Frequently Asked Questions
- CARES Act Emergency Assistance Grants
- Remote Teaching and Learning
- Course Grading Policy
- International Purchases
- Staying Healthy
- Campus Facilities
- Student, Faculty and Staff Services
- Employment and Remote Work
- Employee Medical Benefits
- Advising, Registration and Enrollment
- Fees, Refunds and Finances
- Social Distancing
CARES Act Emergency Assistance Grants
- Paying rent or utility bills due to the loss of income.
- Purchasing technology like a computer, laptop or Wi-Fi hotspot in order to complete online courses.
- Purchasing food or groceries.
- Paying unexpected medical bills.
- Paying for childcare-related expenses.
Funding provided by the CARES Act is limited. The opportunity for CARES grants will be over once funding is depleted. However, students should contact their Student Financial Services Advisor in the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine if they may qualify for other types of funding.
We intend to process awards within 48 hours of receiving a completed application. The timing of the receipt of grant disbursements will depend on whether a student has direct deposit or requires a check to be mailed.
Students who have signed up for direct deposit will receive their funding much quicker than those who have not. Those who do not have direct deposit will be issued a paper check, which will be mailed to the student’s address as listed in Goldmine. We highly encourage students to sign-up for direct deposit in order to access funding as soon as possible. Simply log in to my.utep.edu with your UTEP username and password, click on the Finances link, and follow the instructions under the “Direct Deposit” box.
Grants will be provided directly to students for expenses related to COVID-19.
Funding available through the CARES Act is currently limited to students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and received financial aid from UTEP. Students who have not completed a FAFSA are encouraged to do so to determine eligibility for additional funding that may become available. We encourage you to visit utep.edu/utepcares/apply to learn more about the application process. Funding is limited, so you are encouraged to go online and apply quickly.
Grants will be provided directly to students for expenses related to COVID-19.
Students who are not eligible for CARES Act funds have opportunities for emergency assistance through a fund created by generous UTEP donors. The Paydirt Emergency Loan Program and UTEP’s Food Pantry are also available. Information on how to access these options is available at utep.edu/utepcares.
The information on the application, which includes a student certification statement, is the only current requirement. However, future federal regulations may require UTEP to request additional documentation from students to support their eligibility for this grant assistance. Please save all supporting documentation, including, but not limited to: letter of unemployment/furlough, unemployment benefits, medical expense bills, as well as housing and utility bills that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.
The amount is based on an equitable calculation designed to widely distribute emergency funds to students with the greatest need.
Remote Teaching and Learning
Gov. Greg Abbott just announced that all schools, including higher education institutions, will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. How do you anticipate this to impact remote work of staff and faculty members? Does that mean we'll continue to work from home until September or does it mean that only students will be off campus until then?
Faculty, staff and students will need to keep up with their responsibilities off campus until further notice. Stay in touch with your supervisor to fulfill your job requirements. If you run out of work options, staff members are encouraged to seek online professional development opportunities through UTEP’s Office of Human Resources website. The President has assembled a Recovery Plan Task Force that will develop and provide recommendations to UTEP’s senior leadership team on actions, timelines, resources needed, and policies and procedures related to the campus reopening. They will address course delivery methods, facilities that will remain closed or partially open, human resources policies, training, health monitoring protocols, and other matters that, in the view of the group, need to be addressed. The University continues to monitor the situation and will announce its reopening plans to bring students and employees back to campus when the situation becomes safer.
At this time, there is not specific timetable to bring students and employees back to campus. UTEP leaders are studying relevant data daily and staying in contact with El Paso’s health and elected officials, as well as the leadership of the UT System for guidance on these matters. In addition, the President has assembled a Recovery Plan Task Force that will develop and provide recommendations to UTEP’s senior leadership team on actions, timelines, resources needed, and policies and procedures related to the campus reopening. They will address course delivery methods, facilities that will remain closed or partially open, human resources policies, training, health monitoring protocols, and other matters that, in the view of the group, need to be addressed.
The plan is for most UTEP employees to work from home through the end of the semester, but how long into the summer will depend on data-driven decisions by UTEP administration and guidance from El Paso’s health and elected officials.
An initial report from the committee has very recently been issued and is still being reviewed. Given the current situation, budget projections of this sort for the next five years are challenging.
Starting March 30, all UTEP course instruction will be provided online for the remainder of the spring semester. There will be no on-campus classes. Even small class sections that could be structured to provide “social distance” will be shifted to online format.
For labs or performance courses that are difficult to deliver by distance education, faculty should, to the maximum extent possible, identify creative ways that students might demonstrate the competencies required by the course without students being together on campus. The intention is to complete credits in the current academic term to the maximum extent possible, particularly for graduating seniors. Deans who believe they have labs or performance courses that cannot be delivered by alternate means should discuss options with the Provost.
