Students FAQ

Questions About Fall 2020?

If you have questions about the Fall 2020 semester, please contact one of the following offices:

  • Housing: on-campus housing for first-year, continuing and transfer students
  • Fees: fees and charges for Fall 2020
  • Instruction: remote learning, class offerings
  • Registration: registering for classes
  • COVID-19: all other questions related to COVID-19

Student Emergency Grants

Sonoma State received $4.5 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security act to provide financial relief to our students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Read more about these grants and how they will be distributed.

Academic Support & Advising

Even though your learning is remote, there is still academic support and advising for SSU students. Please send your questions to nomacares@sonoma.edu.

SSU COVID-19 Call Center

(707) 664-2880

If you have any questions or concerns about SSU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please call our COVID-19 Call Center. You may speak to someone Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-2 pm., or leave a message after hours. You may also direct your question to our COVID-19 email.

Academic Affairs Info Hub

Please see the COVID-19 Resource Guides and FAQs published by the Academic Affairs Division for additional information for students.

Campus Residents

Will I be able to live on campus in Fall 2020?

Student housing will be available to a limited number of students this Fall. For more information, please vist the Housing website

What should I do about my Purchased Voluntary/Block Meal Plan?

If you did not use your meal plan or block plan during the Spring semester, but plan on returning in the Fall, we will transfer your current plan to the fall 2020 semester for use from August 16 to September 30, 2020. If you are not returning to Sonoma State University for the fall 2020 semester, please contact Culinary Services at culinary.services@sonoma.edu for details.

Remote Instruction

Will SSU continue remote instruction in Fall 2020?

Chancellor Timothy P. White has announced CSU courses primarily will be delivered virtually for the fall 2020 term, with limited exceptions for in-person teaching, learning and research activities that cannot be delivered virtually, are indispensable to the university’s core mission and can be conducted within rigorous standards of safety and welfare. For further information and details about Fall instruction, please visit the Academic Affairs Info Hub.

If I’m learning remotely, do I need to come to campus?

No.

What does it mean that my class is being taught remotely?

Classes may be taught remotely in many different ways. For example, some classes may keep meeting at the same time as they do now but use technology (such as Canvas) to deliver lecture material. This is called “synchronous instruction.” In other cases, the class may move toward self-paced work that does not require meeting at a specific time (this is called “asynchronous instruction”). Some faculty may provide assignments through email. Sonoma State professors will be communicating with students about the requirements of each individual class. They understand this is a difficult situation and everyone is doing their best to support our students during this unusual time. 

For more information, please visit the Academic Affairs Info Hub.

Academic Resources

How do I order or return textbooks?

The University Store remains closed and will reopen when the campus resumes normal operations. You can still purchase learning materials and retail items from the University Bookstore. In addition, we are continuing to accept book orders for the fall term.

We offer a number of ways to return your textbook rentals. Should you need an extension to return your books, we have extended the grace period for rental returns through the first week of Fall classes. We will not be charging any students who were unable to return their books in time.

Does the university have any laptops available for students to borrow?

The University Library has a limited number of laptops that can be borrowed by students for remote learning on a first-come, first served basis. 

Laptops will be loaned for one semester, only. At the end of each academic term, all laptops must be returned to the library to undergo maintenance and repair for redistribution to remote learners for the following semester. 

For information on Fall 2020 laptop loans, check back for updates on the Library COVID-19 Updates and Resources page. 

What if I need to access library books, journals and databases for a class project?

Many books and journals the library owns are electronic and can be accessed from any computer or device with an internet connection both on campus and off. Use OneSearch to find ebooks, journal articles, streaming media, and other online resources. Physical materials will be unavailable while the Library is closed.

While off-campus, you can use the free Interlibrary Loan service to obtain journal articles and book chapters which are needed but are not available in the Sonoma State University Library. Requested articles and book chapters will be delivered electronically via email. Due to limited services, staff, and closures of our partner libraries, some requests may not be filled and CSU+ lending services have been suspended at this time.

Students can get help from a librarian through the Library's 24/7 chat service. For in-depth help with your research, make an appointment for a remote consultation via phone, email, or video-conferencing with a Librarian who is a subject specialist in your area. No in-person research appointments are available at this time.

For the latest updates on what the Library is doing to support the Seawolf community in these difficult circumstances, please visit the Library COVID-19 Updates and Resources page.

 

I need help learning how to navigate online learning. What resources are available?

Information Technology continues to operate and is ready to provide support to help you navigate our remote learning tools. You are encouraged to reach out to your instructors, teaching assistants, or embedded peer educators directly with questions about how to successfully navigate the online learning experiences in your classes. Additionally, IT has a series of FAQ’s to assist students, including one specifically for navigating Canvas. IT can also help answer technical questions for students about other technologies associated with classes by calling (707) 664-4357 between 8 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Will tutoring still be available for courses?

