Spring 2021 Plan and Information
COVID-19 Updates and Information

Frequently Asked Questions

If your questions are not answered below, please email us at spring2021@frostburg.edu. Our process ensures that your individual concerns are being addressed by the right people and that you have a contact person to assist you. (Updated Jan. 2021)

  • Academics/Classes

    Key Points

    • Classes will start on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. There is no spring break during the spring 2021 semester. View the academic calendar here.
    • All classes will be fully online or blended (a mix of in-person and online instruction).
    • Students have the option of choosing an online semester, but these students MUST choose and enroll in classes listed as online in PAWS or work through the USM inter-institutional enrollment to choose online courses from the University of Maryland Global Campus by Jan. 25. Details about inter-institutional enrollment are available at this link, and UMGC’s spring 2021 course offerings are available at this link. (Using inter-institutional enrollment protects a student’s full-time status for financial aid, veterans, athletes, etc.) Please contact your academic advisor or department chair for assistance.
    • Faculty should communicate course-specific policies to students in a timely manner.
    • The PC/NC option will NOT be available for students in spring 2021.
    • Faculty will continue to have access to their offices in order to provide instruction.

    When will classes for the Spring 2021 term start?
    Classes will begin on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.

    What will the format be?
    Roughly one-third of classes will be offered completely online while two-thirds of classes will be offered in a blended (combination of in-person and online) format, allowing socially distanced, face-to-face instruction in a safer environment. It is up to each professor to determine how often a class may be required to meet in person.

    Will FSU be offering the PC/NC (pass with credit/no credit) option for classes this spring?
    No, the PC/NC option is not being offered during the spring 2021 semester.

    What does adjusting class sizes entail?
    FSU will reduce classroom density through a variety of methods. One method is to offer more selections of a course with fewer students enrolled in each section. We will also use a split attendance (rotating attendance) approach, where a smaller group of students enrolled in the course will meet with the instructor each class section. For example, in a course scheduled to meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, half of the students will attend on Tuesday and half will attend on Thursday.

    Will schedules be altered due to the classroom changes?
    The number of students in each class will be adjusted, and classrooms will be reconfigured to provide distancing and other safeguards. You will be notified of schedule changes, if any.

    How will lab classes be handled?
    In-person lab classes will be set up to maintain proper social distancing and provide other safeguards. Some lab work may be able to be done with virtual tools. Look for specific information from your instructor.   

    How are faculty being trained to help provide the online portions of the blended curriculum?
    One of our key efforts is ensuring our faculty and instructors have enhanced their online skills through additional training offered last summer and resources to build out their courses in a blended format. FSU faculty continue to participate in USM’s OnTrack program, which supports the expansion of high-quality remote learning.

    Will there be a university-wide imposed attendance policy for our classes? Or, will attendance be a matter left up to instructors?
    The Class Attendance Policy grants individual instructors the academic freedom to set course attendance policies to meet the needs of specific courses. If, and how, student attendance (or absence) impacts course grades remains the purview of instructors and their academic departments. However, instructors must use means to measure attendance beyond noting physical presence in the classroom and instead consider active participation in the online portion of a blended course.

    What is the process for cleaning and sanitizing between classes?
    Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily according to CDC guidelines for disinfecting common areas. We do not have the personnel available to clean classrooms after each use, and in some cases, classroom locations have been moved to accommodate classroom capacity issues. Each classroom will be equipped with a sanitizing spray bottle and paper towels that can be utilized by faculty and students at their discretion.

    What options do I have if I don’t feel comfortable being on campus?
    Most classes are offered in a blended (a combination of in-person and online) format. This allows us to offer face-to-face instruction in a safer environment. Students have the option of choosing an online semester, but these students MUST choose and enroll in classes listed as online in PAWS or work through the USM inter-institutional enrollment to choose online courses from the University of Maryland Global Campus by Jan. 25. Details about inter-institutional enrollment are available at this link, and UMGC’s spring 2021 course offerings are available at this link. (Using inter-institutional enrollment protects a student’s full-time status for financial aid, veterans, athletes, etc.) Please contact your academic advisor or department chair for assistance..

    How do education majors get their required classroom time?
    Education students should contact their academic advisors about the student teaching field experience.

    How will study abroad trips for the fall semester and spring break be impacted?
    The USM presidents have decided there will be no study abroad for domestic students for fall 2020 and spring 2021.

