FAQs for American Indian Students at ASU

FAQs for American Indian Students at ASU

From the Office of American Indian Initiatives & the American Indian Student Support Services 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) for American Indian Students related to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the transition to online classes at Arizona State University. The following FAQs reflect the University’s current coronavirus policies and resources (as of March 24, 2020). 

How will convocation/graduation proceed?

At this time, no decision has been made to cancel graduation ceremonies. Please know that we will be continuously assessing the circumstances arising from the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the United States and will make a determination later based upon those circumstances. We will keep everyone informed as decisions are made. Keep checking the ASU COVID-19 webpage for the most up-to-date information. Please note that whether a commencement ceremony happens or not, that does not affect degree completion. If you complete all coursework and requirements, you will still earn your degree and graduate.

What if I want to withdraw from a class or classes?

Students who want to withdraw from the university should contact their academic advisor immediately. As you consider your decision, we encourage you to understand the impact it will have to your financial aid, housing, and academic obligations.

What if we have an on-campus job or internship?

All jobs that can be done remotely are transitioning to teleworking, and internships are expanding to online with companies that are in virtual mode. Please check with your supervisor for specifics.

Will ASU close the residential halls?

Given the rapidly evolving circumstances regarding COVID-19 and our interest in ensuring the health and well-being of our students, we are strongly encouraging those who live in university housing and whose circumstances permit to consider moving out of the residence hall to a family residence or living environment that minimizes contact with others. This will help if students need to be isolated, become ill or if the state moves to a shelter in place situation. Residence halls will continue to remain open and essential services will continue to be provided to students who need to remain on campus. ASU has already increased the cleaning of student residential areas, particularly high-touch surfaces and are reminding students about appropriate social distancing protocols. University dining has moved to take-out only or a grab-and-go concept to eliminate gathering at mealtimes and no visitors will be allowed in residence halls.

How can I get a laptop and/or WiFi while I am home on my reservation?

Contact American Indian Student Support Services (AISSS) at aisss@asu.edu for a laptop and/or hotspot loaner for WiFi. Staff may be reached online at https://aisss.asu.edu or call Student Success Retention Coordinators:

  • Vickie Baldwin (602) 496-0355

  • Claudia Dagnino (623) 543-6290

  • Jayme Deschene (480) 965-8176

  • Laura Medina (480) 727-1036

Why weren’t classes cancelled entirely for the semester?

ASU is open. While our method of operations has changed during this public health emergency, we believe it is important to continue with our mission of providing educational access and it is our commitment to make sure that all students are able to complete courses and continue their academic progress. University housing and dining halls are open with parameters in place to accommodate social distancing measures. ASU’s Health and Counseling services remain open.

What if we are not familiar with learning in an online format and prefer in person instruction? And what if our grades suffer?

Transitioning to online was an unforeseeable change. Everyone at ASU (students, faculty, staff) are adapting together to manage this transition to online classes. Don’t hesitate to contact your academic advisor if you are having any challenges during this difficult time. AISSS can provide referrals to online tutoring and academic coaches to help you succeed in the online environment. AISSS staff are available - via email, phone (see phone #s above) or Zoom. To set up a Zoom appointment, please contact your individual campus coordinator. Listings can be found at https://aisss.asu.edu. The university has also set up this web page for students with guidance for online learning: https://provost.asu.edu/remote/students

What if I don’t have internet access at home?

Please check with your carrier for updates to see if they are offering any additional services or support. Below is more internet information: 

ASU has created an American Indian Student Needs Response Team to assist with the online class transition and immediate student needs. Below are primary contacts. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the staff listed below for any questions or concerns: 

Tribal Internet Access Resources

ASU, NAU, and UArizona American Indian student support staff are working collectively to create a list of locations within individual tribal nations and communities that can provide internet access. We will make this information available once completed. In the meantime, below are a couple of currently available tribal internet access resources.

  • Ak-Chin Indian Community Library has Wi-Fi Hotspots for community members; Contact Pam Velasquez at PVelasquez@ak-chin.nsn.us 

  • Modonna Huma-Dawasevaya, Higher Education Advisor; Hopi Tribe Grants and Scholarships Program is working to establish a network resource that will allow all students access to available Wi-Fi/study areas within the Hopi community. For updates contact Modonna at MHuma-Dawasevaya@hopi.nsn.us, (928) 734-3535 or call Toll free (800) 762-9630

Where can I access no-cost Digital Textbooks?

RedShelf and Sun Devil Campus Store have partnered with the publishing community to provide students with up to 7 free eBooks from participating publishers. To ensure that all students have access to their course materials. Access runs through May 25th. Instructions for accessing no-cost digital textbooks

Books are also available from Vitalsource: https://get.vitalsource.com/vitalsource-helps. Students simply log into the VitalSource Bookshelf app using their school email address and can then find and view course materials from participating publishers via VitalSource’s Explore capabilities within Bookshelf. Additionally, free ground shipping has been extended on all orders from the bookstores. Learn more at https://www.bkstr.com/arizonastatestore/home

Where can I get basic essentials, like toilet paper?

AISSS currently has an emergency grant (up to $400.00) for items such as toiletries, food, transportation, and school supplies. Contact AISSS https://aisss.asu.edu for criteria and an application.

What if I was exposed to someone with the COVID-19 virus or I am worried that I have the virus?

Call your health care professional or medical provider if you feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your health care provider will work with the local health department and the Arizona Department of Health Services to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

There are now commercial laboratory tests available with a doctor’s orders; do not go directly to a commercial lab to get a COVID-19 test. The Arizona State Public Health Laboratory also has testing capability with a faster turnaround time, but there are limited number of tests and testing must be authorized by local and state public health. Additionally, the state’s COVID-19 information hotline is 1-844-542-8201 or ASU Telemed at 480-965-3349. You can also access their website here

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