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Open SFA: Guide to Fall 2020


Lumberjacks FLEX

Our Lumberjacks Flex plan is designed with your health and safety in mind and provides you with the choice of taking classes in person or online and living on or off campus. Regardless of delivery, our classes provide you with the high-quality academic experience you’d expect from SFA.

Keeping you safe and healthy is our top priority.

Select classes in face-to-face, online, livestream, hybrid or hyflex formats.

Live in convenient, supportive on-campus housing, or opt to live off campus this year.

More than 80 classrooms are receiving technology upgrades to facilitate distance learning.

Classes start Monday, Aug. 24, and the fall semester will end Friday, Dec. 11. Classes after the Thanksgiving break will be remote only in most cases.


Your learning can be supported by the Academic Assistance and Resource Center (AARC). Regardless of the instructional method of your course, the AARC is there to assist you in person or online. You’ll also have access to Counseling Services, Disability Services, and the Center for Career and Professional Development.

Face-to-face: A traditional course in which you attend class with a faculty and fellow students on campus for each class meeting. Smaller class sizes will ensure social distancing.

Online: A course in which content and activities are delivered online. No on-campus attendance is required, and you can engage in the course at any time of day

Livestream: A course in which regularly scheduled class sessions are delivered via Zoom, with real-time interaction between you, the faculty, and fellow students. No on-campus attendance is required.

Hybrid: A course that is delivered as a blend of face-to-face and online, face-to-face and livestream, or online and livestream. Classes meet at regular, scheduled intervals. Your faculty will share the dates and times when on-campus or livestream attendance is required.

Hyflex: A course in which you decide whether to attend the class face-to-face, via livestream at scheduled times, online anytime, or any combination.

How Lumberjacks Flex will benefit you

Your entire class schedule can be built so you can attend classes in the manner that works best for you. Our model gives you the flexibility to choose from courses with a regular meeting schedule, online only or a combination of both.

Key Features

Study from anywhere

Many classes will be offered online during the fall semester, so you can live on or off campus.

The choice is yours

We’ve lifted the requirement for students with fewer than 60 credit hours to live on campus, so you may live where you feel most comfortable.

Providing you with flexibility

We expanded the options for class offerings with choices ranging from face-to-face to livestream to hyflex. Choose the ones that work best for you!

Rigorous and immersive

All of our classes are intentionally designed to provide the outstanding academic experience you deserve.

Stephen F. Austin Statue

Why this plan is best for Fall 2020

No one can predict with certainty how the fall semester will go, but we all want to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, so we are making plans that will help you finish the semester with the maximum possible flexibility. We’ve updated protocols to protect student, faculty and staff health in campus classrooms, labs, residence halls and other buildings.

Our primary goal is for you and the people who care about you to feel safe while you’re in college. For some students, that means living on campus and taking classes either in person or online. Other students may feel more comfortable living at home and taking only online classes. Whichever you choose, our goal is to do everything possible to provide you with an extraordinary Lumberjack experience.

Academic FAQs

How can I find out if my classes have been changed (location, instructional method, etc.)?

Go to mySFA and click on the registration tab to look at your courses in the Enrollment box. Here you will be able to see the location and instructional method/modality of the class. Keep in mind the fall schedule is subject to change, so it’s a good idea to check back regularly. You can also use the Concise Class Schedule without logging into mySFA.

How long and how often will 8-week courses meet?

The 8-week class meetings are similar to the 16-week class meetings except you spend twice as much time in class each day. Three-credit-hour courses, whether face-to-face, livestream, or hyflex, have three basic meeting patterns. Tuesday/Thursday for three hours, Monday/Wednesday/Friday for almost two hours, and Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday for 1.5 hours. A one credit-hour course will meet for at least two hours one day per week and a two credit-hour course will meet for at least four hours per week. Many labs will have longer durations based on the subject and may be between three and six hours in length, or more. You will be in class twice as long as you would in a regular 16-week term, and you’ll have twice as much homework. The 8-week courses are more immersive and provide many students with greater opportunities to learn.

Will a professor or academic advisor contact students if changes are made to their class schedule?

As changes are made, students will be contacted by professors or academic departments. It is important that you check your email account regularly.

If I or someone I live with is in a high-risk group, what do I need to know about choosing classes or changing my schedule?

Students with questions concerning their schedule are encouraged to visit with their academic advisor to consider the best course of action in developing a schedule.  In the schedule of courses, students will notice that many of the courses offered in the fall will not require face-to-face attendance, but of course, some will.  Advisors will assist in answering questions on course format, and students also may contact the course professor to determine whether face-to-face attendance is a requirement for any course.

