COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t feel well, should I attend my in-person class or come to campus?


All KCAD students and employees are required to complete the online COVID-19 Symptom Checker each day before coming to campus*. A reminder email will be sent to all student and employee email addresses each morning. If you fail to complete the symptom checker daily, you will receive another email reminder. Those that fail to complete the symptom checker on a regular basis may be contacted by the Birkam Health Center.

*Employees (including student employees) must complete the Symptom Checker every day when working, even when working remotely.

NOTE: This self-checker is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms or emergencies. The self-checker and recommendations are based on best clinical practices, current CDC guidelines and illness severity.

If you feel you need to be tested for COVID-19, visit the Kent County Health Department's online directory of testing site locations to find the testing site nearest to you.

If you are sick, have symptoms or have been potentially exposed to the COVID-19 virus, stay home and report your concerns to your health provider or Kent County Health Department at 616-632-7100.

What is going to happen if a student and/or faculty member test positive for COVID-19? Will the entire class have to self-isolate?

If you test positive for COVID-19, it is critical that you file an online report via MyFSU so KCAD can take measures to protect the campus community. Your information will not be shared with the general public, but KCAD is required to report the number of positive cases.

If a student, staff or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19, we have a protocol in place for advising isolation for the infected individual and will begin a contact tracing investigation to determine who may be affected by the individual’s status.

If/when someone is determined to be a contact (any individual within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes of the infected individual), that person will be notified, advised of assessment of infection, and instructed to quarantine for a period of time not to exceed 14 days. The number of people involved in this will depend on the outcomes of the investigation as well as the adherence to the recommended mitigation strategies. This means that social distancing, wearing your face covering and washing your hands often will decrease the chance of you being contacted to quarantine.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. This includes individuals identified as high-risk for contracting COVID-19, but not experiencing symptoms.

Time-frame: 14 days from time of contact with possible virus to sequester away from others to avoid possible transmission if become ill/asymptomatic.

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. This includes individuals who are ill/tested positive/presumed positive for COVID-19.

Time frame: 10 days since symptoms first appeared and improving, with at least three days with no fever (non-medicated).

I am currently in quarantine but want to continue with my classes. What options are available to me?

A student should contact each of their instructors to ask for online accommodations. If the instructor is unable to make this accommodation, the student should contact the Dean of Academic Affairs at [email protected].

I am concerned about my health and safety in terms of coming back to campus and participating in face-to-face or HyFlex course delivery. Who do I contact to ask for online accommodations if my classes are not already scheduled to be online?

A student should contact each of their instructors to ask for online accommodations. If the instructor is unable to make this accommodation, the student should contact the Dean of Academic Affairs at [email protected].

If I need to request other accommodations or I am in need of assistive technology (auxiliary aids), who do I contact?

A student should contact the Director of Counseling and Disability Services, Marie Yowtz, at [email protected] or by calling 616.299.3046.

Will exceptions be made to standard policies concerning grading, course withdrawal, and early academic dismissal?

Students are adapting to new ways of learning and may feel uncertain or even nervous about the impact on their final grades. As such, KCAD and Ferris State University have implemented a series of temporary academic accommodations to help ensure the academic success and degree completion of all students.

Students are encouraged to review this information carefully, and if you are considering any of the accommodations listed, you are encouraged to connect with your advisor as a first step.

Are there resources available to faculty and staff to help facilitate online delivery of select courses?

Ferris State University is developing resources to keep the learning experience as consistent as possible, while also keeping students and faculty safe. Faculty and staff are encouraged to visit the Resources for Academic Continuity page for a wide range of tools, guides and information to make the transition to online learning as smooth as possible.

Stuck? Contact the Ferris eLearning team at 231.591.2802 or [email protected]. The eLearning email will be monitored Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

What is the best way for students to connect with online or HyFlex remote learning while on campus?

Students are welcome to come to or stay on campus to participate in their online or HyFlex remote learning when the KCAD campus buildings are open (see building hours). There are many common spaces in both buildings that are set as socially distant workspaces for students.

It is recommended that when you are attending an online or remote learning activity in a public space that you wear headphones or ear buds with a microphone and mute your microphone when you are not actively speaking. Student who are working in public spaces, and sharing video, may also choose to use a virtual background if they are connecting through a virtual conferencing system like Zoom or Teams.

How do I access Canvas for an online class?

  1. Go to Canvas through MyFSU
  2. in the menu on the left-hand side, click on "Classes"
  3. In the pop-out menu, scroll all the way down to "All Classes"
  4. Here, you will see a list of classes in which you are enrolled.
  5. Fill in the star in front of the course you cannot see
  6. The course will now appear in your dashboard.

Are students, employees, and approved visitors required to wear a face covering on campus?

Yes. To align with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state regulations, all students, faculty, staff and visitors will be required to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth inside all University buildings and in any situation where social distancing is difficult.

