Coronavirus Advisory – Shorter University

May 28 Update

Protocols for Campus Prospective Students Visits

  1. It is recommended that everyone who comes on campus wear an appropriate face covering (e.g. mask, bandana)
  2. Prospective students may bring immediate family (not to exceed 6 people)
  3. Campus tours will be conducted with one prospective student (and family) and a campus representative.
  4. If you or a member of your family has been sick or displays symptoms of sickness, please do not come to campus. 
    • Contact the appropriate University department to reschedule.
    • 800-868-6980 Main Number
    • 706-233-7319 Admissions
    • admissions@shorter.edu
  5. It is recommended to follow social distancing while on campus. 
  6. Please refer to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website for additional information and guidance
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance-list.html?Sort=Date%3A%3Adesc

May 22 Update

HEERF Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) that was set up to provide over $14 billion in emergency funding to higher education. More than $6 billion of this funding must go directly to students as emergency financial aid grants for expenses they have incurred relating to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19.

Certification and Agreement Acknowledgement:

Shorter University acknowledges that a signed Certification and Agreement was submitted to the Department of Education on April 9, 2020. This agreement indicated our commitment and assurance that Shorter University would use no less than 50% of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

Funds Received per the HEERF Grant:

Shorter University applied for and received a total of $604,040 for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for students grants. The funds were received on April 22, 2020.

Distributed Grants:

As of May 22, 2020 $597,300 of the HEERF student grants have been distributed to students.

Grants Awarded:

816 students were eligible to receive an Emergency Financial Aid Grant received a grant.

Distribution Methodology:

To Determine the distribution method for the HEERF Grants, priority was given to students that lived on campus, purchased a meal plan and were Pell eligible.  Additionally, all traditional Title IV eligible students received a grant to assist with the cost of transitioning from on-ground classes to online.

Student ClassificationGrant Amount  
Pell Eligible$300.00
Lived on Campus$225.00
Meal Plan$225.00
Technology$275.00

Student Information and Guidance:

The following email was sent to all qualifying students on May 12, 2020 to inform students about the upcoming disbursement:

Dear Students,

Shorter University is making Emergency grant funds available to all traditional Title IV eligible students. We have been diligently working to create the best possible relief package for you.   We are pleased to announce that you will be receiving an emergency grant from the CARES Act Stimulus Package.

The emergency grants are designed to assist students with the disruption of services due to the closing of campus as a result of Covid-19.   Shorter University used the matrix below to determine each traditional Title IV eligible student’s grant.   

Example 1:   If you are Pell eligible, lived on campus and purchased a meal plan.  You are receiving a grant for $750.00 plus an additional grant of $275.00 for expenses related to transitioning online for a total grant of $1,025.00.

Example 2:   If you lived on campus and purchased a meal plan.  You are receiving a grant of $450.00 plus an additional grant of $275.00 for expenses related to transitioning online for a total of $725.00.

Student ClassificationGrant
Pell Eligible$300.00
Lived on Campus$225.00
Meal Plan$225.00
Technology$275.00

If you have a balance on your student account this emergency grant will not change the balance that you owe.  You can log into Scholar to make a payment or call the Business Office at 706-233-7222.  You will receive your distribution via eRefund or check depending on which you are set up for.

We pray that you are staying safe and well during this time.

Cassie Potts

Manager of Student Accounts

The following Letter was mailed to all qualifying students on May 19, 2020. Included with this letter was the individual student’s disbursement check:

Dear Students,

Shorter University is making Emergency grant funds available to all traditional Title IV eligible students. We have been diligently working to create the best possible relief package for you.   We are pleased to announce that you will be receiving an emergency grant from the CARES Act Stimulus Package.

The emergency grants are designed to assist students with the disruption of services due to the closing of campus as a result of Covid-19.   Shorter University used the matrix below to determine each traditional Title IV eligible student’s grant.   

Example 1:   If you are Pell eligible, lived on campus and purchased a meal plan.  You are receiving a grant for $750.00 plus an additional grant of $275.00 for expenses related to transitioning online for a total grant of $1,025.00.

Example 2:   If you lived on campus and purchased a meal plan.  You are receiving a grant of $450.00 plus an additional grant of $275.00 for expenses related to transitioning online for a total of $725.00.

Student ClassificationGrant
Pell Eligible$300.00
Lived on Campus$225.00
Meal Plan$225.00
Technology$275.00

If you have a balance on your student account this emergency grant will not change the balance that you owe.  You can log into Scholar to make a payment or call the Business Office at 706-233-7222.  You will receive your distribution via eRefund or check depending on which you are set up for.

We pray that you are staying safe and well during this time.

