COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Academics

What is the status of Arcadia's fall 2020 Semester?

After careful consideration, Arcadia has decided to move all courses this fall semester entirely online and suspend on-campus housing for our students for the fall semester. We will be offering some in-person experiences for a few graduate programs (primarily in our College of Health Sciences). Learn more here.

What is the status of Arcadia's spring 2021 semester? 

Course instruction will resemble the fall 2020 semester and remain fully online for spring 2021, with classes starting Jan. 19. Arcadia will offer on-campus supplemental instruction and experiential opportunities that connect with some of our courses and academic programs, which may include access to art studios, guided exploration of scientific concepts in some of our laboratories, and optional meetings of study groups.

What if I need technical support to complete my coursework online?

The Information Technology website is updated regularly with guidelines and resources to help provide students, faculty, and staff with the best online learning experience possible. Visit their website to see vendor offerings of resources such as free wifi, software, etc. For technical issues, students can contact Helpdesk@arcadia.edu for additional needs.

How can I access various registration and academic forms?

Registrar forms are available online, If a form you need immediately is not electronically submittable, please email appropriate information to GUS@arcadia.edu


Tuition and Fees

Is there a change in tuition and fees for the academic year?

Tuition and fees will be the same and will not be refunded regardless of the learning environment during 2020-21, as academic credit, learning, and certain non-academic services will be provided, though in different ways, whether on campus, in a hybrid environment, or entirely remotely. Although learning and academic and nonacademic services may be delivered differently due to necessary health and safety protocols related to the pandemic, Arcadia University’s mission remains the same. We will deliver a high-quality and meaningful, though not identical, experiences.


Campus Life 

Is campus housing available for the spring 2021 semester? 

An announcement on Nov. 2 stated that we are expanding our phased reopening of campus. As previously mentioned, we are opening single bedroom occupancy units for undergraduate students to live, on campus. For example, students housed in a traditional residence hall will have a single room; those housed in Oak Summit will have your own bedroom while sharing an apartment. 

The cost of Housing for the semester is $5,000. For the Spring 2021 semester there is one rate, regardless of your housing assignment.

All students living in University Housing (including Oak Summit) are required to select a meal plan. Meal plans are necessary to facilitate a safe environment for everyone and to help provide the services needed for students. Students who are required to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 will have food delivered to their quarantine space.  

Students have two meal plan options: a $850 or $1,350 point meal plan plus a $150 quarantine deposit. All food will be offered a la carte through either the Chat in the Commons or the new Global Cafe in Oak Summit. Our food service provider will also include grocery items for purchase to stock your apartments or rooms. The $150 deposit will offset the costs of meals and delivery to your room if you are required to quarantine or isolate. Any unused deposit will be credited to your account at the end of the semester. Students may add additional points to their plan throughout the semester. Please note this is a points-only plan for the Spring term, and no meal swipes or service in the Dining Hall will be offered.   

For more information, visit our Housing FAQs

Can University community members access campus?

Undergraduate and graduate students not residing on campus in the spring semester will need to apply for campus usage. It is important to reiterate that such access would require strict compliance with all health and safety guidelines, including regular testing. Details on accessing campus will be communicated to the University community shortly. 

Will students be required to get tested?

Student Health Services will communicate a regular testing schedule for students. This testing will be weekly to start the semester; however, the frequency may change as the COVID-19 situation evolves through the semester. Students who live on campus or are authorized to use campus facilities will need a COVID-19 test at the beginning of the semester and will be tested regularly thereafter. Students, staff, and faculty who test positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus within two days of the results must report it through the Self Disclosure Form.

Student Health Services (SHS) will use COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing via anterior nares, the least invasive and most accurate test that can be conducted in an outpatient setting. SHS will continue to offer symptomatic COVID-19 testing while conducting regular mass surveillance testing in conjunction with the Broad Institute. Symptomatic testing is when a person displays symptoms; surveillance testing is used to monitor the state of COVID-19 on Arcadia’s campus and provides insight into the spread of the virus among certain groups of people. 

Arcadia’s COVID testing dashboard is available here

Will there be refunds of fall semester room and board fees for undergraduate students?  

