Updated 1/21/2021

May 2021 Session FAQS (Prospective and Accepted Students)

IS THE MCAT REQUIRED FOR MY ADMISSION APPLICATION?

No. AUC School of Medicine has elected to waive the MCAT requirement for impacted applicants for the May 2021 semester in cases where the MCAT exam was unavailable due to COVID-19-related interruptions, and applicants would otherwise be considered qualified for admission. AUC’s evaluation for admission is conducted on an individual basis and uses a holistic approach. Applicants are required to submit MCAT scores for all attempts in the previous five years. For those applicants who have attempted the MCAT one or more times previously but may have been prevented from a final MCAT attempt also due to testing-center closures, please submit your application with your current MCAT scores and consult with an admissions ambassador about your individual situation. 

NOTE: Recent U.S. Department of Education guidance permits waiving the MCAT requirement for impacted applicants when related to continued COVID-19-related interruptions.

WHAT IF I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO TAKE ANOTHER ENTRANCE EXAM (I.E., NEET, GAMSAT, UCAT, ETC.)?

That’s ok. Over the past several months, COVID-19 has significantly disrupted the availability of standardized medical school admissions tests in multiple countries. As a result, AUC School of Medicine has elected to waive the standardized admission test requirement for impacted applicants that are applying to the May 2021 semester. Please submit your application and consult with an admissions ambassador about your individual situation.

RETURN TO CAMPUS

AUC returned to Sint Maarten and Preston for the January 2021 semester using a hybrid approach to our academics related to medical sciences. We are committed to providing a safe and meaningful experience and will follow comprehensive safety protocols to protect against COVID-19. 

 

SINT MAARTEN

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHEN WILL THE MAY 2021 SEMESTER START?

The semester starts on May 4, 2021. A full academic calendar is available here.

WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR THE MAY 2021 SEMESTER?

AUC medical sciences students and faculty returned to Sint Maarten for the January 2021 semester, using a hybrid approach to our academics. New, incoming students beginning in the May semester are expected to begin their education on island using the same hybrid approach. However, first semester students that require additional flexibility, and have demonstrated the ability to be successful in a remote setting, will have a remote option made available to them.

WHY ARE FIRST-SEMESTER STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO COME TO SINT MAARTEN IF A REMOTE OPTION IS AVAILABLE?

Our ICM courses begin in semester one and are primarily delivered in-person. They are a critical part of the medical sciences education. In addition, we have resources and support services that are more accessible when on-campus. Our students have also found that there are fewer distractions and obstacles to complete their studies when on island, as well as a common community that helps them thrive. 

WHAT DOES ‘HYBRID APPROACH’ MEAN?

Hybrid approach means that some courses will be delivered online while others will either be in-person or have in-person components. For example, anatomy labs and cadaver dissection will be conducted in-person with social distancing, while lectures will be delivered primarily online. 
 

WHICH CAMPUS FACILITIES WILL BE OPEN?

We know that public campus spaces including the gym, cafeteria, testing center, and study rooms are an important part of your medical school experience—and important to your academic preparation and wellbeing. These spaces will be open but will operate with new safety procedures, reduced occupancies, and potentially different hours to enable proper physical distancing and more stringent cleaning protocols.

The gym and cardio room are now available for use as of November 16. For more information on safety protocols and scheduling workouts, please see “What are the safety protocols for the gym?” .

WHAT IS OPEN VS. CLOSED ON SINT MAARTEN?

Most businesses and public spaces in Sint Maarten are open, including grocery stores, restaurants, businesses, parks, beaches, etc.

WILL WE BE ABLE TO SOCIALIZE AND GET TOGETHER?

Yes. Our Return to Campus Team is working hard on ways to safely conduct social events on and off campus.

WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE RETURNING TO SINT MAARTEN?

AUC understands the COVID-19 pandemic has created increased anxiety and uncertainty that affects our entire community. There is currently no definitive end in sight to the pandemic, and it is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Please note that clinical students are currently working in hospitals, and as future medical professionals you will soon be expected to join your colleagues in clinical settings. Each of us as individuals, and together as a society, will need to come to our own terms with COVID-19.

