Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Message from the President

Park University is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off-campus, is our top priority.  The situation is fluid and it is important for faculty, staff and students to take precautions to prepare for the possibility that the University could be impacted by the virus.

Therefore, we are requesting that faculty, staff and students visit this site often and read all University communications concerning COVID-19 to remain informed and prepared.

Let’s all take care of ourselves … and each other.

-Greg R. Gunderson, Ph.D.
President, Park University

Student Self Reporting Form

If you are a student who wants to report that you have been directly exposed to COVID-19 or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please report here.

Areas of the University

Fall 2 Update 

Recognizing that Thanksgiving travel could increase the risk of COVID-19 spread on campus and out of an abundance of caution, we will move to fully remote learning during the final two weeks of the Fall 16 week semester/Fall II 8 term (week of November 30 and week of December 7). What this means is that if you are enrolled in a course that meets on campus, your scheduled class meetings will take place via Zoom instead, and your final exam, if applicable, will take place via Canvas. You will not be required to come to campus to complete courses or final exams.

Campus facilities will remain open and available to students as long as the campus itself is in open status.

  • Residence Halls will not close, but students will be allowed to check out before Thanksgiving, if they wish.  An email from Residence Life staff will be sent soon to residential students to provide important information regarding the residence halls.
  • Pirate Café in Thompson will remain open per normal hours
  • Athletic facilities and Pirate Fitness are open, but please communicate with coaches about the expectations for each team.
  • The Norrington Library and the Academic Success Center remain available for use.  Virtual resources are available, as well.
  • Student Success Center and Financial Aid will maintain normal hours so you can get everything settled for Spring semester.

We understand that some students may still need access to specific labs (Science Hall, nursing, multimedia journalism) and studios (fine art, graphic design, interior design). Providing that campus remains in an open status, we will try to accommodate these needs by opening those facilities for limited usage. Please let your professors know if you plan to access campus facilities, so that we can plan accordingly.

If you haven’t already registered for your Spring classes, we are here to help. Please contact:

Parkville Daytime Student Success

(P) 816-746-2526, parkvillesuccess@park.edu

Online Student Success

(P) 877-505-1059, advising@park.edu

Graduate Student Success

(P) 816-559-5625, gradschoolsuccess@park.edu

Gilbert Student Success

(P) 480-214-2100, gilbert@park.edu

Do you have general questions about the plan for Spring 2021? Please email Academic Affairs at academic_affairs@park.edu.

For 145 years and counting, Park University has used flexibility and innovation to meet students’ needs … and we will continue to do so in the days, months and years ahead. Thank you for choosing Park.

Faculty Support

Faculty can access technical and pedagogical guidance, and connect to live support, through the Faculty Center for Innovation (www.innovatepark.org). 

 

The Academic Success Center is headquartered in the Norrington Building on the Parkville campus, but it serves all Park students across the network, and in the time of the pandemic is especially focused on providing remote support. Please visit the ASC’s web page for general information about academic support and mentoring options.

Academic Success Center personnel will be on-site in Parkville and Gilbert, and the second floor of the Norrington Building will be staffed by ASC personnel from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The second floor study area will be open to all members of the Park community, though the area will be monitored to ensure distancing and appropriate capacity, and everyone will be asked to sign in.

All tutoring and mentoring sessions will be conducted virtually for the Fall semester. To make an appointment for tutoring or mentoring with the ASC, visit the scheduling page and enter your Park University ID and password. A link to the scheduling page is also included on the left-side toolbar in the Canvas shells of all Fall courses.

Students who believe they require accommodation for reasons related to permanent or temporary disability should visit the Disability Services web page, email disabilityservices@park.edu, or call 816 584-6313.

On July 28th the NAIA Council of Presidents voted to postpone the national championships in cross country, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and women’s volleyball to spring 2021.  As we begin the fall semester Student-Athlete safety will be our top priority as we implement return to play protocols in preparation for a spring season.  Athletes and Parents should contact their individual coaches for direction on when individual workouts and team activities will begin.  No update has been provided at this time for winter and spring sports and we ask that you check back periodically as we will post additional updates and information as it becomes available.

