July 21, 2020
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) is pleased to report that SEVP has reversed its proposed ruling that would have ended the ability of our international students to take more online courses than typically allowed. For the Fall 2020 semester, and as HU has done since March 2020, international students who have a valid F-1 visa may continue to attend classes totally online and still maintain their nonimmigrant status.
Consequently, all graduate education activities and programs for Fall 2020 semester will continue to be presented through online delivery. There will be no face-to-face sessions for the Fall 2020 semester. You will not be required to travel to Harrisburg. This announcement replaces HU’s July 7, 2020 guidance and instructions.
Despite the ability of our international students to continue with online delivery of courses, students still need to be monitored (e.g., attendance taken and verified), show academic progress (through their work), and maintain their full-time course load at 6 credits. Please be assured that if you are an international graduate student studying at HU, you will maintain your visa status and be allowed to remain in the US to study and work as long as you attend the mandatory online orientation and continue to attend and fully participate in classes online.
Please keep HU informed of your status anytime that you are unable to attend classes to ensure that your Visa status remains compliant with federal law.
If you are a HU international student who is experiencing medical issues due to contracting COVID-19 and cannot enroll or continue studies due to your health, you are eligible for a medical reduced course load. You will need to provide HU medical documentation from a doctor. Upon receipt of the documentation, HU will register you in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) for a medically reduced course load or no course load. If your anticipated return from a temporary absence exceeds the five-month limit, HU will provide details to the SEVP Response Center. SEVP will resolve these on a case-by-case basis.
Consequently, it is critical that you keep HU informed and updated if you will not be in attendance due to issues related to the virus.
Please note that HU’s ability to offer fully online delivery to international students may change in the foreseeable future if SEVP changes its current guidance. Any changes to the temporary exemption will be immediately announced by HU. Please continue to monitor HU’s website dedicated to coronavirus developments and its impact on university operations at https://covid.harrisburgu.edu/ .
Should you have any questions, please review the information available at https://isohelp.harrisburgu.edu and generate a new support request if you have specific questions. You can also call (717) 901-5154 between 9 am and 5 pm EST.
Any HU student who is experiencing concerns such as anxiety, depression, or academic stress should contact the BHS Student Assistance Program. You can login via the app/web, https://portal.bhsonline.com, or call 800-327-2251. The username is HarrisburgU. Outreach to BHS is confidential, and each student is assigned a master’s level clinician as a care coordinator. BHS will provide HU students with quality, in-the-moment support.