We’ve decided to move Maymester entirely online. For courses that just can’t transition to online, faculty will try, if possible, to move them later in the summer, either in traditional summer semesters or in a late July two-week session that would likely be more amenable to in-person delivery.
For summer semester, we are going to start enrolling students in online courses only. If the situation changes, we will open face-to-face sections. We will be encouraging faculty who are experienced in online instruction to offer courses this summer and opening more of our online courses to enrollment through Finish@UT.
For now, we will continue to plan a normal fall schedule and continue to monitor the situation.
More information will follow from the provost and deans.
Maymester, summer, and fall registration will continue through Goldmine, as usual. If you need any assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to your adviser or the Registration and Records Office (email@example.com).
The professors and instructors of your PE course and all similar courses will reconfigure the course to an online format. The goal will be to make sure the student understands the concepts and techniques associated with the physical acts.
Our plan is to finish the spring 2020 semester in a distance-learning format.
We understand that online learning may be new to many of our students. The University’s Technology Support and Center for Instructional Design offers different tutorials to familiarize students with all things Blackboard to include “Netiquette,” or how one should behave in this online setting. Students who need additional help with Blackboard should contact the UTEP Help Desk.
Student participating in an internship are the employee of that entity, and they should follow the guidance of their employer.
Students may qualify for additional funding, including support for technology and computers, to assist in their transition to online instruction through the Office of Student Financial Aid. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 915-747-5204. You can also contact your financial aid adviser.
Individual faculty members will decide how to conduct their online classes. They will contact their students to let them know more about what is to come. Check your UTEP email account regularly!
The Center for Instructional Design has offered its Teaching Online Academy to all instructors in April, May and June 2020 to prepare them for Maymester and summer courses. Faculty and graduate students may register HERE.
The College of Education recently shared the following information from the Texas Education Agency, which outlined the requirements for student teachers to successfully complete their spring 2020 student teaching:
• Required number of days: 35 days for full-day assignments.
• Demonstrated proficiency in each of the educator standards for their assignments (to be determined by the preparation program).
• Received a recommendation from their field supervisor and cooperating teacher that the candidate should be recommended for a standard certificate.
Please check your email regularly for updates or email email@example.com if you have any questions.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. The students will have to create their own studios and create projects based on the machines and materials that they can obtain. Faculty members will have to consider all those factors for the near future and share expectations with their students, who should check their UTEP email and Blackboard course shells for updated information.
Faculty members will decide how they will accomplish this task. Students are encouraged to email their faculty members directly to find out their instructors’ plans.
Advice, feedback and encouragement from faculty ambassadors and instructional designers is available anytime through the Remote Teaching Blackboard Community. On-demand help is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and again from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Log in to Blackboard, click on Organizations, then click on UTEP Remote Teaching to receive step-by-step instruction.
Students who are undertaking an internship for credit via their department should communicate directly with their UTEP faculty member about their assignments.
The best thing graduate students can do during the spring 2020 semester after taking care of themselves is to continue with their classes and related activities to the best of their abilities if they adhere to the local and University guidelines concerning COVID-19. This might be a good time to use remote library research for ongoing projects. At the same time, grad students should consider how to use technology within research and writing communities.
UTEP officials ask that you remain flexible, considerate, and keep an open mind. To the extent that you can, work with faculty and your classmates to help the University through this situation as well as to achieve our overarching goals. For grad students who are TAs (teaching assistants), communicate with your supervisor(s) and help them as they work to translate their courses into an online format.
Having said that, University leaders also encourage students to make social connections with their peers. These friendly checks could lead to ideas or questions that you could tackle together, or with the help of faculty or Graduate School administrators. These kinds of connections are important to student health and the health of the University. In this way, we take care of ourselves, each other and advance our intellectual work. We can balance newfound constraints with opportunities for creative possibilities.
Instructors may opt in to allow their spring 2020 courses to be eligible for an (S/U) grading option, to provide individual students to make the choice of grading mode. A passing grade will appear on student transcripts as an “S” (satisfactory), and a failing grade will appear as a “U” (unsatisfactory). Neither an “S” nor a “U” will calculate into the student GPA. A grade of “S” will meet prerequisite requirements and count toward major/minor requirements. Instructors who would like to make this option available should determine the grading criteria for a passing grade. Faculty members can find frequently asked questions regarding the S/U option here, such as how to determine the grading criteria for a passing grade. The deadline for students to request a change from the standard grading system to the satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading option is May 7, 2020.
The procedures are as follows:
- Faculty member determines if they wish their course to be eligible for an S/U for the spring 2020 semester by notifying the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 17, 2020.
- Faculty member will notify students in their course(s) that the S/U option is available for the course, in addition to the criteria for meeting a Satisfactory grade.
- Student reaches out to advisor to determine if using the S/U option is appropriate for their situation.
- If the student wishes to opt in for the S/U grading option, the student submits this form to the Registrar’s Office at email@example.com.
