Reopening and Readiness for Summer and Fall 2020
Summer 2020 at Texas A&M at Qatar
Summer 2020 classes began on 31 May 2020. Texas A&M University at Qatar is offering a full summer session of courses. All summer 2020 courses are being taught virtually (remote teaching). Students should ensure they have a reliable internet connection, that they are attending required online lectures, and following all guidelines provided in course syllabi.
Center for Teaching and Learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning is open for virtual appointments and offers peer tutoring in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and other major courses, as well as supplemental instruction for CHEM107, MATH 152, MATH 308 and PHYS 206 courses. Writing and communication consultations are available for all students that have writing and speaking assignments, including digital composing, technical writing, lab reports, oral presentations and multi-media/creative projects. To book an appointment go to tamuqatar.mywconline.com/.
To join your tutoring session, click on the Zoom link embedded in the appointment notification email that you automatically receive following appointment booking.
Contact the CTL at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions, suggest courses for tutoring, or provide feedback about services we offer.
Students in the Texas A&M Engineering Building
Per Qatar Foundation guidelines, students are not currently permitted to enter the Texas A&M Engineering Building. We anticipate students will be able to access the building on a limited basis sometime in September 2020.
Fall 2020 at Texas A&M at Qatar
Fall 2020 classes begin 23 August 2020. Texas A&M at Qatar will offer its full fall 2020 course schedule. All admitted and continuing students are eligible to complete courses. All continuing students have been pre-enrolled in their required courses. Newly admitted students will be registered for courses during Aggie Life 101 (new student orientation), the week before classes begin. Course change requests will be completed during the add/drop period (first five days of classes).
The fall 2020 class schedule will change. Your current class times are not final. You will remain enrolled in your courses but the days and times will change. To accommodate social distancing and limited face-to-face classes, the entire fall 2020 schedule is being reorganized. Your schedules will be finalized by mid-August. Check you HOWDY account for updates.
Classes will be offered in three formats. It is likely that a student will have at least one course of each type.
Remote classes — Most classes in the fall semester will be offered remotely. In remote classes, 100 percent of the class is conducted virtually (online), but there are required class meeting times. These lecture meetings will be conducted, in most cases, via Zoom (or other synchronous communication platforms). This was the course delivery model for summer 2020. Professors will hold online/virtual offices hours.
Face-to-face classes — Some classes, such as laboratory sections (or other hands-on courses), will be conducted in the Texas A&M building. Students registered for these courses will have specific class meeting times in the building, similar to previous semesters. In building attendance will be required for these sections, unless prior arrangements or exceptions are in place for a student. These exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis between the student and course instructor in accordance with Student Rule 7.
For those not able to attend face-to-face meetings, all face-to-face classes will simultaneously be offered virtually. Communicate with your professor for instructions on accessing class meetings virtually.
Some classes will operate on a hybrid model. For hybrid courses, you might be required to attend a class physically in the building for portion of the course while the remainder of the course is conducted virtually/remotely. Pay close attention to your syllabus and course schedule for details.
Online classes — Some classes in the fall may be fully online asynchronous courses. For these courses, all lectures and course content are made available in an online course built in eCampus and students work through the material and submit assignments on their own. Online classes do not have class meeting times. Professors are available via online chats, discussion boards, email, phone, or other methods. Professors will hold online/virtual offices hours.
Students in the Texas A&M Engineering Building
We anticipate students will be able to access the Texas A&M building for classes, studying, and other meetings beginning sometime in September. Students will be expected to adhere to posted and stated social distancing guidelines. There may be strict building capacity guidelines in place as well; in these cases, students who are entering the building to attend a required class will have priority.
Because the fall 2020 semester begins in August, it will begin fully online/virtually. Face-to-face components will begin sometime in September, once the government of the State of Qatar and Qatar Foundation provide approval.
Large group functions will likely be restricted (or limited). Texas A&M at Qatar will restrict these events and meetings based on up-to-date guidelines from State of Qatar officials and Qatar Foundation.
Summer/fall 2020 FAQs
Can I come to the Texas A&M building during the summer?
No. Qatar Foundation has requested that no students enter the building until a later date (we anticipate September 2020).
Will all of the classes in which I’m registered be offered in the Fall 2020?
We hope so. Some courses may shift or be replaced by other courses. Keep in touch with your academic advisor and continue to check HOWDY leading up to the fall semester. You will get all the courses you need to continue your degree plan.
Will all classes be only online in the Fall 2020?
No. Some classes will be fully online (with no meeting times), some classes will be offered remotely/virtually (with online class meeting times), and some classes will meet in the building or have a face-to-face component. See above for details about these 3 formats.
What if I cannot come to the building for my required course meeting time?
If you are required to come to the building for a required meeting time, it will be during your regularly scheduled class, so there will be no other class conflicts. Therefore, if you are absent from any class meeting time (virtual or physical), follow Student Rule 7 and work out the absence with your professor.
