The University of Sioux Falls is monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation carefully and is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the USF community in accordance with the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This site is updated as new details become available or information changes.

Campus Updates

May 19, 2020

 

May 7, 2020

A virtual commencement recognition video will be released in place of each ceremony typically held in front of a full house at the Washington Pavilion. They will be released as a Facebook Watch party and on YouTube on Sunday, May 17:

  • 10 a.m. Graduate
  • 11 a.m. Undergraduate

All graduates are encouraged to dress up in their regalia for the watch party and celebrate virtually with their friends, family and fellow graduates. Graduates are also asked to submit their photos in regalia to USF for another short video compilation to come after graduation day. (HERE)

April 8, 2020

USF campus offices remain open and available to help Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to call or email offices rather than visiting campus offices in person.

All USF students will have access to the McDonald Center from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday – Sunday.  Building access is available only through a current USF ID card.  Students can call USF Campus Safety and Security at 605-321-6400 with any building access problems. All-access to academic and administrative buildings along with the Stewart Center, Mears Library and Athletic Complex have been suspended for the remainder of the semester.  All academic support, counseling services and administrative offices are still open and available to help.  Please refer to the online office directory found at https://www.usiouxfalls.edu/offices for contact information.  Please know that it is appropriate to leave voicemail messages for staff to retrieve along with your name and phone number to help with follow-up. 

April 1, 2020

Pass / No Credit (P/NC) Grading Policy, Spring 2020
In an effort to support our students, the University of Sioux Falls is making a modification to the university’s grading policy for the Spring 2020 semester. Undergraduate students will have the option to convert courses to Pass (P) or No Credit (NC), otherwise known as P/NC grading.

  • View this document for more information and a Q&A on this grading option.
  • If students have questions after referencing the document above they are encouraged to email their academic advisor or the USF Registrar at registrar@usiouxfalls.edu.

March 30, 2020

  • USF Academic Update: USF will deliver courses online for the duration of the spring semester.
  • Online Student Support: Students with questions or concerns are encouraged to email student.support@usiouxfalls.edu or text/call 605-202-5551 Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m and Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • Academic Support: The Thomas Kilian Academic Success Center continues to provide student support services to all USF students via distance and virtual meeting methods.
    • Online tutoring is available in nearly every subject area.
    • View a list of tips to help students find success in online courses.
    • Alternative textbook options are available in many subject areas via free eBook borrowing services such as Virtual Source, Red Shelf and Cengage.
    • Academic coaching and academic advising appointments are available via phone, WebEx, Zoom or email.
    • Career services are available as a lifetime service to USF students and alumni, including major/career exploration, resume review, cover letter review, and interview preparation. These appointments are also available via distance and virtual methods.
    • Please contact the ASC at 605-331-6740 or at ASC@usiouxfalls.edu with additional questions or to schedule an appointment.
  • Counseling Support: If students have a non-emergency counseling related question or concern, or would like to request counseling services, please call or email USF Counseling Services at: 605.331.6619 or Michelle.dk@usiouxfalls.edu.
  • IT Help desk: If students have questions about using MyUSF or about other technical resources and services provided by USF, please email the IT Help Desk at ITHelpDesk@usiouxfalls.edu or call  (605)331-6674.
  • Campus Housing: Students have until May 3rd to collect their belongings from their on-campus rooms. If Students cannot make it back to campus by May 3rd, USF will pack and store their items for them until Fall. Students should work with Student Development if alternative arrangements need to be made.
  • Mailroom: Students can complete this form to forward first-class mail for free (this does NOT include magazines, newspapers, coupons or packages). More information about mailroom hours will be communicated through campus email. Questions or concerns? Call the mailroom office at 605-331-6725.  
  • Library and Research: Many USF Library services are available remotely, from the library web site. You can access research databases through the “Subject Guides” tab and ebooks from the “Books” tab near the top of the main page. Along the right-hand side of the main page, you can ask for “Research Help” as well as submit an “Interlibrary Loan Request Form.” If you have any questions, please send an email to library@usiouxfalls.edu
  • Computer Labs: Computers and printers are available for student use for the remainder of the semester in Cooper’s Cafe in the McDonald Center starting Wednesday, April 1, 2020, from 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily. The Media Studies Computer Lab in the lower level of the McDonald Center is available to students in specific media studies lab class and is accessible by USF ID access only and instructor permission.
  • WIFI Resources: Students may find WIFI support through the following resources. Comcast: Unlimited data for 60 days with no additional chargers Xfinity WiFi: Free network for everyone for 60-days nationally, waiving late fees, and helping low-income families get connected AT&T and Charter Communications: Free public Wi-Fi for 60 days, broadband for households with students through college age who don’t already have a subscription and removing all usage caps on all accounts Internet Essentials: Internet program for low-income families free for first 2 months and costs $9.95 per month after.
  • Campus Offices: The following University offices continue to be staffed and available to support students while practicing safe social distancing: Admissions, Financial Aid, Counseling Services, Mailroom, Business Office, Library, Human Resources, and Academic Success Center.

