ATU Faculty Members Answer Spring 2021 FAQs

ATU Clasroom First Day Fall 2020
File photo from an Arkansas Tech University classroom during the first day of the fall 2020 semester.

Arkansas Tech University’s academic leadership on the Russellville campus has developed answers for frequently asked questions as it prepares to return to on-campus instruction for the spring 2021 semester.

Changes to the spring 2021 academic calendar are not anticipated. However, the potential remains for adjustments to the calendar.

Prospective students seeking information about applying for admission to ATU may learn more at

Current students seeking more information about the spring 2021 semester may contact their faculty advisor or visit the Roy and Christine Sturgis Academic Advising Center’s online home at

Students who have reached upper-division status (60 or more earned hours) should contact their faculty advisor. Please see (2) below on how to identify and contact your assigned faculty advisor.

(1) How do I review my spring semester schedule?

Individual course schedules are available on OneTech. Visit to log in to OneTech. Students who do not remember their password or need to change it may go to

After logging in to OneTech, click “Academics” on the left side panel. This will bring students to a page where they can click a link to view/print their schedule (under “My Courses”). Students will need to select “Spring 2021” in the dropdown menu to see their spring schedule. Click on the envelope next to the instructor’s name while viewing the schedule to contact that instructor.

(2) How do I find out the name of my advisor?

Log in to OneTech as described above. Click on “Academics” on the left side panel. Select the “Spring 2021” term. The advisor’s name will be listed at the bottom of the screen. Click on the envelope to contact the advisor.

(3) How do I know what textbooks and materials are needed for my classes?

To determine what materials are required for classes, go to, click “Textbooks” in the top menu, and select “Find Textbooks.” Select the appropriate campus (ATU or ATU-Ozark) from the dropdown menu and then enter course information (department, course number, and section). Students may enter all of the courses on their schedule at one time. When finished entering courses, click on the yellow bar to display course materials.

(4) How do I know if my class is face-to-face, mixed technology (hybrid) or online?

Determining if a particular class is face-to-face, mixed technology (hybrid) or online may be achieved by looking at the section number for the course on the course schedule or by searching for the course on the schedule of courses (

A section number of 001, 002, etc., means the class is a face-to-face class. A section number of M01, M02, etc. denotes a mixed technology class; i.e., a class with face-to-face and online components, and is often referred to as a hybrid course. These mixed technology courses fall into two categories: those with less than 49 percent online content and those with between 50 and 99 percent online content. A section number of TC1, TC2, etc., means the course is entirely online.

A section number of VC1, VC2, etc., indicates a course delivered via video conferencing. Courses offered by video conferencing meet virtually during the days of the week and the course time indicated in your course schedule.

You might consider watching this short video on the types of course delivery:

Note that online courses will show TBA under “where the class is located” since there will not be any face-to-face meetings.

(5) My course is listed as a face-to-face course. What will the classroom be like?

The classroom may look different upon arrival. Chairs have been removed (or marked if they cannot be removed) to maintain six feet of distance between class participants. Students and the instructor must wear a mask at all times while inside the classroom. The instructor may also wear a face shield. Students will be asked to sanitize their seating area before class with materials provided in the classroom. Hand sanitizer dispensers in the hallways should be utilized when entering and leaving the classroom.

(6) Do I need to go to class every day for a mixed technology course?

As described above, a mixed technology course, also called a hybrid course, will have both face-to-face and online components. Instructors will inform students when they will need to attend a face-to-face class in a mixed technology course. The class environment will look like that described for face-to-face classes. Students and the instructor will wear masks and the seating will be arranged to allow for appropriate distancing. Instructors may also wear a face shield. Students will be asked to sanitize their seating area before class with materials provided in the classroom. Hand sanitizer dispensers in the hallways should be utilized when entering and leaving the classroom.

There may be small groups within the class who attend the face-to-face portion of the course on the same days. Other students in the class may attend on different days. Instructors will provide communication, possibly utilizing the course’s Blackboard module, on Thursday, Jan. 7, to inform students if they will attend face-to-face.

Also, the course lectures may be delivered synchronously (simultaneously as the scheduled class time) or asynchronously (for students to view at a time different from the scheduled course time). Instructors may or may not record lectures that are delivered synchronously. Please check the course syllabus for details. Please refer to the document entitled “Helpful Tips for Students Transitioning to Hybrid Course Format or Online Format” to see tips for success in online courses. The Students Transitioning to Online Learning (STOL-ATU) self-study guide located in Blackboard may also prove to be a helpful resource.

Students may access Blackboard by logging in with their OneTech username and password at

(7) I’ve never taken an online course before. What should I expect?

At first, online courses may seem very different than face-to-face courses. They can be asynchronous, meaning students do not have a fixed class time, or synchronous, where the lecture is delivered at a specific class time. Instructors may or may not record the synchronous lectures. In the Blackboard module for the course, the instructor will give students a schedule of when they should review the course content (recorded lectures, videos, etc.) as well as when they will be tested on them.

An essential aspect of an online course is student-to-student interaction as well as instructor-to-student interaction. Students may be asked to contribute to class discussions, write a blog, work with a team on a project, take an exam, or any number of activities chosen by the instructor. Students may be asked to use a webcam and/or special software while taking an exam. Please refer to the document entitled “Helpful Tips for Students Transitioning to Hybrid Course Format or Online Format” to see tips for success in online courses. The Students Transitioning to Online Learning (STOL-ATU) self-study guide located in Blackboard may also prove to be a helpful resource.

