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Coronavirus Questions and Answers

Online Instruction and ACADEMIC Questions

How long will we continue with online instruction? When are we returning to the classrooms?

Regarding the period of online instruction and the Spring Semester dates, we will be carefully monitoring the situation, including the ongoing health of members of the AUC community, and the situation in Egypt, regionally and globally. We will be issuing regular updates to the community throughout this period.

Are we definitely returning to regular, face-to-face instruction on campus on April 16 after the two weeks of online instruction phase?

While this is our intention, we will be carefully monitoring the situation, including the ongoing health of members of the AUC community, and the situation in Egypt, regionally and globally. We will be issuing regular updates to the community throughout this period.

I live abroad and I need to be with my family at this time. Will the whole semester continue online?

According to the guidelines of the Government of Egypt and international health organizations, we will extend our online learning to Thursday, April 16. We are monitoring the situation closely. Check this website frequently for any updates.

We have been receiving a lot of contradicting responses from different faculty members. What is the administration's plan to communicate changes with professors so that all faculty board is aligned with a unified contingency plan?

Your patience during this time of uncertainty is appreciated. We are communicating with faculty on a regular basis, via email, online meetings, and ongoing updates to the University’s website and online resources. 

Should students expect that assignments or course syllabi might change due to the shift to online learning?

Any questions with regard to assignments, including updates to the syllabus due to the shift to online learning, should be directed to your instructors. 

I am a science/engineering student and I would like clarification as to how laboratories in my major will be covered during no-access to the University?

Depending on your major, your faculty/instructor will be using one or more of the following, for laboratory delivery:

  1. Posting digitally-recorded experiments (or streaming them) and/or published videos along with an explanation and results  
  2. For computer labs (e.g., CAD in ARCH, ENGR, MENG and others in CSCE), students are granted remote access and will work in a synchronous/asynchronous mode, as appropriate
  3. If students are required to use components (replaceable) kits to perform experiments, the kits will be provided to students to perform the experiments in their homes 
  4. Use of simulation software to simulate the experiment. The software will be used to run and explain the experiment by the instructor. Students will then use the software to run the experiment on their own. The software may be installed on their computers, or they may use it remotely as in option 2 above. 
  5. Projects progression and assessment: providing periodic submissions of projects in progress that require a final outcome (e.g., models, draft digital blueprints, proposals, presentations) and benchmark dates

How will my laboratory performance be assessed?

Depending on your major, and nature of the laboratory exercise, you may be assessed, with varying grade weights, in one of the following means:

  1. Students may be asked to submit a report online.  
  2. When conducting an experiment using provided kits, students will send the instructor a video-clip (shot using their mobile or a webcam) showing them conducting the experiment.
  3. When using a simulation, students may be required to submit a model they develop through the software, or a video-clip capturing their simulation.
  4. For projects, students may be required periodic submissions of projects in progress that require a final outcome (e.g., models, draft digital blueprints, proposals, presentations) at designated benchmark dates.
  5. Zoom-enabled discussion and/or oral examination.

What types of assessments are allowed during the period of online instruction?

During the time of online teaching, the faculty should not give any evaluative quizzes and/or exams. However, a midterm in the form of an essay, for example, where students are not required to be on campus is allowed. Faculty have been giving clear guidelines on alternative types of assessment, including assignments instead of quizzes, or oral exams.

Theses

How will graduate thesis defenses be handled?

During the period of online instruction, any graduate thesis defenses should preferably be held remotely (using Skype, Zoom, etc.). In cases where this may be a challenge, face-to-face defenses will be limited to the concerned student and the defense panel. No other attendees should be present in a face-to-face defense.

What will be the destiny of thesis presentations and milestone submissions? Will there be any explicit exceptions given to the graduating class? 

Any presentations or submissions which can be done remotely will continue as scheduled. Others, depending on the nature of the work, may have to be delayed until face-to-face classes resume.

Grading

We understand that faculty have been instructed not to give graded quizzes or exams during the coming weeks of online instruction. Does this mean no graded assignments at all?

The quizzes and exams that are not allowed are the ones that can usually be only assigned during class time that require proctoring. Assignments or papers that were originally able to be done outside class and graded, these are still able to be done in the context of the online instruction. 

Will there be changes to the grading scheme of our courses?

In order to save the Spring semester we are considering all options, and are taking every situation into consideration.

Some classes have a percentage of the grade allocated to presentations. Should these be changed to other types of assignments?

Presentations can work online. They might be done via Zoom meetings in small groups, students can be asked to pre-record a video and send it to the faculty.  Alternatively, faculty may opt to cancel presentations replace them with other assignments. Any such changes should be communicated to students via an updated syllabus.

Attendance

What are the amendments made to the University's attendance policy given the online shift in courses?

Faculty are asked to be flexible with the attendance policy and focus instead on the quality of student work completed during this time.

AUC has an attendance policy, and faculty have been taking attendance since the beginning of the semester. Will this record still stand? Or will we start to count from fresh? Or not count at all? 

The record for past attendance may stand. We don't recommend that faculty take attendance online, and focus instead on the levels of engagement based on the work being completed.

Faculty Registration

How can I register for the ‘Online Instruction’ faculty training?

AUC faculty members must sign up through a registration form to select a day, choose either a morning slot or an afternoon slot, and indicate the requested training.  Visit the online instruction page for the full information and registration form.

Drop and Add Dates

Will drop/add and withdrawal dates change?

The course drop deadline (undergraduate and graduate) is extended until May 7. The undergraduate withdrawal deadline is extended until May 7, and the graduate withdrawal deadline remains, as originally scheduled, as of May 7.

June commencement

Is AUC planning to cancel or change the June commencement ceremonies?

It is our hope to proceed with the Commencement Ceremonies as planned. We will be carefully monitoring the situation and will be issuing regular updates to the community if anything changes.

 

Travel Advice, International and Study Abroad Students

I’m an American citizen here at AUC.  The US, among other foreign governments, are urging their citizens to reconsider all international travel.  If the risk of Covid-19 escalates, or if I am infected, will either AUC or the USG evacuate me to the US?

The US Department of State global travel advisory of March 11 urges all US citizens to reconsider international travel.  Foreign governments’ websites and their embassies in Cairo are the authoritative sources for each country’s policies and planning regarding the welfare of its citizens in Egypt.  The American Embassy’s American Citizens Service page provides information on all emergency services, including email contact information for individual emergency cases, and current information on Covid-19.   

AUC enjoys excellent institutional communications and cooperation with those foreign embassies whose citizens are among our students, faculty, and staff, and we consult particularly closely during emergency circumstances.  

The University has no independent capabilities or policies regarding emergency evacuation or repatriation of foreign citizens, nor does the University cover the costs of international emergency medical evacuation. Likewise, foreign health care plans and the health care plans used or endorsed by AUC for our students, faculty, and staff, in many cases explicitly do NOT cover international emergency medical evacuation expenses. Those desiring insurance against this risk should carefully check the terms of their current policies, and if necessary, purchase individual private coverage for international emergency medical evacuation.

I already have confirmed travel plans over the original spring break dates. What should I do about these plans?

We understand that the shift in dates may cause disruptions to people’s plans. As travel advisories from various authorities (individual governments, the World Health Organization and the CDC) are changing regularly, we ask you to please keep yourselves updated.  Many airlines are waiving cancellation or changing fees during this time. Since classes will be taking place online during our originally planned spring break dates, those of you who choose to travel as planned are expected to participate in your online classes.

Will AUC bring back AUC students currently studying abroad?

The University is working with all students on exchange programs who are currently completing a semester abroad to determine the best solution for each student, depending on the country, university and travel options. All exchange students who were in high-risk countries, as defined by the CDC, have already returned to Cairo. AUC is in close communication with students in lower-risk countries and reviewing the situation regularly. Any student who is unsure or has questions should contact Dahlia El Tayeb at the International Programs Office at dahlia.tayeb@aucegypt.edu or contact the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@aucegypt.edu.

Many international students are returning home based on the travel advisories they have received from the home institutions or local governments.  They will be able to participate in the online learning beginning March 22. When AUC returns to regular, face-to-face instruction on campus, will faculty continue to accommodate these international students with online learning?

Faculty are being asked to support any student who needs to leave Cairo as a result of the COVID-19 situation via online learning whenever possible. We will deal with this matter on case-by-case basis.

What are the high-risk destinations?

For more information on high-risk countries, click here.

What are the precautionary measures while and after traveling?

For more information on travel precautionary measures, click here.

What are the latest updates on travel?

Click here for more information 

Campus Access, Events, Facilities and AUC Residences

Will AUC campuses be open in the coming weeks?

Starting March 22, AUC will begin a two-week test of online instruction and remote work. Campus access is restricted to staff whose physical presence is absolutely necessary to support online operations. We ask all other members of the AUC community, including students, not to come to either campus to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Students who remain in the dormitories (as confirmed by the Dean of Students) have access to the campus for the cafeteria, Seoudi and clinic (in the case of emergencies).  They may also access the Plaza level of the library in order to use the computers. Students who do not currently reside in the dormitories are not allowed on campus. In extremely rare circumstances, an exception may be granted for students who need to collect supplies or have essential face-to-face meetings with an instructor. Such an exception requires the permission of the instructor and the approval of the relevant dean.

What are the precautionary measures that AUC is taking?

  • AUC will begin a two-week online instruction on Sunday, March 22. During this period, faculty will deliver all of their courses online with no face-to-face classes (either on or off-campus). This window will allow us to fully test our online teaching capabilities to help us enhance and strengthen our skills in this area. Not only will this test of our system be useful in combating the current COVID-19 outbreak, but it will also position us to better respond to any future conditions that may necessitate the utilization of online instruction. During this period faculty will also be conducting all office hours online.
  • The Office of Medical Services is closely monitoring the situation and will provide regular updates.
  • As a precautionary measure, the Office of Medical Services has designated a specific examination room to serve as a flu clinic for any suspected cases of the flu. The examination room is continuously disinfected. All physicians and nurses are trained to follow international protocols in dealing with suspected cases. 
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed all around the New Cairo and Tahrir Square campuses. While washing your hands is the most effective prevention method, sanitizing is a good alternative when you can't do that.
  • The frequency of disinfecting surfaces as part of our daily cleaning routine is increased.

Are visitors allowed on campus?

Campus access is restricted to staff whose physical presence is absolutely necessary to support online operations. We ask all other members of the AUC community, including students, not to come to either campus to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Students who remain in the dormitories (as confirmed by the Dean of Students) have access to the campus for the cafeteria, Seoudi and clinic (in the case of emergencies).  They may also access the Plaza level of the library in order to use the computers. Students who do not currently reside in the dormitories are not allowed on campus. In extremely rare circumstances, an exception may be granted for students who need to collect supplies or have essential face-to-face meetings with an instructor. Such an exception requires the permission of the instructor and the approval of the relevant dean.

Can I access AUC's sports complex during the coming weeks?

All indoor facilities at the sports complex are closed. The main entrance to the facility will remain open for users to access the outdoor track, tennis courts, and Seoudi Market until April 2, 2020. For more information, check the athletics website.

Is the AUC library open and accessible?

The library hours have been reduced. Click here for details.

Is AUC's Daycare open?

As per Egypt's Ministry of Social Solidarity announcement, the daycare services will be suspended for two weeks. Check your emails for further communications.

During this period, which food outlets are operating?

All food outlets on campus will be closed for the next two weeks. To accommodate a limited number of students in the dorms, the main cafeteria will operate from 9 am to 11 pm and Seoudi will open from 9 am to 5 pm.  Visit the food services webpage for more information.

Will the AUC bus service operate during the coming weeks?

In support of reduced campus access, the bus service will operate a minimal schedule to accommodate the limited number of staff who must be physically present on campus.

Is the Office of Well-being operating during the online instruction period?

The Center for Student Wellbeing will continue to support you during this period of online instruction, as we always do. For more information, click here.

What facilities are accessible to students who remain in the University residences?

Students who remain in the dormitories (as confirmed by the Dean of Students) have access to the campus for the cafeteria, Seoudi market and clinic (in the case of emergencies). They may also access the Plaza level of the library in order to use the computers.

AUC Residences

I am a student living in the University Residences. Am I allowed to stay on campus during the Spring Break and two-week online instruction?

While AUC is exerting much effort to encourage social distancing and to mitigate the risk of infection, we are aware that some of our on-campus residences will not be able to return home during this period. Students facing issues with the prohibitive monetary expense to travel home (long-haul international airfare), visa complications or travel bans/restrictions (outbound or inbound), violence, conflict or political instability in the homeland, and/or verifiable inability to access adequate internet at home are requested to email reslife@aucegypt.edu and provide more clarification for remaining in the residence halls.

For students who resided in the University residence, when should I pack/pick up my personal belongings if I will not be staying on-campus during this online instruction period?

1. (B1) For those who cannot return to Egypt, Cairo, or AUC, or who simply wish to remain where you are at this time, and who have belongings in your rooms in the ResLife buildings, we will pack your belongings until you return. We have trusted, professional, and discreet long-time staff to assist us with the packing, and you should be confident that your belongings will remain secure and safe in storage until your return to the dorms once the crisis is over.  

