Volume 3, Issue 5
Fall 2020 Virtual Commencement Set for Saturday, Dec. 12
Nearly 475 students will be awarded degrees during Kutztown University's fall virtual commencement at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12. Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, university president, and Dr. Anne Zayaitz, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will preside over the virtual ceremony.
KU is holding its commencement ceremony virtually due to the current state of the pandemic.
The virtual commencement ceremony will be presented as a YouTube premier at 9 a.m., Dec. 12, and will feature the president, provost and deans giving their commencement remarks and the official conferring of degrees. Each graduate's name will be shown on screen. After the 9 a.m. premiere, the video will be available on-demand. In addition, the digital commencement bulletin and cap and gown celebration video will be available at https://www.kutztown.edu/virtualcommencement. Graduates are invited to walk at the next in-person ceremony.
Kutztown University Announces Spring 2021 Reopening Plan
President Hawkinson announced the university's 2021 spring semester reopening plan Nov. 20, which can be viewed at https://www.kutztown.edu/spring2021. If you have any questions, please contact KU's Office of University Relations at email@example.com.
President Hawkinson's email to campus Nov. 20:
Dear Kutztown University Community,
Thank you for your continued support of our fall reopening plan. Our students and employees came together, made adjustments in their academic and personal lives – all for the health and wellness of our campus community. You have shown tremendous strength this fall and I thank you for your commitment to each other and Kutztown University.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve gathered feedback, assessed our resources and abilities, and made appropriate changes for the spring semester. Our Spring 2021 reopening plan is now available for review below. Our primary focus from the fall remains the same: to complete our mission of providing a quality education for our students, and doing everything possible to provide a nurturing environment for all those who work and learn on our campus.
Please be aware that the plan is a “living” document and we will adjust our plan based on revised guidance. Any changes will be communicated to the campus community.
Our plan is to conduct the 2021 spring semester similar to the current model that is in place for the fall.
- Classes begin Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.
- 87% of our course offerings will have a synchronous component, wherein the classes will be held live in person or with technology (or both) in real time. Our expected offering of courses include 67.6% online, 25.8% in-person hybrid, and 6.6% in-person.
- Masks and social distancing are required in many areas of our campus.
- There will be no spring break. Instead, there will be four regular class days throughout the semester in which classes will not be held (Feb. 11, March 10, April 2 and 20). In addition, no classes will be held Saturday, April 3. These days are meant to be “wellness days” for students and faculty. No school work should be assigned on these days.
- Residence halls will remain open for students (move-in Jan. 16-18).
- Dining halls open Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021.
- Final testing protocols will be determined after further consultation with the State System and PA Department of Health. We will continue to test students for COVID-19 who are symptomatic, per guidelines. We are considering multiple options to increase our rapid testing capacity and to allow testing for groups wherein testing is required, such as intercollegiate athletics, student teaching and other areas. We will continue to monitor state guidelines concerning asymptomatic testing.
- Limited, temporary housing is available for students in quarantine or isolation.
I want to thank the Emergency Management Committee for its tireless efforts in putting this plan together, and the many others who have contributed their time and ideas to this endeavor.
We will continue to update the campus through winter break as we approach the spring semester. I encourage everyone to read through our plan to fully prepare yourself for your return to campus. If you have additional questions, our Office of University Relations is ready to help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My very best wishes to you all.
Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson
Wellness Days, Coming Spring 2021
This year, due to the effects of COVID-19, spring break has been divided into five separate dates. To give our community the chance to mentally decompress, we will have a series of wellness events for students, staff, faculty and the wider university community Feb. 11 and March 10. This large-scale event promotes mental and physical well-being through fun, relaxing experiences that focus on techniques to encourage self-care. The goal of each experience is to encourage mindfulness, awareness, relaxation and understanding of the need for self-care by inviting practitioners from diverse backgrounds. This event will feature different practices for de-stressing, self-care, mindfulness and overall well-being. Watch a teaser video here. More information will be announced at a later date. Watch Here.
Retention and Student Success
The KU Success Conference is an opportunity for students on academic warning or probation and their families to prepare for a successful spring semester. By attending, your student will learn new academic success strategies, connect with faculty and staff and gain insight from students who increased their academic success. Join us noon to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 23, for our first Virtual KU Success Conference. Register online at www.kutztown.edu/studentsuccess. Parents are welcome. If you have any questions, please contact R. Chad Brown, assistant director for Retention and Student Success at email@example.com.
Student Success Center
Have your student kick off the 2021 spring semester strong with the Student Success Center. The Student Success Center offers academic skills workshops and one-on-one consultations on study skills, time management, note-taking and learning strategies to enhance success inside and outside the classroom. For more information and resources, visit www.kutztown.edu/studentsuccess.
Tutoring Services is recruiting peer tutors for Spring 2021. If your student is interested in this employment opportunity, please have them complete the Tutoring Services Employment Application. If your student has questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Career Challenge
Encourage your student to work on their career development during the winter break. Students can work on completing one of the career certificates through this virtual opportunity. Find out more at www.kutztown.edu/careercenter or email email@example.com with any questions.
