COVID-19 FAQs 

This is an evolving situation. Please check back often as the questions and answers here are likely to be updated as the circumstances change.   

Summer/Fall 2020 Semesters  |  Refunds  |  Housing  |  Other Student Information  |  Online Instruction  |  University Response  |  Visitors and Events  |  Travel  |  Health and Prevention  |  Communications  |  Canceled Events  |   Human Resources Documents |  CARES Act Fund


Summer/Fall 2020 Semesters

Can I register for Summer classes?  Will they be offered online or on campus?

Information Updated as of: 5/5/20 8:20am

Registration for summer classes is open. If you are a current Mines student we encourage you to meet with your advisor prior to registering to ensure you’re on track for degree completion. If you are a new undergraduate to Mines, please fill out the Non-Degree Seeking application. New graduate students can apply here.  Once accepted, you will be able to register for classes.

Click here for a list of all summer class offerings. To register, go to Self-Service Banner.

Tuition rates for online courses:

  • Undergraduate: $351.25 per credit hour
  • Graduate: $465.80 per credit hour
  • High School students taking dual-credit courses: $48.33 per credit hour

I am applying to SD Mines for summer or fall semester 2020, and I want to transfer in AP credits I am completing at my high school this semester.  How will AP credits be handled?

Information Updated as of: 4/29/20 10:40am

We understand that AP exams may be modified or even abbreviated in spring 2020.  The Board of Regents has issued a temporary Acceptance of AP Credits spring 2020 policy you can find at https://www.sdsmt.edu/covid-19/ under the section entitled "Temporary BOR Policies.”

The bottom line is that SD Mines will accept your AP credits earned in spring 2020 without modifications and as usual.

NOTE: If you are using your AP credits to fulfill a prerequisite of a more advanced class, you will want to discuss your readiness for the more advanced class with your advisor, your instructor of the more advance class, or both. 

For example, if you transfer in AP calculus and enroll in a more advanced calculus, you could be at a disadvantage if the AP class did not cover all the concepts needed.  You could guard against problems by considering the following:

  • Take the Calculus Readiness placement exam.  The Calculus Readiness Exam is part of the three math placement tests you take via ACCUPLACER testing.  The Calculus Readiness Exam was developed by the Board of Regents’ Math Discipline Council and is administered by the SD Mines testing Center.  Email Thomas.Mahon@sdsmt.edu for more information.  Also go to https://www.sdsmt.edu/Academics/Exams-and-Testing/ for additional information.
  • Enroll in Calculus 123, which would essentially mean you would re-take the AP class but be assured you are ready for the next level calculus, which is Calculus 125.

Will students be back on campus Fall 2020?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 9:50am

The university announced on May 1 that it will return to in-person classes for the fall 2020 semester. A campus task force is developing a plan that will utilize best practices and protocols. The details will be announced in the coming weeks. See the news story here.

What is the COVID-19 status in South Dakota?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 4:19pm

South Dakota is fortunate that social distancing is the norm in most parts of our rural state. In Pennington County, where Rapid City resides, cases have been minimal. There have been a significant number of cases in the Sioux Falls area (5 hours east of Rapid City) due to an outbreak at a meatpacking plant. As South Dakota Mines prepares plans to return to in-person classes this fall, best practices and protocols will be used to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19. More information on those plans will be available in the coming weeks.

Should I register for Fall semester classes now?

Information Updated as of: 4/20/20 3:17pm

Yes. Returning students will follow the normal registration process in Self-Service Banner. New students should submit their course registration form found on their Interactive Checklist or contact their admissions counselor for help at admissions@sdsmt.edu

Should I sign up for housing for the Fall semester?

Information Updated as of: 4/20/20 3:17pm

Yes, housing applications are now being accepted.  The housing application for new students can be found on their Interactive Checklist and returning students can use the application found here. Complete information can be found on our Housing Selection website.


Refunds

I was part of the music group going to Asia in June. When can I expect to receive my refund for this trip?

Information Updated as of: 4/9/20 1:10pm

The music center is working as quickly as possible to process these refunds. Please contact Haley.Armstrong@sdsmt.edu to confirm your mailing address as these refunds will be in the form of a check, not a credit to your school account. 