    How will performance/music classes be handled?
    Some of these classes will be in person, socially distanced and properly monitored by faculty with student performing. Virtual software tools also allow faculty to work real-time and remotely with students — with each person being at their own computers in a live chat setting. Your professors will have specific details for you.  


  • Housing

    Key Points

    • Residence halls are open for students who choose to remain on campus for their studies.
    • Students wishing to submit a Housing Contract Release Request should do so through the housing portal (under “Applications”) as soon as possible. Click here for additional information.

    I signed up for a double room? Am I now required to be in a single?
    Yes. In order to reduce density on our campus and increase social distancing for the upcoming academic year, all campus residence halls will be single occupancy.


    The room rate is higher for a single than for a double. How do I make up that difference?
    Because the switch to all singles is in response to the COVID-19 crisis, additional CARES Act funding is being made available to help students including housing costs. The university will provide updated details about CARES Act monies before classes start on Jan. 25. Information will be sent to students and posted on the website.


    When is move-in?
    Move in begins on Jan. 20, 2021; watch your inbox for emails from Residence Life.

    Who can I contact if I have specific housing questions?
    Students and families who have questions can contact Assistant Director of Residence Life Katie Buehner at ksbuehner@frostburg.edu or Director of Residence Life Kim Hinds-Brush at kmhindsbrush@frostburg.edu.

    Do single rooms in residence halls have a separate bathroom and washing area? If not, how can you ensure that there is no cross-infection?
    There are not separate bathrooms and washing areas for each room. We will follow state and CDC guidelines.

    I am uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with another student. What options do I have?
    Students can fill out an exemption form in the Housing Portal and it will go to the committee for a decision.

    Housing Portal

    Will students still be allowed to visit friends or have gatherings in their rooms?
    During the pandemic, residential students are permitted to have ONE guest in their room at any time. No overnight guests are permitted. The guest must be an FSU student. Guests, like all residential students, are required to wear a mask when in any public areas in the Residence Halls. Guests include students who live within your building. Students must maintain 6 feet between themselves and others as well as wear masks when in the presence of others.

    Communal kitchens will be closed. What accommodations will be made for this closure?
    We will not be able to make any accommodations. Kitchens will remain closed.

    Will RAs receive additional training to make sure students are following guidelines in the residence halls? If so, when will this training take place?
    Yes. Information regarding special issues are covered in the training for RAs and in additional information provided to RAs.

    Can I cancel my housing contract and move off campus?
    Students wishing to submit a housing contract release request should do so through the Housing Portal as soon as possible.

    Housing Portal

    Will Edgewood Commons have single rooms as well?
    Edgewood has single rooms for students in the apartments, but students will be sharing common spaces in those apartments.

    I live off-campus. What options do I have if my rates have increased with fewer students in my apartment/house?
    All students are eligible for housing assistance funds. Watch for details soon.  


    How will the living situation affect students who will live off campus with roommates?
    Questions about off-campus housing should be directed to your landlord.

    How will students with IEPs and other mental illnesses be accommodated?
    All students will have single rooms. Students requesting accommodations need to contact Holly Veith in Disability Support Services.

  • Dining

    Key Points

    • Chesapeake Dining Hall is open as an eat-in facility operating at reduced capacity. Grab-and-go options are also available.
    • Students can connect with the management staff at Chesapeake Dining Hall and Lane Center with any concerns or issues through Chatback: text 301-215-3886 for Chesapeake; text 301-215-3747 for Lane Center.
    • Do not share food. Not potluck events allowed.
    • Visit Dine On Campus for more information.

    Will food options remain the same, Chesapeake and Appalachian Station?
    Most the food options will remain the same. College Avenue Subs, Starbucks, Moe's, Chick-fil-A, Sushi with Gusto, Grill Nation and Jack & Olive Grab and Go in Appalachian Station will be open as normal.

    Will there be a limited number of students allowed in the cafeteria at a time?
    Chesapeake dining hall will open as an eat-in facility operating at reduced capacity.

    If a student needs to quarantine, who will deliver food to them? How will this happen?
    Dining services will deliver meals to students at our quarantine facility.

    Are all of the food places going to be open?
    No, Daily Press and Au Bon Pain will remain closed.

    How will meals be served?
    All menu items will be either grab-and-go or served by an attendant. There will be no self-service options. Garb-and-go options are also available

    Will meal plan prices be affected?
    Meal plan costs will remain at 2019-20 pricing. The costs cover the plan for the entire semester.