- Student acknowledges that neither an “S” nor a “U” grade will impact their GPA. They also acknowledge that certain professional and graduate programs may require graded courses and they have discussed this with their advisor.
- Registrar makes the option available for the student.
- Student must declare they wish to take a course as S/U by the deadline of May 7, 2020.
- Students should contact their academic advisor if they have additional questions about declaring S/U and the impact of their choice.
The deadline to drop a course has been extended to May 7, 2020. Courses dropped in the spring 2020 semester will receive a grade of “W” (withdrawal) and will not count toward students’ six-course drop limit. Students who elect to drop a spring 2020 course do not need written approval from advisors or instructors. To drop a course, students should simply email firstname.lastname@example.org from their Miners email account and include: (1) their name, (2) student ID, (3) course name (e.g. UNIV 1301), and (4) the course CRN (e.g. 25896). The temporary change applies to students who will remain enrolled in at least one class at the institution for the spring 2020 semester. Dropping all courses is considered a complete withdrawal and follows a separate policy.
Faculty and staff are asked to increase student awareness of grade implications by reminding students to fully understand any impact these options may have on their: path to degree completion, military veteran benefits, financial aid and scholarship eligibility, graduate or professional program applications, international student status, or other academic standing requirements.
Before dropping any course, students are strongly encouraged to discuss these options with their academic, program, financial aid, and athletic advisors. Students should also be reminded of the institution’s behavioral health resources to manage anxiety and other concerns.
In an effort to make accessing Banner easier and more efficient, Banner is now available from off campus without VPN.
The University will utilize electronic signatures. The easiest way is to route an email through all committee members that clearly indicates the date of your defense. Each committee member should clearly indicate their approval for both the defense and the document. Once this email chain is complete and has all the required information, you can forward it to email@example.com. You do not need to attach the document’s signature page.
You may also send the traditional scanned defense forms, or PDFs with electronic signatures – signature images – as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure that all scanned documents are legible.
Course Grading Policy
To opt in to the S/U grade mode, students are required to fill out this form before the deadline. The deadline to request an S/U for spring 2020 courses is May 7, 2020.
This decision tree is a highly simplified map to help you choose whether or not to opt in to the S/U grading option. Make sure you understand your instructor’s grading criteria, and contact your advisor before finalizing your decision.
No. You may elect to remain in the traditional grading mode. Please consult with your professor about your progress in the course before considering this option.
Grades will appear as an “S” (satisfactory) or as a “U” (unsatisfactory). Neither will have an impact on the student’s GPA.
It is extremely important for you to discuss this option with your adviser, to determine if this choice would be appropriate for you. While a “U” grade will not lower your GPA, an “S” grade will not raise your GPA.
The full policy can be found here: https://www.utep.edu/provost/_Files/docs/curriculum/temporary-grading-policy-spring-2-2-.pdf
This varies from program to program and it depends upon how the course is related to your intended field. While many institutions across the U.S. are moving to allow Pass/Fail or S/U grades this semester and will likely understand that this was an unusual term, there are some fields where you will want to be very careful. It is imperative that you consult with your adviser about electing this option, especially if you are considering graduate or professional school.
No. Many instructors may determine that this option would be detrimental to students in their particular course, especially if it is a critical course for demonstrating competency in the field and could impact a student’s ability to move into meaningful professional work or graduate school. Instructors have the authority to determine if this option should be available for their courses.
Yes. For each course where the instructor made the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading optional, students can choose to select the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading or stay with the original grading.
Please consult with your instructor to determine if your particular situation may warrant the granting of an “Incomplete” grade, which will allow you to complete the course in a more familiar mode in the future. If that is not likely to be a good option for you, please note that the temporary grading policy also allows students to drop a course, all the way until the last class day. This drop will not count toward the six-drop limit in the state of Texas.
The current grading policy change applies to the Spring 2020 semester only. All courses would revert to their scheduled grading mode in future semesters.
UTEP does not set requirements for personal travel. Individuals traveling for personal reasons are encouraged to follow guidelines from the CDC. Note that if you travel to regions with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notice Warning Level 2 or above or a coronavirus State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or above, your trip may affect your ability to return to the United States and to campus.
UTEP officials are now suspending all University-sponsored travel to regions with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notice Warning Level 2 or above or a coronavirus State Department Travel Advisory Level 3 or above.
Your first step is to request a refund from the conference organizer. For advice on how to request travel reimbursement from the airlines, please contact the University Travel Office at utep.edu/travel or 915-747-5171. Consideration for institutional reimbursement will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
UTEP has communicated to current study abroad participants that programs are suspended through summer 2020. The Study Abroad Office is open for students still interested in pursuing study abroad in the future. UTEP remains committed to restoring study abroad opportunities as soon as it is safely possible.