In order to follow social distancing guidelines, Spring 2021 classes at Campus Center locations will be offered in a video synchronous format with a limited number of students attending in person at the campus centers and the remaining students attending remotely through video web conference.

Courses on the Campus Center schedules are labeled as either Pirate Patch @Campus or Pirate Patch @Home. Pirate Patch @Campus is a blended class in which the face to face portion (at least 60%) is facilitated in person by an instructor at your campus center. Pirate Patch @Home is a blended class in which the face to face portion (at least 60%) is facilitated by an instructor participating synchronously via web conference from the host campus.

Most Campus Centers are open with normal operating hours.  Visitors are required to wear face coverings and encouraged to schedule an appointment.  For the most recent information about the status of individual Campus Center, please visit the Campus Center page.  All Campus Centers are following cleaning protocols outlined by the CDC.

For a list of all of our campus centers, click here.

INFORMATION TO BE POSTED ON PARK.EDU/CORONAVIRUS  REGARDING EMERGENCY GRANTS TO STUDENTS

First Quarterly Report, October 9, 2020

We are pleased to advise that under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), Park University has now received and has distributed the allocation for emergency assistance to eligible students who have been impacted by unexpected expenses due to disruption of campus operations by the coronavirus pandemic. Such expenses include items under a student’s cost of attendance such as food, housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare. In guidance that it issued on May 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education directed any university which received its allocation of emergency funds for students to provide particular information in a manner that is easily accessible to the public. That information is as follows:

  1. An acknowledgement that the institution signed and returned to the Department the Certification and Agreement and the assurance that the institution has used, or 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.

Park University signed and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education the Certification and Agreement on April 15, 2020 and assures that Park has used no less than 50% of the funds it received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

  1. The total amount of funds that the institution will receive or has received from the Department pursuant to the institution’s Certification and Agreement [for] Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students.

Park University’s allocation of funds for Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students was $1,402,922, received on April 30, 2020.

  1. The total amount of Emergency Financial Aid Grants distributed to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act as of the date of submission (i.e., as of the 30-day Report and every 45 days thereafter).

$1,402,922.

  1. 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.

As of May 11, 2020, 2,106 students had demonstrated their eligibility by providing a valid FAFSA form. Students who have not yet provided a valid FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year, or other evidence of qualification for funds under Title IV, received notices of the urgency to provide a valid FAFSA or other proof of qualification under Title IV funding, or else they would miss the opportunity to receive any of the emergency funding.

  1. The total number of students who have received an Emergency Financial Aid Grant to students under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

Checks and ACH payments have been executed to 2,116 students.

  1. The method(s) used by the institution to determine which students receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants and how much they would receive under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act.

The method for determining which students have received the grants was as follows:

  1. a) Park University compiled a list of students who participated in classes with face-to-face instruction (i.e., not those students who were 100% enrolled in online courses) and analyzed which of those students had submitted a FAFSA or other documentation demonstrating eligibility to receive Title IV funds.
  2. b) Park University sent communications, by email and text, to each student enrolled in face-to-face classes who had not filed a FAFSA and did not have other evidence on file of eligibility for Title IV funds, asking that student to submit a valid FAFSA form or other proof of eligibility immediately. Any student who failed to file the FAFSA form or other proof of Title IV funding eligibility by Park’s deadline would forfeit his or her opportunity to receive an emergency funds grant, and those funds would instead be allocated to other eligible students.

As of May 15, 2020, 2,919 students were identified as potentially eligible to receive CARES Act emergency funds. Of those, 813 had not completed a FAFSA form by May 8, 2020, or provided other proof of eligibility to receive federal funds under Title IV. Park withheld those funds (“the segregated funds”) that would have been paid to these 813 students and gave them an extended time frame, until June 12, 2020, within which to file a FAFSA form or other proof of eligibility under Title IV, or forfeit their opportunity to receive emergency funds.