    Can food be delivered to students?
    The only student meal delivery we will offer is to the quarantine area.

  • Health & Safety/Physical Campus

    Key Points

    • Check in every day – symptom check-in.
    • Wear a mask at all times in the presence of others on campus.
    • All students have been issued reusable fabric mask. Free fabric masks for each student are available at the Lane Center information desk (See CDC guidance on masks.)
    • Classrooms, labs (science and computer), bathrooms, available study/meeting rooms and common areas in residence halls and other buildings, are cleaned and sanitized daily.
    • High-traffic areas are cleaned more frequently.
    • Cleaning supplies (such as wipes and disinfectant) are available in classrooms and other areas.
    • Hand sanitizer stations are available in buildings and areas.
    • Drinking fountains will be turned off (bottle refilling stations may still be used in some locations). Plan for your hydration needs accordingly.

    Will students/faculty/staff be tested or will they be required to have taken a COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus?
    We are following USM guidance and are conducting testing of everyone at the beginning of the semester or allowing individuals to provide proof of recent testing.

    Will students be quarantined on campus for the first two weeks upon arriving on campus to prevent the potential spread?
    No. Quarantine is for individuals who have had viral symptoms during the past two weeks or have been actively exposed to someone who has COVID-19. We are following USM guidance and are testing everyone at the beginning of the semester or allowing individuals to provide proof of recent testing.

    What will the availability be of testing for those who think they may be infected?
    Brady Health Center will continue to be available for consultation, triage and treatment. The UPMC-Western Maryland medical center, many individual providers and other health cvar facilities also offer testing. 

    The Allegany County Health Department Drive-in Testing Center at the county fairgrounds occurs on Mondays from 2 to 7 p.m. and on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no out-of-pocket cost to get a test at the site, and appointments and doctors’ orders are not required. Pre-signup for a faster process here.

    What is the procedure if a student tests positive for COVID-19?
    If a student tests positive, the county health department is informed, and they take over at that point, as is their procedure in the case of all reportable contagious diseases. The health department proceeds with contact tracing. We have reserved rooms at a local hotel for on-campus students who need to be quarantined.

    What is the procedure for a faculty/staff member becomes sick/tests positive?
    Faculty/staff who are sick will be referred to their primary care provider or local urgent care center for evaluation. They will require self-quarantine pending results and will isolate if positive. The Allegany County Health Department will perform contact tracing for staff/faculty. Faculty/staff must provide return-to-work documentation before retuning.

    How will contact tracing be performed?
    Contact tracing will be handled by the Allegany County Health Department with assistance as needed from the Brady Health Center. See more information here.

    Are the cleaning products supplied by facility approved for killing the virus that causes COVID-19?
    The disinfectant spray in bottles is approved for COVID 19 and has a kill time of 10 minutes. You simply spray it and allow it to dry. No need to wipe so you won't be spreading the germs.

    What are the plans for cleaning computers/computer spaces regularly?
    Frequency and method of cleaning will be based on CDC guidelines and on common best practices specifically for computer equipment.

    What are the plans for cleaning restrooms across campus?
    Bathrooms are cleaned daily as they currently are when buildings are open for use. FSU housekeepers have been trained to disinfect per CDC guidelines to fight COVID-19. We will be cleaning with an approved COVID-19 disinfectant and we will also be using electrostatic sprayers and misting systems to combat COVID-19. High touch areas will be cleaned frequently.

    What considerations have been made visitors to campus who are not faculty/students/staff?
    Visitors will be required to take part in the online symptom check-in as well as wear a mask at all times in the presences of others.

    Will classroom spaces have Plexiglas shields?
    Please keep in mind that in most instances, wearing face masks serves as the protective barrier for mitigating risk of infection. In some circumstances, high-volume or high-touch areas have had physical barriers installed.

    Will there will hand sanitizer stations in all the buildings and or classrooms?
    Yes, in all buildings.

    Will masks be required?
    Wearing of face masks indoors (and wearing them properly) while on campus is required when in the presence of others as part of the social compact that must be acknowledged by faculty, staff, and students. (See CDC guidance on masks.)

    For buildings, are there going to be specified entrances and exits?
    Yes. Signage directs traffic flow at all building entrances and exits and in many in high-traffic areas, such as the Lane Center, Cordts PE and the Ort Library.

