Virtual Homecoming October 19-24 2020

Virtual Homecoming October 19-24 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

NMHU COVID-19 Safety Video

Mandatory safety procedures training for visitors and contractors:

All visitors and contractors coming on campus or to the centers must complete this COVID-19 safety procedures course online in order to be permitted access.

Details for Visitor and Contractor Safety

Checklist for COVID-19 Prevention in the Workplace

NMHU COVID-19 General Safety Training

Tutoring

We’re still here to help! Tutoring services at NMHU during COVID-19

Out-of-State/Country Travel Quarantine

As of 9/9/2020: The procedures below will be used as guidance for out-of-state/country travel. 

  • When someone travels out-of-state or out-of-country, the EOC can make a determination of their overall travel quarantine requirements or,
  • When a person living in the same residence of a NMHU employee, faculty or student travels out-of-state/country to a high-risk state or country.

NMHU travel quarantine procedures will be active until further notice.
Employees, faculty, and/or students should report out-of-state/country travel plans to the Emergency Operations Center at EOC@nmhu.edu if they have been or will be working physically on NMHU-owned and/or leased properties.

The Emergency Operations Center will determine if the out-of-state/country travelers will need to quarantine for 14 days if:

  • The individual will be physically on NMHU-owned and/or leased properties.
  • The traveler falls under one of the “exempt” categories identified by the current public health order.
  • The traveler traveled to or from a high-risk state/country.
  • Air travel will increase the risk of quarantine for 14 days due to the potential exposure from others from high-risk states/countries.

New Mexico Travel Advisory https://www.newmexico.org/covid-19-traveler-information/

If you have symptoms related to the coronavirus, call the New Mexico Department of Health hotline at 855-600-3453.

COVID-19 Information Archives

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

As of August 1, the new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider is Well-Being Solutions.

This EAP program is a free benefit offered under your group benefits that is available to employees, their dependents, and those living in the employee’s household.

Well-Being Solutions offers many helpful benefits, confidential, HIPPA compliant, and available 24/7/365. We encourage you to explore the website:  www.guidanceresources.com  (use WEB ID: SONMEAP) to become familiar with all they have to offer.

Under the Well-Being Solutions EAP plan, you can receive up to 5 free sessions.

In the event that you are currently receiving service with the former EAP carrier (Solutions Group), you will have until July 31, 2020 to complete your care.

The NMHU Student Clinic is available to provide counseling services to students. Students should contact the clinic at 505-454-3218 to schedule an appointment.

 

Plan for Bookstore Online Textbook Sales for the Fall Semester:

Once the website is live, no later than 8/3/2020, we will be sending a global email out to all students with information and a link to the BBA website. At this time, online orders can be submitted. We will start processing orders a week + before the semester begins to ensure the students have their textbooks in time for classes. The orders will be processed and shipped out within 24 hours if BBA has the textbook in stock. Once the order is shipped, students normally should receive their order within two business days.

Students can send an email to Bookstore@nmhu.edu if they have a question or issue with an order. This information will be on the BBA website. All emails will be followed up on within 24 hours.

During and at the end of the semester, global emails will be sent out to all students explaining how students can return their rental textbooks (this will include instructions, deadline and address to mail the textbooks too).

All emails and information provided to students will be based on NMHU decisions and information provided throughout the semester.

Q: What procedures are taking place to ensure all piping, ventilation systems, and other architectural builds have been sanitized?
A: Highlands staff and contractors are trained according to OSHA and CDC procedures, and will observe all procedures for sanitizing and maintaining buildings.

Q: What is your overall strategic plan? 
A: There is not a strategic plan in place for COVID-19. NMHU has developed and implemented a COVID-19 Exposure Safety Plan (OSHA requirement) that will be disseminated by the end of the week. This plan will be the ultimate guidance for overall prevention, response and protection for COVID related activities. In addition, NMHU has also implemented a residential hall and student safety plan that will be provided (along with training) to each resident and student.

