Health Advisories

As of March 23rd, all MUS campuses will, in every instance possible, transition all in-class instruction to online or other remote teaching modalities that do not require in-class presence.


Health Advisories

Novel Coronavirus

As world health officials response to the novel coronavirus, the Montana University System is committed to keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe and well-informed. As the situation evolves, we want to provide you with the most reliable and up-to-date sources of information for novel coronavirus health and travel updates:

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services DPHHS
US State Department Travel Advisories

The following messages have been sent to students, faculty and staff regarding health advisory updates on the corresponding dates:

Campus Update | Campus Closures | March 27, 2020

Campus Update | Novel Coronavirus | March 12, 2020

Campus Update | Spring Break Travel | March 5, 2020

Campus Update | Novel Coronavirus | January 31, 2020

Campus Update | Novel Coronavirus | January 30, 2020

Campus Update |Commissioner Christian Update | March 12, 2020

Read the commissioner's full update here.


Update from the Montana University System:

To our Montana University System Campus Communities,

The Montana University System continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak in close coordination with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services. We are committed to keeping our students, faculty and staff safe as the situation evolves. At this time, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Montana and the risk of contracting the virus remains low.

However, as the likelihood that the virus will spread in the United States grows, we realize you have questions about how you can protect yourself and what steps we are taking to protect our campus community. The following FAQ addresses a range of questions related to prevention and response from academics to travel to what to expect if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Montana. If you plan to travel outside Montana during spring break, please see our spring break travel guidelines.

Above all, we need your help. The best defense against any virus is good hand-washing and respiratory hygiene. Please help us keep our campuses safe: Cover your Cough, Stay Home if you're sick and Wash Your Hands. As the CDC notes, everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy.

We recognize the importance of keeping you informed. Please watch this page for further updates as more information becomes available.

Montana University System FAQs

Remote Resources: 


FAQs for Helena College Students

General

Q: Can you summarize all the changes to the academic semester? I am confused.

On Monday, March 23, 2020, all Helena College classes, in every instance possible, moved to remote learning. As of Monday, March 30, 2020, all trades related labs will no longer happen face-to-face.

The Spring semester will have an official end date of Monday, April 27, 2020. You might notice that other colleges in our system have an end date of April 24—this date is a non-instructional day for Helena College on our official calendar, so we had to move our end to the April 27. Why this date? State and federal health experts suggest that this date allows us the greatest opportunity to complete the semester prior to a peak in CONID-19 effect.

Q: Is campus closed?

Yes. As of Monday, March 30, 2020 both the Donaldson Campus and Airport Campus are closed.

Many services are still available to students via online access. Please see the Remote Resources section above for more information.

Q: Is commencement still happening?

Helena College is postponing Spring 2020 Commencement until the fall. A new date for the Commencement of Spring 2020 graduates will be announced as soon as the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic allows


Remote Learning

Q: I don’t have Internet access at home. What should I do?

Phone and Internet companies are offering different services to help keep people connected during this time. A few are listed below. You can also view the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected" Pledge News Release.

Q:  I don’t have a computer, laptop, or tablet to access courses online.  What should I do? 

The campus has a limited supply of laptops available for checkout. Starting March 30, 2020, you MUST call in advance (406-447-6900) if you still need a laptop. The campus will be closed but we will work to set up a pickup time for critical needs.

Q: How long will my class be taught online? Will it go back to face to face?

Courses that moved online as of March 23, 2020 will stay online for the remainder of the semester. Courses that have changed due to the March 26, 2020 directive cancelling all face-to-face instruction are being evaluated. If these courses can be resumed face-to-face in the future, any adjustments will be communicated to you by your instructor.

Q: I am a dual-enrollment student, what do I need to know?

If you were in a face-to-face (on-campus) class, we will provide more information about how that will change. For questions about your dual enrollment classes, please contact; stephanie.hunthausen@helenacollege.edu.


Student Services

Q: Are Student Services still available?

Yes. You can request virtual advising, and meetings in order to receive financial aid, academic advising, admissions, and enrollment assistance. Please take a look at the Remote Resources section above for more information.

Q: Will the Testing Center be open? 

