Frequently Asked Questions
University leadership is continually working on how we will return and increase operations on campus. The variety of functions and work settings on campus makes a single, prescriptive instruction unlikely to be appropriate or effective. While we will continue to monitor a variety of factors with respect to resuming campus operations, the most important ones relate to the local transmission of disease and impact on El Paso’s health care system.
Our return to campus will be guided by our mission as a comprehensive public research university that is increasing access to excellent higher education, advancing discovery of public value, and positively impacting the health, culture, education, and economy of the community we serve.
- CARES Act Emergency Assistance Grants
- Remote Teaching and Learning (Faculty: End of Fall 2020 Semester)
- Remote Teaching and Learning (Faculty: Preparing for Spring 2021)
- Student, Faculty and Staff Services
- Advising, Registration and Enrollment
- International Students
- Tuition, Fees, Refunds and Finances
CARES Act Emergency Assistance Grants
Students should contact their Student Financial Services adviser in the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine if they may qualify for other types of funding.
Students who need food are encouraged to visit the UTEP Food Pantry that is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday in Memorial Gym. Students will need to show their UTEP ID. Those who need to use the pantry outside the normal business hours should contact the Dean of Students Office at 915-747-5648 or DOS@utep.edu.
Remote Teaching and Learning (Faculty: End of Fall 2020 Semester)
Advise the student to self-report using the screening app. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let the University know.
Students who test positive will receive a letter that provides guidance on coursework/research, on-campus employment, health and wellbeing and personal feelings. Students who test positive area also assigned to case management through the Office of the Dean of Students. Case managers contact students daily and make sure that their needs are met. They encourage students to work with their instructors to manage coursework. If students become too ill to contact their instructors, case managers may interact with faculty directly.
Students who are ill should stay home. If they are unable to attend class — either in-person or online — for health reasons, they should be granted a reasonable extension on the work. If the student falls too far behind, faculty should encourage the student to request an “Incomplete” and submit the missing work as soon as possible. If a student needs access to a Blackboard shell after the course has ended, the faculty member can request access from the Technology Support Help Desk by providing the student’s name and ID number along with the length of time access should be granted.
The UTEP Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) is not typically involved with accommodations for acute illnesses, focusing instead of student who live with longer-term disabilities.
Yes, if there is no immediate risk to health or safety, please fill out a Student of Concern form here: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofTexasElPaso&layout_id=3
The current drop deadline for the spring 2021 semester is April 1.
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.
We encourage you to think about a meaningful way to close out the semester, a culminating assignment or event to celebrate students’ learning and accomplishments under challenging circumstances. Students appreciate hearing from you, so the best thing you can do is maintain regular communication until the end of the semester.
Yes, please complete the questions at email@example.com prior to coming to campus. Your direct supervisor is notified that you will be on campus.
The YWCA Cares Program is located on campus. Please visit ywcaelpaso.org or call 915-747-6000.
Faculty are encouraged to make use of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) (https://www.utep.edu/human-resources/services/benefits/EAP%20Brochure.pdf) for free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, prevention, and education services – including services for dependents. Additional services provided to all UTEP faculty can be found at the resources below:
- Deer Oaks website: https://www.deeroakseap.com/
- Therapy Assistance Online (TAO): https://www.utep.edu/student-affairs/counsel/counseling-services/tao-online-self-help.html
- CampusEdge Health and Wellness: https://campusedge.utep.edu/browse-by-category/health-wellness
Remote Teaching and Learning (Faculty: Preparing for Spring 2021)
The plan is for most UTEP employees to work from home through the end of spring 2020, but that timeline depends on data-driven decisions by UTEP administration and guidance from El Paso’s health and elected officials. In any case, we encourage all faculty to have a backup plan to deliver curriculum remotely. Please visit https://www.utep.edu/resuming-campus-operations/recovery-level.html to stay up to date on the current campus recovery level.
The University will offer online, hybrid, and in-person classes with limited capacity.
The University continues to offer extensive training for faculty to transition their courses to distance or hybrid format. A list of available resources and scheduled training sessions can be found at Support for Online Learning here. Beth Brunk-Chavez, Ph.D., dean of UTEP’s Extended University, offers some additional tips here. Additionally, the Center for Instructional Design offers the Teaching Online Academy, and the Teaching Hybrid Academy to all instructors. Faculty and graduate students may register here.
Faculty who need technical support with Blackboard should contact the UTEP Help Desk. Technology Support is available to help faculty with the instructional tools within Blackboard such as how to send messages, upload assignments, and create discussion boards. The Center for Instructional Design offers online course development and assistance to all UTEP faculty to maximize their students’ learning experiences.
The Center for Instructional Design has developed a template to help faculty organize their course. Here is an example of the new template. This template provides faculty with a solid framework for courses in a weekly format including placeholders for learning objectives, readings, videos, and discussions. Templates can easily be modified to best fit your course material. To request Blackboard course template for your upcoming course email your assigned instructional designer or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty may checkout hotspots and laptops by contacting email@example.com. A list of all technology resources for faculty and staff can be found here: https://www.utep.edu/technologysupport/ServiceCatalog/FacultyStaff_Services.html
Please visit the webpage below for institutional instructional guidelines. https://www.utep.edu/provost/policies-and-procedures/policy-resources.html
Yes, is available remotely without having to log in to the campus VPN.
Many team projects can be completed online. Faculty are encouraged to learn about Blackboard tools that can facilitate this. Students should be provided with the opportunity to participate online without penalty. Students are advised to speak with their faculty as soon as possible to make arrangements if needed. To learn more about Blackboard tools to achieve traditional and/or non-traditional assignments, please contact UTEP Technology Support at https://www.utep.edu/technologysupport/ServiceCatalog/BB_Faculty.html
Faculty are encouraged to hold virtual office hours. If a course is conducted face to face, faculty will determine what portion of office hours are feasible in that particular situation. Some faculty offices will not accommodate distancing requirements, so other arrangements may need to be made. Those arrangements should be clearly stated in the course syllabus.
Lectures that are delivered via Blackboard Collaborate should be recorded, captioned, and then made available through Blackboard. Lectures in some hybrid “hyflex” courses will also be routinely recorded. Those face-to-face courses that do not routinely record will have alternative course delivery available for students via the learning management system.
In most cases, in-person courses were moved to larger classrooms to accommodate social distancing requirements. In others, the course has been altered to bring only subsets of students together in the classroom, to assure distancing.
New capacities were determined for every classroom, based upon the 6-foot distancing guidelines, as well as circulation of students before and after class periods. No in-person course will exceed 50 students meeting on campus at the same time, even in the largest auditorium spaces on campus. Courses have been moved to appropriate classrooms to meet the distancing requirements.
The number of students who will be in the classroom at any one time will be determined by the social-distance capacity of that classroom. All courses with an in-person component were moved to appropriately sized classrooms for the mode and capacity that the instructor selected.
Faculty will be expected to meet the same learning objectives, regardless of the mode of the course.
The best thing graduate students can do after taking care of themselves is to continue with their classes and related activities to the best of their abilities and 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 graduate students 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.
Student, Faculty and Staff Services
Students who purchase a 2020-2021 parking permit have the option of returning it for a full refund before Aug. 31, 2020. For more information, contact Parking@utep.edu or 915-747-5724.
The University Heights YWCA Early Learning Academy is open. Click here for more information.
The Texas Western Café will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 14-18, 2020, and from Jan. 4-15, 2021. Sodexo officials continue to work with University leaders to create a campus food service plan for the spring 2021 semester.
The University Library discontinued all researcher appointments to Special Collections and the Media and Microforms area in October 2020. Officials continue to consider the policy for the spring 2021 semester. Please visit the C.L. Sonnichsen Special Collections Department website for the most up-to-date information.
UTEP’s Central Receiving Department will be closed from Dec. 23, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2021, for the holidays but will be open during the spring 2021 semester.
The Campbell Building’s computer lab will be closed for winter break and during the spring 2021 semester.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, but transcripts can also be ordered online here. People should expect a response to their request within one business day.
The Math Resource Center for Students (MaRCS) is closed during the winter break, but will reopen Jan. 19, 2021, for the spring semester. The center will provide 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 email@example.com. 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.
The University Writing Center will be closed for the winter break, but will reopen virtually Jan. 4 to serve Wintermester students. The center will continue to offer remote assistance during the spring 2021 semester. Please visit the center’s website for the most up-to-date service information.
The Miner Learning Center offers online support in a variety of subjects from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Students may request one-on-one help or sign up for group review sessions. The center also offers online study tools. For schedule information, please visit utep.edu/mlc, or you can contact the center at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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 instituted a temporary cross-parking plan through Jan. 18, 2021, 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 (loading) zones, fire (red) zones and reserved (numbered) parking spaces. The regular parking plan will resume Jan. 19, 2021, which is the first day of the spring 2021 semester.
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?
Students can contact the Technology Support Center to request tools for distance learning such as hotspots and laptops. These items are available to any student.
The Collaborative Learning Center on the second floor of the University Library is open ONLY to UTEP students, faculty and staff. For hours of operation, click here. If needed, University leaders will reopen additional computer labs. The labs will follow COVID-19 social distancing and disinfecting guidelines.
Many course materials, such as digital textbooks, can be purchased and then accessed inside Blackboard. Other materials can be ordered online and delivered to your address.
Advising and student services will continue to be delivered virtually, but the Academic Advising Center will be open to accommodate limited in-person student services, when necessary. In-person visitors will be required to schedule appointments to ensure compliance with small group gatherings and to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Advisors will meet regularly with students and be available as needed. If you are unable to reach your advisors, please call 915-747-5290 or contact the Student Success Helpdesk at email@example.com.
The Miner Metro Shuttles will not operate during winter break 2020, but will resume Jan. 19, 2021, for the spring semester. The shuttle will run a single route between the University and the Miner Canyon housing complex. UTEP’s Parking and Transportation Services will announce the schedule when the semester begins.
More than 75% of fall 2020 classes will be offered online. Please contact your adviser for help identifying online classes that fulfill your degree requirements.
Advising, Registration and Enrollment
Academic Advising Center
In the interest of the health and safety of everyone, and to minimize community spread, the Academic Advising Center will continue advising virtually. Students can contact their adviser to schedule a virtual or call the advising center at 915-747-5290.
College of Business Administration (COBA)
The College of Business Administration Undergraduate Advising Office continues to work remotely. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 915-747-5174 with your questions or contact your advisor directly via email. Please allow your advisor two business days to respond to your inquiry. We also provide constant updates to your UTEP account, so please check your email.
College of Education
The College of Education’s (COE) Center for Student Success can assist students by phone and email. We strongly encourage our students to schedule a phone appointment to speak with Teacher Preparation advisers or personnel here.
- Center for Student Success (CSS): 915-747-5571 and CoeCss@utep.edu
- Diamond Martinez, COE program adviser (Students with last names that start with: A, E, H, J, K, L, O, Q, T, U, V, W, X): email@example.com
- Omar Guerrero, COE undergraduate (UG) program adviser (Students with last names that start with: B, D, F, I, N, P, R, Y, Z, Morales-MZ): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cris Napoles, COE UG program adviser (Students with last names that start with: C, G, S, MA-Mora): email@example.com
- Lilly Romo, COE/CSS assistant director for advising: firstname.lastname@example.org 915-747-5408
- Joyce Asing Cashman, Ph.D., assistant dean for the Teacher Preparation Program: email@example.com and 915-747-8420
College of Engineering
Lower Division Engineering/Computer Science students are asked to:
- schedule a virtual advising appointment via MS Bookings
- complete the Lower Division Engineering Modules located on Blackboard
Engineering/Computer Science students already in their department are asked to check email for correspondence on advising or contact their department:
- CE and CEM majors – firstname.lastname@example.org
- CS majors – CSfrontdesk@utep.edu
- EE majors – ECEfrontdesk@utep.edu
- EL majors – Annie Kucskarrakucskar@utep.eduor Peter Golding, Ph.D., email@example.com
- ISE majors – Eric Smith, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org or Jose Luis Alanis Molina email@example.com
- ME majors – MEadvising@utep.edu or Iliana Solis, firstname.lastname@example.org
- MME majors – Shalayna L. Smith, Ph.D., email@example.com or Chris Bradley, Ph.D., firstname.lastname@example.org
For registration information, contact the Engineering Edge Center at EngrEdge@utep.edu.
College of Health Sciences (CHS)
The CHS Student Support Center advisors are working remotely and are ready to help you! Please email your advisor (listed below) for assistance.
NOTE: All CHS students who have less than 46 credits are advised by the Academic Advising Center – contact them at 915-747-5290.
CHS Students with 46 or more cumulative credits:
- Kinesiology Majors: Alondra Miranda email@example.com
- Clinical Lab Science, Health Promotion, Public Health, and Social Work Majors: Samantha Fernandez firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rehabilitation Science Majors: Denise Tovar email@example.com
- Students on Academic Probation/Suspension: Denise Tovar firstname.lastname@example.org
- Graduation Questions: Joy Olimpo email@example.com
College of Science
Contact your departmental or program adviser:
- Chemistry – contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Geology – contact by email at email@example.com
- Environmental Science – contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mathematical Sciences – contact by email at email@example.com
- Physics – contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For registration information, please contact the CORE at email@example.com.
School of Nursing
The School of Nursing will respond to questions by phone or at firstname.lastname@example.org during its normal business hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To register for an advising session, please call or text: 915-302-0330, 915-302-0381 or 915-308-3735. These sessions are done via email.
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 email@example.com.
The best advice for students in your situation is to contact Student Business Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
With the exception of specific accredited programs that must meet in person, there will be accommodations for students who need online options. Faculty will have contingency plans for any students who are self-isolating, are in vulnerable groups, are caring for someone in a vulnerable group, or who otherwise do not feel they can safely attend.
Goldmine scheduling is open and you may make adjustments to your schedule through the usual process. If you have questions or need help identifying course options in your preferred delivery method, please contact your adviser. You may also contact the Student Success Helpdesk at email@example.com.
In some cases, course capacities have changed with change in course delivery method. Please check Goldmine to determine if there are open seats in the courses you prefer.
How will the University help me if I register for multiple online courses, which do not list the times of mandatory course activities, and later find out that the professors schedule these activities at the same time?
Enrollment Services has maintained the course days and times for all online courses that have requested mandatory synchronous meetings. If your course is listed as online, but has times and days, then you will need to be available for remote meetings at those times. These times should match the originally scheduled course times. If your course is listed as online, but does not have meeting days or times, then it will be delivered asynchronously. For those asynchronous courses, instructors may hold some office hours or optional sessions in a synchronous fashion, but these will not be required.
Some courses may have sections offered online and sections offered in-person, so you may review Goldmine to determine if that is likely for your course. In most cases, however, all sections of a course will be offered in a similar mode. All instructors are building contingency plans to accommodate students who must self-isolate or are in vulnerable populations.
The University has created hybrid course options for its more than 1,400 international students affected by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision in early July to modify the regulations related to online courses permitted by the Student Exchange and Visitor Program. UTEP will work with these students to ensure their course schedules meet the federal requirements for their F-1 visas.
The University’s Office of International Programs also offers the following support to students:
- Regular updates with guidance how to respond
- Tracking and updating immigration documents, as needed
- Providing letters of support for students returning to the U.S.
- Tracking and reporting of port-of-entry obstacles experienced by students
- Updates to U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership provided by UTEP’s Chief of Police
- Notification of support funds aimed at international students from international and national organizations
- International Student Advocacy with DHS
- And more
Tuition, Fees, Refunds and Finances
The Veterans Administration is aware of the situation and stated that all stipends would continue with no changes.
No, the University will continue to waive those fees.
Yes, the University will continue to waive those fees.
Our financial aid staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
No. 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.
Please return books to the University Bookstore. Visit utepbookstore.com to learn store hours. Rentals may be returned in person or by mail at the student’s expense. Late fees will apply as per the rental agreement.
If you registered for a face-to-face course that UTEP changed to online, we will not charge you the distance learning fee that our UTEP Connect online students are charged. For specific questions about your tuition and fees, please contact Student Business Services at email@example.com.
No, there will not be a tuition discount.