Briar Cliff Health Updates: Coronavirus | Briar Cliff University

Briar Cliff Health Updates: Coronavirus

FAQs →
Charger Health Check FAQs →

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention →

On Campus Resources →

Student Return to Campus Guidelines→ Employee Return to Campus Guidelines →

 


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 and Expenditure Reporting (PDF)

  


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 $426,716.

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 $243,242.

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

Employees: Text "BCU" to 58052

*Athletes/Athletic staff will receive a slightly different survey to comply with NAIA standards. 

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 afterhours 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

International students

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 and the United Kingdom
  • 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 Kristy Sandman via email at kristy.sandman@briarcliff.edu

 

If you have any questions, please contact Admissions by emailing admissions@briarcliff.edu.

 

Best, 

Matt Thomsen

Vice President for Enrollment Management

Briar Cliff University


 

June 26 | 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 25 | 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 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 7, 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 5 | 45 Day 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 each 45 days 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 will receive from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $426,646.

3. As of May 15, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $426,716.

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 May 15, 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.

 


May 28 | 30 Day 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 each 45 days 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 will receive from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students is $426,646.

3. As of May 15, 2020, the total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act is $426,716.

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 May 15, 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.

  


May 28 | BCUpdate 

Thank you for joining us for the 6th 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.  
      • 0:00 – Dr. Rachelle Karstens
        0:44 – Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement Videos & Pinwheels
        1:25 – Summer Options for Campus Use
        2:09 – Return of Employees to Campus
        2:38 – Health Insurance Benefits
                   Beau Sudtelgte, Director of Human Resources
        3:09 – PTO Hours Extension
        3:58 – Four Seasons Opening Update
        4:15 – Other Campus Updates
      • 5:20 – Dr. Todd Knealing
        5:40 – Graduation RSVP
        6:01 – Fall Plans
      • 6:41 – Matt Thomsen
        6:41 – New Admissions Faces
                   7:00 – Joel Dickinson
                   8:56 – Erich Erdman 
      • 10:05 – Nic Scandrett
        10:05 – Summer Workout Updates
        10:30 – Fall Sports Update
      • 10:56 – Sr. Pat Doody
        10:56 – Closing Prayer
The next BCUpdate will be Thursday, June 11 at 4 PM. You will receive a link to a recording of the BCUpdate, which will contain important Briar Cliff information in the midst of COVID-19. 
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for topics by clicking here.

May 14 | BCUpdate

Thank you for joining us for the 5th BCUpdate, hosted by Nic Scandrett, Athletic Director. Today’s update covers a variety of important topics and helps answer questions provided by each of you. 
  • 00:00 - Nic Scandrett, Athletic Director
    00:10 - Congratulations!
    00:27 - COVID-19 Update
    00:40 - Champions of Character Awards
    01:18 - Charger Superfan
    01:39 - NAIA Updates
    02:20 - GPAC Updates
    02:38 - “Herkout” Update
    03:20 - Important Fall Dates
    04:15 - NAIA Eligibility Center 
    04:44 - Student-Athlete Forms Reminder
    05:10 - Erich Erdman added to admissions
    05:30 - Newman Flanagan Center updates
    05:55 - President Karstens becomes Doctor Karstens
  • 06:14 - Dr. Rachelle Karstens, President
    06:20 - Congratulations!
    06:53 - Refund Information (Student Financial Services)
    09:25 - Benefit Packages for Employees
    09:50 - Summer Campus Use & Plans
    11:24 - BCUpdate Frequency
  • 12:56 - Dr. Todd Knealing, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
    12:56 - Congratulations!
    13:14 - Pass/Nonpass Policy
    13:50 - RSVP for Graduation
    14:19 - Fall Plans
    14:46 - Director of Personal and Professional Development Announcement
  • 16:07 - Matt Thomsen, Vice President for Enrollment Management
    16:16 - Enrollment Update
    16:37 - Virtual Orientations
    17:14 - The Promise Scholarship
  • 18:28 - Tina Stroud, Vice President of University Relations
    18:45 - Emergency Scholarship Fund
    19:20 - Welcome to the Alumni Association: Toast to the Tassel
    19:52 - Alumni Stories
    20:04 - Alumni Awards: Mackenzie Lien (’18) and Matt Holmes (’00)
  • 22:16 - Sr. Pat Doody, Vice President of Mission and Leadership
    22:24 - Congratulations!
    23:05 - Closing Prayer
The next BCUpdate will be Thursday, May 28 at 4 PM. You will receive a link to a recording of the BCUpdate, which will contain important Briar Cliff information in the midst of COVID-19. 
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for topics by clicking here.

