South University continues to work in collaboration with local, state and national authorities to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The University continues to implement the Emergency Preparedness Plan to respond to the COVID-19 situation for each of our locations to protect the health and safety of the South University community.
- Fall 2020 Return to Campus Student Guidelines
- Fall 2020 Return to Campus Faculty and Staff Guidelines
- Fall 2020 Guidelines for Visitors
Summary of SU COVID-19 Response
The federal government recently approved and funded The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which creates emergency financial aid grants for students through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The purpose of the emergency funding is to assist students with the expenses incurred as it relates to the disruption of campus operations as a direct result of COVID-19, moving all campus-based classes from the campus locations, to the virtual format (South VR). For more information on the CARES HEERF funds, please visit our CARES Information page
Summary of Activity:
- February 28, 2020: South University communicated with all students, faculty and staff that the University is monitoring the COVID-19 situation in collaboration with local and national authorities and instructed all to practice CDC preventive measures.
- March 2, 2020: South University launched a section on the main website dedicated to COVID-19 University announcements to keep the South community up-to-date: https://www.southuniversity.edu/about/coronavirus-info-resources
- March 9, 2020: South University disseminated the South University Emergency Preparedness Plan to University and Campus Leadership to utilize if a situation were to occur at a University location. Talking points were also disseminated to staff members regarding the University’s response to COVID-19.
- March 11, 2020: Students at the VA Beach campus self-reported possible exposure to someone who was being tested for COVID-19 through their employment at nearby healthcare facilities. The University closed this campus for cleaning at the direction of the Virginia Department of Health and recommended that those students self-quarantine for 14 days. All classes moved from on-ground to a virtual teaching format through the end of winter quarter at this campus.
- March 12, 2020: A student at the Tampa campus self-reported contact with a patient who had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. The student was instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. The Tampa campus cancelled classes on Friday, March 13, and all classes moved from on-ground to a virtual teaching format through the end of winter quarter at this campus. The University worked with the Hillsborough County Department of Health to clean the facilities.
- March 13, 2020: Chancellor Steve Yoho provided an update to all faculty and staff regarding the situations at the Tampa and Virginia Beach campuses, as well as informing all that no confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported at any of the campus locations. He reiterated the CDC’s recommendations of preventive measures to follow to prevent the spread of illness. All international university-sponsored travel was suspended until further notice, along with community events planned on campuses for the remainder of winter quarter.
- March 15, 2020: Chancellor Steve Yoho notified all campus-based students, faculty and staff that on-ground classes would move to a virtual learning format through the end of winter quarter. On-ground classes were cancelled on Monday, March 16, and rescheduled once this transition took place at the Austin, Columbia, Montgomery, Richmond, Savannah and West Palm Beach campuses and the High Point and Orlando Learning Sites.
- March 18, 2020: The University shared an FAQ regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and alerted all South University community members that the University remains committed to supporting the needs of students, faculty and staff during this unusual time.
- March 20, 2020: Chancellor Steve Yoho shared a message with the South University community that the University continues to operate and fulfill the educational mission and that the University will continue to offer support in this crisis.
- March 24, 2020: Chancellor Announcement of Spring quarter to be held through the virtual remote format SouthVR. SouthVR will provide students with real-time interaction with both instructors and classmates. In addition, faculty and program directors will hold virtual office hours, provide video tutoring, and schedule one-on-one meetings to further support our students. https://www.southuniversity.edu/about/south-vr
- April 15, 2020 - South University has made the difficult decision to postpone commencement ceremonies and related in-person activities until a future date in which large public gatherings are determined safe. Campus leadership is working with ceremony venues to secure a new date, and will communicate this information with you as soon as it is available. Student degrees will still be conferred when they have satisfied all academic requirements to be eligible to graduate; all graduates are eligible members of the South University Alumni Association. Postponing the graduation ceremony does not change the exceptional achievements of our graduates, and we will celebrate together once it is safe to do so.
April 23, 2020 - A message from the Chancellor: For the safety of all of our campus-based students, staff and faculty, we will complete the Spring quarter using the virtual learning format, SouthVR. Full Statement
May 11, 2020 - South University is now preparing for a phased approach in our return to on-campus instruction and operations. At this time, we will be working with the College Deans and University Leadership to safeguard our students and their educational pathway to graduation. To do so responsibly we will begin to introduce hybrid instruction for specific programs, requiring a mix of in-person lab instruction, as well as, continuing with virtual remote didactic lectures to complete the elements required to progress in their courses. Read Full Statement
July 2, 2020 - The South University 2020 Return to Campus Plan can be accessed HERE.
July 15, 2020- COVID-19 Update from the Chancellor: Although the university was hopeful a return to more campus courses and operations would occur this summer, a date for our Phase Two Return to Campus has not been determined. Therefore, South University will continue operating under our Phase One of the Return to Campus Plan using the SouthVR virtual modality – To read the full message from the Chancellor Click HERE.
- August 18, 2020 – COVID-19 Update from the Chancellor: The university will enter Phase Two of the Return to Campus Plan beginning September 8, 2020, with the return of faculty who are teaching in-person classes in the fall quarter and all staff. The university will release comprehensive on-campus guidelines for students, faculty and staff later this week. South University Online staff located at the Pittsburgh facility will continue working remotely to support online students. Those with underlying health conditions, caring for or living with someone with underlying health conditions, or with childcare challenges should follow the Human Resources policies outlined in the guidelines and complete the request form HERE.
- August 21, 2020: South University released the comprehensive Faculty and Staff: Return to Campus Guidelines to support Phase Two Return to Campus. Click HERE to access these.
As the circumstances around the country continue to evolve, please know that South University considers your health and safety a top priority. We hope that you and your family stay safe and that we are confident that together we will continue your education and maintain a focus on preparing you for your future career opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a coronavirus?
What do I do if I feel sick?
Students showing symptoms should schedule an appointment with their Primary Care Provider or call local hospital for guidance. All others please contact your community healthcare provider.
I’m planning to travel in the coming weeks. What should I do?
What is South University doing to prepare in case there are instances of coronavirus on campus?
South University has plans in place to address emergencies, including those resulting from infectious diseases. University Administration will continue to provide updates on any health concerns that could affect our University and will provide further guidance if the situation changes.
COVID-19 External Resources
- CDC travel message
- CDC COVID-19 Information
- State Department Travel Advisories
- Centers for Disease Control Travel Health Notices
- Richmond Return to Campus Plan
- Virginia Beach Return to Campus Plan
South University SouthVR, a live instruction, interactive virtual classroom experience.