FAQ

Niagara University's Response

The University maintains comprehensive emergency preparedness plans and structures, including a specific pandemic illness plan.

The University’s planning and response is guided by consultation with, and direction from, local, state, and provincial health authorities, including Niagara County Department of Health, New York State Department of Health, public health authorities of Ontario, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The University will use this site as a primary method to share information and updates.  Additionally, mass-email or other mass-notification systems may be used as necessary based on pertinent developments.

A Message from Metz Culinary Management (April 6, 2020)

As we continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and make operational changes as needed, you can rest easy knowing Metz is here for you at Niagara University. We are pleased to offer daily pick-up brunch and dinner, seven days a week, in the Dining Common, for those remaining on campus. Should you have a special need or concern during this time, our general manager Andrew Shaner is available to assist you. You may reach him by calling 716.286.8099 or email ashaner@niagara.edu.


We know these are uncertain times and by the time you read this, the situation involving COVID-19 might have already changed. The dynamics are simply happening that quickly. But what won’t change is our partnership and our commitment to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved with our company, while preserving the continuity of our ability to serve our guests at Niagara. 

Metz Culinary Management stands alongside you as we work together to get through this ever-changing challenge.

Sincerely,

Jeff Metz

President & CEO

C&W has been working directly with their clients on the Coronovirus issue since early February, and are prepared to assist Niagara University with emergency preparedness and planning.

The C&W staff are using disinfectants proven effective against the previous strain of Corona including Virex II 256, Virex TB, Virex Plus and Alpha HP. They have received remedial training to ensure adherence with manufacturer best practices, including dwell times and familiarity with various types of areas and surfaces, and will continue to train in these techniques weekly. They have begun and will continue to clean and disinfect high touch points such as door knobs and light switches throughout campus. They are also being instructed with the proper use of personal protective equipment (e.g. masks, rubber gloves) to protect themselves and others from any spread of contagions.

  • Expedited procurement of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and other essential resources
  • Allowing qualified professionals other than doctors and nurses to conduct testing
  • Expedited procurement of testing supplies and equipment
  • Expedited personnel onboarding
  • Expedited leasing of lab space
  • Allowing EMS personnel to transport patients to quarantine locations other than just hospitals
  • Providing clear basis for price gouging and enforcement investigation
  • May also enable the state to request federal assistance if the state does not have enough resources to address or contain the emergency.

Bi-National Campus

In  keeping with the recommendations of health authorities and Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, it is recommended that all Canadians "postpone or cancel all non-essential travel outside of Canada."    Travel Advisory

Further information can be found at:  Government of Canada

In addition, the Ontario Government has updated a new site with a self-check section which can be found here:  Self-Check

City of Vaughan Update Page

Government of Ontario Update Page

Niagara University in Ontario

No, you will be able to continue past the initial due date to complete your practicum days, even if it extends beyond the current semester.

No, the Ontario Ministry of Education in consultation with the Ontario College of Teachers has amended Regulation 176/10 (Teachers’ Qualifications) with respect to practicum placement for candidates in their final semester of an Ontario initial teacher education program. Candidates who have not completed the 80-day requirement but who have completed all other graduation components of the program including a portion of the practicum will still be eligible for Certification as long as the missed days were solely as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Health and Safety

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe and have typically appeared 2-14 days after exposure with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The following everyday practices are important steps to prevent the spread of all viruses and illness:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

University employees and students studying in Ontario-based programs should contact their personal medical providers. 

Students studying at Niagara University’s Lewiston campus should contact the office of Health Services at (716) 286-8390, Monday – Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm.  After-hours care can be obtained from urgent care and local hospitals: https://www.niagara.edu/emergency-and-after-hour-care/

Students who report possible symptoms to Health Services will be screened for symptoms and recent travel to affected areas.  If a student meets the criteria for possible exposure or infection, Health Services is prepared to provide comfortable isolation, supportive care, and will work with county and state agencies on follow-up steps.

Similarly, if an employee meets these criteria, the University will be guided by county and state health agencies.

Please contact the Director of Student Health and Wellness:

Adrienne Kasbaum
(716) 286-8385
Contact

It is common in many cultures to wear surgical masks to reduce risk associated with seasonal illness.