May 7 | BCUpdate

Thank you for joining us for the fourth BCUpdate, hosted by Matt Thomsen, VP for Enrollment Management. Today’s update covers a variety of important topics and helps answer questions provided by each of you. 
      • 0:21 - Matt Thomsen, VP for Enrollment Management
        1:11 - Enrollment Update
        2:30 - Nursing Rates in Response to COVID-19
        3:35 - New Efforts (Website & Facebook Group)
        4:15 - Virtual Visits & Virtual Orientations
        5:20 - Team Updates
        6:50 - Connecting with Prospective Students 
      • 8:10 - Dr. Rachelle Karstens, President
        8:11 - Health Reminders
        8:30 - COVID-19 Refund Update
        8:55 - Open Employee Positions
        9:37 - Visiting Campus
        10:37 - Support Services (Human Resources)
        11:19 - Celebrating Class of 2020
      • 12:08 - Timm Funk, VP for Finance and Administration
        12:14 - Going Green & Going Safe
        12:53 - Financial Aid
        13:37 - Student Accounts
        13:51 - Finance Update
      • 14:55 - Dr. Todd Knealing, VP for Academic and Student Affairs
        14:56 - Semester End
        15:25 - Commencement Ceremony Apparel
        15:55 - Fall 2020 Plans
      • 16:42 - Tina Stroud, VP for University Relations
        16:42 - Alumni Community
        17:11 - Global Giving Tuesday NOW
        17:54 - BCUnited Emergency Scholarship Fund
      • 19:26 - Sr. Pat Doody, VP of Mission and Leadership
        19:40 - COVID-19 and our Catholic Franciscan Heritage & Mission
        23:50 - Closing Prayer
Each Thursday at 4 PM, you will receive a link to a recording of the BCUpdate, which will contain important Briar Cliff information in the midst of COVID-19. Nic Scandrett, Athletic Director, will host the next meeting on May 14.
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for topics by clicking here.

April 30 | BCUpdate

Thank you for joining us for the third BCUpdate, hosted by Timm Funk, Vice President for Finance and Administration. Today’s update covers a variety of important topics and helps answer questions provided by each of you. 

Each Thursday at 4 PM, you will receive a link to a recording of the BCUpdate, which will contain important Brair Cliff information in the midst of COVID-19. Matt Thomsen, VP for Enrollment Management, will host the next meeting on May 7.
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for topics by clicking here.

 

April 23 | BCUpdate

 
Thank you for joining us for the second BCUpdate, hosted by Dr. Todd Knealing, VP for Academic and Student Affairs. Today’s update covers a variety of important topics and also answers questions submitted by each of you. 
  • Pass/non-pass grading option for the Spring semester
    • Refer to the April 15 email
  • Fall contingency planning
  • Summer courses to be held online
  • Online Library services
  • End of semester support
  • Commencement Ceremony, Pinning for Nursing, Hooding for DPT, Honors Convocation, and other celebrations
  • Campus Updates
  • Fall plans
  • Refund update
  • Online Orientation update
  • Virtual visits 
  • Enrollment update
  • Fall 2020 athletic season
  • Athletic recruiting update
  • Champions of Character virtual announcements
  • Toast to the Tassel
  • Virtual interviewing program
  • Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque
  • Closing Prayer
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for future topics by clicking here.
Be safe and God bless.

 

April 16 | BCUpdate

 
The following supporting information is mentioned in this video:
Each Thursday at 4 PM, you will receive a link to a recording of the BCUpdate, which will contain important Briar Cliff updates in the midst of COVID-19. Dr. Todd Knealing, VP of Academic and Student Affairs, will host the next meeting on April 23.
We invite ideas for recommended topics for future BCUpdates. Please submit any questions you would like answered or ideas for future topics by clicking here. 
Thank you for joining us today.