    Will there be mandatory COVID-19 safety training for staff, faculty, and students?
    Yes, the social compact acknowledgement requires individuals to view a training video.

    How will rules relating to mask wearing and social distancing be enforced (in the classroom and elsewhere)?
    Yes. Signage directs traffic flow at all building entrances and exits and in many in high-traffic areas, such as the Lane Center, Cordts PE and the Ort Library.

    How will social distancing be enforced in open learning areas like labs, breakout spaces, and the tutoring center?
    Student Affairs has added public health language to our Code of Student Conduct regarding our expectations for students. This information is shared with University community as part of the social compact. Good communication with students is essential, along with more restrictive sanctions for continued violations if appropriate.

    How will the university deal with large gatherings off campus?
    The Division of Student Affairs has added public health language to our Code of Student Conduct regarding community standards expectations. Additionally, the City of Frostburg also has a civil ordinance regarding Unruly Social Gatherings.

    Considering students will be renting in the area of the school, what will be provided to support and monitor those areas?
    We do not have the ability to control what landlords do or everything that goes on off-campus. But we have provided communication to both landlords and students living off campus about responsible behavior in regard to social distancing and the need to follow the health guidelines from the state and CDC.

    We are in contact with the city officials regularly and are working with landlords to address issues. All students, not just those on campus, must acknowledge the social compact and the importance of social distancing, good behavior, and set expectations for activity in the classroom and in the community.

    We anticipate most will follow sensible health guidelines, but if there are violations — just like with other issues — we have a Code of Student Conduct that stipulate community standards for students and there are policies in place for disciplinary actions.

    Are students able to go off campus, back and forth to home, have guests?
    Students are encouraged to limit their trips home for "essential" purposes. With regard to engaging with the local community, students will follow state guidelines for social distancing and use face masks. Guests in the residence halls will be limited to one guest at a time per person and no overnight guests are permitted. Guests must be FSU students. Information on the updated policy is available here.

    What will the facility have in place for students who go home on weekends and return to school on Sunday?
    The University recommends that students only return home for essential purposes during the academic term and self-monitor their necessity to seek healthcare or self-isolate.

    What options do international students have regarding cost of treatment?
    International students are required to carry health insurance through the Center for International Education. The departments of Labor and Treasury issued guidance last year to health insurance companies regarding coverage for testing and related treatment.

    What if more cases start being reported?
    We work closely with our local, health department, USM and the State of Maryland to stay aware of an increase in cases. Last semester, our monitoring of indicators, including an increase in cases reported to the University as well as an increase in cases in the region, resulted in a pause in-person activities and then eventually a move to online coursework only for the final days of the semester. We also follow state guidelines identifying the "phase" of reopening the state is in (visit the state’s roadmap to recovery). More information on indicators can be found here.


    Will there be additional police/security measures in place given the current happenings around the world beyond that of the COVID-19 pandemic?
    The University Police, Division of Student Affairs, Dean of Students, and Center for Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will work closely with students to make sure there are opportunities to actively engage with our University community in a safer environment.

  • Finances/Tuition/Payments

    How will tuition and fees change this year?
    Tuition, fees and meal plans for the 2020-21 academic year will remain the same as 2019-20 levels.

    Will students have to refile FAFSA if they decide to change their living situations (ex., moving from the residence halls to an off-campus apartment)?
    Students only need to file one FAFSA per academic year. If students change where they are residing during the academic year, they should send an email to the Financial Aid Office at fsufinaid@frostburg.edu.

    Is CARES Act money available for the spring 2021 term?
    CARES Act money will be available this spring to help students. A student must apply to get the funding. Details will be sent to students in emails before the start of the term. Please watch your email and this page for more information.

    If I have questions about my charges or my economic situation has changed since the spring semester, what can I do?
    Students can re-file their FAFSA paperwork based on their new economic circumstances. To find out more, or to inquire about other financial situations, check out our Financial Aid resources here.


    Is PAWS Pantry still available for students with food assistance needs?
    Yes. PAWS Pantry provides non-perishable food to ANY FSU student free of charge. The pantry is located at the Braddock House (20 Braddock Rd.) and is open by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, for the summer. Students can email pawspantry@frostburg.edu by noon the day before they would like an appointment. The pantry is not currently open to walk-ins; pre-packed and customizable bag options are being provided, and students are urged to take the food they need for a week.


