Classes and Academics

Classes

3/17/20 UPDATE: St. Catherine University will be moving to online classes starting Monday, March 30. Students can expect to hear from their faculty or academic departments in the coming days with specific details. 

In the case of class cancellations or campus closure, we will follow our emergency communications protocol and alert students via LiveSafe and email. 

LiveSafe is a free smartphone application that provides campus safety information, allows users to text tips in to Public Safety, helps community members stay safe while away from campus, and allows users to receive mass notification alerts from St. Kates when there is an identified hazard on campus. It is imperative that campus community members download LiveSafe onto their iOS or Android devices to use these safety features and to get the alerts.

Community members who do not have a smartphone can still sign up to receive mass notification alerts from St. Kate's but will be unable to access the other safety features. To sign up to receive alerts, email Public Safety at dps@stkate.edu and let us know you would like to receive these alerts. Include your name, email address, and cell phone number. Once signed up, you will receive email and SMS alerts from St. Kate's when a mass notification alert is sent out.

Download the LiveSafe app

We understand that students have concerns regarding completion of course requirements and grading based on the adjustment to online education. We are working to ensure the rigor of our courses and optimizing student learning and support. 

  • Students currently have the following three options for grades: a standard letter grade; a petition for an incomplete; and a request for a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade
  • The current incomplete grade policy requires that the "student must be making satisfactory progress in the course and must have completed 75% of the course requirements at the time the petition is filed." This policy will be relaxed this semester. Although students have not yet completed 75% of the full-semester courses, they will still be eligible to submit a request for an incomplete if they cannot complete the course requirements. 
  • Students will need to work individually with their faculty member(s) to determine whether there are options for completing the course work in an alternate format before exploring an incomplete grade. 
  • Our current satisfactory/unsatisfactory policy remains in effect.

Instructors will be in touch with students regarding midterm exams that were scheduled for the week of March 16-20. 

If you have questions, please reach out directly to your instructor. 

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.  

Options: 

  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.

Please work with your deans and CHADs for support to maximize the features in Brightspace D2L. Professional development and training with instructional designers in Academic Technology is also available.

The OTA Online program didactic content is continuing as usual. At this time, the next on-site lab session has been tentatively re-scheduled for a weekend after April 15. If conditions do not allow for face-to-face labs in April, contingency plans are being developed.

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 committed to allowing as many students as possible access to complete their courses for this term. We know and understand this may not be feasible for all students due to lack of access to technology to participate remotely, illness, and other circumstances. We will not require any student to participate in spring semester online courses, but will provide it as an option for all those who are able to participate and choose to do so to complete the course. For those who are unable to participate or choose not to, we will give students an incomplete and offer an alternative way to complete their course to the extent possible. 

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Summer registration is open, and you will be receiving email updates regarding available classes and when you can register. We anticipate most, if not all, summer courses will be offered online.  

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 www.xfinity.com/wifi.
    • 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 Speedtest.net 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.