If you are not able to come to the building because of COVID-19 related issues (such as quarantine, restricted flights, COVID-19 symptoms, pre-existing/high risk conditions, etc.), there will be a process for you to self-identify and receive approval. That process is still being discussed by the main campus and TAMUQ. More information will be provided at a later date.
If you are excused from face-to-face class meeting times, there will be an opportunity for you to access the course remotely. Communicate with your professor about accessing the class virtually.
If students cannot enter the building until September and the semester begins in August, how will I attend my face-to-face lab or class during the first week (or weeks)?
Once we have approval from Qatar Foundation to allow students in the building, labs (and classes with a face-to-face component) will be allowed to meet. Prior to this approval, all classes will be virtual/remote/online. We anticipate this will be for at least the first week of fall classes.
How will I know if my course is remote, fully online, or face-to-face?
Your schedule in HOWDY will clarify which course type you are enrolled in like this:
- Face-to-Face — Your schedule will have a meeting day(s) and time AND a room number
- Remote — Your schedule will have a meeting day(s) and time and NO room number
- Online — Your schedule will say “web”
What about exams? Will they be online?
Refer to your syllabus and/or professor for exam details.
In remote classes, can my professor require me to use my webcam during lectures or the exam?
It is reasonable and acceptable for your professor to require you to make visual contact with a camera/webcam for attendance in lectures and during exams, to verify your identity. Professors should clearly state their camera/webcam and attendance policies in their syllabi.
Where can I get help if I’m struggling with the format of my online or remote course?
Your professor is the best source for support for specific classes. But there are several other Texas A&M at Qatar offices that can help as well. If you need academic tutoring support or just general online course navigation help, you should contact the Center for Teaching and Learning (https://tamuqctl.com/). If you need technical support for your online or remote course, you should contact IT support (email@example.com). If you are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or any other mental health-related issues regarding your courses at Texas A&M at Qatar, we recommend contacting our full-time psychologist, Dr. Steve Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Will the pass/fail (S/U) grading be an option in the summer and fall like it was for the spring?
At this time, the S/U grading option has not been approved for summer or fall 2020. That was a one-time decision made for the extenuating circumstances during the spring 2020 semester. The Faculty Senate in College Station could extend it to the summer and/or fall. If/when that happens, students will be notified via email regarding the change.
As of now, summer and fall 2020 will have normal grading schemes.
Can I make an appointment to see my academic advisor?
Yes. You can email your academic advisor directly or email@example.com to schedule an appointment. One-on-one appointments will be conducted via Zoom until further notice.
Can I still schedule a session with a peer tutor or writing consultant in the Center for Teaching and Learning?
Yes. Until further notice, the CTL will be conducting tutoring sessions via Zoom. You can book an appointment here: https://tamuqatar.mywconline.com/
To join your tutoring session, click on the Zoom Link embedded in the appointment notification email that you automatically receive following appointment booking.
Will there be student activities, club meetings, and other events in the building?
Once we have clearer guidelines for group meetings, we can answer this question more fully. However, all events in the building (including classes) will be subject to whatever social distancing guidelines are in place in Qatar during the fall. Some small clubs and groups may be able to hold events in the building. Event approvals will follow the same process via the events request system.
It is expected that most student life, student affairs, and/or student activities will be conducted virtually online, using programs like Zoom.
We understand this is not ideal and it’s certainly not the way we want your Aggie experience to go. We hope these restrictions will soon be lifted.
Can I still study abroad in College Station this fall 2020?
No. All study abroad exchange programs have bee cancelled until at least 2021.
Can I still travel for university business in the fall?
We are not sure yet. Right now, all business travel (even for faculty and staff) is prohibited. We hope to resume student travel in the fall, but it is more likely that student travel will not resume until 2021.
Will there be tuition refunds since our classes are online?
No. Your tuition is paid to Qatar Foundation and in turn they provide a budget to Texas A&M to operate. Faculty and staff are still working full-time and are receiving salaries. We are offering the full fall semester of courses, still conducting student life activities, providing textbooks, etc. On the main campus, and at most universities across the world, online courses actually cost more due to the additional cost and effort they require.
What should I do if I’m experiencing flu-like/COVID-19 symptoms or any other illness?
If you are ill in any way whatsoever, please do not enter the Texas A&M building. Contact your professors if you are going to miss class and follow Student Rule 7 for absence coordination.
For information in Qatar regarding COVID-19 diagnoses you can visit covid19.moph.gov.qa or call the MOPH hotline at 16000.
What should I do if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
Do not attend classes in the Texas A&M at Qatar building.
Contact your professors and inform them of any expected absences. Work individually with each professor, in accordance with Student Rule 7, to make up any missed work.
Contact the Department of Student Affairs and inform them of your positive test result (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Department of Student Affairs
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Academic Services Office
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Office of Admissions
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Previous communications to students, faculty and staff
12 March 2020
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Qatar, in-person classes at Texas A&M University at Qatar will not resume for the spring 2020 semester, which will be completed wholly online. Faculty and students should continue classes, exams and assignments virtually for the remaining six weeks of the semester. Starting today, all TAMUQ employees are authorized to work from home.
Texas A&M at Qatar is monitoring local and regional news closely, and our first priority is the health and safety of students, employees and their families. This is not a campus shutdown. Rather, we are adapting to a rapidly changing situation while working to maintain continuity of teaching and learning, and of the operations that support that process.
10 March 2020
Mandatory reporting of travel activity since 1 Dec. 2019
Texas A&M University requires all faculty, staff, researchers and students to report travel —personal or business — for or through any country that is designated as Level 1, 2 or 3 by the CDC for COVID-19. Even if you received this message from main campus and reported your travel through its questionnaire, please take a few minutes to report your travel since 1 Dec. 2019 using the form at http://tx.ag/TAMUQReportTravel.
Level 3 COVID-19: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea
Level 2 COVID-19: Japan
Level 1 COVID-19: Hong Kong
In addition to reporting travel to countries flagged by the CDC, Texas A&M at Qatar students and employees are required to report travel to any country listed by the State of Qatar’s Government Communications Office. As of today, those countries are the following: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Thailand.
In case of questions, please contact Kent Clawson (email@example.com).
9 March 2020
Message to students: Transition to online classes effective 10 March 2020
As you are well aware, face-to-face classes have been suspended and all courses have transitioned to online/virtual classrooms. Please adhere to all modifications communicated to you by your professors. Further, all university events have been suspended until further notice.
Texas A&M at Qatar continues to monitor the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and we continue to make plans to minimize the risk of exposure in our community. As you know, new information related to virus is becoming available daily, so it is important that we continue to adjust and adapt to shifting procedures and expectations.
As of today, the following is a summary of student travel expectations and required procedures for reporting, absences related to illnesses, and information regarding quarantine.
University student travel
All university travel is cancelled or postponed until further notice; we will regularly reassess the necessity of this restriction as new information becomes available.
Mandatory travel reporting
Next, all students, faculty, and staff who have traveled (for any reason) since 1 December 2019, to countries listed in Levels 1-3 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are required to report this travel to Texas A&M University using this form: http://tx.ag/TAMUQReportTravel. This requirement is in accordance with Provost Fierke’s 7 March email to all faculty, students, and staff.
Level 3 COVID-19: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea
Level 2 COVID-19: Japan
Level 1 COVID-19: Hong Kong
In addition to Levels 1-3, Texas A&M at Qatar students are required to report travel to any additional country listed by the State of Qatar’s Government Communications Office. As of today, those countries are the following: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Thailand.
If you travel to one of the restricted countries, in addition to reporting to Texas A&M, you may be subject to mandatory quarantine by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in Qatar.
Further, if you are not placed in mandatory quarantine by MOPH, but have traveled to one of these countries, you are required to self-isolate. Self-isolation requires that you do not come to campus, residence halls, on-campus apartments, classes, athletic events or other social gatherings until fourteen (14) days without symptoms after leaving a restricted country.
Absences due to illness or quarantine
In the event you have flu-like symptoms or are subject to mandatory or self-isolation, all absences will still be handles in accordance with Student Rule 7. In summary, excused absences are handled directly with your professors. For absences of greater than three (3) business days, you will be required to provide your professors proof of a needed absence (a note from a medical professional).
If you are quarantined or are in self-isolation, if possible, you are expected to adhere to the virtual/online course modifications communicated to you by your professors. If you are not able, due to illness or quarantine, to attend online classes or complete coursework, please follow Student Rule 7.
General health and wellness
If you have any flu-like symptoms or are sick in any way, please do not come to campus and seek immediate medical attention. Again, Student Rule 7 is there to protect you in illness related absences. We also recommend that you reconsider any personal travel for any non-essential reason and avoid large crowds or unnecessary social events. For more information, please visit the following links:
If you have any questions related to COVID-19, absences, or any other concerns, please contact the Department of Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TAMUQ operations and transition of classes online
The State of Qatar has announced that all schools and universities, public and private, will suspend face-to-face classes from 10 March 2020 until further notice. During this time, Texas A&M at Qatar’s spring semester will continue, and classes will be delivered electronically. Although classes will not be meeting, Texas A&M at Qatar remains open and operational, and employees are expected to report to work as usual.
Students will receive instructions from faculty for how to access required course materials and with information for how their courses will proceed. In order to successfully complete spring 2020 courses, students must comply with any course assignment and/or exam modifications communicated to them by their professors. For example, students may be expected to “attend” virtual lecture streams, complete virtual projects, submit assignments via eCampus, etc.