I know that I learn best face to face. Can I attend class every day face-to-face even if my instructor tells me my “group” can only attend in person certain days to maintain CDC distancing?

No. Classes are designed to integrate appropriate social distancing for the protection of both students and faculty.  Attendance rules are set by the course instructor in accordance with predetermined classroom capacity limits. The rules presented by the course instructor are to be followed at all times.

How will I know which days to attend and which days to zoom or work online?

Since classes and room capacities will vary, each faculty member will determine how to best divide class time and classwork between face-to-face sessions and zoom or online sessions. If a class must be divided into cohorts, your faculty members will inform you of the class meeting pattern and when you should plan to attend. Your cohort may be assigned to attend face-to-face on a certain day each week and then to Zoom into the class or complete classwork online on the other days.

I’m nervous about distance classes. Won’t they be boring?

While your livestream or online classes may not look like the learning experiences you’re used to, they can easily be just as engaging as face-to-face courses! For those students attending classes via livestream, faculty will work to ensure that remote students enjoy the same engaging classes as face-to-face students. Our Center for Teaching & Learning has been creating workshops for faculty to learn about best practices in engagement and course design for these blended courses, and many faculty are already taking part.

Online courses can be far from boring as well. In online courses, many faculty incorporate video discussions, record individual video assignment feedback, and provide virtual office hours via Zoom.

If courses are online, I can save money and take at a local community college. What makes SFA online courses different?

Online courses at SFA are held to a high standard for development. When a course is first developed for online delivery, it must undergo a rigorous review process to make sure it is coherent, complete and accessible to all learners. Not all institutions have this process, and it ensures that SFA’s online courses are held to our high institutional standards.

What activities might I be doing in a hyflex/online/hybrid class? 

For students attending class via livestream, activities will be very similar to what you would do in a face-to-face class but adapted to remote delivery. For example, if you were in a face-to-face class and were assigned to brainstorm solutions to a problem with four other students, you would gather around a table, talk, and collect your answers on a sheet of paper. For students attending via livestream, this same task might be accomplished by working in a breakout room in Zoom to chat with your fellow students about the task at hand. Then, instead of writing your answers on a sheet of paper, you’d submit them to a shared document provided by your instructor.

How many 8-week classes can I take at once?

The best way to think of an 8-week class is that it the same amount of material, instruction, and studying associated with a traditional 16-week semester compacted into eight weeks. This means you’re moving more quickly through the content and assignments and so need to dedicate more time to that course. So, six to seven semester credit hours is the most you should consider taking in eight weeks. You might be able to take one 16-week course at the same time.

Remember, taking 12-credit-hours per semester (or 24 hours per year) puts you on a five-year plan for a bachelor’s degree. To finish in four years, you’ll need to complete 15 credit hours per semester (or 30 hours each year). And SFA’s fall and spring tuition is based on a flat rate beginning at 12 hours, so you may take additional courses (up to 21 hours) with no extra cost!

My face-to-face class is now online/livestream! I’m terrible with technology! Where do I go for help?

SFA’s Help Desk can assist you with general computing issues (e.g. how to reset your mySFA password, where to go to have your computer fixed, etc.) as well as questions about Zoom. You can reach them at or 936.468.HELP.

SFA’s Brightspace Support Team can assist you with any questions about Brightspace by D2L. You can reach them at 936.468.1919 or

If I don’t feel well but I don’t want to miss class and get behind, what should I do?

As with a face-to-face course, always start with your faculty member. Contact your professor, explain the situation, and ask how you can best keep up with all course content and assignments. You may be able to Zoom into the class if you cannot attend face-to-face, or live discussions/lectures may be being recorded so that you can access the recordings when you are able. Your instructor also may be able to meet with you virtually via Zoom, email or another means to discuss what you’ve missed.

Can I contact an academic advisor?

Yes. Here's a list of advisors. Contact your college's advising center or find an advisor based on your major.