Cassie Potts

Manager of Student Accounts

April 30 Campus Update

As the Spring Semester draws to a close, we want to encourage you as you continue to move forward in faith.  We are proud of your work to finish the semester well; please know you remain in our prayers.  Rest assured in the promise of Hebrews 13:8 that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever and that He gives us peace and joy in all circumstances. 

Below are a few updates for you.

Commencement

The University is planning a rescheduled Commencement ceremony for Friday, August 7, at 10 a.m. in the Winthrop King-Centre.  While these plans could change depending on the recommendations of state and health officials regarding public gatherings, we wanted to give you as much notice as possible.  Additional information will be sent out at a later date.

Diplomas will still be conferred on May 8, 2020, and will be mailed to all those who meet the requirements to graduate. 

Residence Hall Checkouts

Residence Hall checkouts will be conducted May 5-8 according to the following guidelines and schedule:

  • Checkouts will be done by alphabetical order of students’ last name according to the schedule below:
Day Last Name Begins With
Tuesday May 5 A – H
Wednesday May 6 I  –  P
Thursday May 7 Q – Z
Friday May 8 If unable to come on assigned day
  • Checkouts will begin at 9:00 a.m. and must be completed by 4:00 p.m.
  • Students may bring no more than 2 additional people with them
  • Everyone who comes on campus must wear an appropriate face covering (e.g. mask, bandana)
  • Upon arrival on campus, please report directly to your dorm
  • Please make sure that you have turned in your room key before leaving campus. After moving out of your room, proceed to the gravel parking lot at the baseball field to turn in your key. Key turn in will be done on a drive-thru system so please remain in your car.
  • If you need to return books to the Bookstore, you may do so prior to reporting to turn in your key.
  • All of your accumulated mail/packages will be placed in your room prior to your checkout day.
  • If a student cannot report on the assigned day, they will come on Friday, May 8.
  • If you or a member of your family have been sick or are displaying symptoms of sickness, please do not come to campus. Contact the Director of Residence Life to reschedule.
  • If you need to make other arrangements for checkout, please contact Director of Residence Life Anthony Chatmon (email: achatmon@shorter.edu or phone: 706-233-7315).

If you have not yet signed-up for Fall 2020 housing please do so by Sunday, May 3. The online housing portal will close on that day. Any housing requests after that date will need to be processed through the Director of Residence Life.

March 31, 2020 Update

Good afternoon, Hawks!

We are praying that each of you is staying healthy and that remote learning is going well for you.  Know that we miss having you on the Hill and look forward to the day when everyone can return to campus.

We have a number of significant updates to share with you.

Remainder of the Semester:

We will finish the remainder of the semester through remote learning.  Faculty members will continue to work with students to successfully complete course requirements, including final exams.

Commencement:

Spring Commencement will not be held as scheduled.  Diplomas will still be conferred on May 8, 2020, and will be mailed to all those who meet the requirements to graduate.  We realize that this is especially disappointing to our graduates and their families.  We are exploring options for recognizing the Class of 2020 in a future ceremony.

Retrieving Belongings from Residence Halls:

Residence Life will work with residential students to schedule a time for students to return to campus in order to allow us to ensure appropriate social distancing.  Please note: both the City of Rome and Floyd County have issued ordinances calling for area residents to shelter in place through at least April 7.  Students who live on campus will receive an email from Residence Life providing further instructions once the process can begin.

Register for Summer and Fall:

Preregistration for Summer and Fall classes continues.  Students should consult their advisors before adding classes; they are checking email.  To add classes,

  • Log into Scholar
  • Go to the Students Tab, Add/Drop Courses section
  • Click Add/Drop Courses
  • Select correct term from the dropdown menu (Summer 2020 or Fall 2020)
  • Search for courses
  • Click on the Add box to the left of the course you want to add
  • Click the Add Courses button at the bottom of the screen

If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@shorter.edu.

Refunds or Credits for Room and Board:

Some form of credit or refund will be awarded for room and board for the time we are not on campus.  The University must evaluate each student’s account individually to determine how the regulations governing the type of financial aid the student receives may impact the credit or refund amount.  Guidance from federal and state agencies and the actual amount of time the campus is closed will impact the calculation of credits and refunds.  We appreciate your patience as we study this complex issue.

Shorter is Here for You

Though the circumstances of the semester have changed, Shorter remains committed to our students. 

The Office of Financial Aid continues to offer a full range of services via email and phone.  Although working remotely, the staff has access to everything needed to answer questions.  Students who have not already received their financial aid offers for the 2020-21 school year should check their financial aid Scholar account.  We may need some additional information before we can finalize the offer.  Students who are planning on taking classes this summer should complete the 2020-21 FAFSA as soon as possible.  The Financial Aid team will send correspondence about financial aid or any missing documents to students via their HawkMail account.

