What you need to know
June 15, 2020
On May 8, 2020, President David A. DeCenzo announced that Coastal Carolina University will welcome students, faculty, and staff back to campus in the fall of 2020. The process, policies, procedures, and protocols by which we will return to full operations is guided by our regard for public health, our determination to best serve our students, and our commitment to protect the health and safety of the University community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an unprecedented and ever-changing challenge that the University will continue to monitor. As such, this Comeback Plan is designed to provide you with the overarching standards the University will implement as we all begin our return to campus and welcome the class of 2024 to Teal Nation!
All members of the Coastal Carolina University are expected to abide by the policies, procedures, and protocols outlined in this Comeback Plan. Failure to do so places yourself and others at risk and may result in disciplinary action.
Returning to Campus
Employees: A Phased Approach
The Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity will determine the date of return and the rate at which employees are returned to the workplace. Employees who cannot readily continue working from home and those necessary to support critical ongoing operations will be considered for the first tier as recommended in the South Carolina Re-entry Plan for State Employees.
Health Screening and Monitoring Process
Individuals will be responsible for self-screening and self-monitoring for symptoms and/or exposure to COVID-19. It is vital for employees to understand and be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. As of June 15, 2020, the symptoms include one or more of the following:
- Fever or chills.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
- Muscle or body aches.
- New loss of taste or smell.
- Sore throat.
- Congestion or runny nose.
- Nausea or vomiting.
This list does not include all possible symptoms. Check the CDC website regularly as they will continue to update this list.
Self-Certification to Return to Campus
Students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a self-certification form prior to their return to campus. This certification will ask questions such as whether the individual has knowingly been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, or if the individual has traveled to areas with a wide community spread of the COVID-19 virus. The form will be provided to students, faculty, and staff before returning to campus.
Employees will be required to periodically re-certify their status; however, any change to the employee’s health or exposure status between certifications should be reported to their supervisor and Human Resources and Equal Opportunity as soon as possible. That employee should not return to campus until their status has been reviewed.
Students, faculty, and staff are expected to conduct symptom monitoring daily before coming to campus or leaving their residence halls. Individuals must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19. If an individual is experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms without a known underlying cause, it is their responsibility to contact the appropriate entities and they are not to come to campus or leave the residence hall.
Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who have been exposed to the virus, must contact Student Health Services.
Employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, or advised by a medical professional to self-isolate, should contact their supervisor and Human Resources and Equal Opportunity as soon as possible and not come to campus.
Requests for COVID-19 Accommodations
Students with a documented disability seeking COVID-19-related accommodations should contact Accessibility and Disability Services.
Students with high-risk factors seeking COVID-19-related adjustments, please complete this form. A multidisciplinary team coordinated by the ADS Director will review and determine student COVID-19-related adjustments.
Employees who have been authorized to return to work on campus but have concerns about doing so because of a condition that places them in a CDC-identified high-risk category should request an accommodation through Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.
COVID-19 public health practices training will be made available to all members of the University community. The training will cover awareness-level information about COVID-19 such as how it is spread and the symptoms. Prevention measures, face covering and glove usage, proper hand hygiene, and other important topics will be included.
Employees will be required to complete the online training prior to resuming their on-campus duties. This training may be completed remotely or upon the employee’s return, but employees will not be allowed to resume their on-campus duties until the training has been completed.
The University will require all members of the community to wear face coverings on campus in the following scenarios:
- Inside University buildings; however, face coverings may be removed while in one’s own living space or office, or while dining.
- Outdoors, when social distancing cannot be maintained.
Individuals are strongly encouraged to provide their own face coverings, reflective of their own comfort level, as long as any patterns and/or designs are appropriate for the workplace/learning environment.
Face coverings will be provided to employees, if needed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, face shields, and masks will be worn based on job duties that require contact and/or have the potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19.
To aid in understanding the different types of face coverings, please see the chart below.
|Cloth||Homemade or commercially manufactured masks that are washable and help contain wearer's respiratory emissions.||Required for campus community use in non-health care setting (office spaces, general research/work settings, shops, and community areas where six feet social distancing cannot be consistently maintained).|
|Disposable||Commercially manufactured masks that help contain wearer's respiratory emissions. Must be replaced daily|
|Surgical||FDA-approved masks to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes; helps contain the wearer's respiratory emissions.||These masks are reserved for health care workers and other approved areas with task-specific hazards determined by EHS.|
|N95||Provide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer's respiratory emissions.|
Physical and Social Distancing
In efforts to prevent the spread of and exposure to COVID-19, faculty, staff, and students will be expected to maintain physical and social distancing while on campus. Individuals should maintain a minimum distance of six feet from one another. If it is not feasible to maintain a distance of six feet, individuals must wear a face covering, unless in one’s personal living space.
Large gatherings on campus will be restricted based on guidance from the State and in compliance with Governor Henry McMaster’s executive orders.
Signage reflecting public health practices and CDC guidelines will be posted throughout campus, including at time clocks, on display boards, and at other highly visible areas.
Campus shuttles buses and routes will be modified to provide protection and proper social distancing for passengers and operators, as well as be disinfected regularly. Hand sanitizer will be available on all trolleys and drivers will monitor passenger loads for reduced load capacity to maintain six-foot social distancing.
Social distancing solutions in shared and common spaces can be especially challenging and may differ from building to building. Physical distancing may be accomplished by removing or rearranging furnishings or modifying workspaces, and/or practices. The University will assess spaces and determine the appropriate action to maintain social distancing.
Classrooms, laboratories, dining halls, and other gathering spaces will be reconfigured with lower occupancy rates to allow for social distancing during use. There may be instances where it is impossible to achieve six feet of separation in workspaces. Where feasible, modifications to work practices and schedules will be considered.
In areas where lines may form, markers will be installed to guide the line and maintain the six-foot social distance.
Pedestrian Traffic Flows
The University will modify or eliminate foot traffic to aid in implementing physical and social distancing. Directional pedestrian traffic flow patterns will be established around campus as well as in campus buildings. Entrance-only and exit-only doors to campus buildings will be designated and posted, where possible.
Sanitization and Disinfection
In aligning with public health recommendations, the University is taking measures to prevent community spread of COVID-19, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection. To aid in this effort, members of the University will be expected to sanitize surfaces they touch in their personal spaces and common spaces.
Personal Hygiene Measures
Coastal Carolina University employees and students are to follow the recommended public health practices from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and South Carolina Department of Administration (SCDA). Members of the University community are expected to practice healthy behaviors through their individual personal conduct and hygiene practices.
The University will provide hand sanitizer stations throughout campus to supplement frequent handwashing.
COVID-19 Testing and Infection Containment
Students, faculty, and staff with COVID-19 related symptoms will have access to viral testing through Student Health Services. If a student, faculty, or staff member returns a positive test result, the University will enact the appropriate plan. As a part of its plan, the University will augment contact tracing performed by SCDHEC with the capability to trace the contacts of those testing positive for the virus to control community spread on campus. Viral surveillance will also be utilized to detect and monitor the emergence and spread of COVID-19 within the University community.
Employees will refer to the Employee and Supervisor Protocol: What Steps to Take for a Possible or Confirmed COVID-19 Illness. The guidance recommends actions for employees and supervisors to take if an employee becomes ill on campus and it is suspected the illness may be COVID‐19, or a CCU employee is diagnosed with COVID‐19.
Any current students who test position for COVID-19 will be offered case management services in support of their health, emotional well-being, and academics. The University's Quarantine and Isolation Plan will be initiated for resident students who have had known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual or test positive for COVID-19. This plan will include multiple University departments and partners collaboratively supporting and monitoring resident students quarantined and isolated in appropriate University-operated and assigned spaces as necessary on a case-by-case basis.
The Fall 2020 instructional plan is being developed to protect the health, safety, and well-being of faculty, staff, and students as we resume on-campus instruction. The plan includes provisions for physical distancing in classrooms, multiple teaching approaches to accommodate faculty and student health risks, as well as potential periods of quarantine, and an altered semester calendar to minimize the impact of student exposure during Thanksgiving break.
Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Academic Semester Schedule
Classes will begin as scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 19. On-campus instruction will continue through Friday, Nov. 20 (Saturday, Nov. 21, for nursing students). Instruction will resume in the online environment from Monday, Nov. 30, through Friday, Dec. 4.
There will be no separate “Exam Week.” Faculty who wish to give an in-person final exam may do so during the week of Monday, Nov. 16. Faculty who choose to give final exams online may do so during the week of Monday, Nov. 30, maintaining normal instruction during the week prior to Thanksgiving break.
Classes will resume on campus for the Spring 2021 semester, with the first day of classes scheduled for Monday, January 11, 2021.
In the event of an extended instructional interruption related to a hurricane or other unforeseen event, the period of online instruction may be extended beyond Dec. 4 so as to ensure the University is providing sufficient instructional time consistent with our accreditation standards.
Fall 2020 Instructional Accommodations
One of the challenges in adapting our Fall 2020 semester is balancing student learning styles and preferences with the personal, disciplinary, and pedagogical needs and preferences of faculty and departments. We also anticipate that students may experience prolonged absences from class as they are potentially forced to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure.
Classes will be offered in a variety of formats, and the faculty are prepared to shift teaching strategies based on conditions. We expect most instruction to be face-to-face, with reliance on streaming technology and other digital tools to allow for social distancing and small class sizes. We also expect to increase the number and variety of our distance learning classes, so as to accommodate students and faculty who are at-risk in the face-to-face learning environment. Schedule adjustments will continue throughout the summer of 2020 as conditions change, and students who wish to revise their schedules should contact their academic advisors.
We are upgrading classroom technology and making provisions for portable technologies so that we are prepared to maintain academic continuity under a variety of conditions. Students have expressed a strong preference for face-to-face instruction and classes offered in a “normal” schedule. We will honor those preferences to the extent we can do so while simultaneously following the recommendations of public health authorities. All students — even those signed up for all face-to-face classes — should expect widespread use in instructional technology in their classes, and elements of distance learning will be necessary in almost every class and for almost every student.
Resident occupancy will be adjusted, reducing the total number of available bed spaces to increase the number of single-bedroom options. The additional furniture from the reduced occupancy spaces will remain in the bedrooms.
- All University Place bedrooms have been transitioned to single occupancy.
- Gardens’ apartments no longer have triple bedrooms.
- Five-bedroom suites in Chanticleer, Tradition, Teal, and Singleton-Young halls will include at least two single bedroom options, reducing suite sizes to eight.
- Ingle and Eaglin halls have reduced all triple-occupancy bedrooms and a portion of double-occupancy rooms.
The fall move-in process will be extended over multiple days and provide express check-in from the comfort of your vehicle.
Student Programming and Wellness
- Student Life professionals are developing programming that allows students to come together in small groups and create a sense of community.
- Provisions are being made for mental health services including telehealth, in-person for crisis or specialized issues with appropriate safety precautions, and online groups.
- Student organizations will be given guidelines regarding venue capacity limits, personal protective equipment expectations, social distancing expectations, screening protocols and contact tracing.
Athletics COVID-19 Plan
Coastal Carolina University administration, in accordance with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the NCAA Resocialization of Sport Plan, Sun Belt Conference COVID-19 Panel, and the guidance of CCU's NCAA Medical Director Dr. Winston D. McIver, Jr., have announced that football student-athletes will be allowed to return to voluntary workouts beginning June 8.
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CCU trustees freeze tuition, housing fees, meal plans for the next two academic years
During a special meeting of the Coastal Carolina University board of trustees on May 15, the board approved a motion to freeze tuition, housing costs, and meal plans at the current level for the 2021-2022 academic year for all in-state and out-of-state students. Trustees had already taken action on freezing the same costs for the upcoming 2020-2021 academic year in its regular board meeting on May 8.
“Our board of trustees is fully committed to maintaining stable financial plans that our students and their families can count on,” said University President David A. DeCenzo, Ph.D. “Knowing they can budget for no increases in tuition, housing, or meal plans for the next two years at CCU is essential, now more than ever.”
“We want to ensure that CCU remains an affordable choice and a great value for students,” said William Biggs, chairman of the board of trustees. “It is our hope this commitment to hold steady on these education costs opens their eyes to the great opportunities available to them at Coastal Carolina University.”
The action keeps tuition at $5,820 per semester for in-state students and $13,697 per semester for out-of-state students for the next two academic years. This maintains CCU’s annual tuition below the state average of $12,268 for in-state students and $27,399 for out-of-state students at four-year public institutions.
Housing fees have remained stable at CCU since a refinance plan was initiated in 2014, and a $75 per semester housing credit implemented during the 2017-2018 academic year will continue for both the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 academic years.
Upon DeCenzo’s recommendation, trustees also approved a 20 percent reduction ($70,000) of the president’s discretionary fund for FY 2020-21 over the budgeted amount for the previous year, which will result in a $280,000 discretionary fund for the upcoming fiscal year.