Spring semester academic success resources for students and families

Students, Murray State University is here to support you for the remainder of the spring semester as we have transitioned to an online instructional delivery method in light of COVID-19.

Please continue to be in touch with your faculty members and academic advisors. Online training for faculty members began on March 13 and they are prepared to help answer your questions related to your courses. 

Information Systems is also working hard to assist you as an emphasis is placed on more virtual-based technology needs. Please contact the Service Desk at msu.servicedesk@murraystate.edu or by phone at 270.809.2346 with questions.

We hope the below information, resources and tips are helpful to you. Stay positive, safe and healthy. Murray State is here to assist you in any way possible as we successfully complete the spring semester.

Dr. Tim Todd, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Don Robertson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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Have classes been canceled?

No - classes have not been canceled. Beginning on Monday, March 23, class instruction will continue through online or alternative delivery methods through the remainder of the spring semester. This includes our regional campus sites at Fort Campbell, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Paducah.

I’m a student. During the online/alternative delivery method of class through the remainder of the spring semester, I don’t have internet at home. What can I do?

If you live in the local region, Waterfield Library will be open during this time and have computer workstations available to students.

Students may checkout laptops from Waterfield Library for their use while away from campus. These laptops are equipped with webcams, basic Microsoft Office software, Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor. Students will need their Murray State ID in order to checkout a laptop, which will be issued on a first-come, first served basis.

If you live outside of the region, your local library may continue to be open and these, or similar, resources may be available.

Charter is offering free Spectrum and Wi-Fi for 60 days beginning March 16. Please note that this service is provided by Charter/Spectrum and not by Murray State.

Other providers are offering similar services at this time, including AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

What resources are available through University Libraries?

Beginning March 23, Waterfield Library will be open for lab use and to check out laptops from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday-Friday until further notice. Waterfield Library will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Waterfield Library Hours

Library staff will be available to assist with research services by phone, text, chat, or email from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Library Virtual Contact

Waterfield Library will circulate laptops only, which are due back at the end of the semester.  Books and other materials will not be available to check out. Items that are currently checked out will have an adjusted due date in May.  Waterfield Library will not charge late fees.

A wealth of library resources are available completely online.  These resources are available in our discovery tool/catalog, or in one of our many databases.  If you need assistance in finding peer-reviewed journal articles, books, or any other content, start with our subject guides or please feel free to contact us.

I have questions regarding student financial aid, scholarships and/or related tuition and fees. Who should I contact?

Students or their family members should contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 270.809.2546 or by email at msu.sfa@murraystate.edu. Each situation is unique and the University is following the most recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education in regard to federal aid.

Is the grading policy for Spring 2020 courses changing?

As shared by campus e-mail to students, faculty and staff on March 26, students will have the option to choose between receiving traditional letter grades or taking classes as Pass/Fail this semester, with some exceptions. Details about an online request form, the approval process and a list of approved courses will be announced soon to students. The deadline for students to submit their request is Friday, April 24, 2020. Students may decide and/or change their mind based on their progress up until that date.

I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. What services are available?

University Counseling Services provides free and confidential mental health counseling for all enrolled students. At this time, the mental health professionals in the Counseling Center are available to provide remote counseling sessions through Zoom. If you are interested in setting up remote sessions, please contact us at msu.counselingcenter@ murraystate.edu for more information. Self-help resources are available on our website. If it is an emergency situation, please contact the Murray State Police Department at 270.809.2222.

How can I contact Murray State University Health Services?

Murray State University Health Services is located on the first floor of Wells Hall, facing the quad. Operating hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. (closed for lunch from 1-2 p.m.) and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Individuals can reach a physician at 270.809.3809. Individuals can also call after hours to reach a physician. After hours, call Primary Care Medical Center at 270.759.9200 and ask for Dr. Robert Hughes, our Chief Medical Officer.

Members of the campus community may also contact Primary Care Medical Center of Murray at 270.759.9200.

Aside from on-campus health resources offered through Murray State University Health Services, are there other virtual-based options?

Yes – Murray State University Health Services, through their partnership with Primary Care Medical Center, offers virtual visits through the below steps:

  1. Contact Primary Care Medical Center at 270.759.9200 to schedule your virtual visit.
  2. Make sure you have updated your insurance, mobile phone number and e-mail address with Primary Care Medical Center. If you are a new patient, you will be asked a series of questions to set up your profile prior to your telemedicine visit.
  3. Once you have scheduled your virtual visit, you will receive a text message or e-mail from your provider instructing you to click a link and register.
  4. You will be redirected to the Doxy.me to register. Doxy.me supports Safari or Google Chrome.
    Make sure your camera and microphone turned on “allow” in your privacy settings if you are using a mobile device. On a desktop, go to Settings—Safari—Camera (allow)-----Microphone (allow).
  5. Once on Doxy.me, enter your name and ‘check in’.
  6. You will be directed to your provider’s virtual waiting room.
  7. You will be alerted once connected with your provider for your virtual visit.  

 I’m a student. What if I’m having difficulty finding certain books for my spring classes?

Through a partnership with Redshelf, students can take advantage of free e-book access. Create an account at Redshelf (Redshelf does not use your Murray State credentials). Once an account is created, students can search by title or using the ISBN of the book, which can be found on the ‘Textbook List’ under the student links on myGate. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Please feel free to contact the University Bookstore at msu.books@murraystate.edu.

Academic Advising

Your academic advisor is here to assist you in many ways and help you make the best decisions including courses, schedules and degree requirements.  

Learn more about Academic Advising

Summer Courses

Get ahead and stay ahead! Summer 2020 course registration opens the week of April 6. Many online courses will be available. Stay tuned for important details.

Helpful Contact Information

Advice and Tips

Tips for successful learning online:

  • Prepare your space for success. Avoid spaces that include distractions, whenever possible. Establish a good workspace that is comfortable. 
  • Practice time management. Be intentional about when you will learn. Tell others in your space about these learning times.
  • Continue to use your calendar. Set goals. Incorporate study breaks, but hold yourself accountable. 
  • Have patience with your instructors. They are learning how to do this, too, and are also balancing competing priorities in a rapidly changing environment.  
  • Inform your instructors about any barriers to your learning, including challenges with technology. 
  • Check your email and Canvas daily. Do not rely on the Canvas app, as it doesn’t deliver announcements to the app.  
  • Prepare for your advising session. Be looking for communication from them. That communication should be coming over the next few weeks. 
  • Look for resources that you need from the University Libraries. The Racer Writing Center is available for virtual writing consultations. 
  • Care for your mental health. This is a troubling time; be aware of your thoughts and feelings.  A good resource for dealing with mental health through COVID-19 is virusanxiety.com. You may also schedule appointments with Murray State Student Counseling Services at msu.counselingcenter@murraystate.edu or by calling 270.809.6851.

Tips for live video conferencing:

  • Log in 5-10 minutes early to get familiar with the application and test your settings.
  • You should plan to join the session in a distraction-free environment. This means that you should be in a quiet, well-lit room and plan on clearing your calendar for the length of the session. 
  • Ensure that you are positioned in front of the camera where the lighting is strong enough to illuminate your face and where the visual background is not distracting.
  • Remember to mute your audio when not speaking. Depending on how your faculty sets up the session, you may not have audio access. If this is the case, you will need to use the chat functionality to communicate. 
  • Use a wired internet connection if possible. If you have a weak or unstable wireless connection, you can turn off your video as needed to save bandwidth. 
  • Use the chat area for communications to the group or individuals; just remember to double check the intended audience before sending any messages. 
  • If you are screen-sharing, make sure you close all other applications to avoid inadvertently sharing the wrong information.