March 24, 2020

Dear USF Students,

The projected acceleration rate of the COVID-19 pandemic indicates a high likelihood of rapidly increasing positive cases emerging in the next two weeks. In addition, medical experts estimate perhaps an additional 8-weeks before the spread of the virus peaks sometime in late May or perhaps even early June.  Since we must rely on these credible data sources to make informed and responsible decisions, we have determined it is in the best interest of not only our campus community, but also the external Sioux Falls community and region that the University do its part to assist in flattening the curve of this spread. 

As a result, the University is officially announcing its intent to finish the remainder of the spring 2020 semester using the fully online platform implemented on Monday, March 23. Without question, our decision and your valued cooperation will positively contribute to community and regional efforts to ensure medical facilities and caregivers are not overwhelmed with cases, thus enabling them to provide timely and high quality care for those that have contracted this dangerous virus in a more measured approach.

As you may guess, such decisions are not easily reached because of the many implications for our students, faculty, staff, and overall University operations. However, we also know it is the best decision given the unprecedented circumstances created by this global health crisis.  With the opening statement of this paragraph serving as a contextual framework, be aware that we will be sending specific information to students in the coming days regarding many matters of significance including, but not limited to; room and board financial considerations, residential life information for personal property left in rooms prior to spring break, and Commencement information for seniors.  Furthermore, we will announce details regarding campus facilities and services that will remain available for student access and other information deemed necessary as we permanently transition to the online format for the remainder of this semester. Our goal is to have this important information sent to you prior to week’s end.

I fully realize that the conditions created by this situation have radically changed our world.  However, we also know that the measures we are taking will help facilitate our return to normalcy sometime in the future.  Thank you for your understanding, cooperation, and perseverance under difficult circumstances.  While we will also communicate a similar message with your parents, I request that you share this information with them and alert them that a similar email will be forthcoming to them.  Be assured that our mission, values, and commitment to your success are unwavering.  Remain in touch as assistance is needed and look for periodic communications from the University.  I extend my thoughts and prayers that you and your families remain safe and healthy through this time of uncertainty. God bless.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls 


March 20, 2020

 

  • Courses will resume fully online Monday, March 23 through at least Friday, April 3.
  • The USF leadership team is meeting to determine what the next course of action will be concerning the remainder of the semester on March 27th and we will send out additional information at that time. 
  • Students are encouraged to log in to MyUSF and check their campus email prior to the start of classes resuming.
  • Hear a message of encouragement here.

March 12, 2020,

Dear Students (and Parents):

University officials have had extensive communications with various agencies and officials dealing with the serious and unprecedented health concern presented by the rapid emergence of COVID-19 in our region.  These communications have resulted in the University taking action and making decisions based on the welfare of the entire USF community.