Nelson Rusche College of Business
Location: McGee Suite, Room 392
Phone: 936.468.4654

James I. Perkins College of Education
Location: McKibben Building, Room 118
Phone: 936.468.2901

College of Fine Arts
Location: Miller Science Building, Room 100G
Phone: 936.468.2801

Arthur Temple College of Forestry & Agriculture
Location: Forestry Building, Room 103E
Phone: 936.468.3301

College of Liberal & Applied Arts
Location: Ferguson Building, Room 290
Phone: 936.468.2205

College of Sciences & Mathematics
Location: Miller Science Building, Room 127
Phone: 936.468.3902




Phone (936.468.XXXX)



Wenger, Mackenzie


Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Beach Volleyball


Athletic Academic Center,  100B

De la Cruz, Walter


Bowling, Tennis, Men's and Women's Track & Cross Country


Athletic Academic Center,  100

Logan, Ann (Casie)


Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball, Soccer


Athletic Academic Center,  100C

Rains, Jordan




Athletic Academic Center,  100A

Walter, Ben


Grad. Assistant- Men's and Women's Golf



Athletic Academic Center,  100

Montes, Gloria


MMIB-Management, Marketing, Sports Business, Human Resources Managemen, International Business, MMIB Transfer Students


McGee Business, 392

Goddard, Jennifer


All Accounting Majors, Transfer Accounting, and MBA


McGee Business, 392

Small, Gina


Business Undecided, Transfer Business Undecided,  Career Success Passport


McGee Business, 392

Smith, Stacy


Banking, Business Communication & Corporate Education, General Business, Economics, Finance


McGee Business, 392

Cole, Sara


Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences, Food and Nutrition, Hospitality Administration


McKibben, 118

Richard, Amber


Kinesiology: Fitness and Human Performance


McKibben, 118

Burdine, Dorinda (Dorie)


Communication Disorders, Construction Management, Dance, Family and Consumer Sciences, Human Services, Interior Design, Merchandising, Pre-Audiology


McKibben, 118

Deckard, Crystal


Health Sciences, Human Services, Kinesiology All-Level Teaching, Rehabilitation Services


McKibben, 118

Kelley, Megan


Freshman-All Education Majors (0-29 completed hours)


McKibben, 118

Morgan, Kelly


Elementary Education: Core Subjects EC-6, Mid-Level Grades 4-8


McKibben, 118

Strahl, Stephanie


Special Education -All-Level Teaching-F2F & Online, Human Development and Family Studies, Deaf and Hard of Hearing-All-Level Teaching


McKibben, 118

Flynn, Courtney

Fine Arts

Art, Music, Theatre


Miller Science, 100G

Bishop, Brandy

Forestry and Agriculture

Forestry, Environmental Science, Spatial Science: Advises K-Z by student's last name


Forestry Building, 103

Svehla, Chanelle

Forestry and Agriculture

Forestry, Environmental Science, Spatial Science: Advises A-J by student's last name


Forestry Building, 103

Payne, Emily-Faculty

Forestry and Agriculture

All Agriculture Majors


Agriculture Building, 116A

Boone, Jessica


HIST and COMS up to 45 hours, PSYC A-R/up to 45 hours


Ferguson, 291

Harris, Billy


BAAS Coordinator, ENGL up to 45 hours, PSYC S-Z/up to 45 hours


Ferguson, 291

Williford, Sherry-Faculty


Mass Communication


Boynton, 301D

Jefferson, Anna

Science and Math

All first time STEM majors on probation


Miller Science, 127

Langford, James-Faculty

Science and Math

All Pre-Professional areas for students with 3.0 or higher. Contact Anita Beavers to schedule appointment.


Miller Science, 127

Menefee, Trina

Science and Math

For students not TSI complete and/or have probation/suspension status in Math, Pre-Nursing, Physics, Geology, Engineering Physics


Miller Science, 127

Scott, Shana

Science and Math

Geology Majors


Miller Science, 301

Strong, Chris

Science and Math

Nursing and Pre-Nursing for all students that are TSI complete and overall GPA of a 2.5+


School of Nursing-5707 North Street

Turner, Laura

Science and Math

For students not TSI complete and/or have probation/suspension status in Biology; Chem, BioChemistry, Computer Science, Computer Information Systems, Information Technology


Miller Science, 127

Childress, Kate

Student Success Center

Undeclared, TSI


Steen Library, 203

Lance, Tricia

Student Success Center

Undeclared, TSI


Steen Library, 203

Morrsion, Shannon

Student Success Center

Undeclared, TSI


Steen Library, 203

Skidmore, Raquel

Student Success Center

Dual Credit, Undeclared, TSI


Steen Library, 203

Campus Services

Our caring faculty and staff is committed to giving you the full Lumberjack experience this fall, and that means providing all the campus services students rely on to meet their basic needs as well as engage and empower them to succeed in college and in life.

Every member of our community is first and foremost personally responsible for their own health and well-being. To help keep our SFA family safe, always use your best judgment in every activity you undertake.

