Skip to main content

Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: This information may be updated as the situation in Southwest Michigan changes. For full coronavirus updates from SMC visit swmich.edu/coronavirus.

Are there confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus?

There are no confirmed cases on campus.

Is SMC closed?

College offices on both campuses of SMC remain open. College business may be conducted remotely, or, starting June 15, visits to either the Dowagiac or Niles Campus may be made by appointment only. Most service areas have been reconfigured to maximize safety to our guests.

While on campus, visitors must observe distancing requirements. Masks are required in all buildings to minimize risk to our vulnerable population. Masks will be provided for those who need one while on campus.

The Fred L. Mathews Library, Zollar Cafe, Birdfeeder Cafe and Student Activity Center on the Dowagiac campus remain closed until further notice.

Are classes canceled?

Spring Semester classes were completed online. Most Summer Semester classes are being conducted online. We plan to offer in-person classes this fall as well as an increased number of online-hybrid classes. See the July 1 Update on swmich.edu/coronavirus for full planned details on fall semester.

Has my on-campus event been canceled?

Organized events involving the public on either SMC campus have been canceled through July 31. The best way to get confirmation is to call the manager of the event or call SMC at 800-456-8675.

Are employees encouraged to work from home?

College offices remain open to serve students. Campus offices will be operating on a remote basis; in-person consultation will be available by appointment only starting on June 15 as we move into Phase 2 of our Reopening Plan. Employees (other than certain required designees) should continue to work remotely if their duties permit. Visits to campus must be minimized. Additional guidance will be provided by SMC Human Resources.

Designated employees who must visit campus should take the following steps:

  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid in person meetings if possible
  • If you must meet in person, please practice social distancing by:
    • Keeping the meeting relatively short
    • Meeting in large rooms where you can be at least three feet apart from one another
    • Avoid shaking hands
  • Cancel non-essential meetings or consider virtual options through Google Meet or Zoom
  • Do not congregate in work room, around copiers, or other places where people socialize
  • Bring your lunch and eat at your desk, away from others

If you experience fever, cough or shortness of breath, per CDC guidelines, do not report to work. Please follow proper call-off procedures and notify your supervisor of symptoms. Use sick and vacation time if you need to stay home to care for a school-aged child and if the telecommuting option is not feasible.

I graduated after Spring Semester. How and when will I get my diploma?

If Spring Semester graduates did not pick up their diploma during the June 5 drive-thru event, they will receive it by the end of June via US mail.

Graduates' achievements were celebrated in a virtual commencement ceremony on June 13 at 11 a.m. More information on commencement can be found here.

Are commencement ceremonies still happening?

SMC hosted a virtual commencement ceremony on June 13. A recording of the ceremony is available for viewing here. Graduates were able to submit personal content in advance to be included in the presentation. In addition to the opportunity to celebrate in this way, we also hope to welcome Class of 2020 graduates to participate in a more traditional ceremony sometime in 2021.

Is SMC restricting travel?

To comply with government directives, all non-essential business travel by SMC employees has been suspended until further notice.

I need to take a placement test for course placement. Is the Testing Center open?

The Testing Centers on both campuses are open for remote testing; you can complete tests from home or anywhere with a computer and reliable internet access. Please send us your transcripts and test scores and then reach out to your admissions counselor or to an advisor at fye@swmich.edu to learn more about remote testing.

Starting June 15, limited appointments will be available for in-person testing. Please call 800-456-8675 or 269-782-1000 to reserve a time.

Is the Fitness Center open during this time?

To reduce the likelihood of viral transmission during this outbreak, all areas of the Student Activity Center will be closed until further notice.

I could use some help with this online course. Are resources available?

Yes! Tutoring has also moved online. You can make an appointment here. Please note that appointments will be required during this time. Your professor also will be happy to direct you to additional resources to help you be successful.

I’m in a program that requires hands-on learning. How can we do that online?

Courses may re-arrange or delay the sequence or nature of course content to work best in an online environment. Expect changes to the syllabus and look to your professor for guidance as to how to complete your course requirements before the end of the semester.

Can I still take a campus tour?

Starting June 15, on-campus tours are available by appointment. Reserve a time here. Please note that groups will be limited to a maximum of ten people, and participants will be asked to wear masks while in campus buildings to minimize risks to our vulnerable population. Masks will be provided for those who need one while on campus.

You can also take a virtual tour here and view additional videos here.

I want to register for Fall classes now. Can I still do that?

In many cases, yes. Current students can register online in SMC Wired and can reach out to an academic advisor for assistance at askanadvisor@swmich.edu. A one-minute video on how to self-register may be found on our YouTube channel. New students should sign up for a New Student Orientation session to learn about degree requirements and connect with an advisor to schedule classes. Please note, if placement testing is needed, students may be limited in the number of classes for which they can register and in some cases may not be able to register for any classes until placement tests have been completed. Remote testing is available. Contact fye@swmich.edu for more information.

Will the residence halls be open for Fall Semester?

Yes, we plan to have the residence halls open at 85% capacity for students who need or want to live on campus. For full planned details on fall housing, see the July 1 Update and the Housing Preparedness and Response Plan on swmich.edu/coronavirus.

What safety measures will be in place when students return to campus?

SMC is implementing a number of safety measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, including configuring classrooms and common areas to allow for social distancing, requiring masks and other PPE as appropriate, increased disinfecting, requiring safety training for all students, limiting capacity in classrooms and other buildings and more. For full details, please visit swmich.edu/coronavirus and look under the July 1 Update.

Will the classes I am taking count toward graduation?

Yes, all successfully completed SMC classes will count toward SMC degree requirements. For dual enrolled students, successfully completed SMC classes will count toward SMC requirements, but may not count for high school requirements. Individual school districts determine whether or not SMC classes will count for high school requirements. Please consult your district for information.

How is SMC distributing CARES Act funds to students?

The federal government has given colleges the direction to distribute grants in the manner they deem appropriate to the students who most need it. SMC has thoughtfully decided on a process to do so. Eligible students have been contacted directly via email and encouraged to apply for these funds through the link available on the SMC Wired home page.

Is SMC offering refunds on Spring Semester tuition and fees?

Our faculty and staff worked very diligently during the Spring Semester to quickly shift learning to an online format to be compliant with government directives and to allow the greatest possibility for students to successfully complete their courses. Therefore, we are not offering refunds of tuition or fees. Students or families with concerns are welcome to use the existing academic grievance process, and their appeals will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What about Spring housing refunds?

Through the pandemic, SMC housing remained open for those who wished to stay or did not have other living arrangements available to them. SMC also provided supplemental meals for three weeks, additional security and enhanced cleaning protocols while limiting visitors and gathering in common areas, with safety the top priority. In addition, as a goodwill gesture, SMC is refunding $800 of spring 2020 housing costs to each hall resident since they were unable to receive the full residence life experience due to the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Housing students will be contacted directly regarding the refund.