#TakeCharge of COVID-19  

Charger safety is our number one priority. Please use the resources on this page to find out more about what you can do to help #TakeCharge of your health, while protecting and maintaining the health of our caring community. 

Daily Health Check Student Guidelines Staff Guidelines

 

nullCharger Health Checks 

The Charger Health Check is a daily COVID-19 symptom scoring survey for the BCU campus community. Every morning, all students, staff, and faculty will receive a text (SMS) reminder to complete their survey on their mobile phone to obtain their color-coded pass. 

Understanding Your Results:

  • Green –  If you receive this color you will be allowed access to class and activities.
  • Yellow – If you receive this color you will be instructed that further action is needed before going to work or class. Students must visit the Health Office for clearance (Alverno G4). Employees must contact their supervisor.
  • Red –  If you receive this color you will be instructed to please stay home. Students must contact the Charger Health Team via emailEmployees must contact their supervisor.
I did not receive a text. What should I do?
 There are a few reasons why you may not have received the text (SMS) message. 
  • Your cell phone number is not on your user profile in Charger Stable.
    • Resolution – Please update your cell phone number in Charger Stable, then let us know HERE to confirm the change.
  • Your cell phone number is on your user profile in Charger Stable, but is listed as your “Home” number.
    • Resolution – Please change the “Home” designation to “Mobile” in Charger Stable, then let us know HERE to confirm the change.
  • Your cell phone carrier filtered the text as SPAM.
    • Resolution – Text “CHARGERS” to 712-214-5994.  This will opt you in for the daily text (SMS) messages moving forward.

Although the automatic text (SMS) reminders are convenient, they are not required for you to fulfill your daily Charger Health Check requirement.  You can always request the Charger Health Check link to be sent to you by following the instructions for your classification:

  • Students (not student-athletes): Text "The Cliff" to 58052
  • Athletes/Athletics Staff: Text "Chargers" to 58052
  • Employees: Text "BCU" to 58052
  • Visitors:  Text “BCU Visitor” to 58052

On rare occasions, there may be other technical issues that may need to be looked in to. Let us know HERE if you need assistance in diagnosing your text delivery issues.

When do the text reminders come?
The daily text (SMS) reminder goes into the queue to be sent at 7:00am every morning.  The process can take up to 15 minutes before the text (SMS) message arrives to your phone.
  • Students – every day at 7:00am
  • Athletes & Coaches – every day at 7:00am and 2:00pm (2pm only needs to be completed on competition dates)
  • Employees – Monday-Friday at 7:00am

What if I need to go to campus before I get the morning text (SMS) reminder?

The URL that is sent in the daily text (SMS) reminder does not change and is the same link every day. You can bookmark the link in your mobile browser or refer back to the text (SMS) message from the day prior. You do not have to wait until receipt of the text message to complete your daily survey.

How do campus visitors get screened?
All visitors to the BCU campus are required to complete the Charger Health Check. To do this, visitors can send a text (SMS) message that says “BCU Visitor” to the number 58052. There will be an immediate autoreply with their link to their Charger Health Check form. After successful completion (with no symptoms) they will be given a green pass.
I don't have a cell phone. How do I get my Charger Health Check?
Individuals that do not have a mobile smartphone can complete the Charger Health Check from any internet device by going to:  https://bcustudent.paperform.co/.  This link will not change, so you may save/bookmark it if you find that most convenient.
I have a new number. How do I update my Charger Health Check?
If you change your cell phone number, update your user profile in Charger Stable then let us know HERE so we can verify that the change was made. Despite changing your phone number, your daily URL to Charger Health Check will not change.
The scoring survey won't let me move to the next question.
Scroll up to make sure that you have not accidently skipped over a previous question. All questions on the survey are required and it will not let you advance to the next question until all previous questions are answered.
How long is the access pass good for?
The Charger Health Check access pass expires at 12:00am every night. At that point, it will turn to gray you will have to complete a new survey to get a new pass.
When I click the link it takes me to an "Unauthorized" or "Restricted" page
These users may be caught in a bad “session.” Typically, this can be resolved by refreshing the page or opening the link in a new browser. If it doesn’t work after several attempts, please tell us HERE.
Who do I contact if I am having technical issues?
Please fill out our troubleshooting survey if you have any technical issues relating to Charger Health Check. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to wear a mask?
Face masks or face coverings (hereinafter, collectively “face covering”) must be worn on campus when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspaces, bathrooms, hallways, meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.). Appropriate use of face coverings are critical in minimizing risk to others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • Face coverings must be worn in common spaces even if you are the only person in the space.
  • Face coverings must be worn in both indoor and outdoor settings.
  • You may only remove your face covering if you are alone and in a private space (such as a private room or office or your residence hall room).
  • The face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. You must still stay at least 6 feet away from others, even if you are wearing a face covering.
  • Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be discarded.
  • You can also wear your own face covering, which is recommended to help conserve supplies. If you bring your own face covering to BCU, please take the mask home for reuse or proper disposal. Please all wash the mask regularly.
  • BCU will provide an initial safety package, which includes face protector(s) and hand sanitizer.
  • The fabric design or pattern for cloth face coverings should be appropriate for campus
  • Do not forget to bring your face covering to campus. You will not be permitted to remain on campus without one.
  • Those who are in a facility that may require the use of specialty masks (such as N95), should follow the proper protocols of the facility
What do I do if I have symptoms?

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, you must:

  • Stay home/in your residence hall room (do not report to class or, if in class, go home/to your residence hall room immediately)
  • Immediately inform your professor(s) and academic advisor(s)
  • Complete an updated Charger Health Check

COVID-19 testing may be completed by a local health care provider. The Campus Health Office can provide options available to you. Please call ahead to alert them of your symptoms.

If you receive a positive test, contact the charger health office and they will guide you through the next course of action.

What do I need to pack for quarantine?
  • Cell phone charger
  • List of allergies
  • 2 weeks worth of clothes
  • Blanket 
  • Thermometer
  • Hygiene products
  • Cough drops
  • Tylenol
  • Prescription medications
  • Tissues 
  • Fans
  • Masks
  • Distractions
Can visitors come to campus?

There will be no visitors allowed on campus during this time. We recommend avoiding crowds or gatherings to further protect yourself and others from the virus.

We understand that there could be potential future impacts to your school or childcare resources; however, we ask that you do not bring your children to work or class during this time.

Will there be Fall sports?
Yes. Please be aware that all events are fluid. Keep your self up to date with any date changes or cancellations at www.bcuchargers.com.
Can I attend remotely if I have symptoms?
 If you feel well enough, you may study remotely. Stay in contact with your academic advisor during your isolation/quarantine.
What do I need for online learning?

Our campus will remain open to serve you and you can rely on the University’s technology, library services, and facilities. 

Should you choose to leave campus during this time, you will need to have the following technology available to continue your education:

  • High-speed internet.
  • A device to access Brightspace for online classes and to complete coursework. 

We recommend you download the Brightspace (Pulse) app so you can have access to your classes through your cell phone. You can also add your Briar Cliff email to your cell phone for easy access.

Will this impact my scholarships?

This learning environment change will not impact your academic or athletic scholarships. The specific requirements of your scholarship, if any, still apply (e.g. GPA).

What happens if there is a COVID-19 case on campus?

As of August 23, 2020, there has been a confirmed case on campus. If you have come in to contact with someone who has been confirmed, you will be notified and given instructions accordingly. 

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

There are a variety of community COVID-19 testing resources available to you. Currently, we recommend testing at Siouxland Community Health or MercyOne Singing Hills Urgent Care.

 What resources are available to me for support?

We encourage all students to keep in contact with their professors, advisors, coaches, etc. to inform them of how you are doing. 

Struggling with emotional, mental and physical health? The Health and Counseling Center has licensed nursing staff and a counselor. The office provides confidential health services at no cost to students. Students may also contact Campus Ministry and the Compass for additional support. 

What is a Charger Health Check?

Charger Health Check is a daily COVID-19 symptom scoring survey for the BCU campus community.  Every morning, all students, staff, and faculty will receive a text (SMS) reminder to complete their survey on their mobile phone to obtain their color-coded pass. 

 

Have a question or need more information?

Use the buttons below to get connects with campus and expert resources.

Contact Us

Visit the CDC Website

 

 

Campus Update Timeline

January 28, 2021 | Vaccine Distribution

 As shared in our most recent Town Hall meetings, Briar Cliff’s leadership team continues to advocate for university access to the COVID-19 vaccine. While this work is ongoing, we have received the following updates:

  • Woodbury County is getting a limited number of vaccines in, which is far less than the demand. The next vaccine phase, Phase 1B (which includes K-12 educators and residents aged 65+), will start early February and take approximately two months to administer, contingent upon vaccine availability and other factors that may impact the timing of the vaccine rollout. We have been working with our industry organizations to obtain college and university access to the vaccine in Iowa. Iowa DHS has recently shared that the current vaccine supply simply cannot meet demand at this time.
  • Information related to accessing the vaccine will be available on Siouxland District Health’s website. They will post the clinics that will be administering the vaccines. Each eligible individual will need to make an appointment online (e.g., age 65+). Even when available to the general public, vaccines will likely not be administered on campus anytime in the future due to the temperature storage and precautions required.

We will continue to work closely with our community partners on the distribution plans for the vaccine and share updates when available. In the meantime, please continue to wear your masks and physically distance. These precautions are required at Briar Cliff to continue to protect our community as much as possible.

December 8, 2020 | BCUpdate
 
October 27, 2020 | Covid Operation Level Changes Back to Yellow             
 Thank you for your enhanced diligence in protecting our campus community, following our precautionary elevation to orange for our COVID operation status. As we monitor Charger Health Check and cases on campus reported this week, we are moving our COVID operational status back to YELLOW. You can find more information about our operational levels on the portal.

A yellow status still requires our collective diligence to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. We have kept positive COVID-19 cases low on campus – and we want to continue to do all we can to keep it this way, to keep you safe and healthy, and to ensure our University remains in-person as much as and as long as possible.  

It remains imperative that we continue to be diligent in keeping our community safe with the following protocols:  

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Physically distance from others.
  • Wash and sanitize hands frequently.
  • Sanitize frequently-touched items throughout the day.
  • Continue to complete a Charger Health Check every day (even if not on campus that day).
  • If feeling ill, do not come to campus.
  • The University continues to have a “no visitors” policy in place.
    • No unapproved and no unaccompanied visitors are allowed on campus at this time.

Thank you for continuing to #TakeCharge of your health and help keep our community safe.

October 14, 2020 | COVID Operation Level Remains ORANGE             

Thank you for your enhanced diligence in protecting our campus community the past two weeks, following our precautionary elevation to orange for our COVID operation status. As we continue to see high positive cases in the Siouxland area and increased hospitalizations, we want to continue to do our part in helping mitigate the potential spread. We will continue operating under an orange status until further notice.You can find more information about our operational levels on the portal.

As a reminder, it is important to increase our diligence in following COVID safety protocols to ensure our University remains in-person as much as and as long as possible. 

The following safety precautions remain a priority for all:

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Physically distance from others.
  • Wash and sanitize hands frequently.
  • Sanitize frequently-touched items throughout the day.
  • Continue to complete a Charger Health Check every day (even if not on campus that day).
  • If feeling ill, do not come to campus.
  • The University continues to have a “no visitors” policy in place.
  • No unapproved and no unaccompanied visitors are allowed on campus at this time.

The following enhanced safety measures will continue:

  • Faculty members will continue to communicate their hybrid learning model for class with their students. In-class contact hours have been reduced by 50%.
  • No spectators are allowed at any athletic events. Only student-athletes, coaches, and essential game workers may attend.
  • Masks are required in residence halls in all common spaces, hallways, and shared bathrooms.
  • If a student lives within 250 miles of campus, we strongly encourage them to quarantine at home.
  • This is for their comfort and to allow for on-campus resources to be utilized by those who may not have the option to return home.
  • All campus meetings will move to virtual meetings, unless it is a group of less than 10 and physical distancing is implemented.

University officials will continue to evaluate and assess our operational needs daily and implement necessary precautions to help keep our campus as safe as possible. 

Thank you for continuing to join together to help keep our community safe.

October 10, 2020 | Department of Education Make CARES Act Updates

Briar Cliff University Department of Education has updated their reporting requirements for the CARES Act. Briar Cliff will transition to providing quarterly reporting updates until our final report.

HEERF Quarterly Budget Report

October 6, 2020 | Briar Cliff University Changes COVID-19 Operation Level
 

Briar Cliff University is elevating the COVID operation level from yellow to orange as a precautionary measure relating to recent events as well as the increasing positive case trends being reported in Woodbury County. 

At operation level orange, risk is considered moderate to elevated for all but high-risk individuals. Students and employees are present on campus but will utilize more options to learn and work remotely to limit in-person contact.  

University officials will continue to evaluate, assess, and make changes as needed. Currently, the operation level is elevated through October 18. 

September 29, 2020 | Change in Iowa COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance

 Please see the below update issued from Siouxland District Health late yesterday outlining important information on contact tracing and new health safety measures for schools. Specifically, note the update regarding face coverings: “a face shield is not considered a face covering.” As such, Briar Cliff’s face covering requirement is now changed to require the use of masks, covering both the mouth and nose. Face shields will no longer be acceptable as a “face covering” on Briar Cliff’s campus. 

As a reminder, for all health related questions, concerns, or appointment needs, please email ChargerHealth@briarcliff.edu.

Thank you for your agility in adjusting throughout this pandemic and for being a caring community.

"The Iowa Department of Public Health notified local public health departments that it is making a change to the Iowa quarantine recommendations for people that have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19, and Siouxland District Health Department (SDHD) is implementing this change, effective immediately. 

  • Close contacts of COVID-positive cases will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days if a face covering was consistently worn by both people during the exposure. 
  • Household/residential contacts and contacts in health care settings will still have the 14-day quarantine recommendation. 
  • Any type of face covering is acceptable; however, a face shield is not considered a face covering and quarantine is still required if one or both people were wearing a face shield only. 
  • People currently in quarantine may discontinue that quarantine if both people were wearing a face covering during the time of exposure. 
  • This is not a replacement for social distancing, but it should reduce the number of quarantines in school and work settings. This does NOT change the isolation requirements for people that are actually sick or COVID-positive to isolate from others until:
    • They have had no fever for at least 24 hours (that is one full day of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) and their other symptoms have improved, AND 
    • At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared OR since they had a positive COVID test if they are asymptomatic. 

This decision was made by the Iowa Department of Public Health based on observations within Iowa and some other states that when the COVID-positive case and close contacts were both wearing face coverings at the time of exposure, the contacts were much less likely to develop illness or later test positive. SDHD wants to emphasize the importance of wearing face coverings consistently and correctly, with it covering both the nose and the mouth. Other recommendations such as social distancing, staying home when you are sick, and frequently washing or disinfecting hands continue to be important practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19."

August 28, 2020 | Quarterly Report CARES Act - Emergency Student Aid

On May 6, 2020, the Office of Postsecondary Education published requirements for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting. Reporting for HEERF funds distributed to Briar Cliff University will begin 30 days from the U.S. Department of Education awarded grant documents and then each quarter thereafter.

  1. On April 10, 2020, the Certification and Agreement were signed and returned to the Department of Education. Briar Cliff University 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. The college’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding was awarded on April 29, 2020.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $426,646.
  3. As of August 1, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $426,646.
  4. The estimated total number of students at the institution 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 is 569. This number may change.
  5. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 569 as of August 1, 2020.
  6. Briar Cliff University determined eligible students must be Title IV eligible, have filed a 2019-20 FAFSA, have been enrolled as a full-time, in-person as of March 13, 2020 (Date Federal Disaster was declared), and must certify that they have qualifying expenses due to the disruption of campus operations as a result of the coronavirus. Pell Grant recipients can receive either $1,019 (EFC below 5577) and students who are not Pell eligible can receive $562.
  7. Eligible students received the following email on May 14, 2020:

Hello BCU Charger, Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have diligently worked to coordinate refunds precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your individual total refund is ready to be announced. This total is determined in accordance with the following factors: This amount through the CARES Act: This amount is determined by your Title IV and Pell Grant eligibility. Briar Cliff University applied for and received funding in support of our students. The CARES Act refund distribution is determined by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as administered by the US Department of Education. If you receive this refund, it will be direct deposited into your personal bank account or sent by check. Please note, by accepting this money you are verifying that you have experienced financial disruption or hardship due to COVID-19 in order to continue your education. (Eligible expenses under a student’s cost of attendance may include food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and childcare.) If you have any questions, please contact Student Financial Services.

August 28, 2020 | Quarterly Report CARES Act- Institutional Portion

 On May 6, 2020, the Office of Postsecondary Education published requirements for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting. Reporting for HEERF funds distributed to Briar Cliff University will begin 30 days from the U.S. Department of Education awarded grant documents and then each quarter thereafter.

  1. On April 28, 2020, the Certification and Agreement were signed and returned to the Department of Education. Briar Cliff University intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act for the Institutional Portion of the Higher education Emergency Relief Fund. The college’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding Institutional Portion was awarded on May 7, 2020.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] the Institutional Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is $426,647.
  3. As of August 1, 2020, the total amount of the Institutional Portion under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act unspent is $147,922.
  4. The recipient retains discretion in determining how to allocate and use the funds provided hereunder, provided funds will be spent only on those costs for which Briar Cliff University has a reasoned basis for concluding such costs have a clear nexus to significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to coronavirus including reimbursement to itself for costs related to refunds made to students for housing, food, or other services the University could no longer provide, or for hardware, software, or internet connectivity that the University may have purchased on behalf of students or provided to students.
  5. As of August 1, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Institutional Portion under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act is $246,696.04.
  6. Briar Cliff University has paid its employees and contractors during the period of disruptions or closures related to coronavirus. In accordance with the Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education, Briar Cliff University has not expended any funds on unallowable expenditures which would include senior administrator or executive salaries, benefits, bonuses, contracts, incentives; stock buybacks, shareholder dividends, capital distributions, and stock options; and any other cash or other benefit for a senior administrator or executive.
  7. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 569 as of August 1, 2020.
August 20 | Daily Charger Health Checks

The health and safety of our students and employees remains our top priority at The Cliff. To help monitor the health of our campus community, we are excited to introduce Charger Health Check. This new service will provide our Health Office an overview of our general on-campus health status, help mitigate potential spread of illnesses, and allow BCU to meet NAIA guidelines for athletes.

How It Works: You will receive a text message with a link to take you to fill out a simple health screening. You will answer questions like: 

  • “How are you feeling today?” 
  • “Have you any COVID-19 symptoms?” 
  • “Have you been exposed to anyone who has been tested?”
  • “What is your temperature?”
    • Thermometers will be given to all employees and students on campus. 

Access Pass: Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll receive a score and your color-coded pass. Think of it as your all-access pass to work, class, practice, and on-campus activities. 

  • Green – allows you unrestricted access to class and activities
  • Yellow – further action is needed before going to work or class
    • Students must visit the Health Office for clearance (Alverno G4) 
    • Employees must contact their supervisor
  • Red – please stay home
    • Students must contact the Health Office via email
    • Employees must contact their supervisor

Please note, you will receive a new link every morning. Your access pass must be noted with the current date in order to be valid. Please input your cell phone number in to Charger Stable if you have not already.

Students without access to SMS messaging will receive a link via email that will need to be completed each day. 

If you do not receive a text message or email by the end of the day please see text-in instructions:

  • Students (not student-athletes): Text "The Cliff" to 58052
  • Athletes/Athletics Staff: Text "Chargers" to 58052 (Athletes/Athletic staff will receive a slightly different survey to comply with NAIA standards.)
  • Employees: Text "BCU" to 58052 

For other technical difficulties please fill out this survey and someone will follow up with you when available. 

Health Support: Campus Health Clinic and Counseling Center, located in Alverno Hall - Room G4, is open for the following hours:

    • Monday: 8 a.m. — 2 p.m.
    • Tuesday: 8 a.m. — 1 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 8 a.m. —  2 p.m.
    • Thursday: 8 a.m. — 1 p.m.
    • Friday: 8 a.m. — 1 p.m.
    • Weekends: Closed

Please call (712) 279-5436 or email prior to visiting. For after hours support, please call 211 or email ChargerHealth@briarcliff.edu. If an emergency, please go to the Emergency Department at a local hospital (such as UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s or MercyOne – Siouxland). 

We are aware that this is a confusing time and want to reiterate that we are here to support you however we can. As we all adapt and navigate through this semester and pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out to our leadership team. It is essential our community is united in our actions to stay healthy and safe. 

July 9 | A Message on International Student Travel, Visa Services & Fall Guidance

Hello Chargers,

I hope you and your families are healthy and well. We miss you here on The Cliff. 

Federal guidelines for international students are continually evolving along with the circumstances of the global pandemic, with an update as recent as this week. We understand the circumstances and precautions of this guidance may be difficult or may impact your plans for returning to campus. As a university, we continue to advocate for each of you to inspire the very best outcome possible.

As policies currently stand, we wanted to provide you with more information pertaining to international student visas and traveling into the US this summer for Fall 2020 classes at Briar Cliff University. However, please continue to watch your Briar Cliff email for ongoing updates.

Travel:

  • Due to Executive Order of the President of the United States, travel from many areas of the world have been suspended/halted. Those areas include:Brazil, China, Iran, Ireland, United Kingdom and the European countries of: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. F-1 visa students who have been in these countries are unable to travel to the US for educational purposes if they have been in any of these countries for 14 days prior to entry into the US.  Students traveling for education are not considered “essential” from these countries and are therefore unable to travel into the US.
  • Canada and Mexico: Restrictions have been placed on air entry into the US, however land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the US Canada and US Mexico borders are open to essential travel. Essential travel for the land and ferry ports of entry include “individuals traveling to attend education institutions,” therefore, F-1 visa students should be able to enter the US from land ports of entry. We do not encourage students who are not residents of Canada or Mexico to travel to Canada and Mexico and try to enter the US through a land port. It is risky, as the student still may still be denied entry at US at the port of entry. The immigration officer at the port of entry has final say as to entry or denial of entry regardless of visa approval. Also, students can endanger themselves by staying in low cost/dangerous locations to save money. Additionally, if they spend their funds trying to get into the US which were meant for their education, it does not constitute a financial hardship according to the Federal Government and if they do not have the funds to pay for their education, their visa/I20 can be terminated. Student Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and US Immigration and Customs are aware students are eager to get into the US to save their visa status and receive an education and/or play sports, however, the safety and well-being of the student and stewardship of their finances is the primary concern. Since COVID-19 is a fluid situation, students could be denied at the port of entry even after spending 14 days in Canada or Mexico.  Students are encouraged to check the US Embassy website in their country for updates on when travel may become available.
  • Visa Services Visa Services are suspended until further notice, therefore any student who does not have a visa at this time may not be able to obtain a visa until further notice, per a statement from the US Department of State: 

“In response to worldwide challenges related to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of State is suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. As resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services. Our overseas missions will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.”

Students are encouraged to check the US Embassy website in their country for updates on when visa appointments may become available.

Guidance for Fall Term

On July 6, 2020, Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) released guidelines for the Fall 2020 semester. These include how mode of course delivery will impact nonimmigrant status. 

For Fall 2020, Briar Cliff University will be reporting to SEVP that we are adopting a hybrid model to allow for the flexibility of the block scheduling, adhering to safety measures (such as physical distancing in the classroom), and the agility if a second wave does impact learning. Click here to review the update on course delivery visit.

For Fall 2020, Briar Cliff University will be issuing new I-20s to all students with this language in the remarks section for the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection to see our mode of instruction. 

Guidance for Returning Students

Institution operating under Normal Operations:

If students cannot or will not return to school when in-person instruction resumes, the school’s Designated SEVIS Officer/Primary Designated SEVIS Officer (DSO/PDSO) should terminate the student’s records and I-20 in SEVIS, meaning they are no longer able to continue on their F-1 visa. 

If a student cannot return during the Fall 2020 and BCU is operating under normal operations, they may continue their education as an online student in Nursing, Social Work, and Business at BCU, not as an F-1 student. Their visa will still be terminated, and they would have to reapply for a visa to come back into the US.  However, they can at least continue their education and complete it online from their home country.

Guidance for New Students

Institution operating under Normal Operations:

If a new F-1 visa student has not arrived to campus at the start of normal operations for the Fall 2020 term, deferment of their I-20 to the next term is an option. New F-1 visa students may not study online and remain in F-1 visa status.  

Arrival to Campus

Upon your arrival to campus, you will be required to do a medical check with the health office on campus. There will be nominal $25 charge for the health check, which will have to be paid at time of the health check. If asymptomatic, then you will be required to do daily temperature checks for the next 3 days. If you are symptomatic, you will be required to follow the policies related to COVID-19 quarantine for BCU.

Athletic Eligibility  

If a returning student is unable to arrive for the start of the semester and they choose online/remote learning from their country. Remote/online learning will not impact your ability to meet NAIA academic progress rules for athletics eligibility. If you have previously redshirted or deferred athletics participation while being a full time student, please contact us.

June 26th | Briar Cliff University Announces Fall Schedule             

Briar Cliff University announces the fall start date will continue as planned for the 2020-2021 academic year. The University will be moving to a block schedule with mixed modalities (in-classroom, a combination of in-classroom and online, and completely online), to allow for flexibility throughout the academic year.

“Our goal is to provide a safe yet flexible learning environment for our students,” says Dr. Rachelle Karstens, Briar Cliff University President. “Faculty and Administration came together to determine how to best keep campus safe while also providing exceptional educational opportunities for our students.”

The new block scheduling will have Monday through Thursday class days and Friday as a non-class day. Most classes will be taught in four-week blocks, although some courses will be eight or 16 weeks in length. The mixed modality learning model allows for some classes to be taught in-person, online, or a mixture of the two, dependent upon the course content, the classroom, and course population.

“Block scheduling is not a new concept to higher education. However, this is new to Briar Cliff University. Data demonstrates students learn more and retain more with this type of schedule. It will also allow our students more flexibility for other time commitments,” adds Dr. Todd Knealing, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. “Many students participate in activities and campus organizations, have jobs and internships, volunteer, and more.”

Dr. Knealing also shares this class structure will allow for a smoother transition to online learning if necessary. Block scheduling also provides the option for smaller class sizes resulting in less exposure for students and faculty at any given time, providing a safer environment overall.

Physical distancing and health safety precautions will be utilized, including required face masks and hand sanitizer, which will be provided to all students and employees. The University is prepared to adjust campus protocols, depending on guidance provided by local, state, and national officials.

June 25th | BCUpdate             
Thank you for joining us for today's BCUpdate, hosted by Dr. Rachelle Karstens, President. Today’s update covers a variety of important topics and helps answer questions provided by each of you.  
 
Dr. Rachelle Karstens
  • 0:29 – Strategic Plan
  • 2:17 – All-Campus Institute
  • 2:57 – Return to Campus Update
  • 3:35 – Academic Updates
  • 4:40 – Housing Updates
  • 5:10 – Town Hall Meetings | Submit Questions & Topics
  • 5:43 – NAIA Announcement
  • 6:28 – Board of Trustees
  • 7:50 – BCUpdate Frequency
  • 8:32 – Closing Prayer
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for topics by clicking here.
June 22 | 45 Day Report CARES Act- Institutional Portion

On May 6, 2020, the Office of Postsecondary Education published requirements for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting. Reporting for HEERF funds distributed to Briar Cliff University will begin 30 days from the U.S. Department of Education awarded grant documents and each 45 days thereafter.

  1. On April 28, 2020, the Certification and Agreement were signed and returned to the Department of Education. Briar Cliff University intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act for the Institutional Portion of the Higher education Emergency Relief Fund.  The college’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding Institutional Portion was awarded on May 7, 2020.
  2. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] the Institutional Portion of the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund is $426,647.
  3. As of June 22, 2020, the total amount of the Institutional Portion under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act unspent is $426,647.
  4. The recipient retains discretion in determining how to allocate and use the funds provided hereunder, provided funds will be spent only on those costs for which Briar Cliff University has a reasoned basis for concluding such costs have a clear nexus to significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to coronavirus including reimbursement to itself for costs related to refunds made to students for housing, food, or other services the University could no longer provide, or for hardware, software, or internet connectivity that the University may have purchased on behalf of students or provided to students.
  5. Briar Cliff University has paid its employees and contractors during the period of disruptions or closures related to coronavirus.  In accordance with the Certification and Agreement with the Department of Education, Briar Cliff University has not expended any funds on unallowable expenditures which would include senior administrator or executive salaries, benefits, bonuses, contracts, incentives; stock buybacks, shareholder dividends, capital distributions, and stock options; and any other cash or other benefit for a senior administrator or executive.
  6. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is 569 as of May 15, 2020.
June 11 | BCUpdate 

Thank you for joining us for the 7th BCUpdate, hosted by Dr. Todd Knealing, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Today’s update covers a variety of important topics and helps answer questions provided by each of you.  

  • 00:00 – Dr. Todd Knealing
    00:00 – Welcome
    00:58 – Fall Plans
    02:20 – Library Hours
  • 03:14 – Dr. Rachelle Karstens
    03:14 – Town Hall meetings
    03:40 – Black Lives Matter Movement
    04:10 – Board Meeting Reminder
    04:30 – Reopening Campus with Modifications
    04:45 – PTO Plans for Employees
  • 05:40 – Dr. Todd Knealing on behalf of Timm Funk
    05:43 – Cost Saving Measures
    06:23 – FAFSA Application Reminder
  • 07:16 – Matt Thomsen 
    07:16 – Enrollment Update
    08:16 – Safety Precautions and PPE
    08:51 – Visit Options and College Fairs
  • 09:33 – Nic Scandrett
    09:33 – GPAC/NAIA Update on Fall season
    10:07 – GPAC/NAIA Guidance on Practice Resuming
    10:22 – Conference and Non-Conference Competition Update
    10:54 – Reduction in Maximum Number of Contest
  • 11:40 – Dr. Todd Knealing 
    11: 45 – Introducing New Team Members
    • 11:49 – Nicole Peschong, Director of Personal and Professional Development
    • 12:55 – Dr. Candace Chihak, Nursing Department Chair 
  • 14:42 – Sr. Pat Doody
    14:48 – Peacemaking
    15:40 – Closing Prayer
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for topics by clicking here.

 

 

June 7 | 30 Day Report CARES Act - Institutional Portion
 On May 6, 2020, the Office of Postsecondary Education published requirements for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) reporting. Reporting for HEERF funds distributed to Briar Cliff University will begin 30 days from the U.S. Department of Education awarded grant documents and each 45 days thereafter. 
  1. On April 28, 2020, the Certification and Agreement were signed and returned to the Department of Education. Briar Cliff University intends to use no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(c) of the CARES Act for the Institutional Portion of the Higher education Emergency Relief Fund.  The college’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding Institutional Portion was awarded on May 7, 2020.
  2. The total amount of funds