If you would like to discuss your concerns about traveling or returning to Sint Maarten, please contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu to arrange a meeting and discuss your situation.

WHAT ARE THE SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR THE GYM?

The gym and cardio room are available for use as of November 16. Please schedule your workouts online through the following link: https://auc.myvideointerview.co/50868-gym/172738-emails/en  

Please be sure to arrive and depart from the gym in a timely manner during your allotted time. At all times you must adhere to campus guidelines for personal protection, both in transit and while working out in the facilities. If you will not be able to make your scheduled window, please be considerate to others and contact recsports@aucmed.edu so the slot can be made available for use again. 

All rules and regulations will be posted throughout the Gym and Cardio room and must be followed by all patrons. 

Entrance, Exit, and Maximum Capacity 

  • Students, spouses and partners, and employees may use the gym and Cardio room. 

  • Visitors must have approval from Safety and Security and the Office of Student Affairs prior to using the Gym or Cardio Room. 

  • Maximum of 10 people in the Gym and 5 in the Cardio room at any given time. 

  • No group workouts are allowed inside the Gym or Cardio room. 

  • All gym goers must enter through the East-facing doors (near ping pong table) and check in with the Gym Manager before starting a workout. 

  • Entrance door must remain open at all times while the gym or cardio room is in operation. 

  • All gym goers must exit at the top of the hour through the Southernmost door nearest to Building 2. 

  • Maximum of 2 people in the restroom at the same time. 

Maximum time and Scheduling 

  • Maximum allotted workout time is 1 hour per day per person, with workouts scheduled to start and end on the hour. 

  • All workouts must be scheduled at least one day in advance and can be scheduled for one week maximum. 

Safety Protocols 

  • The AUC Facility department will clean the Gym and Cardio Room every weekday morning from 7:00am – 11:30 am. 

  • Social distance of at least 2 meters is required at all times by all gym goers and employees while in the Gym and Cardio room. 

  • All gym goers must sanitize their hands at the entrance with the AUC-provided disinfectant before the Gym Manager will permit gym or cardio room access. 

  • Face masks are required at all times in the Gym and Cardio Room by all gym goers and employees. 

  • Gym and Cardio Room goers must bring and use their personal clean towel for each workout. 

  • Wipe down all equipment with the AUC-provided disinfectant before and after every use. 

  • Sanitize hands before and after using equipment. 

  • Use of showers is prohibited. 

Consequences of Misuse 

  • The Gym and/or Cardio Room may close at any time at the discretion of the Campus Response Team. 

  • Failure to comply with the Gym and Cardio Room rules may result in the loss of Gym and Cardio Room access. Gym Manager will receive and report all violations to Office of Student Affairs for further review. 

  • A maximum of 2 consecutive missed workouts with/without notification will result in the loss of Gym and Cardio Room access for 2 weeks. 

HOW WILL CHECK-IN ON THE ISLAND BE CONDUCTED?

All students will need to check in on campus. Please schedule an appointment according to the directions below, based on your semester cohort in January, which will enable AUC to facilitate a socially distanced check-in process. At your appointment, you will collect your insurance card, welcome bag, and AUC ID card/badge (if you do not already have one). 

If you have an AUC ID card:  

If you previously had an AUC ID card, but have lost your card:  

If you have never been issued an AUC ID card: 

TRAVEL

WHAT IS THE GUIDANCE FOR BOOKING A FLIGHT? DO I NEED A ROUND-TRIP TICKET?

If you have previously studied on Sint Maarten, please bring your residency documents. If you had received a residency permit but misplaced it, please email SEllis-Singh@aucmed.edu for an electronic copy. 

If you have not yet been to Sint Maarten and do not have a resident permit, make sure you have proof of a return flight (e.g., roundtrip ticket), have submitted all relevant documents to Admissions (admissions@aucmed.edu) and have a copy of your AUC acceptance letter. Please email Admissions if you need an electronic copy of your letter. 
 
If you are a 3rd, 4th, or 5th semester student who received a resident permit but misplaced it, please email SEllis-Singh@aucmed.edu for an electronic copy.

