Advice for students about coronavirus - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Advice for students about coronavirus

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The wellbeing of USC students, staff and community continues to be our main priority. This page provides up-to-date information, advice and support available to USC students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest news
  • Semester 2 classes - we are in the process of planning a staged return to campus with the safety of our students the top priority. There are many steps to be considered and implemented to ensure this and several challenges, including but not limited to campus sizes and populations, that we must take into account. We are monitoring the situation closely and working to introduce a staged return to campus once it is safe to do so. For most Semester 2 courses, students have been able to select from either on-campus or completely online classes. If you have selected on-campus classes, at this stage it is likely students will be returning from Week 5 of Semester 2, and as such the first 4 weeks will be supported via technology-enabled learning. We will let all students know with sufficient notice once return to campus plans have been finalised.
  • Change of grading - two new grade notations have been added to the grading schema for semester 1: CV1 and CV2. CV1 is for courses students pass, however, the student has elected to not receive a graded pass, as they are concerned that the grade will negatively impact their academic record. As such, it will not count towards their GPA. CV2 is for courses students fail, however, the fail does not appear as a fail on the academic transcript and the grade does not count towards the student’s GPA. Find more information about the new grades available in semester 1 2020.
  • Semester 2 class selection
    At class selection time, you will be presented with the option to select an online or on-campus class. Most courses will offer both options and you are able to choose your preferred option.
    Online class - will be delivered through technology-enabled learning and teaching for the entire semester.
    On-campus class - will be delivered through technology-enabled learning and teaching until such time as circumstances allow the resumption of tutorials, workshops, labs, etc on campus.
    Lectures - will be delivered online for the duration of the semester, so there will only be an online option for these.
    Please note that some courses will require your on-campus attendance, regardless of whether you choose the online or on-campus class. This is particularly relevant for courses where you are required to complete practical components such as laboratory work and will likely occur later in the semester circumstances permitting. The Schools are currently working to determine which courses this will apply to and students will be notified in due course if their on-campus presence is likely to be required in semester 2.
Student Support
  • Student Central – Face-to-face services at Student Central offices have closed, but staff are still available via studentcentral@usc.edu.au or +61 7 5430 2890 between 8.30am and 4.30pm for all student enquiries. Students submitting forms to Student Central should send them via email to studentcentral@usc.edu.au.
  • Student IT HelpDesk Student Helpdesk counters at all USC campuses are now closed. Contact the HelpDesk on StudentITHelp@usc.edu.au and +61 7 5459 4455. To support students adjust to a new learning environment, the Student IT Help Desk will be open from 8.30am until 9pm Monday to Friday until further notice.
  • Student WellbeingWe understand that the current situation is challenging for everyone and would like to remind you that Student Wellbeing provides free and confidential counselling services to students.
  • AccessAbility Services - Students whose studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder, mental health issue, injury or illness, or if they are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged can connect with AccessAbility Services to receive access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice. For students impacted directly by COVID-19 (either unwell themselves or caring for someone who is unwell), they should contact their course coordinators directly to seek academic supports.

Face-to-face support services may have closed but we're still here to support you to succeed. Please note below how you can access support services:

Service

Support available

Contact or book in

Student Central

Phone and email

Student Central

Student Wellbeing

Phone, email, Skype and Zoom appointments available

Student Wellbeing

SafeUSC

In-person, phone and email

SafeUSC

Indigenous Services

Phone and email

Indigenous Services

Library

Phone, email and online chat

Library

Student IT Help Desk

Phone and email

Student IT Help Desk

Academic Skills

15-minute phone call consults for quick targeted advice

StudentHub

Academic skills, assessment task analysis and document review

Studiosity

Career Development

Phone call consults, job application and resume review, careers workshops, jobs

StudentHub

Contact a Student Representative

StudentHub

AccessAbility Services

Phone call consults and email; Zoom consults available on request

AccessAbility Services

Print Services

Technical support by phone or email

Print Services

International Student Connect

Currently suspended

Student Central

If you require after-hours support, contact SafeUSC 

Where can I get general health and travel information about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Campuses and facilities
  • Library – is gradually re-opening access to collections and study spaces. For further details on how to access the library are available on the COVID-19 Library Guide. USC Libraries recommends that students use the Contactless Click and Collect service for access to print collections as direct access to library collections may be limited. Visit the Library website for further updates.
  • Quiet learning spaces and computer labs are still available on campus. For a full list of available spaces on your campus visit Computers on Campus and please be mindful of the social distancing guidelines when on campus.
  • Campus food outlets - campus food outlets have amended their opening hours from 26 March 2020.
  • Sporting facilities - The University has reopened the sport facilities within the USC Sports Precinct to our university community, members, user groups and the wider community. We want to ensure our USC students and staff, members, user groups and the wider USC community are COVID Safe. We’ve made some changes to our venue operations including what we need you to do to before, during and after your sport or exercise session to help us keep everyone safe and healthy.
  • Parking ePermits - Paid parking is still in place for Semester 2. Any questions with regard to parking permits can be directed to Parking@usc.edu.au. Students that purchased an ePermit for parking during Semester 1, 2020 are now eligible to apply for a refund. This is due to the bulk of student teaching not being done on campus during the semester. Refunds must be requested via Parking@usc.edu.au and include name on credit card, type of card, and the first 6 and last 3 digits on card.

How can students practice social distancing on campus?

What will happen if someone at USC tests positive to the novel coronavirus?

What is USC doing to clean and sanitise the University?

How has USC responded to the coronavirus outbreak being declared a pandemic?

How can I help protect myself from being infected with coronavirus?

Can I use reusable cups at USC food and beverage outlets?

What are the changes to use of USC Sport facilities?

Will campus cafes and other food services remain open?

Is the USC Express Shuttle service still running?

Is Print Services open?

Student resources
Technology enabled learning

You have been hearing a lot about technology enabled learning – but what does it mean?

Most USC course content is already available via Blackboard. The technology being used to enable off-campus teaching modes is the Zoom video conferencing system.

To ensure you get to most out of your online courses, the following resources have been developed to support you:

  • To get the ins and outs of setting up Zoom, explore the How do I use Zoom? webpage.
  • The Train(ing) Station, available on Blackboard, provides guides and assistance for a range of technologies used at USC.
  • LinkedIn Learning is available to help you develop new skills or find solutions to specific problems. Find out which of the LinkedIn Learning courses could be relevant for you.
  • Don’t have access to a computer or the internet? Find out how and where you can access computers on campus.
Assessment and academic skills support
Health and wellbeing

USC is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment. Student Wellbeing has developed the following information to support you during this period of uncertainty and change:

Student Wellbeing is continuing to provide a free counseling service via phone or Skype. Contact Student Wellbeing to book an appointment.

Stay connected
  • Find out more about the resources and support available to you.
  • Stay in the loop, get connected with us via Social Media, the USC Student Senate has also created a ‘USC Kindness Pandemic’ Facebook page to keep the USC community connected and supported.
  • Contact Student Guild for all welfare and advocacy concerns.
Tips for studying from home
  • Think about your workspace at home. Identify an area where you can sit and work comfortably with your computer and notes, in an area that is well-lit with limited distractions.
  • Ensure you have the right tools to study. Find out what hardware you need to run Zoom, make sure you have the right stationery and the correct course materials to study from. Remember to check Blackboard for any course updates.
  • Keep in touch with your tutors and lecturers.
  • Stay connected with your classmates. Organise group chats via Zoom to set up study groups so you can spend time discussing ideas and swapping study tips.
  • Take regular breaks. Keep your mind fresh, step away from your computer every hour or so, try to go for a walk and give yourself things to look forward to each day. Make sure you separate study and relaxing time with a clear finish time each day.
Top 5 COVID-19 FAQs