Students may access Blackboard by logging in with their OneTech username and password at

(8) Can I take all of my courses online for the spring semester?

If online sections of a student’s courses are available (denoted by section numbers of TC1, TC2, etc.), they can choose to take all of their courses online for the spring semester. Students who change their schedule to take only online sections are asked to work with their advisor to ensure continued progress toward the desired degree.

Students who take all online sections are required to pay the student activity fee, public safety fee and student union/recreation center fee unless they are enrolled in a degree program that is delivered 100 percent online and they do not live or work on campus.

(9) What about spring break and final exams? Have there been any changes?

The spring 2021 academic calendar has not changed. However, adjustments may be made if circumstances require the university to do so. Spring break occurs from 7 a.m. Monday, March 22, until 7 a.m. Monday, March 29.

Reading day is Monday, April 26, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The final examination period for the spring 2021 semester begins at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 26, and ends at 9 p.m. on Friday, April 30.

(10) What if I (or a family member I live with) has a medical condition that makes me more vulnerable to COVID?

Suppose a student or a family member with whom the student lives have a medical condition that makes the student or family member a part of a vulnerable population identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In that case, the student may request accommodations through the ATU Office of Disability Services at The student must acquire and provide physician certification of the medical condition.

(11) Are there computers on campus that I can use to complete my work for online and hybrid courses?

Please refer to the ATU Office of Information Systems web page about computer labs on campus at Some labs listed are for particular majors or are used for teaching only. Look for labs on this web page that denote the computer labs are for “Student Use.”

(12) Is the library open? How can I get materials for my online courses?

Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center will remain open for students throughout the spring 2021 semester. The library’s hours for the semester are:

Monday–Thursday: 7 a.m.-midnight
Friday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.-midnight

Nearly all of the journal collections exist online and are accessible remotely. Additionally, most of the book collection is online as well, and it is accessible in full-text through the “Find It!” search box at

Students taking only online courses and living more than 25 miles away from campus are considered distance learning students. Some services are tailored to the needs of these students. Please refer to for more information. Reference librarians continue to be available to students when the library is open or online at

(13) When will I hear from my instructor about my course and how it will run?

Instructors will contact students via their ATU e-mail address no later than Thursday, Jan. 7, as to what to expect for a particular course. If a student adds a course during the late registration period and does not receive an e-mail from the course instructor, the student should contact the instructor before the first class day to learn what preparation is required.

(14) How are labs being run?

Lab courses may be online, face-to-face or mixed technology. For online labs, instructors may use simulations or other methods to deliver the course content. Face-to-face labs will run like face-to-face courses with the lab seating set up for distancing of at least six feet, instructors and students wearing masks and sanitization of lab stations and equipment at the beginning of the lab period.

(15) How do I get tutoring?

Virtual tutoring via WebEx will be available this spring from the APEX Tutoring Center beginning Tuesday, January 19. Tutoring will be available Sundays-Thursdays from 4-8 p.m. Please make an appointment in advance using TutorTrac. For more information or to sign up for tutoring, visit The list of courses for which tutoring will be available will be posted to the APEX Tutoring Center website by Tuesday, Jan. 19.

The APEX Tutoring Center will be closed during spring break (March 22-29).

You may also call the APEX Tutoring Center at (479) 964-0583, ext. 6503) or by sending e-mail to

The ATU Department of Mathematics math lab opens Tuesday, Jan. 19, and is available to students four days a week: Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The math lab is closed during spring break and finals week. All math lab tutoring services are provided online. Please contact Ms. Kristi Spittler-Brown, math lab supervisor, for questions or guidance at

(16) When is the Campus Support Center available during the spring term?

The ATU Campus Support Center is available Sunday through Thursday between 7 a.m.-1 a.m. and from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. You may access the ATU Campus Support Center by telephone at (479) 968-0646) or by e-mail to

Self-service support is available by accessing the Campus Support Center Knowledge Base at

(17) How do I access the software needed for my course if I am away from campus?

Many of the software packages students may need for courses are available on the university’s vDesktops or StuDesktops that are accessible from off-campus. Go to to see how to log on to get access to the required software. Information about software should also be included in the course syllabus.

(18) Who do I contact about specific questions about my degree program?

Please refer to the list below for the contact information for each department. Students who are unsure of the department where their degree program resides may refer to the undergraduate catalog ( and click on “Degree Programs” in the left menu. This will provide a list of departments as well as the degrees they offer.

Department Contact Information

Department of Accounting, Finance, and Economics
Tracy Cole

Department of Agriculture
Dr. Justin Killingsworth

Department of Art
Summer Bruch

Department of Behavioral Sciences
Dr. David Ward

Department of Biological Science
Dr. John Jackson

Department of Communication and Journalism
Anthony Caton

Department of Computer and Information Science
Dr. Jerry Wood

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Theresa Cullen

Department of Electrical Engineering
Dr. Carl Greco

Department of Emergency Management
Dr. Sandy Smith

Department of English and World Languages
Dr. Carl Brucker

Department of Health and Physical Education
Dr. Rockie Pederson

Department of History and Political Science
Dr. David Blanks

Department of Management and Marketing
Dr. Kevin Mason

Department of Mathematics
Dr. Jeanine Myers

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. John Krohn

Department of Music
Dr. Jeff Bright

Department of Nursing
Dr. Shelly Daily

Department of Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Administration
Dr. Cathi McMahan

Department of Physical Sciences
Dr. Jason Patton

Department of Professional Studies
Dr. Jeff Aulgur