How will I receive my refund?  

Information Updated as of: 3/24/20 11:20am

All refunds for students who are eligible will be applied to outstanding balances first. If application of the credits listed above produces an overall credit balance, the student will be issued a refund. Student Accounts will automatically produce an ACH refund to students with banking information on file. If no banking information is on file, then a refund check will be mailed to the mailing address on record. Refunds will be processed by the end of April. Questions on this process can be referred to Student Accounts at 605-394-2372.


Housing 

I have packages in the mailroom. How can I get them?

Information Updated as of: 3/24/20 11:20am

Please make sure you send packages and mail to your current location moving forward.  For packages and mail currently in our mailroom or delivered to campus, our mailroom will be forwarding per our standard summer procedures. For students remaining on campus, the mailroom remains open for limited hours for package pick-up.

What if I’m a graduate student living in Rapid City? Can I come to campus? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Graduate students who are staying in Rapid City should remain off campus and participate in online instruction, unless being on campus is necessary due to the nature of their research or academic program. More information will come from your academic department head.


Other Student Information 

How can I return my books and Tablet PC?

Information Updated as of: 4/20/20 10:41am

These check out items are discretionary depending on the student’s situation. Follow the ones that apply: End-of-school-year-student-checkout-list (PDF)  

How can I retrieve things from my locker in the King Center?

Information Updated as of: 3/26/20 10:17am

All items will be removed by Wellness Center staff, individually bagged and available for pickup at the Wellness Center by pre-scheduled appointment only. Please complete this form to schedule your time. For those returning to campus to retrieve items from residence halls, we ask that you schedule a time to pick up your locker items the same day. All pickups should occur no later than May 9. 

If I make the decision to withdraw for the remainder of the semester with the intent of returning for the Fall 2020 semester, will I be able to keep my laptop over the remainder of spring and the summer?

Information Updated as of: 3/25/20 3:10pm

Yes, you would be able to keep your laptop over the summer as long as you are planning on coming back for the Fall 2020 semester. However, if you fail to return in the fall, and did not return the laptop by the start of the semester (8/24/2020), your account would be charged the full amount of the laptop ($1800). If you are not coming back to campus, it is imperative you return your laptop to avoid that charge.

I’m a student worker with a Federal Work-Study award.  Can I continue to work?

Information Updated as of: 3/23/20 3:04pm

Please contact the department you were working with to see if they have work you can complete remotely. If this is possible, then yes, you can continue to earn your FWS award. You should maintain the same amount of hours per week you had prior to spring break, understanding you cannot exceed your FWS award for the spring 2020 semester. If you have any questions, contact  financialaid@sdsmt.edu.  

My internet access is slow or non-existent. What can I do?

Information Updated as of: 3/18/20 1:44pm

Internet providers across the country are signing on to the Keep America Connected Pledge, agreeing to open WiFi hot spots, boosting internet speeds, and suspending data caps, among other things. Find out what cell phone companies and internet service providers are doing:  https://www.consumerreports.org/internet-providers/isps-respond-to-coronavirus-raise-speeds-suspend-data-caps-keep-america-connected-pledge/ 

Do students have access to the library?  

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Yes. E-mail the library at library@sdsmt.edu. Library staff monitors e-mail 7 days a week – even when the library is closed. They will get back to you as soon as they can. Check out the library website for more resources:  https://www.sdsmt.edu/Academics/Library/Resources/ElectronicResources/ 

Do students have access to counseling services?  

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Yes. The counseling office is open and available via Zoom or Skype. Contact counseling@sdsmt.edu. Or check the counseling website - https://www.sdsmt.edu/Campus-Life/Student-Support/Counseling/ 

If I’m in a club or organization on campus, will those meetings and/or events continue as planned?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

All student organization and club meetings have been canceled through April 5. We encourage your group to meet via Zoom if necessary. 

How do I access other university services while I’m studying remotely? Like career services, financial aid, etc.? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

All student services will continue to be available remotely during this time. Please visit the campus directory to find contact information for departments and offices.     

