CBE Intranet

FAQ

LAST UPDATED: Sept 29, 2020

There are a lot of instances of misinformation and unsubstantiated rumors around COVID-19. Continue to rely on the UW coronavirus page as well as the UW Admissions and Autumn 2020 FAQs as the definitive source of all information about how UW is responding to this public health crisis, and the impacts on you. For technology specific resources, please refer to our Timely Resources page.

We will continue updating these FAQ’s and resources with the most accurate and up-to-date information. Please continue to check this page and your email for updates from our Dean and your departments.

If you have additional CBE-specific questions that are not addressed here, please send them to cberesponse@uw.edu. Find CBE-specific news and information and frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus and Fall 2020 and beyond, below.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Are instructors expected to alter their format in order to make it easier for students who are not in Pacific Time?

We are strongly encouraging faculty to provide asynchronous options for students (through recorded classes and lectures). We recognize both the challenges of time zone differences, as well as the instructors’ right to choose synchronous format for pedagogical reasons. We also acknowledge that accommodating multiple options can create additional burdens on instructors and staff. Like many issues during these pandemic times, we are providing maximum flexibility for students possible while maintaining academic integrity. Please contact your instructor for detailed information on course schedule and format.

I’m not able to be in Seattle because of family or other reasons. Will I need to be in the Seattle area to complete my classes?

You will not need to be in the Seattle area to take your classes. However, keep in mind that moving to a different time zone may make it more difficult to participate in synchronous classes and activities if the instructor is not able to provide asynchronous format. If you have not yet decided if you will be in the Seattle area, or if you know you cannot be, please discuss this with your advisor or instructors.

What will living on campus be like? Is it safe?

There are options for living on campus this year. Housing has several important protocols that they will have communicated to you if you are living on campus- including a resisdent agreement and as well as very clear quarantine and infection protocols. Please check with Housing and Food services for a full list of resources and protocols.

ADMISSIONS & ENROLLMENT 

CBE Autumn 2020 Townhall with Dean Cheng; Back to School & What to Expect

I am a newly admitted to a CBE degree program, can I defer my offer of admission if I do not want to do remote learning, or I have visa issues, or personal family/health/financial concerns?

Congratulations again on your admission, we are very excited about the incoming classes and believe you are a great match for the program for which you were admitted. We understand the decision to enter a degree program is not one to take lightly and your situation may have changed since you first applied. We are committed to supporting our students to succeed in whatever is their best path. Program advisors are well-positioned to help you work through options and understand the implications of deferral. In general, most degree programs have flexibility but there are some for which deferrals are not possible. Please reach out to your advisor if you have questions.

For specific departmental questions please email your departmental advisor or chair. 

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What happens if COVID cases continue to rise in WA?

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CBE’s current hybrid education model is predicated on the UW Seattle campus meeting criteria for Phase 3 of the COVID-19 recovery in Washington’s Safe Start plan. As we are currently in Phase 2, we are partnering with county and state agencies to develop safe, in-person instruction strategies knowing they will be more limited in group size and duration/frequency of contact. You can see more information about UW’s Safe Start Status here: https://www.washington.edu/coronavirus/status/

BUILDINGS, SPACES & ACCESS

Will CBE Buildings still be open? Can I use the Digital Commons, Fabrication Lab, and CBE library?

Yes, buildings will be accessible with Husky Card access. We are currently working through guidelines for CBE spaces. We will update information as we finalize our plans and will email you those plans as well. We expect, at minimum, to continue the winter 2021 quarter arrangements for service bureau access to fabrication, remote access to hardware and software, and remote service for library.

Should I move to Seattle? Sign a contract for housing on campus?

We hope that as many students as possible are in the Seattle area since the in-person experiences will be valuable. However, we understand some students may choose not to move and others may simply not have a choice to move so we are accommodating remote options for any student who is not in Seattle.

COVID-19 

What happens if COVID cases continue to rise in WA?

CBE’s current hybrid education model is predicated on the UW Seattle campus meeting criteria for Phase 3 of the COVID-19 recovery in Washington’s Safe Start plan. As we are currently in Phase 2, we are partnering with county and state agencies to develop safe, in-person instruction strategies knowing they will be more limited in group size and duration/frequency of contact. Read more about  UW’s Safe Start Status here.

Can faculty require use of equipment such as laser cutter or plotters for remote classes that require visiting campus to obtain?

It will depend on the class. Plotting, laser cutting, and 3D printing are all available at commercial vendors, so you may be able to get your output produced where you are. If your course has a TA or other assistant, output could be produced at Gould/Architecture and shipped to you.

Can faculty suggest the value of activities such as visiting a site in person, visiting a museum that is open, outdoor sketching, etc?

Yes, faculty can suggest these activities. If you choose to do the activities, remember to follow COVID guidelines.

What is the Husky Coronavirus testing program?

The Husky Coronavirus Testing program tests for current coronavirus infections — not antibodies from past infections — and is organized into four main components.

Return-to-campus testing: All students, faculty and staff planning to be on a campus or at a UW facility are encouraged to enroll in the testing program — especially those who will be there at least once a week and/or who live in shared housing, such as on-campus housing, fraternities and sororities. This way we can identify anyone who contracted COVID-19 at home, and we can provide proper support and self-isolation options. Testing is conducted based on your answers to the enrollment questionnaire, and those at lower risk – such as those who only come to a campus sporadically or who don’t report having any symptoms – are less likely to receive a test in this phase.
Community testing: A subset of UW community members enrolled in the program will be selected to be tested each week, with an emphasis on those who who have more contact with others, such as essential workers and students in on-campus, Greek or communal housing. With a goal of approximately 1,000 participants each week, this system will help detect asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic cases so that we can provide support and the community members who test positive know to self-isolate in order to avoid infecting others.
Symptomatic testing: All program participants will receive a daily e-mail or text message asking about symptoms. If you reply that you have symptoms or that you think you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you’ll be eligible to receive a test.

If you want to be tested but do not wish to enroll in the Husky Coronavirus Testing program, other options for testing are still available to you. See “I want to get tested for COVID-19, where can I go?”

Rapid response testing: If someone in a shared living or working environment receives a positive test, we can respond with broader testing for anyone in that environment who may have come into contact with them, with the goal of stopping the further spread.
Tests are processed at the Brotman Baty Institute and the program is being conducted as a research study with the approval of UW Research’s Human Subjects Division.

You can enroll now.

Along with following the 3Ws (Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Watch your distance.), getting as many people who will be on campus or at a UW facility – or living near a campus – to enroll in the program AND participate when asked to take a test is vital to preventing outbreaks.

FACULTY 

Can faculty and staff participate in political activities?

While the use of university resources in support of Political Campaigning is strictly prohibited, some limited (de minimis) personal use of university resources by university employees may be permitted for other political activities. Please review the College of the Environment’s page for complete Guidelines for Appropriate Personal Engagement in Political Activities for full explanations of the UW’s rules and guidelines.  If you have questions, please contact Vikramaditya Prakash (vprakash@uw.edu) or Erika Harris (emharris@uw.edu).

Can faculty require site visits or any in person activity for classes offered remotely?

    No, faculty cannot require this.   If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact your advisor or department chair.

FINANCIAL, LEGAL & ADMINISTRATIVE 

How will academic transcripts, graduation requirements or financial aid be impacted by CR/NC grades?

The UW registrar has announced that there will be a notation added to transcripts. “Transcript Comment: The COVID-19 outbreak impacted Winter 2020 grades. Some courses display CR/NC rather than numeric grades.” For more in-depth information contact your departmental advisor, and find full details on these and other issues on the UW Registrar’s FAQ site.

Will online learning impact my time to degree?

No. Online classes format will not affect your time to degree in CBE programs. However, if you are enrolled in a class that is canceled or postponed, you may need to enroll in a different class to meet your graduation requirements. If you have questions or concerns regarding fulfilling program requirements, please contact your program adviser.

Will there be a refund for tuition or fees due to the change of format?

Every available resource is being utilized to continue providing an uncompromising education for our more than 50,000 students in light of an unprecedented health crisis that has disrupted every facet of life, not only nationally but also globally. With remarkable skill and flexibility, our faculty members are moving to alternative means of engaging with students so that everyone is kept safe, healthy, and able to continue their educational journey with minimal disruption.

We understand that for some people there is an initial sense that a financial adjustment is due because of these necessary adaptations. We hope, on further reflection, that you will understand we are going to great lengths—including increasing investments in technologies and virtual tools —  striving to provide high quality of education through different means of communication. This requires not only full tuition support but also public support, for which we thank you. We have chosen to reaffirm our commitment to every student’s educational excellence, which will ultimately become the future success of our local communities, state, and nation.

Thank you for supporting that commitment.

I have a graduate student assistant-ship or TA-ship offered by a CBE department or program to help with teaching. Now that classes are online, do I still have a job?

