NWC's Coronavirus Response: FAQs

If you have a question that isn’t addressed below, send your question to ResponseTeam@nwciowa.edu, and we will get you an answer.

Information About

Campus Life and Christian Formation
Financial Questions
Health and Wellness



Update on Thursday, April 2:

Q: Is there a possibility Northwestern would switch to pass-fail classes for the semester?

A: At this time, the college does not believe that moving to a pass/fail option is in the best interests of our students, particularly for those concerned about academic honors and athletic eligibility. Instead, the college has asked faculty to recognize the unique circumstances of this semester by balancing grace with rigor both in the assignments given and in the grades awarded.

Q: Will classes remain on Central Daylight Time, even for students living outside that time zone?

A: Because we have so many classes at so many times, it is impossible to change the meeting time of any one class without affecting many other classes and students. So if your online class has synchronous meetings, your class will meet at the same days and times the class met when you were on campus. You will need to make adjustments if you live in a different time zone and have a synchronous class meeting.

Q: How are finals going to work?

A: Final exam week will occur as noted in the academic calendar (May 4–7). Finals week will happen online; students will not return to campus for exams. Final exams or other culminating projects/assignments will be assigned by your professors. Some exams will be traditional exams that meet at a specified time (synchronous). That time (CDT) will correspond to the final exam schedule. Students who have significant time zone challenges may request an adjustment to their exam time.

Q: What if I don't have Wi-Fi and I am not allowed to leave my home?

A: Students who expect any difficulty accessing their online courses in Blackboard should contact their professor or the NWC HelpDesk. Many cellular providers are offering free Internet for 60 days for educational use, and some are offering to provide devices and data service for educational use. We can help connect you with those providers if you let us know about your challenge ASAP.

Q: How will students who need accommodations be served?

A: Peer Learning Center staff members Marie Jeppesen and Tom Truesdell are in touch with all students who require accommodations and will be communicating with those students’ professors. If you require a learning accommodation, please let your professor know.

Q: I was student teaching this semester. What happens now that schools have closed?

A: Our goal is for you to be licensed to teach this spring and to be fully equipped to head into your own classroom this fall. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Iowa Department of Education is directing faculty who oversee student teaching to determine if they have sufficient data to consider requirements as satisfied and to recommend the preservice teacher for licensure—even if less than 14 weeks or 50 hours have been completed. For those of you who have had very limited or no experience in one or more of your endorsements, we may have further requirements. In the meantime, do the following:

  1. Complete your exit portfolio by April 3. (For questions, contact the faculty member assigned to review your portfolio.)
  2. Apply for teaching positions with confidence. Assume you will have a license and the endorsements you are seeking by this fall.
  3. Remain in communication with your cooperating teacher. Perhaps you can be helpful to the teacher and school during this time.

Q: What if I couldn't attend Convocation due to an unavoidable conflict?

A: You can watch the recording of Convocation.

Q: How are science labs going to be taught, now that all classes are online?

A: Each professor is trying to create the best possible laboratory experience for the courses they teach. The lab experiences students will have in an online platform will vary by course and discipline. The professor might assign a lab simulation with an online vendor, provide students with data collected in our own labs for analysis, or assign a lab activity that the student can perform outside of the lab. Professors will communicate with each of their classes how their lab experiences will continue.

Q: When do classes start again?

A: Students should plan on participating in an online required convocation Friday, March 20, at 10 a.m. (CDT). Join us here. After convocation, you will be required to check in with your classes. Professors will track everyone who checks in and follow up with those who don’t to ensure we are all ready for online classes to begin on Monday, March 23.

Q: Is peer tutoring still available for my class?

A: We are maintaining peer tutoring for students, to be done remotely by appointment with the individual student tutor. Check out the information provided on the Peer Learning Center tab on MyNWC. (You must be logged in to MyNWC.) You can also reach out to your professor, Tom Truesdell, or Randy Van Peursem to inquire about availability for tutoring for your class.

Q: Is the Help Desk open?

A: Yes. However, computing services staff are practicing social distancing and working remotely when possible. Walk-up window hours have been reduced. If you need assistance, log in to MyNWC and submit a Help Desk request or email helpdesk@nwciowa.edu. If necessary, staff can still come to an office to provide assistance. To remotely support you, we have a tool called AnyDesk. The software can be installed on your college or personal computer by clicking this link: https://assets.nwciowa.edu/helpdesk/anydesk.exe



Q: Are athletic events going to resume this season?

A: No. On March 16, the NAIA canceled practice and events for the remainder of the spring season.


Campus Life and Christian Formation

Update on Tuesday, March 24:

Q: Will Discipleship Groups be continuing?

A: D-Groups are being reshuffled and moving online. Reach out to  Barb Dewald ASAP to join a group of 5 to 7 students from your Northwestern College living area who will meet weekly through an online video chat. Join with others for support from relationships, inspiration from Scripture, and encouragement from prayer.

Q: How can we pray for one another?

A: We are a praying community, Raiders, so if you have a prayer request, you may submit it online here. Campus Ministry will be streaming a 15-minute weekly prayer service Tuesdays at 11:05 a.m.

Q: What kind of campus ministry opportunities are available?

A: Campus Ministry will be offering several opportunities to grow spiritually together this semester. Briefly, we will offer Chapel Livestream on Tuesdays with a 15-minute prayer service at 11:05 a.m. (CST) and a 15-minute devotional service on Fridays at 10:05 a.m. (CST), along with other opportunities. Please see our information on MyNWC here. NCM will continue to communicate to students via email.