To learn more about travel and required documents for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, please visit this page with guidance for international students: https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/oipsa/office-of-international-programs/home/oip-coronavirus-guidance.html
The Department of Homeland Security has restricted travel into the United States through land ports along the U.S-Mexico border to “essential travel.” The restrictions will remain in place until April 20, 2020. “Essential travel” includes (but is not limited to):
- U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States.
- Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States).
- Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.
- Individuals traveling to work in the United States.
- Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes.
- Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade.
- Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States.
- Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events) do not fall within the definition of “essential travel.” The City of El Paso manages southbound lanes at the Paso Del Norte, Stanton and Ysleta/Zaragoza ports of entry. The southbound lanes will continue to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Southbound lanes at the ports of entry managed by the City of El Paso remain open to travelers crossing into Juárez, Mexico. Travelers are encouraged to limit their travel into Mexico to “essential travel,” and to stay vigilant of travel notifications issued by Mexico. To find out about border travel wait times, visit this link: https://bwt.cbp.gov/
The restriction on travel is for University-funded travel. Other travel may impact your ability to come back and not have to go into self-isolation.
If they have traveled internationally, except for Ciudad Juarez, they need to report their travel to Environmental Health and Safety, which can be done online by filling out this form or calling 915-747-7124. They will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
Absolutely not. Employees who are traveling back from countries with risk levels of 2 or 3 and without virus symptoms should self-quarantine away from their campus work or school location for at least a 14-day period, per the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Coronavirus-19 Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
For more information regarding UTEP updates, please visit utep.edu/coronavirus.
According to UTEP policy, employees may use accrued sick leave with pay when sickness or confinement prevent them from performing their duties. If you are not sick, but self-isolating and you can do your job from home, you should discuss this option with your supervisor. Employees who do not have enough leave to cover their 14-day self-isolation and cannot perform their duties from home should contact Human Resources.
The Dean of Students Office will work closely with students who need to self-isolate, including contacting professors on your behalf so that arrangements can be made for you to continue with coursework, submit assignments, etc. It is important that students not come to campus or participate in off-campus activities such as study groups, student organization events or other activities when required to self-isolate.
All UTEP-organized events on campus have been canceled as the University adheres to a directive from the City of El Paso that requires residents to remain in their homes except to obtain essential services or engage in essential activities and work for essential business and government services. This order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. March 24 and will remain in effect until further notice.
In accordance with the guidance of The University of Texas System, The University of Texas at El Paso will postpone spring Commencement ceremonies. Graduating students will receive their degrees as scheduled, but the ceremonies will not take place until the fall. The date in the fall will be announced as soon as that decision is made. The decision follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for large gatherings.
Please contact the high school or school district in question and ask a member of its leadership team for guidance.
Research should continue, if possible, as long as social distancing guidance can be maintained. Researchers should contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects at 915-747-5680 or email@example.com for guidance related to research projects.
Please contact Environmental Health and Safety at 915-747-7124 to obtain a copy of the plan.
Please contact Purchasing and General Services at 915-747-5601 for your inquiry.
What are the considerations for long-term sustainable measures to address the need for moving forward in safety and in health for students, staff, and faculty to meet the ‘new normal’ of social distancing and virus detection and management.
The President has assembled a Recovery Plan Task Force that will develop and provide recommendations to UTEP’s senior leadership team on actions, timelines, resources needed, and policies and procedures related to the campus reopening. They will address course delivery methods, facilities that will remain closed or partially open, human resources policies, training, health monitoring protocols, and other matters that, in the view of the group, need to be addressed.
The President has assembled a Task Force to study this issue, and staff in the Provost’s Office are working on contingency planning for the fall semester. It remains too early to know when we will have enough information to plan effectively for the fall semester, but we expect to make important decisions months before the start of the semester.
The President has assembled a Recovery Plan Task Force that will develop and provide recommendations to UTEP’s senior leadership team on actions, timelines, resources needed, and policies and procedures related to the campus reopening. They will address course delivery methods, facilities that will remain closed or partially open, human resources policies, training, health monitoring protocols, and other matters that, in the view of the group, need to be addressed.
The University continues to monitor the situation and will announce its reopening plans to bring students and employees back to campus when the situation becomes safer.
University officials appreciate your suggestion and will take it under advisement as they develop plans to reopen the campus.
All University facilities, including classroom spaces, are cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis using an EPA registered product designed for use against COVID-19.
We encourage everyone to take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19 and other illnesses by being mindful of the following:
- Practice good hand hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home, rest and avoid close contact with others when you are sick or have a fever.
- Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
The University uses procedures and chemical agents recommended by the CDC. For specific names of the chemical agents, please contact UTEP’s Facilities Management at 915-747-7116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state has not contacted the University to be a drive-by testing site.
UTEP is vigilantly monitoring the situation. Now that COVID-19 has been confirmed in someone who recently has been on campus, all CDC protocols will be followed. When a case is confirmed, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health conducts epidemiology investigations. Results of those investigations are used to identify any close contacts who may have been exposed by the patients and determine if any further testing of close contacts needs to take place. Those who have had close contact with the patient will be contacted and monitored by Environmental Health and Safety.