Q: Is there a contingency plan, if this strategic plan fails? 
A: Yes, there is a resurgence plan in place if the governor orders a stay at home order or NMHU’s COVID-19 resurgence matrix deems closure of our facilities.  More information will be placed here as plans are updated.

Q: At what point will you call it too risky to  have students on campus?  What is the determining factor?  How will this be accomplished in sending students home?
A: The COVID-19 resurgence matrix has 16 factors that are considered on a daily basis. If the matrix system dictates, we will move into another phase of the response to COVID-19.

There are three phases:  normal operations, elevated risk and closure. If we move into the elevated risk phase, the Incident Management Team will make a recommendation to the president on implementation of the resurgence plan. If students can go home, we will advise them to do so. Some students cannot go home. If this occurs, we will provide food, care and security as we did during the spring and summer semester.

Q: Are Covid-19 test mandatory prior to arriving on campus? It would seem to be a logical avenue in safeguarding the spread of the virus on campus.
A: It is recommended that students receive testing prior to arrival on campus, or upon arrival. Due to legal reasons, we cannot make a student participate in a COVID-19 test, unless they are athletes who fall under RMAC and NCAA directives

 

 

 

Q: If I have to quarantine for 14 days as an out-of-state student, will I be able to do so in my residence hall? ​
A: Yes, plans are in place to allow out-of-state students to quarantine in their assigned room. Food will be provided, but students are asked to remain in their assigned rooms as much as possible.

While all the details are still being finalized, students will be assigned a check-in appointment time. Residents who are coming from out of state or who have been traveling out of state will be assigned a check-in appointment August 3-5, 2020 to allow for a 14-day quarantine pursuant to the current public health order. Residents from New Mexico will be assigned a check-in appointment August 15-17, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the extension of the current public health order (at least until July 15th), all persons traveling out-of-state or into New Mexico from another state must quarantine for 14 days upon return or arrival to New Mexico. The quarantine should take place away from campus.  Travel out-of-state is discouraged by the governor.

Q: Will students be required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus?
​A. We cannot make non-students athletes test.  Not at this point, but we recommend they do. Agree highly recommend they test prior to returning. We can also encourage them to test when they arrive, but cannot require this of non-student athletes.

Q: What is the plan if a student tests positive for COVID-19?
There is a tactical plan in place for students/staff/faculty who is physically on campus that tests positive for COVID-19. If a member of the campus community tests positive, there are plans in place to accommodate them in a safe and caring manner in accordance with NM Department of Health guidelines.

Q: What safety measures is Highlands implementing for on-campus students, faculty and staff?
​A: Implementation of numerous safety plans related specifically to students, faculty, residential halls, and specific activities. Training will be provided remotely and is mandatory for anyone who will be on campus.

Q: What is the plan for providing dining hall meals?
A: A variety of meal service options will be available to include grab-and-go as well as a dining hall setup that is in accordance with state of NM guidelines for restaurants.

Q: What is the plan to provide meals for students that are quarantined either upon arrival on campus or quarantined as a result of testing positive for Covid-19?  ​
A: Food services will be provided to students utilizing the quarantine/isolation rooms. Medical care will also be provided as needed through the NMHU Student Clinic. NMHU has a quarantine/isolation tactical plan in place to provide for the care of our students. Food service will also be provided for students who will be self-quarantining upon arrival to campus.

Q: How will quarantine work?
A: Students are required to stay in their assigned rooms except for the following instances: Picking up grab-and-go meals from dining services; shopping for personal needs (prescriptions, personal care items, food, etc.); making health care trips; and similar essential trips. No outside guests will be allowed in residence halls.

 

General information about room cost:
Room costs are based on the type of room assigned. There will only be double and single rooms assigned. There will not be any quads assigned in order to safely social distance. If a student is assigned a single they will be assessed a single rate based on residence hall, and similarly so for a double.

