Past COVID-19 Updates
March 31, 2021
The State of Utah has seen remarkable progress recently in the number of new COVID-19 cases, but it is still a serious health matter. As anxious as we all are to have this challenging situation behind us, we join our collective voices with credible health experts asking us to be diligent and patient just a little longer in practicing wise behavior such as wearing masks and avoiding other circumstances that could cause spreading of the virus. In other parts of the country and in other countries COVID-19 continues to be a very serious health crisis.
We express gratitude for the work of our COVID-19 task force and their recommendations for the practices we should follow to keep our campus safe and open. In various leadership councils we have considered a number of COVID-related policies and we want to provide an update on the things we have recently discussed.
- Ensign College Vaccination Policy – We intend to follow the guidance coming from Church headquarters regarding vaccinations: While we strongly encourage all students, faculty (including adjuncts), and staff to be vaccinated, we will not mandate or require it to be a student or employee of Ensign College. Further, we will not require anyone to provide evidence of being vaccinated, or to declare their intent not to be vaccinated. These are personal matters for each individual to decide.
- Mask Mandate – You are likely aware that on April 10 the statewide mask mandate is ending. However, we have determined that masks will continue to be required on campus through the end of May. As we approach that date we will re-evaluate the policy based on current conditions.
- Fall Semester – It is our intent to return to “almost pre-COVID” schedules and conditions for the Fall 2021 Semester. This means we will return to normal hours of operation for all campus services, including the Summit Grill. For now, we anticipate offering approximately 80% of classes face-to-face, with 20% being delivered in hybrid or fully remote mode. These percentages do not include BYU-Idaho online courses, only the courses offered by Ensign College. We will closely monitor registration trends and are prepared to adjust these percentages as needed.
We look to the next few months with hope and optimism that conditions will continue to improve. We also note the concerns expressed and guidance coming from reliable health officials. These stated plans and policies are always subject to change given guidance from the Church and from local, state, and national governments.
Please know of our love and concern for each of you and your families. We will continue to provide regular updates on these important topics.
March 4, 2021
As a result of our collective efforts to keep our campus safe, we have had only one confirmed instance of COVID-19 transmission while on campus so far this semester (Winter 2021).
As of Wednesday, March 3, 2021, the State of Utah has reported a cumulative number of 371,979 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, with an average of 482 new cases over the last seven days. This represents a decrease of 23% in new cases compared to the case count seven days ago.[i] Although we are experiencing a decrease in new COVID-19 cases, we are not making any adjustments to current COVID-19 protocol or policy. Public health officials are still requesting that we be vigilant in maintaining proper social distancing, frequent hand-washing and the wearing of masks.
The Utah Department of Health reports that 11% (263,173 individuals) of Utahns have been fully vaccinated, as of March 3, 2021. State health officials are anticipating that all Utah residents will have an opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of July, 2021. Currently, only priority groups are allowed to receive the vaccine at this time. To see when you might be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to view the Utah Department of Health’s Vaccine Distribution Timeline . Please note that the timeline is subject to change based in vaccine availability. You may also sign up to receive vaccination updates through the Utah Department of Health website: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution/#sign-up .
We thank you for your continued efforts in keeping our campus safe.
February 1, 2021
As of Monday, February 1, 2021, the State of Utah has reported a cumulative number of 346,624 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, with an average of 1,460 new cases over the last seven days. This represents a decrease of 18.7% in new cases compared to the case count seven days ago.[i] Although we are currently trending in the right direction, we are not making any adjustments to current COVID-19 protocol or policy. We must be vigilant in maintaining proper social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and the wearing of masks. Because of our collective efforts to keep our campus safe, we have not had a single confirmed instance of COVID-19 transmission while on campus so far this semester (Winter 2021). In other words, those within our campus community who have tested positive for COVID-19 most likely contracted the virus somewhere other than the Ensign College campus.
As you likely know, vaccination efforts have begun in Utah. However, only priority groups are allowed to receive the vaccine at this time. To see when you might be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage you to view the Utah Department of Health’s Vaccine Distribution Timeline . Please note that the timeline is subject to change based in vaccine availability. You may also sign up to receive vaccination updates through the Utah Department of Health website: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine-distribution/#sign-up .
We thank you for your continued efforts in keeping our campus safe.
