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COVID-19: Updates and Resources

Summer classes moving online – Student FAQ

Last updated May 14, 2020 

On April 2, Metropolitan State University of Denver announced that most summer 2020 classes would be moved online. The decision was made to keep students healthy and safe, while also giving them a path to progress toward graduation, as well as to eliminate uncertainty in the registration process and academic planning. This page will be updated with the latest information, so please check back regularly.


Will all summer 2020 classes be online? 

  • All classes in Maymester (May 26-June 6), 8-week summer term (June 8-Aug. 1) and the first 5-week summer term (May 26-June 27) will move to online formats.  
  • The second 5-week summer term will include both online courses (June 29-Aug. 1) and some face-to-face courses (July 6-Aug. 8).  
  • The face-to-face course offerings will be reserved for classes that rely heavily on labs and field experience, with our hope being that some in-person instruction will be available by that time.


I’m already registered for summer 2020. Do I need to re-register? 

  • No. If any changes need to be made to the courses you are registered for, the Office of the Registrar will do that for you and notify you of the change. We look forward to having you enrolled this summer!


How will fees be handled for the summer? 

  • Some courses that were originally scheduled as face-to-face, on campus courses will be taught online, but synchronously – meaning, you will log on and learn “live” during the same block of time your course was previously scheduled. Students in these courses will pay the same fees they would have paid as a face-to-face student.  
  • Some courses that were originally scheduled as face-to-face, on campus courses will be taught online, but asynchronously – meaning you will not meet at specific times, but will need to meet certain deadlines that your faculty instructor sets. Students in these courses will pay online student fees, as well as the Mental Health fee.  
  • Students registered in courses that were originally scheduled to be online will continue to pay online student fees, as well as the Mental Health fee.
  • MSU Denver and its partners on the Auraria Campus agreed to suspend the RTD CollegePass beginning May 18. This means that none of the Auraria institutions will assess an RTD fee for the summer semester.


How do I order summer semester textbooks from the Tivoli Station Bookstore? 

  • Tivoli Station is offering complimentary Concierge Shopping Service. Students can call 303-556-3232 to place an order, which will be delivered by UPS to their doorstep, free of charge. MSU Denver students may purchase up to $750 of course materials per semester and charge it to their tuition bill May 18–June 18, 2020.   
  • Tivoli Station is also offering FREE access to e-Textbooks through a partnership with VitalSource. 


What is a synchronous online class? 

  • A synchronous online class meets at a set time each week in the same way an in-person class would. In contrast, an “asynchronous online class” is one in which students access course materials at a time of their choosing and are not required to interact with one another (or the instructor) at set times.


How will I know if my online class is synchronous or asynchronous? 

  • Synchronous courses will appear as “synchronous” and “online” in the Student Hub (see image below). Asynchronous courses will be listed as online courses. This change will be implemented by April 10. Please check your schedule after that date for information on the course delivery method.

Example of MSU Denver's class catalog


If I haven’t done so already, should I register for summer classes now or should I wait?  

  • By April 10, the course schedule will be completely updated. We encourage you to register for courses in your Student Hub at that time!  
  • Summer session is a great time to get ahead in your studies and to make sure you are graduating on time. 


Does this mean that student services and administrative offices won’t be open again until fall? 

  • The University’s Safe Return Work Group is fine-tuning the protocol for returning to campus for the many employees who support the student-learning experience. Until then, most services are available online, including the Counseling Center, Financial Aid, Tutoring Center, Auraria Library, LGBTQ Student Resource Center and others.


Can I still contact the Financial Aid Office? 

  • Yes. The Financial Aid Office is open and ready to assist you. Call 303-556-8593 or email? 
  • Financial Aid counselors are available for one-on-one assistance and appointments can be scheduled through the Navigate platform. When scheduling an appointment, please be sure to indicate your preferred method of contact and communication (email, phone, video conference platform, etc.) 
  • Find more information in our FAQ about Financial Aid here.