Whether your student is just beginning to explore career options, preparing for a job interview or looking to change careers, CandidCareer can help. Students can gain access to the career advice of industry professionals and see it all on video. CandidCareer features informational interviews to help you discover and explore your many career options. More information can be found at www.kutztown.edu/candidcareer.
Administration and Finance
Student Accounts Office Holiday Hours
The Office of Student Accounts will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. Please be sure to reach out for any concerns or inquiries before Dec. 24. While we may check email over the break, we cannot guarantee a response nor action until we reopen in 2021.
1098-T and year-end tax information
Payments must post in MyKU with a 2020 date (within 2020) to be reported for calendar year 2020. The office will be closed or unable to post payments received in the mail Dec. 24 through Jan. 3. If the payment posting in 2020 is critical for you, either pay online or mail any payments no later than Monday, Dec. 14. 529 payments should allow no less than two weeks for posting from the date of withdrawal request. 529 payments only release to KU via paper checks. For more information, click here.
Parent Access to Billing Emails and Texts
Parents can get emails and texts when billing occurs just like the students. The student must go to MyKU > KU Financial Account tile > Payment Dashboard > Parent PIN box. The student can set up a parent to get emails and texts when bills are created and ready. The PIN is the username and can contain letters and numbers.
Payment Plans - Spring 2021 Open
Sign up right on the Payment Dashboard. MyKU > KU Financial Account tile > Payment Dashboard > Enroll in a Spring 2021 plan. If a student provided a parent access to the Dashboard, their parent can use this link to provide your own credentials. Parent access is created using the lower left box in the Payment Dashboard after the student signs in – Parent PIN (the pin is the username and can contain letters and numbers).
Spring 2021 Billing
Students who are registered for the Spring 2021 semester were billed Dec. 1, with a due date of Monday, Jan. 4., 2021. Information about billing for spring can be found online.
10% Fall Discounts
A friendly reminder that in the fall semester, we offered a 10% discount on housing and meals and select fees due to closing campus housing Nov. 25. For Spring 2021, we anticipate full semester occupancy and therefore the 10% discount for fall is not applicable to spring.
Students are emailed about their bills (as well as parents who are set up). If the bill is not opened and viewed in seven days, the student (or parent) will get a reminder email. On the payment dashboard, the bills each have an envelope icon – this will show 'open' or 'closed' indicating the bill has been viewed or not. The bills are maroon and gold. If you are looking at a blue bill, that is old formatting and you are missing details the dashboard bills provide. A sample and more information can be found online.
Students who still owe money for the Fall 2020 semester (or before) may be blocked from transcripts, diploma or spring registration and may not be able to move back into their residence hall in January unless they have a spring schedule. All federal aid must be disbursed by Thursday, Dec. 10, if the funding is for fall semester. Contact Financial Aid Services with urgency at 610-683-4077. Some alternative loans will work for fall once the semester is closed.
Bear Bucks Donations
If a graduating student would like to donate the remaining funds in their Bear Bucks account, please contact the KU Foundation at 610-683-4110 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and the donation form. Other questions about Bear Bucks and refunds from them should be directed to the KU Card office at email@example.com.
Enrollment Management and Student Affairs
Are your students in need of food or personal care items? Here are some options for resources available to them. Contact Friend Inc., 658 Noble Street in Kutztown, to schedule an appointment at https://www.friendinc.org or 610-683-7790. Friend, Inc. also has open hours - visit friendinc.org for dates and times. Visit the Bear Essentials Pantry from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the Office of Student Involvement, 153 MSU. Please call beforehand 610-683-1383 due to holiday schedule. You can also contact the Office of Student Involvement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtual Involvement Fair
Does your student want to get involved? They can join the Virtual Involvement Fair at 4-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28. Check Engage for updates.
Do you know someone who is looking for a college with a supportive community with challenging academics that will fuel their growth, all at an affordable cost? Good news – we've extended our priority deadline for students to apply in order to be considered for our top merit scholarships to Jan. 1, 2021. Interested high school seniors and transfer students can apply and use the code GOLDEN to waive the $35 application fee. We're now test-optional for Fall 2021 applicants.
Equity, Compliance and Legal Affairs
Disability Services Office
The Disability Services Office and the Career Development Center are pleased to announce that 15 students participated in the federal Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) this past semester. This program connects federal employers with motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Since this federal program expanded in 1995, thousands of students and recent graduates with disabilities nationwide have received temporary (summer internships) and permanent employment opportunities through the program. For more information on the Workforce Recruitment Program, please visit www.kutztown.edu/DSO/WRP.
In other news, the Kutztown University chapter of Delta Alpha Pi, International Honor Society for Students with Disabilities, celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 on Nov. 16, by hosting a guest speaker. Ms. Anne Raish, JD, principal deputy chief of the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, spoke virtually about the importance of the ADA, the role that she and the Disability Rights Section play in upholding the ADA and the work that is yet to be done in guaranteeing equity for people with disabilities. The session was well attended by students, staff, faculty and community guests.
