FAQ Coronavirus and 2020-2021

Be ready for fall 2020.

This page will provide Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), updates and links to resources about coronavirus/COVID-19 and fall 2020 and spring 2021. The page will be updated often.


Questions below are grouped:

  • COVID-19, Your Health, Your Responsibilities

  • Teaching & Learning, the A+A, the Fab Lab

  • Student Support, Student Life, Campus

  • More will be added as needed


COVID-19, Your Health, Your Responsibilities


Your best source of updated information about coronavirus/COVID-19 and UT’s response is at UT’s coronavirus website.

The UT site provides helpful guides on many topics including:


What is COVID-19?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19, the novel coronavirus causing the pandemic, is a virus that causes mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Is social distancing and wearing a mask really important?

Social distancing and wearing a mask are simple measures you can take to avoid being infected by others and infecting others. Students, faculty and staff are required to wear face coverings on campus. These measures help you stay healthy, so you can help keep our community healthy.

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

In short, respect your health and the health of others by social distancing, washing your hands often, avoiding large gatherings and wearing a face covering when you are around other people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the best source of accurate information for how to protect yourself: Check out this CDC information.

What is the Volunteer Commitment?

We all have a role to play to protect our own health and the health of others. In July, UT shared the Volunteer Commitment, a statement of purpose for faculty, staff and students that states that we will act with courage to protect others even if it means sacrificing some comforts of a typical campus experience. Everyone is asked to review it and adhere to it, and students are asked to acknowledge that they have read it. Learn more about the Volunteer Commitment.

Will the Student Health Center be available?

The Student Health Center will have extended hours through weekends this fall and offers a nurse line for students to call 24 hours a day, 865-974-5080. The center also offers telehealth appointments.

Must I get a flu shot? Will I have to get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Read the latest from UT about vaccinations and exemptions.



The Volunteer Commitment

Each of us has a personal responsibility to protect our health and contribute to the safety of our community.

Vols help Vols.

Volunteers act to protect one another and our broader communities. As we come together as a Volunteer community during a pandemic, everyone is expected to follow the instructions established by the university to protect themselves, to prevent spreading illness to others, and to maintain an on-campus experience, including the following measures:

  • Wearing a mask on campus as instructed, including in classrooms.
  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water, and using hand sanitizer.
  • Practicing social distancing and following protective guidelines when social distancing is not possible.
  • Acting quickly to follow instructions for testing and contact tracing.
  • Monitoring personal health and following medical instructions.
  • Following instructions for cleaning and hygiene on campus.

Being a Volunteer is grounded in leadership and service. Our community will act with courage to protect others, even if it means sacrificing some comforts of a typical campus experience.

I understand that I am expected to follow the university’s instructions for protecting myself and the Volunteer community during this pandemic. I will do my part to make our campus a safe and healthy environment.

Teaching & Learning, the A+A, the Fab Lab


Will the college still provide digital tutoring?

Yes! Our Digital Tutoring Center will remain online for the fall semester. Read the details.

Will professors be teaching in person?

Some of our professors will teach in person; some will teach virtually; and some will use a hybrid approach.

Have professors’ expectations been adjusted to align with the many changes this semester?

Your professors have worked all summer to be ready for an unusual and amazing semester. They have learned new technology; gained knowledge in teaching virtually; designed new ways to present curriculum; and continued to stay up to date about the changes at UT and beyond. They understand the unusual circumstances we’re all facing and will conduct their classes in a robust and fair way.

What is the status of study abroad/off-campus experiences?

Study abroad/off-campus experiences are cancelled for fall 2020 or postponed until spring 2021. Check the UT Programs Abroad office website for the latest information about study abroad/off-campus experiences and check this FAQ from the office.

What about my belongings in the A+A studio?

A final opportunity to remove personal items from your spring 2020 studio took place Aug. 12-17, 2020, following UT’s strict protocols related to COVID-19. This information was shared with all students through numerous e-mails, on the college’s News page and in the Aug. 11, 2020, issue of Student Update. Students were informed that after noon on Aug. 17, all personal items left in studio would be recycled or placed in the trash to prepare for fall semester.

Will we be able to access the technology and wood shops in the A+A and Fab Lab?

All technology and equipment in the A+A is available to students this fall, including plotters, printers, etc. The DPC will be open, and hours will be announced in August. The A+A wood shop and the Fab Lab will be available using an online reservation system for access and simultaneous user limits. Digital fab tools can be accessed by scheduled appointments in-person just as during spring semester, or if necessary you can complete file reviews remotely using Zoom. Also, this semester we are excited to offer contactless/full online 3D-printing access using cloud-based software. Contactless 3D printing allows you to prepare, queue and submit prints online, remote-in to look at your print using live-feed cameras and receive automated email notifications. Watch for details.

How will studios happen if we’re socially distanced and wearing masks?

Throughout the summer, we’ve worked to prepare the A+A for a safe educational environment, including moving desks, adding technology and more. Studios will be equipped with technology for livestreaming, and in-person faculty will be able to conduct desk crits safely. Some studios will divide into groups who will alternate meeting in person and virtually.


Student Support, Student Life & Events, Campus


How will advising work?

Remotely and in person. During spring and summer, advising occurred virtually to great success. Advising during fall 2020 will happen in person and virtually using a combination of phone calls, e-mails and Zoom meetings.

Is the college’s main office open?

Yes, you will find staff in the main office every day, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. You can drop in, send an e-mail or call.

Is the Center for Student Development open?

The employees who work in the Center for Student Development are working for you in person and remotely. The in-person hours will be posted on the website and on the doors of the center. This fall, you can visit with them in person or contact them by phone, e-mail or Zoom.

I’m a graduate student. Are there specific guidelines for me?

Check out this FAQ from UT’s Graduate School. Information includes academic success, research, assistantships and more.

What about the college’s events and lecture series?

Following recommendations from the CDC, Knox County Health Department and other resources, UT established strict protocols for events in fall. We know that events are important to our culture, so we are working to plan events that can be held safely. Dean’s Student Forum will resume via Zoom on Aug. 28. The lecture series will be held virtually and will include amazing speakers. Events in the spring are still under review.

What about commencement in fall 2020? In spring 2021?

UT continues to watch the evolving situation with COVID-19 to determine if a large gathering like commencement can take place this fall. UT leaders also are continuing to try to plan an in-person commencement ceremony for the spring 2020 graduates. The spring 2021 commencement still is under review.

What will final reviews be like?

The format for fall 2020 final reviews is under review.

What will my campus experience be like?

Learn more about housing, dining, RecSports, Greek life, on-campus experience and more at UT’s coronavirus website. Here are a few frequently visited links: