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Higher Education Center at McAllen


COVID-19 Guidance

Updated: September 28 12:00 p.m. CDT


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The Latest:

General Guidance

Published on Mon 08/10/20

Howdy Aggies,
 
In response to regional coronavirus conditions and to protect the health of our students, faculty, and staff, and with the approval of President Young, all courses offered at the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen will be delivered remotely for the first four weeks of the Fall 2020 term starting on August 19, 2020 and returning for face-to-face or other previously arranged delivery instruction September 17th, 2020. This four-week period of remote instruction applies only to courses offered at the HECM and does not impact courses taught at any other Texas A&M University locations. For those students who need internet access or transportation, please let us know by sending an email to hecm@tamu.edu.
Stay safe. Stay healthy and BTHO COVID.
 
At a Glance

  • Courses begin on Wednesday, August 19th  with remote delivery until September 17th.
  • Face to Face or previously arranged instruction after September 17th.
  • The last day of instruction is Tuesday, November 24th.
  • Reading days are Wednesday, November 25th and Monday, November 30th. No classes, exams, or other university-related graded activity may be scheduled for these days. Instructors may hold virtual office hours and review sessions. 
  • Final exams for most programs are scheduled from Tuesday, December 1st through Wednesday, December 9th, and all final exams will be administered online.
  • Additional details are provided on the official university calendar website.    

Adolfo Santos, Ph.D. | Assistant Provost
Texas A&M University Higher Education Center
6200 Tres Lagos Blvd
McAllen, Texas 78504
adolfo.santos45@tamu.edu
 

Modified Building Access

  • Hours of Operation – Access with Aggie Card ONLY:
    • Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 10 PM
    • Saturday – Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM
  • Building access will be limited to the Northwest, South, and Southwest doors via keyless access with Aggie ID Cards until further notice. 
    • Northwest Entrance – Entrance by student parking lot
    • South Entrance – Entrance by Security Office
    • Southwest Entrance – entrance by main staircase

All students and employees must comply with applicable local government orders.

If your Aggie Card is lost or stolen, or if you are a College Station student and need
access to this facility, email mmiguel@tamu.edu with your name, UIN, & phone number.

A Note from Academic Advising:

We want to assure you during this critical time that we continue to support your educational endeavors at Texas A&M. As you transition to online learning, we wanted to provide information to help you navigate this new learning environment. More than anything, we want you to know that we care for you and support you during this time.  If there are issues that are not addressed or you need more information, please reach out to us so that we can assist you.

** Questions about academics or classes? **
Know that you may email or call advisors, faculty, and other offices around campus.

Click here to schedule a meeting through NAVIGATE. 

All tutoring hours will be held online via Zoom. Click here to see the full schedule. 

Keep Learning at TAMU is an online resource dedicated to helping you transition your learning online. For more information and resources, please visit https://keeplearning.tamu.edu/

If you need assistance with course accommodations, please contact Disability Resources
Deer Oaks is available 24/7 by phone at 866-329-4148 or online (Login/PW: TAMUSAP)

We want to make sure you have everything you need during this difficult time. Food should not be a factor anyone has to worry about during stressful times, and as such, we are extending access to the 12th Can Food Pantry on campus to students and employees as they need it. We have implemented a food pick-up system that will allow us to practice social distancing while meeting the needs of our community. 

Students and employees can fill out a request online at: https://tx.ag/12thCanMcAllen 

Dear Students,

As we prepare for the fall semester, we are taking a number of steps to keep everyone as safe as possible. Below are some of the steps we have taken or are taking. Please note that many of these changes are subject to change at the recommendation of Texas A&M University, local, state and national officials.
 
If you test positive for the Coronavirus, it is important that you report it by going to the following link COVID-19 Report Form. For more information, I would also direct you to the message from the Office of the Provost dated July 25th delivered at 10:27 am (https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/messages/july-20-covid-19-reporting-process.html).  
 