Routine use of a mask is NOT RECOMMENDED by the CDC or the NYSDOH at this time.

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health indicate that, at present, the risk to the general public is low.  The risk is elevated, though still relatively low, in communities in the United States where ongoing community spread has been reported.

Students in Niagara’s Ontario programs and on the Lewiston campus are encouraged to take advantage of counseling resources if they are finding difficulty in managing stress and anxiety.  These resources can be reached at:

Counseling Services - Lewiston Campus:
(716) 286-8536
Contact

Counseling Services - Vaughn Campus:
Ms. Sabrina Buzzanca

The Kiernan Center has a web page with a list of online resources for the campus community. https://www.niagara.edu/fitness-wellness-program/

2020 Commencement

Niagara University has rescheduled its commencement exercises as follows:

Lewiston Campus Commencement

Graduate Commencement Ceremony
Friday, July 24, 2020 
Gallagher Center, Niagara University Campus

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
Sunday, July 26, 2020 - 10 a.m.
Artpark, Lewiston, NY

Vaughan Campus Commencement
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 – 7 p.m.
Meridian Arts Centre (formerly Toronto Centre for the Arts)

Schedule is subject to change based on guidance from elected officials and the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

More Info

The commencement exercises are purely ceremonial. All academic credits for degree completion (both undergraduate and graduate) will take place during the last two weeks of May, just as under normal circumstances. The majority of transcripts will reflect degree conferral by May 25, and by June 1, degree verifications will be posted to the National Clearinghouse. Graduates are likely to receive their diplomas by mail prior to the postponed commencement ceremonies.

Spring Grades

All students are eligible to convert their spring 2020 grades to the S/P/U system. Please consult with your advisor or Assistant Dean of your college before making the decision pertaining to final grades this semester (spring 2020).

Niagara’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standard assesses the progress that students are making toward graduation at the end of each semester and the summer sessions.  The standard provides clear feedback to students about their academic standing at the university and assists the university in identifying students who are in need of academic intervention so that the university can provide these students with support and opportunities for improvement if they fall below the stated standards.

In response to the academic pressures students have experienced during the Coronavirus this spring and guidance from the US Department of Education, Niagara University has made modifications to its Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Spring 2020.

More information on these modifications can be found at the websites listed below or by contacting your Assistant Dean in your college/AEP Director, or the Chair of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Committee at asc@niagara.edu or 716-286-8076.

Main website: https://www.niagara.edu/oas-satisfactory-academic-progress/
myNU: https://mynu.niagara.edu/mynu3/student-resources/student-academic-progress/

One of the most important modifications is that NU is delaying this process until June 15, 2020. 

To be considered for the Dean’s List, a student must meet GPA requirements of 3.25 or higher and earn 12 credit hours of letter grades; as per the current Dean's List policy. S/P/U grades do not count toward the Dean's List.  If you have any questions, contact your Dean's office for further clarification. 

Summer Courses & Advising

All courses for the FIRST summer session (Session I: Tue, May 26 – Thu, Jun 18) and for the CROSSOVER summer session (Cross Session: Tue, May 26 – Wed, Jul 15) will be online, however there are a number of sections that are actually not online, such as labs, clinicals, and field work. 

  • College of Arts and Sciences: 716-286-8060
  • College of Business: 716-286-8050
  • College of Education: 716-286-8560
  • College of Hospitality and Tourism: 716-286-8270
  • College of Nursing: 716-286-7358
  • 
Academic Exploration Program: 716-286-8203

International Students

YES.  SEVP (Student Exchange and Visitor Program) has released special guidelines that allow for distance learning EITHER from within the United States (if you choose to stay locally) or from your home country, should you choose to return, for the duration of this emergency.

No. The signature you received at the beginning of the spring semester is valid until you return in the fall semester.

Please reach out to Sarina and/or Amanda directly for individualized guidance.

This situation is constantly changing. Please check the State Department’s website for the most recent travel advisories

Yes, of course we will. A schedule of tutoring hours and conversation chat times will be sent to all students currently participating before we start back online March 30.

If you want to join an English tutoring session or chat room and haven’t previously participated, contact us.

First, please wait to make that decision until you try a week via remote learning - what you imagine a remote environment to be, may be quite different.