Q:  What will be the procedure to refund double room fees already paid now that single occupancy is the only option?
A. ​Single rooms cost more than double so there would not be a refund. 

Q. Is it too late to apply for on-campus housing?
 No. It is not too late to apply. The Housing application can be found here Please use this form to apply. There are a limited number of rooms available. A refund of the $200 housing application fee will occur ONLY if we do not have any rooms available.

Q. I applied for housing but haven’t heard back. What should I do?
Email the Office of Housing and Student Conduct at housing@nmhu.edu

Q. How will residence hall check-in work this fall?
A. While all the details are still being finalized, students will be assigned a check-in appointment time. Residents who are coming from out of state will be assigned a check-in appointment August 3-5, 2020 to allow for a 14-day quarantine pursuant to the current public health order. Residents from New Mexico will be assigned a check-in appointment August 15-17, 2020.

Q. Are freshman students still required to live on campus?
A. No. This is a change from past requirements and is only applicable during the pandemic.

Q. What will living in the residence halls look like under Covid-19?
A.
Residents should expect to practice safe social distancing and the wearing of face coverings at all times on campus, including common or public areas in the residence halls. The traditional on-campus living experience will be different. However, there will be a variety of programming that will engage students. This will include exclusive virtual events as well as grab-and-go activities, among others. Residents will not be permitted to have mass gatherings in accordance with the current public health order. Residents will be required to sign, acknowledge, and adhere to the Addendum to Housing and Student Conduct Contract/Behavioral Agreement.

Q. Will we be quarantined in our residence halls?
A. 
Please see above regarding out-of-state residents’ 14-day quarantine requirement.

Q. I paid for a double room. What happens now?
A. Please see above regarding room assignments and costs.

Q. When can I move in?
A. Please see above regarding check-in.

Q: How many students will be returning to the residence halls? 
A: 381 students are scheduled to return as of July 29, 2020.

Q: Will parents be able to assist with move-in and be in the dorm to help with set-up?
A: Students may have one person only assist with moving in.

Q: Are there dorm rooms available?
A: Rooms are full, but there is a wait-list as cancellations may still come in.

Q: If we are going to live in housing how early do we have to be there?
A: By August 1, you should receive an invitation in your NMHU email account to move onto campus. This email will contain all the information you need regarding move-in date and time of day. The date takes into consideration the state of New Mexico’s mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Q: How will quarantine work?
A: Students are required to stay in their assigned rooms except for the following instances: Picking up grab-and-go meals from dining services; shopping for personal needs (prescriptions, personal care items, food, etc.); making health care trips; and similar essential trips. No outside guests will be allowed in residence halls.

Q: How will meal service, Wayne’s and the Purple Brew operate?
A: Meals will be provided under a purple tent just outside the dining hall, in a grab-and-go format. There is currently no dining-in service available. Similarly, the Purple Brew coffee shop will have no seating capacity, but will be open for order and takeout. In both Wayne’s and the Purple Brew, there will be a one-way entry and exit flow, with floor markers to ensure social distancing.

Q: Do we have to wear masks all the time?
A: Students will be required to wear masks in all public and common areas, including in the shared areas of dorm suites. Masks are not required once students are in their personal quarters.

Q: Have there been halls/dorm rooms set aside for students who do test positive for Covid-19? 
A: Yes, we have identified 21 secure rooms that can be utilized as isolation and/or quarantine rooms.

Q: If so, which are they? 
A: Due to our concern with student privacy, we are not disclosing the location of the residential halls/or rooms. Isolation rooms are not located within an occupied residential hall and/or isolated from other students. Security, safety and health checks will be conducted at a minimum of three times a day. Security is 24/7. Occupants will be instructed to stay in their room until they are cleared to return by a qualified medical provider and/or the Department of Health.

