Coronavirus Updates

School of Graduate Studies Information for Fall 2020

updated July 21, 2020

All School of Graduate Studies functions are currently being performed remotely, but we are here to answer your questions! Please see our Graduate School Staff Directory for contact information and a list of specific staff functions. We will continue to do all that we can to insure that new and returning graduate students have a successful and rewarding experience throughout their time at Appalachian. 

Graduate education functions at Appalachian will adhere to the guidelines in place for all students, staff, and faculty members at Appalachian. You can review the most up-to-date campus information by visiting the links in the "For More Information" section at bottom. 


Graduate Courses

For many graduate students, even those enrolled in online programs, the graduate learning environment has been fundamentally changed by COVID-19. Faculty, staff, and administrators have been working hard to ensure the best course experience for students. This work includes intensive efforts to provide training in best practices for online course delivery, insuring that the necessary software and hardware is in place to support the educational environment, and adopting new classroom health and safety practices. 

All courses for Fall will be offered in one of three ways: face-to-face, with appropriate distancing; hybrid, to include both online and face-to-face components; or online. Visit the Registrar's website to review the schedule changes adopted in July 2020 to accommodate these various options. All students, both main campus and online, will be given reusable cloth masks. Face coverings will be required in all on-campus settings. Additional precautions to be taken include updated classroom configurations that allow for a minimum six-foot distancing, enhanced classroom cleaning regimens, and optimization of heating and air-conditioning systems to allow greatest possible fresh air exchange. 

New and continuing graduate students are strongly encouraged to contact their graduate program director directly for information about course options and other program-specific questions.


Graduate Student Resources and Events

Our Graduate Student Life team works throughout the year to provide social events and a variety of professional development opportunities for graduate students. For Fall 2020, the majority of these events will be held in online formats. Find more information about all of the Graduate Student Life resources, click here. For information about upcoming events, visit our Trails to Success page. 

In addition, the team is preparing an AsuLearn projects page that will serve as a repository for Graduate Student Handbook resources that will be accessible to all graduate students. Look for an email with details for accessing this page.

If you are not currently receiving our weekly Trails to Success newsletter, contact Stephanie Hickey and ask to be added to the distribution list. The newsletter contains up-to-date information about Graduate School and other campus events for graduate students.

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Research/Scholarly Activity

Graduate students whose scholarly projects require them to be on campus or at off-campus research or activity sites may be allowed to resume their activities at this time if further delays will affect their time-to-degree. Faculty mentors must apply for approval for these on-site activities. Affected graduate students must fill out a return to activity certification and complete COVID 19-specific training. More detailed information about continuity of scholarly activities can be found on the Office of Research website

Although field work may be approved through the procedure described above, a UNC System-mandated travel freeze remains in place. Research involving human subjects that must be conducted in person has been paused until further notice. Graduate students should work with the Office of Research Protections to modify or update their research protocols as needed. 


For More Information

Appalachian State University is providing regular updates about the status of campus operations, guidance from the UNC System Office and other agencies, and Appalachian's response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. Visit the Coronavirus Information page, which contains an active COVID case dashboard, more detailed information about course delivery, and details about the steps Appalachian State is taking to ensure health and safety on campus this Fall and beyond. 

Graduate students will find many helpful resources on the campus Wellness and Prevention Services website, including information about the mandatory COVID educational training that all students will be required to complete. Instructions for accessing and completing this AsuLearn-based training will be emailed to all students in late July. 

Some general information about a range of campus services for students can be found on the Keep Learning website. 

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