  1. c) Funds have been distributed to students via direct deposit, where available, or by check. To the extent that checks are returned to Park undeposited or expired, Park University will assess how to allocate the funds represented by those unclaimed checks. With regard to how much each student received, each eligible student received $57.74 for each credit hour taken in a class with face-to-face instruction. In addition, each eligible student who was in university housing received an additional $200. On top of that, each student who received a Pell Grant received an additional $200.
  2. d) Park University extended the deadline to June 12, 2020, for those students who had not completed a FAFSA or submitted other evidence of eligibility for Title IV funds, referenced in b) above. Park received an additional 11 FAFSA forms by the extended deadline of June 12, 2020, and those 11 students received their allocations as described in c) above. The remaining students who failed to submit a FAFSA form or other proof of eligibility for Title IV funding were considered ineligible, and the segregated funds that would have been allocated to them were instead allocated to the eligible students, using the same allocation formula described in c) above. After the segregated funds were  distributed to the 2,116 eligible students, in addition to the initial funds that were distributed to them, each of those eligible students had been sent an average of $72.22 per eligible credit hour across both disbursements.
  3. Any instructions, directions, or guidance provided by the institution to students concerning the Emergency Financial Aid Grants.

Park University has provided the following communications to students concerning the emergency financial grants:

  1. a) Letter to Student Recipients of Emergency Funds;
  2. b) Letter to Students Without FAFSA Forms Requesting that they Provide FAFSA;
  3. c) Follow-up message regarding deadline for filing FAFSA or other Title IV proof;
  4. d) The following text went out 4/30 at 1 pm:

The DOE has identified a CARES Act allotment for ParkU Check your email for details park.edu/apply-financial-aid/ Questions? finaid@park.edu;

  1. e) The following text went out on 5/6 at 11 am:

FAFSA DUE DATE 5/8 to be considered 4 the CARES Act. You could qualify. Do ur FAFSA today! Questions? Contact finaid@park.edu  816-584-6290 Attached is the initial email that was sent to the students without FAFSA April 30, 2020. A text message was sent to this same group reminding them to check their Park e-mail on April 30, 2020 and May 6, 2020; and

  1. f) A general update regarding CARES Act was posted to our COVID web page on 4/29/20: park.edu/coronavirus.

Any student with questions regarding the emergency funds should contact Student Financial Aid at finaid@park.edu or at 816-584-6290. Anyone interested in additional information on the CARES Act provided by the U.S. Department of Education should refer to https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/caresact.html.

There are several ways that Park University will notify students, faculty and staff with urgent updates/information as it relates to the coronavirus:

*After registering or when reviewing your account, please verify that you are signed up to the proper group(s) by selecting one or more Campus Centers

  •  Note for those in the Kansas City area — It is highly recommended that you choose at least one campus (Parkville, Downtown Kansas City, Independence and/or Lenexa) as well as the “All Kansas City Area Campuses” group.

If you have previously registered/signed up, please access your account to ensure your information (such as phone number and e-mail address) is up to date and to ensure you are set up to receive text alerts from the campus center(s) in your area.

Please refer any questions about ParkAlert, including problems related to accessing your account, to alert.support@park.edu.

It is important that we all follow new university policies and safety guidelines regarding COVID-19.  If you want to report a violation of the new COVID-19 policies by a Park community member, please do so HERE.

Spring I, 2021

We are requiring all residential students, student athletes, and on-campus student employees to get tested before they are able to be on-campus.  Park University is providing this testing free of charge on selected days. Students will receive emails with instructions.

Exceptions to this requirement will not be approved. Students can speak to their supervisor, coach, or a student life staff person if they unable to complete this testing during the scheduled times.  In those cases, students might have to find and fund their own testing.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The U.S. Department of Education has identified a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act allotment of $2,805,843 million for Park University.

One-half of this amount ($1,402,922) is designated by the DOE to provide emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus. To read the complete statement, including the eligibility stipulations defined by the DOE, click here.

Missouri

Emergency funds from the Missouri Scholarship and Loan Foundation have opened for students who are Missouri residents, and are in urgent financial need to continue their program. To fill out the application, and find out more, click the link: https://bit.ly/39mGYLM

International student update – October 22, 2020

Park University has currently adopted a hybrid model for Fall 2020 which includes face to face and online classes. International students can maintain their status through taking the minimum number of online or face to face classes (12 total credit hours for undergraduate or 6 credit hours for graduate students). Face to face classes are not required for international students in Fall 2020. The face to face requirements for international students in Spring 2021 will be determined in accordance to guidelines provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). No DHS guidance has been issued yet.