Student Support Services is here to help students when need. Career development, counseling and disability services are available by phone or video conference, and the department is sharing updates to keep you encouraged through www.instagram.com/shorterstudentsupport and their page on Scholar.  For assistance, email cwheelus@shorter.edu or set an appointment at www.shorter.edu/student-support-services.

Campus Ministries is filming weekly Virtual Chapel segments.  They will be shared on the University’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.  Take time to watch them and be encouraged that the Lord is our sustainer.

Follow the Shorter University Facebook and Instagram pages and our @Shorteruniv Twitter account for #SUForward updates celebrating the promising future God has for the University and for each of us as individuals.  If you would like to be featured in an upcoming #SUForward post, email dtolbert@shorter.edu.

If you have a prayer need and would like for us to pray for you, email us at prayer@shorter.edu.

March 23, 2020 Update

Please see the following video announcement from Shorter University President Dr. Don Dowless. Remote learning began today for all classes and will continue through April 10. We will continue to keep you updated.

March 19, 2020 Update

Our #SUForward emphasis has focused on embracing the future that God has planned for Shorter University with optimism and faith. That emphasis has never been more important.

We are navigating new waters for our communities, our nation, our world, and for this University. As a Christ-centered community, we want to encourage one another with the knowledge that we serve a God who is powerful, loving, and in control. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, to be our refuge and strength, and to give us peace and comfort even in difficult circumstances.

All of us are learning to live our lives and do our work in different ways, but the heart of Shorter is the same. We remain committed to our mission of Transforming Lives through Christ. We encourage us all to draw together as a community.

Stay in the Know.

Continue to check your email for important campus updates. In addition, you will see our conversation ramp up on our social media so that we can shine the light of Christ more brightly. Beginning today, we will bring back our posts of daily Bible verses. We will be sharing stories highlighting our students and campus community.

Stay connected with us by following Shorter University on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and the @ShorterUniv Twitter account.

Continue to Pray.

Pray for our nation and world, especially those who are affected by the coronavirus. Pray for our leaders, our communities, and our churches. Pray for the Shorter community, including students, faculty, staff, and administration.

Allow Us to Pray for You.

We would also love to pray for you. If you have a prayer need, email us at prayer@shorter.edu.

We are moving #ForwardInFaith!

Please see the following Frequently Asked Questions to keep you updated on important information.

What is Shorter’s current timetable related to on-ground classes?

The University is taking the week of March 13 to March 20 to transition to remote delivery of instruction.  Classes will resume in their new remote format on Monday, March 23.  Please check your Hawkmail often for updates about specifics on remote delivery.  Online classes are continuing as scheduled.

Will we return to class on campus this semester?

At this time, Shorter plans to continue remote learning through Friday, April 10.  We are continuing to monitor the developing situation and will make an announcement closer to that time about plans for the remainder of the semester. 

How will my traditional courses change?

All traditional courses will transition from on-campus instruction to remote delivery beginning on March 23. We encourage all students to check their Hawkmail regularly as this is the primary method of communication.

When will my classes meet?

All faculty must transition their courses to a remote-delivery format.  This can include moving a course online, teaching live sessions through Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc.  A combination of postings through Canvas, videos, etc. will be utilized. 

Some professors may desire to have a live presentation of lectures via Microsoft Teams, etc., which will be offered at its regularly scheduled time as not to conflict with other classes being delivered in the same format.

What if my work schedule conflicts with my course schedule?

It is important to note that even though traditional students are completing their courses remotely, they are still considered a full-time student at Shorter. It is imperative that their course schedule remain a priority, and all extracurriculars (including work) be scheduled around a student’s course schedule.

What do I do if I need tutoring support while I am remote learning?

Since the on-campus tutoring center is now closed, professors will be the primary source of tutoring during this remote-delivery period. Students should contact their professor with specific questions or concerns.

When will I be able to register for summer and fall courses?

Pre-registration for summer and fall in Scholar opened early. Students were sent an e-mail to their Hawkmail on March 13 with specific dates and instructions. Additional information about adding courses when a pre-requisite is not met and requesting online classes for fall was also sent to students via Hawkmail. Students should contact their advisor with any registration questions.

If a student is unsure who their advisor is, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@shorter.edu.

Who do I need to contact if I have any academic concerns?

All students are encouraged to reach out to their advisor regarding their academic concerns. Students may also contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@shorter.edu.

When will the semester end?

The semester will continue to follow the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar. The Academic Calendar can be located on the Shorter website under the Registrar.

Will we hold Commencement as scheduled?

We plan to follow the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar. Should the situation change, students will be informed in a timely fashion.

