatory officers wear a N95 mask, safety glasses, maintain social distance, and use nylon gloves. All individuals are required to wear an appropriate mask when transported. After transport, wipe down/disinfect transport area.

The University Police Department will continue to offer fingerprinting services. The UPD has incorporated safety measures to minimize the risk involved with being unable to socially distance while fingerprinting.

Travel

Travel policies are developed in coordination with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) and in accordance with state and federal guidelines and will be updated as necessary and as circumstances warrant.

International Travel

MSUB has suspended official university international travel until further notice. International students who are traveling from their home country to Billings are advised to follow the CDC protocols for international travel. The CDC advises a seven-day self-quarantine after international travel, and to get COVID-19 tested 3-5 days after arrival (if possible). If not tested, it is advised to self-quarantine for 10 days.

In-state, work-related travel

In-state travel that is central to the maintenance and operations of MSUB and that cannot be managed through remote modalities may be deemed essential. Faculty and staff who believe they must travel for work should submit a written request to their supervisor for approval explaining why the travel is necessary and why the meeting cannot be accomplished remotely or through alternative means. Supervisors will be asked to approve travel requests and forward to HR. Faculty and staff will be asked to file a COVID-19 Travel Plan that indicates what the faculty or staff member plan to do to mitigate risk while traveling. This plan should include plans to social distance, continue good hygiene, not report to work if feeling sick, and include mask-wearing whenever possible.

Out-of-state, work-related travel

Out-of-State travel that is central to the maintenance and operations of MSUB and that cannot be managed through remote modalities may be deemed essential. Faculty and staff who believe they must travel for work should submit a written request to their supervisor for approval explaining why the travel is necessary and why the meeting cannot be accomplished remotely or through alternative means. Supervisors will be asked to approve travel requests and forward to HR. Faculty and staff will be asked to file a COVID-19 Travel Plan that indicates what the faculty or staff member plan to do to mitigate risk while traveling. This plan should include plans to social distance, continue good hygiene, not report to work if feeling sick, and include plans for mask-wearing whenever possible.

Any travel to a state that has a quarantine policy is prohibited. Additionally, faculty and staff should be aware that conditions may change at any time and that they may be unable to leave their location or they may have to quarantine upon reentry to Montana.

Student travel

All university-affiliated student travel is suspended until further notice.

Information Technology

Internet Options for Students

  • A loaner wireless hotspot program is available to provide a loaner wireless hotspot to currently enrolled students who do not have internet access. Wireless hotspots connect to a cellular signal and then provides a wireless network to connect your devices too. Requests can be made by filling out a Hotspot Loaner Application.
  • Outdoor wireless access points are purchased and placed strategically where students can access the internet from their vehicles in a parking lot or a common spaces should the university need to move all classes to the remote learning modality. In the spring, the parking lots near Petro Hall, Rimrock Hall, Cisel Hall, east of the library, west of the City College Tech building, and north of the City College Health Sciences buildings will have wireless internet.

Computer Labs

  • To adhere to physical distancing requirements, computer labs have been modified to allow for physical distancing between students sitting at computers. This will result in the computer lab capacity operating at approximately 50% capacity .For more detailed numbers, visit the Student Computer Labs webpage.
  • A laptop loaner program is available to provide a loaner laptop to currently enrolled students who do not have a computer. Requests can be made by filling out a Laptop Loaner Application.
  • Remote Computer Lab: A virtual computer lab is available for students that allows access to MSUB software from your personal devices, whether on campus or off. Please see the Remote Computer Lab informational page for more information.

Software

  • Many of the same software packages on campus computers are available to students off campus. Visit the MSU Billings Student Software page for more information about software available for students such as a free copy of Microsoft Office, Office 365 and your official MSUB email address, Box, WebEx, and LinkedIn Learning to name a few.
  • Students are able to print from their personal devices while on the MSUB wireless network. To learn more about wireless printing, visit the Student Printing webpage.

For more information on anything above or Information Technology in general, please visit the IT homepage. For IT assistance, please visit the IT helpdesk in the Information Commons on the first floor of the library or call 406-247-5700.

Academics

Instructional Plans

Faculty COVID-19 Flowchart

Establish a classroom occupancy, traffic flow, and course scheduling plan that minimizes health risks associated with in-person instruction.

  • Classroom occupancy will allow for physical distancing (remaining 6-feet apart) in the classroom. Cleaning materials are available in each classroom for use in wiping down desks and other materials between classes. Students are asked to maintain proper physical distance (remaining 6 feet apart) while transitioning to other classes.
  • For classes that are socially (physically) distanced throughout the entire class period, attendance need not be taken, nor a seating chart required. If physical distancing throughout the entire class cannot be maintained, then instructors must have assigned seating and take attendance
  • Students will receive education during orientation emphasizing the meaning of physical distancing, staying home when sick, cleaning classroom space before leaving the class, etc.
  • All face-to-face meetings and classes in which proper distancing cannot be maintained will have assigned seating to ensure contact tracing. Attendance are taken in all classes to ensure contact tracing.
  • Common language is used by faculty in syllabi, encouraging students to stay home when sick. Faculty developed statements to explain class operations regarding modalities and distancing. Faculty developed backup plans for class meetings and/or content delivery if they become sick.
  • For courses offered face-to-face, faculty may hold virtual or in-person office hours during the spring semester, depending on their preference. For hybrid or online courses, office hours may be held virtually for the spring semester.
  • A holistic approach to assigning rooms based on COVID classroom capacity has been developed.