WILL STUDENTS NEED TO QUARANTINE ONCE THEY ARRIVE ON THE ISLAND?

In addition to adhering to safety protocols on campus, each of us also has a responsibility to consider the impact of our off-campus actions to our AUC community, and to do our part to keep our community safe. To help reduce the risk of being infected with the virus at the beginning of the semester, we ask that all students observe a 7-day period of limited physical interaction with others upon arrival in Sint Maarten. 

Why is it important to observe a limited interaction period? 

Because of high rates of infection in many parts of the world, it is possible that even with the best of efforts, some students may have either pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic coronavirus infections when they arrive in Sint Maarten. As we begin the January 2021 semester, AUC will be focused on identifying any infections and preventing their spread. 

To that end, all students will be asked to comply with the 7-day limited interaction to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus prior to the start of in-person classes. The protocols of the limited interaction period will be challenging to follow, but we cannot stress how important it will be for students to adhere to them to help create a healthy environment for all AUC community members. 

What does the limited interaction period mean? 

For the first seven days after arrival to the Princess Juliana International Airport, students will be expected to: 
•    Travel directly to their housing and stay in their residence as much as possible, going out only to purchase groceries or other essential supplies 
•    Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and check their temperature daily 
•    Eat in their residence, either cooking or getting take-out 
•    Practice social distancing of 6 feet minimum in all interactions, strict use of masks when in public, and frequent handwashing  
•    Limit their exercise/recreation to activities that can be done either in their residence, or outdoors while socially distancing 
•    Not come to campus except for required activities, as identified by AUC 

If you experience any flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1721-542-1570 and do not come onto campus. We also ask that you inform AUC by contacting Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu and AUC’s Office of Safety & Security at security@aucmed.edu .  

Please note, campus check-in is a required activity that you are to complete even if it falls within your limited interaction period. For more information about campus check-in and to schedule an appointment, please see “How will check-in on the island be conducted?”

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY TO SINT MAARTEN?

All travelers to Sint Maarten are required to complete a health authorization application via the Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS), including proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Effective November 25, the government will accept proof of a negative RT-PCR nasopharyngeal swab within 5 days of arrival OR a negative antigen test result within 48 hours of arrival. Your negative test must be uploaded to the government’s website prior to boarding your flight.   

  • Currently, the following antigen tests have been approved: Abbott (CGIA Panbio COVID-19 Ag rapid test), Becton Dickinson (CGIA BD Veritor COVID-19 test), and Roche (SD Biosensor F test). 
  • If you haven’t already done so, plan ahead well in advance where you will obtain your COVID-19 test and confirm that the facility can provide results within the outlined time frame.  
  • Upload your COVID-19 test results as soon as you have them so you can receive verification that they have been accepted. Be sure to name your file “rt-PCR Test -Your Name” or “Name of Antigen Test- Your Name” before uploading; for example, Dr. Chumley’s file name might be “rt-PCR Test-Heidi Chumley”. 
  • You will need to have copies of your COVID-19 test results and the travel authorization form with you when you are checking in at the airport, and when you arrive in Sint Maarten.  

Please continue to regularly monitor the government website at https://stmaartenehas.com/travel-requirements/.and familiarize yourself with the forms you will need to fill out, the types of COVID-19 tests accepted, and the information required when uploading. We urge you to pay close and regular attention to the entry requirements as they may continue to change.  

I’M WORRIED ABOUT TRAVELLING ON AN AIRPLANE. WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO TRAVEL SAFELY?

The CDC provides a comprehensive list of travel guidelines with best practices and recommendations.

WHAT IF I’M IN A LOCATION WHERE FLIGHTS/TRAVEL IS RESTRICTED?

Please reach out to Dr.  Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at srinker@aucmed.edu to discuss how AUC can best troubleshoot your situation. This will be handled on a case by case basis.

HEALTH & SAFETY

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), commonly known as a coronavirus, is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. For additional information visit the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

According to the World Health Organization, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The CDC believes that symptoms may appear in as few as two days or up to 14 days after exposure. 

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A HEALTH CONCERN OR PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION?

Students who are immunosuppressed or have a pre-existing medical condition should contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu to discuss their unique case prior to arranging travel to Sint Maarten.

WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD ALL STUDENTS TAKE TO UNDERSTAND THEIR RISK OF EXPOSURE?

Precautions can be taken to minimize your risk and prevent exposure and spread of the disease. 

Personal Hygiene 

It is important that we work together to take common sense precautions that can reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.  

Per CDC guidelines 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.
  • Practice social distancing with people outside of your home. Stay at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean and frequently disinfect common work surfaces. 
  • If you or a family member develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, or are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms, work with to alert appropriate contacts and practice social distancing.   
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF COVID-19 ON SINT MAARTEN?
HOW WILL AUC ENSURE THE SAFETY OF STUDENTS AND PREVENT A COVID-19 OUTBREAK ON CAMPUS?

AUC’s Campus Return Team has instituted numerous protocols as a part of our comprehensive safety plan. Some elements include symptom screenings with temperature checks upon campus entry, installing hand sanitizer stations, reduced capacity of common spaces, mandatory masks, redirecting pedestrian traffic to utilize one-way routes, and physical barriers in student service areas. We will continue to iteratively improve and implement best practices. Additionally, it should be explicitly clear that AUC has transparent expectations laid out in the student handbook detailing student code of conduct and behavior standards. These principles apply to all COVID-19 policies and students are expected to act accordingly.

WHAT WILL BE THE PLAN IF THERE IS A SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19 ON SINT MAARTEN?

A second wave has actually already come and gone in Sint Maarten similar to many communities in the US and around the world. Remember the major challenge with the first wave was flattening the curve to give health care systems the time needed to increase their capacity to care for COVID-19 patients and put safeguards in place. Second waves have largely stayed under the hospital system capacity, which is certainly the case in Sint Maarten. Cases are still expected to occur and the number of individuals affected will fluctuate, however temperate climate and ample outdoor spaces will enable a safe, socially distanced environment for fun, study, and relaxation.

CAN FAMILY MEMBERS RETURN AS WELL?

Sint Maarten currently has no travel restrictions and a fairly low rate of COVID-19 incidence. That being said, whether families and loved ones should return is ultimately an individual decision. AUC considers students’ families to be part of the AUC community and they are very welcome, assuming they are comfortable returning.

WILL AUC PROVIDE PPE FOR STUDENTS?

Yes, both surgical and cloth masks will be available for students and faculty; although be aware you will need masks for travel to and from Sint Maarten and should have your own available.

WHAT HAPPENS TO A STUDENT FOUND TO NOT BE FOLLOWING COVID-19 POLICIES (MASK-WEARING, ETC.)?

All AUC students sign a code of conduct agreeing to abide by our policies and as future medical professionals are expected to adhere to them. Individuals found to be non-compliant will have a meeting with Dr. Rinker, Dean of Student Affairs. Each situation is different/unique and will be handled individually on a case by case basis.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE THAT SAFETY PROTOCOLS (SUCH AS WEARING MASKS) ARE NOT BEING FOLLOWED ON CAMPUS?

We all share the responsibility of keeping our campus community safe. If you see something, please say something. We encourage you to kindly remind your peers and fellow campus community members of the safety protocols if you see that they are not being followed. If you continue to see concerning incidents, please use this form to report violations of the community standards for COVID-19-related health and safety protocols to the Office of Student Affairs. Situations may be addressed using the existing AUC’s Professional Conduct Policy. Particularly egregious, willfully dangerous, or repeated incidents may be deemed misconduct and handled through the administrative review process per the Student Handbook

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

If you experience any flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1721-542-1570 and do not come onto campus. We also ask that you inform AUC by contacting Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu and AUC’s Office of Safety & Security at security@aucmed.edu.  

IF I RECEIVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT, WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL FOR KEEPING THE SCHOOL ADVISED?

Prior to being on campus: Please contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu

 

While on Sint Maarten: Please call the Sint Maarten Ministry of Public Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 914 or +1721-542-1570 and do not come onto campus. Please contact Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, at studentaffairs@aucmed.edu and AUC’s Office of Safety & Security at security@aucmed.edu.  

