Keeping Our Community Safe
Throughout the pandemic, Webster University has prioritized the safety of its community while optimizing the ways students could continue their education with as little disruption as possible. We continually adapt to local conditions while incorporating the latest information about how to mitigate the spread of COVID 19.
Students and families are encouraged to review the information below for policy updates, news and expectations when on campus.
Faculty, staff and students are required to complete the DAILY health screening PRIOR to coming to campus each day. The screening is completed through the secure Office 365 platform, accessed via healthform.webster.edu.
Safety Guidance and Protocols for Students
As part of the extensive effort to keep the Webster community safe, all students and employees are asked to review the Transition & Adaptability Policy for safe activity on campus. Each employee submits an attestation to having reviewed the policy and committed to adhering to it. Students are asked to affirm this commitment through the Student Pledge.
Students, faculty and staff who study or work on campus are required to complete the DAILY health screening PRIOR to coming to the main campus. The screening is completed through the secure Office 365 platform, accessed via healthform.webster.edu.
- Verification of completed health assessment will be sent to the individual through their Webster University email address noting an approval or a denial to enter campus buildings.
- If you are directed NOT to report to campus based on self-report: Follow the directions listed in the email received to provide notification to Human Resources/Supervisor(s).
- DO NOT report to campus if you are feeling ill.
- If you are not able to complete the health assessment online, you are required to report to Public Safety to complete the health screening and/or receive an access status voucher for the day.
- All collected access screening information will be deleted at the end of each day.
On the main campus, there will be designated entry points to each building, and access will be restricted to students, faculty and employees with a valid ID. You’ll want to keep your Webster ID on you at all times:
- Your ID card (to swipe for access) and daily health screening are required to enter on-campus buildings;
- Personnel will staff each entry point and verify that you have passed your daily health screening;
- Students who do not reside in a Housing & Residential Life building will not be granted access to that space.
- All visitors must report to Public Safety for a health screening. If approved, visitor will receive a physical campus access voucher.
- Face masks or face coverings are required while in campus buildings and while working in a shared workspace.
- Face masks or face coverings may be removed if working alone in an enclosed area with the door closed.
- A face mask or face covering is required in outside areas when 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before putting on a mask, removing a mask, or if you touch the mask while it is on your face.
- If you need to remove and reuse the mask, place it in a plastic or paper bag (not in your purse or backpack), where it will not contaminate other shared surfaces.
- Employees may wear their own CDC compliant face covering to campus.
- If employees do not have access to a face covering, a face covering may be acquired from Public Safety.
- It is recommended that all employees review the CDC guidelines for wearing face masks for information regarding wearing, removing, reusing and washing face coverings.
- All individuals are required to maintain at least a 6-foot (2 meter) social distance from others.
- Social distancing will be maintained in shared spaces on campus (e.g., elevators, conference rooms, kitchens, copy rooms, restrooms, etc.).
- High density, shared work areas have been identified and plexiglass dividers are being installed.
- All meetings are encouraged to take place in an online format.
- Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited per St. Louis County guidelines.
- Practice frequent handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use 60% hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces and items (e.g., phones, office supplies, copy machine).
- Hand sanitizer will be placed at every building entry/exit area.
- Do not share personal items.
- 4M has implemented deep cleaning protocols throughout the university.
- Employees are required to sanitize and disinfect surfaces following the use of conference and meeting rooms including tabletops, chairs, and any other frequently touched shared surfaces.
Webster has established protocols for managing when a student or employee has COVID-19, is suspected of having COVID-19, or is identified as a Close Contact. These include steps for quarantine/isolation and other safety measures relating to a case:
The full process and instructions are outlined in the above protocols, but in general:
- Commuter students should contact the Student Health Services Department by phone 314-246-7422 or email email@example.com if they have been diagnosed with and/or identified as being a close contact to a person who has COVID-19;
- Residential student should notify Housing and Residential Life staff if they have been diagnosed with and/or identified as being a close contact to a person that has COVID-19. Housing & Residential Life is prepared to execute isolation housing plans for these individuals – including the potential of relocation (based on where they reside), dining service delivery, and other essential items.
