View answers to frequently asked questions regarding Southwest Baptist University's
response to the COVID-19 pandemic and campus operations plans for the Spring 2021
semester. The updated Bearcat Blueprint provides the detailed plan for the Spring 2021 semester.
Our goal is in-person, in-class instruction. We are planning for as many courses as
possible to meet in classrooms where appropriate physical distancing is possible.
In cases where physical distancing is not possible, we have developed options for
a combination of in-person and online class sessions. In all cases, a majority of
the instruction will be in-person.
Review Academics information of the Bearcat Blueprint plan
Some interactive learning components, such as science labs, music lessons, healthcare
clinical experiences, internships and student teaching, present some unique challenges
for the Spring 2021 semester. We are working diligently to review these learning experiences
and offer creative solutions. Details will be posted in your Blackboard courses by January 18 as part of the syllabus.
We strongly recommend each student bring a personal computer for completing coursework in
between in-person class sessions. The University recommends the use of a Windows PC
or Apple computer. A Chromebook may not be the best choice for many disciplines. However,
computer labs will be open for use by students who do not have a computer. Cleaning
supplies will be available for students to clean computers before and after use.
Our deans and division chairs are working diligently to determine specific course
delivery methods for each course. Your faculty members will communicate course-specific
information through the Blackboard Learning Management System closer to the start
of the semester.
Log in to the Blackboard Learning Management System after January 18 for details about
the courses in which you are enrolled. The syllabus will include course delivery details.
The Spring 2021 semester is scheduled to begin January 20 and end May 14. Graduation
ceremonies are scheduled for May 14 and 15. More details will be shared closer to
Download academic calendar
Health & Safety
Yes. A face covering is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Face
coverings are worn out of respect for others. Students, faculty and staff will wear
face masks or other coverings in classrooms and public spaces.
- SBU will provide each student and employee with fabric face coverings at the beginning
of the Fall semester.
- Face shields will be provided for all instructors to facilitate effective communication
for all students.
- Remember: A face mask is not a substitute for physical distancing but is an added
layer of protection.
Requiring face coverings is one way we are coming together to protect each other's
health and safety in every way possible. This expectation:
- Ensures we are meeting or exceeding requirements of government ordinances in all the
communities we serve.
- Increases our classroom capacity from 40% to 65%, allowing more classes to have the
potential to be conducted completely in-person this fall.
- Enables you to live the SBU mission by loving your neighbors and caring for the vulnerable
as Jesus taught us.
- Sign the Bearcat Blueprint Commitment, an outline of your responsibilities for helping
the in-person fall semester to be successful. (New students for Spring 2021 semester
- Sign-up for a move-in time, if living in a residence hall.
We suggest you begin to limit travel and social exposure and closely monitor any changes
to your health beginning two weeks prior to your return to campus. If you experience
any of the symptoms known to be a possible indication of COVID-19, reach out to your
healthcare provider before you arrive on campus.
Extra health and safety measures being taken on all campuses for Fall 2020 include:
- Requiring the use of face coverings and physical distancing in classrooms and public
- Requiring all residential students to complete a health questionnaire before arriving
- Providing each student with a care kit, including reusable face masks and thermometers.
- Providing faculty with face masks and clear face shields for use in classrooms.
- Requiring temperature checks and health questionnaires.
- Increasing sanitization of facilities, including cleaning classrooms between sessions.
- Installing plexiglass shields at various points of contact around each campus.
- Installing temperature screening systems on all campuses.
- Installing additional hand sanitizing stations on all campuses.
Review the Health and Safety section of the Bearcat Blueprint plan
Students, faculty and staff are asked to sign the Bearcat Blueprint Commitment, acknowledging the
role and responsibility we all have in maintaining a healthy and safe campus environment.
Learn more about the Bearcat Blueprint
In addition to our standard cleaning and disinfection protocols, we are adding new
protocols to further ensure the cleanliness of all facilities. We already use a cleaning
product daily that includes a disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs. Throughout campus,
we are adding the use of a Protexus disinfecting sprayer that uses electrostatic delivery
and Purtabs disinfectant to kill germs and viruses.
Any student on any campus who tests positive for COVID-19 should immediately notify
the SBU Killian Health Center at (417) 328-1888.
In consultation with governmental health agencies, we have developed these guidelines
for when we have a positive COVID-19 test on any of our campuses.
SBU’s nurse will coordinate contact tracing with the appropriate local governmental
- Testing protocol: Anyone being tested for COVID-19 must quarantine until receiving a negative test result
and being symptom-free. If the test is positive, the individual must follow self-isolation
- Testing availability: On the Bolivar campus, same-day testing is available through the Polk County Health
Center. On all other campuses, students should work directly with their local health
department for testing.