With whom should I speak if I have more questions?  

  • A professor or professional advisor is the best place to start.  
  • The chair of the academic department offering the course or courses in question would be the next person to contact. 
  • For specific questions about topics such as financial aid or registration, please reach out to the same offices you would if campus were open.


Will the summer have the same Pass/Fail policy as the spring? 

  • No. The Pass/Fail policy was relaxed for the spring 2020 semester only as a reflection of the anxiety students felt when the University moved all its courses online in the middle of the semester. For the summer 2020 semester, the standard Pass/Fail policy is in place (see your Catalog for more information).? 


Will there be face-to-face classes for the fall 2020 semester?

  • To ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff, the Auraria Campus is planning to adopt a teaching and learning model that supports a robust array of on-campus and online classes for the fall 2020 semester. Social-distancing protocols projected for Denver this fall indicate that we will not be able to hold the same number of in-person courses on campus. Each institution, in collaboration with AHEC, will make every effort to safely accommodate the many classes that require a face-to-face learning experience while also greatly expanding and enhancing their online offerings.

    To make this happen, each institution will be sorting their classes into three tiers: on-campus required, on-campus preferred, and online-ready. Priority for on-campus instruction will be given to those courses in the “required” tier. Once those classes are accommodated, each institution will assess those in the “preferred” tier. For on-campus offerings, each institution intends to spread out class times and have fewer students in physical classroom spaces. Students, faculty and staff, along with all people on the Auraria Campus, will be required to adhere to safety guidelines.

    Students will be notified throughout the summer by their Registrar’s Office or their academic department if a course they have registered for is impacted. It is anticipated that the vast majority of these notifications will be sent in early June to students’ institutional email addresses. 


How can I get help with housing or food insecurity, or find access to other resources to help me stay in school?  


I have never taken an online course and I don’t feel prepared to succeed. What should I do??? 

  • You are not alone. Approximately half of our students have completed an online class at MSU Denver, which means half have not.  
  • Students new to online learning should visit? get acclimated.? 
  • Also, please continue to be flexible and empathetic to your instructors as many, like you, prefer in-person instruction. However, we want to ensure your academic progress and help you reach your personal and professional goals after graduation the best way that we can. 
  • Additional support can be found in this FAQ for MSU Denver Students on Online Courses.


How can I contact an academic advisor?  

Visit our Academic Advising website for more information on your advisor and how to schedule an online appointment.


If I am a student with a disability, how can I request accommodations for my online courses?  

  • If you are already registered with the Access Center, you can submit an accommodation request form: 
  • If you are not currently registered with the Access Center, please contact them to schedule a virtual appointment, 303-615-0200 or 
  • Students who are diagnosed with COVID-19 should follow official guidance from their health care provider and work individually with their instructors to discuss any impacts to coursework. If your situation has unique circumstances, such as an interaction with pre-existing condition or requires prolonged hospitalization, please contact the Access Center to discuss possible options. 


Student Workers 


What will hourly student jobs look like for the summer 2020 term??When will spring student employees know if we can renew our employment for summer?? 

A lot of this will depend on what the demand for employment is on campus (remote campus). We will follow our usual deadlines and guidelines for the summer term employment (credit enrollment requirement, awards, etc.). The HR Student Employment team is working closely with the Financial Aid Office and will announce important opening and closing deadline dates when the information becomes available. 


Can I work more hours??? 

During breaks you may work up to 40 hours per week. This is, of course, dependent on your award, and the department needs/approval. During non-breaks you cannot exceed 30 hours a week (there are rare exceptions to this rule and approval must go through the Provost and HR office). 


I’m a tutor at MSU Denver and demand is going to spike toward the end of the semester; can I work 40 hours a week, especially since I lost my second job?? 

Outside of campus breaks you cannot exceed 30 hours a week. Weekly hours are set by the needs of the employing department and any limitations your award may have as well as Student Employment policies. 

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