It is our highest priority to guarantee the well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. The following answers to frequently asked questions are intended to give us clarity in the midst of the uncertainty and shifting plans for the Fall 2020 semester as we respond to the challenges caused by the virus. With this in mind, please note that we will provide updates and revisions to these plans during the course of the summer, so be sure to check regularly.
ALL PLANS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND DEPENDENT UPON FEDERAL, STATE, AND MUNICIPAL HEALTH REGULATIONS.
We are following the lead of Biola University and Talbot School of Theology wherever applicable. You may find additional information pertaining to the main campus at https://www.biola.edu/coronavirus.
However, we want to answer specific questions below concerning the program in Brooklyn. Should you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact DeLora Neuschwander at [email protected].
What is the Registration Deadline for the Fall Semester?
- Registration must be completed by August 18, 2020.
- Be advised that all classes during September will be offered via Zoom, with the first sessions beginning on September 8, 2020.
- These courses will be implemented through Canvas, and instructions will be provided for those who are not familiar with this Learning Management System. Also see https://www.biola.edu/coronavirus/student-support/remote-learning.
When will students return to Brooklyn?
- No in-person classes will be provided during the month of September, 2020. Students may return to the Brooklyn Center for residency and classes on October 3, 2020, with the first in-person class taking place Tuesday, October 13.
- If on-campus education is initiated this fall, we will implement robust preventative health measures to protect our community’s safety.
How should you decide whether or not to return?
Please prayerfully consider the following:
- Your level of risk for severe illness. See People Who Are at Higher Risk from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are at a higher risk for severe illness, we encourage you to remain at your permanent address and take your classes online.
- Your understanding that student life on campus will be different (due to health and safety guidelines).
- Your personal vocational and financial situation and the quality of home life and web access enabling you to study.
What educational options are available to students?
- In-Person Courses
- Students who reside in the building will take in-person classes at the Brooklyn Center assuming such activity will be allowed by the New York State and City governments and our faculty agrees.
- Other current students will have the option of joining online via Zoom, including those who would otherwise have to travel to the Feinberg Center for classes.
- Likewise, new students could be accepted for these courses.
- Online Courses
- Synchronous courses require students to attend regularly scheduled meetings during the semester via Zoom. This is the format for our Fall 2020 courses until it is possible to meet in-person.
- Asynchronous courses allow students to view lectures independently and participate in scheduled Video Conference calls when required. Only a few such courses are available to our students through Talbot. They must be individually approved as appropriate to the Feinberg program.
- Field Education
- Requirements for Field Education will be adjusted according to the ability of students to serve in various forms of ministry.
What precautions are being taken to ensure safety?
- All faculty, students, and staff will be given a thorough orientation to our Feinberg culture of safety and health practices, behaviors, and priorities.
- Social distancing, as prescribed by national, state, and city authorities, will be expected to be observed along with the requirement of wearing face masks.
- More detailed and specific regulations will be published on this site.
- Professors and other personnel will be shielded by suspended plexiglass barriers.
- There will be only one resident student living in each room with perhaps two students in the largest room in the living quarters.
- Rooms and community bathrooms will be sanitized regularly under the supervision of the Feinberg Resident Assistants.
- All common and high-touch areas will be routinely disinfected and cleaned by professional cleaning personnel.
- Hand sanitizers will be placed strategically throughout the building.
- Additional measures will be added as plans continue to develop.
- Compliance with Biola’s residence regulations is required. The extent of that compliance has yet to be determined.
- All students and professors will be required to be tested for COVID-19 and the antibody before in-person classes begin.
- It is understood that COVID-19 does not always present with symptoms. However, if symptoms are evident, the student or faculty member will self-quarantine and either teach or take the course via Zoom until tested and shown to be COVID-19 free.
- We will ask students living in the dorms to be circumspect in their movements outside of the actual Feinberg Center. The specific guidance will change depending upon the rate of COVID-19 infection in New York City.
- Temperatures will be taken on a regular basis.
- Random COVID-19 tests may be required if the rate of infection warrants this decision.
Will the semester schedule change?
- There will be no Thanksgiving break (although classes on Thanksgiving will be cancelled) in an effort to reduce exposure to COVID-19. Any extended travel will be discouraged and require advanced permission from the Program Director.
- At present, Jewish holiday services will be offered either in person or virtually at Beth Sar Shalom, based upon their established guidelines.
What about International Students?
- International students should consult with Racheal Ndei ([email protected]) concerning all travel decisions.
- According to recently published guidelines by Homeland Security, foreign students taking online classes exclusively, and not sitting in courses, will have their student visas suspended.
- At this point, your SEVIS records will remain active. Please keep in mind that SEVIS guidance may change between now and August. We will keep you informed.
- Quarantine rules may apply upon returning from another country or another state.
- Our desire is to communicate as clearly and effectively as possible during these ever- changing circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Do not hesitate to contact either the Program Director or the Administrative Assistant with your questions, and we will do our very best to help:
CHARLES L. FEINBERG CENTER
1974 CONEY ISLAND AVE
BROOKLYN, NY 11223