 

March 27 | Mandatory Social Distancing Policy

Woodbury County, of which Briar Cliff University is located, has had three confirmed cases of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we are anticipating this is only the beginning and fully expect additional cases in the community. Leadership at BCU has been preparing for this eventuality and your health and safety is our top priority.

Attached you will find a Mandatory Social Distancing Policy, which goes into effect immediately. This policy further emphasizes the importance of social distancing and the requirements set by local, state and national leaders. The policy includes:

      • You should maintain a physical distance from others of at least 6 feet and no gatherings of any kind in excess of 10 people should take place anywhere on campus.
      • If you are sick, we ask that you stay home (or in your residence hall room) until you meet the appropriate guidelines to return to campus or to resume your regular activities.
      • Those who have been granted permission to come to campus must complete the Briar Cliff University Confidential Health Form if they meet any of the criteria outlined in the policy.

Please keep your instructors and Briar Cliff Health Services informed if you are not feeling well. If you, or someone you have been in contact with, has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Jo Morgan immediately by emailing CarlaJo.Morgan@briarcliff.eduor by calling (712) 279-5436.

Stay Informed

The Iowa Department of Public Health is continually updating information about COVID-19 concerns. The following graph is information about current cases in Iowa. Please note, many are within the age group of 18 – 40, roughly 55 cases. Please, continue to be diligent about protecting your health and those around you. The CDC and the World Health Organization continue to be great resources for ongoing tips and information on how to protect yourself.


 

March 20 | Facilities & Resources

In preparation for Monday, we wanted to share with you some important updates and resources.

As you know, Briar Cliff University has been making many decisions and adjustments informed by the guidance of local, state and national officials in response to protecting ourselves from COVID-19.

      1. Open Facilities
        In support of new mandates, the residence halls, Heelan Hall rooms 112 and 138 (computer labs for students), and the Stark Student Center will be the only campus buildings open and accessible to students, effective immediately. As a reminder, you are to limit group gatherings to 10 people or less, as directed by the Governor. 
      1. Travel
        In addition, please limit your travel to and from the campus. We understand you may need to report to work, get groceries or go to an appointment, however, we ask that you limit all non-essential travel. If you are no longer a campus resident, we ask that you stay home until further notice. This is imperative if we are to flatten the curve and slow/stop the spread of this virus.
      1. On-Campus Resources
        To further protect our employees, only those employees who have been determined as essential to operations are allowed to return and/or remain on campus until further notice. With the increased amount of staff working off-campus, we ask that you call or email those who you may need to work with. Beginning immediately, all appointments will be handled virtually until further notice

        Here is the contact information for some of our essential student services. All others are available on our website: www.briarcliff.edu:
      1. Preparation
        We are fully anticipating restrictive measures that could be potentially be implemented in the near future. For instance, if government officials mandate citizens to “shelter in place,” we want to be sure you are aware of the limitations this may cause. If you are currently living on campus, this will make any movement away from campus more difficult. Many of you may prefer to be confined with your families, where you can lean on each other for support. We recommend you return home as soon as possible to avoid any potential future restrictions. 

I encourage each of you to continue to live our values, to be a caring community, and to support each other, your neighbors, and community during this challenging time. Most of you are not at the highest risk of this disease, because of your age and because you have been blessed with good health. I urge you to exercise leadership, compassion and service by taking every precaution – to mitigate risk to the elderly and to those with a compromised immune system, many of whom are part of our campus community.

 

I hope you join me in social distancing, minimal travel and common health measures. Together, lets protect our health and those around us.


 

March 17 | Activity Centers & Library

In response to Gov. Reynold’s mandate, and to further protect your health and wellness, we are closing the following activity centers:

      • McCoy-Arnold Center
      • Newman Flannagan Center, and 
      • Sharon and Larry Walsh Wellness Center, 

until March 31, subject to further mandates from the Governor’s office. These facilities will remain open to employees whose offices are located in this areas for work purposes only, as authorized.

Effective immediately, the Bishop Mueller Library is also closed. Online resources, online database access, and virtual librarian services are still available and will remain available to students. Please watch for more specific information soon. 

Computer labs remain available in Heelan Hall in Rooms 112 and 138. Please note usage will be limited to 10 people in each room at a time, in compliance with the Governor’s mandate. 

Also, as a reminder, per the communication sent earlier today and in compliance with the Governor’s mandate, cafeteria meals will be limited to takeout meals only.

Please know that these decisions are in response to the Governor’s most recent update, with special attention given to the following section:

  • Restaurants and Bars: All Restaurants and Bars are hereby closed to the general public except that to the extent permitted by applicable law, and in accordance with any recommendations of the Iowa Department of Public Health, food and beverages may be sold if such food or beverages are promptly taken from the premises, such as on a carry-out or drive-through basis, or if the food or beverage is delivered to customers off the premises.
  • Fitness Center: All fitness centers, health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers are hereby closed.
  • Theaters: All theaters or other performance venues at which live performances or motion pictures are shown are hereby closed.
  • Casinos and Gaming Facilities: All casinos and other facilities conducting pari-mutuel wagering or gaming operations are hereby closed.
  • Mass Gathering: Social, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events of more than 10 people are hereby prohibited at all locations and venues, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, and fundraisers. Planned large gatherings and events must be canceled or postponed until after termination of this disaster.
  • Senior Citizen Centers and Adult Daycare Facilities:  All facilities that conduct adult day services or other senior citizen centers are hereby closed.

 

March 16 | Online Learning Extension

While there are still no confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus, as a caring community, it is our intention to not only care for you and our campus community, but also for the Siouxland community at large. 

Please know that all University decisions are driven by our commitment to you, to your health and well-being, and to all of those with whom we serve, work, and educate. Briar Cliff University leaders, faculty, and staff are working diligently to make this transition as smooth as possible for all of you.

Due to the speed at which the COVID-19 global crisis is evolving, we in higher education across the globe find ourselves in unprecedented territory, with new information constantly emerging.

In response to the latest updates, Briar Cliff is implementing the following, effective immediately:

      1. Online Learning - In support of Gov. Reynold’s announcement last night, and to further protect the health and safety of our campus, class suspension is being extended through this week and online learning will commence Monday, March 23. Your professors will be reaching out to you. We have also made the decision to extend online courses through the end of the spring 2020 semester.

 

      1. Campus Housing - Residential on-campus students may still choose to return home or stay in your residence hall. If you do choose to stay on campus, please email Dave Arens by no later than 4 PM tomorrow, March 17. This is necessary so that we can be aware who is on campus for security and public health purposes. Additionally, campus housing will be checking rooms to ensure perishable items are removed, refrigerators and unnecessary electronics are unplugged, lights are off, windows are shut, etc.

Please know, residence halls will be open for you to return should you make the choice to move off-campus during this time. However, please be aware that in the event of an outbreak on campus or an official quarantine order, Briar Cliff may be forced to transition to a quarantine status. In that case, you may not be able to return to campus for a specific period of time. Rest assured, your belongings may be kept on campus, secured in your room, through the remainder of the 2020 spring semester. Our residential life staff will be following up with additional information as the situation unfolds.

If you choose to return to campus to collect your items, please do not visit if you have a fever, cough, or respiratory issues. Please send someone else to gather your belongings. 

If you would like to leave campus but cannot return home, please email Dave Arens

 

      1. AthleticsThe NAIA has canceled the Spring sports season, effective immediately. As such, there will be no Briar Cliff 2020 spring sports season. Athletes should watch for more information from Nic Scandrett, Briar Cliff Athletic Director. The NAIA national body issued the following statement regarding eligibility: “In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition. Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.” Please reach out to your coach if you have questions or concerns. 

 

      1. Travel - All-University sponsored travel is suspended, effective immediately, until further notice. This includes domestic and in-state travel.

 

      1. Experiential Learning - We are awaiting final determinations from the state and applicable accrediting bodies to address questions regarding cancelled or suspended student internships, clinicals, teaching, etc. Watch for more information.

 

      1. Events & Graduation - As recommended by the CDC, all Briar Cliff University events for the 2020 spring semester are canceled. The 2020 Commencement Ceremony has been postponed in light of the Governor’s mandate that no gatherings within the next 60 days exceed 50 people. We are awaiting guidance and further recommendations from our accreditors and the CDC before rescheduling.

 

      1. Work Study - Students may continue to report to work study. However, should campus services change, this may impact your ability to work. Your supervisor will connect with you as appropriate.

Lastly, please know that my Cabinet is in constant communication, meeting frequently, and monitoring the internal and external situation so we can best address the needs of our campus community. I owe a debt of gratitude to them, the Emergency Response team, and all of the Briar Cliff community for bearing the burdens of this tumultuous time. 

We will continue to communicate frequently with you as the situation evolves and as we confront this pandemic together. Our primary objectives are to keep our community safe and to continue to deliver our educational program for your benefit. Neither is without significant challenge, but we are called to deal with what is put in front of us to the best of our ability and that is what we are doing. I know that each of you will do the same. 

Be safe and ever diligent in protecting the health and welfare of yourself and others. Continue to ground yourselves in kindness as we travel this journey together. We will get through this together.

Finally, I want to express my gratitude to you – most particularly for your patience these past weeks. I know I speak for my colleagues in thanking this entire campus community for the patience, grace, and love that has been expressed and shared by all of you during this challenging time.  


 

March 13 | Campus Housing

With yesterday’s announcement of temporarily moving to an online learning environment, I have received many questions regarding living options, reimbursement and preparation for staying or leaving campus. The following contains a list of topics to help guide you through this transition.

Personal Belongings

Campus will remain open and we consider your residence room to be your home. You are welcome to leave your personal belongings on campus, should you choose to return home during this temporary online learning period. 

We do ask that you remove all perishable food, empty your trash, close your windows, and email your RA and me to check your room prior to leaving campus.

Food Services

The Briar Cliff cafeteria will remain open. As a precaution, self-serve stations are temporarily closed. Condiments, frequently used/touched items will have increased sanitation throughout the service shift. 

Refund Requests

Choosing to leave campus during this temporary period is optional and not required. We will remain open and you will continue to have access to your room, if you choose to leave and return during this period. We will notify you immediately should this flexibility change.

Since this is optional and temporary, similar to if you were renting an apartment, refunds will not be provided. 

Student Services
Student services such as the Compass, Campus Ministry, Health, Counseling, Student Accounts, etc. will remain open and available. Please call or email the individual you need to work with. We are limiting face-to-face meetings as much as possible during this time. 

Visitors & Gatherings

As a reminder, there should be no visitors on campus March 16 – April 14. This includes no visitors to your residence room should you choose to stay on campus during the temporary time. We also recommend avoiding crowds and gatherings. This is to further protect yourself and others from the virus.

Facilities

You may continue to use campus facilities, such as the gym, library and cafeteria. Please be mindful of proper hygiene and disinfecting measures that you can take to further protect yourself and others.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Dave Arens at david.arens@briarcliff.edu. 


 

March 12 | BCU Moving to Temporary Online Learning

The last few days have been full of uncertainty with respect to the spread of COVID-19. The leadership team has developed a plan, working alongside local, regional and national leaders, to ensure minimal interruption in coursework. We will do our best to walk alongside you as you also adjust to the following changes.  

As a caring community, we feel a responsibility to do what we can to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. To protect our campus community, Briar Cliff University will move to online instruction from March 19 until after Easter break, April 14. Classes will be suspended March 16 - 18 to allow faculty time to prepare for online instruction. At this time, we are planning to resume classes on April 14. You will be notified by April 7 whether online learning will be extended.

We are making this decision proactively to maintain the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community. We will continue to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Iowa Department of Public Health, as well as local health officials. 

Here are important items for you to know about this transition:

      1. Room & Board
        For residential on-campus students, you may choose to return home or stay in your residence hall. Residence halls and dining services will remain open, and we urge you to make the choice that is best for your own personal health and safety.

        If you plan to stay on campus between March 16 and April 14, you must notify residence life no later than 4 PM on March 17. Please email Dave Arens at David.Arens@briarcliff.edu about your plans.
      1. Technology
        Our campus will remain open to serve you and 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. Please sign up for Briar Cliff campus notifications through the student portal, BCYou. We will send important alerts as needed.

      1. Events
        All on-campus and/or University-sponsored events will be suspended until further notice. A decision regarding athletic events will be made on Friday, March 13 in cooperation with the GPAC and NAIA. If you are a member of an athletic team, you will be receiving more information from your coach after a decision has been made.
      1. Visitors
        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 during this time.
      1. Online Instruction
        Beginning March 19, lectures, discussion sections, seminars, and other similar classroom settings will move to online instruction to the greatest extent possible. 

        With respect to classroom experiences, such as laboratory and performance classes, your professors will provide specific guidance.

        If you have experiential learning requirements such as clinical experiences, student teaching, internships, etc., you are expected to report to those sites unless instructed otherwise.  
      1. Work Study
        You may continue to report to your work study position if you remain on campus. Additional sanitation and health measures will be taken. Please know this is optional. Please work with your supervisor to determine what is best for you.
      1. 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). 
      1. Student Services
        Offices will remain open on campus. However, please call or email the individual you need to work with. We are limiting face-to-face meetings as much as possible during this time.
      1. Commencement
        All commencement plans are proceeding as usual but will be evaluated and communicated in the April 7 update.

Please continue to check your email for additional updates. Ongoing information and resources can also be found on our COVID-19 website. 

We care about you and your health. We made a commitment to you when you chose Briar Cliff University, and we remain committed to continuing your education in the best way possible.


 

March 11 | Coronavirus Update: Events & Travel

With the announcements of the first positive cases in Iowa, I want to assure The Cliff community that the University has been actively engaged in preparing for this eventuality. The health and safety of our campus and the community is our top priority.

We remain in ongoing communication with local and state health officials and have been monitoring guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with careful attention to the impact COVID-19 could have on our campus. Please continue to visit this page for ongoing information?

University leaders have been meeting regularly to assess conditions and prepare for this rapidly evolving situation.

 

On Campus Events

We will continue to hold events as usual. Should this change, we will notify campus immediately.

As a reminder, good hygiene is the best way to prevent any illness. Please use these common measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds – hand sanitizer is a second option.
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, please stay at home.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing – don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect regularly touched objects in your home, car and workplace.

 

Domestic Travel

The University is currently assessing domestic travel on a case-by-case basis. We are suspending travel to areas where the number of cases has prompted a formal state of emergency declaration. Please keep in mind that with the fluidity of the situation, any University sponsored travel may be canceled with short notice.

Employees, please do not make any University travel arrangements unless discussed and approved with your Vice President.

 

International Travel

As a reminder, all University sponsored international travel is being suspended until further notice. This includes mission trips, studying abroad, academic and research trips.

Personal Travel

Please continue to self-report all travel outside of Iowa to Jo Morgan by emailing carlajo.morgan@briarcliff.edu.

 

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and we appreciate your diligence in helping keep our community safe. Please watch for future updates.


 

March 10 | Campus Health and Coronavirus Update 

In order to best protect and monitor the health of our campus community, we need everyone’s help. Your help comes in three forms: 1) Self-reporting travel outside of the state of Iowa, 2) Concern of potential infection, and 3) Prevention. Practice good hygiene.

Self-Report Travel Outside of Iowa.

This applies to all students, faculty, and staff. Email Jo Morgan (carlajo.morgan@briarcliff.edu) stating where you have traveled in the past month (Country or Countries, if international; U.S.A. State(s), if domestic). As new geographic areas of interest are announced by the CDC, this will allow us to monitor who in our campus community may be at risk and in need of outreach. 

 

Concern of Potential Infection.

If you are concerned about symptoms and/or exposure, please answer the following questions:

      • Do you have a fever or respiratory systems (e.g., cough or difficulty breathing)?
      • Did you travel from a COVID-19 affected geographic area within 14 days of getting sick?
      • Did you have close contact with a person laboratory-confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 within 14 days of getting sick?

If you answered “yes” to at least 2 of these questions, CALL DON’T COME, then follow the instructions provided by the staff member (whether it is at BCU or a different provider).


BCU Health Office 712-279-5436 or email carlajo.morgan@briarcliff.edu

Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Outside of those hours, contact your Primary Care Physician or go to Siouxland Community Health Center or another Urgent Care.

 

Prevention. Practice Good Hygiene.