TAMUQ email is the official means of communication. Students and faculty should contact email@example.com for technical support. All academic and student support services will remain available.
For TAMU employment-related information related to COVID-19, go to https://employees.tamu.edu/covid-19/.
Also, Qatar’s government has announced that it would bar entry of travelers coming to Qatar from 14 countries in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. In light of these developments, and with operational integrity in mind, all TAMUQ business travel is suspended until further notice without exception.
Message from Qatar Foundation
For Qatar Foundation, the safety and wellbeing of our community is always our top priority. With this in mind, we continue to closely monitor the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak. Please note the following important updates:
School and university closures
Following a government directive issued today [March 9], all QF schools, QF partner universities and Hamad Bin Khalifa University will suspend classes as of tomorrow [March 10] until further notice. In the meantime, QF schools and universities will be providing online/virtual education instruction. For more information, please refer to the school or university. Staff who are affected by these closures should speak to their line manager about flexible and remote working arrangements.
Events and gatherings
All QF events for the next six (6) weeks are cancelled with immediate effect.
QF internal gatherings, meetings and workshops should be cancelled, where possible, or kept to the absolute minimum of people (no more than 10 people).
On Thursday, March 5, we confirmed that all business travel by QF staff is cancelled.
For your own protection, Qatar is urging all citizens and residents to avoid all non-essential personal travel at this time; and that, as of Monday, 9 March, entry into Qatar is temporarily suspended for all those travelling from certain countries. Full details are available here.
If you experience symptoms of coronavirus, please make plans to self-isolate for up to 14 days and notify your manager or HR and seek appropriate medical advice.
Staff should also be aware that most medical insurance policies, including our QLM policy, carry restrictions that apply in the case of global epidemics or pandemics. In Qatar, care will be provided by Hamad Medical Corporation, using your HMC medical card.
If you do decide to travel outside of Qatar to countries not currently affected by the above suspension of travel, we ask you to inform your manager/HR of your travel plans, in particular the destination country, and to observe the following precautionary measures as outlined by QF’s Primary Health Care Center:
- Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer and face masks, for use where needed.
- Cough or sneeze into a paper tissue and dispose of it. If no tissue is available, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow.
- Stay at least one meter away from people coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid large gatherings.
All matters regarding medical leave and salary entitlement in cases of illness continue to be governed by QF HR policy, and should anything change in this regard, we will ensure you are informed. In the meantime, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to raise them with your line manager.
The wellbeing of our staff and wider community is our utmost priority, and, as such, we appreciate your professionalism, understanding, and contribution to minimizing the risks created by COVID-19 for everyone at this challenging time.
4 March 2020
Message to community
We are continuing to monitor the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and are making plans to minimize the risk of exposure in our community. We continue to use the best advice and guidance available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and the Qatar Ministry of Public Health.
As we carefully track the CDC’s risk assessment for COVID-19, we continue to follow guidelines consistent with direction from The Texas A&M University System. Regular updates can be found on on this page as well as on the Texas A&M coronavirus page.
As of 3 March, the following are categorized by the CDC as Level 1, 2 and 3 countries:
Level 3 COVID-19: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea
Level 2 COVID-19: Japan
Level 1 COVID-19: Hong Kong
As of today, 4 March, Texas A&M at Qatar will not allow any non-essential business travel for faculty, staff and students. This moratorium will last for one month, until 4 April, at which time we will reassess the threat. The dean can make an exception for travel when it will negatively impact the teaching or research mission of the university.
We have canceled the second half of the annual Spring Leadership Exchange Program next week during which 14 students and 2 staff members from main campus were due to visit us. The TAMUQ students and staff who are on this trip will return as scheduled. Visits from outside of Qatar over the next month will be cancelled.
Other TAMUQ faculty and staff members who are currently on business travel should return to Qatar as scheduled.
Please be aware that travel restrictions are changing frequently. The Qatar Ministry of Public Health has placed some restrictions on travelers to Qatar, which may affect your ability to leave or return to Qatar. If you are flying back to Qatar, please be sure to check with your airline or the Qatar Ministry of Public Health before traveling back to Qatar for the most up-to-date information.
Texas A&M has also published some travel guidance related to coronavirus, or CoVID-19 that you should take into account if you are traveling.
For more information, please visit the following links:
Classes at TAMUQ are scheduled to resume on Sunday, 8 March. All faculty, staff and students will be notified via email or an Aggie Alert text message if this changes.
Should the government of Qatar close schools and universities, faculty should be prepared to teach remotely and staff members should work with their supervisors and unit heads to determine how the mission of the department will continue to be met during any closures.
Lastly, should you feel sick, please do not come to work and seek immediate medical attention.
If you have questions, please contact Kent Clawson, firstname.lastname@example.org.