The USA has issued several travel bans for students entering the USA from certain countries. Please visit the CDC website for more details on the countries impacted.

The Library will continue to update a web page created specifically to provide information regarding Library services during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be accessed here.

Our two faculty librarians will be working in Norrington from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 each weekday, though we recommend making appointments to ensure availability. Our front desk will be staffed during open hours. All normal Library services regarding book check-out will be available, though books held on reserve will be placed in lockers rather than picked up at the front desk.

We continue to provide scholarly journals and articles through our databases, as well as over 200,000 e-books through EBSCO E-Books and JSTOR. In addition to in-person services, librarians will continue to provide reference and research support via email, chat, and Zoom, and remote library instruction may be scheduled through the remainder of the semester.

Due to the closure of other libraries, some services such as interlibrary loan may be slower than usual. Books that Park owns can be mailed to campus centers or directly to patrons’ homes.

In addition to these services, we have a new FAQ page, and users can submit questions to librarians through a form. We are also evaluating and updating our research and course guides. If you have recommendations for resources that could be added to these guides, please let us know.

The Library will continue to offer support to students in-person and to those teaching and learning remotely, and we encourage both groups to utilize our online services. Please reach out if you have questions, requests, inquiries, or suggestions. We can be reached at library@park.edu.

All University constituents are required to wear appropriate face coverings in public areas to minimize the spread of infectious diseases.

PRACTICE DESCRIPTION

Faculty, staff, students and visitors are expected to wear an appropriately positioned face covering, per CDC guidelines, when on University property outside of their individual work area, dorm room, or personal vehicle. The University will make disposable face masks available in all University facilities. The University may also supply other types of masks to some constituents. Individuals are welcome to supply their own face coverings. The use of N95 masks or other form of respirator is not required. Face coverings that do not restrict the flow of expelled air are not considered appropriate. Faculty or staff who fail to comply with this practice will be counseled. Multiple occurrences of counseling may result in additional disciplinary actions up to and including termination of employment. Students who fail to comply with this practice will be processed through the Student Conduct Code system. Multiple violations may result in loss of access to campus facilities and/or loss of student status. Visitors who fail to comply with this practice will informed of the practice and will be requested to comply. Visitors who refuse to comply will be required to leave the property.

RESPONSIBILITY

Each individual on University property is responsible to comply with this practice. Each individual is also responsible and encouraged to bring this required practice to the attention of any other individual who is not in compliance. All faculty members are responsible for ensuring students in their classrooms are in compliance. All supervisors are responsible for ensuring faculty and staff members are in compliance. All hosts of visitors to the University are responsible for ensuring their guests are aware of and in compliance with this practice. Failure by any of these constituents to exercise their responsibility will result in appropriate disciplinary action.

EXCEPTIONS

Requests for exceptions must be submitted in writing. Faculty and staff members should send requests for exception to the Chief Human Resources Officer. The University will establish policies regarding face mask use for Student Athletes during athletic participation. Students can submit a request for ADA accommodations through disabilityservices@park.edu. All other requests for exceptions should be sent to the Dean of Students. Visitors should send requests for exception to the President.

To date, Park University has fielded multiple local and national media inquiries related to COVID-19. As is University policy, all media requests should be directed to the following staff in the Office of University Engagement.

Brad Biles, Director of Communications and Public Relations, brad.biles@park.edu /  (816) 584-6888

Erik Bergrud, Associate Vice President for University Engagement, erik.bergrud@park.edu / (816) 584-6412

Please see the information below in regards to GI Bill® certifications for Fall 2020:

  1. Students who are enrolled into courses that were to be face to face but have been transitioned to online due to COVID-19 will be certified as residential hours.
  2. For all other offered modalities, please reach out to your Student Success Coach, Campus Center Director, Admissions Coach or the Warrior Center for more information.

Please note that these allowances are based on the law S. 3503 and VA Guidelines below:

Post 9/11 GI Bill® students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID 19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

Note: Other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Park University’s staff is here to support you. For questions regarding your course schedule and how it may affect your Monthly Housing Allowance, please reach out to your Campus Center Director, Student Success Coach, or the Global Warrior Center Staff at 816-584-6530 with any questions or concerns you have. You can also call the VA education hotline at 888-442-4551.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

QUARANTINE

Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.