January 25, 2021
As you are likely aware, Salt Lake County and many other nearby counties are still in the ‘High’ level of transmission for COVID-19. Additionally, it is anticipated that COVID-19 vaccines will not be available to the general population until April, at the earliest. It has, therefore, been determined that if you are currently working from home on a regular basis, you should plan on continuing to work from home at least through the end of the winter semester (April 8). If you are currently working on campus according to a scheduled shift set by your manager, you should continue to follow the directions of your line management and unit leader, working on campus according to your predetermined shift. It must be understood that any and all current work from home arrangements are temporary and should not be expected to continue in perpetuity. As it becomes appropriate to return to pre-pandemic working arrangements, managers are expected to give employees as much notice as possible. At a minimum, employees will be given a week’s notice prior to being asked to return to pre-pandemic working arrangements.
We realize that this pandemic has caused major disruption to the way we work and interact with each other. Despite this, we have made significant progress, moving Ensign College ever onward in its divine purpose. We thank you for your dedication, flexibility, understanding and excellent work during this challenging period. If you have any questions about your work arrangements, please speak with your immediate supervisor. We also encourage you to regularly visit our COVID-19 Webpage where updates will be posted at least monthly.
January 5, 2021
As we begin a new semester with the COVID-19 pandemic still looming, we want to reaffirm expectations pertaining to work arrangements.
For the first two weeks of the semester (January 4-20), student-facing services will be available for on-campus, face-to-face help from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For the remainder of the semester, on-campus, face-to-face operating hours will be scaled back to 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. As in previous semesters, each vice president will determine which employees may be authorized to work from home, and which employees need to perform their work on campus. Therefore, questions related to work arrangements (e.g. shift scheduling, remote work, operating hours, etc.) should be directed to immediate supervisors.
There is currently no timeline as to when the entire workforce might return to working on campus. If you are currently working from home, you may continue to do so until otherwise instructed by your vice president. If and when you are invited to return to working on campus, you will be given, at a minimum, a week’s notice to make necessary preparations, such as childcare arrangements.
We thank you for remaining flexible and anxiously engaged in the work of Ensign College as we strive to provide a quality experience for our students during this challenging time.
Ensign College Update – 11/10/20
November 10, 2020
Ensign College to comply with statewide mandates for higher education
Utah Governor Gary Herbert issued an executive order Sunday evening, declaring a statewide emergency as a result of recent increases in COVID-19 cases. It includes mandatory use of face coverings and limiting of social gatherings to people within the same household. There are also specific measures for higher education. The executive order states:
“Beginning as soon as possible, but no later than January 1, 2021, a public or private institution of higher education, including a degree-granting institution or technical college, shall require each individual who is enrolled as a student of the institution of higher education and who lives in on-campus housing or attends at least one in-person class provided by the institution of higher education to obtain a diagnostic test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration to determine current COVID-19 infection each week.”
Ensign College will comply with all requirements. Beginning immediately, all extracurricular activities at the College are on hold. Plans are being made to have weekly testing available to all students by January 1, 2021, at the latest. More information on the College’s testing processes will be communicated at a later date.
In the meantime, students who suspect they have been exposed to the virus are encouraged to explore immediate COVID-19 testing options by filling out the state’s online survey . Salt Lake County testing locations can be found here . Additionally, Ensign College students are reminded to do their part to reduce the spread of the disease in the campus community by completing the diagnosis and exposure form on the College’s website.
Ensign College Update – 8/20/20
August 20, 2020.
Ensign College to transition to 100% remote classes after Thanksgiving
After careful consideration and extensive evaluation, Ensign College (formerly LDS Business College) announces it will transition to 100% remote classes following the Thanksgiving break this Fall 2020 Semester.
The Fall 2020 Semester will begin on September 14. Students may register for three types of instructional delivery: remote classes, hybrid classes (in-person and remote), and in-person classes (labs). Hybrid and in-person classes will be conducted with careful safety measures in place through November 24.
However, out of an abundance of caution, following Thanksgiving break (November 25-27) all classes will be conducted remotely until the semester ends on December 16.
Revised Academic Calendar
- Sept. 14 – Classes begin (remote, hybrid and in-person)
- Nov. 24 – All in-person instruction ends
- Nov. 25-27 – Thanksgiving Break (campus open, no classes – 25, campus closed – 26, 27)
- Dec. 16 – Classes end
Students traveling home for the Thanksgiving break are encouraged to finish the Fall Semester remotely from home to help limit any potential increase of COVID-19 in the campus community during the month of December.
Although many students are already planning to enroll in only remote classes for Fall Semester, each student should reevaluate their schedule and how this announcement affects them individually.