The best way to prevent any illness (including COVID-19) is to practice good hygiene and common measures, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds – hand sanitizer is a second option.
  • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, please stay at home.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing – don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect regularly touched objects in your home, car and workplace.

 

March 2 | Notice of International Travel Suspension and Coronavirus Update 

While there is still low risk to people in our community, our campus leadership team remains mindful of the growing concern of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). In an abundance of caution, we are implementing some health safety measures, effective immediately. 

Campus Preparedness
Briar Cliff health care leadership is collaborating and monitoring appropriate safety precautions through the guidance and recommendations made by Siouxland District Health Department (SDHD), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health care entities, and the Infectious Disease Coalition. We are grateful to have experienced team members monitoring the latest developments continuously and refine our response plans as needed.

Travel Restrictions
All University sponsored international travel is being suspended until further notice. This includes mission trips, studying abroad, academic and research trips. This decision is not made lightly, but the health and safety of our students and employees is of top concern.

Personal Travel Plans
Before traveling, we encourage you to check the latest travel warnings and alerts on the Department of State and CDC websites. This information can change on a daily basis, so please check regularly and be aware of developments that may affect travel to and from your destination.

If you have any plans for personal international travel, please contact Jo Morgan, RN, BSN, Director of Health Services. She will provide you recommendations on how to evaluate your travel plans and appropriate health precautions/monitoring. You can contact Jo by calling (712) 279-5436 or by emailing CarlaJo.Morgan@briarcliff.edu.

Daily Vigilance
The spread of this virus is believed to be similar to the spread of other respiratory viruses, like the common cold or influenza. The best way to prevent any illness is to practice good hygiene and common measures, including:

      • If you are sick, please stay at home.
      • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds – hand sanitizer is a second option.
      • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing – don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
      • Frequently clean and disinfect regularly touched objects in your home, car and workplace.

Health Concerns
If you have recently traveled in the last 14 days and have these symptoms or have been in contact with someone who possibly has this virus, you should:

      • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a health care office, call ahead and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
      • Do not travel while you’re sick and avoid contact with others.
      • Cover your mouth with your upper arm when coughing or sneezing.
      • Wash your hands often.

Please continue relying upon the CDC for the most current information and advice. We continue to monitor this global health issue very closely and collaborate on best practices to ensure the health and wellbeing of our campus and the community. 


February 12 | Campus Health Update 

The wellbeing of the Briar Cliff University community is a top priority. The novel coronavirus has become a trending topic of concern. Currently, this is a low risk to people in our community and there are no confirmed cases in Iowa. However, we want to provide you with an update on how we are evaluating and responding to this issue. 

Briar Cliff health care leadership is collaborating and monitoring appropriate safety precautions through the guidance and recommendations made by Siouxland District Health Department (SDHD), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health care entities, and the Infectious Disease Coalition.

We are evaluating all University sponsored travel and are now prohibiting University travel to China, in accordance with travel advisories set by the U.S. Department of State and the CDC. At this time, this limitation does not impact any planned travel for mission trips, studying abroad, academic or research.

The spread of this virus is believed to be similar to the spread of other respiratory viruses, like the common cold or influenza. Signs and symptoms of the coronavirus include a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. If you have traveled to China in the last 14 days and have these symptoms or have been in contact with someone who possibly has this virus, you should:

      • Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a health care office, call ahead and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
      • No travel while sick and avoid contact with others.
      • Cover your mouth with your upper arm when coughing or sneezing.
      • Wash your hands often.

The best way to prevent any illness is to practice good hygiene and common measures, including:

      • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds – hand sanitizer is a second option.
      • Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes, especially with unwashed hands.
      • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
      • If you are sick, please stay at home.
      • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing – don’t cough or sneeze into your hands.
      • Frequently clean and disinfect regularly touched objects in your home, car and workplace.
      • If you are traveling overseas, make sure to follow CDC guidelines at www.cdc.gov/travel. Currently, in the U.S., there are very few cases and they are all linked to travel or close contact with an ill person.


We are monitoring this global health issue very closely and will continue to collaborate on best practices to ensure the health and wellbeing of our campus and the community.



Tags: Campus, BCU, Travel, Health & Wellness, International