Because all instruction has moved to online, so has all testing. Your instructor will be responsible for all course related testing. Accuplacer has moved to an online format and you can all the college to arrange for that online option.

Q: I need to take the TEAS test for Nursing, is this still happening?

The TEAS test has been rescheduled to happen on May 19-20, 2020 on the Helena College Donaldson Campus. Those who had already signed up for the April testing dates will be notified of the date change. To accommodate for these date changes, we have moved our Nursing Program application deadline to Friday, May 29, 2020. Please note, these dates currently fall outside of the Governor's directive, so as the testing dates approach, we will be evaluating whether the TEAS test can be offered on the scheduled dates.

Q: Is there access to Health & Wellness resources?

Yes, the Health & Wellness center is taking appointments for students who are experiencing anxiety, stress, depression, suicidal ideation or any other life challenges. We are working with our community to continue to provide access to resources. The food pantry and Helena Food Share remains open. They have grab-n-go boxes of food for people. Find out more byvisiting the Helena Food Share website.

You can contact the health and wellness coordinator at Debbie.micu@helenacollege.edu or at 406-662-1949. In the event of an emergency, please contact 911. If you are in a crisis and want help, call the Montana Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 24/7, at 1-800-273-TALK; (1-800-273-8255), Or text MT to 741 741.

Q: Since the bookstore is closed, how can I sell back my books at the end of the semester?

There are many online options for students to sell their books. If you are unsure of what to use, the Helena College Bookstore is recommending Virtual Sellback for books at the end of the semester.


Financial Aid 

Q: How will changes to the academic instruction affect my financial aid refund? 

No disbursement adjustments will occur. Please refer to “How Financial Aid is Disbursed” on the How Financial Aid Works section of the website. http://helenacollege.edu/financialaid/howitworks.aspx

Q: I need to submit Financial Aid forms to the College? How can I do that?

We request that you use the US mail to submit all forms to the college. The address is:

Helena College Office of Financial Aid

1115 N Roberts Street

Helena, MT 59601

Q: Will moving courses online affect my benefit payments (including the monthly housing allowance under the Post-9/11 GI Bill for the Spring 2020 semester?

Veterans Affairs is in the process of providing guidance to schools about benefit payments. Helena College will provide an update when information is available.

Q: I am a work-study student. Can I still come to work? 

Work study students are requested to stay off campus. You will still receive normally scheduled paychecks. The hours you worked over the course of the semester to date will be averaged. Please watch your email, as Karina Moulton will keep you updated on this.

Business Office

Q: I need to pay a bill?  How can I do that?

We request that whenever possible you use our online service to pay bills. If you cannot use this service, please mail your payments to:

Helena College Business Office

1115 N Roberts Street

Helena, MT 59601


Refunds

Q: Since the college has moved to nearly 100% remote learning, shouldn't some of my fees be refunded?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Montana University System's foremost priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We recognize there are other issues of importance, financial and otherwise. Normally students who take on campus classes pay certain fees and students who take online courses pay different fees. A quick determination suggests that, in most cases, students would not see a substantial difference in their bill were we to waive face to face fees and then bill online fees. We have therefore made the executive decision to not issue refunds or charge additional fees for specific courses.

Q: The semester is shortened by two weeks; shouldn't I get some money back for that?

The semester has been accelerated and the same level of instruction is being delivered in a shorter number of days. Here in the Montana University System, courses are offered by credit, not by hours. You will earn the same number of credits even though the pace of delivery has been accelerated.

Q: When I signed up for courses, I signed up for face to face classes and now I am forced to learn online. Shouldn't I get a fee adjustment for that?

We understand that for many students, the transition to online instruction is not ideal. We truly believe that giving you the chance to finish the semester and make progress towards your degree or certificate is the most important thing we can do right now. We have made sure that we have several services to help you make the transition. Please work with the Library Learning Hub online and your advisor to make sure you have what you need to be successful in this new kind of classroom.

Q:  I paid my graduation fee but now commencement is postponed.  Can I get a refund?

The graduation fee is an administrative fee that pays for degree audit and completion processes as well as commencement related expenses.  All graduates of Helena College pay the fee even if they do not attend the ceremony.

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