- Self-isolation: Anyone testing positive will be required to self-isolate. Students living in residence
halls are encouraged to leave campus, but a self-isolation facility is available for
residential students without other options.
- Quarantine: Anyone who has been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive will
be required to quarantine for 10 days. Students in quarantine are not allowed to be
on campus, unless living in a residence hall.
- Contact protocol: “Direct contact” with someone who tests positive is defined as being closer than
6 feet of each other (or 4 feet if both individuals are wearing face coverings) for
more than 15 minutes.
- Residence hall quarantine procedures: Students living in a residence hall are encouraged to go home during the quarantine
period but may stay in their residence hall room. They are not allowed to leave the
room. Meals will be delivered to the student’s room.
- If one roommate has had direct exposure to the virus, the roommates will be separated
during the quarantine period.
- If both roommates have been exposed, they may quarantine together.
- If one roommate tests positive, the positive person will be required to self-isolate
and the other person will be required to quarantine, as outlined above.
- From quarantine to self-isolation: If a student in quarantine in a residence hall starts showing symptoms or tests positive, the
student will need to follow the self-isolation procedures outlined above.
- Self-monitoring: Any student should self-monitor for symptoms during the quarantine period. If symptoms
appear, contact the SBU Killian Health Center at (417) 328-1888.
- Daily monitoring: The local governmental health agency will call anyone in self-isolation or quarantine daily and
will notify the individual when the quarantine or self-isolation period has ended.
The Bolivar and Springfield campuses have rapid-testing available for students with
symptoms of COVID-19. On the Bolivar campus, same-day testing also is available through the Polk County
Health Center. On all other campuses, students should work directly with their local
health department for testing.
The first person to contact is the student. The student receives all information via
a phone call from the SBU Killian Health Center and an email from Residence Life.
This email includes all pertinent information about the quarantine.
For health-related questions, please contact the SBU Health Center at (417) 328-1888.
This can include questions regarding quarantine dates and what to do if symptoms progress
For on-campus food-related questions, contact Fresh Ideas at kblankenship@SBUniv.edu.
For off-campus residents or residents without meal plans, contact Student Life at
Options for students living on-campus:
- Go home during the quarantine or self-isolation period. This is the preferred option.
- Students who are not able to return home will be transitioned to a designated residence
facility or a room designated for use by students in quarantine or isolation.
Options for students living off-campus:
- Go home during the quarantine or self-isolation period. This is the preferred option.
- Stay in off-campus housing, having no contact with roommates.
Students living on-campus must complete a form (link provided in an email sent to
the student) providing information to assist with food preparation and delivery. Meals
will be delivered daily during dinner, including breakfast and lunch for the next
day. The meal delivery includes a hot dinner, continental breakfast, and a cold lunch.
Questions or concerns about meal deliveries for students living on-campus should be
directed to Kevin Blankenship with Fresh Ideas at kblankenship@SBUniv.edu.
Students living off-campus may order groceries online and pickup at stores offering
a curbside delivery, such as Woods Supermarket or Walmart.
Yes. Packages should be addressed to the location where the student is in quarantine
SBU Killian Health Center and Residence Life staff check on students daily when they
are in isolation or quarantine.
If a student begins experiencing symptoms in quarantine or if symptoms worsen in isolation,
the student needs to call the University Health Center (417-328-1888) or 911 immediately.
Yes. Student Life is emailing professors as soon as they are informed by the SBU Killian
Health Center that a student has been quarantined or isolated.
When in self-isolation or quarantine, DO:
- Stay home or in designated housing as instructed
- Follow instructions given by your local health care professional
- Stay in your own bedroom
- Use a private bathroom if available
- Keep in contact with friends virtually
- Monitor for symptoms
- Clean high-touch surfaces — phones, remote controls, sink, toilet, countertops, doorknobs,
and light switches
- Keep your medical appointments
- Go outside for fresh air and exercise
- Keep social distance of six feet or more between yourself and others
- Wear a face covering
- Avoid crowds
- Avoid driving or riding in a vehicle with others
- Enjoy the time outside
- Order any prescription medications online
- Order groceries online and pick up at stores offering a curbside delivery, such as
Woods Grocery and Walmart
When in self-isolation or quarantine, DON'T:
- Do not attend seated classes, work or other public areas until isolation or quarantine
time is completed
- Do not share common living areas such as the kitchen, living rooms or TV areas
- Do not have visitors, go on dates, or hang out with others
- Do not use public transportation
- Do not share personal items with others
- Do not enter any campus buildings
- Do not go through a drive-thru for food or drinks
- Don't make hair, manicure, pedicure or barber appointments; these are examples of
Call the ITS Help Desk at (417) 328-1702 or send an email to helpdesk@SBUniv.edu
. Contact the Help Desk if you are not able to access SBU resources such as MySBU
or Blackboard. Students who do not have technology available for online course delivery
should contact their professors.
The SBU Campus Store inside the Goodson Student Union is open with increased safety measures and operational
Student are encouraged to order their textbooks online as soon as possible. With only
10 customers allowed in the store at a time, advanced ordering will expedite your
textbook retrieval once you are on campus.
Follett Discover helps you determine what books you need. Select "Launch Follett Discover"
within the Blackboard LMS and choose "Purchase All Materials." This link will take
you straight to the SBU Campus Store website, where you can choose to purchase your
- Bolivar campus: Choose to have the books shipped to your house before arriving on campus or to have
the books held for you to pick up on campus.
- Springfield, Salem and Mountain View campuses: Have the textbooks shipped to your home address. On-campus distribution is not available.
- Winter Hours (now through January 15): 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- Spring Term Hours (beginning January 18): 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Extended hours on January 20-22: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Curbside service: Available for online order pickup only by calling (417) 328-1530.
For more information, contact the SBU Campus Store at bookstore@SBUniv.edu or (417) 328-1530.
Order textbooks online
- Library seating is limited.
- Study room capacity is limited; reservations are strongly recommended. (Reserve a study room online.)
- All computers, surfaces, and spaces must be cleaned after each use; please be patient
while library employees clean and sanitize.
- Librarians are available for online appointments via Zoom. (Schedule a virtual appointment with a librarian.)
- All checked out items will be quarantined for three business days and these items
will be backdated before being checked in; no overdue fines will be charged while
these items are in quarantine. Some items may be unavailable due to this quarantine
- Course reserves can only be checked out to users who agree to wear a mask and gloves
while using the item in the library.
- All items must be returned to the book drops (except equipment, which can be returned
at the Circulation Desk at the front of the Hutchens Library).
- All items that are handled within the library must be placed on the carts at the end of the shelves; they must be quarantined before
being touched again.
The Killian Health Center office is open by appointment only. Please call (417) 328-1888
to schedule an appointment. You will be asked about your symptoms, recent travel and
any known exposure to someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 case. The Killian Health
Center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. After-hours phone messages will
be returned promptly.
SBU continues to work closely with Fresh Ideas, the University’s food service provider, to
implement protocols providing a safe dining environment. Changes to the dining experience
include limited dining hall occupancy, pre-packaged to-go lunch options, and face
More information about housing, dining and campus life
Because seating in Mabee Chapel is limited to comply with occupancy limitations as
outlined by local governmental health authorities, a registration system will be used
for students to sign up for in-person chapel services. Registration will be on a first-come,
first-served basis. Students will receive two CLW points for each Chapel attended in-person. All
chapel services will be available for viewing via livestream.
Effective for the Fall 2020 semester, the CLW point requirement is reduced to 14.
Additional opportunities for CLW points will be available. Further communication will
be provided by the Office of Spiritual Formation.
Campus life activities will continue where we can make adjustments with appropriate
health protocols. We also will be increasing the number of events and activities we
offer throughout the semester.
We are planning to hold in-person ceremonies on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May
15. This is subject to change based on local health guidelines.
Call the Office of Financial Aid at (417) 328-1822 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Call the Cashier’s Office at (417) 328-1523 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Students may move-in to residence halls from Sunday, January 17, through Tuesday,
January 19. To help with social distancing, each student will schedule a check-in
time and can bring only two family members/guests. Residence Life will communicate
directly with students regarding the process for selecting a check-in time.
Review the Housing section of the Bearcat Blueprint plan
We prefer for students to travel home during any necessary quarantine period, but
we have a designated on-campus facility for potential quarantine use.
- In-person visits are being conducted with extra health and safety precautions in place.
- Individual virtual visits are available.
- Schedule your visit at www.SBUniv.edu/visit.
We are still accepting students for our Spring 2021 classes, and financial aid is
still available. Applications can be submitted online at any time.
SBU understands getting transcripts and/or taking the ACT/SAT is a struggle right now.
To assist, SBU is temporarily moving to test optional and self-reported high school
GPA for all admission. However, to potentially improve academic scholarship eligibility,
students may elect to take the online CLT test.
Please contact your admissions counselor if you have questions or concerns.
If you have a question not answered above, please use this form to ask SBU.