Return to Campus Information
The safety of students, faculty, staff, and the community-at-large is Otterbein’s top priority. With that in mind, a Return to Campus Team was established in mid-May. The team was charged with developing a phased plan for students, faculty, and staff to return to campus in alignment with directives and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), State of Ohio Department of Health’s Responsible Restart Ohio: Higher Education Minimum Operating Standards and Recommended Best Practices, and Franklin County Public Health and OhioHealth.
Guidelines have been developed that are specific to instructional, residential, and social spaces. We are relying on our Cardinal Community to care for each other so our campus community stays healthy and strong. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for faculty, staff, students, and visitors to follow health and safety best practices and protocols as recommended by CDC and Franklin County Public Health to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the COVID Support Hotline at 614-823-1586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President & Chief of Staff
How can I find the information I’m looking for on this page?
The Return to Campus page offers the latest information, news and videos about Otterbein’s work and commitment to a safe and smart return to campus. There’s a lot of helpful information on this page and we hope you’ll visit this site often. Check out some of the topics we know are especially important to many of our students.
- I’m not sure how this “phased return to campus” works. How can I learn more?
- What are the Cardinal Community Responsibilities and what do they mean I need to do?
- What is involved in me doing my daily self assessment?
- I have specific questions related to Otterbein and COVID-19. Where can I ask those questions or ask for more help?
- I have a lot of questions about how safety measures are changing everything from academics to my living situation, along with all the other things I want to do when I’m back on campus. Where can I get these questions answered?
- What should I do if I don’t feel well and have symptoms? Can I get tested for COVID-19 on campus?
- If I’m a commuter student, where can I safely hang out in between classes?
- I saw one of President Comerford’s update videos on Twitter. Where can I find all of his video messages?
Cardinal Community Responsibilities
By honoring these Cardinal Community Responsibilities, we can help take care of ourselves, our classmates and colleagues, and our greater Otterbein Community. Otterbein is asking students and colleagues alike to make a commitment to these important responsibilities so we can stay healthy, stay strong and stay together.
Phased Return to Campus
Check out an important message from Franklin County Public Health Commissioner Joe Mazzola shared as part of Otterbein’s Welcome Back activities.
Phased Opening Information about Courses
Based on current COVID-19 trends, Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has recommended Otterbein adopt a phased approach as the safest way for our residential students to return to campus. During the phase-in, only a limited number of classes will meet in person. These include selected experiential courses with significant lab or field experiences which cannot be easily replicated online. Other courses will begin the semester online.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Phased Return to Campus
Why are you adopting a phased return approach?
The health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are at the heart of our fall semester return to campus plans, which is why we’ve worked closely with public health officials every step of the way. Based on current COVID-19 trends, Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has recommended Otterbein adopt a phased approach as the safest way for our residential students to return to campus.
How will classes be handled during the phased return?
All classes still begin the week of Monday, Aug. 24. During the phase-in, some classes — including select first-year courses and courses with significant lab or experiential components that cannot easily be replicated online — will meet in person or in a blended format; all other courses will begin the semester online. Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, all courses will return to their original intended mode; a number of courses that are starting online will return to in-person or blended formats.
I am not sure how the Phases impact my class schedule.
For living on campus, students need to see what “phase” they are in. Phase I students are moving in now: RAs, OLs, other student leaders, etc. Phase II students are the first-year students, plus upper-class students who live greater than 30 miles away AND who have in-person/blended courses. Phases III and IV are all of the other residential students; they’ll move back in two groups.
But for attending classes, the list of class modality (Weeks 1-3, and then Week 4 and beyond) is where to look. If it says “in person” — you should plan to attend your class on campus. If it says “blended,” the faculty member needs to tell students what that means for their specific class: when to attend on campus and when online. And if it says online, then you are online. BUT for some online classes, that will change in Week 4, when courses will move to in-person or blended if that’s how the faculty member wanted to teach them.
Where do I find the list of course modality?
What are the phases and to whom do they apply?
Phase I consists of early arrival students, including Resident Assistants, Orientation Leaders and Peer Mentors, among others, who have already been given their move-in date and information. These student leaders provide significant support to other Otterbein students and will move in by Aug. 15.
Phase II prioritizes new first-year students and students taking the above-mentioned experiential courses who live too far from campus to commute. Phase II will allow students to move to campus between Aug. 17 and Aug. 23.
Phases III and IV will bring back the balance of residential students Sept. 4-6 and 11-13. All students in Phases III and IV will have their room charges pro-rated based on their move-in date and may select a reduced meal plan at a reduced cost. Beginning Monday, Sept. 14, all courses will return to their original intended mode; a number of courses that are starting online will return to in-person or blended formats.
What does this mean for me?
I am an early arrival residential student (student leaders) – You are in Phase I and must be moved in by Aug. 15.
I am a first-year residential student: You are in Phase II and will move to campus Aug. 17-23. You will have at least one in-person class starting the week of Aug. 24.
I am a residential student enrolled in an experiential course and live too far to commute – If you have a course with a hands-on component that cannot easily be replicated online, you will be attending your in person and blended classes in-person starting the week of Aug. 24; you may also have one or more classes meeting online. If you live too far from campus to commute, you will be able to move in during Phase II, from Aug. 17-23.