HOW CAN STUDENTS KEEP UP WITH COURSEWORK IF THEY RECEIVE A POSITIVE TEST RESULT AND NEED TO QUARANTINE?

Each situation will be considered on an individual basis through conversation with Dr. Scott Rinker, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. In order to be approved a Leave of Absence (LOA), students will need to provide documentation of their illness from their healthcare provider to the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at studentsaffairs@aucmed.edu. Once approved for a LOA related to illness, AUC will work with you and your faculty to determine a makeup date for any mandatory activities that you may have missed.  

WHO IS COVERING THE COST OF COVID-19 TESTING?

Students are responsible for any costs associated with COVID-19 testing that is part of a government requirement for entry to Sint Maarten. We encourage you to work with your insurance provider to see what coverage they offer for COVID-19 testing.  

 

If AUC implements campus-administrated COVID-19 testing, these costs would be managed by AUC. Please stay tuned for more information on this.  

ACADEMICS/CLASSES

WILL CLASSES BE CONDUCTED LIVE AND IN-PERSON? IF NOT, WHICH ACTIVITIES WILL BE CONDUCTED IN-PERSON?

All large group lectures will be pre-recorded and posted to Echo360. The large lecture halls will be primarily used for in-person activities with priority given to ICM and clinical skills practice. Anatomy labs and cadaver dissection will also be conducted in-person with social distancing. Select other courses will have in-person components (flipped classrooms, small group case-based learning) as time, space and schedules allow. It is likely that activities will have to be staggered to enable maximal use of our available spaces. Please understand that campus facilities are operating under reduced capacities and we must be creative to allow proper physical distancing for each space. All in-person activities will take place with appropriate PPE.

WILL THE LARGE GROUP LECTURES BE LIVE OR PRE-RECORDED?

The large group lecture halls are reserved for in-person activities, so all lectures will be pre-recorded. AUC faculty have been diligently recording new, updated lectures. While lectures will not be presented live, we anticipate having most lectures recently recorded and updated with only a few instances where we will rely on old Echo360 recordings from prior semesters.

HOUSING

TUITION & FEES

DOES THE RETURN IMPACT THE TUITION FREEZE FOR THE 2020-2021 ACADEMIC YEAR?

No. The January 2021 semester plans have no bearing on your tuition and fees, which have been set for the entire academic year (September 2020 - September 2021). In July, AUC and our Board of Directors approved a tuition freeze understanding the financial hardships that medical students and their families are facing as a result of the pandemic. We continue to work hard to find efficiencies and keep costs down while investing in educational resources, innovation, and university-wide safety measures.

UK TRACK

GENERAL QUESTIONS

WHEN WILL THE MAY 2021 SEMESTER START?

The semester starts on 4 May 2021. A full academic calendar is available here

WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR THE MAY 2021 SEMESTER?

AUC's UK track will continue to use a hybrid approach to academics for the May semester. New, incoming students are highly encouraged to begin their education in the UK so they can take advantage of both in-person at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and virtual learning. However, first semester students that require additional flexibility, and have demonstrated the ability to be successful in a remote setting, will have a remote option made available to them.

WHY ARE FIRST-SEMESTER STUDENTS ENCOURAGED TO COME TO UNITED KINGDOM IF A REMOTE OPTION IS AVAILABLE?

Our ICM courses begin in semester one and are primarily delivered in-person. They are a critical part of the medical sciences education. In addition, we have resources and support services that are more accessible when on-campus. Our students have also found that there are fewer distractions and obstacles to complete their studies when on campus, as well as a common community that helps them thrive. 

WHAT DOES ‘HYBRID APPROACH’ MEAN?

Hybrid approach means that some courses will be delivered online while others will either be in-person or have in-person components. For example, anatomy labs will be conducted in-person with social distancing, while lectures will be delivered primarily online. 

ARE UCLAN CAMPUS FACILIITIES CURRENTLY OPEN?

Yes, UCLan is currently open and operating seven days a week but with some restrictions and comprehensive safety measures in place. At this time, students can access the Library (24/7), Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, the Students’ Union, and The Atrium and Source Bar. 