Yes. We will honor all RA and TA teaching contracts. However, it is possible that you will be asked to modify your work from what was originally expected, including supporting a different class. All changes will be made with advanced written notice and will be appropriate to your expertise and interest. If this happens, the program employing you will contact you directly. Otherwise, you should assume you will continue working with your assigned course.

My family income has changed. What options exist to update my financial aid award package?

We understand that your family’s financial situation may have changed as a result of COVID-19. Students can request changes to their award by completing a “change in financial situation – parent,” or “change in financial situation – student” form using the revision request website.

Will there be work-study options on campus in fall, or has that changed due to COVID-19?

There will work-study opportunities. We are working across UW to put employment guidelines in place to make sure our employees are all safe. This may require students to fill out an attestation form before coming on campus to work (if they cannot work remotely).

Can I take a leave of absence or defer admission without financial penalty?

Student decisions for leaves and deferrals in our degree programs may have an impact on financial aid, gifts, or employment. Students should contact their advisors to understand the impact of student status on finances.

Is CBE helping students who have financial emergencies?

Yes. CBE launched the CBE Student Emergency Fund in May 2020 to support students facing housing/rent, food, medical, and other substantial urgent expenses. Students may submit emergency aid requests via the central Emergency Aid Portal (applications will reopen on Sept 30th). Please be sure to indicate that you are a CBE student requesting aid from the CBE Emergency Fund in your application form. Applications submitted via the Emergency Aid Portal are reviewed by the Office of Financial Aid in partnership with the College of Built Environments and approved applicants may receive funding from the UW’s central Emergency Aid Fund and/or the CBE Student Emergency Fund. In addition, CBE will soon launch a Student Stipend request page to help students with smaller, less urgent needs. Please stay tuned for more information about this coming in October 2020.

MISCELLANEOUS

Will faculty/TAs have office hours?

As usual, faculty and TA’s will be available outside of regularly scheduled class times. However, it will be up to each instructor to determine how to manage this time. In general, if you need to meet with your instructor or TA you should email them and request an online or phone meeting. If you cannot reach your instructor or TA and it is an urgent matter, please email the program adviser.

How do I reach my professor/TA?

The best way to reach faculty is generally through email, though some faculty may specify other preferred forms of communication. All faculty email addresses are available from the department websites. If you have trouble locating a faculty member, please contact your program adviser.

TA contact information should be listed on the course syllabus. If you have difficulty reaching a TA, please contact the course instructor or the program adviser.

How do I talk to an adviser?

All program advisers will be available online. Please email your adviser if you have a question, need help with something, or want to set up a meeting. Due to the increase in email volume, advisers may take longer than normal to respond, but be assured that we will do our very best to support you during these challenging times. You can find an adviser for your program here: http://be.washington.edu/academics/academic-advising/

Will program applications and admissions be impacted?

See the page for the program you are applying to for current information.

What if I have a question about the coronavirus?

For all questions related to the coronavirus, including how to minimize your exposure, how to recognize symptoms, and what to do if you expect that you or someone you know has been exposed, please go to the UW Novel coronavirus & COVID-19: facts and resources page at Washington.edu/coronavirus.

TECHNOLOGY 

What technology do I need to participate in an online class?

To participate in an online class, you will need access to a computer with a webcam and microphone as well as access to wifi. In some cases, you will need to download additional software. Your instructor will let you know what software is required for the course.

What should I do if I don’t have access to reliable Wi-Fi?

CBE students are asked to work with their advisors or chairs about their Wi-Fi, technology and software access. This information will provide useful feedback to help us best support our students’ remote learning needs for Fall quarter 2020.

Several internet service companies are offering expanded services that may allow you to get connected.  Learn more about offerings from Comcast, Charter Communications, Spectrum and Verizon

I have a disability that requires accommodations. How can I complete my courses as expected?

Please coordinate accommodation through UW Disability Resources.

If you have any issues related to device access, internet connectivity, or a disability due to the move to remote learning, immediately contact your program advisor for assistance.

How do I log on to a class?

Most classes will be offered through Zoom and Canvas. Instructions for both of these are available here. Your instructor will also email you additional instructions before the start of class, including the Zoom meeting time and ID number associated with your course. If you have questions about how to join a class, please contact your instructor.

What software will I need for my class?

Most classes will be managed through Zoom and Canvas. Some may also include additional communication tools. Most will not require any additional software beyond what you typically use to do your work. If a class does have specific software requirements your instructor will let you know this during the first week of class or earlier.

How do I get the additional software I need for my class?

Most software should be available through the CBE Resource Page.

If I need to borrow a computer, where can I get one?

The UW has a computer loaner program run out of Kane Hall. Students can reserve laptops for the entire quarter. You can find more information here. However, supplies are limited. Additionally, CBE will have a limited number of computers available for students to borrow. More information on this will be coming soon.

What do I do if my computer doesn’t support software required for my course?

Most of the software required for CBE courses is available for your use on the CBE Citrix Application Server. This allows you to use software without installing it on your computer. You will, however, need to install the Citrix receiver software. To do this, please follow the instructions in the “How to Connect to the Citrix Application Server” section.

If your computer is too old to support Citrix Applications, please email your instructor or CBE IT for help at behelp@uw.edu.

What if I don’t have a camera or microphone?

CBE does not have webcams to loan at this time. However, you may purchase an inexpensive webcam that connects to your computer from local retailers or online vendors. You do not need an expensive webcam. A simple, low cost webcam will be sufficient for most applications. If you need financial assistance, please contact your department chair.

What type of technology support is CBE providing and where can I find it?

CBE and the UW have numerous resources available for students with technology needs including loaner programs. You may learn more about these resources below and we will soon share information about the new CBE Student Stipend request site which may also be used for technology support if the need is not met by the below resources.

Resources:

CBE Online Learning Resources Page – access CBE tele-conferencing platforms, various software options, and trainings/tutorials
IT Connect’s Software for the UW (UWare) – access software at free or reduced rates available to University of Washington students
*The next set of technology-related resources listed below are in order of availability. We ask that you thoroughly explore options from the top working your way downward, where materials are more limited.

Gain access to discipline-specific software (such as Adobe Suite, Rhino, and more) using your own computer via the CBE Remote Access Lab (software performance is determined by the lab machine, not your computer)
For students near campus – The Digital Commons outer lab will have modified access to fewer workstations for in-person use which can be accessed with your Husky Card. In response to the evolving pandemic, all users will be charged the $2/foot CBE rate for Gould Hall plotting until further notice.
For students near campus -The Archnet plotter room is available on a limited basis for a single occupant at a time with your Husky Card. Students may also install Archnet drivers on their own computers and may then send plots to one or more of the Archnet plotters without being physically in the space until it’s time to pick up their plot.
Laptops are available on loan to students via the UW Student Technology Loan Program and you can access CBE software on these laptops via the CBE Remote Access Lab mentioned above.
A very limited number of laptops are available on loan via the CBE/BE Library Student Loaner Program. We ask that you please only use this option when all other options above, particularly the CBE Remote Access Lab and UW Student Technology Loan Program, have been exhausted. Thank you.
If you have further questions about any of the above technology-related resources, please contact be-help@uw.edu for assistance.

 

VISAS

What do I do if I cannot acquire a visa to study in the US? Or, if I have a visa, how does the recent SEVP announcement affect my ability to study in the US?

Rest assured– Students who choose not to return to campus for fall quarter, such as for health reasons or difficulty traveling or obtaining a visa, will be able to continue their academic progress through remote instruction.

For international students with visas who are concerned about their ability to return to or remain in the US, CBE and ISS staff are deeply dismayed about the July 6 DHS announcement and are taking steps to better understand and mitigate its impact. At the same time, we are working with UW leadership, campus partners, our state’s congressional delegation and other key federal officials, as well as higher education professional organizations and legal experts across the U.S. to try and change or block DHS’s proposal before anything is enacted.

Regardless of your visa status, we know you, your families, advisers, faculty, and staff have many questions, as do we. The ISS is working on answers to trending questions for all international students and we will post to this page as soon as we have clarity on the answers. Information is changing rapidly and interpretations of the announcement vary greatly, so we want to ensure we provide accurate responses.

The ISS will also schedule in the coming weeks online webinars for continuing and incoming new international students where we will provide updates, options, and answer your questions. We will publish the dates to this page and update our ISS calendar as soon as these are scheduled. We will post those webinars here as well once they become available.  In the meantime, we are working to identify the international students who will be most impacted by this policy so that we can provide you with options as soon as possible to meet your specific needs. Updates will be shared on the Office of Global Affairs website and ISS COVID-19 information page. We will email you with any major announcements.

The University of Washington is here to support you. Please stay in touch with your advisers and your Husky community. CIRCLE offers virtual drop-in office hours and may be reached at uwcircle@uw.edu. Your health and wellbeing are our top priority, and we will do everything we can to help you continue your UW education according to plan.