The University will process a credit for housing and meal plan fees. These credits will apply automatically to student accounts; any remaining credit will carry forward to the next academic semester, Spring 2021. For students who are graduating or transferring, these refunds will be processed automatically. Continuing students seeking a refund rather than a credit, or resident students with any financial concerns, should contact One-Stop Shop (215-517- 2339, onestop@arcadia.edu).  

What's the status of Arcadia Athletics?

Athletics will continue to follow regulations and guidelines from the NCAA and related sports organizations, as well as state and regional public health organizations. Athletics will communicate directly with student-athletes and their families once formal decisions are made regarding intercollegiate athletics for winter and spring sports and the possibility of fall sports during the spring semester. Athletics expect to have additional information at the end of November or in early December regarding the status of winter sports. 

For the Spring 2021 semester, access to the Kuch Center and related athletic facilities will be limited to student-athletes (resident or commuter), residential students, and commuter students that are approved for campus access. Faculty and staff outside of Athletics will not be permitted to use the workout facilities though their access might change as the semester progresses. Student usage is being prioritized at the start of the calendar year.


Employees

What is the plan for employees (faculty and staff) on campus?

All campus decisions remain grounded in our University’s Health and Safety Plan. Success in the gradual resumption of campus operations is dependent on our access to testing, our contact tracing effectiveness, and our commitment as a community in remaining #ARCADIA STRONG against COVID-19 and the flu. To safely expand our campus access and usage, our campus community will commit to a campus compact to protect and respect our community by embracing physical distancing practices, wearing masks, frequent handwashing and wiping of surfaces, and limiting group gatherings. We will update our health and safety guidelines accordingly for the spring semester and post any changes or updates on our Health and Safety Plan page. 

All faculty and staff who will be regularly working on campus and in areas where students may be learning, working, or visiting need a COVID-19 test at the beginning of the semester and will be tested regularly thereafter. Supervisors and deans have identified employees who are deemed to have or will have frequent contact and exposure to students or Arcadia community members on campus; these employees will be subject to testing prior to the spring 2021 semester. Employees will need to submit their negative test results to Human Resources prior to reporting to campus for work in January 2021. 

Human Resources will contact the employees for the testing. After the initial negative test, employees will be tested every other week.

Information on our current campus testing and reported COVID cases can be found on Arcadia’s COVID-19 Dashboard. Staff and faculty who test positive for COVID-19 and have been on campus within two days of the results must report it through the Self Disclosure Form. Employees with questions should contact their supervisors or Hector Figueroa in Human Resources (figueroah@arcadia.edu) for more information. 

The University has extended alternative work arrangements to minimize the number of employees on campus. We will continue to provide updates as we receive guidance from state, county, and local officials.

  • Supervisors have provided additional information regarding longer-term alternative work assignments. Plans should be based on guidelines previously shared by HR, and should also embrace our University’s lived values. All of those in a supervisory position should engage their direct reports in daily check-ins and update departmental and unit continuity plans. 
  • Employees can submit any questions to the Office of Human Resources through this online form

Study Abroad

What programs are available from Arcadia Abroad for Spring 2021?

International response to COVID and border closures have limited the ability to travel, live, and study overseas. For the Spring 2021 semester, Arcadia is planning to offer select study abroad opportunities in England, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Spain, and Wales in addition to the Intern Philly program. 

Due to limited opportunities to study abroad, The College of Global Studies has expanded its Arcadia Abroad Online portfolio, including virtual, global internships and programs. Arcadia Abroad Online offers the flexibility of online learning while emphasizing the importance of meaningful engagement with the local cultural and learning contexts of your courses. Through Arcadia Abroad Online, we invite students to build their own experience from across our worldwide curriculum based on their individual goals. 

Anyone interested in study abroad opportunities for spring 2021 should contact the Office of Study Away. For more information, please visit TCGS’ FAQs.

What about Preview and Global Field Study Courses?

Preview 2021 and Spring 2021 GFS courses will be held virtually, connecting students with people and places in the U.S. and around the world in an innovative online format. Due to quarantine regulations of the host countries, uncertainties about flight capacities, concerns about the pandemic's containment, and U.S. re-entry requirements, this year's field study component for both Preview and most GFS courses are not possible. GFS 317: Inspired by the View: Beauty and Boldness of Ireland is scheduled to include a one-month residency in Ireland because of the ability to comply with Irish quarantine requirements.