Housing and Dining
Running low on Bear Bucks or Flex Dollars?
Bear bucks and flex dollars can be added online throughout the year. Bear Bucks do not expire, but Flex Dollars do at the end of the year.
University Relations and Athletics
Kutztown University Radio
If your Golden Bear is looking for an award-winning, safe, social-distance-friendly organization to join, tell them about Kutztown University Radio (KUR). COVID has taught us many new ways to accommodate our DJ's and on-air personalities without even having to step foot in a studio, using remote training and recording software. Email email@example.com for more information. Absolutely no experience required.
KU Campus Store
When is the best time to purchase course materials?
Wednesday, Jan. 6, is the best time to view your Virtual Shelf at kubstore.com/Virtual-Shelf. By January, there typically aren't changes to your student's course schedule and we have received course material information from most faculty members. We will also have the most amount of used copies at this time, along with the best prices. Textbooks can be returned by Jan. 29, if they are not needed.
Why purchase from KU Campus Store?
- As a nonprofit affiliate of KU, our priority is student success and retention.
- Savings up to 80% off the price of new with a large selection of rental, used and digital materials.
- Full refunds for materials in original condition throughout the add/drop period.
- We contribute our surplus to student scholarships, activities and campus athletics.
Our goal is for students to have access to the most affordable course materials available to support their academic success.
Alumni Plaza Bricks
Parents of Fall 2020 graduates: have your graduate's name engraved on a brick in Alumni Plaza. Click here for a brochure on adding a name to the plaza.
Stay Updated on Foundation News
Do you want to learn about the impact that the Kutztown University Foundation has on student scholarships, athletics and experiences? Complete this form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive communications that show the impact of philanthropy and how you can get involved to help today's students.
Connect with Us
The KU Foundation has been raising funds to support the students, faculty, programs and capital needs of Kutztown University since 1983, and the Alumni Relations team works hard to enhance the experience of KU grads. With the generous support of KU alumni and friends of the university, we've raised millions of dollars for student scholarships, endowment, building projects, academic programs, athletics and more.
PSECU Checking and Savings Accounts
Your student's PSECU checking and savings account can be accessed from home and anywhere they travel. Visit www.psecu.com or use the PSECU mobile app to find free ATMs nationwide. Deposit checks from home with the mobile app. No free ATMs close to home? Students can feel free to use any convenient ATM. ATM fees are rebated up to $8 per month, or $20 per month if direct deposit is set up to the account. PSECU also makes it easy to transfer money to other people with online banking or the mobile app.
Students and their family members can take advantage of these great benefits and more. Join at psecu.com/students. It is free to open and maintain an account. For a limited-time, students are eligible for a $50 new member promotion. Full rules and details are available online. Promotion ends Dec. 31. For more information, please call 610-894-4814 or email PSECU campus manager, Kelly Ann Ryan, at email@example.com.
Dates to Know
KU Central Calendar
A full listing of upcoming events and academic deadlines can be found on KU's central calendar.
Fall 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony (Watch Here).
Saturday, Dec. 12, 9 a.m.
Final examinations end.
Saturday, Dec. 12
Last day of Fall 2020 semester.
Saturday, Dec. 12
Last day for graduate students to make up “Incompletes” from the Fall 2019 semester.
Monday, Dec. 14
Fall 2020 grades available through MyKU at 8 p.m., unless notified.
Tuesday, Dec. 15
Winter Session 2021 classes begin.
Wednesday, Dec. 16
Winter 2021 add/drop period with 100% reduction or refund ends at midnight. No reduction of charges or refunds for individual course drops after midnight.
Thursday, Dec. 17
Winter 2021 “W” period.
Friday, Dec. 18 - Friday, Jan. 8
Winter 2021 last day for students withdrawing from the university to receive 80% reduction in charges or refund.
Saturday, Dec. 19
Winter 2021 last day for students withdrawing from the university to receive 60% reduction in charges or refund.
Sunday, Dec. 20
Winter 2021 last day for students withdrawing from the university to receive 50% reduction in charges or refund.
Tuesday, Dec. 22
Winter 2021 last day for students withdrawing from the university to receive 40% reduction in charges or refund.
Thursday, Dec. 24
Friday, Dec. 25 - Sunday, Jan. 3
Winter 2021 first day no reduction in charges or refund for university withdrawals.
Friday, Dec. 25
Persons with a disability, and who require accommodation, should notify the Disability Services Office two weeks prior to the event at 610-683-4108 or email DSO@kutztown.edu, TDD number: 610-683-4499, in order to discuss accommodations. Every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations. Please note: Kutztown University does not provide wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
Kutztown University does not discriminate in employment or educational opportunities on the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. To discuss a complaint of discrimination, please contact the University’s Title IX Coordinator located in the Office of Social Equity, Old Main A-Wing, Room 02, by phone at 610-683-4700 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Office for Civil Rights located in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Department of Education Bldg., 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-1100, by phone at 800-421-3481 (TDD: 800-877-8339), by fax at 202-453-6012, or by email at OCR@ed.gov.