Yes. UTEP has secured approximately two years worth of cleaning supplies that meet the CDC’s guidelines, and they will be made available to labs that are open.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released information that individuals who are older and/or have severe chronic medical conditions appear to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness. They are advising this higher risk population to take heightened precautions: stay home, limit close contact (6 feet, 2 meters) in public places, and avoid crowds. When going to public places, people in this risk category should distance themselves from others who are sick, limit close contact with others, and wash their hands frequently.
Discuss your situation with your supervisor and Human Resources. You probably have three options: telework, FMLA (if you help care for the older adults in your household), or the use of vacation time or sick leave.
Individuals may walk and run in their neighborhoods as they follow CDC guidelines such as maintaining 6 feet social distancing, wearing face coverings, and not gatherings with five or more people. UTEP continues to honor the City of El Paso’s directives and discourages campus access except for essential work activities.
The library is still open to UTEP students, faculty and staff. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. The only area open is the second floor Collaborative Learning Center (CLC), and the CLC Help Desk. The Technology Support Center on the third floor is open to loan laptops/hotspots by appointment only. They are notifying students directly when to pick up that equipment, and all Tech Support issues are being addressed online. These measures are in place to maintain social distancing. Students can submit applications online for loaner equipment by going to the Technology Support website:
The University Bookstore is closed. However, a staff member will remain in the store to process online orders. The store is offering three options to help students during this time:
- Free shipping on all orders. No minimum purchases (applies to standard ground shipping).
- Access to eBooks at no additional charge. All you need is a .edu email address to access up to seven eBooks. Approximately 80% of the store’s titles are available through its digital distributor.
- Free shipping on rental returns. Students will be able to ship in their books and the rental due date will be extended to allow for the extra shipping.
For more information, visit utepbookstore.com or email email@example.com.
The Food Pantry remains open and available to students. The current hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it is located in Memorial Gym. Before visiting, please visit www.utep.edu/student-affairs/foodpantry to ensure that the hours haven’t changed. For those who wish to donate to the Food Pantry, please visit utep.edu/student-affairs/foodpantry/donations/index.html or call 915-747-8053.
The Student Health and Wellness Center’s main priority is the health and safety of students. If you need services from an SHWC health care provider, you must first call 915-747-5624 or 915-747-6348 to schedule an appointment.
Student, Faculty and Staff Services
The University will provide prorated refunds for returned parking permits, unused meal plans and the housing fee for students who lived in a residence hall.
Students may return their parking permits for a pro-rated refund virtually by emailing the following information to PermitRefunds@utep.edu:
UTEP ID (80#)
Photo of your UTEP ID
Photo of your permit (before cutting)
Photo of your permit cut into 5 pieces
The email subject line must contain your permit number.
Do not discard the permit until you have received confirmation that your refund has been processed.
Submit your permit return request no later than May 31, 2020.
Faculty and staff permit refunds will be handled on a case-by-case basis as they may involve payroll deduction and multi-year permits. For help with your individual situation, please contact Jerri Herrera at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. The YWCA will continue offering childcare services to UTEP students, faculty and staff. However, beginning March 23, the University Heights facility will temporarily move to the Joyce Whitfield Jaynes Branch at 1600 Brown St., which is about 1.2 miles from UTEP. The move will better enable the daycare staff to implement required health and safety measures.
All UTEP food venues are closed until further notice. For more information, call 915-747-5628.
At this point, no, because of the University’s parking software limitations. However, the suggestion is under advisement. The Office of Parking and Transportation Services will alert permit holders with any updates.
Special Collections is no longer open as most of the University Library has closed in accordance with the city’s directive that requires residents to remain in their homes except to obtain essential services or engage in essential activities and work for essential business and government services.
Students should expect their refunds within five business days from the date the refund is posted on their accounts. Starting the week of March 30, 2020, Student Business Services will only be processing refunds on Monday, Wednesday and Friday pay cycles, which probably will extend the expected delivery time.
In response to the COVID-19 health crisis and “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order issued by the City of El Paso, many UTEP employees have begun to telecommute.
Central Receiving continues to receive items that have been ordered prior to March 26, 2020, and will continue to operate on a limited basis.
Departments are requested to minimize ordering of non-essential items. For essential ordering, please contact your Purchasing Buyer to address any logistical considerations.
Due to the City of El Paso’s 'Stay Home - Work Safe' emergency directive, access to the Campbell Building is limited to essential employees.
For the safety of its staff, the Office of Registration & Records staff is working off campus under a directive from the City of El Paso. The office continues to process requests that are sent to email@example.com. People should expect a response to their request within one business day.
The Math Resource Center for Students (MaRCS) is providing online tutoring from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Students can send their questions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students enrolled in Pre-Calculus to Calculus II can find help through Blackboard Collaborate at the following link. For Calculus III or higher, help is available at this link.