Academic Advising, CAPS, tutoring and other student support services are available remotely for students. Please visit Student Success and Advising for more information.

Commencement

Will Commencement be held?

SSU will postpone Spring 2020 Commencement and cultural celebrations. Please note that we are not canceling, just postponing graduation ceremonies until it is safe to celebrate our graduates. More details will be forthcoming.

I ordered my regalia. Can I get a refund?

SSU partners with Herff Jones to provide academic regalia rental and other graduation mementos. If you already ordered your cap and gown for Commencement, please visit the Herff Jones Collegiate Regalia Return page or contact Herff Jones customer service team at 1-800-837-4235 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. -5 p.m. EST) to request a refund.

Parking

Can I turn in my parking permit for a refund?

All students have been contacted to request a refund by turning in their permits. For more information, see Spring Student Parking Refund Related to COVID-19 Information.

Health & Wellness

I have a listed condition that increases my risk for contracting COVID-19. Can I be on campus?

No. 

What do I do if I am feeling anxious and stressed about our current environment?

Anxiety and fear about health emergencies can take a toll on everyone’ s well-being. There are several resources students may consider for assistance.

  • Counseling and Psychological Services is available remotely, and students can still schedule appointments with a counselor. If you are feeling overwhelmed, please know that there are people at SSU who care and want to help. Visit the CAPS tips for managing Coronavirus concerns page for help in managing stress during this time.
    CAPS also sends out a monthly newsletter that contains resources for students and a list groups and workshops that they can join. The April edition of the newsletter (PDF) is now available.
  • The state of California has published a series of guides to help manage stress that you might find helpful.
  • Sonoma County has established a warm line that is available to any county resident experiencing emotional side effects of the pandemic and/or the shelter in place order, or knows somebody who is. This free and private warm line is available seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by calling 707-565-2652. Service in Spanish is also available as well as telephone interpretation for other languages.

Should I wear a face mask?

The Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Public Health Officer and Director Sonia Y. Angell issued a public health order on June 18, 2020 which mandates that face coverings be worn statewide when people are in high-risk situations.

Please remember that non-medical grade face coverings are intended to protect others from the wearer’s respiratory droplets, and are meant to supplement — but not substitute for — measures such as physical distancing and frequent hand-washing, which continue to be the most effective methods for reducing the spread of COVID-19. Public health officials continue to ask that people not use N-95 or surgical masks for these purposes, since those are in short supply in the health care community.

There continue to be ongoing discussions among public health officials and other experts as to which are the most effective face mask materials; the university supports and encourages  the use of acceptable options, including bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves and homemade face coverings that have tightly woven fabrics, such as cotton T-shirts and tea towels. The CDC has published helpful instructions for making your own face covering (PDF).

The university has placed an order for non-medical cloth face coverings and has a system in place for all on-site essential employees to receive face coverings as needed. On-site essential employees who do not have a face covering and are in need, please contact eocoperations@sonoma.edu

Travel & Study Abroad

What is the university doing to support SSU students who are studying abroad?

All study abroad students have been instructed to return to the U.S. and most have already returned stateside.

All CSU campuses are assisting their study-abroad students with repatriation and continuation of their academic studies. We are supporting students at SSU who fall under CDC guidelines for self-isolation and need to be housed appropriately for the requisite time. We are following CDC guidelines in ensuring that those who have been in high-risk countries follow proper self-isolation procedures and protocol. Upon returning to the United States, students are to check with their CSU campus health center and/or the local public health office closest to their home regarding isolation procedures, as requirements vary from county to county.

I have personal travel plans. Should I go?

Given the evolving situation concerning coronavirus (COVID-19), Sonoma State University encourages students, faculty and staff to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of State recommendations for travel.

Wherever you go, we encourage you to follow the same protective measures you have been taking here on campus to protect against influenza-like illness and respiratory infections. These include the following suggestions:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based rub and avoid touching your face as much as possible.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes, and if you use your hands to do that, wash them afterwards or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Get a flu shot, if you have not already done so. 
  • If you take medication or receive medical treatments that result in immunosuppression, contact your health-care provider for advice and guidance regarding any additional measures that might be recommended for you. 

Whether you are at home, on campus or traveling and you feel sick, reach out to your local health-care provider by phone for advice on what steps to take to protect yourself and the community. Students can call the Student Health Center for advice at (707) 664-2921.

Future Students

What about Orientation?

Orientation and registration programs and services have been moved online. The Orientation team remains here to support your transition to campus, provide valuable resources, help you connect with other incoming students, and assist with course registration for Fall classes.

If you have a current orientation reservation, you will receive an email with instructions about the new online orientation experience. If you are newly committed to SSU and haven't chosen an Orientation session yet, we will reach out to you in the coming days.

Please email Orientation and Family Programs if you have any questions. We are here to serve.

Admitted students can email admissions@sonoma.edu or transfers@sonoma.edu for one-on-one conversations and help. We will respond as quickly as possible.