We know that public campus spaces are an important part of your medical school experience—and important to your academic preparation and wellbeing. Please visit UCLan’s COVID-19 News page for information on facilities and services that are open.  

WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL COMFORTABLE TRAVELING TO PRESTON, UK?

AUC understands the COVID-19 pandemic has created increased anxiety and uncertainty that affects our entire community. There is currently no definitive end in sight to the pandemic, and it is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Please note that clinical students are currently working in hospitals, oftentimes directly caring for COVID-19 patients.    

If you feel you can’t be in Preston, please reach out to Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu to discuss your individual situation. 

TRAVEL - UKT

WILL STUDENTS NEED TO QUARANTINE ONCE THEY ARRIVE IN PRESTON?

When you arrive in the UK, you must travel directly to your residence and not leave until 14 days have passed since you were last in a non-exempt country or territory. This is known as ‘self-isolating.’ AUC has adjusted our academic schedule to accommodate students’ self-isolation and will not conduct in-person activities until several weeks into the semester.  

The 14-day period starts from the day after you leave a non-exempt country or territory. A non-exempt country or territory is any country or territory that is not on the travel corridors list

For more information, please visit the UK government website

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ENTRY TO PRESTON?

Given the changing nature of COVID-19 and each government’s response, travelers should regularly monitor the UK government website. We also ask that you monitor your local government’s travel restrictions and any impact they may have on your ability to return to Preston for the January 2021 semester.

I’M WORRIED ABOUT TRAVELLING ON AN AIRPLANE. WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO TRAVEL SAFELY?

The UK government provides a comprehensive list of travel guidelines with best practices and recommendations. 

WHAT IF I’M IN A LOCATION WHERE FLIGHTS/TRAVEL IS RESTRICTED?

Please reach out to Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu to discuss how AUC can best troubleshoot your situation. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 

HEALTH & SAFETY - UKT

WHAT IS NOVEL CORONAVIRUS?

The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), commonly known as a coronavirus, is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. For additional information visit the UK government’s COVID-19 page.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

According to the World Health Organization, common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 

WHAT PRECAUTIONS ARE AUC AND UCLAN TAKING TO PREVENT MEMBERS OF THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY FROM EXPOSURE?

As always, your safety and security remain our top priority. AUC and UCLan are taking precautions to lower the risk of exposure and do our part to curb the spread of the virus.  

UCLan has implemented numerous safety measures and procedures across campus to keep our community safe, and we urge all students to do their part in supporting and protecting each other. You can expect to see handwashing and sanitizing stations established around campus; Perspex screens installed at on-campus food and drink outlets; and signage posted throughout to promote social and physical distancing.  Additional measures such as building restrictions and identity badges are required on campus.  

All community members will be expected to follow safety measures and protocols, including the use of face masks in shared spaces, social distancing, and increased cleaning and disinfecting of campus facilities and common spaces. Students will also need to complete a mandatory COVID-19 precaution training on Blackboard prior to accessing campus. 

For more details on UCLan safety procedures, visit UCLan’s Coronavirus Advice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).  

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A HEALTH CONCERN OR PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION?

Students who are immunosuppressed or have a pre-existing medical condition should contact Dr. Andy Ginty, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – UK Track, at aginty@aucmed.edu to discuss their unique case prior to arranging travel to Preston. 

WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD ALL STUDENTS TAKE TO UNDERSTAND THEIR RISK OF EXPOSURE?

It is important that we work together to take common sense precautions that can reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19.  

Per CDC guidelines 

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.
  • Practice social distancing with people outside of your home. Stay at least 6 feet from other people.
  • Wear a cloth face covering when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Clean and frequently disinfect common work surfaces. 
  • If you or a family member develops a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, or are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms, work with to alert appropriate contacts and practice social distancing.   

ACADEMICS / CLASSES - UKT

WILL CLASSES BE CONDUCTED LIVE AND IN-PERSON? IF NOT, WHICH ACTIVITIES WILL BE CONDUCTED IN-PERSON?

AUC’s January 2021 UK Track semester will be delivered in Preston with a hybrid curriculum that includes both in-person activities at UCLan and virtual learning, along with opportunities for in-person clinical skills practice. All course activities (including virtual) will be delivered on the same schedule in accordance with Preston’s time zone.   

