(Updated: 04/23/2020) This FAQ is updated frequently. Check back often for answers to your questions.
Q: When will we know if summer and fall classes will be switched to all online as well?
A: Summer classes have all moved to a fully online format. At this time, Fall semester classes will be offered as normal with face-to-face, online and hybrid options.
Q: How should we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester? Do you feel in-person classes may be canceled?
A: As of April 20, BSC, along with the other NDUS institutions, are hoping to have students back on campus learning in the classrooms. BSC will be ready to shift to an online setting should the need arise during the 2020-21 academic year. Our goal is to ensure that our students’ education will not be disrupted.
Q: Will the carpentry students time count to get their certificate? They aren't able to do much online.
A: Our goal is to keep make sure you receive the degree you are pursuing. Students enrolled in an experiential learning lab or hands-on courses in programs like carpentry, will be able to complete their programs over the course of the coming year through a variety of options. The chair of your program department will contact you regarding those options and how to move forward.
Q: Why can’t we do our labs so we can get our degree on time, go to work and not have to come back in the summer?
A: To complete your degree, you will need to complete your learning labs or hands-on requirements by Spring 2021. You will not be charged any additional tuition or fees, and a number of options will be available to you.
Q: Because transmission of COVID-19 will never be zero any time soon, and if a student is or lives with someone at high risk of the virus, how would that student conduct lab classes without putting their own or other’s lives at risk?
A: As BSC transitions back to more regular operations, learning will be conducted with the utmost caution. Depending on guidelines in place throughout the coming months, students and faculty may be required to wear masks and gloves. Classes may be limited to 10 or fewer, and entry points may include a temperature reading for each student. More information will be shared as those decisions are made.
Q: Is there any thought about moving the grading system to just a pass fail rather than letter grades for this semester?
A: BSC will not be adopting a pass/fail system. We have enacted a number of changes to ensure students can be successful. We extended the deadline for completing coursework related to incomplete grades from mid-Fall to the end of Spring 2021. At this time, any face-to-face coursework required will be scheduled beginning in early July. As such, flexibility has been given to the assignment of incomplete grades to help students complete coursework and minimize negative impact. Students should contact their instructors or department chairs with specific questions or the Mystic Advising & Counseling Center at 701.224.5752 for general questions about grades.
Q: Will final exams be held for dual credit/early entry classes?
A: Yes. Dual credit/early entry classes will still have final exams.
Q: Fall 2020 Current Student Registration began April 1. How do I register or get help registering if campus is closed to the public and operating as a virtual campus?
A: Fall Registration will be done virtually.
- Fall 2020 class registration is now open.
- Students are encouraged to connect with their assigned advisor via email for virtual assistance with class registration, degree planning and applying for graduation. Students can find their advisor’s contact information in Campus Connection.
- Follow the instructions here.
- Students who are unable to connect with their assigned advisor can also reach out to the advisors in the Mystic Advising & Counseling Center (MACC) at email@example.com.
- Advisors are also available to assist students in the Energy programs by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For assistance with registration review the Fall Current Student Registration Guide.
Q: Since it is time to enroll for current students for the Fall 2020 semester, are the classes that are available to choose from the only ones being offered?
A: All available classes can be found in the BSC Academic Catalog (catalog.bismarckstate.edu). The classes listed are the available classes. Should we need to transition online again, they will transition to an online format.
Q: Do you anticipate changes to schedule options for Fall 2020 due to COVID-19?
A: The fall semester classes are available for registration at this time. Unless the situation requires otherwise, BSC plans to resume regular operations during the fall semester.
Q: Where do I go for help accessing online courses?
A: Your instructors will be in contact with you regarding expectations during this period. We anticipate most instructors will use Blackboard, BSC’s learning management system (LMS).
- To learn more about how to access online classes go to bismarckstate.edu/coronavirus under the Student Resources for Online Learning header, click on Blackboard.
- For additional BSC Blackboard assistance, email email@example.com
- If you are having trouble accessing your courses, email your instructor.
Q: Is tutoring still available now that all classes are online only?
A: Tutoring is available online. The online tutoring schedule is available here.
Q: Are student accessibility services still available now that all classes are online only?
A: Student Accessibility Services are available for students needing to request accommodations. Students with disabilities can get more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 701-224-5671 (M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Q: What will happen to classes in programs that are almost completely hands-on like art, lineworker, carpentry, auto collision, etc?
A: Decisions regarding hands-on technical courses, labs, studio time, ensembles and the like are still being determined. Students affected by these decisions will receive more information from their instructors.
Q: I don’t have internet at home – how can I take online classes?
A: Students are asked to alert their instructors if they don’t have the resources to complete their classes online and they will connect you with the BSC Information Technology (IT) department to help you access the resources you need.
Q: Will we be forced to drop out if we do not have access to a computer and are not able to complete the courses?
A: No. If you are struggling or in need of assistance (financial difficulties, technology barriers, personal concerns, general well-being) contact the MACC: 701.224.5752 or email@example.com and they will help you find the funding or services you need.
Also, temporary computer lab with four computers is set up in the BSC Student Union for student use only. The computers have course-specific software students and printing is available. The BSC Student Union hours are 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM. The computer lab in the BSC Library will be available during library hours.
Students are asked to alert their instructors if they don’t have the resources to complete their classes online and they will connect you with the BSC Information Technology (IT) department to help you access the resources you need.
Q: Can I meet with people on campus face to face?
A: BSC is restricting public access to most buildings on campus, but the college will continue to provide academic and student support services throughout the end of the semester via telephone and email.
Q: Will Summer 2020 registration still begin on March 23?
A: No changes have been made to registration dates or starting dates for our summer or fall sessions at this time. We will keep you updated should that change.
BSC Summer Registration opens Monday, March 23, 2020. All registration and advising will occur remotely. Please review your academic requirements report in Campus Connection and contact your advisor via telephone or email for assistance in selecting classes.
BSC Fall Advising and Registration for current students begins April 1. More information on this will be coming soon.
Q: Will the BSC Bookstore be open if I need to purchase textbooks for a class?
A: Books purchased from the BSC Bookstore will be available for pickup from 7:30 AM to 4 PM (M-F) at Mystic Java only, next to the BSC Bookstore. Students are encourage to order books online from the BSC Bookstore at bismarckstate.edu/bookstore. Shipping is FREE for all orders.
Q: I received an email from BankMobile regarding emergency funding. Is it legitimate or a scam?
A: Bismarck State College, as well as many other higher education institutions, utilizes BankMobile for our refunding processes. The email is legitimate. The email is an effort by BankMobile to have students set up their refund preference and/or update their contact information for any future refunds they may be eligible for at the Institutions they are enrolled. BankMobile will be sending a follow up email to students to clarify the information they previously received.
A number of financial grants and assistance are available to college students through the CARES Act. Please contact the MACC to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
BSC students should continue to check the BSC website COVID-19 updates as well as your campus email for any information regarding your student account at BSC.
Q: Will college students that are claimed on parents’ tax returns get any money out of the new plan?
A: Any person age 17 to 24 who was claimed as a dependent won’t be eligible for the $1,200 payment or the $500 child bonus that is part of the stimulus act.
Q: Why should students only be refunded a third of the amount for dinning and housing services while they only used half of the semester’s worth of services?
A: The refund was calculated using prorated credits to students for unused housing and dining services based on SBHE Policy 830.2 Refunds. Credit amounts were estimated at approximately 30% of billed and paid amounts; amounts may be prorated for students still residing in campus housing after April 10, 2020.
Q: Since everyone is now online, do those that were charged the online distance fee get reimbursed?
A: They will not. Distance charges are built into the model that determines our tuition rates. However, if you are facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, these costs could be reimbursed through our available emergency funds. Please contact the MACC: 701.224.5752 or firstname.lastname@example.org and they will help you find the funding or services you need.
Q: What if I am struggling to pay my bill for the Spring 2020 semester? Is there a payment plan option available?
A: Bismarck State College is offering a monthly payment plan option to students with a Spring 2020 balance who may be experiencing challenges in paying their balance. You must enroll by May 1, 2020 to be eligible for a payment plan. Click here for more information and to enroll in the payment plan option.
Q: What if I can't make my payment this month?
A: While we ask that students make their best effort to pay their bills, BSC Student Finance will not apply late fees during the month of April. If you have any issues making payments, contact Student Finance at email@example.com and we will work with you.
Q: How do I make payment in my Campus Connection account?
A: Online payments can be made through your student Campus Connection account. Simply follow the steps below:
TIPS for paying online:
- Log into your Campus Connection account.
- Click on Financial Account > Pay Online Now. (You will click Pay Online Now twice)
- It may take up to a minute to connect to Touchnet, which is our payment gateway for online payments at Bismarck State College.
- Your student account balance screen will appear so click on Make Payment.
- You will see options to pay current balance, amount due or pay by term. You can select any of these and then enter the amount you would like to pay in the empty box listed to the right of your selection.
- Payment can be made with credit/debit card or check
- Internet Explorerer seems to work best with Pay Online Now.
- If using Safari as your web browser, you will need to go into your Privacy Settings and turn off Cross-Site Tracking and Block All Cookies.
- Is using Google Chrome as your web browser, you will also need to enable cookies.
Q: Can I still mail my payments?
A: Yes, check payments can be mailed to our Student Finance office at the address listed below:
Bismarck State College
PO Box 5587
Bismarck, ND 58506
Q: How do I get my refund?
A: Bismarck State College has partnered with BankMobile to deliver refunds to students. If you have checked your Campus Connection account and see a credit on your account, or you are trying to access a refund already issued, you will want to set up your refund preference. This can be done in your Campus Connection account by following these steps:
- Click on Financial Account > Direct Deposit > BSC
- Choose BSC as your school which will redirect you to BankMobile’s website
- Follow the steps to set up your refund preference
- For more information check out the BSC website
Q: What student resources are available while BSC is operating as a virtual campus?