Where possible, work with faculty to develop flexible instruction plans that leverage instructional technology, encourage blended delivery, and encourage smaller groups for in-person class meetings.

  • All faculty in all colleges have plans to allow for physical distancing between students as much as possible without reducing course caps. Those plans will continue to be followed.
    • Distribute plans to facilitate advising.
    • Distribute list of maximum capacity for all classrooms to instructors and department chairs.

Work with faculty to develop a plan for quickly transitioning to remote delivery should conditions warrant.

Faculty have developed plans for each face-to-face class to transition to remote delivery, should that become necessary. D2L shells are available for each course, making this transition as easy as possible.

Provide training and resources to help faculty maximize use of learning technologies and blended course delivery.

  • A number of faculty received training during summer 2020 in the HyFlex modality to be implemented moving forward. Additional faculty are anticipated to be trained moving forward.
  • Faculty development through the Online Teaching and Learning Institute was increased to two classes with overloads to accommodate 28 faculty members, full and part-time, to migrate courses to an online environment.
  • Faculty development of workshops are offered through the eLearning Faculty Fellowship to address technological and pedagogical practices in web-based and technology-enhanced classrooms.

Establish tools and practices to assess student learning in remote, blended, or other delivery formats.

  • All courses, regardless of modality (including face-to-face traditional formats) has a D2L course shell from the Learning Management System and the Department of eLearning will check that, at minimum, a course syllabus is uploaded.
  • The Department of eLearning and Information Technology provides software application, hardware, support, and training in synchronous (real-time) video delivery of courses.
  • New tools being researched, pilot tested or utilized to enhance online learning and assessment are available via Information Technology and Institutional Research.
  • During spring semester 2020, Faculty Fellows and Instructional Designers will receive training and certifications in Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR). They will then receive training and certification in teaching APPQMR. This train-the-trainer model is cost effective and learner effective as peer-to-peer (faculty-to-faculty) models can be sustained over a longer period, allowing for formative feedback, rather than a one-time workshop.

To the greatest extent possible, develop a technological infrastructure (e.g., course scheduling, LMS shells, etc.) that can transition between remote and in-person delivery.

  • Faculty developed robust D2L shells for every course to transition quickly to online if needed and make the most of classroom time to do hands-on activities (especially in labs and CTE programs).
  • Limited access is provided to on-campus offices for faculty who do not have access to high-speed internet and additional rural considerations that might develop if it is necessary to transition to complete online instruction.

Account for impacts on federal compliance requirements (accessibility, financial aid, veteran’s services, etc.) resulting from alterations to instruction models and/or physical learning spaces and identify how compliance requirements in each area will be met.

  • MSUB’s Financial Aid department continues to work with the Department of Education, the state, and others to verify student financial aid and make aid (regular and CARES Act funding) available to all students who qualify.
  • Veterans Services coordinates with the federal government, state, and others to verify qualification for funding and disburse based on modified semester timelines. MSUB offers an Intersession over winter break for students who may require additional coursework and who may qualify for additional funding.
  • Office of International Studies works with the federal government and others to make sure that learning modalities for international students are in compliance with requirements.
  • Disability Support Services works with faculty to ensure that students disability needs are met. Courses that require closed captioning or other accommodations are being managed on a course-by-course basis.

Make decisions about experiential learning (e.g., internships, clinical work, student teaching in K-12 settings, education abroad, etc.) based on an assessment of health risks at destination/learning site, compatible approaches by external partners, size of learning group, equipment needs, health risks associated with required transportation, and the extent to which the experience is essential (for accreditation, etc.) to the program of study.

Internships

  • Faculty supervising internships coordinates with employers to ensure the highest level of safety for students.
  • Faculty have contingency plans for completion of internship requirements online or in a subsequent semester to ensure program completion and graduation.
  • Faculty work closely with students to develop completion plans that best allow for attainment of learning outcomes.

Clinicals and Student Teaching

  • Clinical placements follow the policies and procedures set forth by the sites.
  • Finishing clinicals may become problematic if students are barred from entering the sites. Programs requiring clinicals could resort to simulation software or postpone clinical experience to another term. These options will be utilized when necessary in consultation with the appropriate accrediting organizations.
  • Student teachers (College of Education) have multiple options including, postponing the experience to a different semester, evaluating the length of the experience to determine if minimal work has been completed, or continuing the experience online.

Research and Creative Scholarship

Establish clear protocols for moving between Research Operation Levels 0-4.

Each research lab must submit a plan to department chair(s) for review and approval, with final approval by deputy command team.

Develop standard operating procedures and protocols for cleaning, physical distancing, and traffic flow in lab/workspaces. Particular attention should be given to cleaning and usage of shared lab/workspace equipment.

  • All labs have cleaning and training plans based on updated biosafety plans.
  • Institutional Review Board language and guidelines has been revised to require safety and physical distancing plans for research with human subjects.

Design meetings with off-campus research collaborators and sponsors to minimize health and transmission risks.

Internships

  • Faculty supervising internships work closely with employers to ensure the highest level of safety for students.

Clinicals and Student Teaching

  • Clinical placements follow the policies and procedures set forth by the sites.
  • Clinicals may use a combination of on site and simulation software to complete learning objectives and program requirements.
  • Student teachers (College of Education) will work to complete their student teaching, learning objectives and program requirements.

Student Engagement

Admissions & New Student Services—University Campus

For all event venues, establish rules for traffic flow and congregational spaces (e.g., bathrooms, concession areas) that minimize risk of disease transmission while still meeting accessibility requirements.

Signage promoting traffic flow and physical distancing are present in all venues.

For all venues, and for each event, establish a pre-event, intra-event, and post-event cleaning plan based on public health and CDC guidelines. Ensure that event scheduling allows for appropriate cleaning to take place between the conclusion of one event and the beginning of another.

Facilities Services have a plan that allows ample time for cleaning prior to, during, and after an event has taken place. Multiple events in the same venue are scheduled with ample time to allow for cleaning protocols to be implemented.

For all major, high-occupancy events (e.g., Commencement, Homecoming) develop a plan that considers:

  • Moving events to a later date when possible.
  • Breaking up singular event instances into multiple, smaller instances of that event.
  • Avoiding overlapping events that place stress on campus staffing, cleaning resources, and ability to maintain physical distancing.

For “welcome back to campus” events (e.g., Welcome Back Week, Power of One Week), develop a plan that considers:

  • Promoting online events or hosting smaller events.
  • Allowing students to complete some items on their “welcome to campus” checklist virtually, in order to reduce crowding on campus.
  • Accounting for any relevant quarantine and health check requirements when welcoming students and/or visitors to campus from outside Montana.

Establish decision criteria for hosting (or not hosting) non-college/university events.

  • For events that cannot be postponed, a COVID-19 health and safety event plan is required, which addresses the following from Montana Phase 2 guidelines, and is on file before the event begins on campus.
    • In the event a confirmed COVID-19 case is associated with a facility, the facility should clean in accordance with CDC facility environmental cleaning procedures the areas of the establishment frequented by patrons.
    • Event occupancy is set at 50 percent for each venue on campus to allow for appropriate physical distancing following the protocol set by the Governor for Phase 2.
    • Signage must be posted with the following or substantially similar wording: “Patrons with fever, shortness of breath, a cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms must refrain from using this facility.”
    • Signs are positioned for effective visual observation by patrons, such as on the entry way door.
    • Increase cleaning and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces, including door handles, chairs, and tables.
    • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet between non-family member groups or immediate party should be maintained.
    • Food vendors must run through MSUB Dining Services to ensure applicable COVID-19 procedures for restaurants and retail food service are followed.
    • Facilities will control customer flow in a manner that maximizes physical distancing such as signage or ropes and directing flow in one direction.
    • Provide hand sanitizer or hand washing stations throughout the venue whenever possible.
    • Increase cleaning and sanitizing of restrooms to no less than every two hours whenever possible.

Require all off-campus organizations scheduling non college/university events on campus to agree to updated terms and conditions requiring campus sanitation protocols.

  • Off-campus entities wishing to schedule space in PE Building or other buildings on campus will need to create a COVID-19 health and safety event plan with the facility request. The plan will be required to meet all Montana Phase 2 requirements and guidelines and must be on file prior to the event taking place.
  • Organizations must agree to all university terms and conditions and will be responsible to effectively monitor and manage their event in compliance with the guidelines.
  • EMS scheduling system has updated contract terms and conditions at the top of each space reservation confirmation.

Design in-person campus tours to include smaller groups that meet physical distancing guidelines and restrictions on gathering size.

  • Signs and stanchions are placed to assist students and guests in physical distancing when at the information desk and in the New Student Services/Admissions Office.
  • The visit calendar is adjusted to accommodate health and safety regulations.
    • New Student Specialist follows up with prospective students to confirm their visit and discuss with them where they are visiting from, number of guests they will have joining them, so that we can make the best game plan for location of visit and movement through campus.
    • Visits are scheduled through various times throughout the day to assist in limiting the number of visitors to the office and campus.
    • Group visits are scheduled based on state guidelines and groups will be split into even smaller groups with appropriate staff. Route plans will be devised to best accommodate the groups.
    • Virtual visits will continue to be offered.
    • Travel will be adjusted and determined as state guidelines are followed, as well as monitoring of the information coming from regional and national recruitment organizations/college fairs.
    • The Conduit platform has been launched to be able to provide virtual content and webinars.

Admissions & New Student Services—City College

Jacket Student Central offers three options for campus visits: on campus, virtual, or a combination of both.

Campus visits

  • Explain physical distancing expectations for all on campus tours when arranging appointments.
  • Arrange campus tours to follow federal and state guidelines.
    • Evaluate size of the tour; individual or group/number of guests and will coordinate location of campus tour.

Recruiter visits/recruitment events (off-site)

  • Evaluate state and federal regulations guidelines to determine travel options (high school visits and outside recruitment events).
  • Coordinate with VCSAS/MSUB leadership on participating in college fairs, following all physical distancing protocols.
  • Coordinate with NSS to continue and enhance our marketing outreach through various virtual college fair/information sessions and “chats” via StriveScan, the new Conduit platform and social media platforms.
  • Build our “video” library highlighting programs, resources, and opportunities so it can be shared on numerous platforms to sell our campus virtually.

Athletics/Recreational Activities

Athletic competition will resume once it is safe to do so.

While general planning guidelines are provided, modifications may be necessary and will be strongly influenced by upcoming guidance established by the MUS Athletics 2020 Advisory Group and by future decisions from relevant athletics conferences (e.g., Big Sky Conference, GNAC Conference, Frontier Conference) and national organizing bodies (e.g., NCAA, NAIA).

MSUB has created a COVID-19 Athletics Incident Command Team, that includes the athletic director or designee, head athletic trainer or designee, head team physician or designee, coaching representative, strength and conditioning representative, student health services representative, counseling services representative, a student-athlete, and a representative from the local health care system (campus medical center or local health care system) who has been involved in the development of this report.

Follow NCAA guidelines

Intramural team sports will not be offered. Recreation Activities will focus on smaller activities, e-sports, and non-contact programs, where physical distancing will be enforceable. Any shared equipment will be sanitized regularly.

  • Athletics ICS Team has a plan to limit all COVID-19 transmission.

Continue to conduct a health assessment survey(s) for student athletes at onset of the practice and competitive seasons; and continue health screening process to monitor health of student athletes at regular intervals throughout the practice and competitive seasons.

  • A daily wellness survey is sent out to all student-athletes each day. Student-athletes are instructed to complete this and the results are automatically sent to the athletic trainer.
  • In the event a student-athlete is symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19 they should follow Athletics decision tree (INSERT LINK).

Promote physical distancing and enhanced cleaning in areas of congregation, including, training rooms, locker rooms, strength and conditioning facilities, and other team meeting areas.

  • Physical distancing
    • Signs are posted throughout the Physical Education building encouraging physical distancing.
    • There are decals on the floor of the building in high volume traffic areas encouraging people to maintain 6 feet distance.
    • Recreation/Athletics Fitness Center, gyms, activity areas, swimming pool and other activity areas will operate at reduced capacity, following RiverStone Health guidelines.
  • Enhanced Cleaning
    • CDC approved disinfecting product is used to sanitize facility and equipment.
    • Teams use wipes and disinfectant spray to clean and disinfect team locker rooms and equipment daily.
    • In the athletic training room, a cleaning plan is implemented, and all tables and equipment are sprayed and wiped after each use. An electrostatic sprayer is used at the end of the day to disinfect all other surfaces.
    • Fitness Center has a dedicated employee during open hours to ensure users wipe equipment after each use and to continually clean/sanitize common areas and equipment.
    • Fitness Center, general locker rooms, and other activity areas is disinfected with electrostatic sprayer nightly after closing. Users are strongly encouraged to come dressed ready to be active and change and shower at home.
    • Other activity spaces will be opened as needed and disinfected by coaches, instructors, and users after each use.

Campus Dining Services

The health and safety of all MSUB students, faculty, staff, and community guests is of the utmost importance to our dining services team. Our team is trained on proper food handling, sanitation, personal hygiene, and the new protocols put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, which include daily personal wellness checks. Additionally, we have augmented our dining operations across campus in the following ways:

  • Sanitizer stations at all entrances, we encourage our guests to use this service.
  • Floor stickers will guide our guests to properly que in line both inside and outside of each dining location; directional signs clearly marked entrances, traffic flow and exits.
  • Dining services staff are gloved and masked for guest’s protection and theirs - we encourage guests to wear masks in heavily trafficked spaces as well.
  • Additional staff positions have been added to enhance our cleaning and sanitizing program.
  • Seating layouts have been reduced to comply with CDC recommendations for physical distancing.
  • Guest capacity at each location have been reduced. Monitors will regulate traffic flow per the new standards: Entry into our dining hall will be slowed or stopped as capacity is reached. Take-out containers are available when seating is at max capacity.
  • Food delivery is available for residence hall students in isolation or quarantine.
    • Students in quarantine/isolation work through case managers to facilitate meals in accordance with their meal plan.
  • Remote pay systems currently being installed at all retail locations to facilitate physical distancing by avoiding waiting in line to order.
  • All diners should wear their mask, except when actively consuming food or beverage.
  • Catering
    • Self-serve buffets will not be available during spring semester. All buffets will be served by dining staff or volunteers recruited by catering customers. Sodexo staff will train on day of events.
    • Single service, packaged meals are recommended wherever possible.
    • Disposable linens, napkins, plates, beverage service ware and utensils are recommended for all events.

Events and Welcoming Visitors/Students to Campus

  • Whenever possible, events will be evaluated to see if they can be held outdoors or online.
  • When able to comply with the 25-person capacity guideline, MSUB will host meetings and events.
  • Event workers will be trained accordingly to help properly clean and manage the building to limit transmission.
  • All facilities have signs that inform fans/attendees of COVID-19 guidelines and symptoms to watch out for. These include physical distancing floor markings.
  • Athletic and external events will require a COVID-19 safety plan, prior to approval and hosting of event.

For all event venues, develop occupancy limits and seating charts that follow local and state guidelines on event size and allow for physical distancing at all events.

  • PE Building facilities will run at the 50 percent capacity required in Montana Phase 2 guidelines. Athletic camps and other events held on campus are limited to 25 people per space.
  • Physical distancing is required, maintaining 6 feet between non-family member groups.

For all event venues, establish rules for traffic flow and congregational spaces (e.g., bathrooms, concession areas) that minimize risk of disease transmission while still meeting accessibility requirements.

  • All campus events (including the PE Building) have traffic flow signs throughout building(s). Entrances and exits are clearly marked.
  • Areas of congregation, lines, doorways, etc., have floor decals to encourage 6 feet of physical distancing.

For all venues, and for each event, establish a pre-event, intra-event, and post-event cleaning plan based on public health and CDC guidelines. Ensure that event scheduling allows for appropriate cleaning to take place between the conclusion of one event and the beginning of another.

  • For both camps and events, the event coordinator and/or vendor will provide a COVID-19 health and safety plan which will include cleaning and sanitation of facility pre-event, during event, and post-event. Plan will need to follow Montana’s Phase 2 guidelines for each specific facility. This plan will be implemented in conjunction with Facilities Services and will be on file prior to the event taking place on campus.

For “welcome back to campus” events (e.g. Welcome Back Week, Power of One Week), develop a plan that considers:

  • Staggering arrival/move-in days and times to allow for smaller groups and lighter traffic flow.
    • Housing plan outlines the move-in day process.
    • A communication plan will be developed to share with students prior to their arrival on campus which highlights all current guidelines and highlighting action steps for students if they have any signs/symptoms. If students show signs and symptoms, they will be guided to work directly with our Student Health Services team and RiverStone Health professionals. There is no testing requirement for students upon their campus arrival.
  • Promoting online only events the first week. Allowing students to complete some items on their “welcome back to campus” checklist virtually in order to reduce crowding on campus.

Housing and Residence Life

Essential Items

Develop an occupancy plan for residence halls to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This plan should be completed in coordination with university emergency management, university health professionals, and county public health officials.

  • Students have the option to pick between a single and double room on campus. Students will be required to pay the single rate if they choose to be in a single room.

Develop campus cleaning procedures for all common areas

  • (e.g., shared restrooms, study areas, laundry rooms, vending machines, etc.), with special attention to high-touch surfaces.
  • Custodial Staff reports to Facilities Services on campus and have their cleaning-specific plan for the residence halls. Housing staff will continue to collaborate with Facilities Services on cleaning these high-touch surfaces.

Conduct training on public health measures and signs/symptoms of COVID-19 for all live-in professionals, graduate hall directors, residence advisors, and others in similar roles.

  • Updated housing staff training is conducted regularly with information related to COVID-19.

Develop a plan, including but not limited to signage and traffic flow markings, to promote physical distancing in high occupancy or confined areas within residence halls (e.g., elevators, stairs, and entrances).

  • Housing & Residence Life will refresh COVID-19 signage each semester in the following areas that promote physical distancing, proper hand hygiene, signs, and symptoms, and what to do if students become sick.
    • Main lobbies
    • Floor lobbies
    • Kitchenettes
    • Laundry rooms
    • Elevators
    • Stairwells
    • Computer Labs
    • In-room signage

Re-configure seating in common areas to ensure proper physical distancing.

  • All common space areas are reconfigured to ensure proper physical distancing. All seating that promotes multiple people (love seats, couches, etc.) are removed and only single seat options are available.

Build a “welcome back to campus” plan that establishes staggered move-in dates/times, promotes physical distancing, and accommodates smaller group orientation sessions.

  • New students will select a timeslot to move into the Residence Halls. Returning students will also select move-in times.

Develop a plan to address any relevant quarantine or health-related requirements for out-of-state students returning to residence halls. This plan should align with statewide requirements and be completed in coordination with university emergency management, university health professionals, and county public health officials.

  • All students, including those who plan to live on campus, are encouraged to self-quarantine at home for 10 days prior to returning to campus. If students have traveled internationally or in high-risk domestic areas, the CDC advises a seven-day self-quarantine, and to get COVID-19 tested 3-5 days after arrival (if possible). If test results are negative, students are encouraged to continue the seven-day self-quarantine. If not tested, it is advised to self-quarantine for 10 days.
  • Continue to improve quality of life for students staying in on-campus quarantine and isolation spaces as well as standard residence halls.

Develop a plan for the quarantine and isolation of campus residents awaiting COVID-19 test results, after testing positive for COVID-19, or when directed to quarantine by public health officials. Whether on campus or off campus, isolation rooms should:

  • Be physically separated from other residential student rooms
  • Have private bathroom facilities and be stocked with a thermometer, sanitizing wipes, tissues, soap, hand sanitizer, and toiletries.
  • Where possible, make accessible addition equipment for monitoring vital signs (e.g., pulse oximeters).
  • Be pre-identified and available to accommodate an increase in need.
  • Be accessible for food delivery from campus food service or other arranged delivery.
  • Have connectivity that allows students to continue academic study through remote access whenever possible.
    • Housing & Residence Life will work with Riverstone Health, Student Health Services, and Dining Services if students are placed in quarantine or isolation housing. Students will have access to meal delivery and appointments through Student Health Services for any medical or counseling needs. Designated staff are appropriately trained and on call to assist these students with any personal needs.
    • We have also purchased amenities for quarantine rooms such as TVs, mini-fridges, microwaves, new chairs, linens, desk lamps, etc. to make the quarantine and isolation experience more enjoyable for students.
    • Housing & Residence Life will hold the following rooms for quarantine and isolation purposes:
      • Guest apartment located within Petro Hall
      • Family Housing apartment
      • Rimrock 5th floor
      • Rimrock 6th floor (this space does not have private bathroom facilities). This space could be utilized if occupancy numbers increase.
      • Two campus owned housing rentals managed through Facilities Services

Planning Considerations

Consider plans to limit residence hall access and visitation policies.

  • Outside visitation is suspended until further notice. Students living on campus in our two residence halls will be able to check-in to the building they are not living in. Any other outside guests that do not live on campus are not able to check-in and be present in the living areas of residential students.

Consider travel limitations for students that resemble those for employees (for both school-related travel and personal travel). Consider alternate living arrangements for students who self-identify as having significant health issues and/or as immuno-compromised.

  • Housing professional and student staff are strongly encouraged to limit personal travel. Our department will not provide any opportunities to travel for business. Housing staff will promote more programming efforts on weekends to encourage residential students to stay on campus and limit travel.

Consider adjusting desk operations in residence halls to reduce contact/touch, such as package delivery, mail distribution, etc.

  • Plexiglass shields are installed at both front desks since there is face-to-face work that needs to be done. Sanitizing all materials coming in/out from the desk (equipment, keys, etc.) on a weekly basis. Desk operating hours are minimally reduced to balance the health and safety risk with safety and security of the buildings. Housing & Residence Life will not allow any outside visitors into the residence halls and having the front desks staffed will enforce this policy.

Consider a training program for residential staff that focuses on how to manage conflicts between students over adherence to COVID-19 protocols, and what to do if someone tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Training sessions is provided for all housing staff. These training opportunities are in collaboration with Student Health Services and public health officials.

Student Support

Academic Support Center

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

Continue utilizing the online scheduling program WCONLINE to increase the Academic Support Center's (ASC) capability to provide virtual academic support.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

  • Train newly hired student support staff in WebEx and WCONLINE.
  • Emphasize the importance of new protocol of delivery methods (in- person, hybrid, fully online) and cleaning, hand washing, physical distancing guidelines at mandatory pre-semester orientation sessions for all full-time and student staff.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

Accommodations at both the ASC on the university and City College campuses are spacious enough to accommodate large numbers of students even with the implementation of the following measures.

  • Chairs have been removed to create appropriate spacing (no side-by-side seating) at tables and computer stations throughout both centers.
  • Wipe down and thoroughly disinfect all commonly used surfaces frequently.
  • Post MSUB COVID-19 signage to remind patrons of proper safeguarding protocol.
  • Use tape in lobby/sign-in area to avoid excess congregation at main entrances.
  • Continued emphasis of online resources in order to reduce overall traffic levels.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

The combined use of WCONLINE with the continued enhancement of the ASC’s website will serve as an “Academic Support Portal” to provide student access to the complete portfolio and immediate live connections to ASC personnel, along with the ASC and Writing Center email accounts to receive student inquiries.

Advising and Career Services

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

  • Services that can effectively be offered remotely:
    • Advising appointments.
  • Services that require a hybrid model:
    • Option A – Utilize a model where all staff telework and there is a rotation of one full-time employee and one student worker on-campus to cover front desk and phone traffic.
      • Host employer-related events virtually.
      • Utilize how-to videos for registration, navigating course schedule, CareerLink program, etc.
    • Option B – Employ a model where all staff members who are able to, return to campus. Staff members with medical or cautionary reasons continue to telework.
      • Use of common staff areas, where physical distancing cannot occur, must be staggered or masks worn (back room with refrigerator, sink, etc.).
      • Conduct student appointments virtually during the summer. Continue virtual appointments during the fall or provide in-person appointments.
      • Conduct staff meetings virtually.
      • Host employer related events virtually.
      • Utilize how-to videos for registration, navigating course schedule, CareerLink, etc.
  • Services that require in-person delivery:
    • Schedule in-person testing in such a way to ensure physical distancing guidelines (one person testing at a time).

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

  • Use WebEx for appointments with students.
  • Continue to add resources to the Advising & Career Services website that include how-to videos.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

  • Schedule in-person testing or appointment one person at a time.
  • Safeguard so staff remain at their office space and use their own equipment (e.g., not stand at a walk-in desk or shared space).
  • Relocate furniture to discourage students and visitors congregating in lobby area.
  • Restrict use of shared computers in lobby area.
    • Provide cleaning products, instructions after each use, and/or disposable keyboard covers, if the computers cannot be restricted.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • Continue use of WebEx Softphone, so that staff have access to their desktop phones through their computer, while at home.
  • Develop and communicate resources (Frequently Asked Questions, entry level processes, etc.) to assist other departments and eliminate unnecessary student campus movement.

Business Services

All business services documents students may require are available online. Students may also access their information through MyInfo.

Installment contracts, payments, and refund information is available electronically and in-person.

Students who come to the Business Office will receive in-person service. Signs will direct traffic flow and floor stickers will help maintain social distancing.

Disability Support Services—University Campus and City College

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

Utilize WebEx, WebEx Teams, and WebEx Softphone program to allow employees to access work telephone numbers via VPN.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

All staff are trained.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

Redesign the foyer area to seat three people with six feet between each chair.

Sanitize individual testing rooms in between use.

Ensure each staff members’ private office allows for six feet between the visitor and the person behind the desk.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • Maintain the Disability Support Services (DSS) website for students to schedule tests, order textbooks, and make appointments with staff. Equipment check-out and check-in requires personal contact between staff member and student utilizing social distancing.
  • Communicate with faculty, staff, and students via email. Provide contact information and links to DSS-related resources.
  • Employ surveys to give students the opportunity to ask for assistance.

Dual Enrollment

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

  • Services that can effectively be offered remotely:
    • Meet with students, faculty, and administration from partner high schools virtually.
    • Determine how to successfully deliver labs (impacting seven dual enrollment classes).
    • Arrange for virtual visits and presentations to classes (versus in-person).
  • Services that require a hybrid model:
    • Offer Dual Enrollment applications for high school connections students via e-sign. Communicate with partnership high schools about this change.
    • Conduct the hands-on portion of labs with fewer students to allow for social distancing and/or require masks.
  • Services that require in-person delivery:
    • Schedule in-person testing in such a way to ensure social distancing guidelines (one person testing at a time) and continue discussions with the Predictive Student Task Force.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

Train dual enrollment instructors on the use of D2L (with the help of e-Learning).

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

  • Remove chairs in the gathering areas outside the City College Administration Office (where Dual Enrollment is located).
  • Safeguard so staff remain at their office space and use their own equipment (not be at a walk-in desk or shared space).
  • Use of common staff areas, where social distancing cannot occur, must be staggered or masks worn (copier machine, etc.).
  • Arrange Accuplacer group testing in larger classrooms to allow social distancing; employ check-in methods prior to students being on-campus.
  • Meet with students online. If an in-person meeting is necessary, limit to one person in the office at a time and maintain social distancing.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • Post updates on the Dual Enrollment website for students, parents, and school partners.
  • Send bi-weekly updates to appropriate partners, specifically to dual enrollment students, teachers, school districts, and MSUB faculty.

Financial Aid & Scholarships/Registrar’s Office

Supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

  • Increased use of WebEx, phone calls, and email with students and staff to maintain operations.
  • Phones are forwarded, when necessary, if staff are unable to work from campus.
  • DocuSign is utilized whenever possible.
  • Students can fax, email, mail, or hand-deliver forms to the office.

Jacket Student Central-City College

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

  • Services that can effectively be offered remotely
    • Offer services remotely (will require some staff in the Registrar’s office and/or Jacket Student Central (JSC) office for document retrieval, etc.).
  • Services that can be delivered in a hybrid model
    • Coordinate staff in the office with those who must telework to ensure excellent customer service.
    • Offer three recruitment options for campus visits including on-campus, virtual tours, or a combo of on-campus and virtual.
    • Conduct Advising appointments via WebEx and/or phone (especially for students with small children) or in-person.
    • Assist walk-in students at the front counter, create appointments, and share any literature/information needed.
    • Encourage no more than the potential student and two to three supporters during recruitment visits. Phase in more visitors as allowable.
  • Services that require in-person delivery
    • Coordinate testing (Accuplacer) with other offices to utilize for proctoring. Accuplacer testing is more productive on-campus.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

  • Ensure all staff are trained on WebEx, WebEx Teams, WebEx Softphone, email, and intercampus communications.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

  • Set up office space to assist one person on Accuplacer at a time in JSC and one in the testing center.
  • Request staff to only use their office space and equipment.
  • Request appointments for recruitment meetings; accommodate walk-ins as staffing and spacing allow. Limit appointments to the potential student and two to three supporters. Meetings will take place in the City College commons area to allow for physical distancing (ensure rotation as necessary with other departments that might need the commons area as well).
  • Ensure physical distancing guidelines are enforced during in-person campus tours.
  • Stagger campus tour visits and restrict tour size (individual student, small group, etc.) based upon federal guidelines.
    • Relocate JSC furniture to discourage congregation in area and move out most soft seating.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • Add resources and how-to video resources to JSC website.
  • Link to other Student Support Service websites.

Library

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

  • Circulation Desk is set up so that students can swipe their own U-cards for book checkout.
  • Students may call/email to communicate with librarians.
  • 406-657-1662
  • Library@msubillings.edu
  • Online databases/resources are available 24-7-365 for student, faculty, and staff use.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

  • Students and other staff have been adequately trained to use alternative delivery methods.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

  • Library is open to students and the university community.
  • Library access for the general public is strictly limited.
    • No computer/printer access for the general public.
    • Current courtesy borrowers may come into the library only to check out materials.
  • Visit the Library’s webpage to view current, up-to-date Library Hours.
  • Face coverings is required at all times while in the Library building.
  • All common use items, i.e., staplers, paper clips, paper hole punch, puzzles, popular magazines are not available for use.
  • Checked out books can be returned in the book drops located outside the Library building, one at the Library’s north entrance and one at the Library’s south entrance.
  • All physical library materials are quarantined 72 hours upon return.
  • Print reserves is suspended.
  • Library space/furniture is set up to encourage social distancing.
  • Social distancing floor stickers and striped tape designates the proper distance people should maintain in all library spaces, specifically high traffic areas such as the Ask Here/Circulation desk, IT Help Desk, Library main office, printers, and scanner areas.
  • Plexiglass barriers are installed on the public service desk on 2nd floor and the 1st floor Information Commons/Help Desk areas.
  • Signage about safe library use is prominently displayed in all areas of the library.
  • Many study rooms are closed to assist custodial staff with cleaning.
  • University community/students are encouraged to reserve the available study rooms. Available study rooms have limited capacity to ensure social distancing.
  • A limited number of computers in the labs are available to maintain appropriate social distancing.
  • Sanitizing wipes are available for touch stations such as kiosks, printers, scanners.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the three floors of the library.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in- person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • The Library Services Update website has the most up-to-date information regarding library operations and how to communicate/utilize materials as does the Back-to-Business website. 

Military and Veterans Success Center

The following pertains to both the University and City College campuses.

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

  • Modify the modality of student support services in accordance with safety precautions based upon in-person, hybrid, or online delivery.
  • Utilize WebEx, phones, and VPN where necessary.
  • Access VA certification systems remotely and work with students to determine the safest mechanism to ensure support is provided.
  • Implement and enhance strategies created during the spring semester to ensure students and employees are safe.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

All staff are trained.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

  • Display small posters with physical distancing guidelines on all office doors.
  • Reorganize the foyer to seat up to four people with six feet between each chair.
  • Provide students with brochures, business cards, and handouts and remove such items from common areas.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • Redesign the website to make it easier for students to find online resources and communication methods, including contact information for staff members.
  • Communicate via text or email with students wishing to be certified; students no longer need to hand deliver schedules.
  • Send emails and communicate to students on ways to request assistance and staff phone numbers so they can continue to access staff remotely.
  • Send emails when lounges are reopened for limited use with precautionary measures (such as limited seating, cleaning of workspace requirements, request to only use remote communication methods if necessary.
  • Replace coffee mugs in the kitchen/snack areas with Styrofoam cups.

Office of International Studies

  • The Office of International Studies (OIS) will continue to recruit international students, produce immigration documents, and develop face-to-face and online international student orientation content.
  • OIS will continue to support new, returning, and transferring international students.
  • International students are advised to follow the CDC protocols for international travel. The CDC advises a seven-day self-quarantine after international travel, and to get COVID-19 tested 3-5 days after arrival (if possible). If not tested, it is advised to self-quarantine for 10 days.
  • MSUB will not send students on Study Abroad exchange programs until further notice.
  • MSUB will not accept exchange students until further notice.
  • MSUB will not accept international visiting scholars until further notice.
  • International travel by students, faculty, and staff is suspended until further notice or until the U.S. Department of State removes its travel restrictions and warnings.

Student Support Services/TRIO

Where possible, plan to supplement delivery of in-person support services and student conduct management with alternative delivery strategies.

All services, except equipment check-out, have been coordinated to be fully online. Equipment check-out requires a staff member to physically contact a student to deliver the item(s) or to physically mail, via the USPS, to the student.

Train student support staff to effectively use alternative delivery methods.

Train staff on how to update the website and social media sites.

Design staffing, facilities, scheduling, and traffic flow to mitigate health risks for students and employees during in-person delivery.

  • Main Office:
    • Reconfigure the main office to allow six- foot distances and/or use of plexiglass between the Program Coordinator office space, Office Aide desk, copy machine, printer/fax, and one table and chair for single student use.
    • Designate one entryway as entrance only and the other as exit only.
    • Establish six-foot distances between desks in the Academic Coordinator and Director private offices and chairs for students.
  • Lounge/Computer Lab:
    • Ensure computers and chairs are at least six feet apart. Ask students to use hand sanitizer and wipe down computer equipment and printer before and after use.
  • Mentor Room:
    • Rearrange space from five to three offices to allow each mentor at least six feet distance from mentees. Stagger the number of mentors in the room during the week and encourage virtual meetings.
  • Tutor Room:
    • Continue group tutoring online.
    • Provide one-on-one tutoring while employing social distancing and/or the use of plexiglass.

Develop a communication strategy to inform students and the campus community about various delivery modes (e.g., in-person, online, both), specific precautionary measures/risks, and contingency plans for remote or altered delivery for each area of student support.

  • Continue strong and consistent team meetings and communications with SSS students, staff, and faculty.
  • Ensure students are fully aware of resources both on and off-campus.
  • Update website and social media sites often; link to other support services on-campus.
  • Reach out to each SSS student individually (via mentors) if MSUB goes completely online again.