  1. Reasons to Self-Quarantine:
  2. The student has had direct contact with another person who has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19. This direct contact must be longer than 10 minutes and within 6 feet of the other person.
  3. The student has concerning symptoms (cough, fever, chills, etc.)
  4. Expectations:
  5. The student should stay home until 14 days after the last contact with a confirmed case.
  6. The student should check their temperature twice per day and be alert for any COVID-19 symptoms.
  7. The student should stay away from any people at a higher risk of getting very sick if they are infected with the COVID-19 virus.
  8. If safety guidelines for social distancing and masks are followed, a student will not have to quarantine if another student in the same class is diagnosed with COVID-19. However, Park University will notify all students in such cases so they can be diligent with self-monitoring.

ISOLATION

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those with no symptoms) from people who are not infected. People who are in isolation should stay home until they are fever free for 3 days. In the home, anyone sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).

  1. Reasons to Self-Isolate:
  2. The student has a confirmed case of COVID-19, both symptomatic and asymptomatic.
  3. Expectations
  4. A symptomatic student should stay isolated until:
    1. There are 24 hours of no fever AND
    2. Symptoms have improved AND
    3. There are 10 days since the symptoms first appeared.
  5. An asymptomatic student should stay isolated until:
    1. 10 days have passed since the positive test.

 

Residence Life Covid-19 Policy

Student living on campus have signed and agreed to the following policy updates as part of their Housing Confirmation and Expectations Agreement:

HEALTH AND SAFETY: We expect that all members of the Park Residence Life community to act in a manner that demonstrates respect and consideration for those around them. This includes respect and consideration for the health and safety of every person. As outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prevention expectations include: washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with others, wearing a face covering, covering your coughs and sneezes, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring your health. Additionally, please read the signage posted on the doors of public and common spaces to know the social distancing, occupancy limit and other behavioral expectations of using that space.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Failure to follow the student code of conduct and/or Residence Life rules and regulations may result in disciplinary measures, up to and including removal from on-campus housing. There is a no tolerance approach for any policy violation.

NO GUESTS: Suspension of the residence hall guest policy is in place. No non-residents permitted.

RESIDENTIAL ROOM LIMITS: Residential suites may have no more than 4 individuals (other residents of the building) visiting in a particular suite.

ID ENTRY: Residents are expected to single swipe at residence hall entry doors. Each resident should swipe for themselves, no “piggy backing” through the entry. No propping of doors or letting individuals in from side or main doors.

SAFETY OF SELF AND OTHERS: Residents exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 and/or being directly exposed to someone with Covid-19 would be expected to follow all health protocols as outlined by the Health Department and Park University to prevent risk.

 

In order to limit the number of students and faculty on campus, all courses that were originally scheduled for in-person instruction in Fall terms have been transitioned into the blended modality. A blended course is one in which 50-67% of the instruction occurs synchronously (via in-person classroom instruction, or via Zoom), while the rest of the coursework is conducted asynchronously in the online course shell. These courses will fall into one of two categories:

Blended in-person: In this modality, you will attend one session per week in a face-to-face classroom environment. In the case of MWF classes, the other synchronous session will be conducted via Zoom. In the case of TR and MW classes, the rest of the coursework will be conducted asynchronously online.

Blended web-conference: In this modality, the synchronous meetings will all be conducted via Zoom, with the rest of the course being conducted asynchronously in the online course shell.

Many other courses have been converted to an asynchronous, exclusively online modality. These distance learning courses also fall into two categories:

Distance Learning (DL): In this modality, all coursework is conducted asynchronously online, primarily in an 8-week format. This is the standard online course format that Park has offered for several years.

Distance Learning Synchronous Option (DLSO):  This is a new modality, in which all coursework is conducted asynchronously online in a 16-week format. Students in these courses also have the option of engaging in weekly synchronous sessions with the course instructor, though attendance at these sessions is not mandatory.

We believe that offering these various modalities will allow students to continue coursework in a way that is safe, consistent, and effective. Furthermore, all of these options will allow the university to pivot quickly to all-remote instruction should circumstances require a return to closed-campus status.