What about students who are trying to be hired for internships or full time jobs following graduation?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

The SD Mines Career Center is available virtually for resume review, salary negotiations, mock interviews, career exploration, etc. Anything we normally do in person, we would be happy to conduct via email, skype or phone call. If interested, email us at careercenter@sdsmt.edu to schedule an appointment. Find resources like Handshake that connects students with employers at the Career Center website


Online Instruction

What if I don’t have internet at home or my internet is too slow?

Information Updated as of: 3/23/20 3:04pm

Although some classes are being live-streamed, all classes are available as recorded lectures. You should be able to download the recorded lecture and watch offline, reducing the need for high-speed internet. If you do not have high-speed internet at home to download lectures, we suggest accessing it via WiFi at a public space where social distancing can be maintained. 

How can you teach engineering and science labs that require hands-on activities online?

Information Updated as of: 3/25/20 3:10pm

This is a question that many STEM universities all over the country are grappling with right now. Mines faculty and administrators are working to find the best possible solutions for each individual lab class. 

What if I don’t have internet at home or my internet is too slow?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

We are not live-streaming classes. You should be able to download the recorded lecture and watch offline, reducing the need for high-speed internet. If you do not have high-speed internet at home to download lectures, we suggest accessing it via WiFi at a public space where social distancing can be maintained.


University Response 

What efforts has the university put in place to manage the COVID-19 outbreak? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

See the messages to campus to understand the steps the university is taking. This is a fluid situation and we are continually updating our plans and procedures. 

How is the university monitoring the COVID-19 situation worldwide?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

A university response team including infectious disease experts and the Emergency Management Team, along with the university’s Ivanhoe International Center, is monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide. To assess risks, the university uses a number of resources, including the Board of Regents, South Dakota Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

What steps is the university taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the university community? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

The university is requesting anyone (faculty, staff, students) traveling from a high-risk area in the U.S. or a country subject to a Level 2 Travel Health Notice from the CDC to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus. If you have traveled to a Level 3 area, the CDC requires you to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the time you left the area and practice social distancing. 

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors who have had direct contact with a patient confirmed to have COVID-19 or with someone who is under care for suspected exposure to COVID-19 are not allowed to visit campus or attend university events within 14 days of such contact.  

How are classrooms, dorms, bathrooms and other buildings being cleaned in order to reduce the risk of infection? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

The university has implemented a robust cleaning and sanitization effort in all residence halls, dining areas, classrooms, restrooms and common spaces, including building entries, lobbies, corridors and elevators. The university will continue to evaluate our processes and remain flexible to ensure effectiveness.  

What about students who are returning from study abroad programs?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Students who were participating in those programs have returned to the states and have been instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days per the CDC guidelines. Some students are not able to leave their host country and are following the recommendations of that location. 


Visitors and Events 

I am a visitor to campus. What do I need to know?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Whether or not you are exhibiting symptoms, visitors (including contractors and consultants) who have been in locations with an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure within the past 14 days are not allowed to visit campus or attend university events. In addition, visitors who have had direct contact with a patient confirmed to have COVID-19 or with someone who is under care for suspected exposure to COVID-19 are not allowed to visit campus or attend university events within 14 days of such contact. You should contact the organizer of your campus event or program for further directions on rebooking your visit. We have alerted our consultants and contractors of these requirements. 

Are events of a certain size canceled?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

In-person student organization and community meetings/events have been cancelled through April 5. Internal campus meeting with attendance of fewer than 10 people may continue if necessary, but may be moved to a larger space. Internal campus meetings with more than 10 people in attendance must be completed online and not in-person.

We also encourage everyone to follow  CDC guidelines and the  President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America regarding groups and social distancing.  

Where can prospective students who are considering South Dakota Mines go?  

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Our admissions staff is happy to answer your questions. Email  admissions@sdsmt.eduvisit their website, or check out the  online viewbook


Travel 

What is the current university policy for international travel?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

All university-affiliated international travel is suspended until further notice.

If you have traveled to a Level 3 area, the CDC requires you to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from the time you left the area and practice social distancing.

The university is requesting anyone (faculty, staff, students) traveling from a high-risk area subject to a Level 2 Travel Health Notice from the CDC to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus.  

Faculty, staff, students, and visitors who have had direct contact with a patient confirmed to have COVID-19 or with someone who is under care for suspected exposure to COVID-19 are not allowed to visit campus or attend university events within 14 days of such contact.

All non-essential personal travel to international destinations is strongly discouraged at this time.

The CDC is offering very explicit warnings about planned travel aboard cruise ships. In keeping with their guidance, Mines is advising against cruise ship travel.

What about domestic travel?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

All non-essential, university-affiliated domestic travel is suspended until further notice. Travel deemed essential will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For questions about what qualifies as essential and non-essential travel, please contact the appropriate VP from your unit.

The university is requesting anyone (faculty, staff, students) traveling from a high-risk area in the U.S. to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus.  

What should I consider if I’m thinking about personal travel?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

The university encourages members of our community to think carefully about the risks of traveling while the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop. Not only may there be a potential risk to your personal health, but there also may be additional travel restrictions imposed by many countries, including the United States. We ask all members of our campus community (faculty, staff, students) to limit their personal out-of-state travel, and to avoid the high-risk U.S. cities and states currently hardest hit by the COVID-19 outbreak. As of this writing, the CDC is reporting the highest reported infection numbers in the states of California, Washington and New York.

The university is requesting anyone (faculty, staff, students) traveling from a high-risk area in the U.S. or a country subject to a Level 2 Travel Health Notice from the CDC to self-quarantine for 14 days off campus.  

This is a rapidly developing situation and even though a location may be accessible now, that could change during your trip. Airlines are limiting seating and altering flights and this also could impact your plans. 


Health and Prevention

What steps is the state of South Dakota taking to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19?

Information Updated as of: 3/20/20 10:43am

Visit the state’s Department of Health website and review their FAQs. As of this posting, there are no confirmed cases in Rapid City. 

How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 

Precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are the same as those you would typically take during a normal flu season. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or use your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. 
  • Avoid touching your face. 
  • If you take prescriptions, refill them now in the event you get sick 
  • Don’t panic.  For 84% of COVID-19 patients, the symptoms are mild. 
  • Conserve, but don’t hoard, protective products.  If you don’t have hand sanitizer, use soap and water. 
  • Stay home if you are sick with cold or influenza-type symptoms to minimize risk of transmission to others 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces following CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection 

What should I do if I think I might have COVID-19? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and you are experiencing symptoms, call your local healthcare provider. If you are in Rapid City, COVID-19 triage center at 1-800-279-1466 (available from 7:00am – 11pm). 

I’ve been asked to self-quarantine, what does that mean? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

If you have been told you must self-quarantine, you need to stay home for 14 days from the time you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread and practice social distancing. (See list of locations with an elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure.) 

Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing: 

  1. Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.  
  2. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently.
  3. Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not share meals, drinks, or utensils. Use your own bathroom if possible.  
  4. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
  5. Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  6. Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  7. Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

Communications  

How will I be notified of changes in class delivery or other important campus news? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

The university is using multiple methods to communicate with students and their families. Messages from the president are initially sent via email to students, faculty, staff and parents who have subscribed to the monthly Mines Family Matters e-news. This information is also shared on our social media channels and through our campus alert system. All updates are housed on this website.  

Follow us on social media for campus news:  Facebook   Instagram   Twitter    


Canceled Events 

Are Summer Camps canceled?

Information Updated as of: 5/11/20 8:43pm

Academic Camps - All in-person middle/high school summer camps for summer 2020 have been canceled. We are offering a FREE virtual Mining and Explosives camp. For more information, go to Virtual Summer Camp: Mining and Explosives. We look forward to launching our summer 2021 registration this fall.

Athletic Youth Camps – All camps scheduled in June have been canceled. Hardrocker Athletics will continue to evaluate the potential for alternative camp dates after July 1.

Geology and Geological Engineering Field Camps: Some camps have been canceled. Others are being rescheduled to start after June 30. If camps that start after June 30 end up being canceled, the GGE faculty is working on contingency plans for GEOL and GEOE students that plan on graduating on or before May 2021 to receive allowable substitutions using online instruction.

How will I know which events have been canceled? 

Information Updated as of: 4/9/20 11:05am

We will keep a list of canceled events on this website. Currently, these events have been canceled:  

  • All Intramural Events 
  • May - Music Department Trip to Japan
  • June - Athletic Youth Camps
  • June-July - All Middle/High School Summer Camps
  • July 8-12 - 5 Year Reunion postponed to July 7-11, 2021

How are you deciding which events to cancel? 