Current campus hours and services will remain unchanged before and after Thanksgiving break. The building is open regular hours Monday through Friday for students and employees to work, study and gain access to Wi-Fi and other resources. Essential student services on campus provide limited face-to-face hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday.
Changing information, data and regulations from local and federal agencies are being closely monitored as plans for the Winter 2021 Semester are evaluated.
Ensign College Update – 7/10/20
July 10, 2020.
Ensign College statement on modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program
Ensign College is aware of the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) addressing the status of international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensign College shares the concern of its international students and is working on their behalf to provide the best and most current information. The decisions by the USDHS are very new and the higher education community is working to understand and interpret them and what factors will define an international student’s compliance. Ensign College offers these observations to its international students and will provide updates as new information and insight becomes available.
Ensign College is confident that its plan to use a hybrid instructional model will allow it to continue to serve its valued population of international students while being in compliance with these new regulations. Please be advised, however, that the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are constantly changing and that Ensign College’s operational stance is subject to ongoing review, and appropriate changes as may be required by local, state or federal law.
When making decisions about the Fall 2020 Semester, Ensign College international students should consider carefully their approach to enrollment with specific attention to where they plan to live.
Students currently living in their home countries
- Should they remain in country and enroll in all remote courses?
- Should they travel back to the U.S. and enroll in at least one hybrid course?
The recent ruling indicates that international students residing in their home countries may continue to do so, but they will not maintain their SEVIS Active status while taking online-only courses. Students who return to the U.S. and take a hybrid course with an in-person component on campus in Salt Lake City will be in compliance. If conditions with COVID-19 change and local, state or federal laws require Ensign College to return to exclusively online instruction (Zoom classes), students will be required to either transfer to another U.S. institution that offers in-person instruction or return to their home country to continue Ensign College courses online.
Students currently living in the U.S.
- Should they return to their home country and enroll in all remote courses?
- Should they remain in the U.S. and enroll in at least one hybrid course?
The recent ruling indicates that international students living in the U.S. must take a hybrid course with an in-person component on campus in Salt Lake City to be in compliance. If conditions with COVID-19 change and local, state or federal laws require Ensign College to return to exclusively online instruction (Zoom classes), students will be required to either transfer to another U.S. institution that offers in-person instruction or return to their home country to continue Ensign College courses online. International students residing in their home countries while taking online-only courses will not maintain their SEVIS Active status.
The higher education community continues to confer with U.S. congressional leaders to determine if adjustments can be made to this ruling prior to the start of the Fall semester. Ensign College is closely monitoring these conversations and tracking relevant legal developments in the courts. Ensign College will promptly inform international students of any additional changes. During this challenging time, Ensign College, and in particular its dedicated faculty, are committed to providing international students with the best instructional approaches while also keeping students and employees safe and meeting government directives.
Updated on June 10.
Ensign College Update – 6/10/20
June 10, 2020.
Protocol for a Positive COVID-19 Test Result
Ensign College (formerly LDS Business College) will adhere to the following protocol if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19:
- The individual should be advised to complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting Form located on the COVID-19 webpage, if they have not done so already. The individual should self-isolate until free of symptoms for at least 14-consecutive days. Employees should not offer medical advice or attempt to diagnose symptoms.
- Individuals who disclose a positive test result on the COVID-19 Self Reporting Form
will be contacted by a College representative to verify their diagnosis and confirm when they were last on campus.
- If the individual has been on campus within two weeks prior to experiencing any symptoms, the campus community will be notified of a positive COVID-19 test result on campus, without disclosing the name or other individually identifying details of the infected individual.
- Every reasonable effort will then be made to identify the specific locations on campus where the infected individual had visited in the last two weeks (e.g. classrooms, offices, etc.). Effort will then be made to thoroughly sanitize those areas of campus.
- Individuals who tested positive for COVD-19 are free to return to campus once they have been free of symptoms for at least 14-consecutive days.
Ensign College Update – 5/18/20
May 18, 2020.
Employees Returning to Campus: Update Monday, May 18
Much has been communicated, through the news and other methods, regarding Governor Herbert’s guidelines for Utah employers and workers returning to the workplace.
On Thursday, May 14, Governor Herbert announced that much of the state will be moving to the low-risk level (Yellow) while some areas, including Salt Lake City, will remain in the moderate-risk level (Orange).
Consistent with the counsel from the First Presidency, Ensign College will lag behind state recommendations by approximately two weeks. This means that those who can work efficiently from home should continue to do so.
In situations where work cannot be accomplished efficiently from home, a limited number of employees and service missionaries may be asked to return to campus if they meet all of the following conditions:
- They cannot perform their normal job functions from home efficiently, as determined by their manager (e.g. because of equipment, internet connection or inability to perform their job)
- They are healthy, with no symptoms of COVID-19
- They are not in a vulnerable group (age 65+ or immuno-compromised)
As a reminder, the following guidelines should be applied for all employees and service missionaries currently working on campus, as well as those who may return:
- Employees and service missionaries should stay home if they are:
- Ill or have COVID-19 symptoms
- Age 65+ or immuno-compromised
- Caring for sick or vulnerable household members or have children requiring care due to a COVID-19 issue
- Employees and service missionaries should continue to follow safe hygiene practices.
- Physical distancing should be practiced at work. Employees and service missionaries should stay at least six feet from other individuals, and arrangements will need to be made to ensure that workstations provide for appropriate physical distancing.
- If workforce members do not already have their own reusable masks, face masks will be provided by the College. These face masks may be obtained by going to the Enrollment Management Department on the second floor. Face masks should be worn in public settings such as in elevators, hallways, restrooms and breakrooms. Face masks brought from home should be conservative in nature and consistent with College dress and grooming standards.
- Meetings should primarily be conducted electronically, even if all the individuals involved are working on campus.
- Gatherings or meetings should not exceed 20 people, assuming they can follow proper physical distancing and face mask guidelines.
- Avoid hand shaking or unnecessary physical contact.
Ensign College Update – 4/29/20
April 29, 2020.
COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form
To assist with Ensign College's efforts to track the spread of COVID-19, a self-reporting form has been created. This will help reduce the potential spread of the disease in our campus community by ensuring appropriate areas of campus remain thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Please click the following link and fill out the form if you have tested positive for the virus or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test: http://ldsbc.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0BdG9hcCOTSUOod . The form is also located on Ensign College’s coronavirus webpage .
The Salt Lake County Health Department will continue to perform contact tracing for confirmed cases within the county.
Ensign College Update – 4/23/20
April 23, 2020.
Installation of Plexiglass in Student-Facing Areas
As Ensign College continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to increase the safety and security of both students and employees, plexiglass shields have been installed at the windows for Financial Aid, Scholarships, Student Accounts, Cashier, Registration and Admissions. The continued well-being of those who come to campus remains a primary concern for leadership and the Ensign College COVID-19 Task Force.
Ensign College Update – 4/21/20
April 21, 2020.
As we begin the Spring 2020 Semester virtually, please plan to join us for an 11:15 a.m. devotional each Tuesday morning. We begin the semester today with a devotional message from President and Sister Kusch.
While we will be unable to meet in-person in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square, a devotional will be broadcast through the Church’s website. All devotionals for the semester will be accessed at the following link (the link will be updated each week): https://ensign.link/devotional
Here’s a complete list of devotional speakers for the semester:
President & Sister Kusch
President Clark G. Gilbert - President, BYU-Pathway Worldwide
Vanessa Quigley - Chatbooks Co-Founder
Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. - General Authority Seventy
Camila Guth Schick, Tsirison Rakotoniaina & Jared Tobler - Three Student Speakers
Burke Olsen - Head Digital Officer at Deseret News
Ahmad S. Corbitt - Young Men General Presidency
Michael Lindhardt - Institute of Religion Instructor
Maren Lythgoe - Director, Enrollment Management
Kevin Brower - BYU-Idaho Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies
Erin Gunnell - Manager, Student Development
Chris Reitz - Director, Finance & Controller
Steve Sandberg - Ensign College Legal Counsel
Speakers have taken a significant amount of time and preparation to ensure that the messages they deliver will be applicable to the Ensign College community. We encourage you to take notes as thoughts and impressions enter your mind while viewing devotional each week. We look forward to growing with you spiritually this semester!
Ensign College Update – 4/16/20
April 16, 2020.
Limited Masks Available for On-Campus Employees
In an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at Ensign College, student-facing employees working on campus are being offered a limited number of face masks to use in their interactions with students. The masks are reserved for employees (including student employees) who would feel more secure wearing them.
Ensign College Update – 4/15/20
April 15, 2020.
Coping with Worry and Anxiety
Congratulations to students and faculty for the successful completion of Winter Semester while managing so many big changes! Thank you for the significant efforts each of you has made.
With Spring Semester being taught using the same instructional-distancing methods used over the past several weeks, students and faculty are now veterans to the classroom changes that will remain in place through the semester. We’re excited to continue this journey with you as we navigate these unique circumstances.
We know this is a stressful time, with so many uncertainties surrounding us. To this end, we want to share some information on living with worry and anxiety amidst global uncertainty: https://www.psychologytools.com/assets/covid-19/guide_to_living_with_worry_and_anxiety_amidst_global_uncertainty_en-us.pdf
We hope that you can enjoy the short break and take time to relax before the start of Spring Semester on April 20!
Ensign College Update – 4/14/20
April 14, 2020.
With the Spring 2020 semester approaching, adjustments have been made to ensure newly enrolled students are as familiar with the College as current students. Despite unusual circumstances, multiple phone calls and emails have been made to newcomers by advisors and peer mentors to assist them as they begin school.
Using instructional-distancing methods, new students are able to take a virtual tour of campus instead of touring in-person. All essential student services are available online, meaning they are able to pay tuition, apply for financial aid and scholarships, as well as meet their academic advisor without the need to visit campus. Students can also order textbooks online and view tutorial videos in Canvas to assist with questions that may arise.
Through the use of the College’s free Zoom licenses, new students are able to easily integrate with their student peers and program chairs. Additionally, orientation swag has been sent to help newcomers feel welcome and united with the College. Later this week, new students will receive a welcome video with a message of encouragement from President and Sister Kusch.
Ensign College Update – 4/10/20
April 10, 2020.
Ensign College held its 133rd Commencement exercises virtually for the first time due to current restrictions on group gatherings. A list of the graduates, as well as video, audio and a transcript of the day's events can be found in the News section of the website.
Ensign College Update – 4/8/20
April 8, 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ensign College will not gather in person for its 133rd Commencement exercises. However, a broadcast of the event will be provided on the Church’s website on Friday, April 10, beginning at 10 a.m. View the broadcast here: https://ensign.link/commencement
Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, will be our guest speaker. President Kusch will conduct the meeting and offer remarks along with Eliza Petersen, a graduate in Paralegal Studies. Timothy Sloan, Vice President of Academics, will present the graduates before President Kusch confers the degrees.
Ensign College Update – 4/7/20
April 7, 2020.
Please take a moment to listen to a brief message of encouragement today from President Kusch (https://youtu.be/e0998i8uVKU ).
We hope that you continue to stay safe and vigilant as we work together through these unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ensign College Update – 4/2/20
April 2, 2020.
Interior Design Virtual Portfolio Exhibit
We are excited to announce that we are converting our annual Interior Design Portfolio Event to a virtual experience.
Starting on Friday, April 3, you may review the student portfolios. This is a great #stayhome activity! We have 55 student portfolios to review. Even if you can't get to all of them, go through a few!
Then, by Monday, April 6 at midnight, vote for your top-five favorite portfolios for the new “People’s Choice” award category (you may only vote once).
On April 8 at 6 p.m., we will be streaming the announcements of the awards for all friends, family and anyone else who wants to join. Please join us in recognizing these amazing students!
Ensign College Update – 3/31/20
March 31, 2020.
Career Services Now Online
Our Career Services are now available online. We hope you are finding success with the new adjustments that Ensign College has been making due to the COVID-19 outbreak. To help assist you during this exciting period where most services are being offered online, Career Services has made some changes to better assist you in your career success plan.
The coaching services available online include:
- Resume/Cover Letter
- Internship Search
- Job Search
- Gallup Strengths Assessment
- Interview Practice
- Software Support
- Life and Career Design
- VMock Assistance
Please sign up now to our Ensign Connect platform and enjoy all the services available for you online. For questions please contact Career Services at (801) 524-1925. We find joy in your success.
Ensign College Update – 3/30/20
March 30, 2020.
President Kusch’s Message to Returned Missionaries
Please take a moment to view President Kusch’s message to recently returned missionaries (https://youtu.be/srWU3ozznYc ) and then share it with a returned missionary that you know. We hope that as many recently returned missionaries as possible will be able to benefit from Ensign College’s Returned Missionary Scholarship.
Also, if you weren’t able to last week, please take a few minutes to watch President Kusch’s message to students, staff and faculty (https://youtu.be/XycxKI3GGPw ).
Instructional Distancing Efforts
As we have all been affected by recent changes within the College, students, staff and faculty alike have contributed in continuing to make student learning our number one priority. Thank you for quickly embracing these continual changes as we work together through these challenging times.
