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COVID-19: Rutgers School of Public Health Remote Learning & Operating Status

Updated April 3, 2020

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic - as a leading school of public health - we remain committed to training the next generation of agile public health leaders, scholars, and practitioners; conducting timely research; and meaningfully engaging with our community partners while being guided by the principles of health equity and social justice.

This webpage provides information related to the operating status at the Rutgers School of Public Health. For the latest operating information for Rutgers University, please visit the university’s official COVID-19 website. For more information on COVID-19, preventing its spread, and staying healthy, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Remote Course Delivery

Classes will continue to be offered remotely through either WebEx, Canvas, or some other online format for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester. Summer 2020 semester courses will also be delivered remotely. Classes continue to run online on the same day and time that the course was typically scheduled to run. Students should consult with their instructors regarding specific course concerns and accommodations.

Students:
  • Learning from Home Resources: The Rutgers Learning Center has a great guide for successful online learning with tips, best practices, and strategies for maximizing your learning remotely.
  • IT Support: Our Office of Computing & Technology has created a webpage with detailed guides and resources to help in setting up and using WebEx. For Canvas support, reach out to their Help Desk.
  • Statistical Concept Support: Students should first reach out to their instructors and teaching assistants with specific questions regarding homework or lecture concepts. However, both of our biostatistics tutors will continue offering their services via WebEx for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Send an email to the tutors with your questions and to schedule an appointment.

Faculty: Resources for teaching online can be found on Canvas in the Rutgers School Public Health for Online, In-Person and Hybrid Course Development shell – look under Modules – Online Emergency Preparedness. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Laura Liang, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (hemminlb@sph.rutgers.edu), or Marian Passannante, Associate Dean for Educational Program Development and Global Programs.

Pass/Fail Grade Option, For Spring 2020 Only

The Summer and Fall 2020 Course Schedules are now online! Registration opens for current students April 6 for both semesters, so students should reach out to their academic advisors to discuss plans. Students can find additional information regarding Summer and Fall Registration on the Student Connect Canvas page. If you have any questions regarding the information below, please email the Office of the Registrar.

  • When does registration open? Online Registration for Summer and Fall will open for current students on Monday, April 6, 2020. Online registration will open for new students on Monday, June 1, 2020. All students are expected to register online by the deadlines indicated on the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Registration Calendar.
  • How may I confirm possible pre-requisite requirements? The course schedule will list all courses being offered that semester. Click on the course title to view additional course details. If there is a pre-requisite requirement, it will be listed under “Registration Availability.”
  • How do I register? If you are unsure of how to register for courses, review the registration tutorial. If you receive an error message stating “Authorization Failure – Invalid User ID or PIN” please try using a different web browser.
  • What is a PIN and where do I get it? To register, students need to contact their academic advisor to receive advisement and obtain their registration PIN. Each eligible student has a registration PIN for Fall and a separate registration PIN for Summer. Please be sure to notify your academic advisor which semester(s) you plan to register for, so you receive the correct registration PIN(s). Please note that the Office of the Registrar is not authorized to provide advisement or release registration PINs.
  • How do I register for independent study? Students who need to register for an Independent Study must submit a Contract for Independent Study to the appropriate faculty member for review. Requests for Independent Study must be approved by the faculty member and the Department Chair/Concentration Director. To be registered, students must submit their approved Independent Study contracts to the Office of the Registrar; registration cannot be completed online.
  • When is the last day to add/drop courses? Please refer to the Rutgers School of Public Health’s Registration and Withdrawal/Refund Calendar
  • Can I re-add a course after dropping it online? Unfortunately, you are unable to re-add a course after dropping it online. To re-add a course, please email Office of the Registrar for help.
  • I do not plan to enroll this Fall, how do I proceed? If you do not plan to enroll at SPH during the Fall 2020 semester, regardless of the reason, you are required to fill out the appropriate paperwork. Students who will not be attending during the Fall 2020 semester, but plan to return the following semester, must submit a Leave of Absence form for review and approval. Students who are enrolled in an approved dual degree program and need to take a semester off to complete coursework at their dually enrolled institution must submit a leave of absence form and indicate they are requesting a student scholar status. Students who do not wish to continue their studies at SPH must submit a Withdrawal form prior to the end of the registration period. For more information on our leave of absence and withdrawal policies, please review the Academic Policies and Procedures located on our website.
  • I would like to register for a course being offered outside of School of Public Health. How do I register? With advisor approval, students are permitted to cross-enroll and register for course(s) being offered through another school within the Rutgers University network. To cross-enroll with another RBHS school, please submit the Request for Approval of Cross Enrollment form to your advisor for approval. To cross-enroll with another Rutgers graduate school outside of the RBHS network, please submit the Rutgers Exchange Registration Application to your advisor for approval. Once approved, please submit your cross-enrollment paperwork to the Office of the Registrar for processing. All paperwork must be completed in its entirety and must clearly indicate the relevant course information.

Summer & Fall Course Registration

The Rutgers School of Public Health recognizes that the abrupt movement from in-person to online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic may pose challenges for some students. Therefore, the School of Public Health is allowing students to opt-in for a Pass/Fail grade instead of a point grade (e.g., A, A-, etc.) for each course taken during the Spring 2020 semester only. Grades at a C or better would be recorded as a Pass and any grades lower would be recorded as a Fail. Courses for which students receive a P (Pass), instead of a point grade, would not count toward their GPA. However, courses for which students receive a F (Fail), instead of a point grade, would count toward their GPA, based on the School’s current grading and academic standing policies, and may need to be repeated. Students who want to opt-in must submit a Request for Pass/Fail Grading Option (Spring 2020 Only) form no later than the last day of the Spring semester, Monday May 11, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. EST (there are no exceptions to this deadline). 

Course instructors are expected to continue evaluating students and submitting grades as they typically would. Should a student choose to opt-in for the Pass/Fail grading option, the Registrar will adjust their final grade after point grades have been submitted by the course instructor. Course instructors will not be notified or impacted by the student’s decision to opt-in for a Pass/Fail grade. After a student submits a request for Pass/Fail grading, their academic advisor will be notified.

Before deciding to select the Pass/Fail grading option, students should carefully consider the impact that not having point grades incorporated into their GPA would have for this semester (e.g., for those applying to other schools, those currently on academic probation or remediation plan, those seeking external scholarships or fellowships, etc.).  Therefore, students in this situation are encouraged make a virtual appointment to speak to Michael Vega, Director of Student Support Services, before making a final decision about the Pass/Fail grading option.  Students may also seek advice and counsel from academic advisors.

MPH Practicum & Capstone

In response to the COVID-19 restrictions, the Office of Practice is prioritizing finding remote opportunities for students but continues to encourage students to find their own opportunities. If you have any questions about whether a project is applicable to the PRAC 0715: Applied Practice Experience (APE), please contact the Office of Practice .

Please direct any questions about PRAC 0175 Applied Practice Experience and PRAC 0716 Practicum Capstone questions to the Office of Practice .The Rutgers School of Public Health will be hosting three Virtual Practice Days in Spring 2020 so that MPH students who complete their practicum requirements are able to present their practicum projects via WebEx. Each student will present during their assigned 5-6 min. timeslot.

Before deciding to select the Pass/Fail grading option, students should carefully consider the impact that not having point grades incorporated into their GPA would have for this semester (e.g., for those applying to other schools, those currently on academic probation or remediation plan, those seeking external scholarships or fellowships, etc.).  Therefore, students in this situation are encouraged make a virtual appointment to speak to Michael Vega, Director of Student Support Services, before making a final decision about the Pass/Fail grading option.  Students may also seek advice and counsel from academic advisors.

Wednesday, 5/6 Thursday, 5/7 Friday, 5/8
10:00am to 11:00am HSAP/SBHS MCH Fellows EPID/BIST
11:15am to 12:15pm HSAP/SBHS URHA/URPH EPID
1:00pm to 2:00pm HSAP/SBHS GLPH/URPH/PHNT EPID
2:15pm to 3:15pm EHS/ENOH/EOH GLPH EPID
3:30pm to 4:30pm EHS/ENOH/EOH GLPH EPID

Participation: All faculty, staff, and students, as well as family and community members, are welcome and encouraged to participate throughout the three Virtual Practice Days. A WebEx link will be shared a week before the presentations.

Deadlines for Practicum Poster and Paper: Faculty and students should be following the deadlines in the student’s approved Capstone Learning Agreement and these are the deadlines for submitting the final poster and paper.

  • April 19:  Latest deadline to submit FINAL poster and paper to faculty advisor for review: April 19 by 11:59 p.m. This version should be the student’s final draft, NOT a first draft. Students MUST work with their faculty advisors to determine the draft timeline leading up to this final deadline. A faculty advisor may require an earlier deadline for the student’s final draft and previous drafts depending on their schedules.
  • May 4:  Deadline for FINAL approved poster and paper to be uploaded to Canvas: May 4 by 5:00 p.m.. This version must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor
  • May 11: Final grades due to Practicum Office for Fieldwork, Practicum, and Capstone students

Support Services

For students, the Student Wellness Program is available for students to provide free confidential counseling services and they are holding counseling sessions over the phone with licensed clinicians. You can call 973-972-5429 to reach the Newark office during business hours and 732-235-5930 to reach the Piscataway office during business hours.