Information Updated as of: 3/17/20 3:30pm

Today and in the days and weeks ahead, we will be carefully reviewing events scheduled to take place on campus and following recommendations from the CDC and South Dakota Department of Health. If events are non-time critical or non-essential in nature, we may ask that they be held virtually or postponed. Updates will be added to this website as decisions are made.  


Human Resources Documents

Information Updated as of: 4/1/20 3:44pm

To request emergency sick leave or emergency FMLA, please contact the Human Resources Office

As we all work to maintain personal safety, the safety of our family, communities and our workplaces during the COVID-19 Outbreak, your Employee Assistance Program is here to support your emotional well-being and efforts to navigate this pandemic. 


CARES Act Emergency Student Funding FAQs

What is the CARES Act?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law March 28, 2020, provides almost $14 billion that will go directly to higher education institutions to support the costs of shifting classes online, and for grants to students for expenses incurred as a result of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Am I qualified to receive CARES Act funding?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

Degree-seeking students who are eligible for Federal Student Aid (Title IV) and are not enrolled in online-only programs and were still enrolled at Mines at least through March 23, 2020, may apply and will be considered to receive funding, depending on need and available funds. If you received U.S. Federal Student Aid, such as Federal Direct Student Loans, Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), or Federal Work-Study (FWS), you are eligible to apply for these funds.

This funding can be applied only to expenses directly resulting from the impact of the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19, including:  

  • Temporary relocation for new housing arrangements
  • Living expenses (such as food, rent, and utilities incurred due to moving out of campus housing)
  • Extra living expenses for a previously shared apartment or house in the Rapid City area that you now have sole responsibility for
  • Technology not previously needed due to the switch to all-online classes
  • Healthcare costs that you are now fully responsible for
  • Childcare

    This is not intended as an exhaustive list, but circumstances must be a result of campus operations being suspended. This funding cannot be used to assist with lost wages from local employers or canceled co-ops or internships.

I filed the 2019-2020 FAFSA and was only awarded a Federal Direct Student Loan (Subsidized or Unsubsidized), but I decided I didn’t want to borrow money. Can I still apply?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

Yes.

What if I did not file a FAFSA for 2019-2020; can I apply now and be considered for assistance?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

Yes. You need to file the 2019-2020 FAFSA as soon as possible at https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa. Once we receive your FAFSA and you have completed the assistance application we will determine eligibility.

How do I apply and is there an application deadline?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

The application is available here. The first application deadline is May 15, 2020. Applications submitted after that date will be reviewed as they are received and awarded as funds remain available.

How is this different from the SDSM&T Student Emergency Fund?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

Funding from the CARES Act is provided by the federal government. Funding from the Student Emergency Fund was raised by the SDSM&T Foundation. The two funds are completely separate.

If I’ve already received funding from the Foundation’s Student Emergency Fund, can I apply for these funds?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

If those funds did not cover the financial needs you have because of circumstances directly related to the disruption of campus operations, you can apply for these funds. The application process is separate from the Student Emergency Fund. Apply here.

How will these funds be distributed?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

Funds for qualified students will be funneled through the Mines Business Office and will be direct deposited into the bank account you have on file. If you have not previously signed up for direct deposit, please click here, then select “Direct Deposit Refunds”. If you do not have a bank account, a check will be mailed to your permanent address on file.

Who do I contact with questions?

Information Updated as of: 5/4/20 10:54am

Please contact David.Martin@sdsmt.edu if you have questions about the status of your application.

Informational Resources

If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and you are experiencing symptoms, call your local healthcare provider.

If you are in Rapid City, call COVID-19 triage center at 1-800-279-1466 (available from 7:00am – 11pm). 


South Dakota Mines is committed to being a diverse and inclusive community and supports all members of the university. COVID-19 affects all people regardless of age, background or area in which they live. As a STEM university, we set a high bar for our students, faculty and staff. Biased behaviors, stereotyping and discrimination are not acceptable. The university inclusion and diversity statement can be found here. Those who experience harassment or discrimination on campus can report it here.