Hear some additional messages of affirmation from students who have embraced learning through instructional distancing efforts:
“I get to still learn everything from class while being safe and comfortable in my own home. Also, I love how we can still invite the Spirit while we are learning over video chat!”
“I like that we can still see everyone's faces and feel like we are interacting with each other. Not having to travel has been a plus and not losing time away from my kids during all of this.”
“I’ve been able to take care of myself better, not having to travel into school but also being able to just focus on the class I’m in. While I do miss being with the class, I have had opportunities to actually get to know people better. And I can see their names with their faces too!”
Ensign College Update – 3/26/20
March 26, 2020.
Ensign College students – we’re still here for you! The Student Success Center will continue to offer academic advising, tutoring, disability services, counseling services and testing services while you’re accessing your courses remotely. The Student Success Center is open for phone calls and emails Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., with doors open for walk-in visitors from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Our Advisors and our Manager of Counseling and Disability Services are available for appointments via Zoom meetings, phone and email. Contact our front desk at (801) 524-8151 to schedule your appointments. If you’d like to meet on campus, that option is still available on a limited basis.
Looking for tutoring? It’s now online! Contact your subject’s tutor directly via email to request an appointment via Zoom. On-campus tutoring is also available on a limited basis during face to face hours; however, group sizes will be restricted to less than 10 for your health and safety. Please note that online tutoring is preferred.
We hope you are adjusting well to this new learning environment. Here are some tips for success .
If you have questions, please contact our office. We’re here to support and serve you!
Ensign College Update – 3/25/20
March 25, 2020.
East Doors Locked
With continued concern for the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to follow state and federal guidelines by limiting gatherings, the East doors to campus will remain locked throughout the day. The West doors, however, will continue to remain unlocked for students, staff and faculty. Please help reduce foot traffic on campus whenever possible.
The building remains open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, for students and employees to work, study and gain access to Wi-Fi and other resources. Essential student services on campus will provide limited face-to-face hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each weekday.
As a reminder, Ensign College will not hold its traditional Commencement exercises at the Tabernacle on Temple Square in 2020. Instead, a modified program will be broadcast from the Church’s website on April 10, beginning at 10 a.m. The specific link will be made available at a later date.
Additionally, diplomas, programs, tassels and a small gift will be mailed to each graduate. Those 2020 graduates who still wish to participate in Commencement exercises will be eligible to walk in 2021.
Ensign College Update – 3/24/20
March 24, 2020.
Now in its second week, Ensign College students and faculty continue instructional distancing to conclude Winter 2020 semester and begin Spring 2020 semester. Faculty and staff alike have worked tirelessly since the onset of worldwide COVID-19 concerns to make this a seamless transition for students.
Courses throughout the College have continued uninterrupted due to technology-enabled instructional distancing. Through the use of our free Zoom licenses, students and instructors are still able to learn and collaborate together to complete courses wherever they reside.
While this has certainly been an unexpected change in learning methods, Ensign College continues to collaborate with institutions of higher learning around the country, coupled with guidance from leadership within the Church Educational System, to ensure students receive the best education possible.
The following is a brief testimony from Ensign College student Maria Alvarez Galindo on how instructional distancing has helped her grow and excel in class:
“I am a very introverted person and I have always been. When I chose Leadership as the skill I wanted to develop, I was really challenging myself. I knew I was capable of being a leader, but what really was a struggle for me was the social part. It’s really hard for me to stand in front of people and talk to all and having everyone’s attention on me.
“When teaching the College-Wide Capability interaction on creative thinking with my team in Zoom, it was a blessing for me. I knew I was talking to everyone in my class, and it helped me get over that fear and be myself. Right now, the virtual classroom experiences are helping me get out of my comfort zone.
“Hopefully, when we get back to a physical classroom, I will be able to get over that social fear and truly be the leader I think I'm meant to be! Part of being a great leader is adjusting to unknown things, and that's exactly what I'm learning to do. I CAN do this.”
Ensign College Update – 3/23/20
March 23, 2020.
As a reminder, devotionals will be streamed online on the Church’s website each Tuesday of the semester at 11:15 a.m. Tomorrow’s speaker is Michael Dunn, Managing Director of BYUtv and BYUradio.
