Classes and Academics

Commencement means a great deal to all of us, thus we are postponing our May 22-23, 2020 graduate and undergraduate commencement ceremonies for all three colleges: College for Women, College for Adults, Graduate College. We identified three options, pending the status of the COVID-19 public health guidelines.  


  1. Hold commencement ceremonies on August 28-29, 2020. 
  2. If we are unable to hold ceremonies in August, we will combine spring 2020 commencement celebrations with the winter 2020 ceremony on December 16-17, 2020.
  3. If we are unable to hold December ceremonies, we will combine all ceremonies into the May 2021 celebration (ie. extended ceremonies with May 2020, December 2020, and May 2021 graduates). 

We are not planning beyond the three options above at this time. Decisions will be driven by when it is safe to have large gatherings again as determined by MDH and CDC. We will confirm dates or share updates at least eight (8) weeks in advance to allow you to plan accordingly. 

NOTE: It is very important to remember that ALL degrees will be conferred at the end of the spring semester pending the completion of all degree requirements, regardless of when the commencement ceremony is held. May completion dates will be included on student transcripts. 

Clinical experiences and simulations that need to be completed on campus due to equipment in nursing and health sciences are suspended until further notice.

We are working closely with our community and clinical partners and will follow their policies and guidance related to students in clinical settings.

  • With input from our professional accrediting bodies and schools about what options are available for meeting clinical education and fieldwork requirements, we are evaluating alternative options for students (e.g., in-person and virtual simulations/labs) to meet accreditation/licensure requirements and keep students on track.

  • We are prioritizing seniors and those students scheduled to graduate this spring.

  • We will be communicating additional details directly with students, faculty, and staff in these programs.

OTA Online summer 2020 courses were delayed three weeks (May 25 is the first day of class for OTA online courses), and on-site labs for the first half summer 2020 course are scheduled for June 27-28. OTA Online LAS courses are running on the original summer 2020 schedule.

Virtual fieldwork experiences have been developed and used during winter 2020 and summer 2020 while participation in on-site fieldwork experiences remains limited by COVID-19 restrictions.

For students engaged in internships, Career Development recommends you move to working remotely if your organization allows you to do so. If working remotely is not an option, students are to suspend their internship for the semester and work with their faculty advisor and Career Development. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please consult with CWL, Career Development, and your faculty advisor.

We are delivering all courses online as communicated on April 9. and allowing small groups of students to campus for summer courses that benefit most from in-person activities. These activities must adhere to social distancing guidelines, and we will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning the spaces that are used. 

Technology and Connectivity

  • Free Xfinity WiFi: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are temporarily free for use. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit
    • Once at a hotspot, select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
    • If you are not near a hotspot, Internet Essentials is free to new customers. (Click for more details.)
  • City of Minneapolis: The city opened their WiFi network for free temporary internet access. Look for the “City of Minneapolis Public WiFi” or “USI Wireless” networks on your mobile device. The process is similar to using Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or the airport. Contact USI Internet support for more information or to get help over the phone. 
  • Cellular Service: If you have cellular service, you can use your phone to gain access. If your phone has Hot Spot capabilities you would be able to use this to connect your laptop. Check with your service provider for available options. If you don’t have Hot Spot capabilities, your smart phone itself could be used to access your class.
  • Local Restaurant or Coffee Shop: Many places may not be open, but if they are, this may be an option for you. If they are closed, you can often access the Wifi when you are near the location. As faculty will be recording classes and content will be online, you can periodically connect to download or upload materials. Please work with your faculty so they are aware of your limitations.

Go to from your browser and select GO to test your connection speed. If you are at or below 3 you will likely have connection issues and should look into one of the options above. 

To have a good experience with online video sessions, we recommend your download and upload Mbps is a 5 or better. If you do have issues, you can also try these recommendations to improve your internet speed.

These are unprecedented times, and the networks are flooded with new online users. It is likely that there will be periods of challenges. If you are not able to connect fully, we recommend you call in with audio. Faculty are being asked to record their classroom sessions so you can review these recordings when you are able to connect.

Please complete the following laptop loaner form, and we will work with you on meeting this need:

Laptop request form

Getting Started with Brightspace/D2L for Students offers a series of video’s and knowledge articles related to the common functions you will need to know. 

We recommend you start with the video Navigating your Course in Brightspace D2L.

Classes will be online using one of two different tools depending on what works best for the faculty and course. 

  • If your course is using Collaborate Ultra, you will find the connection information in Brightspace/D2L. 
    • Once in our D2L course, the left navigation pane will include a Collaborate Ultra Portal Link. 
    • Click into this portal and select “Online Sessions – CLICK HERE” to join. 
    • This is also where you will find the audio number if you are unable to connect. 
    • We recommend you write this down for back up purposes.
  • If your course is using Google Meet, you will get an email meeting invite and the appointment will be added to your Google Calendar. From the email or your calendar invite, you will find a link to connect into the session or a phone number for audio as needed.

Further instructions, where needed, will come from your instructor. In many cases, the software is free and can be downloaded or accessed via the internet. In some cases, the software costs money, and the University has been working with software providers to give you free access to these tools for the duration of the semester.

All students have access to Google Meet and can set up and host meetings online. For information on setting up a meeting, go to How to create a Google Calendar Event

Additional materials are available in ServiceNow (search for MEET) to learn how to navigate hosting a meeting.

We have self-help materials available in ServiceNow addressing most common questions.

Navigate to ServiceNow by going to the Student page on the website [Website > My St. Kate’s > Students] and clicking the ServiceNow button at the top of your page. 

Call the Helpdesk at 651-690-6402 or log an issue on our new Coronavirus Technology Form, and we will get back to you. Please note that you may experience delays as we have limited staff on the phone and additional resources working the forms as they come in.

If you need help, we recommend you download TeamViewer to your personal laptop now or prior to calling. This will allow an agent to remote into your machine to help you navigate your issue. 

1. Click on the appropriate download link depending on computer.

2. After the software finishes downloading, click Run to start the installation.
3.  Click Accept on the Disclaimers page.
4.  You are provided with an ID and Password that needs to be given to the Help Desk agent to provide remote access to your computer.