  • Activities and Student Groups

    Will there be an in-person graduation this spring? What are the plans for the postponed commencement ceremonies?
    No decisions have been made yet regarding the May 2021 ceremony. The May and December 2020 graduates participated in virtual activities. All postponed ceremonies will be held once the university is able to safely plan and hold ceremonies.  

    Are organizations still allowed to meet in person for their weekly meetings?
    All meetings should occur virtually through Webex, Bobcat Connect, and Microsoft Teams. Information is available here. 

    How will we be able to run clubs/activities? We will need to find larger rooms or impose ½ of the club to "club from home"?
    Organizations will continue to register their organizations on Bobcat Connect. Organizations are encouraged to meet virtually through Webex and Microsoft Teams. Additionally, authorized representatives of Recognized Student Organizations will be required to complete an online training module on "Event Planning 101" prior to their reservations for meetings and events being approved with the EMS Web App. Information is available here.

    What happens to performances? How do we comply with CDC guidelines in theatres?
    We will be following event guidance from federal, state, and local health officials as well as applicable Executive Orders from Governor Hogan's office and the University. Faculty and staff have developed plans to allow for in-person events, virtual events, and/or a combination of the two so that we can quickly respond to changes in guidance or Executive Order. Current guidance includes, but is not limited to, requiring social distancing of six (6) feet spacing between individuals, in any direction.

    What will happen with Theater productions?
    Events may be permitted to continue within the confines of guidance issued by federal, state, and local health officials as well as applicable Executive Orders from Governor Hogan's office. Watch your email or contact the Department of Theatre and Dance for more information. 

    What about concerts and events?
    We were able to offer many events in a virtual or hybrid format during the fall semester and anticipate being able to do so in the spring. Some in-person events may be possible if they meet all state and USM guidelines as well as our own. Watch your email for more information about events. FSU News and Statelines provide regular listings of events. Check the Events calendar.


  • ADA/Accommodations

    How can students with underlying health conditions navigate through campus safely?
    For students, faculty and staff seeking adjustments to classes or work that are outside of the boundaries of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (ADA/504), and online portal has been set up for those requests. The portal and more information can be found at this link.

    Standard ADA/504 requests are still being processed. Find information here www.frostburg.edu/compliance or email Ben Brauer at btbrauer@frostburg.edu.

    In a social distancing classroom, how will preferential seating accommodations be met? 
    The number of students in each class will be adjusted, and classrooms will be reconfigured to provide distancing and other safeguards. This may include selected seating being removed or blocked off. Options will be available for this seeking accommodation.

    How will students with IEPs and other mental illnesses be accommodated?
    Students should use the existing process through the DSS Office. Details regarding this office and the services and supports provided can be found on the DSS website.

    DSS website

    How will medical and ADA exceptions work within all the safety and health guidance?
    Students, faculty and staff should use the existing process for requesting ADA accommodations. The process begins with the individual making a request, using the online form. If your concern is related to COVID-19, please fill out the request and your concern will be directed to the COVID-19 Health and Safety Request Team.

    Request ADA accommodations

  • Athletics

    What is the plan for athletics at this point?
    Athletics plans to play an intercollegiate schedule for all sports during spring 2021 that aligns with State of Maryland, University System of Maryland, Frostburg State University, NCAA, and Mountain East Conference guidelines. Read more about the conference plans.

    Student-athletes are strongly encouraged to practice social responsibility at the highest level and lead by example. Students have been asked to re-affirm their commitment to meeting our guidelines and the MEC has also developed a document that all MEC student athletes must acknowledge.

    I'm an athlete on one of the teams here at Frostburg. Who can I reach out to about the status of my team?
    Contact your coach directly and make use of the ARMS system.


Additional Employee FAQ Documents

Do your part

The safety of our community depends on simple day-to-day actions to reduce transmission. Our safe return to campus relies on everyone doing their part.

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Wear a Mask

You can carry the virus even if you feel healthy. Wear a mask to protect others and they'll wear a mask to protect you.

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Wash Your Hands

When possible, wash hands for at least 20 seconds. If washing isn't possible, used hand-sanitizer.

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Sanitize Surfaces

Clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces such as door knobs and light switches.

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Monitor Your Symptoms

Know the symptoms and monitor your health. If you feel sick, stay home.