KCAD will provide one branded, washable face covering to all faculty, staff and students prior to the start of the school year. You may also wear a homemade covering or purchased face covering of your choice as long as they meet the following CDC guidelines*:

  • Fit snuggly against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction

*Recent studies have indicated that gaiters are not an effective face covering. Given this and that they do not meet the above criteria, gaiters are not an acceptable face covering.

Fabric face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and they must be properly laundered with soap/detergent before subsequent use. 

Face coverings are NOT required when:

  • Actively eating or drinking while seated at a designated eating/drinking area
  • Working alone in your private office with the door closed when you reasonably expect no other individual to enter

Exemptions from Face Coverings
A student seeking an exception to this policy should contact Marie Yowtz, Director of Counseling and Disability Services, at [email protected] or by calling 616.299.3046.

Employees needing an exception or accommodation should visit the Coronavirus Information section on the Ferris HR website for forms and information.

Students and employees with an approved accommodation may be accommodated with online courses, remote work, and/or a face shield. Given this, all individuals at the University should be wearing a face covering/shield as required above.

KCAD is asking everyone to accept the responsibility of protecting themselves and others. Students and employees who put others at risk by violating these expectations will be subject to action that may lead to removal from campus.

Will there be designated areas where I can eat/drink without having to wear a face covering?

Yes. All designated spaces will be identified with signs. 
These areas are located on the student commons and atrium area as well as the balcony on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the 17 Fountain St. building as well as the Decorative Arts Corridor and lobby located on the first floor of the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building. Eating is not permitted in a classroom or laboratory.

Are KCAD alumni or members of the general public allowed on campus?

Ferris State University and KCAD take great pride in welcoming our alumni, friends, community members and many others to our campuses to experience our art galleries, library, Dow Center FlexLab, and cultural programming. However, the majority of our facilities and programming will be unavailable to the public during the 2020-2021 academic year. The University is taking this proactive measure to protect everyone’s health and safety.

We deeply value the continuing interest and support of our alumni, friends and many others from our local community and the public at-large. It is our sincere hope we can welcome everyone back onto our campus soon. Until then, we invite you to follow the announcements posted on our website and social media, engage with us virtually and continue to support our students as they move forward with their education.

Family members, including children, will NOT be permitted on campus until further notice.

Will instruction be moved to online delivery after the Thanksgiving recess?

As a result of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' recently issued Epidemic Order—effective as of Wednesday, November 18, 2020—to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, KCAD will close its campus at 10 pm on Tuesday, November 17, 2020. At this time, we do not plan to reopen our campus until January 4, 2021 for the Spring 2021 semester, at which point KCAD will continue to operate under the college-wide health and safety guidelines that were established prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year.

This is a part of the University’s efforts to keep our community healthy and safe, to minimize community spread as we enter cold and flu season, and to help us move forward safely for the spring semester.

What should I do if I need to take an elevator?

If you are physically able, we encourage you to take the stairs, which will be directional (designated as up or down) to allow for socially distant movement. Elevator capacities will be reduced to two people at a time. If you need to use the elevator you may want to allow for additional time to get to and from your destination.

How will classrooms be adjusted to accommodate for social distancing?

KCAD has redesigned the layout of our campus spaces and classrooms to follow social distancing requirements. Seats will be 7 feet apart, and there will be a 7-foot divide between the instructor and students. See the Facilities Access Information page for more details.

I have experienced or witnessed derogatory actions toward someone related to this outbreak. What should I do?

The University opposes any actions that harass, discriminate, or otherwise create a hostile environment for students, faculty, and staff. Any member of the University community can make a report about an alleged bias related incident or hate crime. If you are a student that needs to report this type of behavior, please contact the FSU Office of Student Conduct at 231.591.3619 or by email at [email protected].

Or, if you are an employee and you believe that you have been the victim of a bias-incident, including discrimination, please report the incident to Human Resources at 231.591.2150 or the Office of Equal Opportunity at 231.591.2152.

How will labs, shops and studios be kept clean and sanitized?

Microbe Care will be applied to all vertical and horizontal surfaces. This is a long lasting, multi-year virus killing disinfectant. Occupants of these spaces will be involved in “Clean In, Clean Out” disinfectant process. Supplies will be located in each space. Custodial team will thoroughly disinfect spaces when unoccupied during the lunch hour and after the last class.

Will student employment and federal work-study opportunities be available?

Yes, we are planning for student employment and work-study opportunities for the fall and spring semesters; however, these opportunities may be limited given the impacts of COVID-19.

What will student life be like?

The Student Engagement Office is actively working on developing programming for the fall and spring semesters. Many traditional events are being planned for virtual delivery, including some Welcome Week activities such as the Annual Opportunity Fair. We are encouraging all RSO (Registered Student Organizations) to plan their monthly meetings and events in a virtual format if possible. We are also looking for ways to be able to host in-person small group events/gatherings, keeping social distancing practices in mind. Please stay tuned and check your Ferris email and KCAD social media outlets regularly.

Are there additional resources available to help students who are struggling as a result of COVID-19?

Yes. As we work together to navigate the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we want to be sure our efforts are focused on understanding and addressing your needs as well as ensuring our campus remains a safe and healthy learning environment.

Ferris State University has received funding to assist students through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act has provided universities nationally with Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds for use in helping students manage financial hardships associated with COVID-19. KCAD students are eligible to apply! Grant awards of up to $400 will be given to students with a demonstrated financial need. Students can request funding through a web-based application process.

Please know that you can access additional resources online, and if you need assistance, have questions, or would like to share your concerns, or comments, please contact us via our Ask KCAD feedback portal.

The list of resources at the link above is not exhaustive and inclusion does not infer an endorsement. This is simply information for students who need to explore their options. If you have questions, or if you need help finding services, please contact Nicole DeKraker, Director of Student Engagement, at [email protected].

I am feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and worried. Are there resources available to help me manage my personal mental wellness?

It is not uncommon for college students to experience problems including stress, depression, grief, relationship problems, family problems, anxiety, drug use, or academic issues. Our on-site counselor provides free, confidential individual counseling and crisis intervention to any KCAD student who seeks it. To schedule an appointment, please contact Marie Yowtz, Director of Counseling and Disability Services at [email protected] or by calling 616.299.3046.

In addition to this service, the University also provides a free online resource called Therapy Assistance Online (TAO). TAO is an online library of engaging, interactive programs to learn life skills for better relationships and to help overcome anxiety, depression and other common concerns.

How do I schedule an appointment with the Academic Advisor?

If you need to meet with Carol Sloan, KCAD Academic Advisor, to review your program plan, registration for classes, or time to graduation, you can schedule an appointment online.

How do I schedule a virtual or in-person appointment with Financial Aid?

If you need to meet with Kara Peltier, KCAD Financial Aid Specialist, you can schedule an appointment online.

I’m interested in learning more about KCAD and becoming a future student. Can I visit campus for a tour?

Due to ongoing concerns around COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the difficult decision to cancel in-person on-campus tours. However, we're offering a number of exploratory and interactive virtual events to help you learn more about KCAD.

Will the bookstore be open? How do I order my books? How do I return my rented books?

Barnes & Noble—the vendor for the Ferris State University Bookstore—made the difficult decision to close the physical operations of the Kendall Bookstore in KCAD’s 17 Fountain St. Building due to reduced foot traffic and usage over the last several years. However, the Ferris State University Bookstore through Barnes & Noble remains committed to providing the same great service to the KCAD community online, ensuring that courseware needs will continue to be met.

KCAD students are able to place orders for their textbook or course-required material online. Orders will be shipped directly to students’ place of residence, with free UPS ground shipping on orders over $49. Student account charging is also available for all online orders.

KCAD students must return their fall rental books to the Ferris State Bookstore by Friday, December 18th. Emails are being sent to the email provided when the rental was ordered with instructions and links to either buyout the rental or to download a UPS shipping label for a nominal fee to return the rentals. Click here to download a label.

Bookstore Contact Information

Ferris State University Bookstore
805 Campus Dr
Big Rapids, MI 49307
[email protected] or [email protected]

Karen Bohren, Bookstore Manager
Charlotte Pickert, Assistant Store Manager, General Merchandise
Debra Dykeman, Manager of Course Materials

I use public transportation. Is The Rapid operating, and if so, what can I expect?

Visit The Rapid website for the most up-to-date information on what The Rapid is doing to address COVID-19 concerns. Students and employees have access to purchase a Wave Card for $3.

What are the building hours for the spring semester?

Refer to the Building Hours page for complete details on the specific days/times campus will be open or closed.

Do I need to make an appointment to work in a lab, studio or workshop?

Students should have or will receive information from program faculty about how to access program-specific studio spaces or resource rooms. Signage will also be posted outside of these spaces explaining access procedures and capacities. Questions about access should be directed to your program faculty or Chair.

  • The Wood Shop will post open hours and access will be first-come, first-serve, and limited by the capacity of Wood Shop spaces.
  • The Baker Furniture Study Collection will be open by appointment only outside of designated class time. To schedule an appointment please email Gayle DeBruyn.
  • Information on hours and access policies for the Library and Dow Center Flex Lab are available on their respective webpages.
  • The Material ConneXion Resource Center, which has been closed during the pandemic, will reopen in room 104 of the 17 Fountain St. NW building in early spring 2021. Students may access the Material ConneXion Online Library for free.

Will there be study away opportunities during the 2020-2021 academic year?

Until further notice, travel for University purposes remains suspended, unless it is deemed essential by the appropriate division vice president, dean or supervisor. Travel permissions will follow federal and state restrictions and CDC recommendations, particularly when travel includes visiting any identified high-risk location. Where appropriate, travelers should be prepared to self-quarantine for 14 days after return.

Will there be any changes made to the KCAD academic calendar for the Spring 2021 semester?

As part of KCAD's ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the following changes have been made to the Spring 2021 academic calendar:

  • March 6-14, 2021: Spring Recess CANCELLED–instruction will continue during this week
  • April 23, 2021: Spring 2021 semester concludes