Course information available: 
Spring 2021 GFS Courses
2021 Preview Courses

Students with additional questions should contact the Office of International Programs for more information: oip@arcadia.edu.

If I defer my Spring 2021 application to a future semester (i.e. Summer 2021), what happens to my program deposit?

In recognition of the unique circumstances of the global pandemic, The College of Global Studies at Arcadia University has amended and is clarifying its refund and withdrawal policies for the Spring. For more information, go to the TCGS website.

If my Spring 2021 program is canceled and I paid my deposit, will I get a refund?

In the event that a program is cancelled prior to the start of the program, Arcadia will refund all payments made by, or on behalf of, any student toward participation in a College program.

In the event of a program suspension after the start of a program, the existing policies still apply.


Prevention and Self-Care

What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?

The common symptoms of COVID-19—which typically appear 2-14 days after exposure—are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The majority of cases are mild. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80 percent of individuals infected with COVID-19 recover without needing any special treatment.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through close contact and through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also spread by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it if you touch your own face, nose, or eyes after exposure.

What can I do to prevent COVID-19?

Practicing healthy hygiene habits is the best way to prevent the spread of illness while traveling, at home, and in school:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or coughing.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect “high touch” surfaces and objects every day.
  • Carefully consider the risks associated with personal travel and the potential for spreading the virus.
  • Do not attempt to travel if you have a fever or are ill. Be prepared to alter plans on short notice. If you choose to proceed with personal travel, submit your plans to Arcadia.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that people wear a face mask while in public in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Are there testing locations near Arcadia? 

For those coming to campus, testing will start at weekly intervals; however, the frequency may change as the COVID-19 situation evolves through the semester. Our health and safety teams continue to gather vital components in our mitigation of COVID-19 within our University community, including securing COVID-19 testing resources; you can monitor campus testing results by following our public COVID-19 dashboard.

Along with the surveillance testing, SHS is also continuing to test symptomatic students or those who are close contacts to someone who was positive for COVID.  Please call 215-572-2966 to schedule an appointment.  

These are testing locations near Arcadia’s campus, which require appointments:

  • Jefferson Health - Abington Hospital: 1200 Old York Rd, Abington, PA 19001, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
  • CVS: 835 Old York Road, Jenkintown, PA 19046; appointments must be made through the CVS website. This is a self-testing location, kits are picked up through the pharmacy drive up window.
  • Rite Aid: 7401 Ogontz Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19138, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a self-testing site, with appointments made through the RiteAid website
  • Montgomery County Willow Grove testing site: 1678 Fairview Ave, Willow Grove, PA 19090, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday noon to 2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 4 to 6 p.m.

Visit montcopa.org/COVID-19 for more details, or check official Montgomery County government social media accounts. Individuals without access to the internet or who do not have an email address can call 610-631-3000 to register for a testing appointment.  

According to Montgomery County, only individuals meeting one or more of the following four criteria are eligible for testing:

  • A fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit AND respiratory symptoms such as cough or shortness of breath; or
  • A temperature at or above 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit AND 65 years of age or older; or
  • A first responder (law enforcement, fire, EMS, or dispatcher) AND concern for exposure to a patient with suspected COVID-19 OR respiratory symptoms; or
  • Health care workers providing direct patient care AND testing not available through employer AND concern for exposure to a patient with suspected COVID-19 OR respiratory symptoms.

Contact Information

Who should I contact if I have questions?
  • About study abroad: Scott Terry, director of Study Away (215-572-2092).
  • About Preview: Jan Finn, associate dean of International Programs (267-620-4112).
  • About or for international students: Chelsea Herskovitz, assistant director of International Student Services (herskovitzc@arcadia.edu, 267-620-4843, or 215-572-2867 for the Office's main desk).
  • If you are abroad at an Arcadia Center: Hannah Leidich, assistant director of Health, Safety, and Security for the College of Global Studies (leidichh@arcadia.edu).
  • If you are a member of the media: Dan DiPrinzio, director of Communications (215-439-3338).
  • If you are a student who has returned from overseas and/or is not feeling well: visit the Student Health Services webpage and call SHS Director Theresa Smith (215-572-2966).
  • If you have questions about housing: email housing@arcadia.edu.