However, we also recognize that this will require some adjustments among our students, faculty, and staff. Here are some suggestions for ensuring a successful experience this term:

1.Engage in two-way communication with your instructor

Your instructors know that many students will have questions about the new term, and they’ll do their best to give you as much information as you need. For that to work, however, you must commit to checking your university email account at least once a day.

If something is not clear to you, please ask your instructor as soon as possible. In this time of uncertainly and change, there truly are no bad questions. And again, check that email!

2. Make sure you’re clear on the modality of your course.

If you’re enrolled in a course that will contain some face-to-face component, be sure you understand what days your course will meet, and how/when you will meet via Zoom. If you’re in a course that will meet exclusively on Zoom, confirm when those sessions will occur. If you’re in a distance learning (DL) course, make sure you understand the length of the term and the options for synchronous engagement.

3. Know your academic support resources.

The Academic Success Center offers tutoring and mentoring services, paper-drop off assistance, support with Disability Services, and Testing Center services. More information about the ASC can be found on its web page, or by calling 816 584-6313.

4. Assess your equipment and space capabilities.

All courses this term, even those scheduled for some face-to-face instruction, will involve extensive use of the online course shell. As such, a computer and reliable internet connection will be necessary for at least a portion of the course. You may also want headphones for lectures and videos, especially if you plan to do your Canvas work in public.

You also may want to consider what physical space you’ll need. If you don’t have a work space at home, or if you need to engage in a Canvas session shortly after an in-person session, there will be some study space options on campus that you can use.

Park University is confident that we will continue to meet the needs of our students, while taking precautions for the safety of our communities, during this challenging time. It’s important to remember that everyone at the University wants you to succeed. If you feel that your chances of success are being compromised by the adjustments this term, please let us know by reaching out to your instructor, your success coach, another faculty member, or the Office of Academic Affairs. We appreciate your patience and your resilience, and we wish you the best in this phase of your educational journey.

Travel and Study Abroad

University-related travel to any country with a Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) Warning Level 3 and/or a U.S. Department of State “Do Not Travel” warning (Level 4) or “Reconsider Travel” (Level 3) due to COVID-19 is not permitted.  Any Study Abroad travel must be approved by the International Education office.

For questions regarding Study Abroad, contact Kevin Vicker, 816-584-6517, kevin.vicker@park.edu

University Health and Safety Guidelines

All faculty, staff, students and campus visitors are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols and guidelines outlined below. Failure to do so may result in corrective action.

Social Distancing: Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is important for everyone, especially to help protect people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. Staff who work on-site should follow these social distancing practices:

  • Wear a face masks on campus when outside of your personal work space.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people at all times.
  • Do not gather in groups
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

Hand Washing: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face. The University will supply individual bottles of hand sanitizer, as well as have dispensers placed in high-traffic areas on campus.

Employee Guidelines

All campus buildings will be locked 24/7. Employees need to display their Park ID card at all times and use it to access building entrances. Lanyards will be provided. When feasible, the University will assign designated entrances and exits to buildings to facilitate social distancing. Designated traffic flow patterns may also be implemented, especially in shared work spaces.

While custodians will continue to clean common spaces according to CDC guidelines, employees will be responsible for keeping their individual work spaces clean. Before starting work and before you leave any room in which you have been working, you must wipe down all work areas with EPA-registered 60% alcohol solution. Cleaning supplies and instructions have been placed on every floor of buildings. Trash liners should be pulled and placed outside the office door. This includes any shared-space location or equipment (for example, copiers, printers, computers, audio/visual and other electrical equipment, coffee makers, desks and tables, light switches, door knobs, etc.).

Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

All employees are encouraged to take food back to their office area or eat outside, if possible.  If you are eating in a break room space, maintain 6 feet distance between you and others. Employees should not sit facing one another. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in employee break rooms to support physical distancing practices between employees. Wipe all surfaces, including tables, refrigerator handles, coffee machines, etc. after using in common areas.

Face-to-face meetings should be avoided. Meetings should be held virtually using ZOOM, Lync or the telephone.

In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders, and should ensure individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for physical distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees.

During your time on-site, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by e-mail, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face.

Faculty and staff who have been requested to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus. You must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19.

At this time, these symptoms include one or more of the following:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Runny nose or new sinus congestion
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms
  • New loss of taste or smell

Faculty, staff and campus visitors showing any symptoms during self-screening should not report to campus, should notify their immediate supervisor and Human Resource Services at hr-covid@park.edu.

Individuals developing any symptoms while on campus should immediately leave campus and contact a qualified medical professional.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. These conditions include:

  • Older adults (age 65  and older)
  • People with HIV
  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Severe obesity
  • Being immune-compromised

Those who have been instructed to return to work and have concerns about doing so due to a medical condition that places them in a higher risk group, those who are pregnant or those who wish to seek ADA Reasonable Accommodations related to returning to the workplace should contact Human Resources at hr-covid@park.edu.

Park University will phase in a full return of students and employees over time in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing and the availability of PPE (personal protective equipment).

Employees requested to return to work will receive an e-mail from their area vice president or supervisor. Prior to returning to campus, employees are required to complete online safety training. An e-mail from Pryor Learning (no-reply@sparkpostmail.com) will be sent with instructions on accessing the training modules. Any questions regarding the online training should be directed to Allison Winters, environmental health and safety manager.

The need to reduce the number of people on campus to meet physical distancing best practices will continue for some time. Online classes and faculty and staff that can continue to effectively work remotely will likely continue to do so until such time the threat of COVID-19 has diminished or other steps can be taken to satisfactorily mitigate risk.

 

Priority for face-to face classes will be for clinical and experiential components of academic programs that cannot easily be performed in remote fashion. The University’s COVID-19 Task Force and University administration will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. If localized outbreaks emerge, the University may need to return to the previous tier with tighter restrictions.

Should an employee or student contract COVID-19 and have possibly exposed others in the workplace, Human Resources will notify potentially exposed employees of the exposure. Employees who have been potentially exposed will be sent home and asked to work remotely for 10-14 days.

A thorough cleaning of the workspace used by the infected individual will be conducted after the area has been closed off for at least 24 hours.

All employees will self-monitor daily and report any symptoms to Human Resource Services. Employees exhibiting symptoms, or who have been in contact with known positive cases, should stay at home and contact a health care provider for guidance on COVID-19 screening.

Employees should limit the sharing of equipment and other resources, including phones, desk and office equipment. Equipment that must be shared, such as a copier, should be disinfected after use and the employee should immediately wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.

A number of precautions were considered in order to maintain the required physical distancing measures and reduce the population within buildings and work spaces as campuses progress through the various phases of reopening.

Remote Work: Those who can work remotely to fulfill all of their work responsibilities may continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus until requested to return to campus by their respective vice president/supervisor. Employees working remotely must be approved by their supervisor and area vice president. Employees who are asked to return to work remotely should review the Request to Work from an Alternative Location practice and follow the instructions in that practice.

Alternating Days: In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions on campus and enable social distancing, departments may schedule partial staff on alternating days, especially if working in shared work spaces.

Staggered arriving/departing: The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements, especially for those in a building with a single staircase.

Cloth and disposable Face Masks

Cloth or disposable face masks must be worn by all students, employees and visitors. Face masks have been recommended by the CDC as they help minimize the spread of COVID-19, as it can be spread to others even if you do not feel sick. Please note that masks are not a substitute for social distancing. Disposable masks will be available for students and may only be worn for one day and then placed in the trash. Cloth masks will be provided by the University and should be cleaned daily. Students, employees and visitors with health concerns related to wearing a mask may contact disabilityservices@park.edu to learn more about available accommodations.

 Putting on masks:

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the mask.
  • Ensure the mask fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the mask properly with the nose wire snug against the nose (if applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Avoid touching the front of the mask during the process.

 Taking off masks:

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing the disposable mask.
  • When taking off the mask, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear.
  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after removing the mask.

 Care and storage of masks:

  • Keep disposable mask stored in a paper bag when not in
  • Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day; place in trash if it becomes soiled or damaged.

 Enforcement:

  • The entire Park community is responsible for holding other community members accountable to the mask requirement.
  • Students who fail to comply with this practice will be processed through the Student Conduct Code system.

Park University’s degree programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.