During the online transition, the University Writing Center is offering two options for students to continue to receive assistance from the UWC.
Option 1 is a Synchronous system through Blackboard Collaborate. Students will connect with the UWC, chat with a consultant, and use screen sharing to review their papers. Students must be present with their computer and a reliable internet connection to use this service. This service will be available to students 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Option 2 is for students to email their papers to the UWC using an online form.
There is a 72-hour turnaround (not including weekends for the email service.
Find the synchronous system at utep.edu/uwc/appointments/blackboard-link-page.html.
For information on how to email your paper, visit utep.edu/uwc/appointments/email-system.html.
As the University moves to online instruction, the Miner Learning Center continues its commitment to assist students with their tutoring needs. The MLC will host virtual sessions for both individual tutoring appointments and group review sessions for the remainder of the semester. Hours of operation are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Hours vary by subject. Please visit utep.edu/mlc/ and click on the MLC schedule tab for specific schedule and booking information. If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
I am an essential employee who needs to be on campus. During this situation with fewer people on campus, may I park closer to my office, or must I still park in my designated lot for the rest of the semester?
The Office of Parking and Transportation Services has suspended the campus parking regulations for the rest of the semester because of the current COVID-19 situation. However, the University asks employees to display their current parking permit and to respect the ADA parking spaces, yellow zones, fire (red) zones and reserved parking spaces.
Is there a way for students who might not have computers or devices to connect to Blackboard at home to “check out” or borrow devices from campus? If these programs are available, are they income-driven or open to everyone?
Many students are finding ways to access the tools they need for distance learning, but if they can’t, UTEP will do what it can to support them. UTEP’s Technology Support has a limited number of devices, including hotspots and laptops, for checkout. Visit helpdesk.utep.edu and click on “Services” to learn more.
The Collaborative Learning Center on the second floor of the library is open to UTEP students, faculty and staff for computer use. The hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
Employment and Remote Work
Currently, the University is not offering retirement incentives. Faculty members are welcome to discuss retirement options with their benefit representative by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under Texas law, institutions may:
- Require employees to use their accrued paid leave (e.g., vacation leave, sick leave, floating holiday leave, compensatory time, etc.) until it is exhausted.
- After an employee has exhausted accrued paid leave, the institution may require the employee to take unpaid leave.
Yes. If an employee is officially diagnosed with this disease, or the employee has the symptoms of this or any other illness or disease, the employee should take sick leave in accordance with UTEP HOP Section V Chapter 15: Sick Leave.
Yes, COVID-19 qualifies as a "serious health condition" under FMLA, allowing an eligible employee to take FML if either the employee or an immediate family member contracts the disease.
For further guidance regarding FML, please send inquires to HRleaveadmin@utep.edu.
No. Generally, the FMLA provides protected leave for an employee’s own, actual serious health condition or for the employee to care for a family member (defined by law) who has an actual, serious health condition. A “serious health condition” does not include concern and/or self-isolation related to COVID-19 or any other disease.
No. Supervisors may accept a doctor’s note if it is voluntarily provided by the employee, but they may not require or ask for any specific documentation. However, employees will be required to notify their supervisor and the University leave administrator (HRleaveadmin@utep.edu) prior to returning to work. Employees must be asymptomatic prior to their return from self-isolation or quarantine.
Yes, at the supervisor’s discretion, employees may be sent home. However, the employee cannot be penalized for being sent home.
No. Supervisors should encourage employees to seek medical advice, but they cannot require an employee to go to the doctor. They can require the employee to be asymptomatic before returning to work.
Supervisors can approve temporary remote work arrangements for self-quarantined employees or employees who need to stay home to care for self-quarantined dependents. The circumstances for the temporary work location should be documented and include consideration such as equipment needs and maintenance, employee safety, communication and supervision, and adherence to state and federal laws. For more information, please see the University’s Temporary Remote Work Policy and Expectations.
If an institution temporarily ceases operations in a department, section, building, or the campus due to COVID-19 and does not have work for affected employees to perform, can the institution require the employees to use their accrued paid leave if they want to be paid during the closure (i.e., when they are involuntarily off work?
When possible, supervisors should evaluate the availability of temporary re-assignment within their division.
When reassignment is not possible, an institution may require employees to use their accrued paid leave when they are involuntarily off work. In that case, employees without sufficient accrued paid leave to cover the work closure may not receive pay during that time in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Under the FLSA, an institution is not required to pay non-exempt employees whose work schedule is reduced due to a temporary closure. However, an institution is required to pay exempt employees their full salaries if the worksite is closed for less than a full work week. In other words, if an exempt employee performs any work during the work week, he or she must be paid their full, normal salary.