In accordance with UCLan guidance and safety protocols, students in Preston will have the opportunity to benefit from in-person activities and experiences including:   

  • Small group learning activities  

  • ICM 5 blocks and clinical skills “boot camps” (semester 5)  

  • Additional clinical skills practice (all semesters)  

  • Access to faculty for learning and office hours  

  • Designated campus space to sit for exams   

 

We will have PPE available for ICM sessions and expect students to follow the safety guidelines which will serve you well on clinicals.  

To deliver the virtual portion of our curriculum, AUC will utilize and continue to invest in high-quality digital resources.  Some classes and lectures are likely to be delivered exclusively virtually as we adhere to strict social distancing protocols.   

 

Students residing in the UK will have the opportunity to participate in clinical skills activities in person beginning on 18 January, as long as they have completed their 10-day self-isolation period as needed by that date.  

Students currently outside of the UK or who are restricted in their travel will be able to begin their studies online, with an anticipated shift to campus on 26 February. We will make additional arrangements for these students as outlined below. Depending where you are traveling from, you may need to  self-isolate for up to 10 days. Therefore, we ask that you plan to arrive to the UK no later than 16 February, so that you can participate in clinical skills activities in person beginning 26 February. We are confident that this plan provides as little disruption to your coursework as possible for the upcoming term. 

COMMENCEMENT 2021

The American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony will be celebrated virtually on Saturday, May 22. We look forward to bringing all graduates together online in recognition of your hard work, your determination, and your success in earning your medical degree.

Virtual Commencement Details

The Virtual Commencement Ceremony, broadcasted live via AUC’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, will include:  

  • Keynote address given by Dr. Amesh Adalja, AUC Class of 2002, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. As a leading infectious disease/critical care expert, Dr. Adalja has been featured prominently in the media for his work on pandemic preparedness and emerging infectious disease policies.  
  • Community Service and Outstanding Academic Awards will be announced. 
  • Individual recognition for each participating graduate during the Conferral of Degrees. 
  • Traditional recitation of the Hippocratic Oath.
Registration

To honor each of you individually, each graduate will need to register for the virtual Commencement Ceremony and upload a photo in your regalia and a recording of your name. You should have received a separate email from our partners at Name Coach, with a registration link and uploading instructions.  

Please complete your registration and uploads by Wednesday, April 14.  

Tips for photos: 

  • Hold your camera or phone horizontally so your photo is landscape, and make sure you are in a well-lit area, preferably with a light source in front. 

Important: Don’t have your photo available just yet? That’s OK – you can still begin your registration. Be sure to create an account with Name Coach using your @students.aucmed.edu email address, so that you can return to your registration later. You’ll be able to upload a photo and make any changes to your information until the close of registration on Wednesday, April 14

**Please note that only those who register and submit their mailing address and/or photo via Name Coach by the deadline will be mailed a Grad Box with items for the day-of-ceremony celebration including scholarship chords for those recipients of a AUC scholarship(s) and/or Empower scholarship.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Amesh Adalja, AUC Class of 2002, is a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an Affiliate of the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health. As a leading infectious disease/critical care expert, Dr. Adalja has been featured prominently in the media for his work on pandemic preparedness and emerging infectious disease policies. He is an active contributor with major national news networks, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and CBS, as well as numerous local networks. You can view a selection of his TV interviews on his YouTube page

Dr. Adalja has served on US government panels tasked with developing guidelines for the treatment of plague, botulism, and anthrax in mass casualty settings and for the system of care for infectious disease emergencies. He also served as an external advisor to the New York City Health + Hospitals Emergency Management Highly Infectious Disease training program and on a US Federal Emergency Management Agency working group on nuclear disaster recovery. He is a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America; he previously served on their public health and diagnostics committees and their precision medicine working group.  

Dr. Adalja is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians Pennsylvania Chapter’s EMS & Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Committee as well as the Allegheny County Medical Reserve Corps. He was formerly a member of the National Quality Forum Infectious Disease Standing Committee, where he currently serves on the Primary Care and Chronic Illness Standing Committee, and the US Department of Health and Human Services National Disaster Medical System, with which he was deployed to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and was also selected for their mobile acute care strike team.  