Our Office of Student Support Services, while not in a formal confidential setting, can also be a resource for you during this time. Michael Vega, Director of Student Support Services is available via email for students out of Piscataway and Claire Brown, Assistant Director of Student Support Services is available via email for students based out of Newark, however, both are resources to all students regardless of which location they take classes from.

For Faculty and Staff, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to help you develop a plan to engage in better self-care and make some deposits into your health account. Counselors are available to assist you in managing various concerns that may be affecting your personal or professional life. Contact the EAP at (732) 235-5930, to speak with a counselor or to arrange an appointment.

Student Career Services

Student Career Services continue to be provided. Students can still receive support related to resume review, interview preparation, job search, and one-on-one career advising. Please direct any career-related inquires or concerns to Claire Brown, Assistant Director of Student Support Services or visit the Student Career Services Canvas page.

Spring 2020 Interprofessional Experience Events

MPH students (enrolled Fall 2018 and after) are required to complete an Interprofessional Education activity prior to graduation (0 credits). We are pleased to announce two virtual IPE events for MPH students in Spring 2020. We plan to repeat these IPE events each Fall and Spring semesters so you will have time and other opportunities to complete this requirement.

Title: Making Difficult Decisions with Patients and Families: An Interprofessional Education Event
When: Students may participate in one of two events–

  • Addressing the concerns of patients and families living with life-limiting illnesses; and
  • Exploring the ethical dilemmas that are created when patients are making choices involving high cost treatments.

How do I receive full credit? To receive full credit for completing the IPE event, MPH students will need to complete the pre-reading, participate in the entire event, and complete the post-assessment. You will need to complete ONE (1) IPE event before graduation.

May I participate if it isn’t a graduation requirement for my degree? YES! We will ask that you complete the pre-reading, participate in the entire event, and complete an evaluation

You can register for the Virtual IPE events here. Please feel free to email Marybec Griffin, Assistant Professor, with questions.

Graduation and End-Of-Year Activities

All Rutgers University and Rutgers School of Public Health graduation activities are suspended. This includes our end-of-year Student Award Ceremony and Delta Omega Induction, the Rutgers School of Public Health Convocation Ceremony, and Rutgers University Commencement.

To honor our graduates, the Rutgers School of Public Health will be sending each graduate a special commemoration package, which will include a Convocation program listing the graduate’s name. We will also recognize our awardees and graduates in a special “graduation edition” of the Rutgers School of Public Health’s monthly newsletter, the Scarletter. October 2019, January 2020, and May 2020 graduates will also be invited to participate in the School’s May 2021 Convocation Ceremony.

Regalia Refunds for RBHS: Barnes and Noble and the regalia vendor, Oak Hall, have both agreed to issue refunds for regalia that was ordered for direct shipment to homes or for store pick-up. For regalia orders that chose the ship to home option, contact Oak Hall. For regalia orders that chose the ship to store option, since the Governor of New Jersey has ordered all non-essential retail operations to close, all ship to store orders will now be canceled and refunds will be automatically processed.

Purchasing Regalia: If you would still like to purchase regalia even though Commencement and Convocation are suspended, please visit this webpage.

Research

The Rutgers School of Public Health Office of Research (OOR) continues to support faculty and student research. For the latest information available from U.S. federal funding agencies in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, visit the OOR’s COVID-19 webpage. If you have any questions or concerns about your research, please contact Katie Zapert, Director of Research.

Admissions and Recruitment

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment is offering virtual opportunities for prospective and accepted students to connect with faculty and staff. The Office of Admissions and Recruitment is offering online information sessions and Q&A’s as well. With ETS testing centers remaining closed for the time being, a GRE waiver process has been established for applicants applying into our MPH and Certificate programs for Fall 2020. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Kamal Kornegay, Director of Admissions and Recruitment.

IT Support

Our Technical Support Team is ready to assist our School of Public Health community with all remote needs. IT support and instructions on how to setup basic remote technical functionality, including quick links to the Portal, Canvas, Box, WebEx can be found by visiting Office of Computing and Technology Support webpage.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the Technical Support Team at 732-235-3231 or email.

Facilities

Rutgers University operating status can be found by visiting the university’s official COVID-19 website.

As of April 2, 2020, both of our locations continue to remain open and will only be accessible using your Rutgers University ID card – meaning automated schedules for building and room openings are disabled. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Sam Barreto Rios, Manager of Facilities and Administration.

Self-Care

If you are looking for other ways to de-stress during this time, here are some resources:

COVID-19 Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub

Have general questions about COVID-19?
The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the public on COVID-19:
Call: 2-1-1 • Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
Text: NJCOVID to 898-211