General FAQs

CAMPUS OPERATIONS

Is campus open?

Aquinas College is operational and shifted to distance learning for the remainder of the spring semester, including final exams. In compliance with Governor Whitmer's March 23 "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order, the College will further reduce operational core services that must be performed in person on campus. All other operations will be conducted remotely.

The AQ Opens Task Force will be developing plans for a return to in-person instruction in the fall. The task force will also plan for a return to on-campus work for employees in line with Governor Whitmer's June 1 Repopen Order and her efforts to move the state to phase foure of the MI Safe Start Plan. The College's plans will also be issued in line with the Governor's guidance on workplace standards.

With information rapidly evolving and our shift to distance learning and telecommuting arrangements, we have created a Campus Operations Status page as a central resource for up-to-date information on the facilities and services on our campus. Due to the Governor's March 23 order, non-essential facilities will be closed (no swipe access).

Why is Aquinas extending spring break, shifting to distance learning and shifting to telecommuting?

Aquinas College’s highest priority will always be to protect the health and safety of our campus community and the broader community. Our goal is to protect our faculty, staff and students while continuing to support Aquinas students’ academic pursuits and path to graduation.

The College’s leadership is monitoring developments in coordination with state, local, national and international public health officials and other experts. Current guidance from these sources strongly encourages or mandates social distancing practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

In order to practice social distancing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the College is shifting to distance learning through the end of the spring semester, including final exams, and employees are shifting to telcommuting arrangements (where possible). In compliance with Governor Whitmer's original March 23 "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order and subsequent extensions of the order, the College further reduced operational core services that must be performed in person on campus.

Is Aquinas College's distance education accredited?

Yes. Please refer to Aquinas College's distance education waiver from the Higher Learning Commission.

Are campus events canceled?

In-person College events, gatherings and meetings (of any kind) should be canceled or, if possible, conducted remotely.

Are athletic events being canceled?

The Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) is canceling the remainder of the 2020 spring athletic seasons in terms of competitions and practice, workouts and team activities, effective March 14 at midnight ET.

Has Commencement been canceled?

All 2020 Spring Commencement activities were postponed. A special in-person Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2020, at 2 p.m. in the Sturrus Sports and Recreation Center. More information will be posted to the Commencement website as it becomes available.

Even though we were not able to celebrate commencement in person this spring, the College honored the journeys of our graduates at Aquinas College and welcomed them to the Aquinas College Alumni Association at the Virtual Toast to the Future event on Saturday, May 9, at 2 p.m. At the virtual event, President Kevin G. Quinn and Paul Bee '06, Vice President for Ticket Sales for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks, delivered a virtual toast and revealed details of the in-person Class of 2020 Commencement Celebration. 

Is OLLI still holding classes?

OLLI is open and operational, but no classes will be held through the end of April. Spring registrations for May only will begin on March 16 and registrations will be taken by phone or mail only. OLLI will provide additional details on its webpage

What happens after the spring semester?

Summer classes will transition to distance learning for the summer of 2020. The AQ Opens Task Force will be developing plans for a return to in-person instruction in the fall. The task force will also plan for a return to on-campus work for employees in line with Governor Whitmer's June 1 Repopen Order and her efforts to move the state to phase foure of the MI Safe Start Plan. The College's plans will also be issued in line with the Governor's guidance on workplace standards. We will share additional information about other summer activities and the fall semester as it becomes available.

ANSWERS FOR STUDENTS

Do I have to move out of the residence halls?

Residence halls closed at 9 p.m. on March 24, 2020. If you are a residential student and have questions, please contact Residence Life at reslife@aquinas.edu.

Students who have extreme hardship will not be displaced, and should fill out the Extreme Hardship Form with Residence Life immediately. Students who remain on campus must abide by the provisions of the Governor’s Executive Order.

When and how can I retrieve my belongings from on-campus housing?

For students who still need to pick up belongings from their Spring 2020 housing assignment or need to return their room key, please visit the Residence Life Move-Out during COVID-19 web page to sign up for a move-out time and to find details about the move-out process and safety protocols.

Our students health and safety is important to us, so we will facilitate a move-out process that follows social distancing guidelines set by the Kent County Health Department. The move-out process will operate on a sign-up basis, beginning on Monday, May 11, going through Monday, May 18. You must sign up for a specific time slot on a day assigned for your building. Roommates are encouraged to sign up for different time slots to maintain social distancing.

Will Aquinas make financial adjustments for room and board now that the residence halls are closed?

Please see the Partial Credit for Room and Board FAQs for more information. 

What about summer classes?

Summer classes will transition to distance learning for the summer of 2020.

Can I still access student services (CORE, Writing Center, etc.), the library and AQ Advantage Center?

Please visit the Campus Operations Status page to see the most up-to-date information about services that are available to our students remotely.

I am an international student. What does the extended spring break and shift to distance learning mean to me?

Specific information on how the extended spring break period and shift to distance learning affects international students will be provided directly to our international students.

I am a UDM Nursing student. What does the extended spring break and shift to distance learning mean to me?

UDM Nursing students should visit UDM’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) page for guidance about classes or contact Dr. Suzanne Keep at keepsuz@aquinas.edu.

ANSWERS FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Can I still schedule a campus visit?

While we are practicing social distancing, experience our campus in pixels instead of in person. Register for a Virtual Personal Visit, a personalized, interactive conversation with one of our Admissions Representatives, where you'll discover all Aquinas has to offer, including the following:

  • Academic areas of interest
  • Fun things to do on-campus and in Grand Rapids
  • Study away, internships and other experiential learning opportunities
  • Scholarships and financial aid
  • And other topics of your choice

ANSWERS FOR FACULTY AND STAFF

Will employees be able to work remotely?

All employees, including student employees, should shift to telecommuting arrangements as soon as possible, except for essential employees listed below (who will be practicing social distancing and other mitigation activities on campus). Essential employees include:

  • Campus Safety
  • Campus Dining
  • Housekeeping
  • Some Library staff
  • Residence Life
  • ITS, as needed
  • Emergency Management Team, as needed
  • Senior Leadership Team, as needed
  • Certain employees, to be determined separately

We will continue to assess what essential functions require an on-campus presence, and supervisors will be in touch with employees as additional information becomes available.

Faculty are expected to work remotely. Further information for faculty about the impact of the Governor’s order will be coming from the Provost’s Office.

As a College directive,

  • Do continue to perform your job duties remotely (as you have agreed with your supervisor via a Telecommuting Agreement).
  • Do contact your supervisor if you are unable to work (either as a remote employee or on campus as an essential employee).
  • Do not come to campus for any reason unless listed as an essential employee above (who will be practicing social distancing and other mitigation activities on campus). 

What if I need to be at work? Should I cancel or postpone meetings?

As a College directive

  • Do continue to perform your job duties remotely (as you have agreed with your supervisor via a Telecommuting Agreement).
  • Do contact your supervisor if you are unable to work (either as a remote employee or on campus as an essential employee).
  • Do not come to campus for any reason unless you are listed as an essential employee above (who will be practicing social distancing and other mitigation activities on campus). 

If you are an essential employee, please comply with social distancing and other mitigation practices at work and at home. Please do not come to work if you are sick. All meetings (including meetings with students) should be held by phone, email, video conference or other remote methods.