Dr. Adalja completed two fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh—one in infectious diseases, for which he served as chief fellow, and one in critical care medicine. Prior to that he completed a combined residency in internal medicine and emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he served as chief resident and as a member of the infection control committee. He was a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine from 2010 through 2017 and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor there. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Before earning his MD from AUC, he received a BS in industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Dr. Adalja is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is a board-certified physician in internal medicine, emergency medicine, infectious diseases, and critical care medicine. He is a native of Butler, Pennsylvania, and actively practices infectious disease, critical care, and emergency medicine in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, where he was appointed to the City of Pittsburgh’s HIV Commission and the advisory group of AIDS Free Pittsburgh.   

Submit Your Photos

From Sint Maarten to Preston to clinicals, your time in medical school has been nothing short of memorable. To help capture your experiences and recognize your journey to graduation, we encourage all graduates to submit photos from your time at AUC. These memories will be incorporated into our virtual celebration. 

We encourage all graduates to submit photos by Wednesday, April 14, even those who cannot join the May 22 virtual festivities. These photos are separate from your NameCoach submission photo in your regalia. 

Please submit your photos through the links below: 

Downloadable Assets

Coming soon! 

FAQ

What is the plan for the 2021 Commencement? Will the ceremony be in-person or virtual? 

Virtual. Our priority is the health and safety of the AUC community. With the continued uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to celebrate our 2021 graduations virtually on Saturday, May 22, 2021. We will share more information about our virtual celebration soon.  

When is the May 2021 commencement ceremony? 

The virtual commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 22, 2021. More information will be sent via email with specific details on how you can participate in the coming months.  

Will the May 2021 ceremony be rescheduled to a later date when an in-person ceremony is possible? 

No, we have decided to not reschedule this event to a later date.  At this time, it is unclear when large gatherings will be safe, and we want to celebrate with you, your family, and your friends before you start your residency programs. 

Is the commencement reception scheduled for Friday, May 21, 2021 cancelled?  

Yes, the commencement reception for May 21, 2021 is cancelled. 

Why can’t we have an outdoor ceremony? 

 In early January, when we needed to make this decision, large gatherings, even outdoors, were still prohibited.

Aren’t we expecting most people to be vaccinated in time for a May ceremony? 

In early January, when we needed to make this decision, there was too much uncertainty around vaccine availability and roll-out to have enough confidence that people would be vaccinated by May.

Can family and friends participate if the ceremony is virtual?  

Yes! Your hard work deserves to be celebrated and we hope you will share your momentous accomplishment with family and friends. All graduates will receive instructions to participate in the virtual celebration, and how to invite family and friends to join. 

Am I able to participate in the 2022 in-person ceremony? 

The Commencement Committee is considering all scenarios should global conditions allow for large in-person gatherings at that time. We will share more information once those plans are confirmed.  

Will I receive my diploma cover if the ceremony is virtual? 

Yes, diploma covers will be mailed directly to you. To ensure that the diploma cover reaches you, we recommend that you update your current mailing address in the Student Portal.  

Can I order regalia? 

Yes, AUC will cover the costs of your regalia when ordered through Herff Jones by March 19, 2021.  You can order your regalia by typing in your browser: herff.ly/auc.  We encourage you to order and wear your regalia proudly.  Additional details on how to submit photos in your regalia will be coming soon!

How Do I Wear My Regalia?

We encourage all graduates to wear regalia or white coats while participating in the virtual celebration. You can find a video on how to wear your regalia here
 

Will I still receive my scholarship cords?

Yes, these will be mailed directly to our graduates who were a recipient of an Empower Scholarship Fund scholarship OR any AUC scholarship award. Scholarship cords will be included in your Grad Box, to receive your Grad Box you must complete your registration through our Name Coach registration site.  All students were emailed personal links to register on the Name Coach site to their AUC student emails.  If you have not received yours, please check your spam box and email gradceremony@aucmed.edu.

PUBLIC HEALTH RESOURCES

Learn more about COVID-19 from the CDC: