Wilkes University

Coronavirus Information

Wilkes University is actively monitoring the outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by coronavirus (termed “COVID-19”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Though there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at Wilkes University, we have transitioned to online and remote learning for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Our May commencement ceremonies have also been postponed. Below is official University information regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the campus.

We know you have questions. We will be transparent by saying that there are some answers we simply do not have right now. Below are the answers we do have and we will continue to work on those we do not. You may also submit a question by clicking the button below. We will address common questions in a group email format, by adding answers here or responding to you directly. 

Submit your question

 

Fall Planning

We understand that you have questions about fall classes and activities. Though we have more questions than answers at this point, Wilkes University is committed to resuming a residential and face-to-face campus experience this fall. But that can only happen with the proper guidance from our national, state and local health officials, and the proper trajectory of this virus. All of our decisions will be guided by the most current health and scientific information available. University leaders from across campus are exploring various contingency plans to account for possible delays or interruptions that we may experience in the months ahead. We plan to share more with our campus community in mid-June.

Please note that summer classes will be conducted in online and remote formats.  Click here for the summer schedule.

CARES Act

Wilkes students experiencing financial hardship due to the disruption of campus operations caused by COVID-19 can apply for consideration of a one-time emergency grant available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students who were enrolled in campus classes during the spring 2020 semester may be eligible for aid. Eligible grant assistance covers expenses incurred due to the disruption of campus operations from COVID-19, including housing, course materials, technology, healthcare and childcare.

Learn more and apply online

Residence Life

Wilkes University has confirmed with the state administration that students are permitted to travel to campus to retrieve their belongings under the Governor's stay-at-home order. In an effort to comply with the Governor’s social distancing expectations and limit the number of people on campus at any given time, students will be required to sign up for an appointment. Appointments are available from Wednesday, May 20 and Sunday, May 31. Wilkes will also offer a variety of options for students who cannot or should not return to campus at this time.

  • You must sign up for an appointment at least 48 hours in advance of your desired move-out day.
  • Students are allowed only one guest to help their move.
  • Everyone must wear personal face masks/coverings the entire time they are on campus (not provided by the University).
  • Physical distance of at least six feet must be observed at all times.

Please click here to learn more, make an appointment and complete the two-part check out process.

Monetary Adjustments

Understandably you may have questions about whether you will be refunded for housing, parking and meal plans that you will not use for the remainder of the spring semester. Wilkes will offer prorated refunds or credits (based on your individual situation) on housing, parking and meal plans. Though we will not reimburse tuition, fees or out-of-pocket software costs, students who do not have access to required software should work with faculty members on alternative arrangements. Graduation fees are also nonrefundable, as the fee is not dependent on attendance at the ceremony itself. The University will hold a graduation ceremony for our May graduates when it is deemed safe to do so.

 This policy details how Wilkes University will adjust student accounts for unused parking, housing and meals plans as a result of the pandemic.

View Spring 2020 Monetary Adjustment Policy

Commencement

In lieu of our 73rd annual spring commencement on May 16, Wilkes University will celebrate your graduation on Saturday, Sept, 12, 2020. This new timeframe allows us to combine our spring and summer commencements during one momentous occasion when we can all be together again. 

All spring and summer graduate students earning master’s and doctoral degrees will receive their diplomas at a 10 a.m. ceremony. Spring and summer undergraduate students earning bachelor’s degrees will be awarded diplomas at a 3 p.m. ceremony. As long as the weather is in our favor, both ceremonies will be preceded by the traditional procession of graduating students, led by bagpipers, from the Marts Center through the Campus Gateway to the McHale Athletic Center at UCOM.

Caps and gowns for May graduates have been mailed to your home address. If you are a May graduate and you haven’t ordered your cap and gown, you may do so on the website until May 15.

For the convenience of all of our spring graduates, diplomas will be mailed in June. You will still walk across the stage and receive a representation of your degree in September. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas at the September ceremony, or by mail afterwards if they have chosen to be in absentia.