Q: Who will provide care for these students? The NMHU clinic, providers from the local hospital, or a contractor?  
A: It is recommended that all students utilize the partnership we have with El Centro Family Health. The service is free to students. If a student enrolls with El Centro Family Health, they will have access to clinical care to include health checks. Students also have access to  Alta Vista Hospital for emergency care. NMHU first responders will provide immediate medical response and coordinate EMS response and transportation if needed.

 

Please note: Updates to fees and scholarships will be published as they become available.

Q: Will I lose my scholarship if all my classes are online?
A: No, your scholarship will continue as long as you meet all the requirements stipulated by the scholarship.

Q: If I take a semester off because I would rather have an in-person class that an online one, can I put a hold on my lottery scholarship?
A: No, the Legislative Lottery Scholarship must be utilized in consecutive semesters. However, a leave of absence may be requested if there are mitigating circumstances, such as for cooperative education, military obligations, participation in a study abroad program through the home institution, or other exceptional mitigating circumstances.  Sufficient documentation to justify the leave of absence will be required by the Financial Aid and Scholarships office.

Q: Will I lose my scholarship if my classes go online-only?
A: Institutional financial aid is not affected by whether you attend classes online/zoom or in person, but rules about minimum credit hours, etc. still apply. Susan Chavez (srchavez@nmhu.edu) in our Financial Aid office can assist with questions.

Q: What other scholarship help can I get?
A: Additional financial assistance is also available through the Dean Ray Farmer Fund at the NMHU Foundation. The Farmer Fund supports up to $500 toward living expenses during the pandemic, subject to certain rules and criteria. If you are interested in the Farmer Fund, please email Dr. Terri Law at tlaw@nmhu.edu for more information.

Please also be aware that you can apply for Foundation scholarships through awardspring at https://www.nmhu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/.

In addition to the Farmer Fund, emergency financial assistance is also available through the Student Emergency Fund. Please contact Michelle Bencomo at Michelle@nmhu.edu.

 

Q. Will the rules about attending class apply for the regular and post-9/11 G.I. Bills?
Unless stated otherwise, normal rules as found in the SCO Handbook apply for all VA reporting requirements.

 

COVID-19: IHL SCO FAQs (includes foreign IHLs)

Q1) IHL – S.3503 Enacted: What impact does the enactment of this Senate Bill have on Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL)?

Answer: Based on recently passed legislation (Senate Bill 3503, signed into law March 21, 2020), an IHL which converts an approved residence training modality course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), should not submit changes when the conversion is the only factor. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

  • Educational institutions which convert modalities as described above do not need to submit enrollment adjustments for the current term.
  • Only converted courses – SCOs cannot certify resident credit hours to VA for online courses when there is no approval for a resident training counterpart.
  • The new law applies equally to current and new students enrolled in the converted courses.

 

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

Answer: IHL educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses if the start date of the term is prior to 21 December 2020.

  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE

Note: Normal reporting requirements for all other changes should be completed per SCO handbook. (change in start/end date, change in credit/clock hours, etc.)

 

Q2) Post 9/11 GI Bill Beneficiary – Monthly Housing Payments: What happens when a modality changes for enrollment terms due to COVID-19?

Answer: Based on the new law, Post 9/11 GI Bill students who pursue resident courses converted to an online modality solely due to COVID 19 will continue to receive the MHA rate for resident training. The law only authorizes this special authority from March 1, 2020, to December 21, 2020.

  • Note: other types of changes to the student’s enrollment status may affect payments. Non COVID-19 related changes must still be reported per normal requirements.

Unless stated otherwise, normal rules as found in the SCO Handbook apply for all VA reporting requirements.

 

Q3) Educational Institutions – Post 9/11 GI Bill Tuition and Fee Payments: Will there be any impact on tuition and fee payments when only the modality changes within a term due to COVID-19?

Answer: Tuition and Fees reporting requirements will not change due to COVID-19 national emergency.

Examples: SCOs should review Change in fees associated to online modality, prorated building fees, etc.