Eat well on campus this fall at one of our full-service dining halls or any of our popular retail dining outlets.

As the hub of campus, the student center will continue to offer eat-in and grab-and-go meal options; postal, printing and ID services; and space for small meetings this fall.

Relieve stress and prioritize your wellness at the Student Recreation Center with individual workouts, fitness classes and relaxing floats around the lazy river.

Enjoy being part of our fun, safe, convenient and supportive residential community, or choose to live off campus this year.

Residence Life

Campus life will be different when we return in the fall, but the many benefits of learning and growing while living in SFA’s very special residential community are still available to all of our residents. Each of the rooms in our residence halls is large enough to accommodate physical distancing, so students who have requested to room together will be able to do so. We also have a limited number of single-occupant rooms available.

female residence hall

Key Features

Welcome home

We are planning an extended move-in process with staggered arrival times and an efficient, touchless check-in process to get you safely settled into your new space. Students who have a residence hall assignment will be receiving information about how to schedule their move-in later this summer.

Safety in mind

Our Residence Life custodial staff will be working around the clock to clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch surfaces like elevator buttons, handrails, faucets and doorknobs.

Move in with confidence

Our on-campus housing will remain open with services and staff accessible through the published commencement date.

You have a choice

While there is evidence that living on campus supports student success, we understand that during this time students may feel more comfortable living off campus. So we have lifted the on-campus residency requirement for the 2020-21 academic year.

Stick around

Even though classes will go remote after Thanksgiving break, residence halls and campus dining will remain open through December 12.

Private rooms

We are offering private rooms at the regular single-occupant rate, but availability remains fluid as our students adjust their fall housing plans. Private rooms are requested via the mySFA portal, and we will work diligently to grant as many of those requests as possible.

Safe spaces

We’ve designated dozens of private isolation rooms within residence halls North and South to house students who University Health Services determines need to be isolated for a period of time. Moves into and out of isolation rooms will be authorized solely by the medical staff at the SFA Health Clinic.


As part of our commitment to maintaining essential services on campus, all dining options will be open this fall with easier, faster and touchless service. For your safety, we’ve eliminated self-service at all our venues and added more pick-up locations for call-ahead orders through the Grubhub app. Our renovated Student Center Dining Hall will feature a chef-attended allergen-free station, enhanced grab-and-go options, and a new outdoor seating area.

Key Features

Eat your heart out

Enjoy all you care to eat in our two on-campus dining halls, or visit one of numerous retail dining outlets on campus, including Panda Express, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Giving you space

We’ll limit the number of people being served in the dining halls at the same time, so you are able to maintain a safe physical distance from other diners. Tables and chairs will be spaced out accordingly.

Skip the line

Download the Grubhub app so you can order your meal or coffee on the go, then swing by and pick it up when convenient for you—no waiting!

Touch-free transactions

Students will swipe or tap their own ID cards to enter the dining halls or pay for meals at retail dining locations.

Planning for every contingency

If we need to quickly adjust to increases in local COVID-19 transmission, a bagged take-out meal option will be available during all meal periods. Should students need to be isolated from others, we’ll deliver their meals each day.

panda express
Baker Pattillo Student Center

Student Center

The beautiful Baker Pattillo Student Center serves as the center of campus life at SFA, and we have missed seeing it full of Lumberjacks! Our comprehensive plan for a safe reopening will allow students to enjoy a meal, pick up textbooks and supplies from the bookstore, grab snacks and necessities at the convenience store, receive mail and packages, attend small, in-person meetings, and much more.

Key Features

Keeping you healthy

An AXE COVID-19 station located at the Information Desk offers SFA students and staff touchless temperature checks, hand-sanitizer refills and printed information about COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you feel sick.

Who’s hungry?

The newly renovated Student Center Dining Hall and all retail dining options will be open this fall with easier, faster and touchless service.


Meeting space will be available by reservation, but each meeting planner will need to work with the BPSC staff to determine the best room configuration and other safety measures before a booking can be secured.


The new Lumberjack Esports Lab will be open at reduced capacity (six players at a time), and each station will be disinfected before and after each use.

Axing germs

We’ve significantly increased cleaning and disinfection of common areas in the BPSC, and high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, handrails and door handles are being disinfected hourly.

Student Recreation Center

The 60,000-square foot Student Recreation Center and outdoor pool have been open all summer and are ready to help Lumberjacks pursue their personal wellness goals this fall. Operating under new safety guidelines that meet or exceed the minimum standard health protocols set forth by state health authorities, the rec center will offer a range of opportunities for achieving wellness and reducing stress—right here on campus.

Key Features

Safety in mind

Health protocols like reduced capacity, physical distancing, use of face coverings and touchless check-in and exit will be strictly followed.

Cleaning and disinfecting

Custodial staff will clean common areas throughout the day, and patrons will wipe equipment and spray down showers before and after each use.

Cardio and weight areas

Equipment has been arranged to maintain physical distancing.

Indoor track

The inside two lanes are open and available for walking and running while maintaining a safe physical distance from other patrons.

Dive in

The pool will be open at reduced capacity for all activities, including lap swimming, diving, enjoying the spa and floating around the lazy river.

Group exercise

Fitness classes such as cycling, yoga, bodyweight intervals and dance will be offered both online and in person this fall.

A look ahead

Competitive sports, including sports clubs and intramurals, will resume on a case-by-case basis as safety protocols allow.

Student Recreation Center

Student Life

We know you are looking forward to beginning your academic journey at SFA. But there is so much more to being a Lumberjack! We offer countless opportunities for transformative experiences through co-curricular programs, extracurricular activities and support services—all designed to help you have fun, build confidence, make friends and find mentors, and fulfill your personal and professional goals.

Personal responsibility will be the most critical factor in keeping our campus safe this fall.

The safest option for vulnerable Lumberjacks is to take classes and participate via online or remote instruction.

All critical student services will be accessible to remote learners.

Guidelines are in place for the safer operation of student organizations and events this fall.

Online training for students will provide guidance for safe involvement and engagement on campus.

We’ll meet you where you are

Whenever possible, events and organizational meetings will be offered in a remote or hybrid format, so students can choose whether to participate in person or via web-conferencing technology.

Participate safely

We’ve developed clear guidance for physical distancing, safe food handling, group travel, and cleaning and disinfecting during all on-campus activities and events.


Students with disabilities or underlying health concerns may reach out to Disability Services or the Office of Student Engagement, respectively, to get help accessing events and services.

Be in-the-know

All SFA students, faculty and staff will undergo required training on preventing the spread of COVID-19 before the semester starts. Student organization officers will receive additional training as part of their required leadership responsibilities.

Do your part

Soon, you’ll have an opportunity to pledge to do all you can to protect yourself, others and our community, including monitoring yourself for COVID-19 symptoms, washing your hands frequently, maintaining physical distance from others and wearing a face covering in public areas. Students or student groups who flagrantly ignore or fail to follow provided risk management guidance may face penalties.

STEM building interior

Health & Safety

Campus Safety

All our plans for the upcoming semester have been made with the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff as the first priority. Working hand-in-hand with SFA’s top medical and safety professionals and following the latest guidance from state health officials, we have designed a fall opening that prioritizes our community’s health while preserving as much as possible what makes the SFA experience unique.

Our student Health Services staff stands ready to provide a range of medical services, including answering questions and providing support concerning COVID-19 symptoms or exposure.

The University Police Department has enacted new safety measures design to limit close, personal contact in non-emergency situations while continuing to keep our campus safe.

To help protect our community, SFA is requiring face coverings to be worn in all public indoor spaces and in all outdoor spaces when 6 feet of physical distance cannot be reliably maintained.

SFA’s custodial staff has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfection throughout all campus buildings, especially common spaces and high-touch surfaces. Review the sanitation guidelines.

Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds remains one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

STEM building

Covering the basics

Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, staying home when you are sick, maintaining at least 6 feet of physical distance from others and wearing a face covering in public spaces are recommended by health experts to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Expert advice

Students who believe they have been infected with COVID-19 or are experiencing related symptoms are urged to contact the SFA Health Clinic to speak with a nurse.

Medical transport

The University Police Department will provide a safe ride to a local COVID-19 testing facility for any student who becomes ill on campus and has no transportation.

Read the signs

New signage and floor markers are in place throughout campus to remind you about physical distancing and other protocols for keeping yourself and your fellow Lumberjacks safe and healthy.

Help on the go

Our AXE COVID-19 stations throughout campus will provide touchless temperature checks, hand-sanitizer refills and printed information about COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if you feel sick.

Face coverings are required

Medical experts believe COVID-19 is primarily spread from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and through even more common activities like talking or singing. There is also evidence that many infected people unwittingly spread the virus because they either do not display symptoms or infect others before symptoms appear. The use of face coverings reduces the spread of respiratory droplets and therefore reduces the spread of the virus.