Learn more at www.wilkes.edu/commencement. We welcome your inquiries at student.affairs@wilkes.edu.

Work Study

Spring work-study has now concluded. Students can access information about the work-study program and the summer and fall work-study applications at www.wilkes.edu/studentjobs. Job postings will be updated as new positions become available.  Questions can be directed to Jean Eckert at jean.eckert@wilkes.edu.

Academics

Electronic processes have been established for a variety of academic requests, including changing your major, declaring a minor or withdrawing from courses. Scroll down and click the tab titled "students" under "information you need to know" for details.

Grading

In addition to the traditional 4.0 grading scale, Wilkes will offer a satisfactory/pass/withdraw (S/P/W) option during the spring 2020 semester. This scale is optional for all students and can be requested on a course-by-course basis.

For undergraduate students:

  • Satisfactory - grades of 2.0 or higher will be listed as “S.”
  • Pass - grades of 1.5 to 1.0 will be listed as  “P.”
  • Withdrawal – students with a grade of less than 1.0 can withdraw from the course with a “W.” You will need to retake the course if it is an academic requirement.

For graduate students:

  • Satisfactory - grades of 3.0 or higher will be listed as “S.”
  • Pass - grades of 2.5 to 2.0 will be listed as “P.”
  • Withdrawal – students with a grade of less than 2.0 can withdraw from the course with a “W.” You will need to retake the course if it is an academic requirement.

For courses requiring a prerequisite, students may petition for the instructor to waive the prerequisite.

Talk to you advisor so that you can make an informed decision. Advisors will then work with the Registrar’s Office to ensure that your request is processed. You can begin the process by clicking here. Satisfactory/pass/withdraw grades are not calculated into your overall GPA.

This plan is designed with flexibility in mind. You can opt in now or at a later time when your academic progress becomes clear. Students intending to graduate in May 2020 will have until May 15 to confirm a satisfactory/pass/withdraw  in lieu of a numerical grade. All other students have until May 29. Please know that you will also be able to reverse your chosen grading option by the dates noted above.

This is not suitable for all majors. Students in our education, nursing and pharmacy professional programs are exempt from this policy. A message from your dean will communicate grading details for each academic program.


Experiential Learning 

There have been interruptions to student teaching and pharmacy and nursing clinicals at external sites. Pennsylvania K-12 schools have closed and some medical sites are no longer allowing students to report. Internships are under further review and many students are fulfilling their commitments by working remotely. Academic leaders from the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy, the Passan School of Nursing and the School of Education will continue to contact students directly about experiential learning requirements.

Counseling Services

Counseling services are available by phone for the rest of the spring semester. If you would like to speak to a counselor, please email us and we will get back to you to arrange a time to talk. If you feel your situation needs immediate attention, please contact our 24-hour chat line at (570) 408-CHAT.

Melissa Gaudio, MA, NCC, LPC; melissa.gaudio@wilkes.edu
Theresa DaKay, MS, NCC, LPC; theresa.dakay@wilkes.edu
Amanda Leonard, LCSW; amanda.leonard2@wilkes.edu

The more information that we receive about COVID-19, the more it can fuel our thoughts, feelings and reactions to this situation. Campus Counseling would like to provide you with helpful information and resources to assist you in navigating this new societal concern.

Managing Anxiety and Fears about Coronavirus

Library and I.T. 

The Farley Library will be closed until further notice. This includes lower-level 24/7 access. Please access the Library page on the Wilkes portal for all library requests including Reference assistance and access to databases.

Wireless internet is available in the parking lot behind University Center on Main. Students, faculty and staff can park anywhere in this lot to access free, high-speed internet. This allows users to maintain social distancing while accessing wi-fi right from their vehicles.

Help Desk employees are working remotely. As a result, we ask that all requests be submitted to helpdesk@wilkes.edu. ITS staff will reply via email or by phone during normal Help Desk hours:

• 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
• 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays
• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday
• 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Sundays

As a reminder,
Comcast and other internet providers are offering lower-cost services for those in need of connectivity at this time. Learn more here.

Building Access

Only employees and students with permission granted by supervisors and deans will be allowed into campus buildings until further notice. Deans and supervisors have been instructed to email publicsafety@wilkes.edu with all permission requests. Please contact your dean, supervisor or vice president. 

Access to University buildings will be granted only for urgent needs or critical personnel. Examples include:

  • Students with special housing arrangements
  • Faculty or staff caring for animals or lab equipment
  • Facilities personnel who clean and disinfect campus  
  • Preapproved staff members from departments maintaining critical operations
  • Faculty uploading critical course content that is imperative to the student experience

Food Service

The Henry Student Center dining hall will move to takeout only. Lunch pick up is available from 11 a.m. to 12 noon and dinner pickup will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Dinner will also offer breakfast options for the following morning. Patrons will collect to-go food and drink containers and select their meal choices. POD items are available to purchase upon request.

Health Services

Health Services will be closed until further notice but staff are available remotely for routine questions. The Wright Center, located just a block from campus at 335 S. Franklin St., is available for appointments from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, please call (570) 591-5283. Click here for a list of pharmacies, clinics and urgent care centers where you can seek medical assistance. In the event of a medical emergency, call 911.

Faith Services

Many religious congregations have suspended in-person worship services due to COVID-19; however, many have made the transition to streaming their services online. Click here for a list of Wilkes-Barre churches and synagogues who are providing an increased presence via their websites and social media.

Bookstore

The Barnes & Noble University Bookstore is temporarily closed to the public. They will continue to follow federal, state and University guidelines for an appropriate reopening date.

If you need to return rented textbooks, you may do so for free via UPS. Simply visit www.wilkes.bncollege.com to access a prepaid UPS label to ship your books back. Click on "Textbook Rental Returns" to obtain the label.

We kindly request that you return the books as soon as possible. If you have rented textbooks that remain in your dorm room, Barnes & Noble has extended the grace period for textbook rental returns through the first week of fall 2020 classes, and will not be charging any students who were unable to return their books in time.

Diversity Affairs

Staff from the Center for Global Education and Diversity are available remotely to discuss any student needs. Contact Georgia Costalas for assistance at (570) 408-7854.

Athletics

All athletic competition and practices are cancelled throughout the remainder of the semester. Face-to-face recruiting is also suspended. All University athletic and recreation facilities are closed until further notice.

Colonel Food Pantry 

The food pantry will be available for studentwho need it. Please contact Kristin Osipower at ext. 5904 for assistance. 

Events 

All events are cancelled through the end of the semester. All tours, admissions, alumni and special events on and off campus are cancelled.

Workforce

Administrative offices will continue to operate remotely until further notice and are available to students needing assistance. All events are cancelled through the remainder of the semester.

Previous Messages to the Campus Community

Information You Need to Know

Academics

Remote learning: Remote learning will continue for the rest of the spring semester, including final exams.

Grading: In addition to the traditional 4.0 grading scale, Wilkes will offer a satisfactory/pass/withdrawal (S/P/W) option during the spring 2020 semester. This scale is optional for all students and can be requested on a course-by-course basis. See above, under the heading titled, "Grading" for details.

Incomplete grade extension: The deadline for incomplete grades being changed to zeroes has been extended. The new incomplete grade deadline for the spring 2020 term is July 6.This will allow you four additional weeks to complete any unfinished work before incomplete grades change to zeroes. If more time is needed, consult with your instructor. Students receiving an incomplete grade in any spring course will have until July 31 to choose the satisfactory/pass/withdraw option for that particular course.

Changing your academic major, minor or concentration: You may use the electronic change forms found on the Registrar's page. Forms will automatically be submitted to your advisor and the appropriate University offices for processing. You will receive an email confirmation once your request is approved. With questions, please contact advising@wilkes.edu.

• Transfer credit request: Current students wishing to transfer credits to Wilkes from another institution may use the electronic Transfer Credit Request form found on the Registrar's page. The form will be automatically sent to the department chairperson of the course. You will receive an email confirmation once the form is processed. With questions, please contact registrar@wilkes.edu.

• GPA adjustment: Students who would like to request to remove grades earned in majors they are no longer pursuing may use the electronic GPA Adjustment Form on the Registrar's page. Please note that only one course may be used per form. Your request will be automatically sent to your course instructor and the appropriate University offices for processing. You will receive an email confirmation once your request is approved. With questions, please contact advising@wilkes.edu.

Monetary Adjustments
• Wilkes will offer prorated refunds or credits (based on your individual situation) on housing, parking and meal plans. Click here for more information about this policy.

Commencement
In lieu of our 73rd annual spring commencement on May 16, Wilkes University will celebrate your graduation on Saturday, Sept, 12, 2020. This new timeframe allows us to combine our spring and summer commencements during one momentous occasion when we can all be together again. 

• All spring and summer graduate students earning master’s and doctoral degrees will receive their diplomas at a 10 a.m. ceremony. Spring and summer undergraduate students earning bachelor’s degrees will be awarded diplomas at a 3 p.m. ceremony. As long as the weather is in our favor, both ceremonies will be preceded by the traditional procession of graduating students, led by bagpipers, from the Marts Center through the Campus Gateway to the McHale Athletic Center at UCOM. 

• Caps and gowns for May graduates have been mailed to your home address. If you are a May graduate and you haven’t ordered your cap and gown, you may do so on the website until May 15.

• For the convenience of all of our spring graduates, diplomas will be mailed in June. You will still walk across the stage and receive a representation of your degree in September. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas at the September ceremony, or by mail afterwards if they have chosen to be in absentia.

• We welcome your inquiries at student.affairs@wilkes.edu.

Remote Teaching Resources
• 
The Office of Technology for Teaching and Learning has developed a plan to deliver classes remotely. They are also offering one-on-one advising sessions should you want additional assistance.
 
University events
• All University-sponsored events are cancelled for the rest of the semester.
 
Mailroom and University Operations

• The mailroom will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Members of the campus community must pick up all mail and packages from the mailroom. Mail will be ready for pick up by 9:30 a.m. on these days. Outbound mail must be dropped off no later than 1 p.m. We are also asking that the campus community refrain from ordering perishables. If you must order these materials for critical academic research, call Jim Yeninas at 570-408-4123 to coordinate the delivery of those items.

• Parking fees will not be charged for the rest of the semester.

Working Remotely
• 
Exempt employees will continue to work remotely until further notice.

• The ITS Remote Resource Guide is a valuable resource in the event staff needs to work from home. Consult with your supervisor for more information.

• Some nonexempt employees are unable to work remotely due to the nature of their duties on campus. Due to these are extraordinary circumstances, full- and part-time nonexempt employees who cannot work from home will be guaranteed their full base pay through Thursday, April 30, without the need to use vacation time. This policy is retroactive to the issuance of the Governor's order that closed the campus on March 19. Therefore, any vacation time used by nonexempt employees since that day will be restored.

• Externally funded employees will be paid according to their specific program guidelines and the availability of work that can be accomplished at home.

University Events
All University-sponsored events are cancelled through the remainder of the semester.

Mailroom and University Operations
The mailroom will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays only. Members of the campus community must pick up all mail and packages from the mailroom. Mail will be ready for pick up by 9:30 a.m. on these days. Outbound mail must be dropped off no later than 1 p.m. We are also asking that the campus community refrain from ordering perishables. If you must order these materials for critical academic research, call Jim Yeninas at 570-408-4123 to coordinate the delivery of those items.

• Parking fees will not be charged for the rest of the semester.

Information & Resources

For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you have recently returned from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy or Iran, the CDC recommends you stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you departed these heavily impacted areas.

The CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

View the infographic

Routinely updated information and mapping of the numbers of confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in China and all other affected countries can be seen under the following links:

University Contact

For questions regarding information on this page, contact:

Justin Kraynack
Assistant Vice President of Operations & Compliance
(570) 408-4554

Updated May 19, 2020


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