COVID-19 Response — Academics

Returning to In-Person Courses

As we prepare for the upcoming academic year, we are excited to be planning a more robust, in-person experience that will bring our community together again. 

St. Kate’s plans to deliver courses based on the traditional calendar for all programs.

Summer 2021

Classes will continue to be held in a variety of in-person and online formats, with some Tier Three courses moving to face-to-face instruction. 

Fall 2021

Courses will continue to be designated by tier to allow us to adjust if needed, but we plan to have all Tier One, Two, and Three courses in-person. Some adjustments to Tier Three sections may need to be made (e.g., students meet in two classrooms connected via technology) based on social distancing requirements in effect at the time. Tier Four courses will be fully online.

Details will be provided in course syllabi, D2L, and/or communication from course instructors prior to the first day of classes. Policies and procedures for in-person instruction, as outlined in the Preparedness Plan, must be followed by all St. Kate’s community members. These include:

  • All faculty, staff, students, and approved visitors must wear a cloth face covering or mask when entering and walking through buildings on campus and while in common or shared spaces.
  • Each day prior to coming to campus, faculty, staff, and students must complete the Daily Symptom Self-Check through the LiveSafe app or online. A green checkmark indicates you are cleared to come to class. A red X indicates you may not come to campus and should notify your faculty.
  • All faculty, staff, and students must review the COVID-19 Health Best Practices and complete Safe Return to Campus Quiz before their first trip to campus.

In addition to following the guidelines above, these additional classroom protocols are in place:

  • Where possible, tables and chairs were rearranged or removed from classrooms to accommodate the social distancing guidelines. In order to maintain six (6) feet spacing, tables and chairs should not be moved.
  • For Tier One and Tier Two courses in which social distancing is not always possible, partners will be assigned in order to minimize close contacts, and students and faculty will have temperature screening in addition to the Daily Symptom Screening.
  • Eating and drinking are not permitted in classrooms.
  • Students and faculty will follow signs or floor markings instructing how to enter and exit the classroom to maintain appropriate physical distance.
  • For accurate contact tracing, students will have seating assignments and attendance will be taken.

The Facilities team has established a detailed cleaning and sanitizing schedule and process that follows specific guidelines from MDH and the CDC. Additional details will be provided for spaces with specific equipment that will need to be cleaned. Additionally, ventilation systems have been reviewed to make sure they are operating efficiently and allow for as much airflow circulation as possible.

To facilitate remote learning, faculty are designing lectures and activities based on learning goals for students for both class sessions and the course as a whole. The learning goals for students will determine the most appropriate learning modality, whether that is a synchronous session that will include a live platform for virtual learning, or asynchronous sessions to be delivered as modules.

Some online courses will be offered in a synchronous format, to allow faculty and students to engage in learning at the same time. Please plan to be available during the scheduled class session regardless of the instructional delivery, unless the course is listed as “fully online asynchronous only.” Faculty are being asked to record their lectures for both synchronous and asynchronous courses.

The course schedule now has specific tier designation, ranging from 1-5 for each course, informing how a course will be offered. On the Registrar web page, under "How to Register," select the applicable schedule (College for Women, College for Adults, Graduate College), then enter the term (Spring 2021), the subject and course number, and click on Class Search. You will see the tier designation listed as an Attribute.

This Online Learning Guide is designed to help students to maximize the experience of online learning.

Clinicals, Fieldwork, and Internships

As placements become available, we are working closely with our community and clinical partners to support students’ safe return to clinical and fieldwork experiences. This includes completion of required educational modules, self-screening to identify higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and meetings with the academic fieldwork coordinator, director of clinical education, or field director. When appropriate, the University is also providing students with required personal protective equipment. Career Development recommends that students engaged in internships work remotely if the organization allows. If working remotely is not an option, students should work directly with their internship faculty advisor and Career Development to identify the best plan for completing internships. Each situation will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please consult with your faculty advisor and Career Development as soon as possible.  

Study Abroad

Global Studies international affiliate programs as well as faculty-led Global Studies programs are suspended through the Spring 2021 semester due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Twin Cities-based Global Studies programs, run through our partner HECUA and virtual programs offered through affiliate providers, remain available. Students are eligible to use financial aid to cover the cost of participation, and the St. Kate’s Global Studies admin fees for virtual programs for Spring 2021 will be waived. The application deadline for local and virtual Spring 2021 Global Studies programs is December 1. Please contact Global Studies with any questions.

Accommodations and the O'Neill Center

Students needing accommodations should contact the O'Neill Center.

Technology and Access

If you do not have access to a laptop or computer, complete the following laptop loaner form, and we will work with you on meeting this need: Laptop request form

Due to increased network usage, Internet connections may be substandard and/or fail. If you are not able to connect fully, we recommend you call in with audio.

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.

If your course or lab uses particular software, further instructions 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.

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 below. 

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.

  • Free Xfinity WiFi: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are free for use at this time. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit
  • 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.

Self-help materials are 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.

If you need further assistance, 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.