To help keep our Lumberjack community safe, SFA is requiring all students, faculty and staff, and visitors to wear face coverings this fall. Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces such as hallways, classrooms, meeting rooms, common areas of residence halls and non-private office settings. In addition, face coverings must be worn in all outdoor spaces when physical distancing of at least 6 feet is difficult to reliably maintain.

Face coverings will not be required inside students’ private residence hall rooms, suites or suite-style bathrooms.

Exemptions to the face covering requirement for reasons such as a pre-existing health condition or disability may be requested and granted on a case-by-case basis.

Face Coverings

Face covering requirement

Effective date: July 7, 2020

  1. The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, especially of vulnerable individuals, is of paramount importance. In light of CDC guidance, and to protect our SFA community against COVID-19, face coverings (cloth face covering, surgical mask, etc.) must be worn by all individuals (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) on campus in the following areas:

    1. indoor public areas on campus, except where marked otherwise, even if you are alone (includes all non-private office or residential spaces such as lobbies, restrooms, classrooms, teaching laboratories, common spaces in residence halls, conference rooms, and break rooms); and

    2. outdoor spaces where 6 feet of physical distancing is difficult to reliably maintain.

  2. This policy will be amended as needed in response to conditions on campus.

    Information about how to make, wear, and wash face coverings can be found on the CDC website.

    Each individual is responsible for providing their own face covering. It is recommended that all individuals on campus have at least three face coverings available to use throughout a week in order to begin each day with a new or cleaned face covering. Those face coverings should follow the current CDC recommendations.

    Additionally, FDA approved surgical masks may also be used as a face covering.

Rationale for use of face coverings

  1. The primary purpose of wearing a face covering is to reduce the amount of virus spreading from the wearer (who may not know they are spreading the virus) into the environment and to others. The secondary purpose of the face covering is to reduce the likelihood that large droplets containing virus that are generated by others may enter the nose and mouth of the wearer.

  2. The use of a face covering does not replace the continued need to maintain physical distances from others, at least 6 feet, but instead augments physical distancing and frequent handwashing to help us further reduce the likelihood of virus transmission.


Exceptions/waivers for both areas and individuals will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Student requests for an exemption based on a disability should work with Disability Services for guidance.

Employee requests for an exemptions based on a disability should contact Human Resources for guidance.

For areas or occupations where wearing a face covering is not feasible and is not based on a disability concern, a request for an exception to this policy may be made to the Face Coverings Committee by sending an email message to that includes: the request, the reason that face coverings are not feasible, and the additional safety measures taken to further mitigate the risk in the absence of face coverings.

Areas where face covering requirements are waived must be clearly marked with signs indicating that an exception to wearing face coverings has been granted. In some cases, face shields may be approved for use instead of face coverings.

surgical masks

Face Covering FAQs

What is a face covering?

A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or other type of material that covers an individual's mouth and nose. The CDC lists five criteria for "cloth face coverings," which should:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.

FDA-approved surgical masks may also be used as a face covering.

Why is wearing a face covering important?

COVID-19 is spread primarily from person-to-person when people who are infected naturally expel respiratory droplets that contain the virus through activities like talking, singing, coughing, and sneezing. It is not always possible to know who is infected. It is not uncommon for infected people to display no symptoms, and those who eventually do develop symptoms shed the virus for a period of time before noticeable symptoms arrive. Wearing a face covering limits the spread of the virus by limiting the amount of respiratory droplets emitted through normal activity.

Limiting virus spread is essential to allowing the campus to resume some normal operations, including face-to-face classes, without the need to return to full remote instruction.

What is a public space?

A public space is any indoor space other than your own private office, residence hall room or personal vehicle.

Public spaces include places such as hallways, lobbies, restrooms, dining halls and food outlets, classrooms, common spaces of residence halls, conference rooms, and break rooms.

Face coverings should be worn in any enclosed public space or any outdoor space where 6 feet of physical distancing is difficult to be reliably maintained.

Indoors areas where a space exception has been allowed will be marked by appropriate signage.

Who should provide face coverings?

It is the responsibility of the individual to provide their own face covering. Each unit should keep a small number of disposable face coverings, as they are available, on hand for visitors.

Where can I find face coverings?

There are also a variety of cloth face coverings available online, including FDA approved surgical masks. You can also make your own following the straightforward CDC guidelines.

Face coverings will also be available in the Barnes & Noble Bookstore and the C3 Convenience Store in the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

Do I wear a face covering while eating or drinking?

No, you do not need to wear a face covering while eating or drinking. As soon as your meal is complete, replace your face covering.