Note: Regulations apply for same cost of program for non-veteran students. (all students)

 

Q4) VA education students – Remedial/Deficiency class: Will VA education students be allowed to continue or start remedial/deficiency level courses at Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) who convert to an online modality due to COVID-19?

Answer: Based on the new law, an approved educational institution which converts an approved resident Remedial/Deficiency course to an online training modality for that course (distance learning), may continue to certify these credit hours to the VA as resident credit hours during the authorized timeframe: 1 March 2020, to 21 December 2020.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

Answer: SCO’s may continue to certify Remedial/Deficiency courses due to COVID-19 conversion to modality if the start date of the term is prior to 21 December 2020.

  • SCO must continue to use the R/D Credit hours section of VA-ONCE.
  • SCO must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online”

 

Q5) If an IHL educational institution changes term dates to include a new vacation break, or extends such a break, what steps should the SCO take?

Answer: The SCO handbook states to always include inclusive dates of official school vacation periods of 7 or more consecutive days when certifying non-standard enrollment periods for all benefits in non-standard remarks. However, do not report vacation periods on standard length terms. This remains true during this COVID-19 national emergency.

  • If there is a change in enrollment dates, the SCO must adjust all elements of the enrollment certification to match actual enrollment timeframe. (includes break time and end date)
  • Specific instructions for amendment reporting are in the SCO handbook.
  • Standard and Non-standard term lengths are identified in the SCO handbook.

Example: if your facility’s standard break was scheduled from 16 March 2020 to 20 March 2020, but the break was extended to 27 March 2020 due to COVID-19, school to report that the break was changed to be 16 March 2020 to 27 March 2020.

Additionally, if the start or end date changes, those changes must be reported.

Note: IHL’s must make SAA aware of any changes in term dates. Current published commencement dates that fall within 7 days (week) still apply if a school makes a change.

Unless stated otherwise, normal rules as found in the SCO Handbook apply for all VA reporting requirements.

 

Q6) IHL temporarily ceases operations – discontinues training of all students: If an IHL educational institution temporarily ceases all operations due to COVID-19, what steps should the school take?

Answer: If the educational institution has temporarily ceased operations for all programs and students due to COVID 19, affected students will continue to receive their MHA until the end of the term or 4 weeks (28 days) from the date that the IHL temporarily ceased operations.

  • When this occurs, the IHL should not submit enrollment adjustments for the current term. However, the SCO must report all affected facility codes and the date(s) of temporary cessation of operations to their Education Liaison Representative (ELR) and State Approving Agency (SAA) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is important to notify the ELR and SAA as soon as practical, so the claimant’s monthly stipend is correctly adjusted.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

Answer: When the IHL resumes operations, if the institution has same or new term dates all standard enrollment procedures remain in place.

IHL educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses for any training occurring between March 1 and December 21, 2020.

  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE

 

 

Q7) IHL discontinues training in select programs: If a school transitions from resident to online classes to continue the training of some students, but must discontinue training in select programs affecting some students, what steps should the school take?

Answer: If the educational institution remains partially open (continues to provide training to some students) but must discontinue training to students enrolled in select programs or individual classes, the school must report changes for the students whose training is stopped. Current law only provides protection for stoppage in training when the school ceases operations completely (temporary or permanent).

Unless stated otherwise, normal rules as found in the SCO Handbook apply for all VA reporting requirements.

  • The SCO must report the date that training ceased. When reporting this change using VA ONCE, the SCO should select the standard remark “COVID 19” as the reason for the cessation of the training for mitigating circumstances. If paper 1999b termination is reported, the SCO should include “COVID-19” in the remarks section.

Terms Moving Forward (not already submitted to VA):

Answer: When the IHL resumes operations, if the institution has same or new term dates all standard enrollment procedures remain in place.

IHL educational institutions which convert modalities as described above may submit certification of resident courses converted to online modality as resident courses for any training occurring between March 1 and December 21, 2020.

  • Use the Resident Credit Hour or Clock Hour portion of the VA-ONCE enrollment certification.
  • Must enter Standard Remark “COVID-19 Residence Courses Taken Online” located within VA-ONCE

Q8) If a student becomes ill due to COVID-19 and cannot continue training while the educational institution continues to offer course training, what steps need to take place?

Answer: The SCO should review the IHL’s published attendance and “Incomplete Grade” policy as all normal VA reporting rules still apply.

The SCO should report the withdrawal based on the attendance policy and report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances. The student’s last day of attendance should be reported as the effective date. In these situations, the law does NOT allow VA to continue payments beyond the last day of attendance.

Q9) If a student is enrolled in a standard IHL degree program involving flight training and the school ceases the flight training due to COVID-19 what steps should the SCO take?

Answer: The SCO should review the “Incomplete” grade policy and apply that procedure if applicable. When the training can continue, the student should complete the flight training portion without any further reporting requirements to the VA when a punitive grade is assigned. Normal non-punitive grade requirements have not changed.

Note: The student should not be enrolled in the subsequent flight course until the “I” grade is completed in accordance with the school’s policy.

If the school’s “Incomplete” policy is not applicable, the SCO should report withdrawal from the flight training based on the student’s last date of attendance. The SCO should report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances.

Unless stated otherwise, normal rules as found in the SCO Handbook apply for all VA reporting requirements.

 

Q10) What happens when an IHL’s resident lab portion of a course is canceled or marked as incomplete due to the emergency situation and the IHL does not allow the student to move to the next class in the degree program? (i.e. Organic Chemistry 1 lab completion needed to enroll in Org Chemistry 2 next semester) VBA Response:

Answer:  VA lacks authority to handle these situations in any special way due to COVID-19. The VA has instructed schools to follow their “Incomplete” grade policy and apply that procedure, if applicable. When the school is eventually able to continue training, the student will be allowed to complete the lab portion without any further reporting requirements to the VA. However, if the discontinued class is a prerequisite to future classes, the student cannot enroll in the next sequential required class until the pre-requisite is complete.

If the IHL’s “Incomplete” policy is not applicable, the SCO should report withdrawal from the class based on student’s last date of attendance. The SCO should report COVID-19 as mitigating circumstances. But, if such a reduction changes the student’s rate of pursuit, the student’s monthly housing allowance may be affected.

Q11) Should IHL’s report enrollment changes when they convert from a standard grade scale (A, B, C…) to a Pass/Fail or other grading system due to COVID-19 national emergency?

Answer: No, there is no need to report a conversion from a standard grading scale to a Pass/Fail or similar grading systems but there are other implications in doing so. Depending on the IHL’s grading policy, classes taken Pass/Fail may result in a nonpunitive grade if the student fails the class. Rules about nonpunitive grades have not changed.

  • Although VA does not typically make payments for classes resulting in nonpunitive grades, if COVID 19 is reported as mitigating circumstances for the student’s receipt of a nonpunitive grade (i.e., Fail in a Pass/Fail class) VA will pay for the class.
  • Refer to the SCO handbook for more information about reporting nonpunitive grades and mitigating circumstances.

Note: The IHL must make SAA aware of change in grading system.

 

Q: Is it too late to apply for courses?
A: No. Registration for the fall semester is still open. Go to the nmhu.edu homepage and click on the Getting Started/Apply tab for more information.

Q: Can I postpone or defer my admission until the spring semester?
A: Yes. Admission can be deferred to spring 2021. Please email admissions@nmhu.edu with your student ID number to request deferred admission. Please be aware that housing is not guaranteed with a deferral, as rooms may be full in the spring semester.

 

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Important Dates

  • 28

    Sep

    NMHU PRISM club meeting

  • 19

    Oct

    Virtual Homecoming 2020 Oct. 19-24