Campus supervisors are receiving guidance from Human Resources about how to accommodate student employees. At this point, it is best to contact your direct supervisor with questions regarding your student employment. Each situation is different and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
UTEP is providing guidance to supervisors about telework for full-time campus employees (faculty and staff). As those work plans are being developed, UTEP is relying on its individual supervisors and units to be creative in the use of student staff members – both in on-campus offices that need to remain operational and through work-from-home projects or tasks. If student staff members have more specific questions, it is best to communicate with their supervisor or the director for their office or unit.
The intention is to try to continue to pay employees. Your job classification determines whether you are hourly (non-exempt) or salaried (exempt). Salaried employees will continue to be paid if they perform any work, even remotely. Individuals who are non-exempt and have to report their hours would have to work hours or use vacation or sick leave time to continue to be paid.
UTEP will work with student employees to maintain their work hours as much as possible. If a student can work remotely and the supervisor is confident the work can get done remotely, the student should be able to work remotely and continue to be paid.
The “call forwarding” feature on most of the campus phone lines will be disabled. This feature will be reserved for continuing operations by select technical support and administrative groups. For more information about technology options available to facilitate working from home, please contact the Technology Support Help Desk at helpdesk.utep.edu.
If you don’t have a printer and can’t sign the form digitally, and will not be returning to the office before beginning remote work, you may email the completed form to your supervisor. Your supervisor can then forward the email to email@example.com.
Talk to a third party or talk to your supervisor’s supervisor. This is a tough time for everybody. Nobody has ever worked through how to handle a pandemic before. Talk to your peers across campus to find out how they are dealing with issues. You can also reach out to Human Resources if needed.
Explain your situation to your supervisor and let him or her know if you are willing to accept a temporarily loan to another campus department that may need your talents and skills to fill out your 19 hours. The University cannot lower your tuition, but it will continue to look for ways to keep students on the payroll.
No, faculty do not need to fill out the form.
Staff members should submit a service request to the Help Desk by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the online form available at utep.edu/technologysupport.
Employee Medical Benefits
Yes. The following options are available for employees and their dependents who participate in the UT SELECT Medical Plan:
- UTEP Employee & Family Care Center 915-215-5800
- Our newest benefit enhancement MDLIVE through Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), which enables you to have virtual doctor visits.
- You may also utilize the BCBS 24/7 Nurseline for medical advice. Call toll free: 1-888-315-9473, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please keep in mind, you can always call your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for medical advice.
- BCBSTX is updating the Health Advocate resources to ensure accurate information is provided to callers inquiring about the availability of telehealth services beyond MD Live.
- “Office visit” level benefits will apply to telehealth services rendered by any eligible network provider other than MD Live (MD Live is covered at 100%). Please note, members will be accessing services for medical conditions beyond COVID-19 based on their provider’s ability to render the service.
- Telehealth services rendered by an out of network provider will apply out of network benefits.
UT Select Member questions regarding services and/or certain benefit enhancements can be directed to the UT SELECT / BCBSTX Health Advocates at 866-882-2034.
Employees can also contact their physician and/or The University of Texas at El Paso’s Employee Assistance Program. The UTEP Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers a variety of services, including consultations with clinicians for anxiety, depression, stress, grief, loss, life adjustments, relationship challenges, marital conflicts, etc. The EAP can be reached at 1-866-327-2400 or email@example.com.
The University of Texas Office of Employee Benefits (OEB) is closely monitoring activity around coronavirus. More information on coronavirus and your employee benefits is available online.
No. Due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and campus privacy policies, we are unable to disclose specific information (e.g., residence location or class attendance) for individuals with suspected infection. If necessary, however, people who are in close contact with a COVID-19-infected patient will be contacted and monitored by the local health department.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a staff member on campus and my husband is a graduate student here at UTEP. Will his health insurance (for students) be extended although the period will end before the summer? Is this something that students can continue to have through the summer?
Graduate Student Employees (GSEs) on the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for the spring semester have a coverage period of Jan. 1-May 31, 2020. Information regarding the summer semester coverage period will be posted on the SHIP page by mid- to late April. For additional information regarding SHIP please visit: utep.edu/human-resources/services/benefits/student-health-insurance-plan.html or email email@example.com.
Advising, Registration and Enrollment
College of Business Administration
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop, the COBA UG Advising office will take proactive decisions that are grounded in care for our students. Therefore, we will be advising students for Summer/Fall 2020 via email until further notice. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 915-747-5174 with any questions you may have or contact your advisor directly via email. We are also providing constant updates to your UTEP account, please check your email.
College of Education
The Center for Student Success in the College of Education will be available to assist students by phone and email:
- Center for Student Success – (915) 747-5571 and CoeCss@utep.edu
- Omar Guerrero, COE UG Program Advisor – (915) 747-5952 and OGuerrero2@utep.edu
- Aileen Martinez, COE ACP Coordinator/Manager – (915) 747-5512 and EAMartinez6@utep.edu
- Lilly Romo, COE/CSS Assistant Director for Advising – (915) 747-5408 and LRomo@utep.edu
College of Engineering
Engineering Students Advising Process for Summer/Fall 2020
- Lower Division (LD) Engineering/Computer Science students should complete the LD Engineering Modules on Blackboard
- Schedule an advising appointment with the Engineering Edge Center – email@example.com
- Meet with your advisors for a virtual 1-on-1 advising session
- Register for classes
- Engineering/Computer Science students already in their department should check email for correspondence on advising or contact their department for details.
College of Health Sciences
Students who have less than 46 credits should contact the Academic Advising Center at 915-747-5290. The CHS Student Support Center Advisors & Staff are all working remotely and are ready to help you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; we are also available to set up a phone or video appointment if desired.
College of Science
- Yes, contact your departmental or program advisor
- Biology – call the CORE at 915-747-8027 or contact us by email at email@example.com
- Chemistry – contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Forensic Science - call the CORE at 915-747-8027 or contact us by email at email@example.com
- Geology – contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Environmental Science – contact by email at email@example.com
- Mathematics – contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Physics – contact by email at email@example.com
- For any other information regarding registration, please contact the CORE at 915-747-8027 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
School of Nursing
SON is advising through email and by phone. Students can call main line at 915-747-8337 or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
Academic Advising CenterIn the interest of the health and safety of everyone, and to minimize community spread, the Academic Advising Center is conducting advising and registration for summer and fall remotely. Advisers will reach out to confirm virtual preference (email, phone, Microsoft Teams) for those students who have already made appointments; and work with students to ensure they have extraordinary academic and social support during the COVID-19 pandemic. If a student has not scheduled an advising and registration appointment, please contact assigned adviser directly, or call the advising center at 915-747-5290.
The College of Science has canceled these meetings, but the School of Nursing and the colleges of Engineering and Business Administration will continue to schedule them.
The Office of New Student Orientation will facilitate orientation programs online until further notice. Virtual programming will happen on the same day of your scheduled in-person program. Students are encouraged to check their emails regularly for detailed information on their upcoming orientation. We encourage you to contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best advice for students in your situation is to contact Student Business Services at email@example.com. The office is closed due to the "Stay Home, Work Safe" directive, but staff is working remotely, and an SBS staff member will contact you to discuss options. We understand that this is a challenging time but appreciate you and others like you who continue to make education their priority.
At this point, the finals schedule remains the same. Check utep.edu/coronavirus for updated information.
Based on the guidance UTEP has received from the CDC and The University of Texas System, it is probably not possible to provide in-person examinations this semester. UTEP’s Technology Support can assist you in coming up with other solutions for administering your examination.
The University’s Student Assessment & Testing Center remains open. Please contact the center at 915-747-5009 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your test.
Fees, Refunds and Finances
I understand that UTEP was awarded over $24 million dollars in COVID-19 relief funds under the CARES Act, of which over $12 million is supposed to be distributed directly to students. How has the University decided to distribute these funds?
We are developing a plan for disbursement of funds and will communicate it to students when the plan is finalized. The plan must first be approved by the UT System Board of Regents.
The Veterans Administration is aware of the situation and stated that all stipends would continue with no changes.
There will be no additional charges.
No, the University will waive the distance learning fee for the summer 2020 sessions.
All late fees will be waived until further notice.
Our financial aid staff can be reached at email@example.com. Please give our staff up to 48 hours to get back to you. They're still experiencing a high volume of questions, but they want to be able to provide the individual attention our students deserve.
Students can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request the refund. They need to include their UTEP ID number and specify their refund request.
No, the University does not plan to offer any refund in that situation. It will offer prorated returns for meal plans, parking permits and housing, if the student lived on campus.
No. UTEP announced on March 18 that the Student Recreation Center would close for the remainder of the spring semester because of the coronavirus pandemic. Students voted in 2006 to pay the recreation fee to cover the cost of bonds to build the Student Recreation Center. The fee is $70 per semester. Even if you never use the Rec Center, you are charged the fee. If UTEP were to refund the recreation fee, we would need to take the money from somewhere else that matters to students in order to pay off the bonds.
Individuals who participated in fitness classes this semester at the Student Recreation Center will have the option to receive a pro-rated refund or a credit for a future class. Class participants can email email@example.com with their preference. Staff of the Recreational Sports Department will also contact class participants this week via email about these options.
Social distancing helps reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses. It means increasing the physical space between people to at least 6 feet.
For essential employees who are still working on campus, the best thing to do is share your concern with your supervisor and reaffirm the reasons for social distancing – to promote the health and safety of your co-workers and their families.
As of 11:59 p.m. on March 24, all UTEP employees, other than those who have been designated as essential employees, have begun telecommuting to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The new policy stems from the City of El Paso’s “Stay Home - Work Safe” emergency directive that requires residents to remain in their homes except to obtain essential services or engage in essential activities and work for essential business and government services. Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, all courses for the spring semester will move to remote online delivery.