Am I required to wear a face covering while in my on-campus residence hall room?

Face coverings are not required when students are in their personal on-campus residence hall rooms/suites (including suite-style bathrooms).

When you and your roommate first come together at the start of the semester, you should have a discussion around face covering expectations. If one of you were to develop COVID-19 related symptoms, face coverings should be worn until a healthcare professional can be consulted.

Do I need to wear a face covering in the hallways and other areas of my residence hall?

Face coverings are required when students and visitors are in residence hall hallways or while visiting other students' rooms.

Face coverings are also required while in common areas and community bathrooms, except while showering and performing activities that require touching of the face (brushing teeth, washing face, etc.).

Are face coverings required while riding a shuttle bus?

Yes, face coverings must be worn while riding a shuttle bus, even if no one else is on the bus, to decrease respiratory secretions on surfaces within the bus. Contaminated surfaces may still be a source of infection after you have left.

Are face coverings required while operating a university vehicle?

Yes, face coverings must be worn in a shared vehicle, even if no one else is in the vehicle, to decrease the amount of respiratory secretions on surfaces within the vehicle. Contaminated surfaces may still be a source of infection after you have left.

If the vehicle is assigned to a single employee, and that person is alone in the vehicle, a face covering does not need to be worn.

For MUVs, if the driver has no one else riding with them, no face covering is required. If another person is riding the MUV with the driver, face coverings are required.

Are face coverings required in work areas that are separated by cubicle walls or partitions?

Face coverings must be worn in any public area, even if you are in your own workspace.

However, a workspace is not considered to be a public area when it allows for reliably maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet from others and includes a physical barrier between you and other workspaces. In these areas, a face covering is highly recommended but not required.

If I have already had COVID-19, do I have to wear a face covering?

Yes. Scientific understanding of COVID-19 is still evolving, and currently it is not known if those who have had the disease can become contagious again.

What if I encounter a situation that is not clear on if I should wear a face covering?

You should use your own judgement and remember the message of The SFA Way - "Lumberjacks think of the needs of others and seek to improve the quality of life of those around them."

In this spirit, you should select the option that best protects and comforts those around you. A good standard to follow is to always wear a face covering in all public settings, especially where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

Can an individual request an exemption from the requirement to wear a face covering?

Some individuals may not be able to wear a face covering due to a pre-existing medical condition or other disability (e.g., asthma, respiratory disease, inability to remove a face covering without assistance).

Students may seek an exemption through the accommodations request process by contacting Disability Services.

Employees should contact Human Resources to request an exemption through the accommodations request process.

Advance notice of the need for accommodations/exemptions can help to ensure that there is adequate time to review the request and make a decision on a case-by-case basis. If a student has been approved for this exception to the policy, they will be given an accommodation or exemption letter to provide to faculty members to allow them to remain in class without a face covering. If possible, a face shield should be worn instead of a face covering. If this is not possible, the CDC recommends limiting exposure to others, so students may consider using available distance education options.

Disability Services
Human Services Building, Room 325
P.O. Box 6130, Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6130
Voice: 936.468.3004, Fax: (936) 468-1368
Hours 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday

Department of Human Resources
Austin Building, Room 201
P.O. Box 13039, Nacogdoches, TX 75962
Voice: 936.468.2304, Fax: (936) 468-1104
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday

Who reviews exemption requests for employees?

Employee requests for accommodations related to a pre-existing medical condition or other disability (e.g., asthma, respiratory disease, inability to remove a face covering without assistance) will follow the process outlined in university policy 11.22 - Reasonable Workplace Accommodation for Disabilities.

Exceptions to the face covering policy based on areas on campus and job requirements, and not related to a disability concern, will be evaluated on a case by case basis by the Face Coverings Committee (chaired by Dr. Jeremy Higgins). Requests for exemptions should be emailed to this committee ( and should include the reason that face coverings are not feasible and the additional safety measures taken to further mitigate the risk in the absence of face coverings.

For a request asking for an exemption in a given space, also detail the space(s) where the exemption is requested.

For a job requirement exemption, please include information about how the waiver will be applied. For example, while it is possible to lecture wearing a face covering, faculty members may request to substitute a face shield while lecturing. In this case, a face covering waiver would only be granted during lectures.

How should I raise a concern about someone not adhering to the face covering requirement?

Please contact the faculty or staff member who is supervising the person or the space where the infraction occurred (for example, the building manager or department head). The department head or building manager will be in a position to ascertain whether the person has an exemption and, if not, politely direct the person to wear a face covering or vacate the public space.

