Information Regarding Online Classes for Spring 2020

March 25, 2020

DEBUT Update

We regret that, due to precautionary measures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we are canceling DEBUT 2020 and all related events, including Open House, the Fashion Club Pre-Party, and Educators Day.

Dear FIDM Community,

In our continuing effort to respond to the recent restrictions required by the local and federal government due to the national concern over COVID-19, and in an effort to protect the health and safety of the FIDM Community, we will be offering online classes to all students for the Spring 2020 quarter.

The Spring 2020 quarter will now begin on April 27 and end on July 3.

As most of you know, we have been providing online classes and programs to students for many years. These classes are robust and designed to specifically model the student experience on campus, ensuring that our eLearning students receive the same quality education as the on-campus students.

In order to make the transition from on-campus to online learning, we have answered some frequently asked questions (FAQs), below. We hope they will help you navigate through the transition in a seamless manner.

FAQs by Major

Please look for your major in the PDF below and carefully review the information pertaining to your program and courses. Each major has a contact person(s) for you to reach out to with additional questions.

PDF of course information by major

FAQs about the Spring 2020 Quarter

We have pulled together answers for the most Frequently Asked Questions we’ve received from you as a student community. Please read further for persons to contact should you have additional questions.

General Questions

1. Will there be a difference in the online classes available to students depending on campus.

No, there will be no difference.

2. Why postpone the quarter?

These changes have all been made in response to the restrictions imposed by local and federal government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. How will I know what my schedule for the Spring 2020 quarter will be?

We are making the necessary changes to your class schedule as quickly as possible. The changes from on-campus classes to online classes (elearning and Remote) will be done by the Registrar's Office. Where you see one or more of your classes have been canceled and course substitutions are suggested, it will be up to you to choose the course(s) you wish to substitute for the Spring 2020 quarter. You will need to make those changes to your schedule in Web Registration. All classes canceled for the Spring quarter will be offered in the Summer quarter. If you have any questions please email your Education Advisor.

Online Learning

1. What is the difference between a remote class and an eLearning (online) class?

FIDM Students will have two different types of courses available this quarter: Remote and eLearning. Both options will be equally challenging however, there are some key differences between the two. FIDM has offered pure eLearning courses for more than 15 years and these online courses are designed to allow students flexibility in scheduling. Assignments and work are due each week at the same time, but can be done at any time during that week. These courses use online tools such as the discussion board and chat rooms to promote interaction with the instructor and peers while allowing students to access and do work at their own pace and time. Some of these classes will have live online web meetings one or two times during a quarter for presentations, but there are not scheduled required times each week.

Remote classes are classes that will be taught live at the same time and day each week as if in a classroom. Students access the class by entering through the Canvas course site and then clicking on a posted link for a Zoom meeting. The instructor and students will be online together and meet in real time. Each instructor will have live meetings throughout the quarter and will run the class as if it were in a classroom. Students should schedule a remote class as if it were on campus and be mindful of potential schedule conflicts.

Online Learning Technology Requirements

1. What software or apps do I need to have on my computer?

Students need to have Adobe Creative Cloud installed and working on their own computer. They must also have their LinkedIn Learning account set-up and working. You may go here to download Adobe Creative Cloud:
https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/desktop-app.html

2. Since all classes are now online, how can I access wifi if I don’t already have it?

Spectrum will be providing 60 days of free wifi to students who inquire. We are hopeful that within 60 days from April 15, the restrictions imposed by the local, state and federal government, students will be lifted and students can return to campuses to utilize the library, labs, and studios. More information on Spectrum’s 60 day offer can be found here:
https://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/coronavirus-internet-offer-students/

Financial Aid

1. What happens to my financial aid to pay for housing?

Students who are eligible to receive financial aid to help with their Spring 2020 housing costs will receive an overage check during the first week of the spring quarter. Please contact FIDM’s Fiscal Operations staff if you have any concerns regarding your overage at fiscaloperations@fidm.com.

2. I want to take a Leave of Absence, can I do that? How will that affect my financial aid?

A student can take a leave of absence as normal by initiating the process by contacting their Student Advisor. Financial Aid staff will then work with the student to determine their financial aid eligibility for their return.

