Frequently Asked Questions

Browse these topics to find answers to questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and our university. Can’t find what you need? Send your questions here.


Academic Advising and Registration

Should I register for summer/fall courses?

Yes. Please reach out to your academic advisor to plan for your next semester.

When does registration open for summer and fall?

As of March 14, 2020, there are no plans to alter the registration dates from what is published in the academic calendars.

Will I get advised? How can I get a hold of my advisor? 

Advisors are working individually with students to meet their advising needs through email, phone calls, and Google Hangout Meet. You should receive information from your advisor(s) on how to ensure you have an advising session. Help in finding your advisor is at https://ualr.edu/advising/.

Academic Support Services

Can students still use the library?

Yes, the physical  library is still open for business as usual, but social distancing is encouraged. Check the website for changes in operations (under ‘recent news’).

The library is also open virtually to help students conduct library research. All library e-resources are available 24/7 at the library website via NetID and password. Materials will continue to be available from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan. Articles and book chapters will be delivered electronically. Physical items can be mailed to students upon request.

If students need assistance on accessing library resources, librarians are available via the Ask Ottenheimer Library service. Basic research assistance via chat, e-mail, voice and text message are available during library hours. More in-depth research consultations (via phone or Google Meet) will be available by appointment.

What other campus academic support services will be open and available?
Math Assistance Center

Online tutoring is being provided. Please see updated information on the MAC website.

Writing Center

Online assistance is available. More information is available on the Writing Center website.

Communication Skills Center

The physical space is closed for walk-in appointments, but the Center is available for real time online video consultations and support via email.

TRIO Student Support Services

All services are being continued remotely. More information is available on their site.

Academics and Classes

Have all classes been moved online? How long will they be online?

Yes, all classes (both undergraduate and graduate) are online effective immediately. Your faculty will work with you to ensure you have access, and to answer questions. STaR will also be available to help.

Classes will be online for the remainder of the spring semester. This will give students and faculty as much consistency in course delivery as possible for the duration of the academic year.

Summer classes, a very popular offering by UA Little Rock, will transition to an all-online format across all four summer sessions. During the summer session, online courses may be modified into hybrid or in-person classes should the guidance of public health officials allow for it.

How should I prepare for possible disruptions to the classes I’m taking in their transition to online?

Your instructors will be communicating with you about their plans for teaching online. Keep in touch with them and ask questions if you need clarification. Keep in mind that your instructors may have to restructure the course schedule and assignments for the purposes of effective online teaching. Don’t assume that your courses will remain exactly the same in online form as they are in person.

How do online classes work? Will I ever have to login or participate at a fixed time?

Online classes vary a lot. You may be able to work on some activities and requirements asynchronously (at different times than other students are working on them). These assignments will still have deadlines. Some parts of your classes may be offered synchronously (“live”, or “real-time”) through remote meeting options such as Blackboard Collaborate, Google Hangout/Meet, or Zoom. Until you know your instructors’ plans for each of your courses, do not schedule other activities during these times.

I use accommodations and am worried about being moved to classes online. What do I do?

The Disability Resource Center is available to help ensure that online course content is fully accessible. Call or email an Access Consultant with specific questions and concerns at 501-569-3143 or disability@ualr.edu. In the event that the campus closes as a COVID-19 precaution, staff will still be available to students by email and phone.

How will labs and performances required for credit be completed?

Your instructors will be communicating with you regarding plans for labs and performances. Keep in touch with them and ask questions if you need clarification.

What about clinical courses, practicums, and student teaching internships?

Your instructor will provide you with information regarding clinicals, practicums, and teaching internships.  If you have questions, please contact your instructor.

What about internship courses that involve working off-campus? 

Your instructor will provide you with information regarding your internship.  If you have questions, please contact your instructor.

If I am working on a research project, can I come in and work in the lab? 

Check with your faculty supervisor.

How will exams work?

Your instructors will be communicating with you regarding their expectations, exams, and other assignments. Instructors may modify how they administer exams and other learning activities to better fit an online setting. For example, an instructor may administer an alternative examination format.

If you have extra time as an accommodation through the Disability Resource Center, make sure that your instructor has this notice well in advance of any exam. If you have need for other accommodations, contact Disability Resource Center and your faculty members.

How will calculations of my final grade be impacted in the transition to online?

Your instructor will communicate any changes to learning activities, course requirements, and grade calculations. When you receive this information, if you have any questions, contact your instructor.

I have a thesis defense or doctoral or masters degree comprehensive exam scheduled. Will that be online?

Thesis defenses and comprehensive examinations are considered teaching sessions and can take place remotely rather than face-to-face. Face-to-face thesis defenses and comprehensive evaluations may be acceptable as long as appropriate social distancing measures are in place.

I have never taken a college-level online course. Are there any general tips for learning in an online environment?

The most important thing is to stay connected with your instructor. Create a detailed schedule for when you are going to work on the course and for course deadlines. There are a number of resources that provide advice on how to succeed in the online environment. Below are a couple.

How to be a highly successful online college student

Tips for taking online classes

If this  sudden change to online learning proves difficult, remember that your instructors and advisor are resources for you; reach out to them. See the section on Academic Support Services and Counseling Services for further support options. Students can submit requests for support assistance through the university Care Team. A member of the Care Team will consult over the phone to identify appropriate campus and community resources. Self-referrals can be made online.

What do I do if circumstances beyond my control keep me from successfully completing my online course?

UA Little Rock acknowledges that the COVID-19 crisis has created many disruptions in daily life and that students may face increased caregiving responsibilities, limited access to technology, food and income insecurity, and additional health concerns during this time. If any event affects your ability to access or participate fully in your online coursework, contact your instructor as soon as possible. UA Little Rock faculty are available to assist you during this time.

How can I learn more about the emergency CR/NC (Credit/No Credit) grading for spring 2020 semester?

Please see questions under the heading Emergency CR/NC (Credit/No Credit) Grading for Spring 2020 Semester.

What  do I do if I have a complaint about my online class?

If possible, students attempt to resolve problems through their instructor.  The next step is to attempt to resolve the problem with the department chairperson. If working with the instructor or department chair is unsuccessful, students may file a formal complaint with the university. Visit the Dean of Students Student Complaint website for more information and an online form for filing student complaints. Student complaints may be submitted anonymously; however, including your contact information will assist the university in responding to your complaint.

Were the deadlines for drop and withdrawal extended?

Yes. To give students more time to decide with instructors if they wish to drop an individual class or withdraw from all classes for a term, the deadlines for drop and withdrawal have been moved to the following dates:

  • For full spring 2020 term: Monday, May 4, 5 p.m.
  • For second nine-week (920) term: Friday, May 1, 5 p.m.

Students and instructors should keep in mind that after the first week of classes, withdrawal from any course will result in a W on a student’s final transcript. Students deciding to withdraw from a course or the entire term should also be mindful of financial aid implications.

What if I do not have access to a computer or I have limited internet access?

Notify your instructors if you need accommodations for alternative ways to do your course work remotely. Instructors will try to work with you to provide alternative means of providing you course materials and ways to participate.

See the Technology Access section of this FAQ, which will be updated with new information as it is available.

What if I need access to specific software for my assignments?

The public computers in the library and class specific labs remain open until further notice.  For students who may need access to course specific software, please consult with your instructor or faculty member.

Will final exams be online?

Yes, although some classes may use assignments other than exams to assess your work over the course of the semester.

Commencement

Will Commencement (graduation ceremonies) still be held?

The spring 2020 commencement ceremonies are canceled and will not be rescheduled for a later summer date. Instead, all spring and summer graduates are invited to join the December 2020 graduation ceremony with full recognition. We will likely offer two ceremonies in December to accommodate all participants. Details will be announced in the coming weeks. We realize that this will be disappointing to many of our graduates who may have difficulty returning for a December event, but given the seriousness of the health risk and the uncertainty of the duration of the public health crisis, we feel this is the safest option for our Trojan family and guests. There will not be any delay in receiving diplomas for spring and summer graduates. Degrees will be posted on transcripts as soon as the completion of degree requirements is confirmed by the Office of Records and Registration.

Can I get a refund on my cap and gown for commencement?

If you had your regalia shipped to the Campus Bookstore, you will be refunded without having to contact Oak Hall, our vendor for caps and gowns. For items shipped to residences, contact Oak Hall to request a refund for unopened items. Call 1-800-456-7623 between (7:00 am to 5:00 pm Mon-Fri) or email customerservice@oakhalli.com to start the refund process. Shipping costs will not be refunded.

 

 

Emergency CR/NC (Credit/No Credit) Grading for Spring 2020 Semester

What’s this all about?

Our regular grading policy states that, in lieu of giving final grades of A-F, instructors can give a student a grade of CR (Credit) or NC (No Credit) for one course a semester in certain courses. Under this policy, a student and instructor have to agree to CR/NC at the beginning of the term.

The emergency extension of our regular grading policy means that the CR/NC grade can be used for more than just one class, and students will be able to request CR/NC final grading later into the semester.

A potential advantage to a final grade of CR/NC is that CR/NC does not factor into a student’s GPA calculation. This will provide more flexibility for students who are worried about maintaining their GPAs during this challenging semester.

Details about this emergency policy extension will be announced on Monday, March 30.

Why is this needed?

Many colleges and universities across the country are adopting similar policies this semester due to the extraordinary circumstances that are disadvantaging some students (e.g., having to vacate dorms, transitioning to online from face-to-face, increased caretaking, illness, income loss, increased anxieties due to all of the above. Additionally, we know from the preliminary results of a student needs survey sent out last week that many of our students have limited access to the internet and computers now that our campus is restricted. Faculty members in the Faculty Senate approved this emergency expansion to our current grading policy to support students during these challenging times.

Does this mean the semester is over?

No, each term currently in session [Spring 2020 full term, the second 9-week term (920), the second 7-week term (720), and the second and third 5-week terms (520, 530)] will continue until its regular completion date. Students will continue to participate in their classes and submit assigned work in order to complete their courses.

Does this mean that the grade we have right now in the class will be our final grade?

No, all classes will continue to have graded assignments and tests, which will continue to be graded as normal. This expansion to our grading policy only applies to final grades.

Is this optional? I do not want CR/NC because I have worked hard to earn an A. 

CR/NC will be entirely optional. No student will be required to change the grading scheme. Keep in mind also that not all instructors will offer CR/NC final grades for various reasons, and some programs that lead to licensure (e.g., nursing) will also not be able to offer this option.

How will this impact my GPA?

The grade “CR” (credit) and the grade “NC” (no credit) do not factor into a student’s term GPA or a student’s cumulative GPA. CR/NC grades will neither help nor harm the GPA, which is why it may be preferential for some students to request during this challenging semester.

Does this apply to students who were already in all online coursework before the health emergency?

Yes, this will be available to students enrolled in any class in Spring 2020 full term, the second 9-week term (920), the second 7-week term (720), and the second and third 5-week terms (520, 530). Certain courses in certain programs (e.g., nursing) cannot be taken for a CR/NC grade and must remain on the standard A-F grading scale.  Your instructor and advisor will be able to provide more information to you about these specific courses.

Will this affect my ability to graduate this semester?

No, it will have no impact on students’ ability to graduate this semester or in the future.

What about this summer?

At this time, the emergency policy expansion is only for the Spring 2020 semester.

I am a nursing/pre-nursing student. Does this mean I can get CR/NC in my nursing and pre-requisite nursing coursework?

No, courses in nursing (including pre-requisite courses for nursing), as well as some other programs with strict licensure or accreditation guidelines, will not be eligible for the CR/NC final grading option.

Federal Work Study

What about work study students?

At this time, federal work study students are permitted to continue working at their work study job sites as long as that office remains open. Furthermore, if a situation arises that an office must close, students should check with their supervisor about the capability to work remotely or to work on alternative tasks while the physical office is closed. Students who continue to work will receive their work study compensation. Please maintain communication with your supervisor throughout this period.

After speaking with your supervisor, please feel free to contact Financial Aid & Scholarships should have questions remaining.  Financial Aid & Scholarships may be contacted at financialaid@ualr.edu or 501-569-3035.

Health and Wellness

What measures should I take to protect myself?

Wash your hands frequently, following CDC guidelines. Keep hand sanitizer with you to use whenever you touch a doorknob or other commonly-touched surface. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have just washed or sanitized your hands. Cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue and then throw it away. If that is not available, use your sleeve. Then wash or sanitize your hands before touching anything.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

CDC and World Health Organization advise that no one should wear a mask unless they have COVID-19, or they are medical staff working with symptomatic patients. Regular medical masks don’t provide protection against the novel coronavirus. N95 masks are indicated for persons with COVID-19 and for medical staff as needed.

What should I do if I feel sick?

If you have fever of 100.4 or more, cough, or breathing difficulties, call Health Services at 501-569-3188, or your personal physician. Call before coming to the office.

How can I be screened for COVID-19?

UAMS is offering free HealthNow screenings to anyone in Arkansas who consider themselves to be symptomatic of the Novel Coronavirus. Depending on the screening questions answered, a video consult may be conducted, and/or the appropriate authorities/response teams may be notified.

Will Health Services stay open?

Health Services will provide phone-based health services until further notice, beginning Wednesday, March 18. Hours will remain Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and patients may contact Health Services during this time at 501-569-3188. Patients must first be screened by phone. After screening a patient’s issues, Health Services may ask patients to visit the office for in-person medical care and/or refer to another facility as needed.

Can students still meet with Counseling Services staff?

Yes. Call 501.569.3185 to schedule an appointment. If you are sick or can’t come to campus, the staff can provide counseling on the phone for the duration of this public health emergency.

I feel anxious about this virus spreading. What can I do?

Although it’s important to keep up with new developments, take breaks from all the news coverage when you are feeling anxious.

Students can call Counseling Services at 501.569.3185 during office hours (Monday – Friday, 8:00 – 5:00). The staff can provide counseling on the phone for the duration of this public health emergency. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here to help employees who are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and/or depressed. Call EAP at 501.686.2588 or 1-800-542-6021. Video Counseling is now available.

Is the Trojan Food Pantry still open?

The Trojan Food Pantry is still open to assist Monday and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m; Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Email pantry@ualr.edu or call 501-569-3308 for more information.

International Students

Can nonimmigrant students participate in online classes from outside the U.S. and still maintain their nonimmigrant status?

Yes, nonimmigrant students can temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country, in light of COVID-19. SEVP will provide updated guidance as additional information concerning the scope and length of this situation becomes clearer.

Will students be able to return to the United States if they are continuing their studies outside of the country as a result of COVID-19?

Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, nonimmigrant students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and CDC websites both provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States. The 5 month rule has not been addressed at this time, but SEVP is aware of that concern. A COVID-19 information alert has been posted to the Study in the States homepage.

Orientation

Will summer orientation for newly enrolled students be impacted?

New student orientation begins May 29 and is not expected to be impacted at this time. A review closer to the event date will be done.

Residents and Campus Living

Will I get a refund if I move home for the rest of the semester?

No, there are no plans to issue refunds as this time since the residences as well as dining services intend to remain open.

Will I have to move out of the residence hall? What if I have nowhere to go?

The residence halls will remain open and there will be modified Campus Dining services.

Scheduled Events

Are campus events canceled?

Effective immediately, on-campus events are now canceled through June 1, extended from April 30, unless written authorization is granted by a vice chancellor.

Technology Access

Is there an option to get inexpensive internet access?

One local Little Rock option: Comcast is offering two free months of Internet to qualified low-income families through their Internet Essentials program. Here is the statement from Comcast:

“Comcast is taking immediate steps to help connect more low-income families to the Internet at home. Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, anyone who signs up for Internet Essentials will receive two free months of Internet service. We are also increasing the speed of the program to 25 Mbps downloads, and 3 Mbps uploads for all new and existing customers.After your first two free months expire, you can either cancel the service (which you can do at any time) or keep it as a regular paying Internet Essentials customer. You will receive an easy to use self-install-kit that includes a cable modem (to receive service at your home) with a WiFi router (to connect your devices without wires). There is no term contract or credit check and no shipping fee for equipment.”

What happens if I don’t have reliable wi-fi or computer access at home?

The public computers on the 1st floor of the library are available for campus use until further notice.

Travel and Study Abroad

What about Study Abroad trips?

University-sponsored travel out-of-state is prohibited at this time. Personal out-of-state travel is strongly discouraged. We realize this may impact your spring break plans. Students are encouraged to consider the health risks and logistical issues with domestic and international travel. Please review the latest CDC guidelines and consider the possibility of travel restrictions, quarantines, and other travel-related issues:

What about university-sponsored travel?

Out-of-state travel is suspended and visits from out-of-state guests to campus are canceled through April 30.

Visitors to campus

Can visitors come to campus?

Campus officials encourage in-state visitors to take advantage of campus resources through phone, email and online communication until further notice. Business offices remain open to employees, students, and when it isn’t feasible to serve visitors via phone, email, and online, in-state visitors may also visit the campus. Out-of-state visitors are prohibited until further notice without vice chancellor approval.

Contact the team