A: BSC is restricting public access to most buildings on campus, but the college will continue to provide academic and student support services throughout the end of the semester via telephone, email and limited access to computer labs.
- Computer Labs:
- Student Union – 4 computers available with course-specific software loaded, open 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., M-F.
- BSC Library Computer Lab – open to BSC and NDUS students, faculty and staff with school ID during library hours
- Virtual campus library hours and services available here
Other services available:
- BSC Academic Advising
- BSC Personal Counseling
- Personal counseling available during regular hours and after hours.
- Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. or after hours call 701-224-5752
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- BSC Student Accessiblity
- BSC Academic Tutoring
- BSC Academic Records
- BSC Admissions
- BSC Financial Aid
- BSC Student Finance
- BSC Academic Records
- BSC Student & Residence Life
- BSC Safety & Security
- BSC Military Affairs & Veterans Services
- BSC Blackboard Assistance
ON-CAMPUS RESIDENT QUESTIONS
Q: Do students who live on campus need to return home to take classes online?
A: Students who currently live on campus are being asked to return home to finish their classes online. Exceptions are being made for students who need to remain living on campus for various reasons.
Students who live on campus must complete the mandatory housing form found in the Housing Self Service
. Sign in and find the form under Application/Contracts. All students – whether moving out or staying on campus through the semester – must complete this form.
Students should not enter a residence hall unless they have completed the necessary forms. Students who need to enter their residence hall and have not completed the forms are asked to notify BSC Student and Residence Life at 701-224-5464 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment for admittance.
Q: If students are returning home, how will they retrieve their personal belongings?
A: Students who are currently living on campus that need to move out of their residence hall should contact BSC Student and Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org to make the necessary arrangements to check out.
Students who need to enter their residence hall are asked to notify BSC Student and Residence Life at 701-224-5464 or email@example.com to schedule an appointment for admittance. Students should not enter a residence hall unless they have an appointment.
Q: Will students who do not return to campus receive a refund for residence hall expenses and meal plans?
A: BSC will provide prorated credits to students for unused housing and dining services. Credit amounts will be estimated at approximately 30% of billed and paid amounts; amounts may be prorated for students still residing in campus housing after April 10, 2020.
Q: What services will still be available for students who will continue to live on campus?
A: Services such as security, food service and housing for students residing on campus will continue and BSC employees will be physically present in these areas as long as there are students living in the residence halls. The BSC Student Union (Doors B, D and F) will be open 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for those services.
BSC Mystic Marketplace will be open to students living on campus.
11 am–1 pm: Lunch Service/Grab & Go
1–4:30 pm: Grab & Go
4:30–6:30 pm: Supper Service/Grab & Go
*All food service will be at the BSC Mystic Marketplace pick-up window only. The dining area will be closed and students are asked to take their meals back to their residence hall.
BSC Mystic Java will be open to students living on campus.
7:30–11:30 am: Breakfast items will be available
BSC Safety & Security will be working on campus. They can be reached at 701-224-2700.
Q: What should students living on campus do if they think they’ve been exposed to the virus or if they get sick?
A: Students who think they have been exposed COVID-19, have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are feeling ill are asked to notify their residence hall staff or BSC Student and Residence Life at 701-224-5645 or firstname.lastname@example.org immediately. The student should immediately quarantine/self-isolate in their room and will receive further guidance and assistance from BSC Student and Residence Life.
Q: Are any events happening on campus now?
A: All events held on campus now through Sunday, May 3, have been postponed or canceled in order to help mitigate spread of the disease. This date could be extended if necessary due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.
Q: Will the BSC 2020 Commencement ceremony still take place?
A: It was with very heavy hearts that Bismarck State College made the difficult decision to cancel our traditional 2020 BSC Commencement ceremony at the Bismarck Event Center because of the coronavirus pandemic. While an in-person commencement event can’t happen, we would like to officially recognize and celebrate you and your achievements in a new way.
BSC 2020 Virtual Commencement
Friday, May 15, 2020 at 2 p.m. (CST) at bismarckstate.edu.
A BSC 2020 Virtual Commencement Watch Party will be held at the same time on the BSC Facebook page allowing students, family, and friends to watch together and share congratulatory messages for BSC graduates. Watch for more details coming soon on the BSC website and the BSC Facebook page.
All Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 graduates are encouraged to participate in the BSC 2020 Virtual Commencement. Details on how to participate have been emailed to all graduating students who have completed their Application for Degree. Students who have NOT completed their Application for Degree should do so here: bismarckstate.edu/applyforgraduation. Students must submit their Application for Degree by April 15 to participate in the BSC 2020 Virtual Commencement. Participation details will be emailed to you once your Application for Degree has been received and accepted.