Parent and Family Updates

As parents and family members of Augsburg students, you are vital partners in the education of our students. 

We know the COVID-19 pandemic has created widespread anxiety and we share your utmost concerns for our Augsburg students as well as the broader community. This page provides updates on how the campus is responding to the pandemic and how we are planning for the continuation of education while ensuring the safety of our students. 

As President Paul Pribbenow has written to the Augsburg community, “Remember our mission and our 150 years of offering our students an education that equips them for life in the world; remember that we are a community that shows up for each other, with generosity and grace; and remember that we have found ways over and over again throughout our history to navigate difficult challenges—as we will do together in this moment.”

We urge you to frequently check this page for updates as this situation continues to evolve.

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How Augsburg University is responding

Augsburg’s university leaders convened the COVID-19 Task Force earlier this year. The task force is actively planning for continuity in student learning, student life, operations, employee work, and student support in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The task force engages in ongoing communication with the Minnesota Department of Health, regularly reviews guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and consults with national leaders in higher education including the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Dean of Students Sarah Griesse and other leaders continue to update students via email as various decisions have been reached regarding everything from alternative modes of course delivery to residential life on campus to changes to student organization meetings and events and more. Our communications to students are available on the Resources for Students page; highlights appear below.

COVID-19 testing

Augsburg has a relationship with the People’s Center Clinic and Services across the street from the Minneapolis campus. The clinic offers COVID-19 testing that’s free to students without insurance and covers uninsured portions for those who do have insurance.

Classes

Classes in face-to-face, hybrid, and online formats began Wednesday, September 2; finals week concludes Thursday, December 17. We are prepared that courses may need to move to fully remote learning during the semester if directed by the Minnesota Department of Health or the governor’s office. Students must not come to an in-person class while feeling ill. Faculty have made adjustments to courses, programs, and policies to ensure that students who are quarantined or isolated are able—whenever possible—to achieve the learning outcomes in courses in which they are enrolled. 

Face covering policy

Augsburg’s face covering policy requires that all staff, faculty, and students wear face coverings while in any common areas while on Augsburg property. Resident students must wear face coverings while out of their residence hall living spaces. A mask has been provided to every student. Augsburg policy is consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order issued in July. 

Feeling sick?

Students, faculty, and staff who feel sick are required to stay home. Many classes are being offered in hybrid formats so students can participate remotely. Faculty have made adjustments to courses, programs, and policies to ensure that students who are quarantined or isolated are able—whenever possible—to achieve the learning outcomes in courses in which they are enrolled. 

Screening and safety measures

All members of our community—students, faculty, and staff—must complete a daily symptom screening before coming to campus (or leaving their residence hall). Hand sanitizer is readily available across campus, and we have developed enhanced cleaning protocols as well as reduced occupancy standards. Our Center for Wellness and Counseling is an important resource available and offers virtual appointments during the academic year. Augsburg is following domestic and international travel guidelines from the CDC. 

Student Services Index

Featuring 40+ searchable info boxes, the Student Services Index explains how to access departments and services during a unique time when there are both in-person and virtual opportunities for engagement. The tool provides bite-sized descriptions, location and contact information, and additional key details for the Augsburg offices and departments that are dedicated to student success and support.

Check out the Student Services Index today!

 

Students services and programs on campus

All of our student-facing departments—from academic advising to the library to the wellness center, and everything in between—are supporting students both on campus and off campus this fall, modifying operations and physical spaces to support health and safety requirements. 

In addition to existing student services and programs, we have created a new (physically distanced) gathering space in the quad for the first couple of months of the fall semester. As long as the weather permits, we will use this space for special “Augsburg Bold” experiences—events that provide an opportunity to bring people together, safely. Likewise, student leaders, clubs, and organizations have planned various events and opportunities for students to be engaged on campus, with the goal of making sure that, while we are safely physically distanced, we are also connecting and interacting with one another as an active learning community. 

Residence life

Minnesota Department of Health officials visited campus in June to review Augsburg’s residence hall plans for fall, including the planned number of residents per unit and per floor. Augsburg has worked directly with the health department to establish quarantine and isolation protocols.

Dining on campus

Dining services are modified to follow health guidelines for food service. There are two dining options open to students. Einstein’s provides hot sandwiches and coffee drinks along with chilled beverages and grab-and-go items. Payment at Einstein’s is limited to Flex points, meal replacement, and credit cards. Christensen Center Commons offers grab-and-go items for all meals as well as expanded hot breakfast and lunch service. The Commons accepts all meals plans, including Flex points, and credit cards. There are no cash transactions at either location at this time.

Tuition freeze and suspension of finance charges

In May, Augsburg announced that it is freezing undergraduate tuition at the 2019-20 level for the 2020-21 academic year. At the same time, the university increased the total financial aid awarded to students in 2020-21, as we have over the last several years. This means that returning undergraduate students will not see their tuition increase this fall, and new, incoming day undergraduate students will see a lower tuition rate than was originally presented to them but still receive the full dollar amount of the financial aid awarded to them by the university. 

Additionally, to provide families more time in making payments for all, Augsburg University has suspended all finance charges and late payment fees on student accounts through the end of September. In July, all applicable spring 2020 credits for residential contracts, meal plans, and parking passes were posted to student accounts. In addition, Augsburg issued $700 to each eligible day undergraduate student through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

 

Communications

COVID-19 Guest Policy (August 28)

Top 2 Things Students Need to Know This Week (August 26)

Community Commitment Statement (August 25)

Message to students: restricting activities before returning to campus (August 18)

Key Upcoming Dates (August 10)

MIAC Postpones Competition Seasons for Several Fall Sports to Spring (July 28)

Provost letter to new and returning traditional undergraduate students (July 27)

Upcoming Fall 2020 Town Hall Sessions for Parents and Families (July 27)

President’s Fall 2020 Planning (July 9)

Letter about Augsburg Bold fall 2020 plan (June 11)

Top 2 Things Students Need to Know this Week (May 19)

Top 3 Things Students Need to Know this Week (May 14)

Student Employment Guidelines for Reduced Campus Operations (updated March 13)

To see more university communications, visit the Updates and Guidelines page.

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Contact us

Feel free to reach out with questions and concerns we have not yet addressed. You can submit your question or comment using the Coronavirus Question Form, and it will be reviewed and sent to the appropriate office.

We appreciate your trust and patience as we focus our attention on many moving parts in an effort to best serve our students and community.