Can students or employees be directed to vacate University property if they refuse to wear a face covering?

Yes, unless they have received an exemption (described above) or the area or position has been granted a waiver from the face coverings policy.

If individuals are not wearing a face covering in a public space, the first response should be a collegial reminder and an offer of a clean face covering, if one is available. If the individual refuses to wear a face covering, a supervisor (for students this could be a faculty member or a staff member overseeing the area) may direct the individual to leave the public space. For example, a faculty member could direct a student to attend a class remotely rather than in person.

If the individual refuses to wear a face covering or leave the space, this should be reported to the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (students), Human Resources (staff) or Provost's Office (faculty) and dealt with using existing disciplinary processes.

Do I need to wear a face covering if it impairs my ability to do my job?

To keep our community safe, a face covering must be worn in all public areas. If doing so impairs an employee's ability to do their job based on a disability, the employee should follow the process outlined in university policy on Reasonable Workplace Accommodations for Disabilities (11.22) to request an exemption.

With regard to areas on campus and job requirements unrelated to a disability, please send a e-mail request for this exception to the Face Coverings Committee (Dr. Jeremy Higgins, chair; at Requests for exemptions should include the reason that face coverings are not feasible and the additional safety measures taken to further mitigate the risk in the absence of face coverings. In some cases, a face shield may be an acceptable face covering substitute.

If I have a student in my class who is deaf or hard of hearing, should I wear a face covering?

For students who are deaf or hard of hearing, opaque face coverings can be a hindrance to communication. Faculty are encouraged to work with Disability Services to determine appropriate accommodations (e.g., wearing a face shield or a transparent face covering to accommodate students relying on lip reading). For classes using sign language interpreters, interpreters will either wear a face shield or provide remote interpreting.

What is a "private office?"

A private office is usually an office with walls and a door and only one occupant. It could also be a discrete space that is clearly defined, delineated, and apparent with either cubicle walls or partitions where at least 6 feet of physical distance from another person can be maintained at all times and is occupied and accessed by only one person per day or cleaned prior to another person entering the area.

I have a private office, so do I need to wear a face covering when other people are in my office?

While in your private office area you are not required to wear a face covering when alone. However, when other people join you, all are to wear a face covering.

Can I wear a face shield instead of a face covering?

Only those approved through a personal exemption request can wear a face shield instead of a face covering.

For First-Year Students


Due to COVID-19, we have made improvements to our Orientation this year, and we are working hard to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the excitement these beloved programs hold for incoming students. Be sure to register through your mySFA account before Aug. 9, and reach out to us if you need help. We can’t wait to officially welcome you to the Lumberjack family!

Incoming first-year students are required to attend a two-part Orientation. The virtual component must be completed this summer and will include academic advising, course registration and academic success videos. (Check your mySFA account often for updates and emails!) An exciting, four-day on-campus Jack Camp Orientation program will be held Aug. 16-19, right before classes start.

Transfer students are encouraged to attend one of the remaining virtual Transfer Lumberjack Orientation sessions, which are scheduled for July 10 and Aug. 7.

SFA tree, students walking on campus

Safety first

All Orientation activities are being planned in accordance with current guidance from health authorities to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining safe physical distance and wearing face coverings.

First-year student Orientation

We’ve wrapped all the things Lumberjacks love about our popular summer Jack Camp program and our traditional summer Orientation into one action-packed four-day event that will soon have you feeling right at home at SFA.

Transfer Orientation

You’ll access this program via Zoom technology to become familiar with campus, create your fall class schedule, and get to know some of the faculty and staff members who will help you successfully transition to SFA. (If you would like to take part in the on-campus Jack Camp Orientation program also, you can!)

Welcome to the family

SFA will host events for family and high school-aged siblings on Sunday, Aug. 16. The student registration fee covers attendance for up to two guests at the family event. High school-aged siblings are invited to participate in their separate activities for a small supply fee.

For Families

We know how important it is for family members to stay updated on how SFA is supporting Lumberjacks. We will continue to share up-to-date information as it becomes available regarding New Student Orientation and family programming.

Please know we are here to support you as you continue to support your students attending SFA.

Request Information for Future Students

Please fill out the form below to receive information from SFA. If you’re not a future student and want to reach out to us, use our contact form.

Fields marked with * are required.

Who are you?*

Date of Birth*

Mailing Address (Be sure to add your apt. or unit # or P.O. Box, if applicable)*

When would you like to attend SFA and what will be your major?

Are you any of these types of students?