Student Accounts/Tuition Payment

1. Will refunds or discounts be issued for Spring 2020 since we are moving from on-campus to fully online learning for this quarter?

Although we have no plans for refunding tuition at this time, all students have different financial arrangements and they should contact their Financial Services Advisor or their Student Advisor directly. Any decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis, with attempts to accommodate students with course extensions or curriculum modifications. To locate your Advisor and their contact info on the student portal, go to: Student Services > Academic Advisement > Academic Support Flyer.

2. How do I make a payment during school closure?

Although you will not be able to pay at the cashier, there are several methods of payment that can be used.

  • Checks or Bill Pay from your bank can be mailed to the following address. Please make sure to include your name and student ID in the memo section.

  • FIDM 919 S Grand Ave.
    Los Angeles, CA 90015
    ATTN: Cashier office.

  • Credit card payments through the portal. There is a fee for this service.

  • º  Electronic check through the portal.
    º  You cannot have more than $2499 in one transaction.
    º  The only field that is optional is the check number.
    º  The Driver’s license has to be entered exactly as the example on the form below the DL box. EX: TX1234567(No spaces)

  • Wire transfer. There is a $25 fee for this service. Please contact us at fiscaloperations@fidm.com for instructions on how to use this.

3. Will there be a late fee charged if the payment is late?

There will be no late charge applied for April.

4. How will I be able to clear for spring registration?

If you have a hold on your account, please send an email to fiscaloperations@fidm.com. Staff will be monitoring the mailbox.

Orientation

1. How and when will Spring Orientation be conducted?

We will be conducting orientation online for new students starting Spring 2020 on Thursday, April 23. All new students will be directed to a link on the FIDM Portal.
More details to follow.

Graduation

1. When will the graduation ceremony take place?

The graduation ceremony will take place on Monday, September 21, 2020.

2. What if I graduated last quarter? Will I still receive a diploma?

Yes, if you are Financially Cleared and have completed the online "Apply for Degree" that can be found under Graduating Soon on the Portal, you will receive your diploma within 4-6 months.

3. This is my last quarter, will this affect my graduation?

All students must complete all graduation requirements in order to graduate. If your required courses are not taught this quarter, it is important to contact your Department Chairperson to see if another course has been approved as a substitution or if you will need to take any remaining units in the Summer quarter.

Books & Supplies

1. How will I get my books and supplies?

The Bookroom will be open beginning April 6 on the Los Angeles Campus, Monday - Friday from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. to pick up books and supplies.

If you need to have your books and supplies shipped to you, contact your Advisor (Student Advisor if current student, Admissions Advisor if NEW Student). Additional charges may apply.

Your Advisor will verify all courses being taken, and current shipping address.

For all other campuses you will receive an email from your campus stating the pick-up times for books and supplies.

2. How will I get my Tote Bag?

Tote Bags will be distributed when you return to campus.

Veteran Student Benefits

1. How will Veteran students be affected?

Students receiving VA education benefits can check for the latest program updates at the va.gov website, or by calling the GI Bill number at (888) 442-4551 to speak to a VA Education Counselor.

For questions regarding your VA education benefits at FIDM, please contact one of FIDM’s Certifying School Officials: Patricia Martinez, Coordinator, VA Education Benefits at pmartinez@fidm.edu, or Lynne Stroner, School Certifying Official at lstroner@fidm.edu. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for a reply to your questions, and please include your student ID number on the subject line.

International Student Instructions

1. Since FIDM is switching to a completely online mode or hybrid form of instruction for the Spring 2020 quarter, as an F-1 student, can I take all my classes online and remain in status?

Yes, due to the current emergency situation, F-1 students whose colleges have reverted to completely online or hybrid forms of instruction for the Spring 2020 quarter can remain in status if taking course work online or in hybrid format, whether they are taking the courses from within the U.S. or from their home country.

2. As an F-1 student being permitted to stay in status while taking all courses online during the Spring 2020 quarter, do I still have to maintain a minimum unit requirement to stay in status?

No, you should take at least four courses online during the Spring 2020 quarter if you are able, so that you can continue to make normal progress toward degree completion. However, since not all major specific course work is being converted to all online format, you will not be required to maintain minimum unit requirements for the Spring 2020 quarter to stay in status.