Because the situation remains so fluid across the nation and region, it has required continual monitoring of the external environment and changing conditions.  Late yesterday afternoon, a conference call was convened with all of the presidents from South Dakota public and private universities and the technical schools. In that conversation, it was very apparent that there were as many varied circumstances as the number of institutions on the call.  Bottom-line, we find ourselves with a very fluid situation that presents challenges in creating long-term solutions.

At this time, the University will extend our spring break by one week. More specifically, classes will be suspended for the week of March 16-20. Then, effective Monday, March 23, the University will move all instruction to a fully online format through at least Friday, April 3. Any exceptions to this will be communicated directly from the following non-traditional Program Directors:

  • Jessica Cherenegar: Nursing
  • Steve Horan: MBA
  • LuAnn Grossman: Degree Completion Program (DCP)
  • Becky Thurman and Jared Berg: Graduate Education
  • Stacy Meadors: Workshops

Because this is a very fluid situation, at this time we cannot specify what the University’s plans will be after April 3. However, rest assured that University officials will provide frequent communication to assist students and families during this period. University offices will remain open and will continue to monitor the external environment during this time period.

Student-athletes should be aware that numerous announcements were made this afternoon by the NCAA that impacts select sports.  You should expect follow-up information coming to you specifically addressing sports-related information.

Students Living in the Residence Halls: Residence halls and modified dining services will remain open during the extended spring break and through the period of online instruction. If students plan to be on campus between March 16 and April 5, they must notify Residence Life using this form: USF Extended Break Housing Request. Please note that guests will not be allowed in the residence halls during this time.  Please be aware that students who do not complete the Extended Break Housing Request form by Monday, March 16, will have access to residence halls disabled in order to ensure facility security.   

The University of Sioux Falls remains fully committed to the success of all of our students.  While the instructional strategy has shifted, it is our intent to maintain high academic quality expected by our students and internal stakeholders. 

Finally, we will communicate with you, our students, through USF email. Thus, we ask that you frequently check your USF email for messages from your professor or other relevant University stakeholders.  We collectively hold each of you, your families, and our nation in our prayers.  Thank you for being part of our USF family.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls 


March 11, 2020

Dear USF Students, Faculty and Staff,

Like colleges and universities across the country, we continue to take steps to safeguard our community in a rapidly changing public health environment. Cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in South Dakota on Tuesday, March 10 with one being in Minnehaha County as reported in various media outlets last evening and today. We were informed this morning that the child of a gentlemen with a positive diagnosis was on our campus yesterday attending the Sioux Empire Water Festival (SEWF). That child and their family is now quarantined. Throughout the morning and early afternoon, we have convened several meetings and calls with various schools, agencies, and services to expeditiously develop a plan of action in response to this information. Although the SEWF is not a program operated by USF, the directors charged with its coordination were extremely cooperative with University administration and the event was immediately suspended.

We respectfully request that residential students that left campus for spring break do not return to their residence halls prior to Sunday, March 15th. However, we realize there are unique travel circumstances for select students that will be honored upon their return, even if prior to March 15th. At this time, students who remained in the residence halls during break will be allowed to remain in their rooms. Again, I would emphasize that the event discovered this morning as noted in the first paragraph had literally no contact made with USF residence halls. The deep cleaning focus occurring over the next three days will be dedicated to public areas of campus facilities.

At this time, current plans are to resume with normal class schedules on Monday, March 16th while campus efforts to promote good health habits and other preventive measures will continue in earnest. However, the situation in the nation and region remains fluid as emerging information has demanded institutions like USF remain prepared for quick modification of plans.

USF residence halls remain open during this Spring Break time, however academic campus buildings will be closed, March 12 and 13, for deep cleaning. Normal operations will resume, Monday, March 16.

All USF students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check their USF email for the latest campus information. Expect another update from the Office of President on Friday, March 13, 2020.

The health and safety of community is our highest priority and we ask for your help in keeping everyone safe at this time. Thank you in advance for your active participation in our efforts to maintain a healthy campus.

Sincerely,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls 

March 5, 2020

Dear USF Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We want to provide you with an update regarding the University of Sioux Falls actions and response to the COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus. The situation around the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak remains highly fluid as University officials continue to conduct ongoing research in order to make informed decisions that ensure the safety and well-being of the USF campus community and our extended community and region.