- Fully online/remote students: Even if you have not been on a Webster campus, we request that you inform your local campus if you test positive for COVID. St. Louis-area students who are online or fully remote and have not been to campus should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include details about where you had your testing and when. Also, if you have not already done so, we encourage you to notify your instructor of your COVID status.
- Employees should contact Human Resources.
Student Academics FAQ: In-Class Expectations and Course Access
Professors and their staff colleagues have worked hard to prepare a safe in-person learning environment for students. We can all help each other work through this unique time together, as long as we remember:
- Everyone in a classroom will be required to wear a mask at all times;
- Maintain social distance in classrooms, including with seating and while entering and exiting;
- Food and drink are not allowed in class;
- Feeling sick? Do not go to class.
- You will be asked to disinfect the items you used during class or labs before leaving the room.
Webster University is returning to on-ground instruction where possible and as safety and security guidance allows. Courses will be offered in one of four formats (modalities):
- Face-to-face or lecture classes, which are on-ground courses that will include mask/face covering requirements and social distancing. Social distancing requirements will also require other modifications in some classes; for example, some classes may use two classrooms.
- Remote (WebNet+) classes, which are courses that will meet at the days and times scheduled (synchronously). These classes may have a section that meets on campus, but students will have the ability to be connected to the class via videoconferencing from home. Videoconferencing will take place via Zoom.
- Online courses, which are courses that occur completely asynchronously. Students complete the work on the days and times that work best for them to ensure they meet the due dates.
- Hybrid classes, which are courses that will be offered with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats. For example, the course may meet synchronously, either face-to-face or remotely, for part of the time, and asynchronous engaged learning activities may be offered for part of the time. Synchronous class meetings would occur on the days and within the times identified in the schedule.
Considerations departments used when determining modalities for individual courses include: classroom size under reduced occupancy requirements, need for access to equipment and materials, equipping rooms with technology for remote or hybrid delivery, and instructor needs.
While the Spring 2021 schedule should be fairly well set, as always, typical start-of-semester/term course adjustments may be made, including cancellation of courses with low enrollment. Therefore, it is important that you check your schedule the day of your first class in ensure that you have the most up-to-date information about your class.
These modalities were used in Fall 2020 with great success. Webster’s preparation during Summer 2020 and modifications and enhancements in Fall 2020 have positioned the University to be even more prepared for Spring 2021. Safety measures, including revised classroom occupancies to support social distancing, face mask/covering requirements, and daily health screening for all community members, will remain in effect.
You can read more about these measures and the corresponding expectations for community members in a message to the Webster community sent on July 31, 2020.
Webster has invested in technology to improve faculty and student teaching and learning, particularly with regard to improving remote learning, supporting the hybrid course modality, helping with social distancing in the classroom, and addressing needs unique to experiential and hands-on courses.
Making Remote Learning Better
- Zoom for Real-Time Conferencing:Enhances teaching and learning in virtual environments by offering breakout rooms, transcriptions for recordings, and the convenience of launching from the WorldClassRoom/Canvas page. Additionally, students have their own Zoom accounts which further expands ways that our communities can learn and collaborate.
- Kaltura for Media Rich Classes: Provides instructors with personal media galleries for instructional video content, capture tools to make new videos and screencasts directly into Canvas, and even the ability to create video quizzes with no worries of ever exceeding Canvas course file space.
- Expanded Faculty Training and Support: Webster has offered 95 workshops for faculty over the Summer, and open hours for drop-in support six days weekly. Hundreds of faculty have attended workshops or support sessions to help them prepare for their Fall classes.
- Tablets for Students with Needs: The University has purchased a supply of Microsoft Surface Go tablets to make available to students who need devices to meet online and remote course expectations. Students in need of this support may learn more here.
Supporting Hybrid Teaching and Learning
- Deploy New Classroom Cameras: The number of classroom spaces with streaming cameras has been expanded from 11 to 30, with opportunities to add more as global supply chains for these products make them more available.
- Writing Tablets for Faculty: The Faculty Development Center is distributing more than 100 writing devices to faculty to support instructional practices, such as explaining formulas and processes, teaching visual concepts, and providing feedback on student work.
Social Distancing in The Classroom
Computer Lab Instructor Software: Computer labs have been set up with software that allows instructors and students to share screens in class, removing the need to approach stations to support student learning.
Supporting Experiential Learning and Hands-on Courses
Academic programs identified a wide range of unique solutions to support teaching in their disciplines. From projectors and cameras in performing arts spaces, or creating virtual opportunities to complete field experiences, to small solutions like new processes for reserving space to work, students will find changes designed to help them achieve the relevant hands-on experiences for their programs of study.
Webster WiFi will work all over campus. Below are some inside locations on the Webster Groves campus that you can use to access your remote classes. Students who bring their own devices and equipment (e.g., headphones or earbuds) can access their remote classes from various locations on campus:
- The Edward Jones Commons in the East Academic Building (EAB): Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- The Library: Library hours are available at http://library.webster.edu/about/hours.html.
- The University Center (UC): Has seating, but no tables. Review the University Center hours here.
- Browning Hall, the Interdisciplinary Science Building (ISB): In the ISB, students are welcome to use the lobby areas. In addition, there are classrooms in the ISB that students can use for remote class participation and study areas on a first-come, first-served bases. Students must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines and, in some rooms, headphones or earbuds must be worn. A sign outside of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Office, ISB 202, will provide more information.
- Priest House Student Lounge
Students who need to use a computer but can bring their own headphones or earbuds can access computers in the following areas of campus:
- East Academic Building 104 – between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- East Academic Building 212 – between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- The Library: Students looking for computers workstations set up with headphones and webcams can find six computers set up in this way in the Library. These workstations are first-come, first-served and are available on the 2nd floor in the Special Collections area.
We have two key goals: to assist you in progressing toward your chosen degree, and to keep you – and other Webster students, faculty, and staff – safe and healthy. If you do not feel well, are required to self-quarantine, etc., we want you to stay home! Active participation in class is important, and we have increased ways for students to keep up with classes and coursework, which may include remote options in face-to-face classes.
The most important thing for you to do is keep in touch with your instructors. Notify your instructors if you must miss class, and consult with them on your options for keeping up or catching up with coursework. You can also contact the Academic Advising Center for advice (email@example.com, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847).
If you are registered for Spring courses, you do not need to act at this time. You should already have seen and reviewed the course formats/modalities for your selected courses as you were completing your registration. However, should you wish to change your course schedule, you may do so. If you need assistance, please connect with your assigned advisor and/or the Academic Advising Center (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847), where staff will work with you and your faculty advisor on your schedule.
You should register for your desired Spring courses to ensure that you obtain a place in classes that you need and want. If you are unsure of what classes to take, please contact your assigned Advisor or the Academic Advising Center for assistance. Contact email@example.com, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847.
Selecting courses in these modalities and registering for those courses will ensure those modalities. If you need advice or assistance, you can:
- Contact the Academic Advising Center (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847), OR
- “Raise Your Hand” in Starfish by selecting “Need Help Registering for Classes.”
Selecting courses in the lecture modality and registering for those courses will ensure that modality – though, please note that circumstances may change due to a variety of issues, including possible restrictions for St. Louis County or updated Department Health guidelines. If you need advice or assistance, you can:
- Contact the Academic Advising Center (email@example.com, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847), OR
- “Raise Your Hand” in Starfish by selecting “Need Help Registering for Classes.”
While Webster has a robust listing of courses in all modalities on the Course Schedule, not every course will be offered in all formats/modalities. You can review courses and their course formats/modalities to make selections and/or changes to your registration as needed. The Academic Advising Center (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847) is happy to provide advice and assistance as needed.
All Spring 2021 semester scheduled study abroad programs, including Spring 1, Spring Break, and Spring 2 programs, have been canceled based on current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of State (DOS), worldwide travel restrictions, a review of Covid-19 cases in each study abroad location, and other country-specific resources. Spring 2021 study abroad applicants have been provided with a list of virtual study abroad courses at Webster international campus ocations from which they can select a course(s) for their Spring schedules. These courses could be taken in combination with any courses they are taking at their home campus.