3. Normally for an F-1 student, any absence from my program of study or from the U.S., that exceeds five months makes my I-20 invalid. If I take courses online from my home country, but am gone from the U.S. for more than five months, will I need a new I-20?

As long as F-1 students are taking courses online, whether within the U.S. or their home country, and maintaining their F-1 status for the Spring 2020 quarter, an absence of five months or more will not invalidate their I-20.

4. What if I need longer to graduate now because I can not take the same amount of courses that I had planned, since everything is online now?

As long as you maintain your F-1 status, your I-20 can be extended to give you more time to complete your program.

5. Can I still be approved for CPT during the Spring 2020 quarter when FIDM has reverted to a pure online or hybrid mode of instruction?

If within the U.S., employers are willing and able to keep you employed during the Spring 2020 quarter then you are eligible. Make sure you submit the offer letters and have FIDM Internship approval noted on your I-20 before starting the employment. If you are taking courses online from your home country, you may be authorized to engage in CPT if either the employer has an office outside the United States or the employer can assess student engagement and attainment of learning objectives electronically.

6. If I finish my last quarter online from my home country can I still apply for OPT?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is evaluating these issues and may issue additional guidance. In the meantime, since U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Homeland Security Investigations National Security Investigations Division Student and Exchange Visitor Program, last updated 3/20/2020 3:59 PM, 4 Services (USCIS) adjudicates OPT employment authorization requests, SEVP recommends reaching out to USCIS for further guidance.

7. If I finish my last quarter from my home country will I still be able to re-enter the U.S.?

Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, students should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U.S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, DHS and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) websites provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States. If re-entry is possible, students should be able to re-enter the U.S. in F-1 status before the program end date listed on their I-20 (for those who complete their program during the Spring 2020 quarter that would be July 3, 2020.

Students with Disabilities

1. I have a condition that may require me to have accommodations, is that possible if I'm taking classes online?

Yes, for students who already have approved reasonable accommodation(s), many of the accommodations will be available for the online classes. Others may not be needed. Please contact Julie Ann Otteson, ADA 504 Compliance Coordinator at jotteson@fidm.edu for further information.

2. How do I apply for disability accommodations with FIDM's online classes?

Visit the link available on our website FIDM.edu, under Student Services and Student Policies for FIDM’s Disabilities Accommodation & Grievance Policy.

Personal Counseling

1. Will students still be able to make an appointment with a Personal Counselor when attending classes online?

Yes, students may email Personal Counselors Jessica Cattani, jcattani@fidm.edu, Kristina Nakamura, knakamura@fidm.edu, or Eileen Kent, ekent@fidm.edu, to schedule a confidential phone or video counseling session.

2. How will the Personal Counseling Department offer mental health workshops online?

The Personal Counseling Department will offer mental health workshops accessible through Zoom throughout the quarter. All workshops will be pre-recorded.

3. Where can I find off-campus resources related to health and mental health service online?

Counseling and safety resources, including a self-care list are available on the Student Portal under Student Services/Counseling & Safety. Currently, The Personal Counselors are working with FIDM Social Media and Student Activities to post wellness and support tips, tools, and resources on Instagram @FIDM. We are also working on collaborating with eLearning to post pre-recorded webinars for everyone to view.

Housing

1. I live in FIDM Housing, will I be allowed to take my classes online?

Yes, as long as you are enrolled and remain in a minimum of two online classes for the Spring 2020 quarter, you will be able to remain in housing for the Spring 2020 quarter. If you choose to remain in housing for Spring 2020, with the change of the Spring 2020 academic calendar dates, we will be allowing students to stay in housing until July 3, 2020 at no additional cost to the student.


***

At this time, unless the government imposes additional restrictions, we are planning to re-open the campus for the Summer 2020 quarter, which will start on July 9. The break between quarters will be July 4 - 8.

Please visit the student portal where we will be sharing additional information with you regarding online courses, and watch this page for updates regarding our response to COVID-19.

We understand this has been a difficult time and we truly appreciate your patience as we respond to these unforeseen events. We appreciate the messages of support we’ve received and many of you have sent emails with questions. We hope this answers the majority of them, and we will continue to be in communication with you as we move forward.

Feel free to reach out with additional questions.

We wish you our very best during this time of uncertainty.

Sincerely
The FIDM Board of Administration

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