At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in South Dakota.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared that the virus is not an immediate threat to our community. However, we deeply care about you and your safety.  To that end, we will continue to closely monitor the information releases regarding this important health matter. In accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the South Dakota Department of Health (SDDH), the designated Emergency Response Team (ERT) from USF is meeting weekly and communicating daily in an effort to track developments and plan accordingly to ensure the safety and welfare of our community as the situation continues to evolve.

As part of this plan, we are actively working with those who are planning travel in both the long and short-term in an effort to mitigate risk factors.  We are also working closely with other campus partners such as our risk management providers, healthcare consultants, and the NCAA just to name a few. The University will also be closely monitoring any possible cases of COVID-19 that could emerge at USF. If such an event were to occur, be absolutely assured that we will immediately notify the USF community and healthcare officials in a timely and accurate manner, including advisement of precautions and actions that will be taken to prevent further spread of the virus.

Should there be a need to modify or cancel any classes or events, modify work schedules, or take other such actions relative to USF's typical academic, athletic, student development, and work schedules; such decisions would be communicated directly from the Office of the President in consultation with the ERT and other resources engaged in this community safety effort.  USF's ERT is fully committed to constant monitoring of alerts and guidance provided by the CDC and other federal, state, and city government officials.

We recognize that some of you have travel plans during spring break next week. You are strongly encouraged to follow the information being provided by the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html and especially note the suggestions for prevention by clicking on this link.  We are all responsible for our own health and well-being and also have a shared commitment to minimize the spread of this unfortunate health risk that is literally impacting the globe.

At this time, there are no adjustments to the day-to-day operations of the University. However, we will continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC and provide updates on this page and via USF email as more information becomes available. 

Please take time to educate yourself with the resources below and know that the University is fully prepared and committed to do whatever is necessary to ensure the welfare of our students, employees, and visitors to our campus.  Thank you in advance for your own personal efforts to assist in this most important endeavor. 

Best wishes,
Dr. Brett Bradfield
President
University of Sioux Falls

USF CARES Emergency Funding

Purpose

  • In response to the needs of our nation and higher education, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Within the provisions of this legislation, the University of Sioux Falls will receive funds from the US Department of Education, to award emergency grants to impacted students and to provide with some financial relief for those impacted by COVID-19. 
  • Emergency grant funds are intended to help students continue their education. Student expenses may include but are not limited to, food, housing, course materials, health care, child care, technology-related expenses, and transportation. 
  • The spirit of this program is to assist students that have experienced financial hardship as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is focused on providing basic needs. Since the funding source for this program has limitations, we respectfully request that students who are fortunate to have their basic needs met do not apply as a means of serving the greater good of other students not as fortunate as a result of this health crisis. 

Eligibility

  • Students who have financial hardship due to COVID-19 and who are or could be eligible to participate in programs stipulated by Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, may receive emergency financial aid grants. If a student has filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA should complete one now in order to be considered for emergency grant funds. 
  • Eligible students must complete the application in full.

Process

  • The USF CARES Committee will review applications each Monday. Decisions of awarding will be made on a case-by-case basis by the committee. Results or requests for additional information will be communicated via email or phone. Funding will be dispersed by the Student Accounts Office and mailed to the address listed on your application form. 

Resources

USF CARES APPLICATION 

  • Email USFCARESfund@USiouxFalls.edu with any questions you may have in regard to your application for an emergency grant.
  • Call Financial aid at 605-331-6623 or Student Accounts at 605-331-6640.

FAQ

What is the CARES Act?

The CARES Act is federal legislation, which provides a variety of financial support to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One part of this federal program allocates money to The University of Sioux Falls, and a portion of that allocation can be awarded to students who are experiencing financial expenses due to the coronavirus. 

Who can apply?

If a student has filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then the student has demonstrated eligibility to participate in programs under Section 484 of the HEA. Students who have not filed a FAFSA should complete one now in order to be considered for emergency grant funds. International, DACA and students enrolled in programs fully online are not eligible for funding. 

What kinds of expenses are allowable?

Funds can be used for food, housing, course materials, technology, transportation, child care and health care expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. USF cannot apply grant funds to unpaid tuition and fees or room and board expenses. 

What additional resources are available within the community?

We understand that many students’ needs extend beyond university related expenses during this difficult and unprecedented time. Please review the additional local community resources available below and feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions.

CARES ACT Disclosure Information

Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund Report as of May 22, 2020

  • The University of Sioux Falls signed the Department of Education’s Certification and Agreement form and intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  • USF received access to $518,087 for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.
  • As of May 22, 2020 USF has distributed $113,560 in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • USF has an estimated 1250 students eligible to participate in programs under Section 484 in Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and thus eligible to receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • As of May 22, 2020 167 USF students have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.
  • In response to this legislation, USF leadership created a committee to review applications from students and award grant funds. The committee’s first meeting was April 27, 2020. Applications are reviewed for their eligibility and validity on a case-by-case basis. Students must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Be currently enrolled at USF, either full-time or part-time.
    • Have a current FAFSA on file (2019-2020 for spring applications, 2020-2021 for summer/fall applications.)
    • Meet the qualifications to be eligible for Title IV aid.
    • Have a qualifying expense due to either campus closure or moving to online courses.
  • No more than $2,000 will be awarded in Emergency Financial Aid Grants to a student at one time. A student may reapply every 30 days. A student can receive a maximum of $6,000.
  • The following guidance, concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grant for students, is provided online and on the USF application: Emergency Financial Aid Grant funds are intended to cover a student's expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These specific grant funds are not intended to replace lost wages. Expenses may include, but are not limited to, food, housing, course materials, health care, child care, technology-related expenses, and transportation. Documentation to support your application may be requested by the review committee. Examples may include additional housing or food costs due to moving off-campus, technology related expenses due to switching to online classes, or having to purchase textbooks or supplies due to no longer having access to campus. The USF CARES Emergency Funding section of our Coronavirus webpage provides supplemental information.

 

Encouragement

 

 

Travel Advisory

March 5, 2020

We recognize that some of you have travel plans during spring break next week. You are strongly encouraged to follow the information being provided by the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html and especially note the suggestions for prevention by clicking on this link.  We are all responsible for our own health and well-being and also have a shared commitment to minimize the spread of this unfortunate health risk that is literally impacting the globe.

Prevention

You can help prevent the spread of colds and other viral ailments by doing the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Other resources can be found at Centers for Disease Control and Avera Health.

I feel anxious about the Novel Coronavirus. What can I do?

If you have concerns regarding symptoms, we recommend contacting your physician’s office. If you are feeling anxious or worried regarding the coronavirus, campus support is available through the ASC, Student Development or Campus Counselor.

USF COUNSELING SERVICES:

If students have a non-emergency counseling related question or concern, or would like to request counseling services, please call or email USF Counseling Services at: 605.331.6619 or Michelle.dk@usiouxfalls.edu

OTHER RESOURCES:
- The Avera Behavioral Health Assessment Team can be reached 24/7 at 605.322.4065 or 800.691.4336.
 
- If students are in need of family, financial, health, or other COVID-19 assistance, they may dial 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898211.
 
https://emergency.cdc.gov/coping/selfcare.asp 

https://www.cdc.gov/ 
 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 
 
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 
 
https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx 
 
https://www.avera.org/how-to-prepare-for-the-coronavirus-covid-19/ 
 
http://211.org/services/covid19 
 
https://siouxfalls.org/covid19 
 

What is the Novel Coronavirus

In December 2019, the global health care community identified a new respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has since been labeled 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization — previously referred to as 2019-nCoV). Spread of Novel Coronavirus is correlated with circumstances of close and sustained contact with others who are infected.

For current information about this evolving public health situation, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus page.