For more information, contact the Office of Study Abroad (email@example.com or 314-968-6988), or visit the Division of Global Education Coronavirus Update page.
There are no changes for the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar at this time. Undergraduate classes are scheduled to start on January 11 and finish on May 7, with Spring Break occurring the week of March 8-12. Most graduate classes are scheduled to start on January 4 and end on May 14, with Spring Break the week of March 8-12. (More details are on the Academic Calendar.) Webster continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation and the factors that impact communities and campuses. If an adjustment in the Spring 2021 Academic Calendar is necessary, those communications will be sent to the Webster community in a timely manner.
Yes, of course! Webster University always provides these resources and supports in a virtual manner because we serve a global community. In addition, the newly renovated physical Academic Resource Center (ARC), located on the Webster Groves (St. Louis), Missouri, campus, will be open to support St. Louis-area students. To learn more about academic support services, visit the Academic Resource Center website at https://www.webster.edu/arc.
The library’s online collections are available 24/7 at http://library.webster.edu. There you will also find information about getting help with your research and services including mail delivery of materials from the library’s collection, interlibrary loan, and MOBIUS.
The physical library on the main campus is scheduled to remain open. Following campus health protocols, students will be able to browse and check out library materials, request and pick up items, and use computers and study spaces. In order to facilitate social distancing, furniture and computer seating have been rearranged, allowing more space. Additional temporary changes have been made to help keep users safe.
Public law (PL 116-154) has been passed through December 21, 2021, ensuring 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/BAH rate. As always, two traditional online courses render ½ the national average for MHA/BAH. It is recommended that military-affiliated students connect with Jason Blakemore, VetSuccess On Campus counselor (VSOC), at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-246-8079 to review your personal situation and details. Students are also encouraged to contact the Academic Advising Center.
Yes. Based on student surveys and feedback, we know that students may need assistance obtaining devices to use as well as assistance with internet connections. We have 1) purchased a stock of devices that students can check out for the term or semester; 2) provided options to support internet access for students who need it; and 3) leveraged our emergency loan program and expanded it to meet emerging needs. Many of these steps are the work of a special task force of faculty and staff who are advising Webster leadership on how best to invest in technology to support the academic success of our students.
For St. Louis-area students, an Emergency Technology Application has been created to provide support Webster University students who are experiencing a technology crisis that could adversely affect their semester. Applications are reviewed and coordinated through the Dean of Students Office. See this Emergency Technology Application page for the application and eligibility information.
For other technology issues, contact the Information Technology Service Desk for technology-related questions and needs. Call 314-246-5995 or 866-435-7270 or email email@example.com. You will find other details, including hours of operation, on the Information Technology page.
We know that everyone is experiencing various challenges as this time! Webster is committed to working with you to help you continue your academic journey during the pandemic. Like you, we hope that challenges presented by COVID-19 lessen in the coming months. In the meantime, we encourage you to keep on the path to complete your degree and graduate on time. We are here to support you in achieving your educational goals. We strongly encourage you to discuss your degree completion path and timeline with your assigned advisor or with a staff advisor in the Academic Advising Center (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847).
If you do need to take time off, please contact the Academic Advising Center (email@example.com, 314-968-6972, or 800-982-3847) and the Financial Aid Office (firstname.lastname@example.org, 314-968-6992, or 800-983-4623) to discuss details specific to your personal situation (e.g., revised degree completion dates, financial aid implications).
Specific course offerings and modalities will vary by campus and according to local conditions. If you're an undergraduate student at a campus other than the main campus in Webster Groves, refer to information from your local campus.
CARES Act HEERF Reporting
The Federal CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), passed into law in March 2020, provided funds to colleges and universities to distribute for emergency student grants due to the pandemic. Webster University provided an application process for eligible students to receive assistance through a one-time emergency grant in 2020.
Required reporting on Webster's disbursement of CARES Act funds and an archive of key communications about this program can be found here.