Limited Student Service Hours Additions
Additionally, essential student services with limited hours now include the following (with additions in italics):
- Testing Center
- Financial Aid
- Registrar and Enrollment
- Academic Advising
- Tutoring Center
- The Summit Grill
- International Student Office
- Counseling Center
- Disability Services
- Cashier’s Office
Ensign College Spring 2020 Semester Adjustments
With continued worldwide concern for those affected by COVID-19, Ensign College has announced the following adjustments to courses during the Spring 2020 semester:
- All courses will be conducted utilizing technology-enabled instructional distancing.
- Technology will be utilized to connect students and faculty remotely.
- Students will be able to complete courses wherever they reside.
- It is anticipated that campus will continue to be open with limited hours for essential student services.
- All services can be accessed via phone, email and other remote connection methods during regular business hours.
These changes may require some adjustments to currently planned courses. Lab courses that cannot be adapted for remote delivery will be canceled. Students may find it necessary to adjust their schedules as a result of these changes and can do so by working with an academic advisor. Information regarding course cancellations will be available to students before the end of Winter 2020 semester.
For more information on Spring 2020 semester changes, refer to the Spring 2020 semester adjustments Q&A and visit our website at ensign.edu .
Spring 2020 Semester Adjustments Q&A
In response to the recent announcement that Spring 2020 semester courses will be held through technology-enabled instructional practices, the following information will assist Ensign College students in making decisions and determining their next steps.
1. Will there be a Spring semester or will Ensign College be closed?
- Yes, we will have a Spring semester. However, Spring 2020 semester courses will only be offered through technology-enabled instructional practices. Students will be able to complete courses wherever they reside. We encourage all students, no matter where they live, to continue to register for classes so they can progress toward their degree. Campus will remain open with limited hours for essential student services.
2. What is instructional distancing?
- Instructional distancing refers to the method by which classes will be delivered to students in the Spring 2020 semester away from the physical campus. The original days and times of scheduled classes will not change. Instead of gathering in a physical building and room, you will gather through technology and still be able to interact with your teachers and other students in real time. You will be instructed in how to connect with your instructors and fellow students through Zoom. Please ensure you are signed up for a free Zoom license by heading to ensign-edu.zoom.us
3. Will any of my classes be canceled entirely?
- We anticipate that classes will be offered as scheduled with the possible exception of some lab courses. If adjustments to the Spring Semester schedule become necessary, information will be made available to students before the end of Winter 2020 semester.
4. What if I’m planning to graduate soon and a required course is canceled?
- Ensign College academic leadership will work to identify alternate paths to graduation if a specific course cannot be offered in the Spring 2020 semester. They will look at all possibilities to continue moving students toward graduation with minimal delay.
5. Can I withdraw from all Spring 2020 semester courses and return at a future date?
- Yes. Ensign College fully supports each student in making personal decisions that align with their individual needs and specific circumstances.
6. I am a new student and Spring 2020 was supposed to be my first semester at Ensign College; can I defer my start to Fall 2020 instead?
- Yes. If you wish to postpone your enrollment to Fall 2020 semester, please email firstname.lastname@example.org . The Admissions Office will follow up with you to discuss your options.
7. Will my scholarship and/or financial aid be impacted if my schedule changes?
- Awarded aid is determined by the number and type of registered credits. Contact email@example.com with specific questions.
8. I am an international student; how will my student visa be impacted if I do not register for enough credits or if all of my credits are taken with online technology?
- Continuing international students have been granted permission to take all credits using remote technology without affecting their visa status. For additional information, please contact the Ensign College International Student Office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- All newly admitted international students for the Spring 2020 semester have been deferred to the Fall 2020 semester.
- International students will receive a separate communication with detailed information about enrollment requirements for Spring 2020 semester.
Ensign College Update – 3/20/20
March 20, 2020.
Limited hours for essential services
In an effort to be good citizens and support Church and government directives to limit gatherings and minimize exposure to the COVID-19 virus, Ensign College will implement reduced hours of service effective Monday, March 23, as follows:
The Ensign College campus will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, for students and employees to work, study and gain access to Wi-Fi and other resources. However, beginning Monday, March 23, essential on-campus, face-to-face services will be limited to hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the remainder of business hours these services can be accessed through email, phone and other forms of remote communication.
Essential services include:
- Testing Center
- Financial Aid
- Registrar and Enrollment
- Academic Advising
- Tutoring Center
- Summit Café
All other services are available remotely during regular business hours. College employees are working remotely and are ready to assist and serve students. A telephone directory of campus offices and services can be found here: https://www.ensign.edu/directory
Questions can also be directed to the correct department by calling the main Ensign College number at: 801-524-8100.