I am a residential student enrolled in an experiential course and live within commuting distance: If you have a course with a hands-on component that cannot easily be replicated online, you will be attending your classes in-person starting the week of Aug. 24. If you live within commuting distance of campus (approximately 30 miles from campus), you will be asked to postpone your move-in date and commute until your move-in phase. You will move in during Phases III and IV, Sept. 4-6 and 11-13. All students in Phases III and IV will have their room charges pro-rated based on their move-in date and may select a reduced meal plan at a reduced cost.
I am a residential student returning from out of state and have already booked my tickets: If you are returning to campus from out of state and have already booked your tickets, you can request to return during Phase II. Please contact Residence Life at email@example.com.
I am a residential student returning from out of state and have not booked tickets: If all of your classes are scheduled to begin online, you will be asked to postpone your move-in date. You will move in during Phases III and IV, Sept. 4-6 and 11-13. All students in Phases III and IV will have their room charges pro-rated based on their move-in date and may select a reduced meal plan at a reduced cost.
I am a residential student whose permanent address is near campus with no experiential courses: If all of your classes are scheduled to begin online, you will be asked to postpone your move-in date. You will move in during Phases III and IV, Sept. 4-6 and 11-13. All students in Phases III and IV will have their room charges pro-rated based on their move-in date and may select a reduced meal plan at a reduced cost.
I am a commuter student and am enrolled in an experiential course: If you have a course with a hands-on component that is essential to your class and cannot easily be replicated online, you will be attending your experiential classes in person starting the week of Aug. 24.
I am a commuter student and all my classes are online: You will not travel to campus during the phase in period. You may choose to come to campus for certain non-academic activities after Sept. 14.
When will I find out what move-in phase I am in?
Residential students will receive an email from Residence Life with information that information. All residential students will be informed by early the week of August 10. Commuters will want to check the class modality list to determine if any of their courses have a required in person component during the first three weeks of school. Remember, the class modality (in person, blended or online) may change after September 14, so be sure to verify that when you check the list.
I need to change the phase to which I’ve been assigned. What do I do?
How does the phased approach affect graduate students?
Graduate students enrolled in MBA, MSAH, MATH and/or NURS classes will begin classes as scheduled the week of Aug. 24. Graduate students in EDUC classes will be notified by the Department of Education as to the planned first class. Graduate students should contact Terry Magas at 614.823.3274 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
What should I do if I'd rather take my courses online?
Students who would prefer to complete all of their Fall 2020 coursework in an online format, must complete the Remote Learning Preference from. The team from Student Success will reach out to students who have completed the form to assist with any adjustments that need to be made to their fall schedule. Questions about fully remote learning can be submitted to email@example.com.
Enrollment, Financial Aid and Billing
Will my bill be adjusted if I have to move in later?
Housing rates will be prorated based on the date students move-in. Since students chose their dining plan based on the number of meals they wish to purchase for the semester, students will have the option to select a plan with fewer meals than what they originally intended, or to keep the same number of meals they had planned. We are adding a new smaller plan with 100 meals and $260 Cardinal dollars for students in Phases III and IV.
Can I choose to move in later in order to receive a reduced housing charge?
No. Students need to decide if they wish to live on campus or commute from home prior to their scheduled move-in date.
How will my payment plan be affected if my room charges are prorated due to later move in date?
When the charges are updated on your billing statement the monthly amount due will be adjusted to reflect the reduction. If you are paid in full, a refund will be issued.
What is the deadline to let Residence Life know if I decide to commute instead of live on campus?
Please let Residence Life know by Friday, August 14.
Will my financial aid be adjusted?
Financial aid will only be adjusted due to changing your housing status (ie. On Campus to Commuter) or if your enrollment level changes. Housing grants and financial aid will not be adjusted due to a later move in date.
Will the bill due date change?
No, the bills were due on August 1st. If you need to know your payment options, reach out to the Business Office.
Will the refund schedule change?
If I choose to take a gap semester for fall term based on COVID 19 will my admission and scholarships be available for spring term?
What is the process to inform Otterbein if I plan on delaying my admission to spring term 2021?
Please reach out to the Office of Admission at 614-823-1500 to talk with an Admission Counselor regarding you fall plans and to make arrangements to defer your admission to spring term 2021.
Additional Student FAQs
Whether you live on campus or commute, we encourage you to visit our Frequently Asked Questions for Students page often as content is updated regularly with more information about academics, health and wellness, student life, and other helpful updates.
Student FAQ Topics:
Self Screening Assessments
Otterbein University is concerned for your safety and the safety of our campus community. We are continuing to monitor the presence of and changes in COVID-19 and we remain in contact with public health officials. Our campus community safety is a shared responsibility. In the interest of ensuring a safe and healthy campus environment, Otterbein requires all students on campus or coming to campus to perform the following Self-Screening Assessment each day. Check out this helpful information for conducting a self-assessment and what to do if you’re concerned about symptoms you may be experiencing.
Video Updates from President Comerford
COVID-19 Support Hotline and Email
A new COVID Support Line and Email is available for the Otterbein community to ask questions and report information related to COVID-19. You can contact the COVID Support Line at 614-823-1586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if:
- You have COVID symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID, or you have tested positive for COVID;
- You are concerned about incidents in which members of the Otterbein community are not following safety guidelines; or
- You have other COVID related concerns or general questions.
Otterbein University’s Return to Campus Plans have been developed in consultation with Franklin County Public Health and OhioHealth (Otterbein’s campus healthcare provider) and adhere to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Health.