2. (B2) For those who wish to return to the dorms to pack your own belongings this week, or who wish to send someone on your behalf to pack for you, you may do so, until Thursday, March 26. However, we urge you to come as soon as possible. We will provide boxes, tape, club cars, and storage if needed, to help you do this quickly and easily. If you are sending someone on your behalf, please email the Dean of Students a copy of that person's national ID if Egyptian, or AUC ID if a student/alum, or passport if a foreigner.

Those who state their intention to return to pack up, but who do not do it by Thursday, March 26, will find that ResLife has packed and stored their belongings. 

Events

Are campus events and meetings being canceled?

All public events are canceled or postponed until further notice. All meetings are expected to take place online.

 

Technical Support and IT Security

As a student, do I have a zoom account? How will I access online learning?

As a student, you already have a Zoom account. Follow the below steps to login:

  1. Open www.zoom.us from any browser
  2. Click on "Sign In"
  3. Select "Login with Gmail"
  4. Write down your AUC email (with@aucegypt.edu)
  5. You will be redirected to the AUC email login page to enter your AUC email credentials
  6. Now you are in

On another note, you can attend any Zoom meeting without signing up for your own account. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Visit itsupport.aucegypt.edu for any questions.

How can I create a VPN account?

For instructions on how to create a VPN account, click here.

Which software or programs does AUC provide for free to students, faculty and staff, and how I download them?

AUC provides a free license for Microsoft Office to the AUC community. Click here to follow the instructions to download and install. For AUC students and faculty, as a result of campus closure, students' access to Adobe Creative Cloud in labs and classrooms is not available. Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students and faculty so that they can continue their work remotely. Click here to follow the instructions to download and install. For students majoring or taking courses in science, engineering, or computer science, you are eligible to obtain a free student license for Visual Studio. Click here to follow the instructions to download and install.

Who do I contact if I need technical support?

IT Support Contact Information: Email Support@aucegypt.edu or call +2.2615.1200.

How to Protect Against Hackers Exploiting Coronavirus/COVID

Stay alert and vigilant as some hackers and scammers use the CoronaVirus/ COVID-19 incidents for malicious reasons. As a real example, currently, some hackers use Coronavirus/COVID-19 maps to infect devices and steal information.

 

Remote Work Arrangement

Are there any measures that AUC is taking to accommodate staff members and remote work arrangements?

The Office of Human Resources has provided guidelines for staff for the next two weeks. To read the message from HR, click here.

 

SCE and Executive Education

What about the School of Continuing Education students?

Visit the SCE website for all updates related to the School of Continuing Education.

 

About Corona and How To Protect Yourself

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Click here to know more.

How does Coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is a new disease, and scientists are still learning how it spreads, the severity and illness it causes and to what extent it may spread. For more information about how it spreads, click here.

What shall I do if I have any symptoms?

In case of experiencing any symptoms, the person should go to the nearest medical physician and inform the medical office of his or her health condition. We would also ask members of the community with flu symptoms and fever to stay home and rest in order to limit exposure to others. 

What are the preventive measures against Coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • 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 using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • For more information about prevention from coronavirus, click here.

How to keep my workplace safe?

It is highly recommended to keep all your surroundings clean during coronavirus outbreak. To know more about how to keep your workplace safe, click here.

What are the latest updates on Coronavirus?

Follow the World Health Organization's daily situation reports, to know the latest updates on coronavirus.

What are the available medical service provides (hospitals and medical centers) that AUC has direct agreements with?

The Office of Medical Services has a full list of external medical service providers that have a direct agreement with AUC. Network details are available in the Office of the Medical Services.  

What is AUC's coronavirus medical services guideline and procedures? 

The flowchart specifies proper actions to take whether or not you have symptoms. 

auc-action-corona-flowchart

Click here for the downloadable pdf.

Who do I contact?

Who shall I contact if I have a question related to coronavirus?

Contact the Medical Services Office through its hotline 012.800.01039. For emergencies contact

AUC switchboard at 19282 (19AUC).

What are the available medical service provides (hospitals and medical centers) that AUC has direct agreements with?

The Office of Medical Services has a full list of external medical service providers that have a direct agreement with AUC. Network details are available in the Office of the Medical Services.  

How can I stay connected with updates from AUC?

Please visit www.aucegypt.edu/coronavirus. In addition to the latest updates from AUC, important numbers and tips on staying safe, the website also has links to helpful resources including the FAQ section from our community. Also, monitor your email for regular updates from the University. Update/validate your phone number using this link: http://myinfo.aucegypt.edu/ and log in with your email credentials. These contacts will be used for communication purposes in case of emergencies.

Who do I contact if I need technical support?

IT Support Contact Information: Email Support@aucegypt.edu or call +2.2615.1200.