March 12 Afternoon Update:

In order to protect the health and safety of our campus community in light of the coronavirus, Shorter University will transition from on-campus instruction to remote delivery from March 23 through April 10.

  • The University will take March 13 through 20 as a time to complete this transition.
  • Students should check Hawkmail often for updates for specifics on remote delivery.
  • Online classes will continue uninterrupted.

All students residing in Shorter residence halls should vacate their rooms between now and Sunday, March 15, at 5 p.m. We understand that there are a limited number of students who may face unforeseen hardships based on extenuating circumstances and will need to remain on campus. Those students should contact Anthony Chatmon in Residence Life at achatmon@shorter.edu.

We encourage students to take all items of value and all materials (textbooks, notes, devices, etc.) that are needed to continue their studies remotely.

Shorter’s campus will continue to operate during this period, and staff should continue to report. The work of educating our students and caring for those who remain on campus will continue without interruption.

All university events, including sporting events and practices, are immediately canceled through April 10, ensuring appropriate “social distancing” and helping prevent the potential spread of the virus.

During this time, please continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations concerning the coronavirus and check the University’s website for updates. Also, please continue to remember in prayer people whose lives have been affected by this serious virus.

March 12, 2020 Coronavirus Update:

To date, Shorter University has no confirmed cases of Coronavirus. The University continues to follow the guidelines issued by the CDC and the Georgia Department of Health. We are monitoring the situation and will issue updates as needed.

What do I do if I have flu-like symptoms or was in close contact with someone I believe has Coronavirus?

  • Students:Contact Student Health Services or Campus Safety (706-233-7911 – 24 hours a day). Students may also contact their primary care doctor. If diagnosed with COVID-19, inform Nurse Al at 706-233-7278 or by email at astartup@shorter.edu
  • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care doctor via telephone. If diagnosed, employees should contact their supervisor (by phone or email) and Human Resources (blong@shorter.edu) and not return to work or campus until cleared to do so.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with Coronavirus, take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, call and speak with a medical professional before arriving at the health-care facility.

For further guidance, see the CDC’s Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.

Is there anything else I need to do if I am a student who self-isolates? Contact your professors via email or telephone to discuss appropriate adjustments to course assignments.

Is Shorter canceling classes or events?

At this time, classes and other activities at Shorter will continue as scheduled. The University continues to monitor and evaluate with local health professionals what the threshold is for canceling classes and campus events.

March 9, 2020 Update:

Prior to Spring Break, the University established a task force to plan for and implement increased measures to protect the health of our campus community in light of the Coronavirus. We have compiled the following frequently asked questions to aid students, faculty and staff.

What do I do if I have flu-like symptoms or was in close contact with someone I believe has Coronavirus?

  • Students:Contact Student Health Services or Campus Safety (706-233-7911 – 24 hours a day). Students may also contact their primary care doctor. If diagnosed with COVID-19, inform Nurse Al at 706-233-7278 or by email at astartup@shorter.edu
  • Faculty and Staff: Contact your primary care doctor via telephone. If diagnosed, employees should contact their supervisor (by phone or email) and Human Resources (blong@shorter.edu) and not return to work or campus until cleared to do so.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone with Coronavirus, take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, call and speak with a medical professional before arriving at the health-care facility.

For further guidance, see the CDC’s Interim US Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.

Additionally, the University is adding hand-sanitizer stations in residence halls and near the cafeteria. Our housekeeping staff has also increased the frequency of housekeeping activities.

Is there anything else I need to do if I am a student who self-isolates? Contact your professors via email or telephone to discuss appropriate adjustments to course assignments.

Is Shorter canceling classes or events?

At this time, classes and other activities at Shorter will continue as scheduled. The University continues to monitor and evaluate with local health professionals what the threshold is for canceling classes and campus events.

Please continue to pray for those affected by the virus and those who have lost loved ones.

March 6, 2020 Update:

Shorter University continues to monitor the situation concerning the coronavirus. We are working closely with health officials and are monitoring information that is being released from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Continuing to keep watch over the health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff remains our highest priority.

Shorter is not allowing international travel, and those who have travelled internationally to countries designated Level 3 by the CDC must undergo self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days before returning to campus. University Campus Safety must be notified of these instances.

We encourage the entire Shorter community to closely adhere to the preventative measures recommended by the medical community:

  • Washing hands frequently
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home if you are sick and running a fever
  • Coughing or sneezing into your elbow or using a tissue to cover the cough or sneeze and then throwing the tissue in the trash.

We will continue to send updates through email and social media should any significant information become available.

For up-to-date information on the coronavirus, please visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website: https://dph.georgia.gov/ or the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov.

Please continue to pray for all those battling the coronavirus, for those who may become infected, and for the protection of our community. Thank you for helping us keep the Shorter community safe.