  1. In an effort to maintain social distancing and give students the option to learn from home, we have installed cameras in all of the classrooms. We are currently purchasing mobile cameras for the labs.  You will be able to attend class either in the classroom (face-to-face) or virtually. Your professors will work with you to coordinate a rotation schedule, determining who attends face-to-face instruction one day, while giving other students the same opportunity for the next class period. Many of our classes have low enough enrollments that rotating students will not be necessary to maintain social distancing. Some of you may prefer to attend class virtually. Please communicate that with your professors.  
    1. The labs are a bit trickier and we are working on some alternatives for you.
  2. In an effort to keep you safe and informed, we are administering COVID-19 tests. I have created a weekly schedule and will revise it as the need presents.
    1. For COVID 19 testing, you will need to setup an appointment by first going tohttps://texasam.curativeinc.com/welcome/screen/success
    2. After you address the screening questions, you will be sent an email. Click on the link provided and make your appointment.
    3. No Food, Drink or mouthwash: You should not eat, drink or use mouthwash 20 minutes prior to being tested.
    4. Test Type: This is an oral test (NOT a NASAL test). For testing instructions, please watch videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNopEE7lC6E&t=7s.
  3. While everyone who enters the Texas A&M University Higher Education Center at McAllen will be required to wear a face covering, we will provide the added option of a face shield for all of our faculty, staff and students who want one. These reusable clear plastic face shields will be an added level of security we are providing. These face shields have been ordered.
  4. In an effort to further minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have installed plexiglass shields in key spots across the HECM. We plan to install shields for classroom podiums.
  5. Faculty, staff and students have the option of having their temperatures checked as they enter the building.
  6. To further protect you, class schedules have been adjusted so as to allow 30 minutes between classes. This will allow you to maintain social distancing as you walk to and from classes. At mid-day, the break between classes has been extended for 45 minutes, so that this time can be used to disinfect the classrooms. The building is being disinfected daily with EPA approved disinfectants. All offices and classrooms are also being outfitted with sanitizing wipes. The Office of the Provost offered more details at https://www.tamu.edu/coronavirus/messages/july-20-tamu-guidelines-related-to-the-monitoring-of-covid-19-reporting-and-cleaning-and-disinfecting-facilities.html.
  7. We have installed internet connectivity to extend to the student parking lot. You, could therefore connect to the internet from your vehicles if you prefer not to enter the building.
  8. To minimize contact, all academic advising is being offered virtually via ZOOM. Students needing advising will setup appointment via Navigate.
  9. For your protection, some faculty may hold office hours via ZOOM.  
  10. Efforts to keep students safe while also keeping you engaged are underway. PALM camp and Howdy Week activities for new students will be conducted virtually.
  11. We continue to encourage you to wash your hands frequently. We have also installed sanitizing pumps throughout the building. We will also be providing disinfectant wipes in all the classrooms and offices.  

While we realize that these are unique times, we know that working together, wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, and maintaining social distancing; we can help curtail the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to the start of the fall semester. We also look forward to providing you the very best educational experience. Do keep in mind that many of our current plans are subject to change, depending on local, state or TAMU recommendations and requirements.
 
Good luck and BTHO COVID.
 
 
Adolfo Santos, Ph.D. | Assistant Provost
Texas A&M University Higher Education Center
6200 Tres Lagos Blvd
McAllen, Texas 78504
adolfo.santos45@tamu.edu
 

Published on Mon 07/29/20
Dear College Station Campus Faculty and Staff:

It’s the time of year when we see students begin to return to campus. Some of our professional programs begin classes as early as next week while most graduate and undergraduate courses will begin in 23 short days. We are pilot testing equipment and completing documentation to make this as smooth as possible for those of you teaching face-to-face classes. Watch for more on this next week. Also, if you have a class with a common exam scheduled in the evening, please note the times of those exams have been rescheduled to later in the evening due to significant time conflicts for students from the previous schedule changes. For the latest in online learning resources, please visit our keepteaching page.


COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is now available Monday through Friday for Bryan/College Station Texas A&M University students, faculty, and staff.

  • Priority for testing is given to those with symptoms associated with COVID-19 infections and those who have been in close contact with known or suspected cases. Close contact is defined as closer than 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer.
  • Appointment windows open 1-2 days prior to their availability. 
  • Tests are administered in requestor’s vehicle parked in the faculty/staff parking lot. Test requestor will call 956-540-8546 upon arrival.  
  • To schedule an appointment, click here.

 

  • Lab results will be available within 2-3 days from the time the test is taken. Negative test results will be provided directly to the individual via email. Positive test results will be reported to state and county health offices and the Texas A&M Investigation and Operations Center will contact you directly to provide additional guidance.


Reporting

Last week, the university released guidance for reporting COVID-19 symptoms, exposure, or a positive test. Please review the information here and report to the university’s portal. Email COVID19Process@tamu.edu with your questions.


Contact Tracing

The Texas A&M Investigation and Operations Center will be handling contact tracing for the main campus as well as offering services for all off-campus locations and the regional System campuses. Contact tracing is very important for the safety of our campus communities. Your assistance will be incredibly valuable in helping our campuses continue to offer face to face courses. If contacted by one of the professionals at the center, please assist them and help make our communities a safer place for all.


Outdoor Study Space

To maximize study space, we are acquiring a tent and outdoor seating to provide additional seating outdoors for students. WiFi will be available. Additional furniture will be placed in existing covered areas.


Air Circulation

Air circulation for each building was evaluated individually. Facilities Services has increased the amount of fresh air being pushed through the ventilation systems in most university-managed classroom spaces, while other buildings may have enhanced filtration or other engineering controls. Ventilation will begin 2 hours before and continue 2 hours after classes.

As you can see, it’s been a busy summer preparing for a very different experience this fall. Updates on the latest information are available on the central COVID-19 page. We are working diligently and investing well to support your needs and meet our goals of the best education as safely as possible to our returning students.
Best wishes as you wind down your summer activities in the coming weeks. 
 
Adolfo Santos, Ph.D. | Assistant Provost
Texas A&M University Higher Education Center
6200 Tres Lagos Blvd
McAllen, Texas 78504
adolfo.santos45@tamu.edu