Additionally, if you are experiencing symptoms do not come to campus, especially to socialize. Please be sensitive to others and recognize that those who are fulfilling their responsibilities in the building are doing so at risk to themselves and their families.
Ensign College Update – 3/19/20
March 19, 2020.
Due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 situation and the many changes taking place in and around the College, we will consistently provide an update with current Ensign College-related information to help keep you informed and safe. These updates will be emailed as well as posted on our COVID-19 website and our social media.
The Ensign College campus is open today (19 March 2020) following yesterday’s power outage resulting from earthquakes. The building has been checked by Facilities and has been deemed safe to re-enter.
However, to the extent possible, we would recommend and encourage all students to conduct College business through phone calls, email and other online tools rather than congregate at the building.
Additionally, remote classes have resumed following yesterday’s cancellation.
Ensign College Campus Closed and Classes Canceled (18 March 2020)
March 18, 2020.
The Ensign College campus is closed today (18 March 2020) due to a power outage caused by the earthquake this morning. It is anticipated that power will be restored by tomorrow, and that campus operations will resume at that time.
Additionally, all classes are canceled for the day.
Updated on March 17.
Public events on campus
The majority of gatherings for public events have been canceled until further notice. These include:
- March 19: Graduation Fair
- March 20: Latin Dance
- March 26: Cultural Variety Show
- April 8: Interior Design Portfolio Exhibit
- April 9: Graduate Celebration
- April 9: Graduation Dance
- April 17: New Student Orientation
Commencement and Graduate Celebration
Gathering for these events is canceled. A limited graduation ceremony will be broadcast. Details about the broadcast will be provided at a later date. Diplomas, programs, tassels and a small gift will be mailed to each graduate.
Gathering for Devotionals for winter semester at the Assembly Hall on Temple Square is canceled. A broadcast will be available on the Church's website each Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. Further information about each broadcast will be forthcoming.
FACULTY RESOURCES AND QUESTIONS
Updated on March 17.
Teach Anywhere: Transitioning to remote coursework
Information on remote collaboration and learning resources can be found on the Intranet . The College has also licensed Zoom, a leading video and audio conferencing platform, to facilitate remote teaching and learning. Specific training for this tool is available at https://employees.ensign.edu/zoom .
What precautions should I take to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19?
The College is actively monitoring this rapidly-changing situation and is taking precautionary measures in an effort to help reduce the risks of infection and prepare for potential impacts on campus. You can also find up-to-date information at the coronavirus websites of the Utah Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What should I do if I show symptoms of illness?
Stay home. If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, call to make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider or urgent care clinic to be seen. Follow the directions of the local health authority . You should notify your department and remain at home until your doctor indicates that it is appropriate for you to return to work. For any scheduled classes, take steps to find an appropriate substitute instructor.
What do I do if a student thinks that they have been exposed to COVID-19?
Encourage the student to contact the Utah Department of Health at 1-800-456-7707. Faculty are cautioned not to diagnose or provide medical advice to students.
What if I have a condition that makes me more vulnerable to illness?
Seek medical advice from your healthcare provider. If you have questions about accommodations, work with your direct supervisor and unit vice president on any accommodations that may be necessary.
How would the College’s response to COVID-19 impact compliance with higher education laws and accreditation standards?
The Department of Education (ED) has issued guidance authorizing institutions of higher education to take appropriate steps to accommodate students whose activities are impacted by COVID-19 and to allow distance education programs in place of regular classroom instruction. More detailed information can be found in the Guidance for Interruptions of Study Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) issued by ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
Updated on March 17.
How do I protect myself?
You should take primary responsibility for protecting yourself and others against the novel coronavirus by doing the following:
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
- Maintain a 14-day supply of food and necessities, if possible, so that you have food on hand in case you become sick. The water supply is not expected to be disrupted.
- Avoid direct contact with those who are sick.
What should I do if I think I'm sick?
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, call to make an appointment with your primary health provider or urgent care clinic to be seen. Follow the directions of your local health authority . Remain at home until your doctor indicates that it is appropriate for you to go out.
Where can I get updated information on COVID-19?
We encourage any resident of Salt Lake County to visit coronavirus.utah.gov for more information, or to call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707 if they are worried they might have COVID-19.
The Salt Lake County Health Department's website has additional information that will help students, staff, faculty and visitors in the wake of COVID-19.
for specific information from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on what colleges and universities can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.