Should you withdraw - by regulation, we will terminate your I-20 for authorized early withdrawal. Because you will no longer be a student at Niagara University, you will not have a valid, active I-20 document and will need to leave the United States within 15 days of our termination. This will not negatively affect your ability to apply for a new I-20 in the future but it is important you communicate with us about your travel plans. You will then need to reapply for a new I-20 document for the Fall 2020 semester. You can reach out to Sarina or Amanda for an updated I-20 application.

Yes, Xiao will provide tutoring via zoom every Tuesday and Thursday 3pm-6:30pm
https://zoom.us/j/349608233

Library

The Library Building may be closed, but the online resources are extensive and the staff are available to help:

  • Visit the Library Home Page. Look for the chat button on the web site to receive immediate assistance.
  • Text the Library at 716-803-6464 or email ask@niagara.libanswers.com.
  • Explore Research Guides to find recommended resources by subject. Online appointments are available with your department librarian if you need assistance with your research assignments. 
  • Access the Library's extensive collection of Research Databases.
  • The national interlibrary loan network has mostly shut down. For your document delivery needs, please email, rather than submitting an ILLiad request.
  • Learn about the Library’s distance education offerings here

Academic Success Center – Summer 2020 Resources

Contact us by form here - Academic Success center, or call 716-286-8076.

Summer Hours (May 18 – August 21, 2020): Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Please call 716.286.8541

Yes, if you have timed online testing, extended time is still possible in the online environment for any online assessment, including tests, exams or quizzes.  Please contact Kelly Adams Engert, Coordinator, Accessibility Services, with your accommodation requests.  Based on documentation of disability, Accessibility Services can prepare an electronic version of the Course Accommodation Approval form to send to your professors.

Yes, online writing tutoring is available. Please send your questions, information on the assignment, and a draft of your paper to Martha Krupa. Please allow two days for a response (excluding weekends). Someone will communicate with you by phone or video conferencing.  

No. The purpose of tutoring is to help you become a better writer. The tutor may ask questions, point out recurring errors, and explain how to fix them. She may also look at development, organization, or documentation, and explain what improvements can be made. These are the same strategies she employs in a face-to-face meeting with students. 

The Academic Success Center does not offer Peer Tutoring over the summer.  If you have questions about course material, please email your professor. 

The Academic Success Center does not offer drop-in math tutoring over the summer. If you have questions about course material, please email your professor.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and Niagara University’s shift to online learning, the Academic Success Center continues to offer assistance in college reading and study skills.

Tips for managing online learning are listed at https://www.niagara.edu/assets/listpage/Online-Learning-March-2024.pdf

Tips for studying for exams in an online learning environment are listed at https://www.niagara.edu/assets/listpage/Tips-for-Preparing-for-Finals-Exams-in-an-Online-Learning-Environment.pdf

Yes, the Academic Success Center continues to offer academic coaching. Academic Coaches help students tackle academic challenges to help them reach their full potential. If you would like to work with an Academic Coach who can provide individualized mentoring and support to help you achieve your academic goals, please email [contact]. More information on academic coaching can be found at https://www.niagara.edu/academic-success-center-programs/.

Campus Life

Due to the latest developments surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has announced the cancellation of all spring athletics competitions and practices. The NCAA cancelled the winter and spring championships for the season.

All planned student club and organization travel for the spring semester has been cancelled.

Although all public Masses and most communal religious services at Niagara University are suspended, Campus ministry hosts a wide variety of activities and services online. There's lots of activity at Twitter & Instagram.

Yes there are virtual Campus Programming Board activities scheduled throughout April and early May. To view schedules and online programs and activities check out:

We know that this is a difficult time for many members of our Niagara University community and we are here to support you. If you and your family have experienced loss or illness we encourage you to inform the Dean of Students and the Office of Student Affairs so that we can put you in contact with support services on campus, contact: Jason Jakubowski. If you are in need of pastoral care please reach out to our Campus Ministry.

Miscellaneous

Health related concerns can be directed to the Health Office
716-286-8385
Contact

Academic related concerns can be directed to the Academic Affairs office
716-286-8342

Residence Life and student life concerns can be directed to the Student Affairs Office
716-286-8405

International students/study abroad questions can be directed to the International Relations Office
716-286-8711
Contact