Q: What if I haven't accumulated all my Christian formation credits yet?

A: The Christian formation credit policy requirements are being suspended for this semester only, but we will continue to offer voluntary online opportunities to help the NWC undergraduate community grow spiritually and stay connected to each other. 

Q: May I eat on campus?

A: If you are an employee or a student who is remaining on campus, you can access food service in the Hub Raider Grille. The Hub has an expanded menu and is serving in a grab-n-go or takeout format at this time.

Q: Can I get together with a group of friends on campus?

A: We are following the guidelines contained in Iowa’s State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, declared on March 17. So, essentially: 1) Do not get together if it’s not necessary. 2) If you do have to get together, do so with 10 or fewer people. 3) With 10 or fewer people, it’s still very important to observe common social distancing practices. (Maintain 6 feet between you and others—the distance the virus can travel in droplets from a person’s nose or mouth when they cough or sneeze.)

Q: Do I have access to mental health counseling?

A: Confidential, professional Northwestern College counseling services will continue to be available to full-time students who reside in Iowa. Those who reside in other states may also be eligible to receive services from NWC, based on state-by-state licensure rules. All services will be provided using teletherapy; no students will be seen in our offices. If you are interested in receiving services, please contact the Wellness Center or Dr. Sally Edman. We will respond to you with information about appointments. If you would like assistance locating services closer to home, we will attempt to assist you with that, as well. If you are having difficulty adjusting to the many rapid and unexpected changes in your life, these resources may be helpful:

7 Science-Based Strategies to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety
Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak

Update on Tuesday, March 24:

Q: Is pastoral counseling available?

A: Our campus ministry staff is comprised of individuals with many years of pastoral counseling experience. If you would like to visit with one of them, they would be more than happy to schedule a video call with you. Contact them directly:



Q: What are the protocols for employees working from home?

A: If you have arranged with your supervisor or human resources to work remotely, please make sure you do the following:

  • Please set up your desk extension to ring to your cell phone/home phone during regular business hours (or the hours you typically work) to ensure continuity of service and work. If you do not have ShoreTel software and do not already know how to do this, please submit a helpdesk call or email, and computing services will work with you to set this up.
  • Please post a sign on your office door that indicates you are working remotely and can be reached via office extension and email.

Update on Sunday, March 22:

President Christy has asked all employees who can work from home to do so.

Q: Are there any restrictions for employees who have traveled recently?

A: Anyone who has traveled through an airport (international or domestic) is asked to self-quarantine for 14 days at home before returning to campus.



Q: Has commencement been canceled?

A:Commencement is a very important rite of passage for Northwestern College students, and we will do something for graduates and their families at some point. Our goal and desire is to host some kind of event—but given the fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation, we are unsure what that will look like. Please know that this is as important to us as it is to those graduating, and we will do our best to mark this occasion and life accomplishment.



Update on Monday, April 6:

Q: Are the football field and outdoor track still open?

A: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds today expanded the list of closures to include playgrounds. As a result, De Valois Stadium—including Korver Field and the track—will be locked until further notice. We will be posting signage near the entrances. 

Q: Are Northwestern's offices closed?

A: While many of our employees are working remotely, offices remain open for normal business at this time.

Update on Monday, March 23:

Most Northwestern employees are now working remotely. Offices are still in operation but are closed to the general public. The Rowenhorst Student Center mallway and post office will be open the same daytime hours of the Hub, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Hub will also continue to be open for students and employees from 5 to 6:30 p.m., serving in a grab-n-go or takeout format. 

Q: Is Northwestern’s library open?

Update  on Wednesday, March 25:

A:  DeWitt Library, located in the DeWitt Learning Commons, is closed but offering curbside pickup of books or print materials between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Staff are continuing to serve students and faculty as much as possible. Many of the library’s resources are online, and staff will work with you if you need print materials. Visit the  library's COVID-19 response page for more information. 

Q: I’m a student staying on campus. Can I use the Fitness Center?

A: No. Like other gyms and recreational facilities in Iowa, the Fitness Center, Juffer Fieldhouse and Bultman Center are closed until further notice.


Financial Questions

Q: Will I get a refund for room and board?

A: In light of the current circumstances, we have begun to calculate potential room and meal plan adjustments. We are waiting for federal and state guidance before we decide how to also address federal, state and Northwestern financial aid. We want to make sure we are handling all student accounts consistently and in accordance with federal and state regulations. Once we know more, we will communicate with students and parents via email.

Update on Friday, March 20:

President Christy met virtually with the presidents of Iowa private colleges earlier today to discuss this and other pertinent questions. Like other Iowa private colleges, we continue to wait on final guidance from the federal and state government about regulations regarding financial aid and student account adjustments. We have begun preliminary calculations and will be ready to move forward quickly when this guidance is received.


Health and Wellness

Q: Will I be notified if someone at NWC tests positive for COVID-19?

A: If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19 and they were on campus within the previous 14 days, we will notify the community according to the protocols of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Q: What if I test positive for COVID-19 but I’m no longer on campus? Do I tell someone at NWC?

A: If you test positive for COVID-19 in your home health care facility and it is within 14 days of your being on campus interacting with fellow students, it’s critically important that you let us know since NWC would not be notified by another state’s health department. Contact Dr. Michelle Van Wyhe, NWC Wellness Center Nurse Practitioner, immediately.